Chomsky on the Imperial Grand Strategy

Barry very kindly gave me Noam Chomsky’s new book Hegemony or Survival for Christmas. I started reading it last night, and reading it has rekindled my anger about the Bush administrations blatant abuse of power and disregard for international law and institutions in their persuit of what Chomsky terms the “Imperial Grand Strategy”.

I am only into the second chapter, but already it seems that Chomsky backs up my view (previously stated here) that the Iraq war was waged primarily because Iraq did not have the capability to defend itself, and that includes a identified lack of WMD.

On page 17 he notes:

“The target of preventive war must have several characteristics:

  1. It must be virtually defenseless.
  2. It must be important enough to be worth the trouble.
  3. There must be a way to portray it as the ultimate evil and an imminent threat to our survival.

Iraq qualified on all counts. …”

Further, on page 38:

“[The US] will enthusiastically march on to attack Iraq, because [the US knows] that it is devastated and defenseless; but North Korea, though an even worse tyranny and vastly more dangerous, is not an appropriate target as long as it can cause plenty of harm.”

He also backs up the idea that US actions in Iraq have accellerated weapons proliferation, a point I have also hinted at previously.

On page 38 again:

“As the year 2002 drew to a close, Washington was teaching an ugly lesson to the world: if you want to defend yourself from us, you had better mimic North Korea and pose a credible military threat, in this case, conventional: artillery aimed at Seoul and at US troops near the DMZ.”

It is interesting reading so far.