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New translation, the Magna Carta

Fisking Chomsky,
a deconstruction

article archives at abelard's news and comment zone for other news article pages, visit the news archive page (click on the button to the left)
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to article startThis is the first in a series of documents that analyse manipulative writing techniques used by reporters, and others, in order to promote their own political agendas.

Chomsky wrote this load of soft mush, which is worth deconstructing.... [Commentary by abelard in green]

All people who have any concern for human rights, justice and integrity should be overjoyed by the capture of Saddam Hussein, and should be awaiting a fair trial for him by an international tribunal.

I wish to set myself up right from the start as one of the good guys...
I don’t want the Irakis to try Madsam.

“An indictment of Saddam's atrocities would include not only his slaughter and gassing of Kurds in 1988 but also, rather crucially, his massacre of the Shiite rebels who might have overthrown him in 1991.

I next wish to lay the groundwork for blaming America and the West.

“At the time, Washington and its allies held the "strikingly unanimous view (that) whatever the sins of the Iraqi leader, he offered the West and the region a better hope for his country's stability than did those who have suffered his repression," reported Alan Cowell in the New York Times.

Here’s some undated ‘news’paper report that will assist that purpose. It doesn’t exactly attribute this view to anyone real, but to ‘Washington’.

“ Last December, Jack Straw, Britain's foreign secretary, released a dossier of Saddam's crimes drawn almost entirely from the period of firm U.S.-British support of Saddam.

I can’t convincingly blame America and the West for the last 10 years as I am not quite as daffy as most left-wing apologists. So let’s concentrate on a decade or more ago.

“With the usual display of moral integrity, Straw's report and Washington's reaction overlooked that support.

And it is those times which will allow me to make some sort of plausible case.

“Such practices reflect a trap deeply rooted in the intellectual culture generally - a trap sometimes called the doctrine of change of course, ....

In other words, I have to assert that things never change, or my case becomes less convincing.

“... invoked in the United States every two or three years.

I have no convincing evidence for this claim, but no-one is likely to notice that, especially mentally-challenged lefties.

Two or three years should be a vague enough claim; if anyone challenges it, I am crafty enough to waffle my way out of it.

Anyways, no-one will ever dare press me on the issue because I can easily make them look picky, or prejudiced. Ho ho ho.

“The content of the doctrine is: "Yes, in the past we did some wrong things because of innocence or inadvertence. But now that's all over, so let's not waste any more time on this boring, stale stuff."

In other words, no-one can ever change their views or behaviour, only I am perfect and morally above suspicion.

Fortunately, none of these people will realise the number of times I have changed my statements on the nature of language and, anyway, in that area I can waffle up such a storm nobody has the foggiest idea what I am on about. (Probably he doesn’t either!)

But who’s gonna question me anyway, after all I am ‘the expert’, and these minnows don’t have the courage to risk appearing too stupid to be able to follow my waffle—sorry, deep academic thought.

“The doctrine is dishonest and cowardly, but it does have advantages: It protects us from the danger of understanding what is happening before our eyes.

Ah, now we shift from the past tense to the present without breaking breath. Bet they won’t notice that!! My, I doubt I’ll even notice it myself!!!

“For example, the Bush administration's original reason for going to war in Iraq was to save the world from a tyrant developing weapons of mass destruction and cultivating links to terror.”

Ah ‘two’ reasons, not quite as daft as the mentally-challenged left who claim only one reason. And let’s forget about all the other reasons discussed. After all the whole left media circus have repeated the lie that it was only one reason so often that hardly anyone remembers anyways.

Of course, we all really know that the two reasons above are genuine, but they are also the most difficult to ‘prove’ in a court room. The evidence is gradually leaking out, and everyone and their dog knows there were terrorist links and that this loon was indeed making a career out of getting hold of any weapons he could.

But, after all, I did start this crap with the comment:

“All people who have any concern for human rights, justice and integrity should be overjoyed by the capture of Saddam Hussein, and should be awaiting a fair trial for him by an international tribunal.”

So no-one can claim I don’t care about such things if anyone presses me, and I can always waffle. I’m world-class in that department.

“Nobody believes that now, not even Bush's speech writers.”

That is, Bush’s speech writers are ignoring the inundation of left-wing crap propaganda, and getting on with freeing up Irak, and that gives me problems.

“ The new reason is that we invaded Iraq to establish a democracy there and, in fact, to democratize the whole Middle East.

Of course it isn’t ‘new’, but here is the beauty – I can claim it is ‘new’. After all, I can claim that ‘freeing Irak’ is not the same as ‘democracy’, whatever that is (and I use that word in a most confusing, even egregious, manner as will be seen further on).Of course, as we don’t know what the detailed conditions will be in Irak, we don’t actually know what the people want yet. So promising ‘democracy’ and finding the people have different aspirations is too complex to discuss until we have removed the bastard and discussed with the various factions what they want. After all, these are still somewhat tribal countries.

Then there are other complex considerations for the West and for the planet. Yes, I think I can get away with my habitual empty negativism and sarcasm here as usual.

“Sometimes, the repetition of this democracy-building posture reaches the level of rapturous acclaim.

A sheer bullshit claim, no names again of course. I like that word ‘rapturous’. It sort of suggests democracy is rather over the top emotional, not a reasonable aspiration for free people. Just the sort of word I need to poison the well of rational discourse in order to push my religion.

“Last month, for example, David Ignatius, the Washington Post commentator, described the invasion of Iraq as "the most idealistic war in modern times" - fought solely to bring democracy to Iraq and the region.

We have a quote and a name—whoop-de-doo—I wonder who Ignatius is? President of the USA perhaps? Nah, just a reporter getting out a bit of positive copy for the day; but one has to build a house with the straw available.

“Ignatius was particularly impressed with Paul Wolfowitz,

How remiss of him.

“ "the Bush administration's idealist in chief," whom he described as a genuine intellectual who "bleeds for (the Arab world's) oppression and dreams of liberating it."

What a silly man wanting to free up those rag-heads.Well, two can play at this game.(I almost said dishonest game—whoops!)

“ Maybe that helps explain Wolfowitz's career - like his strong support for Suharto in Indonesia, one of the last century's worst mass murderers and aggressors, when Wolfowitz was ambassador to that country under Ronald Reagan.

Ah, let’s shift time frame again back to the Cold War, 15 – 23 years ago. None of these daffies will notice. Meanwhile, let’s shift geographically to Indonesia, that’ll add more confusion.

“As the State Department official responsible for Asian affairs under Reagan, Wolfowitz oversaw support for the murderous dictators Chun of South Korea and Marcos of the Philippines.

Now let’s confuse things further, the ‘murderous dictators’, that is the equivalent of Madsam. Of course, the numbers are probably rather different, so I wont mention them, or the conditions in these countries at the time.

I wonder why not.

“ All this is irrelevant because of the convenient doctrine of change of course.

Nothing changes over 15 – 23 years after all. We’ve shifted area and time. Now the quick switch back to the present situation. The more of a switchback ride I give the customers, the better!

“ So, yes, Wolfowitz's heart bleeds for the victims of oppression ...

Of course, Wolfowitz is not a decent human being like myself, but I can always claim it wasn’t sarcasm if really pressed.

“... and if the record shows the opposite, it's just that boring old stuff that we want to forget about.

Of course, not the slightest evidence has been presented that anyone wishes to forget anything. But what the hell, they just don’t want you continually changing the subject.

We will discuss one thing or another with you, but not both in the same sentence, or hop all over the shop to serve your silly agenda.

“ One might recall another recent illustration of Wolfowitz's love of democracy. The Turkish parliament, heeding its population's near-unanimous opposition to war in Iraq, refused to let U.S. forces deploy fully from Turkey. This caused absolute fury in Washington.

“Fury in Washington”, eh? Who exactly was ‘furious’?
Silence came the stern reply.”

“Wolfowitz denounced ...

Do you perhaps mean “criticised”?

“... the Turkish military for failing to intervene to overturn the decision. Turkey was listening to its people, not taking orders from Crawford, Texas, or Washington, D.C.

As if every politician doesn’t have to allow for the ‘feelings’ of their masses and, of course, Turkish politicians are steadily bringing Turkey, and leading Islam, into the modern world.

Or, as some loon might call it, ‘manufacturing consent’!

“The most recent chapter is Wolfowitz's "Determination and Findings" on bidding for lavish reconstruction contracts in Iraq. Excluded are countries where the government dared to take the same position as the vast majority of the population.

In other words, those countries where the controlled media manufactured the opposite consent. Oh dear, no. That was ‘genuine’ public decision!!!

“Wolfowitz's alleged grounds are "security interests," which are non-existent, though the visceral hatred ...

Now would our analyst be becoming a mite tired and emotional? I do hope not.

“... of democracy ....

And now the idiot goes into overdrive, as is ever the case with these leftist propagandists as they near the end of their latest emotional tirade.

Of course, the fool doesn’t understand ‘representational democracy’. Perhaps he is a populist who prefers the emotion of the street to representational democracy and ‘manufacturing consent’.

“.... is hard to miss - along with the fact that Halliburton and Bechtel corporations will be free to "compete" with the vibrant democracy of Uzbekistan and the Solomon Islands, but not with leading industrial societies.

How did the Solomon Islands get into this, I don’t hear you ask.

“What's revealing and important to the future is that Washington's display of contempt for democracy went side by side with a chorus of adulation about its yearning for democracy.”

Ah, the coalition of the unwilling who want a free ride on the back of those who laid down treasure and blood to free Irakis from—let’s see what the shyster said above:

“All people who have any concern for human rights, justice and integrity should be overjoyed by the capture of Saddam Hussein, and should be awaiting a fair trial for him by an international tribunal.”

So glad he is ‘overjoyed’.

And so glad he is happy to back those who manufactured a different consent against the country that pays him and shelters him.

“To be able to carry that off is an impressive achievement, hard to mimic even in a totalitarian state.

Then go live in one, ducky, and see how you manage.

“Iraqis have some insight into this process of conquerors and conquered.

‘Irakis’, eh? We have a document on reification at abelard.org. How many ‘Irakis’? Better not ask.

“The British created Iraq for their own interests.”

Now we shift back 80 years—wow-ee....

Enough already, my yaks call me to other activities. Perhaps you can now finish the job yourselves!

regards....
abelard

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