Noam Chomsky in Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky

On Foreign Policy: US considers World Court hostile, and therefore ignores it

The attack against Nicaragua [in favor of the contra rebels] was one of the highest priorities as the Reagan administration in 1981. Nicaragua approached the World Court for relief. Expecting the US would abide by a court decision, the team prepared a very narrow case regarding the mining of Nicaraguan harbors.

In 1986, the court found in Nicaragua's favor, condemning Washington for "unlawful use of force." The court also defined "humanitarian aid" explicitly, ruling all aid to the Nicaraguan contras strictly military, and hence illegal.

The decision had little detectable effect. The World Court was condemned as a "hostile forum", and therefore irrelevant, like the UN. Others claimed the court had "close ties to the Soviet Union," a claim not worthy of refutation. Congress responded with an additional $100 million in "humanitarian" aid.

Perhaps such memories help account for the low level of international support, especially from Latin America, for the US bombing of Afghanistan.

Source: Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky, p. 96-100 & 108 Nov 1, 2003

On Foreign Policy: Mideasterners call US-Israel-Turkey the Axis of Evil

Like its patron the US, Israel has military forces that are larger & technologically more advanced than those of any NATO power apart from the US. Its conventional military forces are used to attack its neighbors & to control & subjugate the population in the territories it occupies, in ways not easily overlooked in the region or by people elsewhere who are concerned with human rights.

Israel also has a close military alliance with the other major regional military power, Turkey. The US-Israel-Turkey alliance is sometimes called "the Axis of Evil" in the Middle East. The term is understandable. There is always plenty of evil to go around, and this axis at least has the merit of existing, unlike the one concocted by George Bush's speechwriters, which consists of two states that had been at war for 20 years and a third thrown in because it is non-Muslim and universally reviled. The US-Turkey alliance might undergo some changes if the US is able to shift military bases from eastern Turkey to Iraq.

Source: Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky, p.159-60 Oct 1, 2003

On Homeland Security: Pre-emptive war ok; "preventive war" is a war crime

The [Bush administration's] strategy asserts the right of the US to undertake "preventive war" at will: Preventive, not pre-emptive. Pre-emptive war might fall within the framework of international law. Thus if bombers had been detected approaching the US from a military base in Grenada, then, under a reasonable interpretation of the UN Charter, a pre-emptive attack destroying the planes and perhaps even the Grenadan base would have been justifiable.

But the justifications for pre-emptive war do not hold for preventive war, particularly as that concept is interpreted by its current enthusiasts: the use of military force to eliminate an imagined or invented threat.

Preventive war falls within the category of war crimes.

[Bush's revision after discovering no WMDs in Iraq] suggests that the administration will act against a hostile regime that has nothing more than the intent and ability to develop WMDs. This revision grants Washington the right of arbitrary aggression.

Source: Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky, p. 12-14 Oct 1, 2003

On War & Peace: Iraq was necessary first example of preventive war doctrine

The Bush administration's declaration of the grand strategy of preventive war was rightly understood to be an ominous step in world affairs. It is not enough, however, for a great power to declare an official policy. It must go on to establish the policy as a new norm of international law by carrying out exemplary actions.

Accordingly, as the new strategy was announced, the war drums began to beat to rouse public enthusiasm for an attack on Iraq. The target of preventive war must have several characteristics:

  1. It must be virtually defenseless.
  2. It must be important enough to be worth the trouble.
  3. There must be a way to portray it as the ultimate evil and an imminent threat to our survival.
Iraq qualified on all counts. The first two conditions are obvious. The third is easy to establish. It is only necessary to repeat the impassioned orations of Bush, Blair, and their colleagues, such as Bush's eloquent denunciation of Saddam in his January 2003 State of the Union address.
Source: Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky, p. 16-17 Oct 1, 2003

The above quotations are from Hegemony or Survival, by Noam Chomsky, published November 2003.
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