Conversations on the Post-9/11 World
In this first collection of interviews since the
bestselling 9-11, our foremost intellectual activist examines crucial new questions of U.S. foreign policy
Timely, urgent, and powerfully elucidating, this important volume of previously unpublished interviews conducted by award-winning radio journalist David Barsamian features Noam Chomsky discussing America's policies in an increasingly unstable world. With his famous insight, lucidity, and redoubtable grasp of history, Chomsky offers his views on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of "preemptive" strikes against so-called rogue states, and the prospects of the second Bush administration, warning of the growing threat to international peace posed by the U.S. drive for domination. In his inimitable style, Chomsky also dissects the propaganda system that fabricates a mythic past and airbrushes inconvenient facts out of history.
Barsamian, recipient of the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, has conducted more interviews and radio broadcasts with Chomsky than has any other journalist. Enriched by their unique rapport, Imperial Ambitions explores topics Chomsky has never before discussed, among them the 2004 presidential campaign and election, the future of Social Security, and the increasing threat, including devastating weather patterns, of global warming. The result is an illuminating dialogue with one of the leading thinkers of our time—and a startling picture of the turbulent times in which we live.
The infuriating, indispensable dean of American dissidents returns with this new collection of interviews with long-time amanuensis Barsamian. In these wide-ranging conversations, linguist and philosopher Chomsky, author of Hegemony or Survival, applies his usual left-wing critique of U.S. foreign policy to recent developments in Iraq, but also revisits American infamies stretching back to the Kosovo conflict, the Vietnam War and even the Mexican War while weighing in on domestic issues like Social Security privatization, health insurance and the rise of the Religious Right. His caustic denunciations of American "war crimes" -comparisons to Nazi Germany are never far from hand-serve up plenty of red meat for his legions of fans on the disaffected left, but the discursive, unsystematic format is not the best introduction for readers unfamiliar with his nonconformist views. One wishes Chomsky would find a more challenging interlocutor than the always-reverent Barsamian to sharpen up his thinking. His estimate of the coherence and vigor of the American imperial project seems overwrought. His analysis of the role of oil politics in the Iraq war is murky. And his portrait of the media as a quasi-Orwellian "propaganda" system brainwashing the population on behalf of the ruling elite smacks of naive populism. Still, it's hard to dismiss Chomsky's indictment of the damage done by U.S. policies abroad, his scornful dissection of the lies and hypocrisies of those who defend them, his insistence that wealth and class interests dominate American politics, or his uncompromising attack on the thoughtless presumption of America's right to impose its will by force on other countries. A sardonic, meticulous and always bracing critic of the powers that be, Chomsky remains a must-read for any thoughtful citizen.