Danish Cartoons, Iran & Iraq, Nuclear dangers

Professor Noam Chomsky casts a cold eye on world affairs, the Danish cartoon issue, Iran and the war in Iraq, and the dangers of living in a nuclear age.

The anti-war critic, Noam Chomsky, recently said the Danish cartoon issue wasn’t a matter of press freedom, nor indeed a conflict between the West and the Islamic world, but an attack, by and large, by the Danish government on the Muslim minority living in Denmark. He was giving an exclusive report to myself when I was working with Griffith College radio recently. He stressed that Saudi Arabia was an extremist nation despite the irony that it was an old ally of the United States of America. He also emphasized that Indonesia was another ally of the USA, and that General Suharto was responsible for the murders of thousands of people. He said it was an “ugly racist attack” and had nothing to do with freedom of the press. A few weeks prior to the publication, the Danish paper “Jyllands Posten” - refused to publish Christian caricatures, according to Professor Chomsky. The world respected Professor from Boston MIT had harsh words on the recent judgment by the Austrian courts, when it sentenced the British writer and historian David Irving to three years in prison. He was convicted on a charge of denying the holocaust during the second-world war. The Professor said that these countries didn’t have a good history - Germany and Austria - following the war that raged throughout the world. He said that France was no better. France was responsible for convicting Bernard Lewis when he wrote about the Armenians in Turkey. He also said it was an “abuse of power” in Britain when they banned the Muslim cleric. When speaking about the dangers of nuclear war, he said there was a huge risk to global peace. The policies of President Bush gave no peace to the people of the world. “The EU had broken an agreement with Iran,” Professor Chomsky said. He said that the Iranian government had agreed to suspend ‘uranium enrichment’ and that the EU had given ‘safety guarantees’ to combat the talk of war from the American people. But the EU had broken their agreement, and had second thoughts. In the Iraqi war, Iran is surrounded by American soldiers, and soldiers from other countries, including Britain, and under threat from a nuclear-armed Israel. In this environment, Professor Chomsky isn’t surprised that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The Professor said Israel had thousands of nuclear weapons, and was a strong supporter of the American nation. America is “A superpower” and a “hostile country” said Chomsky, and the EU are “easily intimidated” by their powerful ally. It frightened the EU despite the interrelationship between Europe and America on economic policies and investment. When he was speaking about nuclear war, Chomsky spoke about Robert McNamara’s article “Apocalypse Soon,” and he said Bush’s programs were leading to an increased threat. America is afraid of China and the economic challenge it poses. It’s a huge challenge to the American people. At this time, Latin America is also improving its economic policies, and American politicians are aware of this new growth. Without doubt, it marks an important milestone. Seriously though, the Chinese people and government have a huge advantage - an advantage for every person living in Asia. The Chinese economy is spiraling upwards at this time – a true Asian Tiger - and the countries within Latin America are becoming more independent. With this, new growth and environment and climate, America is at a disadvantage. The policies of China are comparable to the Irish Department of Finance: “to promote a growing economy which will deliver a high level of sustainable employment, social progress and living standards.” (Department of Finance website). As well as that, the market worldwide is under threat and there is a new climate around. Despite these difficulties, and the co-operation between Europe and the United States of America, the common market within the EU isn’t safe either. The professor recognizes the friendship between the two; as he offered an insight into the American intellect and the Chinese threat in the marketplace. When he was speaking with Griffith College radio recently, the Professor spoke on other subjects, saying he disagreed with the political thinking in the west, and praised John Steinbrenner for his article in the respected journal “Academy of Arts and Sciences” entitled: “An Armageddon of our Own Making.” That can’t be allowed to happen!