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Chomsky 10 Years After 9/11

Posted on Sep 7, 2011
Flickr / Andrew Rusk

Chomsky with supporters at the University of Toronto this spring.

This Thursday, Seven Stories Press will release a 10th anniversary reissue of Noam Chomsky’s book on the World Trade Center attacks titled “9-11: Was There an Alternative?” and TomDispatch has an exclusive excerpt from the new preface.

The new essay addresses the meaning of America’s “war on terror” after the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Here’s a taste: “‘We are left with two choices: either Bush and associates are guilty of the “supreme international crime” including all the evils that follow, or else we declare that the Nuremberg proceedings were a farce and the allies were guilty of judicial murder.’”

See the publisher’s note on the book here. —ARK

Noam Chomsky at TomDispatch:

A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the U.S. “He repeatedly asserted that the only way to drive the U.S. from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps was by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them,” Eric Margolis writes. “‘Bleeding the U.S.,’ in his words.” The United States, first under George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, rushed right into bin Laden’s trap… Grotesquely overblown military outlays and debt addiction… may be the most pernicious legacy of the man who thought he could defeat the United States”—particularly when the debt is being cynically exploited by the far right, with the collusion of the Democrat establishment, to undermine what remains of social programs, public education, unions, and, in general, remaining barriers to corporate tyranny.

That Washington was bent on fulfilling bin Laden’s fervent wishes was evident at once.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, September 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Because near everyone who claimed to be “nonviolent” wasted elections, by mindlessly robo-voting with an absolute lack of conscience for Democrats, elections didn’t serve a nonviolent purpose. Instead, the “nonviolent” liberals voted to double down on the violence… to get more of it better done by Democrats.

Elections have not and will not serve any good purpose, because of the decades of liberal perversion of their purpose — liberals always (D) dedicated using them to get everyone (D) shit that (D) voting liberals said they didn’t want for themselves.

There are only two kinds of liberals: those who are consummately evil, and the rest who are dumber than cows.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, September 9, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

@ David J. Cyr

Gee.. I never realized that “Chomsky is far more responsible than most liberals are for having made fascism fashionable again, and for having ensured that elections did not provide the nonviolent means of addressing societal problems they could have and should have.”

You can be really funny sometimes.

On a side note, there are other non-violent (or relatively non-violent) means of addressing societal problems than elections.

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By christian96, September 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

cpb—-Your irrational and delusional ignorant comments do not justify a reasonable response.
I can only pray for your lost soul.

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By raja1031, September 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every time he opens his mouth the hypocrisy deepens and his suppot among the tea baggin morons increases.

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By phreedom, September 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Part 1(again, slightly revised since I was tri-
commenting a bit)

Thanks Robert, Noam & Stanley,

Though it was toss up, whether to comment on 1. Noam
Chomsky’s assertion(Chomsky 10 Yrears After 9?11),
“That Washington was bent on fulfilling bin Laden’s
fervent wishes…”, relative to what is now well
known to have been the republican’s intentions to
use 9/11 attacks to launch a world wide political and
economic plan that would allow them to remain in
power indefinitely,,, In Noam Chomsky’s case, why
can’t enlightenment, unwavering sincerity and genuine
concern for the common person’s welfare be
recalcitrant? Or on the 2. “reverse remembrances”,
listed in Robert Scheer’s piece (How Little We Know
About the Origins of 9/11),  relative to how the
misrepresentation of the 9/11 attacks had demolished
our culture and other innocents,, “nations were
invaded, trillions of dollars were wasted, hundreds
of thousands of civilian and military lives were
lost, torture became acceptable and the public has
come to tolerate a daily governmental assault on
privacy as normal”. Or 3. comment on the by piece
Stanley Kutler(How Not to Commemorate 9/11), “We
fashionably compress our commemorations of 9/11
events into a neat triangle to include the
Afghanistan and Iraq wars. But in accepting this, we
terribly distort our history, for any link between
9/11, the present Afghanistan War and the Iraq War is
patently false”..

I suppose I get frozen in the middle of the 3, on one
side (1)Chomsky was able to come out of the gate with
the correct answer,, that the republicans and/or
right wing would use the 9/11 attacks as an
opportunity to implement, on a grand scale, their
designs for our culture and the world,,,, to bankrupt
generations of any conventional means of resistance
to a right wing republican, prolonged and
unchallenged reign.  On the other side, (2)great all
the journalistic effort by Scheer, after the fact, 
to constantly remind us of the lies and distortions
the republicans have used to secure power, by
manipulating politics and economic policy. And yet on
another side(3), in so many words, the description of
the “simulacrum” by Stanley,,, a copy that does not
represent the reality of the original or the truth,
and this copy is intentionally distorted to make the
viewer or understander believe it is the original.
Once action is taken in the name of a “simulacrum”,
and later entered into the history books, it does not
matter anymore that it was just some made up
reason/event, a copy that had no original basis,
because from there on out future action will be
considered in its’ name.

Rhuen Phreed, 231 Park Drive, #40, Boston, Ma

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By phreedom, September 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Part 2(once again, slightly revised since I was tri-
commenting a bit)

I suppose what I am saying is, are we going to be
satisfied with the good, compelling and inescapable
reasons to have a revolution or are we going to be
satisfied with actually having one. I suppose Noam
Chomsky’s response to MR Fish, a while back,
“Covering conventions isn’t dissident journalism.
That’s playing a role in creating illusions about how
the political system functions”,, is expressing my
view that knowing how grotesque our leaders have
behaved to the detriment of their own society, and
humanity in general really does not seem to matter
anymore.  We went way past the Watergate threshold,
“that the truth will set us free, and put others in
prison, on the run or in the least ousted”. 

People, the republicans have bankrupted, by design,
all the conventional means to resist their madness,
and left the Democrats spineless.  But you know, from
what I have read, a revolution against this level of
societal repression, this depth of human deprivation,
this extreme absence of cultural cohesiveness, well, 
such a revolution to remedy these ills cannot be
enacted conventionally, since that would imply the
bad guys would see it coming, understand it, even
agree with it, because convention always speaks the
language of the oppressors. 

The republicans got us all, “playing a role in
creating illusions about how our society functions”,
At this level political and economic impropriety we
should all be dissidents,, not democrats, not
liberals, not progressives, those are the roles the
republicans are having us play.

So then these days, what is appropriate to consider
is that, “The simulacrum is never what hides the
truth—it is the truth that hides the fact that
there is none. The simulacrum is true.”

Just because there is no objective reality, does not
mean we need to subject ourselves to this grand
republican and/or right wing simulacrum, a reality
made up with false premises and lies. We have allowed
the simulacrum of a bankrupt, fearful and under siege
culture to become all too true.

Rhuen Phreed, 231 Park Drive, #40, Boston, Ma

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By balkas, September 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

i do not think that bin laden or small groups of terrorist are
the winners—manifestly, winners are world suprenacists
headed by u.s ones.

look at just new bases they have established and the
harvest of dead people.

and i leave aside the loss of jobs, liberties, etc., just in u.s.
don’t tell me now that that’s not a victory for banksters, cia
agents, army echelons, very rich people, christian cult, u.s
constitution, etc.

and if that’s what bin laden wanted to achieve then he’s as
much at fault as bush, obama, congress, supreme court,
lawyers, media, priests, professors, et al.

in any case, it is only a conclusion that u.s was drawn into
this with eyes closed.
i think u.s cld not wait for osama to act! so it gave him a
push, a nudge, go ahead, etc.

how come chomsky does not speak of ashenazic
aggression as also a great evil as the one u.s regularly
perps and of all evils that resulted from the immoral
invasion and destruction of palestina.

he does not even honor their right to return to their former
habitat. ask him if u don’t believe me! tnx

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

“..he is now permanently marginalised by the American

NOW marginalised?  They’ve been ignoring him and waiting
for him to just die already for an awfully long time.  To
the extent that he is marginalised, there’s nothing recent
about it.  If he wasn’t redefining thinking in linguistics
all this time the MSM might never mention him at all.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

c96 - “American media can cover live daily the trial
of O.J. Simpson we can surely cover live daily
the trials of the perpetrators of 9/11.”

Trolling over here too huh c96?  If I translate what you
say as: since one and one is two therefore we should eat
cheese sandwiches between the hours of 11pm and 1am -
would that be close, or closer, to any genuine point you
aren’t making.

Capture and arrest ‘those close to bin Laden’ for what

You’re not just a troll c96, you’re a dolt.  But being
like that is one mode of operating for trolls isn’t it? 
Don’t you think a few quotes out of Revelations would be
more exciting (if equally as pertinent)?  Why don’t you
remind us about the christian overthrow and tell us what
will happen to the House of Saud afterwards?  Dolt.

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

“Chomsky is a good thinker. To bad he dosn’t have any
answers. We need to action not more talk. I only know one
real thinker with a real plan.”

Not so.  Chomsky tells people all the time what they have
to do to affect change, but most don’t like what that
answer is.  Internet petitions aren’t big on his list btw.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, September 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

in so much as he was, for probably 2 decades, a CIA asset, Bin Laden’s bosses won
exactly what they wanted: endless War OF Terror - launched, not through the
‘greatest intelligence failure’ of all time… rather, the ‘greatest intelligence success’

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By SarcastiCanuck, September 8, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love Chomsky as much as the next guy.His thought process is brilliant,but he is now permanently marginalised by the American elite…Nobody is going to court over Iraq,Afghanistan,WMD,lies and multiple deaths.Just like post Vietnam,the politicos responsible will look at the camera and say,“Oops,I think we made a boo boo.Really sorry everybody.Bah-bye.”...In a way,bin Laden did win.He exposed us to our own lies,improved critical thinking for a lot of people and helped to temper some of our societies arrogance.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, September 8, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Chomsky maintains a safe book-publishing/lecutre-touring career ...
recommended lecture here:

From the Fifth Edition of 9/11 Synthetic Terror: The 46 Exercises and Drills of 9/11
stream from here -

Webster G. Tarpley on Guns & Butter - download here -

September 07, 2011

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By christian96, September 8, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Osama Bin Laden’s background included living among
wealthy Saudi businessmen who interacted with
American businessmen and politicians.  He probably
had first hand experiences of the many deceptions
taking place between the business and political
leaders of America and Saudi Arabia.  According to
reports in the media something caused turmoil between Osama and his family.  If he had been
captured instead of killed we could possibly had
access to his perceptions.  But his death ended
that possibilty.  It appears American businessmen
and politicians didn’t want his perceptions to be
made public; so they killed him.  However, those
close to him are still alive.  They should be captured and put on public trial thereby exposing
their perceptions.  Just calling America the “Great
Satan” doesn’t explain their perceptions.  There
are reasons they perceived America as the “Great
Satan.”  I would like to hear from their mouths
those reasons.  As I stated after another article,
if American media can cover live daily the trial
of O. J. Simpson we can surely cover live daily
the trials of the perpetrators of 9/11.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, September 8, 2011 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

The Left-perspective political writer, Chomsky, got rich selling books mostly to depraved (D) dedicated liberals, who love to read about revolutions happening elsewhere — apparently in order to learn how to better prevent revolution from happening here.

When his great influence could have possibly historically made a real difference (back before (D) dedicated liberals succeeded in making it now impossible for elections to serve any good purpose), Chomsky chose to publicly urge voters to support the corporate-party’s Democrats, and he firmly opposed support of the nascent 2nd party alternative, the Green Party, which needed a significant sized minority support **THEN** in order to become the viable alternative it could have, should have, and would have become… if there were more than just too few people wanting an actually good political alternative to the corporate-state’s one party system.

Chomsky was America’s most influential advocate for the (D) deviously labeled “lesser evil” voting.

The ignorant Republican voters are so cognitively impaired that they cannot fairly be considered evil, with their severely limited mental capacity leaving them unable to even discern good from evil.

However, Chomsky’s “intelligent” so highly “educated” and well informed Democrat voters clearly understand the evil that America’s fascism is. It’s the liberal voters’ regularly provided informed consent to be free-will complicit in a continuum of the crimes of the corporate-state — supporting “the best and the brightest” (D) fascists they favor — that provides proof that liberals are consummately evil.

In his firm advocacy for voters to support (D) fascists, rather than to vote against fascism, Chomsky is far more responsible than most liberals are for having made fascism fashionable again, and for having ensured that elections did not provide the nonviolent means of addressing societal problems they could have and should have.

A “progressive” is a person who clearly understands The Problem, and then gets busily (D) active to make it worse.

Chomsky’s choice was for fascism to be well done, by competent Democrats.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, September 8, 2011 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

As for Chomsky not having any answers, he’s quite openly been a libertarian socialist or anarchist. If you want to know his solutions read some Bakunin, Kropotkin or even Rosa Luxemburg.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, September 8, 2011 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately the movement you recommended sounds like more weak, postmodern dreaming. This idea of “we’re not this or that,” “we want political change without being political” is bogus and in Europe we can already see how the “apolitical” style of protesting yields nothing. Spain for example, very easily passged new austerity/capitalist measures despite the protest movement in the streets. Why? Because as long as protesters walk around with this “peaceful” apolitical dogma, those in power will happily let them vent.

For example, this “American Revolution”‘s call for action is…petitioning? I know we in the United States believe we’re the cream of the crop, but maybe we should learn something from the popular movements in Latin America where the workers organize into militant, revolutionary movements who then form fronts to take power and produce radical change as in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and now Peru. Consider the angle in your link of using FDR’s second bill of rights as a starting point, it’s good but the only way you can ever implement that is by the radical smashing of the old state.

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By rumblingspire, September 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos had landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course).”

the level of intellectual rigor where i live is revealed when i offer that “instructive” to many of my fellows.  the response is to look at me incredulously and call me a sophomoric wacko.

with thought possibly comes freedom and here is a distinct fear of freedom in America.

how to instill intellectual courage; that is the question.

Thanks Noam.

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By Morpheus, September 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Chomsky is a good thinker. To bad he dosn’t have any answers. We need to action not more talk. I only know one real thinker with a real plan.

I’m not afraid anymore!

Cheer up! The Revolution has started -
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )


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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, September 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Noam Chomsky= One of our great modern thinkers.

Someone should send Obama a copy of “9/11,” too bad he probably wouldn’t be able to comprehend it.

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