A recent interview with the always illuminating Noam Chomsky:
“President Obama just had a press conference, which was quite interesting in that respect. He praised the parabolic peace initiative, the Saudi initiative endorsed by the Arab League, and said it had constructive elements. It called for the normalization of relation with Israel, and he called on the Arab states to proceed with those “constructive elements,” namely the normalization of relations.
But that is a gross falsification of the Arab League initiative. The Arab League initiative called for accepting a two-state settlement on the international border, which has been a long-standing international consensus and said if that can be achieved then Arab states can normalize relations with Israel. Obama skipped the first part, the crucial part, the core of the resolution, because that imposes an obligation on the United States. The United States has stood alone for over thirty years in blocking this international consensus. By now it has totally isolated the US and Israel.
Europe and now a lot of other countries have accepted it. Hamas has accepted it for years, the Palestinian Authority of course, [also]; the Arab League now for many years [has accepted it]. The US and Israel block it, not just in words, but in actions constantly.”
“What happened in Iraq is extremely interesting and important. The few correspondents with real experience and who know something have understood it. Patrick Cockburn, Jonathan Steele and one or two others. What has happened is that there was a remarkable campaign of non-violent resistance in Iraq, which compelled the United States, step-by-step, to back away from its programs and its goals. They compelled the US occupying forces to allow an election, which the US did not want and tried to evade in all sorts of ways. Then they went on from there to force the United States to accept at least formally a status of forces agreement which, if the Obama administration lives up to it, will abandon most of the US war aims. It will eliminate the huge permanent military bases that the US has built in Iraq. It will mean the US will not control decisions over how the oil resources will be accessed and used. And in fact just every war aim is gone.”
“An overwhelming majority of the American population for years has been in favor, has agreed with the Non-Aligned Movement, that Iran should have the rights granted to the signers of the non-proliferation treaty, in fact to develop nuclear energy. It should not have the right to develop nuclear weapons, and more interestingly about the same percentages, about 75 to 80 per cent, call for the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region, which would include Iran, Israel, and any US forces deployment there, within all kinds of verifications and so on.
That could eliminate probably one of the major sources of the conflict. There is no indication that the Obama administration has any thought of doing anything about this.”
“It is striking that the ways that Western countries are approaching the crisis [entirely contradict] the model that they enforce on the Third World when there is a crisis. So when Indonesia has a crisis, [or] Argentina and everyone else, they are supposed to raise interest rates very high and privatize the economy, and cut down on public spending, measures like that. In the West, it is the exact opposite: lower interest rates to zero, move towards nationalization if necessary, pour money into the economy, have huge debts. That is exactly the opposite of how the Third World is supposed to pay off its debts. That this seems to pass without comment is remarkable.”