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An Hour With: Noam Chomsky

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This segment originally aired live on September 18, 2013. An edited version was included in a best-of episode of The Brian Lehrer Show on December 24th. The unedited audio can be found here. 

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of many books including, with Andre Vltchek, On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare, talks about his new book, his body of work and his take on recent events, plus listener calls.

Guests:

Noam Chomsky

Comments [106]

robert mandagie from Jakarta Indonesia

I admire his idealism and I hope he will be devoting his time to discuss the history of colonial America and Australia in the south pacific and how they take mine in westPapua

Dec. 27 2013 07:53 AM

If Chomsky was taken serious, there would be a lot less of everything everywhere, and a lot more intelligent nerds running around using really structured language. He is awesome, all of these h8rs should just chill out. I mean Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela are dead, alongside scores of Palestinian and Jewish children in the middle east. So lets just calm down about we drawing imaginary lines, established by lawyer states. Just calm down people and go buy some more feel-good organic coffee

Dec. 26 2013 07:37 PM
René Pacheco-Arana from West Nyack, NY

Noam Cromsky provided a very well informed an hour interview. I read all the above comments. The majority of them are full of insults. I believe in the free expression; however, if you want to have a civilized conversation or argument, present facts and argue without insults.

Dec. 26 2013 05:39 PM
RJ Emery

Professor Chomsky's entire thesis On Western Terrorism is flawed. Western nations, in an attempt to thwart terrorism, do not deliberately or indiscriminately target innocent civilians. Terrorists, on the other hand, harbor no such reservations and try to inflict as much carnage as possible on innocents. That's a huge difference.

Hiroshima was a trying decision for new President Truman. Best estimates of how long the war would last against the fanatical Japanese put it as far out as 18 months, at a great cost of American lives. The dropping of the atomic bombs, however regrettable in hindsight, was justified and the right decision given what was known at the time.

As an aside, Hitler choose not to fully fund Germany's atomic bomb program. Development of the bomb would have taken more than two years, and by then, Hitler prophesied, the war would have been over. If der Fuhrer had an atomic weapon, does anyone truly think he would not have used it?

Had Professor Chomsky ever in his life been truly in Harm's Way, he would have certainly thought differently about his pacifist views.

The professor is surely one who lives in an ivory tower and who writes controversial books solely for fun and profit.

Dec. 24 2013 12:39 PM
Crone Drone

Yawn

Dec. 24 2013 10:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Chomsky defends every criminal state on earth but only condemns the US and Israel.

Dec. 24 2013 10:38 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

Hopefully wbai will be "sacked" from the airwaves for not paying its bills.

wbai should sell its frequency to FOX for a fair deal and move to the Internet where it can stand out amongst 1,000,000 other streams.

Dec. 24 2013 10:31 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If millions of Jews had gone to "Palestine" in the 1920s and 1930s, there would have been a Jewish state by 1938 and no Holocaust. As for Chomsky, I'm only sorry he wasn't in Poland in 1941 to meet the fate that he truly deserves.

Dec. 24 2013 10:30 AM
John from Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Noam Chomsky Supports the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network. Will you? http://etan.org/etan/2011-12chomapp.htm

Dec. 24 2013 10:14 AM
Bill Weinberg from Manhattan

I am Bill Weinberg, and while I am an indeed an anarchist critic of Chomsky, I am assuredly NOT a Zionist! I have no idea where got that idea. A little time on my website will disabuse you of THAT illusion...

http://newjewishresistance.org/

BTW, after I was sacked from "free speech radio" WBAI for, um, exercising free speech, I applied to WNYC for a program, submitting four copies of a demo as requested on their website. They never even got back to me. They can whistle the next time they are having a fund drive...

Nov. 09 2013 10:04 PM
Petria from Melbourne Australia

Gareth Evans was NOT the Prime Minister of Australia. He was the Foreign Minister. (from Wiki) In 2000–2001 Evans co-chaired, with Mohamed Sahnoun, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), appointed by the government of Canada to address the issue of genocide and other mass atrocity crimes, which published its report, The Responsibility to Protect.

Oct. 11 2013 11:51 AM
Ted from Brooklyn

I'm sure it's clear to all that Anna is the only "raving lunatic" here. Chomsky is a voice of conscience and reason for the current culture, and whether calling out the US, Israel, or anyone else, he rarely gets it wrong. Anna, your biases are coloring your opinions to an astounding degree... It's a bit sad.

Oct. 08 2013 01:46 PM
Mike Garrett from Adelaide, Australia

Small correction: Gareth Evans was Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs (1988 – 1996), never Prime Minister of Australia, as Noam Chomsky asserts.

Sep. 26 2013 09:35 PM
anna from new york

Independent Noach,
"Chomsky has been accused of being an apologist for the Zionist lobby and even State."
Well, sorry to inform you, but in the eyes of antisemites a Jew is a Jew. You do know that Hitler would send this garbage together with babies and other totally innocent people to oven. The same antisemites' favorite pastime is using sick Jews such as Finkelstein and monstrous Jews such as Chomsky against their own people.
OK, I spent more time on this comment than any "independent" deserves.
Ah, don't you dare to open you illiterate mouth again - antisemitism happens to be one of the areas of my expertise.

Sep. 24 2013 06:54 AM

@ Susan:

Chomsky, from a talk titled "Sovereignty and World Order" at Kansas State University, September 20, 1999:

(via https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky )

"I should say that when people talk about capitalism it's a bit of a joke. There's no such thing. No country, no business class, has ever been willing to subject itself to the free market, free market discipline. Free markets are for others. Like, the Third World is the Third World because they had free markets rammed down their throat. Meanwhile, the enlightened states, England, the United States, others, resorted to massive state intervention to protect private power, and still do. That's right up to the present. I mean, the Reagan administration for example was the most protectionist in post-war American history. Virtually the entire dynamic economy in the United States is based crucially on state initiative and intervention: computers, the internet, telecommunication, automation, pharmaceutical, you just name it. Run through it, and you find massive ripoffs of the public, meaning, a system in which under one guise or another the public pays the costs and takes the risks, and profit is privatized. That's very remote from a free market. Free market is like what India had to suffer for a couple hundred years, and most of the rest of the Third World."

Sep. 24 2013 06:20 AM

I must give Edward from Washington/ Hudson Heights some credit here for being one of the only Chomsky detractors to actually cite some substantative critique (or at least what would appear to be such).
_____
@ Susan (Sep. 18 2013 08:31 PM): Thank you for responding. If I get the chance, perhaps I will reply in some detail.

Sep. 24 2013 01:45 AM

Lots of name-calling and accusations.

Little to no backing-up with any substance.

Sep. 24 2013 12:32 AM
truth-digger

re woman caller : her father was a "brilliant man who was thoroughly convinced" HE knew, why Truman BOMBED Japan.. I see, so therefore he could not be wrong.. god help us....

Sep. 23 2013 08:02 PM
anna from new york

"garbuz from Queens, you got it. Israel now owns the Palestine. Neither Jews of Israel nor Arabs are going anywhere. One happy multicultural country. Isrealstine." (Taher)
Ha, ha, ha, ha,
Dear Taher, I hope you can google. Why don't you look up the words: The Bible and Israel. Look up also the etymology of the word "Palestine." Ah, of course look up first the meaning of the word "etymology."

Sep. 23 2013 06:22 PM
anna from new york

"He's not an intellectual. He's a raving lunatic"
Yes, and an exceptional scoundrel.

Sep. 23 2013 06:14 PM
anna from new york

And yes, I need "Ashley"'s opinion about what is "passe" (oh, ah Ashley, oh ah, "passe") in the Jewish world. Sure.
Boy, Brian, why can't you attract more intelligent listeners?
dr anna

Sep. 23 2013 06:11 PM
anna from new york

"International linguist = big liar. Academic propagandists of the highest order."
Jgarbus, you absolutely correct. Chomsky as a "BIG" linguist was a product of the Soviet Union who was translating his "work" immediately (or before the English publication) and promoting him everywhere.
Only Stalin's "linguistic" production received similar treatment. Everyone who is familiar with Soviet "publishing" reality knows what it meant.
Not surprisingly, most independent linguists treat this mathematician turned charlatanish linguist with respect he deserves.
The ignorant crowd applauds, applauds, applauds: "I don't understand a word - it must be good."

Sep. 23 2013 06:03 PM
anna from new york

In my last comment I think I wasn't clear. I'd like to clarify.
In my view, it would be only fair if the Chomskys were where my father's family is. I would exchange in a second. The world would be better place.

Sep. 23 2013 05:39 PM
anna from new york

Wrong, Servantes, wrong.
The world has more monsters than we need.
I am a Pascallian agnostic, but ... this what happens when someone has no conscience, no decency, and yes, no fear of God.
To betray the vulnerable, to betray one's people for cheap applause of bigots can only a monster.
I would do so much to replace my father's family with the Chomskys.
Yes, they perished when this little bastard was preparing himself for the life of a scoundrel.

Sep. 23 2013 05:24 PM
Cervantes

Chomsky, a "monster"..?? we need more monsters..

Sep. 23 2013 12:57 PM
anna from new york

A monster.

Sep. 23 2013 10:16 AM
Ron Raphael from Ce

I remember those news stands by the 72nd street (1951-1963) The Nedicks across the street was frequent source of a good snack on my home as a teenager.Yes I remember the "NewzanMirra".
What I really wanted to say was that the second amendment was written when protection meant sleeping with a loaded,one shot, blunderbus or musket besides oneself.

Sep. 20 2013 12:45 PM
Susan

Jerry Shapiro from New York: Why should what the garbage written in the comments section be any better than the ignorance that comes out of the host's or guest's mouth?

Sep. 19 2013 12:45 AM
Jerry Shapiro from New York

Does anybody moderate the garbage that gets posted here? Or is it just a free for all of ignorance?

Sep. 19 2013 12:22 AM

Smart guy/good talker.

Sep. 18 2013 09:15 PM
Susan

Independent_Noach: It would be nice if Chomsky would either read some books on real economics—or if he has, then understand them. His comments about the free market show that he has either not read any of the major texts of the "Austrian" school of economic thought (e.g., Mises and Rothbard), or he just doesn't understand them.

If Chomsky et al. believe that this mixed economy (e.g., government business regulations, government price fixing, government licensing of businesses and professions, government subsidies to favored businesses, i.e., crony capitalism) we have in the United States (and the rest of the world's economies, for that matter) is a free market, then I don't know what else to say.

Sep. 18 2013 08:31 PM
Susan

blacksocialist from BKbaby: Thank you for your insightful response. What else can one expect from someone who is economically ignorant?

Sep. 18 2013 08:24 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

to Jelfrank

I'd take on the Fink and tear his "facts"to shreds. And I'm the child of holocaust survivors too, so he can't play that card on me.

Sep. 18 2013 07:23 PM

Dr. Norman Finkelstein would be a great guest. Let him debate anyone on the Middle East... he will tear them to shreds. Lehrer probably wouldn't be allowed to have Finkelstein on because his style is relentless, but like Chomsky has the facts on his side.

Sep. 18 2013 06:24 PM
DTorres from Manhattan

Noam Chomsky strips away all the nice patriotic phrases,
lays bare the true reasons for US aggression.
Noam Chomsky exposes the lies, in chilling detail, with plenty of
evidence to back up what he is saying.

For that he is hated by the liars.

Sep. 18 2013 03:36 PM

Some facts:
Chomsky is on record as:
-SUPPORTING a two-state solution
-OPPOSING the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against the State of Israel

-Chomsky has been accused of being an apologist for the Zionist lobby and even State.

Two examples:

"Chomsky's long history denying the power and role of the pro-Israel lobby in decisively shaping US Middle East policy culminated in his recent conjoining with the US Zionist propaganda machine attacking a study critical of the Israeli lobby."
- James Petras, 'Noam Chomsky and the pro-Israel lobby: Fourteen erroneous theses'
http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=7

"It’s especially disturbing to see Chomsky so consistently placing the limits of activism at the limits of the prevailing discourse—what is "taken seriously" by "the Israeli public" or "the US public" or "internationally""
- Noah Cohen, "Noam Chomsky and 'Left' Apologetics for Injustice in Palestine"
http://chomsky.info/onchomsky/20040823.htm

Sep. 18 2013 02:02 PM

"One very common tactic for enforcing political orthodoxies is to malign the character, "style" and even mental health of those who challenge them."
- Glenn Greenwald, 'How Noam Chomsky is discussed'
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/23/noam-chomsky-guardian-personality

Sep. 18 2013 01:49 PM

"Don't label yourself as anything, ever.

You get wrapped up in the definition of that label, and modify your own beliefs to become more accurately described by that label.

Think freely. Make your own opinions, and dgaf* about the side you're agreeing with."
- Anonymous

*DGAF= Don't Give a [expletive]

"At any historical moment, we are likely to find a conventional interpretation of the state of the world and our role within it, often gaining the force of unchallenged doctrine. Another near truism is that reality tends to depart from established Truth. The present period is no exception."

- Noam Chomsky, The Victors
http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199011--.htm

Sep. 18 2013 01:12 PM

***CORRECTION***
To my previous post, dated 12:35 PM, second-to-last-paragraph, beginning:

"weiberg" is not merely a typo for "Weinberg"; I meant to write "Weinbtraub", i.e., Frot advocate Bill Weintraub, whom I was referring-to.
_________

It was only when the hour ended that I realized it had apparently begun at 10:45 AM and not 11:00. Starting at the top of the hour is the standard form and the one I recall for the past hour-long interviews. I do hope to listen to the mp3 when I get the chance.
_____________________________
@ Susan,

Regarding Chomsky on the term "libertarian", you might find of interest the blog post at
http://www.distantocean.com/2008/04/chomsky-on-libe.html
and the comments that are posted there.

Two excerpts from the Chomsky quote featured there:
"if you have unbridled capitalism, you have all kinds of authority: you have extreme authority.

If capital is privately controlled, then people are going to have to rent themselves in order to survive. Now, you can say, "they rent themselves freely, it's a free contract"—but that's a joke. If your choice is, "do what I tell you or starve," that's not a choice—it's in fact what was commonly referred to as wage slavery in more civilized times, like the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example."
----
"Now, there are consistent libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard[...]"

( from 'Understanding Power: The Essential Chomsky')

Sep. 18 2013 01:05 PM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

Susan - damn youre an idiot....

Sep. 18 2013 12:57 PM

@ Tony from Canarsie, 11:35 AM:

(Authentically) conservative historian John Lukacs is also on my guest "wish list" for WNYC.

The thought of a debate between Chomsky and Lukacs is nothing short of delightful and thrilling.

(Incidentally, Lukacs is one of a number of serious conservatives with independence and integrity who dissent from the canonization of Ronald Reagan, arguing that he was anything but conservative.
See:
'How Right Was Reagan?', Richard Gamble, The American Conservative, May 2009
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-right-was-reagan/ )
__________
Bill Weinberg is another colorful character whom I would love to hear debate Chomsky. Weinberg is an avowed anarchist and apparent Zionist who was exiled from WBAI for his outspoken criticism of that station. In the little I heard of Weinberg, he made a comment that suggested that he had at least some significant differences with Chomsky.
.....
Bill Weinberg is not to be confused with Bill /Weintraub/, the emphatically pro-/homoerotic/ but anti-/buggery/ frot advocate whom I have repeatedly cited*.

Weiberg may be one of the only people alive who could convince Chomsky to rethink his apparent reflexive acceptance of buggery. Oh, what I'd give to hear such a discourse!

* man2manalliance.org but note graphic content and standard disclaimer that quoting/citing != endorsement. I feel ever-compelled to point-out that I have considerable and even /fundamental/ differences with much of Weintraub's views. But Weintraub and his fellow "C--krub Warriors" expose and speak-out against the hideous reality of buggery like few, if any, others. And that takes real courage, bravery and defiance. For that, at least, I can only admire them. (Plus, from a purely /secular/ perspective, I find nothing wrong with frot, /per se/.)

Sep. 18 2013 12:35 PM
Susan

Here's the U.S. version of an "anarchist" society as envisioned by U.S. free market libertarians:

State of Private-Law Society

http://mises.org/daily/5270

Sep. 18 2013 12:28 PM
yawn

obviously penance for daring run last week's anti-semitism show.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/316013-new-rise-antisemitism/

Sep. 18 2013 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Ashley

Chomsky is an enemy of my people. If he were an Arab, he would have been executed a long time ago. He does not believe the Jewish nation has the right to have a state of their own. If Israel as a Jewish state has no right to exist, what gives America the right to exist? BEcause people from England, Scotland, IReland and other settlers say so? Israel's right to exist is as strong as Ireland's right to exist. Any Irishman who said that the Irish state has no right to exist would have the IRA on his butt.

Sep. 18 2013 12:04 PM
Susan

MEMO to the as usual ignorant Noam Chomsky on the definition of U.S. libertarianism:

“Libertarianism is a political philosophy. It is concerned solely with the proper use of force. Its core premise is that it should be illegal to threaten or initiate violence against a person or his property without his permission; force is justified only in defense or retaliation. That is it, in a nutshell. The rest is mere explanation, elaboration, and qualification—and answering misconceived objections.”

What does the above statement have to do with concentrated capital accumulation, as Chomsky so ignorantly claimed?

Here's some economic ignorance from Chomsky on the "evils" of the free market:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/out-of-the-mouth-of-the-economically-ignorant-noam-chomsky/

Sep. 18 2013 12:03 PM
Ashley from Manhattan

"Self hating jew" on and on endlessly as if it really matters to a world where aside from contributions to humanity.. Israel and Jews is really not an issue that we care about ... you know what is worse in my opinion than a "self hating jew"? a SELF EMBARRASSING jew! in the 21st century all that stuff that consumes jgarbuz is so passe....

Sep. 18 2013 11:57 AM
Ichetucknee Jack from Manhattan

Wish Brian would ask which "scholarship" establishes that the human rights abuses of the Soviet Union in repressing freedoms are dwarfed by the atrocities of the USA & its clients in Central America. Consider just the population: using today's figures - Central America's 41 million people to Russia's 293 million, not even adding in the Soviet Block countries, how can that be possible? Keeping 293 million people in a police state, with 70 years of ongoing gulags, and exporting that to all your neighbors...the USA's actions in Central America during the Cold War are deemed WORSE? Wish Brian had just said "Could you give me the names of those scholars?" And then, maybe suggested the question I propose above. Brian spoke up about Dr. Chomsky's regular turn to equivalences but, as soon as Chomsky said there was "scholarship" there was no follow up.

Sep. 18 2013 11:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Tony

There are more Jews today living in Israel than in the US, just as there are more Italians living in Italy than in the US or Argentina. So I don't get your point at all. Israel is the Jewish homeland as Italy is the Italian homeland. Why is that a problem?

Sep. 18 2013 11:46 AM
Marco from New York

Anyone ever see Ali G's (Sasha Baron Cohen) interview of Professor Chomsky? One really needn't have to listen to him after seeing that.

Sep. 18 2013 11:45 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Is Dr. Chomsky discounting the use of sign language by some chimpanzees & gorillas? They seem to communicate pretty well--within limits, but still.

Sep. 18 2013 11:44 AM
Will Miles

Chomsky is brilliant.
Thoughtful, articulate, well-reasoned.
He happens to be Jewish, I suppose, but I'm at a loss for how that or any other ethno/religious affiliation diminishes the correctness of his thoughts.

Thanks to Brian and WNYC for hosting this session.

Sep. 18 2013 11:44 AM
Tony from Canarsie

jgarbuz from Queens -- Okay, I'll bite. You do realize we live in the United States of America in the 21st century and not in the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah, don't you?

Sep. 18 2013 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Michael

He's not an intellectual. He's a raving lunatic. Only very low IQ people consider him to be an "intellectual." He is strictly a propagandist, and nothing more. A propagandist with a very annoying raspy voice that he puts on to make people think his words have some actual meaning.

Sep. 18 2013 11:42 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Ask Chomsky on his views of the 1939 Socialist Non-Aggreesion pact between

National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Socialist Union AKA Hiterl/Stalin pact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact

Sep. 18 2013 11:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jews are not a "white people" any more than are Cubans or Brazilians. Moses had a second wife, a Cushite. No Caucasian considers Jews to be "White."
"White" means of GErmanic (Anglo-Saxon) or Scandinavian (Swedish, Danish, etc.) origins. There are of course Jews whose skin is white, as there are Arabs and Hindus whose skin is white.
In any case, Israel is JEWISH land, and the Arabs kicked out all their Jews many decades ago.

Sep. 18 2013 11:40 AM
Michael from Queens

@jgarbuz Chomsky is a lunatic ? You sit in your chairl in Queens feebly attempting to bring a great mind down .... a man that will be long remembered for his scholarship and views in academia and history ... whilst your only claim to fame is getting the hair on a few com mentors on this forum's back raised ....

You really need to rethink your hubris

Sep. 18 2013 11:38 AM

Please give Prof. Chomsky a chance to comment on President Obama and his administration.

Sep. 18 2013 11:37 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

john from office said:

>Calling all America haters, call in now!!! An intellectual approach to America BAD. Jewish Intellectuals will never love this country.

Gee, I didn't know that Gore Vidal, Michale Moore, Edward Said, George Galloway, BBC were Jewish.

Sep. 18 2013 11:37 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

to Robert

Chomsky is a RENEGADE and certainly not the only one that Jews have had in our long history. We've had them since Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites and into slavery by his brothers. We know that the greatest enemy of the Jewish nation have been Jewish traitors and renegades that Chomsky typifies perfectly. He defends tyrants and mass murderers and puts all blame on the US and ISrael. I can't use the words I want to use about him because they won't be allowed here.

Sep. 18 2013 11:36 AM
Tony from Canarsie

I suggest this segment be renamed "Hindsight is 20/20."

I'm daydreaming that Churchill biographer and historian John Lukacs will call wnyc right now. That would make for a lively debate about Britain and Germany in the 1930's, and would be a lot less simplistic.

Sep. 18 2013 11:35 AM
Mike Nez from Manhattan

@jgarbuz There are more jews in the USA then in Israel we have ENOUGH Israelis here already besides Jewish Americans. Look That whole argument that the arabs have 27 countries is amazing in it's racism. You are a white man (unless you are an ethiopian jew) so go back to one of the 60 or so white nations that you can go to. It's not our problem that Jews keep leaving their "homeland" . The fact that there are Israelis here in the USA shows that they cant stay put even when you do force a nation upon your self and others . I don't see Hopi and Apache Indians immigrating to Israel and Uzbekistan and then whining about how they need to preserve their homeland . American Indians stay in the land where their ancestors are because they are REALLY native peoples .. not some political construct. Go back to where you came from is what the right likes to yell .. except the Israeli right....

Sep. 18 2013 11:32 AM
John A

Anarchists gotta love our current US congress. I surely don't.

Sep. 18 2013 11:31 AM
Robert from NYC

You jgarbuz, should be proud of Chomsky's jewishness, he lives in the scholarly tradition and self-examination. A model to follow. He is not a self-hating Jew, rather he is proud of his culture and ethnicity.

Sep. 18 2013 11:31 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If not for his highly vaunted (albeit dubious) academic credentials in linguistics, the man would be considered a raving lunatic and confined to an insane asylum.

Sep. 18 2013 11:31 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Could Dr. Chomsky say more specifically what kinds of "strong moves" he thinks might have deterred Germany's invasions of other European countries, & what should have been done if those moves didn't work?

And I do understand how fear can lead people to take positions they wouldn't otherwise, which can lead to results they never wanted--that's why Albert Einstein, a pacifist, supported US efforts to build the atom bomb. A lot might be different in the world if he hadn't.

Sep. 18 2013 11:30 AM

In a reply to an email I had sent to the Leonard Lopate Show, I received a reply stating that Chomsky had been invited many times but had always declined.

Perhaps you could ask Prof. Chomsky about this?

Sep. 18 2013 11:29 AM
Stew from Manhattan

"Oh, we have an hour to kill? Let's put on Noam! His politics align with ours, so we can just let him talk - I won't have to think or argue, and I won't be forced to interrupt my intellectual idol!" ~ Brian Lehrer

Sep. 18 2013 11:29 AM
Jim in Brooklyn

Please ask Prof. Chomsky to comment on the media's ready acceptance of the death toll of the Syrian civil war after only two and a half years as being "more than 100,000" and the loud denial by US and UK governments and many in the media when a study published in the Lancet in 2004 found a similar "excess mortality" as a result of the Iraq invasion. A second Lancet study, published in 2006, found that more than 600,000 had likely died as a result of the war. Yet, to this day, the US government and major media outlets, including the New York Times and NPR, have repeated the "more than 100,000" figure as the likely total number of Iraqis killed, even after nearly a decade of war, despite these and other reputable studies that show the true Iraq mortality figure is in the range of 500,000 to 1 million.

Thank you.

Two Lancet studies are here:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(04)17441-2/fulltext

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)69491-9/fulltext

Sep. 18 2013 11:29 AM
john from office

Wow, we could have stopped Hitler without force!! This man is an idiot, another america hating jewish intellectual, that Hitler would have enjoyed killing.

Sep. 18 2013 11:28 AM
janet from New York

What about a reorganization of the United Nationsn and add Regional Councils, elected representatives, with the ability to call upon scholars like Chomsky and other enlightened individuals to help resolve conflicts. This would allow the people whose culture and values could be better represented to try to negotiate differences and move the players into new ways of thinking.

Sep. 18 2013 11:28 AM
Jim

And the hour slips away into aimless ramblings about WWII. Can we talk about this current administration and its actions? Chomsky on Obama's policies would be very interesting. This is not (and lets everyone off the hook). What a waste of a rare interview.

Sep. 18 2013 11:28 AM
tom from astoria

Mr. Comsky grew up in the pre WWII era and the fifties, when our factories where humming with jobs. Can he comment on the responsibility of our business leaders who have empowered and authoritarian China by moving tens of millions of jobs over there.

Sep. 18 2013 11:26 AM
sanych

Skillful propaganda is ability to twist words - linguistics.

Chompsky is very good at what he does. BL is no match, but I wish him luck.

Sep. 18 2013 11:24 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I see socialists, some of them Black, still around too. I guess as long as there are rich people, there will be those who want to rob them. The only solution is universal poverty, so that no one will have anything worth stealing.

Sep. 18 2013 11:24 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

blackheartedsocialist from BKbaby

> can't believe the hack would interview chomsky.... different leagues however.

I can't believe you haven't learned how to change the frequency on your radio. Seek help.

Sep. 18 2013 11:23 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Independent Noach

To me the Jews are just a people whose homeland was occupied by foreigners and were therefore displaced. As for the religious component of our national heritage, I consider it as important as the Irish considered Druidism. All tribes began with belief in their god or gods. The liberation of the Jewish homeland is more than simply a religious duty, but a national liberation struggle to restore a people to its soil. I agree that our "religious" rituals, laws and culture kept us intact as a people in the diaspora, and I do see value in it as a part of our national cohesion. But I don't see religion as an end unto itself. Even Abraham only left Ur because God promised him a LAND and a NATION.

Sep. 18 2013 11:20 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

go to see the resident idiots are still around (jgarbuz, ed from washington).... mor*ns

Sep. 18 2013 11:18 AM

I can't BELIEVE that professor Chomsky would waste his time gracing the deficient (some would argue, "non existent") intellect of David "The Weenie DimWit" Brooks!!

Sep. 18 2013 11:15 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

can't believe the hack would interview chomsky.... different leagues however.

Sep. 18 2013 11:15 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To John A

I called Chomsky a "drone" long ago, and trademarked that term. YOu can use it though if you choose. I can't even listen to the guy's baloney because of his mind-piercing monotonous droning on and on.

Sep. 18 2013 11:15 AM

@jgarbuz:

First, your suggestion that Chomsky has "Haredi Jewish supporters" actually made me laugh out loud.

Chomsky is a complete atheist* and secularist* whose only apparent connection to Judaism would appear to be his late forbears.

(*Albeit one with a far more nuanced, mature and tolerant view of and approach toward religion and the religious than militant, evangelizing, reflexive and simplistic atheists-- including some who have graced these boards with their posts...)

1.) I know of no one besides myself who is even /Orthodox/, much less "Haredi", who even begins to have the interest in Chomsky that I do. Much less quotes him regularly and has any admiration for him.

(And, as evidenced in countless posts that I have made to this site, there are many ways in which I am far from typical "Haredi".)

2.) I'm not the fawning devotee` that you appear to imagine me to be (and, admittedly, that some of my posts, taken in isolation, could create the impression that I am).

In a past post, I wrote:
While I have a great deal of respect for Chomsky's intellect and scholarship, there are at least some areas where I have not found him to be above doctrinaire, simplistic and reflexive thinking /himself/.

I also acknowledged the unquestioning, cult-like nature of many of Chomsky's followers.

I would like to respond to more of your charges and characterizations of Chomsky but alas, I want to listen to the show and I have much to do before Sukkos starts at sundown.

Sep. 18 2013 11:14 AM
On the Rise from Manhattan

"All the enemies of Israel and America wait with eager anticipation and bated breath for the "wisdom" of this self-hating Jewish "intellectual."

Excuse me please do not bind the USA and Israel. I am an American with ancestors that date back over 500 tp 3000 years here ... I do not see Israel and bound to my hip. You jews that come here and seek to involve my country so tightly to yours .... please stop. We do NOT need Mid east oil ( and wil be able to get it no matter what happens .. they cant eat oil) and so supporting Zionist ideals should be left to the Zionists themselves not be a burden on my shoulders. If you have a problem with Europe or the Germans then take it up with them . BUt your problems are not our concerns. Chomsky relates the facts on the racism of Europeans and the British.. ADDRESS THAT instead of blowing that too often used smoke of "self hating jews " or "America hating " every time someone says something true that you can't bring your self to accept. Who are YOU to be the king of America or the Jews and sit on your throne defining who is right and wrong ......

Sep. 18 2013 11:14 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Taher from Croton on Hudson

Jordan is "Palestine" - that's the East bank of the Jordan River. And the Palestinian people have a beautiful Queen - Queen Rania. Not that beard Suha Arafat, who after her husband died of some malady, she packed up her bags and left Arafats enclave and relocated to Paris France where she lived from her reportedly $22M pension.

Sep. 18 2013 11:13 AM
Tony from Canarsie

I suspect this page is going to set a new world's record for the invoking of Godwin's Law.

Sep. 18 2013 11:12 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Taher

The Arabs have 21 countries to go to, including eastern Palestine, now temporarily known as "jordan" where "Palestinians" make up 2/3rds of the population. Jews have no other homeland to go to. Even the US cannot take in 6 million Israeli Jews. If someone has to go, it will be the Arabs still occupying Jewish soil.No "bi-national states." Jews will have one tiny state of their own, whether the Muslims like it or not. And we will do whatever has to be done to assure that fact.

Sep. 18 2013 11:10 AM
john from office

Wow Brian's ears exploded with the use of the word N----- on WNYC!! The evil N word.

But how could such a great mind not know that it is Niggaas, the proper spelling.

Brian is soooo enamored that he is being soooo quite.

Sep. 18 2013 11:10 AM
John A

I guess a clever joke could be made on how a lagging speaking style plus use of propaganda makes Chomsky truly a "Drone Warrior", or droning, at least.
-
Having said that, there are many people whose speaking style are hard for me to listen to, but worth the slog. I will seek out his book for review ASAP, that title is right on target.

Sep. 18 2013 11:10 AM
Stew from Manhattan

The use of atomic bombs was forewarned, and saved the lives of thousands, perhaps millions, of Japanese, American and Russian lives. Not terrorism. Noam is propagating knowledge terrorism.

The capitulation of the Japanese was not as simple as fear of invading Russians. An internal leadership crisis btwn the military (who wanted to fight to the last man), and the government, who wanted to find an agreeable treaty, resulted in an extensive period of inaction with regards to their impending defeat. The atomic bomb certainly helped speed their surrender, and the Russians having invaded Manchuria helped as well.

Sep. 18 2013 11:09 AM
michael from BKNY

Noam Chomsky DEFENDED the KHMER ROUGE and DENIED their atrocities in his own BIASED anti-Western political mani. He is as BIASED and Untrustworthy an historian as anyne else. He shoudl be ASHAMED of his DEFENSE of Khmer Rouge mass murders and his denial iof the tortures and horrors they inflicted and be made to answer for it. I iwsh Brian would ask him about it and hold him to it.

Sep. 18 2013 11:09 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

garbuz from Queens, you got it. Israel now owns the Palestine. Neither Jews of Israel nor Arabs are going anywhere. One happy multicultural country. Isrealstine.

Sep. 18 2013 11:06 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Could you please ask Chomsky do defend Adolf Hitler for merely wanting to defend the poor Germans in the Sudetenland and in Danzig, Poland, and Hitler's understandable claim that Judaism = Bolshevism and that is why Jews had to be "relocated" to defend western civilization from Jewish Bolshevism?

Sep. 18 2013 11:06 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Noam Chomsky represents the some of the last vestiges of Jewish, Eastern European, left-wing intellectual liberalism, sic. "radicalism."

This drives people like Edward and "Martin" nuts, for obvious self-hating reasons.

Sep. 18 2013 11:05 AM

Hey! Who said war is nice?!
Duh! Don't write checks your ass can't cash!

Sep. 18 2013 11:02 AM
Robert from NYC

Yeaaaaaaaaaaa, Noam Chompsky. The only agreement I have with jgarbuz is that the raspy voice (as too Amy Goodman has, but I love her too) is annoying but is gets lost in the wisdom he speaks.

Sep. 18 2013 11:01 AM
john from office

Calling all America haters, call in now!!! An intellectual approach to America BAD. Jewish Intellectuals will never love this country.

Sep. 18 2013 11:00 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Sorry. I failed to include that the slate article was written by the late great Christopher Hitchens.

Chomsky's Follies
The professor's pronouncements about Osama Bin Laden are stupid and ignorant.

By Christopher Hitchens

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2011/05/chomskys_follies.html

Sep. 18 2013 10:58 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

There are lots of links to debates between Chomsky and other more brilliant people.

For example:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2011/05/chomskys_follies.html

Chomsky's Follies

"The professor's pronouncements about Osama Bin Laden are stupid and ignorant."

Ooooo! Blasphemy! Progressive Fatwa!

Sep. 18 2013 10:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Halloran

I hate Chomsky for the same reason I hate Goebbels. Propaganda is not knowledge. Propaganda is not science. Propaganda is WAR using words as bullets. Chomsky is the master propagandists using his dubious academic credentials to cloak his half truths and total lies.

Sep. 18 2013 10:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

International linguist = big liar. Academic propagandists of the highest order.

Sep. 18 2013 10:42 AM
halloran

What is it about Chomsky which so terrifies folks like jgarbuz, etc., to the point of disgusting calumny?

And how many times do these phony scandals, the Faurisson affair among them, have to be rebutted? Why is it so difficult for some people to distinguish between defending the right to express a view, and endorsing that view? Or is it that they're so determined to stifle discussion, that they don't want to distinguish the two?

For Chomsky-hating commentators here who claim to love America, perhaps you'd explain what it is, exactly, you do love about America, since you clearly have no love of freedom of expression.

Of course, we do get it -- anyone who holds views jgarbuz et al. don't like must be a reprehensible self-hating criminal.

Pathetic.

Sep. 18 2013 10:41 AM

@ Edward from Wash./Hudson Heights:

I hope Mr. Lehrer asks Chomsky about the "Faurisson Affair" that you cite, specifically the charges that Chomsky's defense of Faurisson,
"went beyond free speech arguments" and "included a defense of Faurisson's work," and that, "there was a deeper philosophical and political association between him [Chomsky] and Faurisson."

Sep. 18 2013 10:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Another thing, what's up with Chomsky's highly annoying raspy voice? I find it horrible to have to listen to. Is it a medical condition, or does he put it on just to try to add "gravitas" to his ludicrous pearls of wisdom? Yecch, what an abomination he is.

Sep. 18 2013 10:08 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes, NJ

Freedom of Speech

I went to hear Noam Chomsky, the famous linguist and anti-war activist, speak at the University of Pennsylvania circa 1968. I was attending Penn after serving 2 years in Vietnam in the Air Force and I wanted to hear what he had to say.

Men walked up and down the aisles of the auditorium filming the audience. I involuntarily obscured my face with my hand. You know that expression “chilling effect”? That’s what it means.

Sep. 18 2013 10:03 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

All the enemies of Israel and America wait with eager anticipation and bated breath for the "wisdom" of this self-hating Jewish "intellectual."

Having failed as a youth to persuade the Zionist establishment to support a bi-national state in Palestine, he turned 180 degrees and became a full blown anti-zionist and anti-American as well. The Jews have no right to a state, according to him and his Arab, Leftist, and Haredi Jewish supporters.

[This comment has been moderated. Please remember our rules of being on topic, civil and brief.]

Sep. 18 2013 10:00 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faurisson_affair

Excerpt:

The Faurisson affair is a term given to an academic controversy in the wake of a book by French scholar Robert Faurisson, a Holocaust denier. The scandal largely dealt with the inclusion of an essay by American linguist Noam Chomsky, entitled "Some Elementary Comments on the Rights of Freedom of Expression", as an introduction to Faurisson's book, without Chomsky's knowledge or approval. Responding to a request for comment in a climate of attacks on Faurisson, Chomsky defended Faurisson's right to express and publish his opinions on the grounds that freedom of speech must be extended to all viewpoints, no matter how unpopular or fallacious.

His defense was the target of subsequent accusations by various academics and groups. The accusers claimed that his defense went beyond free speech arguments, and that it included a defense of Faurisson's work, and in general they sought to discredit Chomsky by claiming that there was a deeper philosophical and political association between him and Faurisson.

On several occasions, Robert Faurisson has been convicted under French law for his speech. For instance, on October 3, 2006, he was sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence by the Paris correctional court, for denying the Holocaust on an Iranian TV channel.[1]

The Faurisson affair greatly damaged Chomsky's reputation in France, a country he didn't visit for almost thirty years following the affair and where the translation of his political writings was delayed until the 2000s.[2][3][4]

...

Petition signed by Chomsky

In the fall of 1979, American scholar Noam Chomsky contributed his name to a petition—signed by roughly 600 people, including Serge Thion, Arthur Butz, John Tuson Bennett and Mark Weber—concerning the affair:

Sep. 18 2013 10:00 AM

Wow!

Noam Chomsky finally on BL Show again! (last time, to the best of my searching, was 2009) And for a full hour, no less!

My complete surprise and delight upon hearing this announced earlier this morning should be easily imaginable to anyone who's seen some of my many posts lamenting and taking the powers-to-be here to task for the conspicuous absence of Chomsky on this show.

(Might there be a connection?)

Next, how about hosting a debate (for at least an hour) between Chomsky and someone like Andrew Bacevich? (who was supposed to be on last Friday) If you could manage to pull that off, it would almost certainly be a real BL Show exclusive.

Sep. 18 2013 09:55 AM

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