two interviews

I just read two pieces back to back. The first was a short interview with Noam Chomsky that appeared in the New York Times magazine. The second is the transcript of a speech given by Paul Wolfowitz at Georgetown. I found that the two pieces worked really nicely together.

Here are short clips from each.

First, Noam Chomsky:

NYT: Do you ever doubt your own ideas?

Chomsky: All the time. You should read what happens in linguistics. I keep changing what I said. Any person who is intellectually alive changes his ideas. If anyone at a university is teaching the same thing they were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead, or they haven’t been thinking.

NYT: But, unlike many reconstructed leftists, you have not changed your political views one iota since the 60’s. For instance, you have remained a vocal critic of Israel.

Chomsky: I objected to the founding of Israel as a Jewish state. I don’t think a Jewish or Christian or Islamic state is a proper concept. I would object to the United States as a Christian state.

NYT: Your father was a respected Hebraic scholar, and sometimes you sound like a self-hating Jew.

Chomsky: It is a shame that critics of Israeli policies are seen as either anti-Semites or self-hating Jews. It’s grotesque. If an Italian criticized Italian policies, would he be seen as a self-hating Italian?

And heres an except from the Q&A that followed the speech by Wolfowitz.

Q: Hi, Mr. Wolfowitz. My name is Ruthy Coffman. I think I speak for many of us here when I say that your policies are deplorable. They’re responsible for the deaths of innocents and the disintegration of American civil liberties.

We are tired, Secretary Wolfowitz, of being feared and hated by the world. We are tired of watching Americans and Iraqis die, and international institutions cry out in anger against us. We are simply tired of your policies. We hate them, and we will never stop opposing them. We will never tire or falter in our search for justice. And in the name of this ideal and the ideal of freedom, we assembled a message for you that was taken away from us and that message says that the killing of innocents is not the solution, but rather the problem. Thank you.

Wolfowitz: I have to infer from that that you would be happier if Saddam Hussein were still in power.

I really loathe the fact that you cant criticize the administration without being tarred with the I love Saddam brush. Its absolutely infuriating. If someone chooses to support abortion, they dont love killing babies. And if someone speaks out against Israel, that doesn’t make them an anti-Semite. And, if someone thinks that we fucked up by acting unilaterally against Iraq without a well thought out plan for managing the country post-war, that person does not love Saddam. That kind of talk radio logic really gets to me I dont know if you can tell, but it has happened on a few occasions that someones written to me here and accused me of being Saddams buddy just because I said that I was concerned about the way in which this war was sold to us.

OK, I’m going to go and walk the dog around the block before my eye fills up with blood again.

I hate so many things about this world that I love.” – Mark Maynard 11.03.03

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