Thursday, June 20, 2002

More on Chomsky and what is being called the 'Chomskian Left':
Alterman sends his praise and his readers to an article by Michael Berube.
Berube seems to think that Bin Laden and his immediate followers are the main problem, and that Chomsky et al.[?] have at one time or another made excuses for him without realizing or by downplaying that he's a fanatic opposed to everything the 'left' might stand for.  It's silly. There is no need to downplay Bin Laden's violent lunacy in order to dissent from the the lunacy of our own leadership. I doubt that Katha Pollitt is unaware of or indifferent to the suicide rate of women under the Bin Laden besotted Taliban. It is Berube's argument that can rightly be called 'a smokescreen': his term for Chomskian - by which he means leftist - arguments. An Op-Ed in The NY Times this week lit into the White House for the stupidity of its power play against the former Afghan King, who was the one man considered legitimate by all parties involved in the Loya Jirga. Bin Laden is no more the central issue in this war than poppy production is the root of a heroin epidemic. The root problem is not supply but demand; the millions who if they will not stand for him, will refuse to stand against him, because he pays at least lip service to their frustrations and their anger. In this country it is only the 'Chomskian' left who seems to understand this.

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