Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Dear Mr. Lockard:

In your review of Noam Chomsky's 9/11 you wrote, "They did so for their own reasons, apparently religio-cultural xenophobia, and certainly not out of compassion for the struggles of other peoples for self-determination. "

If you had taken the time you could have found out what the motives actually were. The terrorism we face is a matter of life and death and it is a necessity to do the research into why these things are happening.

The FBI testified as to motive before the Senate. As any criminal investigator they looked at what bin Laden has actually said. What is provoking the terrorism is not complicated and bin Laden has explained it many times for several years: Opposition to U.S. military forces in the Persian gulf area, most notably Saudi Arabia, U.S. support of corrupt Middle Eastern countries, U.S. support for Israel’s brutal occupation and the ongoing assault on civilians in Iraq.

Your assertion about what they "certainly" didn't attack us because of compassion for the struggles of other peoples for self-determination is unnecessary demonization. The fact is horrible wrongs are being carried by U.S. foreign polices and it is arrogant to think it is not possible that people could be reacting to this fact. When you wrong peoples you can't expect to dictate how some will respond, even if their responce is wrong. Yes bin Laden wants a certain form of Islamic rule but he uses a braod appeal to very real and very legitimate grievances and in so doing gains support from even those that may not want exactly the version of government he seeks to estabish in the Muslim world.

Nat Turner convinced several other blacks to engage in terrorism, killing dozens of whites. It would be dishonest not to admit the role slavery had in motivating these blacks to do what they did. It was an example of two wrongs. But it is important to keep in mind that to claim that these blacks did it becsue they were religious freaks is dishonest. It would be manipulative to claim that all these blacks believed in Nat Turners "signs from God" and that a religious and "anti-white" motive was all there was to it. Today I think we can see clearly that the wrongs of slavery were the motivating reasons for Nat Turner and his fellow terrorist's terrorism. And we can see that it is possible for two wrongs to take place.

Every time I read an article that doesn't acknowledge that President Bush had the audacity to lie to America about why we were attacked, I am reminded just how extreme the political environment is in America today.

The bottom line is Bush lied to America about why we were attacked. Representative Press (you will find a link to the FBI's testimony there) The corrupt polices (a case of two wrongs) are kept safe from public scrutiny by a President who prefers to feed the public a huge lie (so that people don't question what it is they are being put in harm's way for)

From what I remember, the book 9/11 wasn't the best presentation of Chomsky's analysis (although it was good) I suggest you read more of Chomsky because what he says makes sense here is a page I transcribed, it includes a link to the whole audio interview with Chomsky. Here is a key part of it:

Dick Gordon: But you do that from a very clinical academic point of view.

Noam Chomsky: It’s not academic. I don’t want to have other terrorist atrocities in the United States. And if you want to reduce terrorist atrocities, if you’re even sane, the first thing you do is look at their causes. If you don’t want to look at their causes you’ll just increase the atrocities. I mean that’s just elementary, there’s nothing academic about it. I mean that’s for my grandchildren. I don’t want them to be attacked. So therefore I want to know the reasons why things like this happen. If we want to know the reasons why things like this happen we are going to have to search the record. And there we will find the reasons.

As I had started to say, you can go back 40 years and find President Eisenhower talking about the campaign of hatred against us in the Middle East and you’ll find the National Security council giving the reasons. People in the region perceive the United States, rightly they say, as supporting oppressive harsh governments which block democracy and development and doing it because we want control of their oil resources. You can find the same things when the Wall Street Journal does analyses of opinion there today. Yeah, we caught to pay attention to that.