vrijdag 3 oktober 2008

Noam Chomsky 27

'Chomsky: "The Majority of the World Supports Iran"
By Subrata Ghoshroy, AlterNet. Posted October 3, 2008.

In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview, Chomsky discusses the global politics of Iran's and India's attempts to become nuclear powers. On Wednesday night, in a vote of 86 to 13, the U.S. Senate passed a historic nuclear deal with that will allow the United States to trade with India in nuclear equipment and technology, and to supply India with nuclear fuel for its power reactors. The deal is considered hugely consequential by its supporters and opponents alike -- and a significant victory for the Bush administration.
Last month, Subrata Ghoshroy, a researcher in the Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, met with Noam Chomsky in his office at MIT, where he is the institute professor of linguistics. "Before we started our discussion," Ghoshroy writes, "Professor Chomsky asked me to give him a little background information. I told him that I was researching missile defense, space weapons and the U.S.-India nuclear deal." Ghoshroy is a longtime critic of the U.S. missile defense program and a former analyst at the Government Accountability Office who in 2006 blew the whistle on the failure -- and attempted cover-up -- of a key component of the program: a $26 billion weapon system that was the "centerpiece" of the Bush administration's antimissile plan.
Ghoshroy and Chomsky discussed the then-pending nuclear deal, which would sanction trade hitherto prohibited by U.S. and international laws because of India's refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear tests it conducted in 1998. Ghoshroy has written several articles criticizing the U.S.-India deal as a triumph of the business lobby -- an assessment Chomsky agreed with. He said that Condoleezza Rice is actually on record admitting what is truly behind this deal, which he characterized as a "non-proliferation disaster."
Ghoshroy's subsequent conversation with Chomsky touched on a number of interweaving topics, including: India and the importance of the non-aligned movement; the myths of free trade and the so-called "success" of neoliberalism; Washington's historic opposition to promote new world economic and information orders; Latin America's growing independence; the West's hypocrisy over Iran's nuclear program -- and MIT's ironic role in it during the shah's regime; and, finally, U.S. elections and the prospects for change.
The result is a two-part interview, the second of which will run on AlterNet tomorrow. Part One begins with India, the Non-Aligned Movement, and why a "majority of the world supports Iran." (The Non-Aligned Movement, which consists of some 115 or more representatives of "developing countries," originated at the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, which was convened mainly by newly independent former colonies from Africa and Asia to develop joint policies in international relations. Jawaharlal Nehru, then India's prime minister, led the conference. There, "Third World" leaders shared their similar problems of resisting the pressures of the major powers, maintaining their independence and opposing colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially Western domination. India continued its vigorous participation and leadership role in NAM until the end of the Cold War. For further reading, visit the NAM Web site.)
***
Subrata Ghoshroy: (Comparing India) with the situation in Latin America, there is a lot more explicit stance (in Latin America) against imperialism and toward independence.
Noam Chomsky: It exists (in India), but I think that India should be in the lead, as it was in the l950s when it was in the lead in the non-aligned movement.
SG: This is the tension in the Indian situation. The Indian government, the Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, they think NAM is anachronistic and a relic of the Cold War.
NC: I think that they are quite wrong. I think that it is a sign of the future. The positions of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the South Commission before it, and alongside of it, are pretty sound. A good indication of how sound they are is they are almost entirely suppressed in the West, which tells you a lot.
Take the question of Iranian enrichment. The U.S, of course, takes a militant position against it, which is kind of ironic because the same officials who are now having tantrums about it are the ones who supported the same programs under the shah. MIT is right at the center of that; I can remember in the l970s there was an internal crisis at MIT when the institute authorities pretty much sold the nuclear engineering department to the shah in a secret agreement. The agreement was that the Nuclear Engineering Department would bring in Iranian nuclear engineers, and in return, the shah would provide some unspecified -- but presumably large -- amount of money to MIT. When (this was) leaked, there was a lot of student protest and a student referendum -- something like 80 percent of students were opposed to it. There was so much turmoil, the faculty had to have a large meeting. Usually faculty meetings are pretty boring things; nobody wants to go. But this one, pretty much everybody came to it. There was a big discussion. It was quite interesting. There were a handful of people, of whom I was one, who opposed the agreement with the shah. But it passed overwhelmingly. It was quite striking that the faculty vote was the exact opposite of the student vote, which tells you something quite interesting, because the faculty are the students of yesterday, but the shift in institutional commitment had a major impact on their judgments -- a wrong impact, in my opinion. Anyway, it went through. Probably the people running the Iranian program today were trained at MIT. The strongest supporters of this U.S.-Iranian nuclear program were Henry Kissinger, Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.'


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