Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Chomsky on whether or not America is in decline, via al-Akhbar English
by Larry Geller
The new English al-Akhbar website features an article by Noam Chomsky related to the Arab uprising. As usual, Chomsky’s clarity of expression stands out.
Chomsky discusses whether American influence is on the decline or not. Best to read the article to learn his conclusion.
I’d like to snip two paragraphs that I liked, among many, just as an illustration of why I value reading Chomsky’s essays. On US military force:
While longstanding US policies remain stable, with tactical adjustments, under Obama there have been some significant changes. Military analyst Yochi Dreazen observes in the Atlantic that Bush’s policy was to capture (and torture) suspects, while Obama simply assassinates them, with a rapid increase in terror weapons (drones) and the use of Special Forces, many of them assassination teams. Special Forces are scheduled to operate in 120 countries. Now as large as Canada’s entire military, these forces are, in effect, a private army of the president, a matter discussed in detail by American investigative journalist Nick Turse on the website Tomdispatch. The team that Obama dispatched to assassinate Osama bin Laden had already carried out perhaps a dozen similar missions in Pakistan.
And on America’s internal decline:
Another common theme, at least among those who are not willfully blind, is that American decline is in no small measure self-inflicted. The comic opera in Washington this summer, which disgusts the country (a large majority think that Congress should just be disbanded) and bewilders the world, has few analogues in the annals of parliamentary democracy. The spectacle is even coming to frighten the sponsors of the charade. Corporate power is now concerned that the extremists they helped put in office in Congress may choose to bring down the edifice on which their own wealth and privilege relies, the powerful nanny state that caters to their interests.
There’s lots more. Check out the article.