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The Left at War$
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Michael F. Bérubé

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814799840

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814799840.001.0001

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Root Causes

Root Causes

(p.41) 2 Root Causes
The Left at War

Michael Bérubé

NYU Press

This chapter explores the criticisms against Noam Chomsky. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Chomsky said a number of entirely true and useful things. He said that the attacks demonstrated the foolishness of “missile defense,” and that they would lead to a restriction of civil liberties and the expansion of state surveillance within the United States. He also said that the most likely response from the Bush–Cheney administration would be the escalation of violence in a far greater scale. However, the escalation he speaks of is not the war in Iraq, but the temporary interruption of aid convoys from Pakistan. What made Chomsky’;s response to 9/11 so destructive to the left, then, was his willingness to suggest that American actions from the al-Shifa bombing to the interruption of Afghan aid convoys were far worse than what might result from the hijacking of civilian airliners.

Keywords:   Noam Chomsky, 9/11, missile defense, state surveillance, Bush–Cheney administration, al-Shifa bombing, Afghan aid convoys

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