Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Revenge of History: Chomsky on Japan, China, the United States, and the Threat of Conflict in Asia :: JapanFocus

The Revenge of History: Chomsky on Japan, China, the United States, and the Threat of Conflict in Asia :: JapanFocus



Noam Chomsky Interview by David McNeill     In the 1930s and 40s, a young, politically precocious Noam Chomsky was much affected by the Great Depression and the slow, seemingly inexorable slide toward world war. The jingoism, racism and brutality unleashed on all sides were appalling, but it seemed to him from his home in Philadelphia that America had reserved a special level of animosity for the Japanese.  When Washington ended a campaign of mass civilian slaughter from the air with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the summer of 1945, the 16-year-old, deeply alienated by the celebrations around him, walked off into the local woods to mourn alone.  “I could never talk to anyone about it and never understood anyone’s reaction,” he said.  “I felt completely isolated.”   In the subsequent two decades, Chomsky built a glittering academic career, transforming the study of linguistics with a string of convention-shattering theories.   During the Vietnam War, he reluctantly forged another identity – the one for which he is best known around the world – as an unrelenting critic of U.S. foreign policy.  Much of his intellectual life since has been spent stripping away what he calls America’s “flattering self-image” and the layers of self-justification and propaganda he says it uses in its naked pursuit of power and profit around the planet.   Unlike most mainstream commentators, Chomsky did not view the Vietnam quagmire as an aberration but as the inevitable product of imperial overreach. - See more at: http://www.japanfocus.org/events/view/211#sthash.okGSxg83.dpuf

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