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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Moral equivalence

Noam Chomsky interviewed in February 2002:

QUESTION: But you seem to see this moral equivalence...
CHOMSKY: There's no moral equivalence.
QUESTION: ...between bin Laden and Bush, don't you?
CHOMSKY: Moral equivalence is a term of propaganda that was invented to try to prevent us from looking at the acts for which we are responsible.
QUESTION: You say there are plenty of bin Ladens on both sides.
CHOMSKY: There are bin Ladens all over the world.
QUESTION: That's moral equivalence. That's a polemic, isn't it?
CHOMSKY: That's not moral equivalence. There is no such notion. There are many different dimensions and criteria. For example, there's no moral equivalence between the bombing of the World Trade Center and the destruction of Nicaragua or of El Salvador, of Guatemala. The latter were far worse, by any criterion. So there's no moral equivalence. Furthermore, they were done for different reasons and they were done in different ways. There's all sorts of dimensions...
QUESTION: But why, when the US is considering what to do about this, do you always go back to past crimes?
CHOMSKY: Not past. Present.
QUESTION: You mentioned Nicaragua.
CHOMSKY: I mentioned that because it's uncontroversial. Since there's a World Court [decision], Security Council resolution...Since it's uncontroversial, it's a good example. I mention these cases...
QUESTION: Are you kicking the US when it's down?
CHOMSKY: No. I'm asking that we accept the definition of "hypocrite" given in the Gospels. I think that's correct. The hypocrite is the person who refuses to apply to himself the standards he applies to others. I don't think we should be hypocrites.
QUESTION: To what aim do you do this? To what aim do you wish to point this out?


Blogger Human said...

Well he is right on the the question of moral equivalence. The murder at the World Trade Center and in Nicarauga share the same immoral equivalence. 2 wrongs do not make a right. The murder of 1 is as immoral as the murder of 2. Whether ripped apart by a suicide bomber while going to school or run over by a bulldozer in a peaceful effort to save anothers house, the immoral abyss of man's inhumanity to man does not have a bottom.

I have not read any publication by Chomsky so I really can not comment on it. Some people claim that he is a "Holacaust denier". If so the man could hardly be described as an intellectual. Much less the "World's Greatest".
Peace. Your fellow Human

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:15:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Of course he's not a Holocaust denier. His advocacy for freedsom of speech was quoted in such a book, with his permission.

It's a bit like the saying, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it".

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:54:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

Hi addamo-01. In the interest of further research what book was that?
Peace. Your fellow Human

Thursday, October 20, 2005 1:11:00 am  
Blogger bazra said...

agh, fellow human, how old are you? older than chomsky maybe? better placed, no doubt to make such judgement calls i'm sure. i am no holocaust survivor, denier or promoter, but i have read quite a deal of chomsky's work, interviewed him on radio, and admire his steadfast resistance to tyranny.
your unsubstantiated smear doesn't phase me much, nor, i should think, the many readers and thinkers, worldwide, who gain relief from his thought-provoking lectures/writing. you/i could do worse.
karl rove and his uk/australian equivalents, not to mention the bungling puppet leaders, sure make chomsky's utterances all the more straitforward.
no one likes to be called a hypocrite, especially if it's true of themself or who they voted for, for whatever reason.
chomsky's words evoke such defensiveness especially because they are so true. what is your media diet?

Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:37:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...


I cannot recal the name of hte book. It was quite some time ago that this happened. I trust soomeone else on the list will help there.


I admire your passion, and agree with you about Chomsky, but in fariness toi human, I think he admitted to not being familiar with his writings. I'm his question was a sincere inquiry.

Please stick around. I'm sure you and ibramhimav will have a colourful debate. ;-)

Thursday, October 20, 2005 4:01:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

bazra - since you seem to have misunderstood me I'll write it again - "I have not read any publication by Chomsky so I really can not comment on it." Some people claim that he is a "Holocaust denier”. I did not accuse him of being a holocaust denier. Others have and that belief is prolific even if false. I did not know of the accusation until I googled his name. Instead of me closing my mind to the possibility I gave my, "if so".

Since you have interviewed him, and the belief that he is a Holocaust denier is held by many, maybe you can tell us if you had asked him about it? Also in an effort in further research I would like to read/listen to your interview with him. The interest is to get a better whole picture of the man, not just fact checking on whether he is a Holocaust denier.

I want to thank you for your interest in what my "media diet" is. On the tv I watch the Cable News shows, The Daily Show, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Movie Classics(uncut), The Nature Channel, The Learning Channel, History Channel and Travel Channel. My only interviewers who I like because of their calm and even handed manner is Travis Smiley and Charlie Rose. The political rags that I read range from The Nation to The Weekly Standard. On line my 1st click of the day is Other news sources are as far ranging as you could imagine. One of my favorite things to do is on blogger I click next blog just to see what comes up. I visit many different political blogs including ones that hold very different opinions than mine. As a member of I monitor hate sites like Neo-Nazi and KKK sites. The real viewpoint that I lack is non-American ones, hence my interest here and there. I would really like to read History from other than American perspectives however I can not read anything but English so unless it is translated and in the library I don't get the chance.
Again thank you for interest. Peace. Your fellow Human

PS - Thanks addam0 for responding to my query and trying to set bazra right.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 5:45:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...


If you have a high speed link, there are more than a few audio recordings of Chomsky you can find on the web. Just to a search with Google on "noam chomsky interview"

This will certainly give you a good way of accessing his message.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 5:49:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

addamo-01 - thanks for the suggestion.I will. It sure would be interesting to read/hear bazra'a interview. Peace. Your fellow Human

Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:48:00 am  

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