“ZNet Sustainer: A question that arises for me is that regardless of this issue, how do I as an activist prevent myself from getting distracted by such things as conspiracy theories instead of focusing on the bigger picture of the institutional analysis of private profit over people?
Noam Chomsky: I think this reaches the heart of the matter. One of the major consequences of the 9/11 movement has been to draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background, crimes that are far more serious than blowing up the WTC would be, if there were any credibility to that thesis. That is, I suspect, why the 9/11 movement is treated far more tolerantly by centers of power than is the norm for serious critical and activist work. How do you personally set priorities? That's of course up to you. I've explained my priorities often, in print as well as elsewhere, but we have to make our own judgments.”
Alexander Cockburn seems to think that, were it not for September 11 conspiracy theories, Americans would be manning the barricades, waving the red flag, and singing the Internationale. What’s with these people anyway?
We now know that a large part of Chomsky’s problem is that he is a covert Zionist agent, something proved by his denial of the importance of the Israel Lobby (since confirmed by people like former Senator Abourezk – what would he know? – and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert). Since Chomsky supports the efforts of the Lobby to create the Zionist Empire, but doesn’t like the American Empire, what it comes down to is that Chomsky doesn’t like Americans. Fair enough, but hardly the basis for an entire political philosophy, especially one sold as having a much greater value.
Of course, Cockburn obviously isn’t a secret agent for Zionism, so we need a wider explanation for the headinthesandism of ‘progressive’ America over what happened on September 11. You have to remember that during the time that both Cockburn and Chomsky have been active in writing about American politics, the United States has gone from Nixon, to Reagan, to Bush. If neither Chomsky nor Cockburn had written a word, does anyone really believe that things would be – or could possibly be – worse? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. The abject failure of both Chomsky and Cockburn in making anything even the slightest bit better over the last thirty years ought to be an indication that these are not writers that intelligent people should pay any attention to. The idea that you can’t even consider the truth because it might confuse or distract you is so ridiculous – it only makes sense to old washed-up Marxists – that it does not merit a reply. Chomsky’s response to Senator Abourezk’s perception of Lobby pressure would no doubt be that the Senator’s brain has been clouded by a false consciousness caused by years of capitalist oppression. Senator Abourezk and his colleagues only think they are under immense Lobby pressure; really they are just capitalist running dogs working for the Establishment.
There is a distraction, but it is the other way around. The idea that the only possible solution to any problem is some kind of socialist revolution has made it impossible for ‘progressive’ analysts to use the political tools at hand to deal with conspiracy problems. The laws exist to find out who did the crimes, and it has always been possible to put the guilty parties in jail. If this had been done even once in the long series of conspiracies from the JFK assassination to September 11 and the Zionist war conspiracies which followed, the United States – not to mention its victims – wouldn’t be in the deep shit it is in now. While we wait for a glorious time when private profit is not put over people, a lot of these people are dying.