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The Sick Mind of Noam Chomsky By: David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 26, 2001


WITHOUT QUESTION, the most devious, the most dishonest and -- in this hour of his nation’s grave crisis – the most treacherous intellect in America belongs to MIT professor Noam Chomsky. On the 150 campuses that have mounted "teach-ins" and rallies against America’s right to defend herself; on the streets of Genoa and Seattle where "anti-globalist" anarchists have attacked the symbols of markets and world trade; among the demonstrators at Vieques who wish to deny our military its training grounds; and wherever young people manifest an otherwise incomprehensible rage against their country, the inspirer of their loathing and the instructor of their hate is most likely this man.

There are many who ask how it is possible that our most privileged and educated youth should come to despise their own nation – a free, open, democratic society – and to do so with such ferocious passion. They ask how it is possible for American youth to even consider lending comfort and aid to the Osama bin Ladens and the Saddam Husseins (and the Communists before them). A full answer would involve a search of the deep structures of the human psyche, and its irrepressible longings for a redemptive illusion. But the short answer is to be found in the speeches and writings of an embittered academic and his intellectual supporters.

For forty years, Noam Chomsky has turned out book after book, pamphlet after pamphlet and speech after speech with one message, and one message alone: America is the Great Satan; it is the fount of evil in the world. In Chomsky’s demented universe, America is responsible not only for its own bad deeds, but for the bad deeds of others, including those of the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In this attitude he is the medium for all those who now search the ruins of Manhattan not for the victims and the American dead, but for the "root causes" of the catastrophe that befell them.

One little pamphlet of Chomsky’s – What Uncle Sam Really Wants – has already sold 160,000 copies (1), but this represents only the tip of the Chomsky iceberg. His venomous message is spread on tapes and CDs, and the campus lecture circuit; he is promoted at rock concerts by superstar bands such as Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and U-2 (whose lead singer Bono called Chomsky a "rebel without a pause"). He is the icon of Hollywood stars like Matt Damon whose genius character in the Academy Award-winning film Good Will Hunting is made to invoke Chomsky as the go-to authority for political insight.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Noam Chomsky is "the most often cited living author. Among intellectual luminaries of all eras, Chomsky placed eighth, just behind Plato and Sigmund Freud." On the Web, there are more chat room references to Noam Chomsky than to Vice President Dick Cheney and 10 times as many as there are to Democratic congressional leaders Richard Gephardt and Tom Daschle. This is because Chomsky is also the political mentor of the academic left, the legions of Sixties radicals who have entrenched themselves in American universities to indoctrinate students in their anti-American creeds. The New York Times calls Chomsky "arguably the most important intellectual alive," and Rolling Stone – which otherwise does not even acknowledge the realm of the mind – "one of the most respected and influential intellectuals in the world."(2)

In fact, Chomsky’s influence is best understood not as that of an intellectual figure, but as the leader of a secular religious cult – as the ayatollah of anti-American hate. This cultic resonance is recognized by his followers. His most important devotee, David Barsamian, is an obscure public radio producer on KGNU in Boulder Colorado, who has created a library of Chomsky screeds on tape from interviews he conducted with the master, and has converted them into pamphlets and books as well. In the introduction to one such offering, Barsamian describes Chomsky’s power over his disciples: "Although decidedly secular, he is for many of us our rabbi, our preacher, our rinpoche, our pundit, our imam, our sensei."(3)

The theology that Chomsky preaches is Manichean, with America as its evil principle. For Chomsky no evil however great can exceed that of America, and America is also the cause of evil in others. This is the key to the mystery of September 11: The devil made them do it. In every one of the 150 shameful demonstrations that took place on America’s campuses on September 20, these were the twin themes of those who agitated to prevent America from taking up arms in her self-defense: America is responsible for the "root causes" of this criminal attack; America has done worse to others.

In his first statement on the terrorist attack, Chomsky’s response to Osama bin Laden’s calculated strike on a building containing 50,000 innocent human beings was to eclipse it with an even greater atrocity he was confident he could attribute to former president Bill Clinton. Chomsky’s infamous September 12 statement "On the Bombings" began:

The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the level of many others, for example, Clinton’s bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it).(4)

Observe the syntax. The opening reference to the actual attacks is clipped and bloodless, a kind of rhetorical throat clearing for Chomsky to get out of the way, so that he can announce the real subject of his concern – America’s crimes. The accusation against Clinton is even slipped into the text, weasel fashion, as though it were a modifier, when it is actually the substantive message itself. It is a message that says: Look away, America, from the injury that has been done to you, and contemplate the injuries you have done to them. It is in this sleight of hand that Chomsky reveals his true gift, which is to make the victim, America, appear as an even more heinous perpetrator than the criminal himself. However bad this may seem, you have done worse.

In point of fact – and just for the record – however ill-conceived Bill Clinton’s decision to launch a missile into the Sudan, it was not remotely comparable to the World Trade Center massacre. It was, in its very design, precisely the opposite – a defensive response that attempted to minimize casualties. Clinton’s missile was launched in reaction to the blowing up of two of our African embassies, the murder of hundreds of innocent people and the injury to thousands, mostly African civilians. It was designed with every precaution possible to prevent the loss of innocent life. The missile was fired at night, so that no one would be in the building when it was hit. The target was selected because the best information available indicated it was not a pharmaceutical factory, but a factory producing biological weapons. Chomsky’s use of this incident to diminish the monstrosity of the terrorist attack is a typical Chomsky maneuver, an accurate measure of his instinctive mendacity, and an index of the anti-American dementia, which infuses everything he writes and says.

This same psychotic hatred shapes the "historical" perspective he offered to his disciples in an interview conducted a few days after the World Trade Center bombing. It was intended to present America as the devil incarnate – and therefore a worthy target of attack for the guerilla forces of "social justice" all over the world. This was the first time America itself – or as Chomsky put it the "national territory" – had been attacked since the War of 1812. Pearl Harbor doesn’t count in Chomsky’s calculus because Hawaii was a "colony" at the time. The fact that it was a benignly run colony and that it is now a proud state of the Union counts for nothing, of course, in Chomsky’s eyes.

During these years [i.e., between 1812 and 1941], the US annihilated the indigenous population (millions of people), conquered half of Mexico, intervened violently in the surrounding region, conquered Hawaii and the Philippines (killing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos), and in the past half century particularly, extended its resort to force throughout much of the world. The number of victims is colossal. For the first time, the guns have been directed the other way. That is a dramatic change.(5)

Listening to Chomsky, you can almost feel the justice of Osama bin Laden’s strike on the World Trade Center.

If you were one of the hundreds of thousands of young people who had been exposed to his propaganda – and the equally vile teachings of his academic disciples – you too would be able to extend your outrage against America into the present.

    • According to Chomsky, in the first battle of the postwar struggle with the Soviet Empire, "the United States was picking up where the Nazis had left off."

    • According to Chomsky, during the Cold War, American operations behind the Iron Curtain included "a ‘secret army’ under US-Nazi auspices that sought to provide agents and military supplies to armies that had been established by Hitler and which were still operating inside the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe through the early 1950s."

    • According to Chomsky, in Latin America during the Cold War, U.S. support for legitimate governments against Communist subversion led to US complicity under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, in "the methods of Heinrich Himmler’s extermination squads."

    • According to Chomsky, there is "a close correlation worldwide between torture and U.S. aid."

    • According to Chomsky, America "invaded" Vietnam to slaughter its people, and even after America left in 1975, under Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, "the major policy goal of the US has been to maximize repression and suffering in the countries that were devastated by our violence. The degree of the cruelty is quite astonishing." (6)

    • According to Chomsky, "the pretext for Washington’s terrorist wars [i.e., in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala, Iraq, etc.] was self-defense, the standard official justification for just about any monstrous act, even the Nazi Holocaust." (7)

    • In sum, according to Chomsky, "legally speaking, there’s a very solid case for impeaching every American president since the Second World War. They’ve all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes."(8)

What decent, caring human being would not want to see America and its war criminals brought to justice?

According to Chomsky, what America really wants is to steal from the poor and give to the rich. America’s crusade against Communism was actually a crusade "to protect our doctrine that the rich should plunder the poor."(9) That is why we busied ourselves in launching a new crusade against terrorism after the end of the Cold War:

Of course, the end of the Cold War brings its problems too. Notably, the technique for controlling the domestic population has had to shift… New enemies have to be invented. It becomes hard to disguise the fact that the real enemy has always been ‘the poor who seek to plunder the rich’ – in particular, Third World miscreants who seek to break out of the service role.(10)

According to Chomsky, America is afraid of the success of Third World countries and does not want them to succeed on their own. Those who threaten to succeed like the Marxist governments of North Vietnam, Nicaragua and Grenada America regards as viruses. According to Chomsky, during the Cold War, "except for a few madmen and nitwits, none feared [Communist] conquest – they were afraid of a positive example of successful development. "What do you do when you have a virus? First you destroy it, then you inoculate potential victims, so that the disease does not spread. That’s basically the US strategy in the Third World.".(11)

No wonder they want to bomb us.

Schooled in these big lies, taught to see America as Greed Incarnate and a political twin of the Third Reich, why wouldn’t young people – with no historical memory – come to believe that the danger ahead lies in Washington rather than Baghdad or Kabul?

It would be easy to demonstrate how on every page of every book and in every statement that Chomsky has written the facts are twisted, the political context is distorted (and often inverted) and the historical record is systematically traduced. Every piece of evidence and every analysis is subordinated to the overweening purpose of Chomsky’s lifework, which is to justify an idée fixe – his pathological hatred of his own country.

It would take volumes, however, to do this and there really is no need. Because every Chomsky argument exists to serve this end, a fact transparent in each offensive and preposterous claim he makes. Hence, the invidious comparison of Clinton’s misguided missile and the monstrous World Trade Center attack.

In fact the Trade Center and the Pentagon targets of the terrorists present a real political problem for American leftists, like Chomsky, who know better than to celebrate an event that is the almost predictable realization of their agitations and their dreams. The destroyed buildings are the very symbols of the American empire with which they have been at war for fifty years. In a memoir published on the eve of the attack, the 60s American terrorist Bill Ayers recorded his joy at striking one of these very targets: "Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."(12) In the wake of September 11, Ayers – a "Distinguished Professor of Education[!] at the University of Illinois – had to feverishly backtrack and explain that these revealing sentiments of an "anti-war" leftist do not mean what they obviously do. Claiming to be "filled with horror and grief," Ayers attempted to reinterpret his terrorist years as an effort to explore his own struggle with "the intricate relationships between social justice, commitment and resistance."(13)

Chomsky is so much Ayers’ superior at the lie direct that he works the same denial into his account of the World Trade Center bombing itself. Consider first the fact that the Trade Center is the very symbol of American capitalism and "globalization" that Chomsky and his radical comrades despise. It is Wall Street, its twin towers filled on that fateful day with bankers, brokers, international traders, and corporate lawyers – the hated men and women of the "ruling class," who – according to Chomsky – run the global order. The twin towers are the palace of the Great Satan himself. They are the belly of the beast, the object of Chomsky’s lifelong righteous wrath. But he is too clever and too cowardly to admit it. He knows that, in the hour of the nation’s grief, the fact itself is a third rail he must avoid. And so he dismisses the very meaning of the terrorists’ target in these words:

The primary victims, as usual, were working people: janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor and oppressed people.

Chomsky’s deception which attempts to erase the victims who were not merely "janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc.," tells us more than we might care to know about his own standard of human concern.

That concern is exclusively reserved for the revolutionary forces of his Manichean vision, the Third World oppressed by American evil. Chomsky’s message to his disciples in this country, the young on our college campuses, the radicals in our streets, the moles in our government offices, is a message of action and therefore needs to be attended to, even by those who will never read his rancid works. To those who believe his words of hate, Chomsky has this instruction:

The people of the Third World need our sympathetic understanding and, much more than that, they need our help. We can provide them with a margin of survival by internal disruption in the United States. Whether they can succeed against the kind of brutality we impose on them depends in large part on what happens here.(14)

This is the voice of the Fifth Column left. Disruption in this country is what the terrorists want, and what the terrorists need, and what the followers of Noam Chomsky intend to give them.

In his address before Congress on September 19, President Bush reminded us: "We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follw in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies."

President Bush was talking about the terrorists and their sponsors abroad. But he might just as well have been talking about their fifth column allies at home.

It’s time for Americans who love their country to stand up, and defend it.


David Horowitz is the founder of The David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of the new book, One Party Classroom.


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