Fear in America

Chomsky: 9/11 Was a Terrorist Atrocity and so Was America's Reaction to It

Why do we continue to fight fire with fire?

Photo Credit: photo story/Shutterstock.com

Noam Chomsky wants you to forget everything that's been said about fighting terrorism and rise to "minimal levels of morality." What does that mean? To Chomsky, it means holding all countries to equal standards. How should countries invaded by the U.S. respond to terror? Should they bomb Washington? Of course not, because, as Chomsy pointed out, "the entire Western response by Western standards is illegitimate."
"September 11 was a terrorist atrocity. So was the reaction to it," Chomsky explained in one of his iconic interviews on the U.S. and the West's response to those historic events.
Terrorism is the calculated threat or use of violence to achieve political gain through fear.
Noam hypothesized, "Suppose you announce to people, 'We're going to continue to bomb you until you turn over to us people who we suspect of crimes. We're not going to provide any evidence and we're going to refuse negotiations.' I'm quoting George Bush," he explains. "That's terrorism in the literal sense, extreme terrorism."
There are actually far more moral ways to combat terrorism.
"In the case of a criminal conspiracy, the right approach is to carry out careful police investigation, find evidence as to who the perpetrators were," Chomsky says. "If it's international and you have the evidence, go to an appropriate international authority, which could be the security counsel. Under their authorization, carry out actions, if they won't turn them over to you. Find and apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to an international tribunal where they can get a fair trial...and we'd do that for all the people [currently] running the war on terrorism."
Watch the full interview below:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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