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View Diary: Apparently, You Can't Filibuster Incompetence (127 comments)

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  •  Sorry, but that's just not true (none)
    Chomsky has persistently said one thing about authoritarianism, and then done something different.  He is "objectively pro-authoritarian".

    Largely, this is because he has made a career of hyperbolic allegations against the United States and Israel.  Inevitably, the overwhelming majority of these allegations prove to be false (millions dead of starvation in Afghanistan, anyone?), but he lives on the tiny minority which others show to be true, or, at least, not entirely without merit.

    There's a name for that approach -- it's a classic form of populist demagoguery.  In the United States, you can see it in Bryant, in Coughlin, in McCarthy, and, in Dobson, and, yes, in Chomsky.  

    •  nope (none)
      I wrote two sentences, both of which are unassailably true.
    •  Actually, Chomsky said (none)
         that 3-4 million were likely to starve over that winter if the US continued its polcies there, and that was based on the statements that the appropriate international humanitarian organizations were making at the time (that the US bombing campaign and the chaotic situation it created were making it impossible to get food to the people). True, they did up making a herculean effort and saving all those lives...but at the time Chomsky made his statement, they didn't think they could do it:

      Relief officials say 1.5 million Afghans will starve by winter's end if they do not receive immediate assistance. At least one dozen Christian aid agencies have entered Afghanistan or wait at the border to help 2 million displaced people in the nation. Officials say another 3 million needy Afghans reside in bordering countries.
        "We're scrambling to get shelters in place before people start dying," says Cael Coleman of Shelter Now International (SNI).

      Bombing Halt Now or Mass Starvation by Thanksgiving?  

      WASHINGTON - October 29 -

      Research director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, Zaidi is Pakistani. CESR has produced three comprehensive fact sheets on Afghanistan since September 11. She said today: "Relief officials on the ground are warning that millions -- literally millions -- of Afghan civilians will starve to death this winter unless the U.S. military suspends its attacks and allows the UN to re-establish effective food distribution."

      Spokesperson for Christian Aid, Nutt recently arrived in London from Islamabad. He said today: "The simple fact is that less than 20 percent of what needs to is getting into Afghanistan and even less is getting distributed. The only way to deal with this is to have a pause in the bombing to stockpile food for the winter. The UN is estimating that 7.5 million people need food aid. People are starving now in some areas, according to our source of information from within Afghanistan. It was actually starting when I was in Afghanistan this August -- in Herat and Ghor Province. Every village I went to had been affected by drought. Camps were having deaths from hunger and hunger-related diseases. There are coping mechanisms, but after three years of drought they run out -- people have eaten the seed stock. About 85 percent of the people live in rural communities -- the roads are bad enough when the weather is good, you can't get food to those rural areas in the winter. It's going to get worse and worse; you could see entire villages wiped out.
           "Can't you wait four weeks for us to feed millions of innocent people at risk of starvation?"


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