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Tom: He’s gonna Chomsky us, I just know it.
Jake: “Chomsky us”? What do you mean?
Tom: You know Chomsky’s interview style. You ask him a question, then he spends the first few minutes of his answer correcting your question. He did that to me last time I interviewed him, and I’m sure he’s going to do it again.
So for the Noam Chomsky radio interview we did Monday, I made a chart as the fellas were talking:
Serj - 2
I didn’t actually participate in the interview, but Tom did read one of my questions to Chomsky verbatim, which he then Chomsky’d. I blamed myself for sloppy wording, so gave both Tom and myself a point for that. Although after listening to the recording again, I don’t think his complaint was with the wording specifically, so maybe that shouldn’t count.
People have asked me if Chomsky covered any new ground in this interview. I’m not sure that he did, but he did make two points that resonated with me.
1) Lately, I’ve been wondering how the seemingly bright, educated folks of the American press corps bought into White House lies that led up to the invasion of Iraq. I mean, it wasn’t rocket science, a lot of the facts just didn’t add up. Yet like 90% of American journalists wrote about this nonsense with a straight face and gave it all credibility.
Chomsky saw the problem as much broader and deeper than that. Not only did the media take BushCo. seriously, a huge swath of society took Bush seriously. Well, not exactly took Bush seriously, but understood on a deep level that pointing out that the war was really about oil, would get you billed as a conspiracy theorist, that except in certain circles, it was not acceptable to express the obvious.
He then went on to explain the next “obvious” point, that the US government was actually opposed to democracy in Iraq. He did this by analyzing the most likely outcome of an actual democratic Iraq: most of the world’s oil controlled by Shiite theocracies. With this interpretation, we cannot expect the US to ever leave Iraq until the country’s oil reserves are in the hands of US allies, or until other circumstances force them to retreat.
2) Chomsky claims that America has a long history of being far too afraid of things than they have any justification to be. For example, Saddam Hussein. “He’s hated around the world, but no one’s afraid of him. Not even Kuwait. But thanks to the propaganda campaign in the media, Americans were literally afraid that Saddam Hussein was going to come kill them” (rough paraphrase).
Anyhow, I believe our interview will air January 13, and you can hear the whole thing then.