The Canadian government’s military presence in Afghanistan will only cause more strife, controversial American scholar Noam Chomsky said in Windsor Thursday.
Instead, Noam Chomsky suggests Canada and other countries seek non-violent methods for Afghan rebuilding, such as encouraging the United Nations to buy up poppies grown for opium.
“What Afghanistan needs is not more violence. It needs reconstruction,” said Noam Chomsky after speaking on a panel at the University of Windsor with his long-time writing partner Edward Herman.
“The presence of the troops is in fact increasing the level of the violence.”
Canadian troops will thus face more danger, he forecasted.
“Afghanistan is a huge exporter of opium,” Noam Chomsky said. “A lot of the NATO forces, including the Canadian ones, are going to be there for destruction of opium poppies and the military actions that go on with extending that control.”
Noam Chomsky said one solution he favours was proposed by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of criminal justice professionals who feel the war on drugs has failed.
“They’re calling for an end to prohibition,” Noam Chomsky said. “In Afghanistan they have a proposal, and a simple one.”
“The proposal is that the United Nations should buy up the poppy production. Farmers would get their money. Warlords don’t get the payoffs. The Taliban doesn’t get the payoffs. The level of violence is reduced. The opium can in fact be stored and used for medicinal purposes, or something else.”
Noam Chomsky was the keynote speaker at a three-day conference in Windsor called “20 Years of Propaganda?”
The contemporary look at the propaganda model created 20 years ago by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in their influential book “Manufacturing Consent” attracted about 300 scholars from around the world, including South Africa, Japan, Pakistan and Iceland.
Noam Chomsky — something of a rock star with the left-leaning university crowd, who lined up for autographs and pictures with their hero — also spoke on a variety of foreign-affairs topics to a packed Chrysler Theatre audience.
A main theme of his address explored how the margins of debate in society, as dictated by the mainstream media, don’t allow enough discussion on certain pressing issues.
In particular, public discussion on American economic and military foreign policy rarely questions the process, only its details.
“The United States owns the world,” said the 78-year-old MIT professor emeritus of linguistics, a prolific author best known for his political activism. So there is little debating the American justification for its war on terrorism. “If you don’t accept that assumption, you’re not part of the civilized world.”
Noam Chomsky said if another nation invades a country, it’s immediately condemned. But not so with the U.S.
Noam Chomsky basked in standing ovations at the university and the Chrysler Theatre, where a post-speech question summed up the love-in: “Professor Chomsky, have you ever considered running for president?”
If he ever controlled the White House, Noam Chomsky said, his first act would be to create a war crimes tribunal. But he quickly assured the audience about his intentions to run for office: “Of course not.”
…this post forwarded by N.Hod after a May 18, 2007 article in The Windsor Star by Craig Pearson