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Analyzes the forces that shape U.S. policy in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, as well as the role of the media in misreporting these policies and their motives.


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Analyzes the forces that shape U.S. policy in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, as well as the role of the media in misreporting these policies and their motives.

30 review for The Washington Connection & Third World Fascism (Political Economy of Human Rights, #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    sologdin

    Statement of purpose for this two-volume project: “It has a dual focus: on facts and on beliefs” (ix). The basic fact is that the United States has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states ruled mainly by terror and serving the interests of a small local and foreign business and military elite. The fundamental belief, or ideological pretense, is that the United States is dedicated to furthering the cause of democracy and human rights throughout the wo Statement of purpose for this two-volume project: “It has a dual focus: on facts and on beliefs” (ix). The basic fact is that the United States has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states ruled mainly by terror and serving the interests of a small local and foreign business and military elite. The fundamental belief, or ideological pretense, is that the United States is dedicated to furthering the cause of democracy and human rights throughout the world. (id.). That is all in fact basic and fundamental. Along with Manufacturing Consent, this set should be considered part of the core Chomsky writings. The main concern is how the US has “globalized the ‘banana republic’” (1), a “plague of neofascism.” This has proceeded through “interventions explicitly designed to preserve non-freedom from the threat of freedom […] and to displace democratic with totalitarian regimes” (3). Even though the US is the worst distributor of products in the global market for unlawful killing (inclusive of “the peasants of Indochina served as experimental animals for an evolving military technology” (3)), the majority of kenomatic development occurred under the US clientage system, a group of “subfascist” regimes, characterized by “most of the vicious characteristics of fascism [but] lacked the mass base that a Hitler or Mussolini could muster” (30). That is, the US client system, as an imposition by an imperialist, lacks “the degree of legitimacy of a genuine fascist regime” (id.), which regime normally is a rightwing populist movement indigenous to the state of its eruption. The principal axis of argumentation here is the analysis of the presentation of this subfascist system by the US imperial-oriented for-profit consciousness production industry, i.e., what Althusser might reference as the journalism ISA, and amply described otherwise by Bagdikian’s Media Monopoly, McChesney’s Rich Media, Poor Democracy, the writings of Michael Parenti, Project Censored, and so on. So, regarding subfascist crimes, the US media ISA has numerous strategies: distraction with emphasis on positive things, insistence that the US is a bystander, sleight of mind to refocus on alleged communist crimes, &c. (11 ff.). Very much a reply to Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago in the chapter “The Pentagon-CIA Archipelago” (41-83), with the principal comment: Even liberal commentators rarely focus on the systematic character of the US support for right wing terror regimes and the simple economic logic of the ‘Washington connection.’ This evasion may even be said to define the limits of permissible liberalism in the mass media—one may denounce torture in Chile and ‘death squads’ in Brazil, but (1) it is unacceptable to explain them as a result of official US policy and preference and as plausibly linked to US economic interests; and (2) it would be highly advisable even when merely denouncing subfascist terror to show ‘balance’ by denouncing Soviet and left terror in equally vigorous terms. […] Needless to say, a similar balance is not required in establishment and extreme right commentators. One rarely finds any criticism of Gulag Archipelago for balance as a picture of Soviet society and its evolution, let alone for its neglect of unpleasant aspects of the Free World. (78-79) Nice listings of CIA technique (assassination, mercenary conspiracy, political bribery, propaganda, ersatz protests, corruption of organizations, and so on (50 ff.). The objective is a “favorable investment climate” (53 et seq.), of course: “Democratic threats to the interests of foreign investors, such as a Philippines Supreme Court ruling prior to the 1972 coup prohibiting foreigners from owning land, or a Brazilian dispute over a mineral concession to Hanna Mining Company, or agrarian reform in Guatemala, or nationalization of oil in Iran, are expeditiously resolved in favor of the foreigner by dictators” (53). It must be made plain: “terror is not a fortuitous spinoff but has a functional relationship to investment climate” (54). The US can’t accomplish all of this on its own, which is why subfascist local clients are required; the process is “denationalization,” a process whereby the US might “virtually disregard the sovereignty of this large and theoretically independent country. The catch, of course, is that Brazil was not an independent country—US penetration was already enormous by the 1960s and US leaders acted as it they had a veto over Brazilian economic and foreign policy” (52); the leaders were denationalized insofar as they had “strong ties and dependency relations” (id.). The gallows humor moment here is that “a curious aspect of this massive subversion operation in a country such as Brazil is that it is not regarded as subversion. If the Cubans are found to provide weapons to insurgents in Venezuela such a discovery is given great publicity as evidence of Cuban perfidy” whereas “the subversion of Brazil by the United States in the years leading up to the coup of 1964 […] is the natural right of power—where domination is so taken for granted that the hegemonic power intervenes by inevitable and unquestioned authority” (52-53). Anyway, lotsa detail on these points. In this subfascist system, “the majority of the population is a means, not an end” (59). We should expect these processes to accelerate now, given the local result in recent US elections, the cruel conversion of labor forces in the so-called third world into mere agambenian instruments, zoe whose bodies are subject to the usage of capital, wherein violation of the categorical imperative is the default condition of possibility for the system. This system “flows naturally from control by denationalized elites in a system of suspended law and arbitrary privilege” (66)—which is to situate the US subfascist clientage system within the agambenian state of exception, a kenomatic state wherein the absence of law in the client is the arche of the law in the US. The argument thereafter develops three principal mechanisms that constitute the biopolitical management of the subfascist system: “benign terror” (85 ff.), “constructive terror” (205 ff.), and “bloodbaths” (299 ff.). In “atrocities management” (97), the first step is that the imperialist insists on a zone of indistinction between “civil rights workers and bomb-throwers” (93) in order to throw legitimate protest in with unauthorized violence. The manager thereafter institutes “permanent counterrevolution” such that “the indiscriminate violence puts into operation a feedback process of ‘communist creation’ that affords the intervention legitimacy in the eyes of imperial power” (99), the creation, i.e., of a state of exception that runs parallel to and thereby supersedes the rule of constitutional order. Examples of benign terror (about which “attitudes in the United States have been characterized mainly by sheer indifference” (105)) include East Pakistan in 1971 (105 ff.) (which has been estimated variously to have involved anywhere from 300,000 to 3,000,000 civilians massacred); Burundi in 1972 (250,000 massacred) (106 ff.); Native Americans in Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil (millions dead?) (109 ff.); East Timor in 1975 (100,000 killed?) (129 ff.)—much detail on this last. Instances of 'constructive terror,' by contrast, “contribute substantially to a favorable investment climate” (205), and typically involve systematic torture, arbitrary imprisonment, death squads, permanent counterrevolution, and so on. Examples studied herein are: Indonesia 1965 (205 ff.), with its 500,000+ leftists killed; Thailand after WWII (218 ff.), which became a US “landlocked aircraft carrier” (223); the Philippines (230 ff.), wherein the “democratic façade was suspended under Marcos in 1972”; the Dominican Republic (242 ff.) in the 1960s; Argentina (264 ff.); Uruguay (270 ff.); Guatemala (274 ff.); Nicaragua (283 ff.); El Salvador (296 ff.), and so on. The last section, on “bloodbaths,” concerns Vietnam, which, under the Vietnamization doctrine, “became the ultimate satellite—the pure negative, built on anti-communism, violence, and external sustenance” (328). The first sort of bloodbath is “constructive,” by the French colonialist or the Diem regime, supportive of favorable investment climate (300 ff.). The US direct assault is the “primary bloodbath” in this narrative, no doubt (304); “The number of civilian casualties inflicted on South Vietnam is unknown, but is very likely underestimated by the Senate Subcommittee on Refugees at 400,000 dead, 900,000 wounded and 6.4 million turned into refugees” (312). The “mythical bloodbath” concludes the volume, i.e., massacres long predicted by the rightwing to result from a communist victory in Vietnam, or allegations of leftwing crimes during the US invasion. The analysis disputes the rightwing narrative that Hanoi killed millions of persons during land reform in the 1950s (341 ff.); it’s an effective presentation. The Hue massacre is likewise brushed against the grain (345 ff.), with success. Much of the import here is the attempt by the US to use exaggerated or fabricated atrocities to recover its imperial authority after the failure of the unlawful armed attack against three sovereign states. Volume II will resume this thread. Good stuff overall, though now nearly 40 years out of current, which does not vitiate its political critique. As preparatory for analysis of Volume II, we conclude by noting the insistence upon the atrocities in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, which are acknowledged (20 ff.) as the constant pretense that the horrors of Cambodia are being ignored except for the few courageous voices that seek to pierce the silence, or that some great conflict was raging about the question of whether or not there have been atrocities in Cambodia. […] By September 1977, condemnation of Cambodian atrocities, covering the full political spectrum with the exception of some Maoist groups, had reached a level and scale that has rarely been matched. (20) Recommended, no doubt.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Steece, Jr.

    Chomsky and Herman are at the absolute top of their game here, witty, sardonic, and ruthless. They paint a chilling picture of the postwar world, with America protecting her national interests by exporting "sub-fascism" ("sub" because classic fascism at least had some kind of popular support) to inept, sadistic dictators and then looking away as these petty Hitlers repress and occasionally exterminate their people. The authors' examples are shamefully obscure; many have not even heard of Indones Chomsky and Herman are at the absolute top of their game here, witty, sardonic, and ruthless. They paint a chilling picture of the postwar world, with America protecting her national interests by exporting "sub-fascism" ("sub" because classic fascism at least had some kind of popular support) to inept, sadistic dictators and then looking away as these petty Hitlers repress and occasionally exterminate their people. The authors' examples are shamefully obscure; many have not even heard of Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in '75, but here they spend 200 pages on the issue. It serves as a much needed corrective, as does the entire book. One of the most revealing parts was the section on the 20th Century genocide of the Ache indians in Paraguay and the terrifying, disgusting fundamentalist missionaries aiding and abetting in the extermination. We meet Jack Stolz of the New Tribes Mission who buys and sells the Ache as slaves and makes good money doing it. We hear descriptions of Death Camps that are compared to those run by the Nazis, and is it left wing activists saying this? No, its highly respected anthropologists who had only been in Paraguay to study the Ache when they discovered they were the target of a genocide. Before "The Washington Connection," I had never even heard of the Ache indians. That alone is reason enough to recommend this monumental work. I can't wait to read the second volume.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Jackson

    Very much a product of its time, this book is long-winded and relies very heavily on evidence that directly contradicts the official US government reports regarding third world nations, coups, and dictatorships. While this sort of extensive, brutal research must have been necessary at the book's initial release (1979-1980), the decidedly wordy history lessons and political-economic descriptions and explanations of third world nations is now a dated mode of research and discussion. That being said Very much a product of its time, this book is long-winded and relies very heavily on evidence that directly contradicts the official US government reports regarding third world nations, coups, and dictatorships. While this sort of extensive, brutal research must have been necessary at the book's initial release (1979-1980), the decidedly wordy history lessons and political-economic descriptions and explanations of third world nations is now a dated mode of research and discussion. That being said, I think this book would be good for anyone who is not familiar, or barely familiar, with the actual goings-on of US involvement in third world takeovers, particularly in regards to Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. South American countries are discussed in the first half of the book, but a better descriptive history is given to Indochina (as the authors refer to it). I plan to read volume two, but I think that's going to happen a few weeks - if not a few months - from now.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Domhnall

    Chomsky has a remarkable and enviable ability to describe foul behaviour in a way that remains both factual – with ample supporting evidence – and calm. It is possible to read this without being overwhelmed by the sheer evil and cynicism of the behaviour described but it is not easy. Post-War history is very strange and often makes no sense, because so much of it is not true. Most of us assume that World War II was fought to put a stop to fascism, but in Asia and Latin America especially, the fa Chomsky has a remarkable and enviable ability to describe foul behaviour in a way that remains both factual – with ample supporting evidence – and calm. It is possible to read this without being overwhelmed by the sheer evil and cynicism of the behaviour described but it is not easy. Post-War history is very strange and often makes no sense, because so much of it is not true. Most of us assume that World War II was fought to put a stop to fascism, but in Asia and Latin America especially, the fact is that fascism won. What the U.S. has done with its immense military and economic power since the conclusion of World War II has been to wage a continuous military and economic war against peasants across the globe, on behalf of unrepresentative, fascistic tyrannies and ruthless corporations extracting resources and wealth from Third World economies. How was it possible, for example, for the U.S. to be defeated in the Vietnam War? The answer rather depends on what you imagine this war was about and who were the enemy. No it was not a war against the Communists of North Vietnam, nor even a proxy war against Chinese Communism. It was a war against the peasants of South Vietnam, and its objective was to impose and maintain a puppet regime that was grotesquely corrupt, depressingly incompetent, horribly vicious, and utterly lacking in political roots. The more the U.S. protected its fascistic puppets the more the people hated them and the more they were punished for failing to submit to their own destruction. As the Americans faced defeat, the level of punishment inflicted on the people escalated obscenely. It is a foul and unacceptable model of behaviour that the U.S. has replicated many times, with variations on a theme. The rest is just a few quotes. ...the U.S. leadership knew from its earliest involvement that the Communists in Vietnam were the only political movement with mass popular support and that the faction it supported was a foreign implant. (Diem, in fact, was imported from the United States.) Joseph Buttinger, an early advisor to Diem and one of his most outspoken advocates in the 1950s, contends that the designation “fascist” is inappropriate for Diem because, although his regime had most of the vicious characteristics of fascism, he lacked the mass base that a Hitler or Mussolini could muster. ...Henceforth in this book we will use the term “subfascist” as an appropriate designation for the members of the system of U.S.- sponsored client fascist states. [p33,34] The U.S. assault on the Indochinese was quite consciously undertaken to smash them into submission to minority, subfascist agents chosen by the U.S. government. By a reasonable use of familiar terms this was plain aggression. If the facts were faced and international law and elementary morality were operational, thousands of U.S. politicians and military planners would be regarded as candidates for Nuremberg type trials. And the United States would be paying reparations proportionate to the vast destruction it caused. [p34] The words “terror” and “terrorism” have become semantic tools of the powerful in the Western world. In their dictionary meaning, these words refer to “intimidation” by the “systematic use of violence” as a means of both governing and opposing existing governments. But current Western usage has restricted the sense, on purely ideological grounds, to the retail violence of those who oppose the established order. Throughout the Vietnam War these words were restricted to the use of violence in resistance to regimes so lacking in indigenous support that Joseph Buttinger rejects General Lansdale’s own designation “fascistic” as too complimentary. The essence of U.S. policy in South Vietnam, and elsewhere in Indochina, was intimidation by virtually unrestrained violence against the peasant population. [p97] Wholesale violence by fascist client states is not terrorism. [p108] Bernard Fall, writing in the early 1960s, raised the same question and provided a partial answer: “Why is it that we must use top-notch elite forces, the cream of the crop of American, British, French or Australian commando and special warfare schools, armed with the very best that advanced technology can provide, to defeat Viet-Minh, Algerians or Malay ‘C.T.s’ (Chinese terrorists), almost none of whom can lay claim to similar expert training, and only in the rarest of cases to equality in firepower? / The answer is very simple. It takes all the technical proficiency our system can provide to make up for the woeful lack of popular support and political savvy of most of the regimes that the West has thus far sought to prop up.” [p118] Since the generals sponsoring the National Security Doctrine have been nurtured by and dependent on the U.S. military – intelligence establishment, and look to the United States as the heartland of anti-Communism and Freedom, it is little wonder that the economic doctrinal counterpart to the NSD is quite congenial to the interests of multinational business. The military juntas have adopted a “free enterprise – bind growth” model, on the alleged geopolitical rationale that growth means power, disregarding the fact the dependent growth means foreign power... in the economics of client fascism, that is, National Security Economics, the welfare of the masses is no longer a system objective – the masses become a cost of goods sold, something to be minimised – so that although the military juntas sometimes speak of long run benefits trickling down to the lower orders, ths is really an after-thought and not to be taken seriously. [pp287, 288] ... since the world is one of good and evil, with “no room for comfortable neutralism” (Pinochet, echoing a familiar refrain of his U.S. mentor), and since free enterprise-growth-profits-USA are good, anybody challenging these concepts or their consequences is ipso facto a Communist-subversive-enemy. ... It also means that any resistance to business power and privilege in the interests of equity, or on the basis of an alternative view of desirable social ends or means, is a National Security and police problem. This applies to such organisations as peasant leagues, unions, student organizations or community or political groupings that might afford protection to the weak or threaten to become a political counterforce to elite domination.[p288] ...the definition of a “terrorist” offered by President Videla: “a terrorist is not just someone with a gun or a bomb, but also someone who spreads ideas that are contrary to Western and Christian civilizations.” (London Times, 4 January 1978.) The general deserves full marks for honesty at least. [p303] Summarizing his investigation of U.S. police operations in Latin America, Langguth writes: “...the main exporter of cold war ideas, the principal source of the belief that dissent must be crushed by every means and any means, has been the United States. Our indoctrination of foreign troops provided a justification for torture in the jail cells of Latin America. First in the Inter-American Police Academy in Panama, then at the more ambitious International Police Academy in Washington, foreign policemen were taught that in the war against international communism they were “the first line of defence.” ... The U.S. training turned already conservative men into political reactionaries.” ... After the students have graduated they can still benefit from the assistance of U.S. advisors and international coordination that becomes useful when, for example, Uruguayan dissidents are to be assassinated by “death squads” that operate with impunity in Argentina. [p309] Nicaragua ... sends the entire annual graduating class of its military academy for a full year of training at the U.S. Army School of the Americas in the Panama Canal Zone, ... the Nicaraguan military has wiped out whole districts on the convenient pretext of guerrilla collaboration. [pp325, 326] Robert (‘Blowtorch’) Komer who was in charge of the “other war,” cheerfully reported in early 1967 that ‘we are grinding the enemy down by sheer weight and mass’ in what he correctly perceived as a “revolutionary, largely political conflict,” though he never drew the obvious conclusions that follow from these conjoined observations. Komer went on to recommend, rationally enough from the point of view of a major war criminal, that the United States must ‘step up refugee programs deliberately aimed at depriving the VC of a recruiting base” (his emphasis). Thus , the United States could deprive the enemy of what the Combined Campaign Plan 1967 identifies as its “greatest asset”, namely, “the people.”[p352] By the standards applied at the trials of Axis war criminals after World War II, the entire U.S. command and the civilian leadership would have been hanged for the execution of this policy of discriminating use of firepower. My Lai was indeed an aberration, but primarily in the matter of disclosure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Minton

    Sometimes at work, I will listen to the Democracy Now! headlines. The show is about an hour long and the news is a straightforward, unabridged version of key events. If we compare them to the daily headlines I read in the NYT or NPR Morning Edition’s, there are some...er...differences. It isn’t that Democracy Now! is too partisan - NYT and NPR can hardly be denied a partisan standing - rather Democracy Now! is not gunning to entertain with the news. The charge that it is radical is as much from Sometimes at work, I will listen to the Democracy Now! headlines. The show is about an hour long and the news is a straightforward, unabridged version of key events. If we compare them to the daily headlines I read in the NYT or NPR Morning Edition’s, there are some...er...differences. It isn’t that Democracy Now! is too partisan - NYT and NPR can hardly be denied a partisan standing - rather Democracy Now! is not gunning to entertain with the news. The charge that it is radical is as much from form as it is content. It is devoid of any band profiles or stories about cupcake stores and at the same time, it doesn’t spare any details when describing death and destruction taking place across the globe. It should surprise no one that Noam Chomsky gives regular interviews almost exclusively to Democracy Now. Reading Part One of the Washington Connection it is easy to see that Noam Chomsky is not out to entertain. Like Democracy Now, he and his co-author are in the business of speaking truth to power, often contradicting the official government and mainstream media’s version of events with specialists and primary sources. This is truly important work and it comes with a great risk of being wrong (any right-winger worth their salt will remind you that Chomsky denied Cambodian genocide for fourteen years). It is also very difficult to read, and I’m not just talking about density. Chomsky takes on the mainstream media, the United States Military, and public officials of all kinds, breaking US involvement with 3rd world fascism down into benign and constructive terror. Since World War II, our foreign policy of intervention has either been benign, where we allow tyrannical regimes to carry out atrocity because we get 80% of our coffee supply from them (like in Burundi) or it is constructive, in which case we supply anything from weapons (like in Indonesia) to ground troops and bombing campaigns (like in Vietnam) to protect our business interests/investment opportunities and those of our allies. I certainly don’t believe that history, politics, or current events have to be packaged in a fun and entertaining way, but the depth of cover up and propaganda that Chomsky claims is staggering. Many of the reports he refutes - outside of maybe Vietnam - are still officially on the record, it is way easier to believe these accounts than it is to acknowledge the conspiracy that Chomsky is trying to demonstrate. Many would love for Chomsky to be wrong both factually and morally, even those who would likely be sympathetic to his leftist message, simply because it would allow us to continue living in a world where our elected officials aren’t partnering with major corporations to perpetuate the conditions of a necessary (for capitalism) underclass around the word.These people especially should be reading the Washington Connection if only to ask the pivotal question: “what if he’s right?”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Starasia

    I was assigned this book in college, and it completely opened my eyes to the truth about our government’s horrific foreign policies, rooted in greed, and why so many people around the world hate us. If you want to be truly woke, you must read this book. Question everything!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ollie

    For being such a controversial writer, Chomsky’s writings have been surprisingly easy to obtain. After all, this isn’t soviet Russia we’re living in. That’s why one of the most surprising aspects of the Washington Connection is the very beginning where the authors detail exactly how this book was suppressed by its parent company due to its “unpatriotic” content. Of course, as an avid Chomsky reader my mouth started to water at the juicy bits to come in this book, but as with most of Chomsky’s wr For being such a controversial writer, Chomsky’s writings have been surprisingly easy to obtain. After all, this isn’t soviet Russia we’re living in. That’s why one of the most surprising aspects of the Washington Connection is the very beginning where the authors detail exactly how this book was suppressed by its parent company due to its “unpatriotic” content. Of course, as an avid Chomsky reader my mouth started to water at the juicy bits to come in this book, but as with most of Chomsky’s writing, he veers very little off the path he’s been traversing over the decades. The man is nothing if not consistent on many accounts. The focus in the Washington Connection is simple: as far as third worlds are concerned, the US will only support governments that are advantageous to its position in the world, and this happens to be fascist or “proto-fascist” leadership. The usual suspects are covered here like Indochina, South America, Nicaragua and a very exhaustive analysis on East Timor, with actual background information for context. Of course, the US will play the position of the “humanitarian” while backing torture and death squads in the antagonized country, exaggerating and downright fabricating shortcomings on the other side, especially if it’s a communist or left-leaning institution. Here the role of the CIA for destabilization purposes has been instrumental. The Washington Connection also has the benefit of being a more thorough analysis of this frequent phenomenon and Chomsky and Herman pick apart at the seams, blowing the whole thing wide open. The details just keep coming from all sides. As such, there are so many facts to deal with that it’s impossible to absorb everything in a single read. Considering the scope of this book and the dryness of its content, that’s more of a compliment than you realize.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andsoitgoes

    Third World subfascism has come home to take firm roots in my rural U.S. home town and likely many of yours. Wish I had read this book decades earlier. The international capitalists and their paid operatives are here, in the land of so-called liberty, to pick our bones and turn us into their paying subjects. Too many of us are not aware, refuse to see, or are distracted by idle and useless bobbles and discourse. There is only one issue - avoiding slavery and dependence. This book is a must read. Third World subfascism has come home to take firm roots in my rural U.S. home town and likely many of yours. Wish I had read this book decades earlier. The international capitalists and their paid operatives are here, in the land of so-called liberty, to pick our bones and turn us into their paying subjects. Too many of us are not aware, refuse to see, or are distracted by idle and useless bobbles and discourse. There is only one issue - avoiding slavery and dependence. This book is a must read. Who knew freedom was so elusive and fragile. Chomsky and Herman did. They explain in detail how freedom is lost. All that is needed from us is our complacency and cooperation, even better, our greed and gullibility. This 1979 work on third world fascism, exact as any, describes our U.S. reality of today. The vultures are home to roost and feed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wagner

    Another fantastic early Chomsky work. This book and its sequel lay the foundation for the argument later famously articulated in Manufacturing Consent. Herman and Chomsky begin their breakdown analysis of US support of regimes which match if not exceed the moral barbarity and body counts of the worse actors on the opposite side of the Cold War. Using examples such as Indonesia invading East Timor, and various regimes throughout Latin America this work gives an excellent counter point for much of Another fantastic early Chomsky work. This book and its sequel lay the foundation for the argument later famously articulated in Manufacturing Consent. Herman and Chomsky begin their breakdown analysis of US support of regimes which match if not exceed the moral barbarity and body counts of the worse actors on the opposite side of the Cold War. Using examples such as Indonesia invading East Timor, and various regimes throughout Latin America this work gives an excellent counter point for much of the jingoistic cold war literature.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Haws

    Chomsky may be the sterling example of an academic transcending the limits of his discipline. Always insightful, the tone feels a little more snarky (no need to gild the lily here) than I associate with Chomsky, and may be attributed to the co-author (I suspect the principal author) or to my having listened to the book on Audible, rather than reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Husayn Nguyen

    Marg bar amrika.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nate Bloch

    This is a very dry, statistics driven volume with no through-line, narrative, or overarching thesis, which is to say, it's a Noam Chomsky book. This is a very dry, statistics driven volume with no through-line, narrative, or overarching thesis, which is to say, it's a Noam Chomsky book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Hall

    U.S. imperial military complex go brrrr

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    It's like an onslaught of horrific, relentless insight. It becomes difficult to retain, as there is so much to absorb leaving you drunk with terror. It's like an onslaught of horrific, relentless insight. It becomes difficult to retain, as there is so much to absorb leaving you drunk with terror.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't stop touching my sore tooth for Chomsky. I know there's other folks I should be looking into, but I just keep coming back to this guy. He just has a coherence to his explanation of things that are hard to debate. You would ultimately have to challenge the things he leaves out of his argument, or criticize his small nitpicky ideas. It doesn't seem to take a whole lot of logic to figure out that world governments use morality as a jingoistic tool and that most social/political relations ar I can't stop touching my sore tooth for Chomsky. I know there's other folks I should be looking into, but I just keep coming back to this guy. He just has a coherence to his explanation of things that are hard to debate. You would ultimately have to challenge the things he leaves out of his argument, or criticize his small nitpicky ideas. It doesn't seem to take a whole lot of logic to figure out that world governments use morality as a jingoistic tool and that most social/political relations are under the arbitrary thumb of law, power, the propaganda system, etc. He isn't strictly out to expose American scandals. But given the overwhelming influence of America on world policy, they are important issues to elucidate. They are of pressing importance because he IS American and is exposed to the American system on a daily basis. In this book, he takes an outsiders view of the world as it actually was in the 60's/70's...under the wheels of the United States gravy train. His argument doesn't necessarily pit United States villainy against the villainy of other nations. He simply exposes the political/militant relationships via the inherent structure of the world economy; primarily U.S. dominated. If morality means anything, then Chomsky is on the right track. If morality is meaningless, then he gives a good analysis of predatory power. I think he uses morality as a gauge of true suffering; of horrible realities most can't even imagine. It is here that his anarchistic worldview gets contextually inserted...but I think for the sake of certain arguments he doesn't always propose solutions. In most of his books, he simply debunks myths and conventional wisdoms. He is very straightforward. Here's what the media/state said, here's what they ignored, here's where they lied, here's where they contradicted themselves, and here's what actually happened. Again, I don't think it takes a Noam Chomsky to understand the truth as far as we know it. He is a skilled debater and the extent of his "cult of personality" really manifests through a darkly comical sarcasm. A lot of what he talks about can be cited from the New York Times. I don't view him as the demagogue as I once did. He just makes good arguments. He's a depressing, but important read. Oh yeah...Edward Herman...he rocks too. Hahaha.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Listened on audiobook, narrated by Brian Jones. As always, Chomsky methodically rips apart official accounts and cites a number of reliable sources to get to the painful truth of things. The United States owes the world a great deal of atonement.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David

    brilliant, boring as all chomsky books really are, book that changed the direction of my life in 1981.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dave Hazzan

    One of Chomsky and Hermann's most important works. One of Chomsky and Hermann's most important works.

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Millard

    I read this one in college. While eye opening it also seemed to be very repetitive going over the same ideas about East Timor. Maybe it was too complex for my first book by Noam.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matteo

    An old book, but it still makes for sobering reading today.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Danny Colligan

    Awesome!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kent

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julian Batz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Nauss

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shin Furuya

  28. 5 out of 5

    William

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  30. 5 out of 5

    PatrickBateman’s Toilet

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