Cranky Yankees versus Noam Chomsky
by Walter Lippmann, October 30, 2003

This year, a small group of leftists based in the United States, have orchestrated a militant campaign against left opponents of US interventionism such Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. 

On May Day, while a million Cubans came out to defend their Revolution in Havana, the windiest of these agitated souls accused Chomsky, Zinn and others of taking a seat on an "anti-Cuba train". Chomsky is visiting Cuba this week. He is attacking US foreign policy mercilessly.

In a massive missive, thousands of pompous words long, this verbose commentator suggests Chomsky and Zinn see Cuba's revolutionary government as "the enemy":  

"Zinn and Chomsky call themselves "libertarian anarchists." They in principle reject any state as an inherently reactionary instrument, no matter whose interests it defends, and in whose hands state power is exerted. The Cuban workers state, a revolutionary state, is thus the enemy. This position collapses in the face of crisis and struggle, and offers only misleadership when real, human stakes--not academic discourses in college classrooms--are ivolved." [sic]

Read the Cranky Yankees in their own words:

Perhaps these critics have reconsidered their and intemperate condemnations of Chomsky in light of his sharp opposition to US hostility against Cuba? One would hope so, when such is the folly of youth. With this crop, we've seen no evidence of reflection to date. It seems rather unlikely, alas. Such posturing as this tends to be of the severe, chronic, undifferentiated type. These fault-finders ignore such simple wisdom as: "When seeking fault, better to use a mirror, than a microscope".

Here are examples of what Chomsky has to say, from the Cuban media, followed by the Reuters report on his visit. Notice the neat little journalistic trick Reuters pulled on its readers at the end of its report on Chomsky, though the report itself isn't that bad. It's just a bare-bones report on the meeting.

Granma International (English) October 29, 2003
Chomsky articles  (Index of interviews by and 
about him on Cuba's Anti-Terrorists website)
Chomsky profile in Granma Diario 10-30-2003
Chomsky articles (over 40) by and 
about him on LA JIRIBILLA website

Fidel and Chomsky chatting Tuesday in Cuba:

Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, talks with an American intellectual and linguist Noam Chomsky, left, before the start of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences conference in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday October 28, 2003. At center, between  Castro and Chomsky Cuban writer Carlos Marti looks on. (AP Photo/Cristobal Herrera)
Here's the url for this AP photo:

(click on it and wait for it to open)

U.S. Dissident Says Bush Needs Fear for Reelection
Thu October 30, 2003 01:30 AM ET 
By Anthony Boadle 

HAVANA (Reuters) - U.S. linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky said on Wednesday that President Bush will have to "manufacture" another threat to American security to win reelection in 2004 after U.S. failure in occupying Iraq. 

Chomsky, attending a Latin American social sciences conference in Cuba, said that since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the Bush administration had redefined U.S. national security policy to include the use of force abroad, with or without U.N. approval. 

"It is a frightened country and it is easy to conjure up an imminent threat," Chomsky said at the launching of a Cuban edition of a book of interviews published by the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, when asked how Bush could get reelected. 

"They have a card that they can play ... terrify the population with some invented threat, and that is not very hard to do," he said. 

After the "disaster" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Bush could turn his sights on Communist-run Cuba, which his administration officials have charged with developing a biological weapons research program, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of linguistics said. 

Chomsky said the military occupation of Iraq, to topple a "horrible monster running it but not a threat to anyone," was a failure. 

"The country had been devastated by sanctions. The invasion ended sanctions. The tyrant is gone and there is no outside support for domestic dissidence," he said. "It takes real talent to fail in this endeavor." 

Chomsky said it was reasonable to assume the Bush administration would try to "manufacture a short-term improvement in the economy" by incurring in enormous federal government debt and "imposing burdens on future generations." 

The Bush administration was a continuation of the Ronald Reagan presidency that declared a national emergency over the threat posed by Nicaragua's leftist government in the 
1980s, he said. 

"The same people were able to present Grenada as a threat to survival of the United States the last time they were in office," Chomsky said, in reference to the U.S. invasion of the Caribbean island in 1983 to thwart Cuban influence. 

Chomsky, a leftist icon who is better known today for his critique of U.S. foreign policy that for his revolutionary theory of syntax and grammar in the 1960s, gave a lecture on the U.S. politics of domination on Tuesday night that was attended by Cuban leader Fidel Castro. 

The author of "Language and mind," "Manufacturing Consent," "Profit Over People" and "9-11" said the Bush administration was out to dominate the world by the use of military force if need be, and Iraq was the first test. 

Chomsky criticized Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar for backing the United States and Britain in invading Iraq under a false pretext that the Arab country possessed weapons of mass destruction. 

Chomsky praised Cuba's defiance of U.S. hostility and trade sanctions for four decades. But he also criticized the jailing of 75 Cuban dissidents earlier this year by Castro's government. 

"Yes, I have criticized them for that," he said in an interview 
on August 28 with Radio Havana. "I think it was a mistake."

Notice Reuters' clever journalistic maneuver :

Their "man in Havana" tacked on the final two
sentences which were NOT part of what Chomsky
said in the meeting.  Chomsky did, of course, say 
these things, but not at this meeting nor on this
particular occasion. Reuters hoped by this to drive 
a wedge between Chomsky and his hosts, or at
least to put one there in its readers' minds....
Reuters account of Chomsky meeting
Chomsky's RHC interview August 28, 2003: