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Chomsky - Hegemony or Survial (2003) - Synopsis

Chomsky - Hegemony or Survial (2003) - Synopsis

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Published by Mark K. Jensen
Synopsis of Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (New York: Henry Holt and Company, Metropolitan/Owl, 2003; paperback 2004). Discussed at Digging Deeper (www.ufppc.org) on October 2, 2006.
Synopsis of Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (New York: Henry Holt and Company, Metropolitan/Owl, 2003; paperback 2004). Discussed at Digging Deeper (www.ufppc.org) on October 2, 2006.

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Published by: Mark K. Jensen on May 25, 2009
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Digging Deeper XXIII: Oct. 2, 2006, 7:00 p.m.
Noam Chomsky,
Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance
(New York: Henry Holt and Company, Metropolitan/Owl, 2003; paperback 2004).
Ch. 1: Priorities and Prospects.
We are livingthrough a period when the survival value of intelligence itself is being tested (1-2). Evidenceof danger from the Bush administration (2-4).American governments regard public opinion assomething to be manipulated (4-8). Abroad, theU.S. uses military force and terrorism (8-10).
Ch. 2: Imperial Grand Strategy.
U.S.’sNational Security Strategy embraces preventivewar, which “falls within the category of warcrimes” (11-15). Its roots “go back to the earlydays of World War II” (15). The Iraq war asexemplary illustration (16-22). Only the U.S. ispossess the right of intervention (22-26). Thecategory of “enemy combatant” represents theextension of the imperial grand strategy todomestic U.S. law (26-28). International law isdismissed in favor of the rule of force; review of run-up to Iraq invasion (28-36). Global elites areincreasingly anxious about U.S. unilateralism (37-42). The noble goodness of U.S. actions is dogma(42-49).
Ch. 3: The New Era of Enlightenment.
Counter-evidence (51-52). East Timor (53-54).Kosovo and the bombing of Serbia (54-58).Colombia (59-61). Interest in crimes of othersappears only when justification for intervention isneeded (61). Cf. Turkey’s persecution of Kurds(61-62). Pre-WWII examples of the sametendencies (63-72).
Ch. 4: Dangerous Times.
U.S. relations withCuba as a response to defiance (73-95). Theterrorist war against Nicaragua (96-107). Panama(107-08).
Ch. 5: The Iraq Connection.
Internationally,the U.S. élite script defined “terrorism” as whatits leaders declare to be terrorism (109-15).Domestically, they have worked to inspire fearamong citizens (115-21). These approaches wereapplied to Iraq, while ignoring the consequencesof the policies for Iraqis (121-29). Talk of democracy minimal in run-up to war; the U.S.harshly criticized governments attentive to theirown public opinion as “old Europe,” etc. (129-39).In Iraq, the U.S. will doubtless “follow theconsistent practice elsewhere: formal democracyis fine, but only if it obeys orders” (140-43).
Ch. 6: Dilemmas of Dominance.
The problemof European unification (145-47). “Guidingprinciples” articulated in 1973 by HenryKissinger: “‘[T]he United States has globalinterests and responsibilities’ while its allies haveonly ‘regional interests’” (148). WWII led the U.S.to assume global leadership, with economicpolicies supporting this aim (148-56).
Ch. 7: Cauldron of Animosities.
Israel asnuclear power (157-60). British imperial practice(161). U.S. more interested in control thanaccess, and designed its “global system of military bases . . . for operations in the [Persian]Gulf region” (162). Review of Mideast historyplacing development of U.S.-Israeli relations incontext (163-65). “[O]n its present course,[Israel] has virtually no alternative to serving as aU.S. base in the region and complying with U.S.demands” (165). Post-1967 choice of “nodiplomacy, only force” (166). Israel’s invasion of Lebanon (167-68). Diplomacy and Israelisettlement programs (168-70). Camp David IIand Taba, 2000-2001 (170-71). In 2003,“colonization efforts are proceeding apace”(quoting Geoffrey Aronson) (172). The “roadmap” (173-75). The facts on the ground: tacitendorsement of force (175-80). The 1
st
and 2
nd
Intifadas (181-85).
Ch. 8: Terrorism and Justice: Some UsefulTruisms.
Truisms: 1) “actions are evaluated interms of the range of likely consequences”; 2)“the principle of universality: we apply toourselves the same standards we apply to others,if not more stringent ones” (187). Definitions of terrorism (188-89). The notion of legitimate
resistance
is excluded from acceptable U.S.discourse (189-91). Notion that 9-11 changed thecourse of history challenged (191-93). What is“state terrorism” for others is being “proactive”for the U.S., which is always portrayed as thebenign victim (193-94). Journalistic doublestandard in reporting on terrorism: the murders of Leon Klinghoffer and Kemal Zughayer (195-98).Bombing of Afghanistan, just war theory, andpublic opinion: debunking the notion that only a“lunatic fringe” opposed attacking Afghanistan(198-207). Applying principle of universalityreveals that terrorists “do not hate
us
, but ratherthe policies of our government” (214, emphasis inoriginal; 207-16).
Ch. 9: A Passing Nightmare?
U.S. elitesdecided at once to, in Paul Krugman’s words,“use terrorism as an excuse to pursue a radicalright-wing agenda” (217). Danger from WMDsand their proliferation (218-23). Militarization of 

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