Humans Are Destroying Themselves: Noam Chomsky

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Picture: John Soares (www.johnsoares.com) (CC)

Jana El Hassan writes at the Daily Star:

“Human beings are destroying themselves,” said luminary Noam Chomsky, warning that unrest in Syria could turn into a Sunni-Shiite conflict that would spread to the whole region and eventually lead to a global war.

“I aspire for a world in which my grandchildren can live in peace and I do not see that happening anytime soon. I think that if someone is watching us from Mars right now, he would be thinking that human beings are destroying themselves just like Syria is destroying itself,” Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist and anti-war activist, told The Daily Star.

Although he admitted that the demands of the Syrian people for a better life at the beginning of their uprising in March 2011 were “justified,” Chomsky said that the war-torn country is now heading towards “suicide.”

“The protests were entirely justified, the people could not have predicted that there will be this brutal response, and once the brutal response took place it was almost inevitable to help turning it into a militarized uprising, he said.

“The country is heading toward suicide, it is destroying itself and it is very dangerous. … The only slim hope that I can see is the Geneva-style negotiated solution, although its prospects are very limited.”

Chomsky also said that the military involvement of Hezbollah in Syria is only going to make things worse, and increase the threat of turning the conflict into a sectarian one.

“The Sunni-Shiite conflict which was exasperated by the U.S. invasion of Iraq is now spreading to the whole region, and it is splitting it in two, and that is murderous, he said.

“What is happening in Syria is part of it. I mean it was an effort to achieve more democracy through peaceful means and it was crushed brutally and became more militarized.”

“Any kind of militarization is going to widen that conflict,” he added in reference to the growing military role of Lebanon’s Hezbollah in Syria unrest.

However, Chomsky seemed more optimistic about the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt.

“It was a spring. I think it achieved something, it achieved something not insignificant – mainly in Tunisia and Egypt there are gains and maybe permanent ones, there is more freedom of speech and freedom of press,” he said.

But he added: “The major aims were not achieved [and] the economic policies of the government [did not change]. I also think the people do not want the Muslim brothers in power.”

He also said that the Muslim Brothers will not stay in power for long because they will “fail to deal with the problems that led to the uprising against the earlier regime.

“They are following the same policies [although they are] not as repressive. The Arab Spring is kind of on hold but I think it will break out again.”

Chomsky also said that there is a “serious conflict throughout the region between the Islamic forces of various complexions and the secular population which wants a different path.”

Read more here.

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  • Reasor

    The Shiite v. Sunni nature of the Syrian conflict is something that should be brought up more often when the news covers the war.

    One of the war’s more farcical aspects is the fact that the rebels which the US government is now arming will be, if they succeed, a Shiite government allied with Iran. Washington appears to have collectively convinced themselves that it’s possible to create a Shiite government that will owe us its gratitude, in what will most likely turn out to be a reenactment of the snake story from Natural Born Killers.

    • Jocelyn Mini

      Your are mistaken. The current government is allied with Iran and Hezbollah. The rebels, if they succeed, will most likely be allies with al Qaida and the extremist Sunni leaders of the wealthy Gulf states.

    • emperorreagan

      Washington continuously convinces itself that groups that are ideologically strongly opposed to the US & its policies will somehow see the light eventually…rather than just milking the US for aid and using said aid towards goals wholly opposed by the Americans.

      Others do it too, of course – the US is just the obvious one for those of us with a Western & US bias. It really seems to be one of the defining characteristics of the era of organized intelligence services.

    • BuzzCoastin

      you’re giving the U.S. government too much credit
      it’s not a thinking organization
      it’s a collection of disparet interests
      all fighting for money & control

      the end result will be more weapon sales
      and more wars
      which is just what the Carlye Group/MIBC needs

      • Reasor

        The use of “Washington” as an umbrella term for the people who employ the lobbyists who in turn employ our elected officials comes as a given. We wouldn’t want the petroleum cartels to feel left out of the discussion.

    • Tom

      Unfortunately you have it wrong! The current regime is mainly shia, that is partly why it is being supported by Iran and Hezbollah. The Al-Queda elements in the opposition are sunni fundamentalists (‘salafists’).

    • Reasor

      I was mistaken. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to get better acquainted with the facts on Syria. Bashar al-Assad is, despite identifying with Syria’s version of the Ba’ath Party, a member of an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The involvement of Iran’s Lebanese puppet organization, Hezbollah, in the civil war has, to date, been in support of Assad. He is opposed by many different groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood (a internationally active Sunni group) and Syrian ethnic Kurds. I’ll leave the original post intact as a document.

  • Len

    Wars in Syria and elsewhere are symptoms. Humans still act on their instincts and those instincts are masked to the point that we conscientiously don’t see them. At this point we either destroy ourselves or not and the “or not” may not be too pleasant.

  • Cortacespedes

    The “Arab Spring” is just an Indian Summer. The human race has been killing itself for 10′s of thousands of years now. You’d think we’d get it right. Eventually, we will.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      Unless we don’t. Might be prudent to have a plan B should the apocalypse fail to occur.

  • Rhoid Rager

    I have my doubts that we will destroy ourselves through war; but, we will definitely have problems supporting our city populations with the current food system. War seems to be a much more difficult thing to wage now than it was 60 years ago. Fascism is slowly revealing itself to the masses as more subtle than was previously thought. You don’t need the jackboots and goose-stepping to guarantee the after carnage. Now you just need a distracted public in one particular powerful country.

    But political power rests on energy use. With peak oil comes peak violence, peak fraud and peak insanity. I’m of the camp that things will only get better now. I think this opinion is being borne out if you consider the amount of uprisings, demonstrations, occupations going on right now. This is what we have to expect when the most basic energy for human survival (food) is slowly and methodically deprived from the masses through central bank inflation. This is the true threat, in my eyes; not WMDs nor global war. But this is also suicidal for TPTB.

    • jnana

      its not so much the banks that will deprive us of food, but the wasted soil.
      but, yeah, im kinda hoping for an energy crisis to get us out of this mess. as a healer would say, a crisis often precipitates healing.

      • Rhoid Rager

        Inflation hardly seems like the greatest threat until you remember that most people don’t grow their own food and require fiat currency to purchase it. Having never been raised in nor experienced a barter economy, there’s going to be a lot of forced introspection about life’s real priorities as the artificial medium of human sociality that many have grown accustomed to and let dominate their consciousness–money–withers away beneath their feet.

        It sounds more terrible than it actually is, to be honest. No matter how much of the gloom and doom shit I read on the net and in the apocalyptic books of late, I never allow it to overcome me, because as long as their is green on the earth, there is always hope for us carbon-addict heterotrophs. Much spiritual healing to be had enveloped in the green womb of Gaia. :D

    • johnsawyer

      I have my doubts whether shifting from an oil-based economy to sustainable energy produced globally will reduce instances of human brutality, greed, deceit, etc., since that shift won’t do away with the human impulse that thinks it’s OK to use brutality to acquire resources, and which also uses the need to acquire resources to justify brutality in and of itself. The drives to acquire other resources, impose other ideas, etc. have always been used to justify such impulses, and both those existing, external factors and new ones will always be cited as the “cause” of human strife. What needs to be addressed is the impulse to use brutality.

  • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

    Industrial civilization is destroying the planet. Let’s not identify with the abuser in this relationship.

    • charlotte

      That’s cute, but are you not using a computer right now? A computer which uses electricity, which uses fossil fuels?

      You
      ARE Industrial Civilization with every mile you drive, every plastic
      item in your home, every light bulb (yes, even those fancy
      “eco-friendly” bulbs) you switch on, every calorie you ingest that you
      didn’t raise with your own hands, and every tweet you twitter.

      Prove you’re not Industrial Civilization first, before you blather feel-good sentiments to stave off the guilt.

      (Oh
      yes, I am every bit as guilty–the meanness was obviously a projection,
      originally aimed at my hypocritical self…I am working on it, so I can
      sympathize, as well: it is no simple task to extract oneself from the
      machine).

  • jnana

    I sometimes think nature is an irrational crazy bitch who is suicidal and maniacal. and being part of nature, we are only doing what she wants us to do. being made in her image.

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