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Chomsky on U.S. Global Policy

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Welcome to the real news network I'm Paul Jay. We are in Cambridge Massachussets with professor Noam Chomsky Thanks for joining us again. Thank you So, let's talk a little bit about the global situation President Obama campained he said: for a new mind set in US foreign policy but the underlying assumption that the US needs to project power aroung the globe, really doesn't seem to have changed. So, talk a bit about the state of things and, particularly you have done a lot of work and you've been in the middle east recently. Well, you are quite right there are policies actually going back to the second world war which have been very stable now, if you go back to the years of WWII, 1939 to 1945 there were, of course, high level planning meetings the state department, council of foreign relations and so on they took for granted interesting discussions they are public, have been for a long time they recognized that the US were going to come out of the war in a position of overwhelming power nothing like it in history which was true in the end of the war the US had half the worlds wealth in comparables, security and so on and they planned to use it the US had not been a major player in worlds affairs before that. They had the largest economy by a long shot but the leading players in world affairs were brittain and, secondarly, france and the US had to replace that and they knew it, and they planned to construct a world which would be open to US economic penetration and political control and in which no exercise of sovereignty would be tolerated that would interfere with US designs and they said pretty frankly... Part of this which doesn't get talked about too much is that this was very much FDR's vision it wasn't something that came from right wing republicans this came out of the democratic party I'm talking about the early 40s, these are Roosevelt's planners I mean, they sort of had a soft version of it this will be for everyone's good we will be in charge but then, of course we are working for the benefit of others and so on the usual story it wasn't totally false, but partially, no propaganda is anyway, they had plans and even designated the area for which these plans would apply they called it the grand area wich would be dominated by the US and it would include, of course, the western hemisphere taken for granted, the entire far east the former british empire which includes, crucially, the middle east. and one of the leading figures an early Roosevelt advisor and on through later the rogue administrations he pointed out that if we controll the middle east we can control the world that's were the energy resources are as the Russians grounded down the Nazi armies after Stalingrad the division extended to include as much of Eurasia as possible crucially the comercial and industrial centers. Germany and France and so on so that was the picture and the plans were then, in the late 40s when the war was over, they were implemented in pretty sophisticated ways if you look at the planning documents and the implementation it was quite rational they were creating this kind of world a world in which the US will be dominant. It will not tolerate exercise of sovereignty that will interfere with that dominance the world will be an open society to ... free economically which is the natural position for those who expect to dominate the world so when britain finally became the world dominant power and had maybe twice the per capita level of capitalization as anyone else and hence thought they could win in trading they came out in favor of free trade you know. That's natural there are plenty of restrictions on it. In England too but in the US's case yeah let's have a society of free trade you know no government intervention.. except for us so in the US these plans at the same time till the late 40s were to develop massive government intervention in the economy and the bussiness world understood you can read this in the bussiness press in the late 40s that unless there is a massive government intervention in the economy kind of a stimulus we'll go back to the depression high tech industry.. was understood.. cannot flourish in a free enterprise ...the war was essentially a massive stimulus plan the war was a huge stimulus which put the ...which virtually quadrupled industrial production ended the depression, layed the basis for the post war expansion left a huge debt far higher than now but which was overcome by the large scale growth of the economy ..and partly to the plunder of the rest of the world too .. there was plunder of the rest of the world, but the main thing was ..it's a complicated issue because the US wanted the former imperial countries brittain particularly to be able to recover control of their former colonies so that they could then develop and purchase the huge manufacturing surplus of the US one of the big economic problems after WWII was that most of the industrial world had been demolished or seriously harmed US economy had boomed we had this huge manufacturing surplus somebody has to buy it marshal plan and other devices were... ..the stimulus... yeah and the ...but... domestically what it meant was pretty much what one of our bush proposed and that was later implemented that the government should have a major role in developing and protecting high tech industry the building we are sitting in happens to be right above a former electronics lab which is where on of the main places where ..for the development of computers, the internet and microelectronics and so on and so forth on pentagon money.... just in case people don't know we are at MIT yes. that happens to be right bellow where we are sitting . I was there at the time And beyond that when other government initiatives like take just ..procurement..and when IBM finally learned enough from the government labs so that they could make computers they made them but they couldn't sell them because they were too big and clunky so the government procured them. And in fact it was decades before you could make money selling computers that the internet was in a state sector for over 30 years before it was handed over to the private industry when you fly on a comercial airline.. it's sort of a modified bomber this ran through the economy now a large expenditures and a ... biology based sectors because that's the growth part of the economy and plenty of other state interventions are substantial but free enterprise for everybody else in the third world cant do this it's quite traditional brittain was the same and it's but .. it was a system that worked .. you know..quite well throug the 50s and the 60s a huge economic growth by historical standards then you got to the mid 70s and for a lot of reasons you got this fundamental change the international economics system the so called Bretton Woods system was essentially dismantled capital controls were technically permitted but they were basically abolished there was a huge rise in speculative capital flow ..an enourmous rise ... and you got the kind of financiallization in which we are now living and and a quite a significant decline in macroeconomic industries almost all them but ... and the sharp disparities of growth and the attacks on democracy and so on this in large terms but going back to what you said before that the same... principles hold ...that's true i mean the government still holds to the principles that we must dominate ..basically the world expand the grand area . and we should not tolerate exercise of sovereignty that interferes with us now the world has become much more diverse it's not as easy to implement these plans then it was ..say in 1950s or even in 1970s so by now ...you know the traditionall backyard the western hemisphere a big piece of it the south america it has become much more independent we have thrown out all US military bases .. they are moving towards some degree of integration they are not following US orders we just saw that when Brazil joined with Turkey to arrange for a mechanism for iran to enrich parts of it's uranium outside of iran actually the Obama administration has encouraged that initiative they .... obama wrote to the president of brasil saying : good idea go ahead with it presumably, he did that because he thought it would fail. Iran wouldn't agree and you had a propaganda point...well it worked and the US was irate and immediately ran through UN resolution which in fact was much weaker than the turkish brasilian iranian arrangment but at least kept the US running things the issue of sanctions on Iran is a very striking illustration of the increasing limitations of US power that's kinda like the ....you read the foreign relations policy literature government statements this is the big problem this was in fact called the year of iran and iran is described as the greatest threat to world order i'll come back in a moment on what the threat is but part of this is the US effort to try to get the world to accept the harsh US sancions not the US sanctions. UN sanctions are pretty much toothless so china and russia and others go along with them willingly the US sanctions are much harsher. they have no international legitimacy other than the force that lies behind them and the US is getting desperate about the fact that the rest of the world isn't following them so brasil and turkey they bring power in the third world that just essentially rejected them ...turkey has announced that it's going to triple it's growing trade with iran ...new pipeline brasil says: look we go along with the none alinged countries and most of the world is suporting irans right to enrich uranium the big one is china that they can't push around and they are very upset about it a couple of weeks ago the state department issued a warning to china and said that if you want to join the international comunity meaning what we run, you have to meet the international responsabilities namely follow US orders follow our sanctions that probably elicited laughter in the Chinese foreign office. they cannot force them to do it and the ...this is indication of an erosion of the ability to coerce you can have a 800 military base and spend as much as the rest of the world combined on the military but you can't force china or even turkey or even brasil to follow your orders that is quite different from the early days of the grand area i talked to larry wilkerson and interviewed him a few days ago collin powells former chief of staff and he says that he and many people in the inteligence comunity are convinced that the sort of neocon acess to the same people that were the bush chainey represented are very comitted on an attack on iran and within 3 to 4 years they think they are preparing the conditions for this how serious a threat do you think this is ? a very serious threat this threat does obama too. not just the neocons i mean obama has siginificantly increased the US military threat to iran so take say the island of diego garcia important island, a major US military base one of the major bases for bombing the middle eastern central asia it was a brittish island. they kicked the population out so that the US could build a military base it's big. Obama has substantially increased it Hadn't been reporting about this unfortunatly but he established facilities for a nuclear submarines which means nuclear missles to be there he has sharply increased the number of deep penetration ordenance bunker busters the biggest bombs in the arsenal which are desinged to go deep underground to destroy the targets he has sent houndreds there in fact that was a bush program but it kind of languished and ...as soon as obama came in to the office he has sharply steped up production, depolyment ...a quarter of the worlds aircraft carriers almost all of them...the big ones were all US are in the arabian sea in fact iran is completly surrounded by US millitary bases and the threat of attack is constant the frase that is used is all options are open we can attack if we like that's a serious threat now US military and the US inteligence understand this the question: what is the iranian threat is one that everybody should be asking it should be the headlines of the newspapers if this is the threat to worlds peace what is it? they keep saying that even the arab countries are afraid of all of this but i see yesterday Qatar just had a big cultural event with Iran where the culture ...together... and in fact if you look at arab public opinion, if anyone cares that is now so outraged by US policy, Obama that a majority say now that the Arab public is in favor of Iran having nuclear weapons i doubt that there really are but i think that this is a sign of outrage so what is the iranian threat ? well, we have an authoritative answer it ought to be in the headlines of the newspapers every year the pentagon and US intelligence provide an analysis to congress of the global security situation last one was last april of course there was a big section on iran what they say is interesting they say there is no military threat iran has limited capacities to deploy force.. has some of the lowest military spending in the region obviously noting like the united states its strategic doctrine is to be completely defensive to defend off an invasion they say if they're developing a nuclear capability that would be part of their deterrence strategy if you look at the world scene, no one needs a deterrent more than Iran so that's the treat so what is the threat? and they are going to say it's a major threat what's the threat? they are trying to expand their influence into neighboring countries they are exercising sovereignty ...their regional power they want to have influence on the countries occupied by the US and their borders now when we invade an occupy those countries that's not a threat that is called stabilization no one would ever critique US foreign policy as being guided by intelligence thank you very much for joining us thanks and thank you for joining us on the Real News network

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 2 seconds
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 98
Posted by: marco84z on Nov 29, 2010

Chomsky: U.S. still wants to dominate but cannot order other big powers as it pleases; Iran war threat is real

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