Russian plan is a godsend for Obama: Chomsky

Russian plan is a godsend for Obama: Chomsky
Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:06:22

American Scientist Avram Noam Chomsky says the Russian proposal for Syria’s chemical weapons has saved the US administration from serious political defeat.

“The Russian plan is a godsend for Obama. It saves him from what would look like a very serious political defeat. He has not been able to obtain virtually any international support for this—the action he’s contemplating. Even Britain wouldn’t support it. And it looked as though Congress wasn’t going to support it either, which would leave him completely out on a limb. This leaves him a way out,” Chomsky warned in an interview with the Democracy Now on Wednesday.

“He can maintain the threat of force, which incidentally is a crime under international law, that we should bear in mind that the core principle of the United Nations Charter bars the threat or use of force. So all of this is criminal, to begin with, but he’ll continue with that. The United States is a rogue state. It doesn’t pay any attention to international law.”

Chomsky went on to say, “This would be a perfect opportunity to ban chemical weapons, to impose the chemical weapons convention on the Middle East. The convention, contrary to what Obama said, does not specifically refer just to use of chemical weapons; it refers to production, storage or use of chemical weapons. That’s banned by the international norm that Obama likes to preach about. Well, there is a regime which happens to be—happens to have illegally annexed part of Syrian territory, which has chemical weapons and is in violation of the chemical weapons convention and has refused even to ratify it—namely, Israel. So here’s an opportunity to eliminate chemical weapons from the region, to impose the chemical weapons convention as it’s actually formulated. But Obama was very careful not to say that he—for reasons which are too obvious to go into—he—and that gap is highly significant. Of course, chemical weapons should be eliminated everywhere, but certainly in that region.”

“The other things that he said were not unusual, but nevertheless kind of shocking to anyone not familiar with US political discourse, at least. So he described the United—he said that for seven decades the United States has been "the anchor of global security." Really? Seven decades? That includes, for example, just 40 years ago today, when the United States played a major role in overthrowing the parliamentary democracy of Chile and imposing a brutal dictatorship, called "the first 9/11" in Latin America. Go back earlier years, overthrowing the parliamentary system in Iran, imposing a dictatorship; same in Guatemala a year later; attacking Indochina, the worst crime in the postwar period, killing millions of people; attacking Central America; killing—involved in killing—in imposing a dictatorship in the Congo; and invading Iraq—on and on. That’s stability? I mean, that a Harvard Law School graduate can pronounce those words is pretty amazing, as is the fact that they’re accepted without comment” .

“So what he said is I’m going to lie like a trooper about history; I’m going to suppress the US role, the actual US role, for the last seven decades; I’m going to maintain the threat of force, which is of course illegal; and I’m going to ensure that the chemical weapons convention is not imposed on the region, because our ally, Israel, would be subjected to it. And I think those are some of the main points of his address,” Chomsky noted.

The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused Syria of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. But Syria denied the accusations and pointed finger at foreign-backed militants in this regard.

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, and political commentator and activist.


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