Arundathi asks the USA: “How can you condemn violence when a section of your economy is based on selling weapons and making bombs?”

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CrusieleWhen you live in the United States, with the roar of the free market, the roar of this huge military power, the roar of being at the heart of empire, it’s hard to hear the whispering of the rest of the world. And I think many U.S. citizens want to. I don’t think that all of them necessarily are co-conspirators in this concept of empire. And those who are not, need to listen to other stories in the world – other voices, other people.

Under the shelter of the U.S. government’s rhetoric about the war against terror, politicians the world over have decided that this technique is their best way of settling old scores. So whether it’s the Russian government hunting down the Chechens, or Ariel Sharon in Palestine, or the Indian government carrying out its fascist agenda against Muslims, particularly in Kashmir, everybody’s borrowing the rhetoric. They are all fitting their mouths around George Bush’s bloody words.

After the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, the Indian government blamed Pakistan (with no evidence to back its claim) and moved all its soldiers to the border. War is now considered a legitimate reaction to terrorist strikes. Now through the hottest summers, through the bleakest winters, we have a million armed men on hair-trigger alert facing each other on the border between India and Pakistan. They’ve been on red alert for months together. India and Pakistan are threatening each other with nuclear annihilation. So, in effect, terrorists now have the power to ignite war. They almost have their finger on the nuclear button. They almost have the status of heads of state. And that has enhanced the effectiveness and romance of terrorism.

The U.S. government’s response to September 11 has actually privileged terrorism. It has given it a huge impetus, and made it look like terrorism is the only effective way to be heard. Over the years, every kind of nonviolent resistance movement has been crushed, ignored, kicked aside. But if you’re a terrorist, you have a great chance of being negotiated with, of being on TV, of getting all the attention you couldn’t have dreamt of earlier.

(…) The policies the U.S. government is following are dangerous for its citizens. It’s true that you can bomb or buy out anybody that you want to, but you can’t control the rage that’s building in the world. You just can’t. And that rage will express itself in some way or the other. Condemning violence is not going to be enough. How can you condemn violence when a section of your economy is based on selling weapons and making bombs and piling up chemical and biological weapons? When the soul of your culture worships violence? On what grounds are you going to condemn terrorism, unless you change your attitude toward violence?

ARUNDATHI ROY. The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile – Conversations With David Barsamian, Foreword by Naomi Klein. South End Press. Published in 2004.  p. 51/52 & 117. Available at Toronto Public Library.

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Noam Chomsky in 3 Doses: Manufacturing Consent (documentary), Profit Over People (interview), Imperial Ambitions (ebook)

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“It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste.” ― Noam Chomsky

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Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

Funny, provocative, and surprisingly accessible, MANUFACTURING CONSENT explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. In a dynamic collage of new and original footage, biography, archival gems, imaginative graphics and outrageous illustrations, the film highlights the evolution of Chomsky’s philosophy, his probing analysis of mass media, and his critique of the forces behind the daily news. MANUFACTURING CONSENT stands as the definitive work on Chomsky, favoring a documentary style that encourages viewers to question its own workings, as Chomsky himself encourages his listeners to extricate themselves from the media’s “web of deceit” by undertaking a course of “intellectual self-defense.” Winner of 22 international awards and honors including the Gold Sesterce (Nyon), Gold Apple (Oakland), Gold Hugo (Chicago), Gold Conch (Bombay); three Audience Choice awards, and the “Most Loved By Public” rating at the Sydney International Film Festival. – CINEDIGM

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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.

DOWNLOAD EBOOK ( 226 pgs, 2005, epub)

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