The Chavez-Chomsky love affair
If the world didn't know before, now they know who Hugo Chavez is. This is because of his extreme speech at a recent U.N. General Assembly forum. The one where he stated that George W. Bush was the devil. To quote Chavez,
"The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world."
Even to many of the most liberal critics of Bush the Chavez speech went too far. In part, there was outrage about the fact that Hugo Chavez, a foreigner and guest on U.S. soil, was giving such harsh and extreme criticism of a U.S. President. Verily, I saw it myself. People in my personal life who had called Bush a 'devil' ad nauseum expressed indignation and outrage at Chavez' remarks - the exact same 'devil' remarks that these personal friends of mine had made. And yet some on the far-left even praised and supported Hugo Chavez; Danny Glover later gave him a great big hug at a Harlem event and Cindy Sheehan even kissed him.So it was only slightly shocking to see Hugo Chavez promoting Noam Chomsky's new book during his U.N. speech. Chavez waved it around as if it were the constitution of Venezuela. Noam Chomsky, a well-known anti-Semite and self-proclaimed anarchist, seems to be the type of author a totalitarian leader such as Chavez would agree with on many issues. Chomsky certainly received some benefits from having a Latin American dictator endorse his book. It shot to #1 on the Amazon bestseller list. Who would have thought anarchy, capitalism, and oppression went together so well. It is just unfortunate for Robert Faurisson and Serge Thion that they did not receive bestseller status when Noam Chomsky endorsed their works denying the Holocaust.
Take note of Chavez' endorsement of Noam Chomsky throughout the U.N. Speech,
"Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it.
Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'" [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.] "It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet.
The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads. I had considered reading from this book, but, for the sake of time," [flips through the pages, which are numerous] "I will just leave it as a recommendation."
But he didn't just leave it as a recommendation. Chavez continued affirming Chomsky's anti-American sentiment and leaning upon Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States as if it were his new Bible.
"As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated."
A U.N. forum to promote Chomsky's book still wasn't enough for Chavez. In subsequent interviews, such as the exclusive with Democracy Now!, he continued,
"The U.S. people have a major role to play to solve, to save this planet. Because we're talking about the government. I was reading recently, Noam Chomsky, I read him very frequently. And in one of his most recent books, Chomsky, I would like very much to shake hands with Chomsky. I've been reading him for a while. I admire him enormously. The name of the book is 'Hegemony or Survival' its what Rosa Luxemburg used to say, 'socialism or barbarism.' We changed to Capitalism, and we're going back to the caveman. Chomsky in his book, he says that there are two superpowers in this world and I was really shocked by that idea. I think he’s right after all. I think the key to save the world is one super power, this government? And it’s military power? Might? Fear? Technological might space power, economic might and so on. But what is the superpower that could perhaps stop this government. That could even put an end to imperialism so we can have a true democracy to help the peoples of the world."
The Chomsky chompers out there might make the knee-jerk response that Hugo Chavez' full-scale endorsement of Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States means nothing. That it isn't evidence of Chomsky's blatant anti-Americanism, his hatred for freedom, his anti-Semitism, or any of his other pathological obsessions. Much like when the anti-Semitic Mearsheimer-Walt working paper titled, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" was endorsed by David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan and supporters argued that this was still not evidence of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories within the paper. Like many of Chomsky's own arguments and tactics, this argument would be based on a half-truth. The fact that Chavez endorses and relies upon Chomsky's work so heavily demonstrates a consistency of thought and agreement between the two parties. What Chomsky has endorsed in this work is consistent with the feelings and tactics of a Latin American dictator.