Noam Chomsky (Part 2): “This Is The Most RemarkableRegional Uprising That I Can Remember”
In recent weeks, popular uprisings in the Arab world have led to the ouster of Tunisian dictator Zine ElAbidine Ben Ali, the imminent end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, a new Jordaniangovernment, and a pledge by Yemen’s longtime dictator to leave office at the end of his term. Wespoke to MIT Professor Noam Chomsky on Wednesday’s live program about the situation in Egypt, andthen continued the interview for another 50 minutes after the show to further discuss what thesepopular uprisings mean for the future of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the region, howU.S. fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is really fear of democracy in the Arab world, and what theEgyptian protests mean for people in the United States.To watch the first part of the interview with Noam Chomsky during the live program,click here.In the interview, Professor Chomsky links the U.S. military industrial complex to U.S. foreign policy inthe Middle East, and its support of the Mubarak government. He then discusses the decades-long"campaign of hatred" in the Middle East against the United States for blocking democracy andprogressive developments, along with the impact of revelations from WikiLeaks on the uprising inEgypt and the consequences of U.S. support for radical Islamism. Next, Chomsky makes the point thatU.S. fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is really a fear of democracy in the Middle East, and examines therole of U.S. corporations in a "stable" Egypt in the Middle East. The interview wraps up with ananalysis of what the Egyptian protests mean for people in the United States.
Noam Chomsky, you were just talking about the significance of what’shappening in the Middle East, and you were bringing it back to President Dwight Eisenhower.
Well, in 1958, Eisenhower—this is in internal discussions, sincedeclassified—Eisenhower expressed his concern for what he called the "campaign of hatredagainst us" in the Arab world, not by the governments, but by the people. Remember, 1958, thiswas a rather striking moment. Just two years before, Eisenhower had intervened forcefully tocompel Israel, Britain and France to withdraw from their invasion of Egyptian territory. And youwould have expected enormous enthusiasm and support for the United States at that moment,and there was, briefly, but it didn’t last, because policies returned to the norm. So when he wasspeaking two years later, there was, as he said, a "campaign of hatred against us." And he wasnaturally concerned why. Well, the National Security Council, the highest planning body, had infact just come out with a report on exactly this issue. They concluded that, yes, indeed, there’s acampaign of hatred. They said there’s a perception in the Arab world that the United Statessupports harsh and brutal dictators and blocks democracy and development, and does so becausewe’re interested in—we’re concerned to control their energy resources.
Noam, I wanted to go for a minute to that famous address of the general, of the Republican president, of the president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER:
My fellow Americans, this evening I come toyou with a message of leave-taking and farewell and to share a few final thoughts with you, mycountrymen. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Three-and-a-half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense