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Comment count is 14
biclops - 2014-02-11

In Bob Tuskin's mind, he asked his question and Dr. Chomsky just stood there for 5 minutes staring blankly ahead, not saying a single word.

infinite zest - 2014-02-11

More like bob fourskin yeah! #calledit #didntwatchthevideo #chumpsky

Hooker - 2014-02-11

Hahahah. The guy shouting a diatribe that gets angry when someone tries to interrupt his inalienable right to demand an answer on a topic unrelated to what Noam was speaking about is a _known_ dumb idiot?

EvilHomer - 2014-02-11

The comments are great! They call Chomsky - one of the most shamelessly biased academics in the country, a man who sings praises for the Khmer Rouge because he's convinced the American establishment is the worse than the devil - an "establishment shill".

Also, a "Jew frack".

Bort - 2014-02-11

"a man who sings praises for the Khmer Rouge because he's convinced the American establishment is the worse than the devil"

I've heard that charge before, and as it turns out, Chomsky does no such thing. He challenges some numbers being thrown around about exactly how many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge (still an unconscionable number by Chomsky's reckoning), he cites US complicity in the situation that led to the mass murder, but he doesn't sing the praises of Khmer Rouge any more than, say, the average Iraq War critic thought Saddam Hussein was a swell guy.

Not sure if you're doing a thing or if you're repeating what you've heard and assumed was accurate.

EvilHomer - 2014-02-11

Chomsky's apologia for the Khmer Rouge goes WELL beyond "the average Iraq war critic". If you think Chomsky is *right* - both in denying the full extent of the Khmer's atrocities and in deflecting whatever remains back on the actions of US imperialism, then that's one thing, but I don't think anyone who's read Chomsky's opinions on the matter can chalk it up to just another case of rational, principled dissent. Unless he's since recanted - I haven't kept abreast with Chomsky, let alone Khmergate, for a number of years, so if he has decided to stop being such a pigheaded fascist and admit he was wrong, then I apologize and stand corrected! But I highly doubt that's happened.

In your defense, I will say that Chomsky is very methodological about what he does. Chomsky is not an unsophisticated propagandist - he is a supremely adept propagandist. He takes great pains to dress up his arguments in a veneer of objectivity and reasonable-ness, and not just on Cambodia or Vietnam, but on every political matter he's touched. It's part of his charm, aprt of what makes him such an effective and inspiring writer, despite the general poverty of his ideas. An uncritical reading of Chomsky's sophistry-laden prose could indeed leave one with the impression that he's "just another war critic" looking to challenge the numbers; hell, I thought that when I first encountered him, too! I know where you're coming from, Bort, I really do. But as anyone who examines his work critically will quickly surmise, Chomsky is one of the least objective and most unreasonable political writers this side of Pravda and Fox News. Chomsky staunchly refuses to admit that the Cambodian genocide was anywhere near as bad as it actually was, and uses every opportunity to deflect whatever remains back on the West. Any sort of balance or acknowledgement of possible Communist culpability in the atrocities he does not deny outright, comes as little more than an afterthought to fifty pages of slavishly Leninist rhetoric, and almost always segues immediate into yet more anti-establishment paranoia.

Anyway, we could argue about whether or not Chomsky was being reasonable in regards to Cambodia for hours and not get anywhere; he and his academic sparring partners have been doing that for years, and I doubt any of us could match up to them. ***THE IMPORTANT POINT***, for purposes of this video, is simply that we acknowledge the self-evident fact that Chomsky is a paranoid dingbat (we can all agree on that much, yes?), and yet *even he* is not paranoid enough for the Youtube Truther set.

EvilHomer - 2014-02-11


EvilHomer - 2014-02-11

(but yes, Bort, saying that Chomsky "sings the praises of the Khmer Rouge" was partly me Doing a Thing. It's hyperbole. I know that even he doesn't go THAT far.

Chomsky to the Khmer Rouge is much like David Duke to Nazi Germany. They don't think what happened was SUPER GREAT, they just don't care, and think everyone else was worse.)

Bort - 2014-02-11

I get the point you were trying to make, but I still believe in not slandering a guy whose greatest crime was being insufficiently supportive of our wars in the 60s and 70s.

http://bigwhiteogre.blogspot.com/2010/07/chomskys-views-on-khm er-rouge-distorted.html

EvilHomer - 2014-02-11

I would neither say it's a crime to be insufficiently supportive of war, nor that this was all Chomsky is guilty of, but whatever, Like I said, the real point I was trying to get across was that Truthers are even more batshit than C-Dogg.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2010/jlaksin/chomsky-and-the-khmer -rouge-the-observer/

And a less hostile look that nonetheless manages to arrive at the conclusion we've known all along, that Chomsky was and continues to be willfully wrong on Cambodia:


Bort - 2014-02-11

There's a hell of a lot of material in there to review and research, and I can't be assed to go to that much trouble. But I did happen upon this paragraph:

"The precise numbers, however, are less important than the larger question: Who is responsible for these deaths? The Americans, who had ceased direct involvement in combat more than a year and a half earlier? Or the Communists, who had encircled the city and cut off all supplies? A realistic assessment would note that the Khmer Rouge, the Americans, and the Vietnamese were all partly to blame. Chomsky and Herman, however, are not in the business of providing realistic assessments. Thus, the toll can be inflated arbitrarily, and laid entirely at the feet of the Americans."

Which is horseshit -- Chomsky apportions blame to the Khmer Rouge AS WELL AS the Americans, as we saw in the link I just provided. When even the "less hostile" critics lie like a rug, I'm left to conclude that they've got nothing.

EvilHomer - 2014-02-11

I don't have a copy of Manufacturing Consent handy. so I can't check the source to see if that is LITERALLY what Chomsky said. However, if you read the paragraph you've quoted in context, the author is referring specifically to Chomsky's take on the Siege of Phnom Pehn, an event which Chomsky has been particularly one-sided about, and which fits in neatly with Chomsky's known modus operandi in regards to laying the blame for abortive relief efforts squarely at the feet of "the imperialists". (that time he equated India's lack of nationalized healthcare to the Stalin's famines springs to mind!) Your quote is not a blanket statement about Chomsky's approach to Cambodia as a whole, but simply a frank appraisal of Chomsky's ideologically-fettered, selectively-reasoned take on a single event; a take that fits in well with the pattern of behavior we discover as we examine Chomsky's work more critically.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your objection here seems to be that you think the author is claiming Chomsky NEVER wags his finger at the Khmer Rouge - and that would be wrong, literally speaking. But this is not what is being said! Indeed, *the very first sentence of that article* is a quote directly from Chomsky apportioning blame to the Khmer Rouge... one of the few half-hearted times he does so, as it turns out. So I urge you, please, don't just write off something you glanced at for ten seconds as "lies", especially when it's actually quite nice to Noam, and has extensive footnotes and citations (unlike the rambling, somewhat incoherent, and utterly unconvincing blog-post you linked to). Don't do that. That's something Chomsky would do.

You're better than him, Bort.

Bort - 2014-02-11

My objection is deliberate and/or lazy misrepresentations of Chomsky. I do not see him as an infallible prophet by any stretch, but I have heard lies about him repeated often enough (typically variations of "he was a Pol Pot supporter") that I have an immediate distrust of any source making that claim or anything remotely similar. So, I'll admit to that much bias, and as I said I don't care to make a project of this.

That said, I'll concede Chomsky tends to frame things in terms of "here's what the US did wrong this time", which is rarely the most comprehensive or useful way to frame history. But I don't think it's fair to infer that he's claiming anyone else is innocent of wrongdoing, he's just not focusing on them.

Let's talk about that India / Stalin thing, shall we? You'll be happy to know I found the link for you:


Here is Chomsky's point: if you're going to compare the brutality of communism to that of capitalism and you're only allowed to count the deaths caused by communist purges and not by capitalist exploitation / greed / neglect, you're ignoring half the picture. Chomsky didn't "equate" the two as you claim, he said that the ideologically-driven brutality of both systems ought to be considered.

Why you gotta misrepresent Chomsky twice in one day, EvilHomer?

Hooker - 2014-02-12

Well, isn't this a thing.

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