Archive for the ‘ Multiple Mindgasms ’ Category

The Goddess of Revolutionary Things

Her talk at St. Xavier’s, Mumbai last month wasn’t a table-thumping speech, but Arundhati Roy certainly knows how to arouse the ‘Call to Arms’ with a voice of reason.

Titled ‘Capitalism: A Ghost Story’, and organized by the Arunadha Ghandy Memorial Trust, Arundhati flogged the foremost ghost of India’s crony capitalism, Mukesh Ambani, for a recent deal he made with Raghav Bahl, promoter of Network18. Arundhati urged citizens to oppose such policies and laws that allow big corporates to gain unethically from unbridled cross-ownership of businesses.

Arundhati Roy with Fr. Frazer, Principal, St. Xavier's College(Anuradha Ghandy in background)

What’s the big fuss about RIL’s deal with Network18?

Ambani will gain indirect control over Network18 and Raghav Bahl will in turn be shepherding RIL’s investment in the network of ETV channels, run by Ramoji Rao’s Ushodaya Enterprises. It calls into question the matter of editorial independence once RIL can control the formerly autonomous media houses.

One can certainly see Arundhati’s point when it comes to big corporate acquiring media houses. As journalist P. Sainath warned, “It only adds to the process of shrinkage of diversity and lends itself to increasing homogeneity in news and entertainment. The fourth estate is now about revenue streams and corporate profits – really just real estate”.

The deal received a lot of flattering coverage in the business media, but whatever critical analysis it was subjected to was reported in the Mumbai Mirror as part of covering Arundhati’s visit to St. Xavier’s. So basically the MM pulled off a “That’s what she said” on its readers. It’s easy to stifle debate by suggesting that it’s coming from a crazy bitch.

Political Prisoners Much?

One would think that Arun Ferreira would be much sought after at the event after having been released on bail from Nagpur Central Jail after 4 years of incarceration without trial. He was acquitted and released in 10 cases in September 2011 that alleged him to be the Chief Propagandist Officer of the CPI (Maoist) in Nagpur, and suddenly re-arrested the very same day. This galvanized his friends and supporters into organized campaigns by Fr. Frazer, Principal of St. Xavier’s College (from where Arun had graduated in Mathematics in 1990) and the Bombay Catholic Sabha, that finally lead to his release.

He didn’t turn up though, much to my disappointment, but the ghosts of his persecution left an impression on Arundhati. She spoke of how the State favours NGO-oriented kind of work in the tribal areas. As long as you distribute fruits and medicines to the tribals or the oppressed, the State is happy. But when you talk to them about why they’re poor, how they can change their situation, the State gets uncomfortable. Arundhati spoke at length about ‘think-tanks’ such as the Observation Research Foundation and NGOs like India Against Corruption, and expressed concerns over how powerful sponsors shape policy for ‘independent’ ground work. All suited for building consensus on the neo-liberal agenda for India’s ‘growth story’.

The Solution

R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N! If there was ever any doubt within the Arundhati-mania or the Arundhati-haters club about her position on the Naxalites’ ultimate goal of violent over-throw of the Indian State, she settled the matter right there…three times! The alternate solution of peace talks she’s been advocating for years has been muzzled by the State. Operation Green Hunt and the CRPF rendering the Maoist leadership ‘headless’ since 2010 certainly left no doubt about it. She went so far as to make an impassioned plea to urban citizens to support the tribals’ rights to live peacefully in their forests (read: join the struggle). Lots of hollering in the hall at this time.

Whether you hate her or disagree with her, it will do us all some good to bear the results of the State crushing the Naxalites, or of the impending revolution.

If the uprising is successful in overthrowing democracy, India as we know it might become a relic of history. Of course I would love to be optimistic about a classless and casteless society, a land of opportunity for all. But it’s hard to figure whether post-revolution India will turn out to be a Stalinist-Russia or go the Latin American way.

If however, the State pursues its current policy of wiping out the ‘Naxal-infested’ areas, a problem that is still regarded as a conflict arising out of a socio-economic imbalance from many within the Government, Democracy will survive to see the day…but at what cost? India will then go down in history as having betrayed its own people to the point of a most bloodiest-vendetta, more so terrible as they will have killed the very idea of India.

Notes

  1. Outlook’s article on the RIL-Network18 deal – http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?279466
  2. Arun Ferreira’s interview with Outlook – http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?279553

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!