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13-09-11 Noam Chomsky on Libya, Israel & GOP Presidential Candidates’ 'Utterly Outlandish' Positions

13-09-11 Noam Chomsky on Libya, Israel & GOP Presidential Candidates’ 'Utterly Outlandish' Positions

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Published by William J Greenberg
Pt. 2--Noam Chomsky on Libya, Israel & GOP Presidential Candidates’ 'Utterly Outlandish' Positions
In our extended interview with Noam Chomsky, he argues that in Libya, "you could have made a case for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians, but I think it’s much harder to make a case for direct participation in a civil war and undercutting of possible options that were supported by almost the entire world." Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Chomsky notes that Turkey and Egypt have been key allie
Pt. 2--Noam Chomsky on Libya, Israel & GOP Presidential Candidates’ 'Utterly Outlandish' Positions
In our extended interview with Noam Chomsky, he argues that in Libya, "you could have made a case for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians, but I think it’s much harder to make a case for direct participation in a civil war and undercutting of possible options that were supported by almost the entire world." Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Chomsky notes that Turkey and Egypt have been key allie

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Sep 14, 2011
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Pt. 2--Noam Chomsky on Libya, Israel & GOP PresidentialCandidates’ 'Utterly Outlandish' Positions
In our extended interview with Noam Chomsky, he argues that inLibya, "you could have made a case for a no-fly zone andprotection of civilians, but I think it’s much harder to make a casefor direct participation in a civil war and undercutting of possibleoptions that were supported by almost the entire world."Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Chomsky notes that Turkey andEgypt have been key allies for Israel and that the deterioration of their relations "contributes very substantially to Israel’s isolationin the region." Back in the United States, Chomsky says that whilehe is no fan of President Obama, the position of the Republicanpresidential candidates on issues such as climate change are"utterly outlandish." Chomsky is interviewed by Democracy Now!host Amy Goodman, along with producer Aaron Maté.Watch Part 1 of the Interview with Noam Chomsky.COMPLETE RUSH TRANSCRIPT:
AMY GOODMAN:
We continue with Noam Chomsky. His latestbook,
9-11: Was There an Alternative?
, has been republished—well, with a new essay about the assassination of Osama binLaden. His original book,
9-11
, just months published after the9/11 attacks, was the seminal counter-narrative to what wasbeing said after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, as he spokeout against the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.Noam, we’ve talked about what’s going on domestically now. Wehave talked about what is happening in Israel and Gaza and theWest Bank. What about Libya?
NOAM CHOMSKY:
Well, there are actually two major issues withregard to Libya. The first one was, was it appropriate to initiate
 
and then to implement the U.N. resolution, U.N. 1973, whichcalled for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians? That’s firstquestion. Second question, was it appropriate for the—basicallythe imperial triumvirate, the traditional imperial states—U.S.,Britain and France—was it appropriate for them instantly to rejectthe resolution that they had gotten through the Security Counciland to simply become pretty much the air force for one of thesides in the civil war, the rebel side? Those are two quite separateissues.My own feeling was that you could have made a case for a no-flyzone and protection of civilians, but I think it’s much harder tomake a case for direct participation in a civil war andundercutting of possible options that were supported by almostthe entire world. The African country—the African Union, the so-called BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—you know, the major developing countries, non-aligned countries,almost entirely were pressing for some kind of negotiatedsettlement, not just taking part—participating on the rebel side inthe war. Well, was that the right thing to do or not? A lot of questions to ask. If, according to the Transitional National Council,the rebel quasi-government, about 30,000 people have beenkilled, that’s not slight.Right now there’s a major attack going on on—against the basesof the largest tribe in Libya. NATO’s bombing—you know, thetriumvirate is bombing, the rebels are attacking. Who knowswhat’s going to happen there? They’re already—it’s a verycomplex situation. Very few people understand it. It’s a tribalsociety. The western tribes, the ones that pretty much conquered Tripoli, although the people in Tripoli say they did it themselves,those tribes are one group. Cyrenaica, the eastern coastalregions, have been—that’s where the Transitional NationalCouncil is centered—have been pretty different from tribal Libyafor a long time, way back to the colonial period. They were very
 
anti-Gaddafi. There are other tribes. The loyalty and thecommitments of the other tribal groups is pretty much unknown.It could turn into a—I mean, one hopes for the best, but the seedsare there for pretty ugly conflicts and confrontations.I should say, I was kind of struck by the fact that the energycorporations didn’t skip a beat. I mean, the day that troops were—that rebel forces were—western tribes were beginning toapproaching Tripoli, that day, the
New York Times
businesssection, the lead article had a headline like, you know, "OilCompanies Scramble for Contracts" or something like that. And it just hasn’t been hidden that they’re very eager to assure thatthey get their hands on the loot. What’s important in Libya is, firstof all, it has a good deal of oil. A lot of the country is unexplored;there may be a lot more. And it’s very high-quality oil, so veryvaluable. There are some reasons to anticipate that it might turnout not too badly, but it’s—I think it would be a very rash personwho would try to make a prediction now.
AARON MATÉ:
Noam, I wanted to ask you about this crisisunfolding with Turkey and Israel. Earlier this month, Turkeyexpelled Israel’s ambassador and other senior diplomats after therelease of a U.N. report on Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound aidflotilla in 2010. The report accused Israel of, quote, "excessiveand unreasonable force" in its attacks on the
Mavi Marmara
,which killed nine people. But it also called on Israel to issue astatement of regret and compensate the families of the dead, aswell as the wounded passengers. The Israeli prime minister,Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to apologize. He wants improvedrelations with Turkey. And this is what he said.
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:
[translated] In thepast few days, we have witnessed a deepening of tensions with Turkey. It was not our choice, and it is not our choice today. Werespect the Turkish people and its heritage, and we certainly wantto improve ties.

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