In conversation with Prof. Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Linguistics at MIT, is a prominent American dissident whose activism has been a beacon of light for decades to Warriors of Light. His persistent efforts at exposing America’s criminal hypocrisy in dealing with its greatest ‘service’ to the 20th Century, democracy, and expanding on ideas of universal justice and peace are inspiring to say the least. I was recently reading What We Say Goes, wherein interviews with David Barsamian, a leading radio-journalist of the alternative-media in the US, he discusses US power in a changing world. I wanted his opinion on a few things, so I wrote to him, and living up to his reputation of a public intellectual, he replied in great detail. Here goes –

MAIL #1

—– Original Message —–

From: suraj sanap (by way of Noam Chomsky <chomsky@mit.edu>)

To: Noam Chomsky

Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 3:21 PM

Subject: Seeking further information on your book “What We Say Goes”

Respected Professor Chomsky,

I am Suraj Sanap, 22, a first year law student. I live in Mumbai, India.

Since a couple of months I have been superficially engrossed with your body of political works, and I immediately bought a copy of What We Say Goes to get a quick read on your views, before going on to more extensive writings. I am familiar with your audacious criticisms of the United States and Israel, and I find it very reassuring to have someone to look up to tell us the truth with so much painstakingly done research. I am close to finishing “WWSG“, and on the most part I am overwhelmed by the facts stated, and appreciate such good insight, but there are certain sections I needed further clarification with which left me wanting for more. If you may oblige, I will be highly grateful to receive some more light on following matters –

Towards the beginning the book laments the reality of election fraud in the United States. For instance, the 2004 Presidential elections, where George W Bush (Republican) and John Kerry (Democrat), both of whom went to Yale and joined the secret society Skull & Bones and then ran on much the same campaign. It’s mocking to the process of democracy, to suggest that irrespective of whom you elect, the same shadowy-elite clubs are pulling the strings from behind the smoke-screens.

Prof. Chomsky – This is only one illustration of the narrowness of the selection process and its class basis.  But it is far from the real evidence of how concentrated private capital sets the framework for political decisions, no matter who is elected from the two factions of our one-party system (the business party).  I don’t recall what is in WWSG about this, but I’ve discussed it elsewhere, citing the major sources.

What is your opinion about the society of Freemasons, considering a number of elite political figures are known to pledge allegiance to the club since history, viz. Henry Wallace, FDR, the current Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, the First Director of FBI – J Edgar Hoover, Pt. Motilal Nehru and let’s not forget, the Founding Fathers of your country. Please clear the light on the Freemasons’ contribution in the global balance of power, and also about the ‘network’ of such societies.

Prof. Chomsky – I frankly don’t think this is a very serious influence on policy.

While we’re at it, if you may please humour me, for sometime I have harboured certain perceptions on the Freemasons after some preliminary research, so I’ll be glad if you could ratify/rectify my observations-

a) Is Freemasonry a Jewish brotherhood, as the Star of David suggests?

b) The USA Seal bears 13 stars that arrange themselves in the shape of the Star of David; is it right/wrong to infer that America is a ‘front-country’ for Israel to propagate it’s interests, considering America’s Masonic roots? I am asking this in context of a broader conspiracy, that of Global Dominance.

I beg your pardon if the tenor of my questions suggest any form of anti-Semitism, that is not the least of my intentions.

Prof. Chomsky – I’m familiar with the conspiracy theory, but it makes no sense at all, in my opinion.  And there are dramatic counterexamples, such as the refusal of the countries of the world, including the US, to lift a finger to save the victims of the Holocaust, even the survivors.

2. On the matter of the Israel Lobby in the States, you emphasize that the lobby is not strictly restricted to Jewish-interests groups like AIPAC and ADF, but that it is represented by a broader intellectual class of writers, media, professors, artists etc. with sympathies for the Israeli cause. Oliver Stone, in a recent interview about his next documentary “The Secret History Of America”, expressed that the Holocaust is not adequately debated because of ‘Jewish-domination’ of media. How far is that correct?

Prof. Chomsky – I don’t know what Stone said, but the serious issues about the Holocaust are quite extensively debated, with fine and careful scholarship.  Questions about its existence and general scale are not debated, because they are not serious.  Also not debated is the important question of why the Holocaust became a huge topic after Israel’s military victory in 1967, establishing the firm alliance with the US, while when there was a chance to save the victims it was completely marginalized, and that continued pretty much until those events.  That, however, is not a question about the Holocaust, but about the cynicism of Western intellectual culture.

3. One of your arguments that I find difficult to accept is where you reject any credibility to the Truth Movement to uncover valuable information on the JFK assassination and September 11 2001 attacks. While I understand your point of view that it is a government policy of psychological warfare to foment such frenzy as they successfully divert attention from important issues like corruption, nuclear-arms race, illegal foreign involvement etc., but to totally reject the TM furthers the fallacy of incapability in the capacity of governments to do evil, which history has proven otherwise much too often, while a majority of public opinion in the US suggests that the Republican Party/CIA executed both the jobs.

Prof. Chomsky – There is one serious question about the JFK assassination: was it a high-level conspiracy with policy consequences. That’s important, and I’ve discussed it at considerable length, carefully reviewing the rich record of documents. They refute that claim quite conclusively.  As for the remaining question — who was/were the actual killers — I don’t see why that is of any more interest than the question of who was responsible for the latest murders in downtown Boston, apart from worshippers of royalty. Evidence that the Republicans/CIA were responsible simply does not exist.  On 9/11, the same is true. There is no such evidence.  Furthermore, to believe that the Bush administration was involved is to accuse them of literal lunacy, for pretty obvious reasons that I’ve repeated over and over, and that are never answered.

It is a hard pill to swallow to see your good judgements give George W Bush total immunity for his direct/indirect involvement in the 9/11 attacks, merely on the probabilistic theory that Republicans would never plan anything like that because it would spell their political doom if exposed, as the information system is too porous to withhold leaks. Is it then safe to presume that governments never, and will never, orchestrate false-flag operations for strategic purposes?

Prof. Chomsky – What you cite is a very marginal reason for the conclusion that Bush et al. could not have been involved.  The real reason, repeated over and over and entirely ignored by the “truth movement,” is what I just mentioned.  Barring literal insanity, if they’d been involved somehow they would have blamed Iraqis, not Saudis, for entirely obvious reasons.

I am very excitedly awaiting a response from you, Professor, as I have immense respect and love for your work and your principles, especially for your passion to encourage debate to further the understanding of subjects.

Thanking You,

Suraj Sanap,

Govt. Law College,

Mumbai, India.

MAIL #2

—– Original Message —–

From: suraj sanap

To: chomsky@mit.edu

Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 5:54 PM

Subject: A few rebuttals, Sir.

Dear Professor Chomsky,

I am very delighted to have heard from you personally. It’s a fantastic moment for me, and all of us who write to you, to have someone we hold so high on moral and intellectual ground, write to us tirelessly.

I wanted to get back to you on certain rebuttals, and I apologize beforehand again for any unintentional anti-Semitic and conspiratorial predispositions – I am just trying to sift fact from ‘point of view’, ever since realizing the history we studied in schools was tailor-made for one of US’ ‘indispensable ally’…

1. On the question of the Holocaust, there has been debate about a large section of “useful Jews” in Germany, in cohorts with the American/British bankers, who co-operated with the Nazis and helped them perpetuate the horrors of that regime. Is this a reference to the elite sections of Jewish community then, who helped execute the Final Solution by massacring a large number (reportedly 6 million) of “ordinary” Jews, in order to accomplish the larger Zionist objective of establishing Israel as a nationhood of the Jews, by gaining world sympathy?

Prof. Chomsky – With regard to the Holocaust, there are lots of minor technical questions, as with any complex historical event, but no serious question about the major facts.  US-UK bankers and industrialists, and the governments, were quite supportive of the Nazis through the ’30s, and there were some supporting activities indirectly during the war, but that does not affect the main uncontroversial story.  Doubtless there was a very small number of Jews who cooperated with the regime, as is always the case, but to say that they helped execute the Final Solution is a vast exaggeration, and it’s simply outlandish to suggest that Jewish cooperation with the Nazis was aimed at gaining sympathy for the Zionist project.  The real facts are ugly enough without adding tales like these.

2. In 1974, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, during a televised interview with CBS’ Mike Wallace, alleged that the American-Jewish lobby has an unwarranted influence over the American people and the President himself, for the benefit of Israel, through  their control of news papers(NY Times, Washington Post), electronic media, banks, and he restraints himself towards the end saying, ‘And I am going to stop there’, alluding to the conclusion of the Jewish lobby having influence further higher in the echelons of power. What does that mean for America?

Prof. Chomsky – It’s uncontroversial that the Israel lobby (which is only part Jewish) has considerable influence.  It’s not true however that they control the press, etc.  The press has generally followed state policy, as usual.  Until 1967, for example, the NYT, though Jewish owned, was non-Zionist.  Today that most extreme supporter of Israel in the mainstream is the Wall St. Journal, the journal of the business community, and of the two political parties, the most extreme are the Republicans, the more extreme business party.  That reflects the support for Israel in high tech and military industry, which are vastly more influential than the Israel lobby.

3. There is one public scandal that rings hard about the involvement of secret societies in institutions of governance – the Propaganda Due(P2) Lodge of Italy-scandal of the 1970s, wherein it was discovered that the Italian Freemasonry was attempting to infiltrate the Vatican Church by control of its finances, mainly through the Vatican Banker, Roberto Calvi, member of the P2 Lodge. There was widespread speculation that Pope John Paul I was assassinated by the Lodge as he sought a restructuring of Vatican’s finances, and the Lodge eventually installed Pope John Paul II, who was instrumental in giving the Polish inspiration for the fall of communism, by channeling funds of the Vatican and US to the Polish resistance.

I have theory, the validity of which can only be debated. The most fundamental criteria for anyone to join the society of Freemasons is the acknowledgement of ‘God’, whether one believes in Jesus, Yahweh, Buddha or Allah being a trivial matter . Thus it is clear that the society does not invite Secularists, following which, it can be generally asserted that it filters out Communists from joining the society, which de facto establishes the Freemasons as a religious-capitalist organization.

Is it then right to contend that the P2-scandal is a case in point of the above proposition?

Prof. Chomsky – You’re right about P2.  There’s good work on it.  But it wasn’t just the freemasons, who have little influence.  The CIA, the right wing Fascist groups, and others like them were far more significant.

4. The P2 Lodge of the Italian Freemasonry-scandal further threw light on contemporary historical events – Argentina’s Dirty War. Documents seized from the lodge containing a list of members, includes the architects of the Dirty War as members of Freemason lodges in South America – Argentinian President Raul Alberto Lastiri, governments officials such as Jose Lopez Rega and commander of the military, Jorge Rafael Videla. The war was a period of state-sponsored ‘cleansing of society’, whose victims included left-wing/Marxist activists, trade unionists, students and journalists – in short, it was a War on Communism. This reiterates my point, that Freemasons are active in positions of power to destroy communism – and how. I would like your opinion on this case, as it is pretty evident from history what the nature of this organization is.

Prof. Chomsky – On the Masons, I’m frankly a skeptic.

5. JFK’s assassination was probably inevitable because had he continued as President, he would have ensured premature withdrawal from the Vietnam War, which went against the interests of the military-industrial complex already building around Pentagon. Also, he sought to limit the powers of intelligence agencies, when he said he would “shred the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the four winds“. Doesn’t that amount to serious policy consequences for self-interest groups to act on?

Prof. Chomsky – The evidence is overwhelming that JFK was towards the hawkish end of his administration, and though he reluctantly accepted McNamara’s proposals for withdrawal, he added the crucial condition that it could be considered only after victory.  He was undoubtedly upset by the CIA failures and incompetence at the Bay of Pigs, but soon turned to them to carry out his massive terrorist campaign against Cuba, which was being escalated up to the day of the assassination. There are many illusions about these topics.

5. You’ve said that if George Bush and the government were involved in plotting 9/11, they would’ve blamed Iraqis for it, not the Saudis. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was carried with the objective  ‘to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s alleged support of terrorism and to free the Iraqi people.” The US did indeed blame Iraq for harbouring Al-Qaeda/Osama Bin Laden, using that rhetoric to launch the attacks.

Also, on what basis do you think that Arab-nations claim that MOSSAD’s involvement was instrumental in the 9/11 attacks, alleging that 4,000 Jewish employees from the WTC were absent for work that fateful day?

Prof. Chomsky – The point is different. Since they wanted to invade Iraq, if they had had anything to do with 9/11 they’d obviously have blamed Iraqis. They would then have had overwhelming support, NATO participation, a UN resolution, etc.  By blaming Saudis they failed to get support, had to concoct fairy tales that were quickly undermined, discrediting them, and were diverted into a pointless quagmire in Afghanistan.  Barring lunacy, it follows at once that they were not involved.

There isn’t a particle of evidence about Jewish employees being absent, but it’s irrelevant. If Mossad were involved, they’d have blamed Iranians, not their ally Saudi Arabia.

Sorry, but it just won’t work. There’s no way out of this bind, which is why none has been suggested in the past 9 years of intense engagement in the Truth Movement – a wonderful gift to the US and Israel, because it has diverted so much attention and energy from combating their crimes.

6. On a different note, I have discussed your work on Linguistics preliminarily with some of my friends, and from what I can understand, correct me if I am wrong, the research is modeled on the fact that all modern languages apply similar generative techniques of grammar, emanating from similar ancient languages. Is it right then to understand, that application of this research, when completed, could be used to create a ‘universal language’, one that becomes the modern, international language, with no hint of ethno-centricism?

Prof. Chomsky – The work has nothing at all to do with a universal or international language.  It seeks to find the principles common to all human languages, part of essential human nature.

I’d like you to acknowledge that I have humbly submitted the above enquiries based on whatever limited knowledge I possess, so please forgive my ignorance in propagating any speculation, and correct me wherever I have erred. I shall not be troubling you frequently, but every once in a while whenever I am in doubt, I will turn to you.

I would like to express my immense gratitude for all your help and let you know that I will forever cherish these exchanges.

Thank you,

Suraj Sanap.

Prof. Chomsky – Many thanks, much appreciated!

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  1. I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case.
    my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it
    with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.

    • My job is to let you read what we discussed, not analyse it for you, that’s your job my friend…you can’t argue with him much unless you’re a right-wing fanatic, except on 9/11…I’m sure anyone who’s familiar with Chomsky’s work has pretty good insight on these matters, so they don’t need me telling them what to make of this, b’coz if I did that, I’d be guilty of thinking for you!

  2. AUTHOR’S NOTE – As the author of this blog, I must acknowledge that i have censored criticism from a reader early on as i didn’t have the sporting spirit to accept it. I realize that if i do not accept readers’ criticisms, no one will want to interact on this blog, because we’re only as good as the debate we can get going; this is definitely not a one-way street. So now i feel compelled to publish his comments, which i sourced from the mails we exchanged over this post.

    Here are Alex A’s comments followed by my replies –

    ALEX A-
    It does not sound like you are undertaking your quest to “get a real historical picture” with an open mind, if that is your aim. Your email just lists a bunch of preconceptions about the world which you are trying to get Chomsky to confirm.
    I am not familiar with all the examples you have given but I prefer to avoid speculation, not because there is no truth in ‘conspiracy theories’ but because the facts about the ruling elite censored by the media are scandalous enough by themselves!
    In Chomsky’s work you will not find any claims which are not referenced and backed up with evidence, I hope by reading it you will learn to differentiate fact from fantasy.

    Regds,
    Alex

    SURAJ-
    You are right in saying that I am writing to Chomsky with a set of preconceived notions and wanting to get him to confirm them, and that is because i choose to adhere to the alternate evidence that exists to confirm them, again, barring aside JFK/9-11.

    I suggest you research on the following topics to understand what I was writing about was not ‘speculation’ –

    1. The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, the book – which shall clear the air regarding ‘Zionist’ influence within the USA
    2. Oliver Stone’s upcoming documentary, ‘The Secret History of America’, which seeks to probe suppressed US/British involvement and support for Nazi Germany, through industrialists and bankers. It also seeks to explore how the Holocaust was exaggerated and dramatized in media, still is in movies today, for Zionist interests.
    3. Watch the Shah of Iran interview by CBS reporter Mike Wallace.
    5. P2 lodge Scandal

    It seems to me from the tone of your mail, that you are very well aware of how deep the shit has penetrated. I understand if you consciously choose to stay away from all the murky-stuff, as I have friends with whom I have discussed such propositions, and I understand them when they ask me to discontinue as it is ‘very depressing’. To each his own, but that doesn’t take away from what is really happening.

    ALEX-
    I’m not suggesting there is no truth, or historical significance, in your examples of cover ups and scandals. I just wanted to point out the lack of attention you give to the overarching, elitist institutions of global power Chomsky talks about, which shape the world a lot more than isolated examples of corruption.

    For example the extent of American imperialism, with hundreds of permanent military bases around the world and a record of toppling democracies and supporting dictatorships is a bigger eye-opener than who shot JFK (to the victims anyway). It makes more rational sense to see Israel as a collaborator and profitable partner in the US domination of the middle east than to say Zionist agents control the world. If you gloss over issues like the repressive business control of politics and the media, then I think you are ignoring the main factors of social injustice.

    SURAJ-
    What you call as ‘isolated practices of corruption’ very much stem from the same institutions of power that seek to tilt the balance of power in favour of a NWO. What I’m talking about are instances that go all the way up to the macroscopic cases you talk about, but of course it is terribly difficult to prove and link everyone of them. Take the example of the P2 lodge case. Here you have ample opportunity to join the dots and conclude that Freemasonry is an extremist religious-capitalist organization, considering the people who were responsible for Argentina’s Dirty War, were Freemasons. So it is really upto us to sort through all this because no one else is talking about it.

  3. Einstein was right. With all the violence and corruption and cruelty we see on a daily basis, it’s hard to believe that such a man as Gandhi could exist and could have such an impact. But he is the type of man who will be remembered. That’s because he is a true hero a real-life hero as archetypal as any in fiction who inspires individuals and nations alike. He is living proof of what Humanity can be, and will one day be.

  4. I dont actually know what youre talking about here. This cant be the only way to feel about this can it? It appears like you know a whole lot about the subject, so why not explore it a lot more? Make it a lot more accessible to everybody else who may not agree with you? Youd get a whole lot much more folks behind this if you just stopped creating general statements.

  5. I’m sorry, my friend, but i do not know much about the subject. I have seen some interviews, read a few articles and this book…and all this information had to be made sense of together, and hence i chose to write to someone whom i consider to give the most honest answers…if i may ask, i’d like to know specifically what u took objection to.

  6. I should say, youve got among the very best blogs Ive seen in a lengthy time. What I wouldnt give to be able to generate a weblog thats as interesting as this. I guess Ill just have to keep reading yours and hope that 1 day I can write on a subject with as a lot understanding as youve got on this one!

    • Hi

      You flatter me Sir/Ma’am. I hope you do keep coming back and give me good feedback.
      (Secret – don’t wait, just start writing on anything you find interesting…get the bad writing out soon so you can polish your skills)

  7. SURAJ! Man. I just re-read this post. You’re a lucky piece of shit.

    • Carlos
    • March 24th, 2013

    Good work! but why refuse he to told about freemasons??:S in every question u asked about them he gave u a shitty answer:S

    • Thank you Carlos. I consider myself very fortunate to have corresponded with Prof, Chomsky so much while ago. I too was dissatisfied when he brushed away as inconsequential the questions regarding the role of secret societies in influencing governance and policy matters in modern democracies. Though there are some good books by credible authors on the subject, like Caroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope: A history of the World. I intend to do thoroughly read these books and then get back to Prof. Chomsky, as then it’ll be much harder for him to belittle the matter.
      Please share with me good books on the subject and alike if you know of any.

        • CJ
        • October 4th, 2015

        Might his response lead you to consider that his himself is a freemason?

  8. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

    • Hello,
      thank you for your feedback. I hope you visit again, as I haven’t done any writing for the blog for a while now. Although I would soon be uploading a research paper i wrote on the subject of LGBT-rights in India, particularly marriage-equality, which is soon to be published by an independent house.
      Thank you, and i do hope next time I get read your comments entirely, as i’ve starved for interaction on the blog for a while.

  9. Chomsky’s notion that had the Bush administration been involved in 9/11 they would have blamed the Iraqis makes no sense. They blamed Al Quaida… does that not count? Had they blamed the Iraqis don’t you think they would have blown their cover right there and made plain to all and sundry what they had intended? Now THAT would have been “lunatic”. And speaking of lunacy on what grounds exactly does Chomsky believe that Bush who loitered in a school classroom after he was informed of the attacks… what evidence has he got that Bush is NOT a lunatic? Don’t you have to be mad to begin with to run for president of the United States?

  10. This is a super star article with great content.
    Congrats to you for pulling this all together and sharing.
    I especially enjoyed reading it and it will most certainly help
    me improve my grasp on the topic.

    • CJ
    • October 4th, 2015

    I enjoyed reading Professor Chomsky’s generous responses to you. He replied to me also when I was in undergrad. I sent him a quick question, not believing he would respond, or that a secretary probably weeded out his emails. But he responded and I will never forget it.

    Thanks for reminding me of that experience!

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