While to many the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel seems hopeless, ï¿½degenerating to tribal warfare, an endless cycle of revenge and fanaticism,ï¿½ a ï¿½very clear solutionï¿½ has long existed: For years, UN resolutions have proposed recognizing the rights of all states in the region to live in peace and security, and called for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.While Arab states have supported these ideas, the U.S. and Israel have deliberately undermined and opposed them. The ï¿½threat of peace has arisen constantly,ï¿½ but U.S.-Israeli ï¿½rejectionismï¿½ has blocked all efforts and led to ï¿½continued theft of landsï¿½ and a ï¿½weakening of the Palestinian collective.ï¿½
Chomsky calls the Israeli rationale for attacking Lebanon ï¿½pure cynical farce.ï¿½ The claim that Hizbollahï¿½s capture of an Israeli soldier necessitated a savage assault flies in the face of Israelï¿½s decades-long practice of kidnapping Lebanese civilians. Israel, with U.S. collusion, he continues, did as much damage against the Lebanese infrastructure as possible before a ceasefire was accepted. Israeli rockets destroyed a fuel storage tank, creating a giant oil spill that has poisoned the coast line up to Syria.
With respect to Iraq, Chomsky believes the invading armies are obligated ï¿½to pay massive reparations for crimes of aggression,ï¿½ and that the people responsible for the extreme crimesï¿½ should be put on trial. The prospect of ï¿½a sovereign Iraq would be a complete nightmare,ï¿½ given the nationï¿½s increasing solidarity with Shiite allies in oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Iran. Since ï¿½controlling the worldï¿½s energy resources has been a prime objectiveï¿½ of U.S. foreign policy for much of the last century, serious withdrawal plans seem pretty remote.
Finally, he scoffs at the Bush Administrationï¿½s ï¿½willingnessï¿½ to negotiate with Iran about its nuclear ambitions, since a U.S. precondition for talks requires no uranium enrichment, and the U.S. ï¿½refuses to withdraw threats of attack.ï¿½ U.S. threats are real, with recent deployment of U.S. air power in the area. The impact of such threats harms Iranian democracy reformers, ï¿½who are complaining bitterly,ï¿½ and further blackens the U.S. reputation in the world, where we are perceived as a peace-threatening ï¿½lawless and dangerous rogue state.ï¿½
Chomsky concludes by reminding everyone that this ï¿½awful news is actually good news,ï¿½ since the ï¿½means and power to end these crimes and further ones lies in our hands.ï¿½
At 1:16, Chomsky begins.
At 1:05:55, Chomsky takes questions on a variety of topics: whether Arab states would peacefully live side by side with Israel; C.I.A. recruitment on the MIT campus; why U.S. progressives do not follow the European left and support the Palestinian cause; how Americans can translate moral rage into constructive political action in a unidimensional society; and whether a two-state solution wouldnï¿½t actually be a defeat for radicals.
Mar 25, 2007, 15:03:47
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