April 6, 2017

The idea of the Russians intervening in the American election is "a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter."

Says Noam Chomsky. His reasoning:
The United States doesn’t just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn’t like, institutes military dictatorships. Simply in the case of Russia alone—it’s the least of it—the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways. So, this, as I say, it’s considered—it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.
Chomsky also says Democrats should welcome Trump's effort to ease tension with Russia.
And it is a kind of a paradox, I think, that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.

42 comments:

AprilApple said...

The D-party need their delusion about why ordinary Americans rejected Clinton, and they need it bad. Delusion is their drug of choice.

Curious George said...

"it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world."

This turning Chomsky, again, into a laughingstock in America.

traditionalguy said...

Noam is inside Trump's Reality. Meanawhile, the MSM is inside the Dems Alternate Reality, like a rolling stone with no way home.

Bob Ellison said...

How did a Governor of Arkansas get Yeltsin elected President of Russia?

EDH said...

The Lee Smith article indicating that using foreign intelligence gathering to surveil domestic political opponents may be a pattern and practice of the Obama White House points to a much larger scandal.

But what if Donald Trump wasn’t the first or only target of an Obama White House campaign of spying and illegal leaks directed at domestic political opponents?

In a December 29, 2015 article, The Wall Street Journal described how the Obama administration had conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to understand how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, like Ambassador Ron Dermer, intended to fight the Iran Deal. The Journal reported that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

Despite this reporting, it seemed inconceivable at the time that—given myriad legal, ethical, political, and historical concerns, as well as strict National Security Agency protocols that protect the identity of American names caught in intercepts—the Obama White House would have actually spied on American citizens. In a December 31, 2016, Tablet article on the controversy, “Why the White House Wanted Congress to Think It Was Being Spied on By the NSA,” I argued that the Obama administration had merely used the appearance of spying on American lawmakers to corner opponents of the Iran Deal. Spying on U.S. citizens would be a clear abuse of the foreign-intelligence surveillance system. It would be a felony offense to leak the names of U.S. citizens to the press.

Increasingly, I believe that my conclusion in that piece was wrong. I believe the spying was real and that it was done not in an effort to keep the country safe from threats—but in order to help the White House fight their domestic political opponents.

Bob Loblaw said...

Obviously Chomsky has been bought off by the Russians.

David Baker said...

Now "Chomsky?" What the hell is going on in the world!

Bob Loblaw said...

Despite this reporting, it seemed inconceivable at the time that—given myriad legal, ethical, political, and historical concerns, as well as strict National Security Agency protocols that protect the identity of American names caught in intercepts—the Obama White House would have actually spied on American citizens.

That's a display of child-like naivete that should disqualify someone from writing about politics.

chuck said...

The best thing about the Russian bru-ha-ha is the divorce of the commies from the Democrats. Watching The Nation stuggle to have it both ways is hilarious.

Barry Dauphin said...

At least the US has never tried to influence Israel's elections or so David Axelrod can assure us.

Brando said...

Chomsky's a clown. By his logic, we intervened in Vietnam so if some foreign power tried intervening here we should be fine with that because our hands aren't clean?

Some opinions are so dense only an ivory tower professor could espouse them. He ought to stick to his actual area of expertise, linguistics.

Mike and Sue said...

Boy. When you've lost Noam Chomsky....

buwaya said...

To be fair to Chomsky, the US Government has interfered in numerous foreign elections.

The first case I can think of was when Gen. Leonard Wood, then the military governor, actively campaigned during the Cuban election of 1900.

An important case was the Italian general election of 1948, which was influenced by the CIA funding of anticommunist parties, as well as various other work. To be sure, the Soviets were doing the same things, or more so, supporting their partisans.

This sort of intervention was very typical of the Cold War.

Clyde said...

@Mike and Sue

I was about to write almost exactly the same thing, although I was going to refer to him as Comrade Chomsky. Same-o, same-o.

Roughcoat said...

The world hasn't seen this much lefty political tap dancing since Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed their 1939 non-aggression pact.

n.n said...

Well, he's right about one thing. In America, the government elects you. Case in point, twilight church, judicial activism, political baby hunts, executive targeting of candidates, security violation of privacy (unless you're engaged in the commission or advocacy of planned parenthood in including elective abortion and clinical cannibalism), catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform, [class] diversity, etc.

Roughcoat said...

This sort of intervention was very typical of the Cold War.

Yep. And necessary ... and expected. Enemies try to subvert their enemies. That's just the way it is. That's the way the game is played. Always has been, throughout history.

Big Mike said...

I agree with Bob Ellison; Yeltsin took office in July 1991; 18 months before Clinton would be sworn in.

Daniel Jackson said...

If Noam Chomsky is saying the Trump-Russia is bullshit, then the Left is screwed.

Mr. Chomsky is clearly, if not universally, as a rabid extreme left product of his birth cohort. He is biased. Especially with respect to Mother Russia.

Yet his point is clear, regardless of the details. The Democrats are notorious for meddling in the elections, assassinations, revolutions, and other such election influencing since forever. Case in point: Vietnam.

Get out of the Way and work with the Husband of the Beautiful Wife. Think good thoughts and work with the man.

All Right, already!

THAT is what Noam Chomsky is telling The Left.

Hey. They are a corrupt bunch.

Brando said...

"Yep. And necessary ... and expected. Enemies try to subvert their enemies. That's just the way it is. That's the way the game is played. Always has been, throughout history."

And more importantly we'd try to defend against it. Hell, we assassinated other leaders. If a foreign country knocked off our president, are we supposed to say "well, I guess they showed us two can play that game! We're even now!"?

GRW3 said...

I read about Chomsky in Tom Wolfe's new book, The Kingdom of Speech. Some people mistakenly think it's about Tom Wolfe attacking evolution. It's not. It's about backstabbing and hubris that has accompanied that field. starring Darwin and Chomsky with a supporting cast of minions and victims. Evolution is merely the stage upon which the drama is played.

The big picture was that Chomsky is a verifiable genius in regard to linguistics, a finding that he has parlayed, by self promotion, into a "genius of all things". Here I don't see him saying it's OK for the Russians to have been involved, just pointing out it's hypocritical for the US to be so shocked.


Roughcoat said...

Brando:

When you play the Great Game you play for advantage.

Not to win. There is no winning the Great Game. It goes on forever.

antiphone said...

Perhaps those who have lost most of our sense of smell ought to apply mental effort to create a perception of taste...

Night Owl said...

They must be putting on sweaters in hell today because I actually find myself agreeing with something Noam Chomsky has to say.

Earnest Prole said...

It’s an interesting time ideologically. While Democrats ridicule the idea that the Obama Administration may have colluded with intelligence service in spying on their political enemies, the hard left suspects it confirms what they’ve always said about the CIA and the Deep State.

Mike Sylwester said...

On Tuesday, April 4, in this blog's thread titled "I hope Susan Rice was keeping tabs on Trump's Russia ties", I wrote a series of comments based on a Slate article titled "Was a Trump server communicating with Russia", written by Franklin Foer.

Slate itself published a follow-up article by Foer, titled "Trump's Server, Revisited". In that article, Foer reported various, expert criticisms of his initial article.

For example, Robert Graham in his own blog Errata Security published a critical article titled "Debunking Trump's secret server".

http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/11/debunking-trumps-secret-server.html#.WOasJ9QrJkq

I do not have the technical knowledge to judge this controversy. However, based on the critical articles written by Graham and others, which I browsed, I was left with the impression that there is no political significance in the computer communications between "Trump's server" and the mentioned Russian banks.

Also, the people who wrote the various articles on the subject -- especially including Foer -- seem to be well-intentioned and intellectually honest.

AprilApple said...

The leftwing media have coordinated and fabricated a wish-fact narrative.

robother said...

The Democrat Left is determined not to let another Nixon goes to China happen.

antiphone said...

Cambridge Analytica’s website says it collects up to 5,000 data points on more than 220 million Americans, “and use more than 100 data variables to model target audience groups and predict the behaviour of like-minded people”.

The firm uses personality profiling – measuring openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – to design advertising and political messaging designed to appeal specifically to consumers.

It says it uses the personality profiling to “make unique connections between people who might look different to each other but who deep down are driven by the same needs and want the same things”.


Our neuroses are a valuable commodity.

Bay Area Guy said...

I profoundly disagree with Chomsky on almost everything, but I respect him. He is thoughtful, intelligent, and articulate.

The thing I like most is that he has zero loyalty to the Dem party. He believes that Truman was the first big Communist witch-hunter, and has never forgiven him.

Of course, he hates Republicans too, but I love how he calls out the Dems, who are complete phonies.

The Godfather said...

As a couple of commenters have observed, Yeltsin was elected in 1991 when Clinton was still Governor of Arkansas, so Chomsky's assertion that the "U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways" is obviously wrong (generally people who say things like "in all sorts of ways" don't know what they're talking about). Perhaps it was Bush 41 (President in 1991) who "intervened" in the Russian election. If so, hurrah for George. We were then engaged in the end game of the Cold War, and a peaceful transition from the Soviet Union to Russia and several independent states was a consummation devoutly to be wished, but hard to achieve. Alternatively, perhaps Chomsky meant Clinton interfered to support Yeltsin's re-relection in 1996. If Clinton managed to help Yeltsin defeat his Communist opponent, good on Bill. I'm only sorry he wasn't able to "interfere" with Putin's election in 2000.

Steve Uhr said...

Chomsky is proof that the so-called left wing media isn't quite as left as people say. He isn't even allowed on MSNBC.

Daniel Jackson said...

To The Godfather:

Alternatively, perhaps Chomsky meant Clinton interfered to support Yeltsin's re-relection in 1996. If Clinton managed to help Yeltsin defeat his Communist opponent, good on Bill. I'm only sorry he wasn't able to "interfere" with Putin's election in 2000.

Two things. First, as a result of a "popular cinema," touslemonde has seen Spinning Boris (2003) set in 1996. That was Clinton's beat.

As to why Clinton was not available or Vlad, that's pretty clear: he had his pants trying to make Piece in the Holy Land.

alan markus said...

The reference may have been to the 1996 reelection of Yeltsin, as pre Dick Morris, former Hillary Clinton confidant.

According to political analyst and former Hillary Clinton confidant Dick Morris, in 1996 the then US President Bill Clinton meddled in Russian affairs, helping Yeltsin get elected to a second term. Morris said:


"When I worked for Clinton, Clinton called me and said, ‘I want to get Yeltsin elected as president of Russia against Gennady Zyuganov, who was the communist who was running against him. Putin was Zyuganov’s major backer... It became public that Clinton would meet with me every week. We would review the polling that was being done for Yeltsin that was being done by a colleague of mine, who was sending it to me every week. We, Clinton and I, would go through it and Bill would pick up the hotline and talk to Yeltsin and tell him what commercials to run, where to campaign, what positions to take. He basically became Yeltsin’s political consultant...."


Russian Interference In US Elections? Maybe. But The US Did Help Boris Yeltsin Get Elected

Bob Ellison said...

Russian elections, like all elections outside the West, are not democratic exercises. They never were. In the 1990s, as today, Russians knew only power politics, smash-mouth politics.

Americans and others accustomed to the British/Judeo-Christian traditions of honesty and democracy cannot easily imagine how things work in such primitive political systems. It's a challenge to Westerners to understand how things work over there.

Yeltsin won the Presidency. He was popular there. Some American communist like Chomsky and some communist in Russia spouting off on subjects they do not understand do not make that not so.

Yeltsin also won the peace, when at the time, a nearly bloodless dissolution of the Soviet Union seemed impossible to all of the Sovietologists in the west. We and Russia were lucky Yeltsin jumped drunkenly atop that tank.

Ficta said...

When Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders are the voices of reason.... I have no dead metaphors to cover this situation.

holdfast said...

Chomsky has always been in the pockets of the Russkies - partly because he's a commie, and partly because he hates the West generally and the USA in particular. Nevertheless, he's not all wrong here. As much as Putin is a detestable creature, I really don't want a hot war in Europe. Trump seems to following a reasonable policy here - bolster deterrence (by strengthening the US Armed Forces and forcing/cajoling the rest of NATO into meeting their commitments), while simultaneously taking a more conciliatory diplomatic line.

The Dems, on the other hand, seem willing to blow up the world just to get Trump - oh, I know that they don't actually want a war with Russia, but they don't know, or don't care, how their attempts to Russify Trump are playing overseas.

tim in vermont said...

Funny how the far left seems to be the most sensible lately.

Drago said...

Ficta: "When Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders are the voices of reason.... I have no dead metaphors to cover this situation."

Add in Glenn Greenwald, Stephen Cohen (NYU Russian Studies professor and contributor to The Nation), and many others.

These are the far leftists that are remaining true to some basic principles that I disagree with but that principled consistency will not allow them to countenance this obvious ploy of asserting Russian "act of war" on our election along with the fake collusion charges along with the increasingly obvious dem spying.

Everyone across the globe knows the collusion thing is a joke, even the foreign leftists, but since they want Trump out any way possible, they are willing to play along.

It's only the usual suspect leftists here in the US that have deluded themselves for political purposes

Sigivald said...

Why do people still pay attention to Noam "No Genocide In Cambodia" Chomsky?

Man's a broken record, and incapable of honest argument.

Kirk Parker said...

Sigvald,

Because, on this particular occasion, he's right! A man-bites-dog story writ large.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy some lottery tickets.

Joe said...

"Chomsky is a verifiable genius in regard to linguistics"

Not even close. He had an idea and shouted down everyone who disagreed. Turns out he was thunderously wrong and his grandstanding put linguistics back a generation.