Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2002) Poster

Noam Chomsky: Himself


  • Noam Chomsky : [about 9/11]  Obviously a horrible atrocity but, you know I reacted pretty much the way people did around the world. Terrible atrocity, but unless you're in Europe and the United States you know, or Japan I guess, you know, it's nothing new. That's the way the imperial powers have treated the rest of the world for hundreds of years. This is historic event but not, unfortunately not because of scale but for the nature of the atrocity, but because of who the victims were. You look through hundreds of years of history, the imperial countries have been basically immune. There's plenty of atrocities, but they're somewhere else.

  • [last lines] 

    Noam Chomsky : [beginning a speech]  Let me first do the usual check and make sure you can hear me, okay? Can you hear me?

  • Noam Chomsky : There have been major efforts here - for years - to frighten the population into obedience. And people are afraid. Of everything - you know, they're afraid of aliens...

  • Noam Chomsky : Basically there are two trajectories in the world. There's one towards war, destruction, repression, and demolition of progressive achievements; that's very clear. And there's another that's going quite in the opposite direction, and it's just the question which one will prevail. - We are not going to have a lot of time to answer this question. The survival of the species is a fragile matter at this point. Somebody observing this from mars would not put very high odds on human survival.

  • Noam Chomsky : The phrase 'war on terrorism' should always be used in quotes, cause there can't possibly be a war on terrorism, it's impossible. The reason is it's led by one of the worst terrorist states in the world, in fact it's led by the only state in the world which has been condemned by the highest international authorities for international terrorism, namely the World Court and Security Council, except that the US vetoed the resolution.

  • Noam Chomsky : Tony Blair has recently been described by the London Financial Times as "the US ambassador to the world". The other press describes him in a little less complimentary terms, like "America's Poodle" and things like that.

  • Noam Chomsky : ...read George Bush's favorite philosopher: there's a famous definition in the Gospels of the hypocrite, and the hypocrite is a person who refuses to apply to himself the standards he applies to others. By that standard the *entire* commentary and discussion of the so-called 'war on terror' is *pure* hypocrisy, and virtually without exception... It's ugly, but it's standard.

  • Noam Chomsky : Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.

  • Noam Chomsky : If you take a poll among U.S. intellectuals, support for bombing Afghanistan is just overwhelming. How many of them think that you should bomb Washington because of the U.S. war against Cuba or Turkey, or anyone else. Pythagoras suggests this would be considered insane. But why? I mean, if one is right, why is the other wrong?

  • Noam Chomsky : Because you can't comprehend that we should apply to ourselves the standards you apply to others. That is incomprehensible. There couldn't be a moral principle more elementary.

  • Noam Chomsky : If you don't do what we tell you, you'll just be pulverised. We don't care what you think or what you say.

  • [first lines] 

    Noam Chomsky : [beginning a speech]  Let me check first to make sure you can hear me. Yes?

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