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On Western Terrorism

On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare

Noam Chomsky
Andre Vltchek
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Pluto Press
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    On Western Terrorism
    Book Description:

    In On Western Terrorism Noam Chomsky, world renowned dissident intellectual, discusses Western power and propaganda with filmmaker and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek. The discussion weaves together a historical narrative with the two men's personal experiences which led them to a life of activism. The discussion includes personal memories, such as the New York newsstand where Chomsky began his political education, and broadens out to look at the shifting forms of imperial control and the Western propaganda apparatus. Along the way the discussion touches on many countries of which the authors have personal experience, from Nicaragua and Cuba, to China, Chile, Turkey and many more. A blast of fresh air which blows away the cobwebs of propaganda and deception, On Western Terrorism is a powerful critique of the West's role in the world which will inspire all those who read it to think independently and critically.

    eISBN: 978-1-84964-936-0
    Subjects: Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-v)
  3. Preface (pp. vi-xvi)
    Andre Vltchek and Kota Kimabalu
  4. 1 The Murderous Legacy of Colonialism (pp. 1-22)

    Between 50 and 55 million people have died around the world as a result of Western colonialism and neo-colonialism since the end of World War II. This relatively short period has arguably seen the greatest number of massacres in human history. Most of them were performed in the name of lofty slogans such as freedom and democracy. A handful of European nations and those governed mainly by citizens of European descent have been advancing Western interests—the interests of the people who “matter”—against those of the great majority of humanity. The slaughter of millions has been accepted and seen...

  5. 2 Concealing the Crimes of the West (pp. 23-30)

    I have statisticians working with me, trying to establish the number of people who vanished after World War II as a result of colonialism and neo-colonialism. As I said at the start of our discussion, it looks to be between 50 and 55 million. However, the exact number is probably irrelevant, whether it is 40 million or 60 million. The magnitude is so tremendous, although somehow Western culture manages to get away with these crimes, and still keeps the world convinced that it has a sort of moral mandate; that it has the right to dictate to the world through...

  6. 3 Propaganda and the Media (pp. 31-57)

    When I speak in China, I am not censored. This is actually rather surprising because I keep arguing that they should follow the Latin American example and go back to Communism without the Cultural Revolution baggage. And they publish this. I was on CCTV—their National TV—and for half an hour I was talking about very sensitive issues. And I felt much freer in Beijing than when the BBC interviews me, because the BBC doesn’t even let me speak, without demanding a full account of what exactly I am intending to say.

    I had interviews with their television and...

  7. 4 The Soviet Bloc (pp. 58-78)

    I am interested in hearing what you’ve got to say about Eastern Europe.

    Eastern Europe depresses me. At some point in history, the people of countries like Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany were forced to do something really right for humanity, but they did it against their will, and so in my opinion they ended up dreaming for all those decades how to join the oppressors. And over the last two decades they are living that dream. Some of them do, not all; but at least their elites. There are all these myths about Eastern Europe, about how bad things were...

  8. 5 India and China (pp. 79-90)

    Noam, how do you regard the continuous barrage of anti-Chinese propaganda in almost all mainstream Western media outlets, and the glorification of so-called “Indian democracy?”

    If you take a look at mortality rates in Communist China, which are now being pretty closely studied, they dropped very sharply up until about 1979, after which they leveled off during the period of capitalist reforms under Deng Xiao Ping. As we discussed earlier, in democratic capitalist India alone 100 million people died as compared with China under Communism. Amartya Sen who did the research on India which we discussed earlier pointed out that...

  9. 6 Latin America (pp. 91-110)

    I would like to turn now to Latin America. The recent victories of progressive governments there are mind-blowing. One fascist, pro-Western government after another had fallen. Venezuela is leading the way, but there are also countries like Ecuador and Bolivia, the poorest and the most indigenous nation in South America. The continent is rising. And to some degree, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil are caring more about their own people than about international banks and companies. It is a total reverse of the norm just two decades ago. There is also an increasing sense of solidarity.

    Of course the progress has...

  10. 7 The Middle East and the Arab Spring (pp. 111-133)

    One thing we must talk about is the Middle East. Perhaps we could start with the glorified prime minister Winston Churchill and his statements about the Middle East, and his involvement in the region right after World War II.

    I thought of him as hideous, a racist, but so was the British ruling class. The British pioneered the use of aircraft against villagers. Churchill himself favored poisoned gas: not the most lethal kind, just enough to strike “lively terror” into the hearts of “uncivilized tribesmen.” After World War I, such things happened, the Royal Air Force was used to bomb...

  11. 8 Hope in the Most Devastated Places on Earth (pp. 134-148)

    Most of South America is now free, and even some nations in Central America are finally gaining their independence, despite the Monroe Doctrine that still appears to be one of the unchallengeable “gospels” of the American Empire.

    But much of the year I am based in Africa and Asia Pacific, and I actually feel that in these parts of the world there is a consolidation of imperial or neo-colonial power: that almost nothing can move freely there anymore. I observe a frightening status quo in most of the countries of Southeast Asia, Sub-Continent and almost all of Africa.

    When you...

  12. 9 The Decline of U.S. Power (pp. 149-173)

    I see U.S. and Europe as the Empire that is consolidating its power all over the world. Some pockets of resistance are still there: like Latin America, China, even Iran. But the space for maneuvering for the rest of the world is diminishing; at least from my experience, gained on the ground. I know that you are much more optimistic on this . . . .

    The peak of U.S. power was in the 1940s. It’s been declining ever since. In 1945 the U.S. had half the world’s wealth, a position of overwhelming security, control of the hemisphere, both the...

  13. Timeline (pp. 174-179)
  14. Index (pp. 180-192)