portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

government | political theory selection 2004

Great Anarchist Noam Chomsky backs Bush- lite Kerry

Could he now be the WORLDS MOST DUMBEST?
Comment: The story below has got to be a major embarrassment for the ISO, which has been fawning over Chomsky for years, endorsing Chomsky's views without criticism, even though Chomsky is an "anarchist," a member of the IWW (or he was in 2000-2001 )

Chomsky's name has been on the cover of ISR, the ISO's magazine, more often than the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, or Trotsky, and even more often even than the name of Tony Cliff, the English ex-Trotskyist who invented the International Socialist (IS) tendency, and who, interestingly, did not oppose the expulsion of the ISO from the world IS tendency a few years ago.



Chomsky backs 'Bush-lite' Kerry
Matthew Tempest
Saturday March 20, 2004
The Guardian
Noam Chomsky, the political theorist and leftwing guru, yesterday gave his reluctant endorsement to the Democratic party's presidential contender, John Kerry, calling him "Bush-lite", but a "fraction" better than his rival.

Professor Chomsky - a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a renowned chronicler of American foreign policy - said there were "small differences" between Senator Kerry and the Republican president. But, in an interview on the Guardian's politics website, he added that those small differences "can translate into large outcomes".

He describes the choice facing US voters in November as "the choice between two factions of the business party". But the Bush administration was so "cruel and savage", it was important to replace it.

He said: "Kerry is sometimes described as 'Bush-lite', which is not inaccurate. But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes" . . .
Not a great point 21.Mar.2004 14:46

tra

This actually says more about Chomsky's own failed politics than it does the ISO's. Point of fact: Chomsky never was an ISO member or endorsed the group's politics. Also, Chomsky's name in ISR appeared about as frequently as he does in most other left publications, which is to say a fair bit. So what?
I think Chomsky's wrong about Kerry, but so are a lot of folks.

I'm voting for Kerry 21.Mar.2004 14:53

me

At least he's not Bush-stout.

I would prefer someone else, but he's the only chance we have.

small differences 21.Mar.2004 15:06

drums and votes

Chomsky's most important quote in the article:

"In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes"

The USA is an immense ocean liner. Continuous, leftward shifts in the presidential rudder -- even ones as small as the difference between Bush and Kerry -- will do far more good, for more people, over time than any number of protest votes for any unelectable candidate (e.g., Nader).

I worry about how many of us dismiss this key strategic point. We need drums in the streets, we need food and skills exchange, we need direct action, and we also need a different person directing the economic and military leviathan known as the US Government.

If anyone could explain to me how a vote for Nader will re-defeat Bush, I'd consider it. But, every pro-Nader 2004 argument I've heard has been somewhere between unconvincing and delusional. It's poltical bare knuckles time, on all fronts, including the ballot box. Bush must go, and that means I have to vote Kerry. So be it. This battle will not be finished in November. It won't be finished in my lifetime. But, that's no excuse not to do everything I can, and the biggest near-term positive change I can help create is to get W's ass out of the White House.

That's an endorsement? 21.Mar.2004 15:18

Bear

Calling Kerry Bush-Lite is accurate enough- wouldn't call it an endorsement, though.

Chomsky ALSO ENDORSES NADER & KUCINICH 21.Mar.2004 16:03

repost


If you vote for the lessor of two evils... 21.Mar.2004 17:54

George Bender

Evil is all you'll ever get.

If you vote for Kerry, who voted for the war, you are morally responsible for the estimated 8,000-10,000 Iraq civilians we've killed.

If you vote for Kerry you're telling the Democrats that they can do anything they want to and you'll still vote for them. So they will never give a shit what you want and will never give you anything. Be a wimp, let people take you for granted, and you will get walked on. That's how it works.

Or you could stand up to the Democrats, vote for Nader, and tell the Democrats that if they ignore what you want they will lose close elections. Democrats have been drifting to the right for years, following the lead of their corporate sponsers. We've got to force them back to the left. They can compete for our votes or the votes of Suzy Suburban, but they can't do both.


George 21.Mar.2004 21:05

PHH

Let's be accurate

Kerry voted to give Bush war powers, not for the war in Iraq. There was no vote on that, it was down to Dubya. Kerry intends to keep the troops there, and he might be right. Saying that we should not go to war was a no brainer, but what we must do now is a whole different matter. We made a hell of a mess there and if we just pull out now it could get very much worse. Now a very complicated affair. If we could get the UN to take over our mess that would be the best thing, but you have to remember that the UN is not loved there either and it will be difficult to get other countries to take over the mess we made and go over there to die on our behalf.

One things for sure, with Bush in power the situation will only get worse and think about this: What would Bush be like if he did not have to worry about getting reelected? You better think twice about it.

Kerry is not my first choice but he's a damn sight better than Dubya. And if nothing else, with a democrat in the Whitehouse and a republican congress we can look forward to some rare red meat. Maybe this country could use some red meat. If the two major parties fight their weaknesses will be exposed. Then maybe we'll get one of our people in.

The most important thing is to get that scumbag out of there.

Kerry supported and continues to support the war on Iraq 21.Mar.2004 21:50

anti-war

Kerry cannot be defended on his Iraq vote. He voted knowing full well that the intelligence was cooked and that Bush would go to war. If I knew it, then he knew it. The only defense you could make is complete and utter incompetence and even I won't call Kerry incompetent. He did what he thought was best for his political career and voted for Bush to go to war. He and his supporters can try to spin it but we all knew what was happening. We knew Hussein wasn't a threat to the US, and we knew Bush would go to war and give control of the oil fields to Haliburton (which happened in may 2003).

Also, let's keep the facts straight about Kerry's stance on the war. He doesn't just want to keep the troops in, he wants more troops. Again, one could make the argument that more troops are needed for "stability" but the reality is that for more troops to be involved the draft will probably have to be reinstated, though it will probably be a special skills draft at this point. I agree that bringing in the UN would be best and I think it would happen if Kerry wanted it.

One final thing is I disagree with the rhetoric that Bush has been worrying about being "re-elected". This is a president and an administration who have been working to solidify their control of voting machines for more than a decade. They are not concerned with placating voters, just look at the exodus of republicans from the Bush camp over the administrations fiscal irresponsibility and proposal of a constitutional amendment. The true conservatives are saying they will not support Bush's campaign so clearly the administration doesn't give a fuck about its constituency. But though I disagree with the motives one could certainly still argue that a second Bush administration could be worse than the first. Of course the question remains, what will Kerry do that will be better? And George makes a great point, what motivation is there for the democrats to ever support a progressive policy if they can vote along with Bush for 4 years and still have people supporting them. The democrats have ridden the lesser of two evils platform for long enough. If they really wanted to win they should put up a candidate that people could agree wasn't the lesser of two evils, someone with actual integrity, someone who actually opposed Bush's policies perhaps. Just a thought...

Kerry and Me 21.Mar.2004 23:23

RE: his Iraq vote

Simply put, Senator Kerry can't have it both ways. He can't, on the one hand, tout his foreign policy expertise, political savvy and experience, and on the other hand be so callow as to claim to have been deceived by the Bush gang into voting for the war. He's either alarmingly, unforgivably na´ve after so many years in Washington, or, more likely, he voted for the war in a crass political calculation that it would help him look tough as he prepared his presidential bid. Either answer is extremely troubling for those looking for a savior from Bush's reign of error.


PHH 21.Mar.2004 23:49

George Bender

"Kerry voted to give Bush war powers, not for the war in Iraq."

That's a distinction without a difference.


"Let's be accurate" ?!? 22.Mar.2004 00:18

hpp

"Kerry voted to give Bush war powers, not for the war in Iraq. There was no vote on that, it was down to Dubya."

--semantic, pedantic, irrelevant micro-hairsplitting. the war powers vote was about IRAQ. period. no excuses or explanation  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/282780.shtml for anyone involved - especially not after 9 out of 10 Americans wrote and phoned their Congresspeople to OPPOSE it - but as the Corporate One-Business-Party, they went along.

"Kerry intends to keep the troops there, and he might be right."

--so is he, or not? was he right to send them there on a TOTALLY ILLEGAL and opposed by millions of global citizens and governments invasion, in the first place? to keep them there in a TOTALLY ILLEGAL and detrimental military occupation which - as the troops themselves  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/07/268145.shtml well know and say - is for OIL? where do YOU STAND on this 'PHH'? "it might be ok to keep US troops in Iraq"?

"Saying that we should not go to war was a no brainer, but what we must do now is a whole different matter. We made a hell of a mess there and if we just pull out now it could get very much worse. Now a very complicated affair. If we could get the UN to take over our mess that would be the best thing, but you have to remember that the UN is not loved there either and it will be difficult to get other countries to take over the mess we made and go over there to die on our behalf."

--"no brainer", huh? then WHY DIDN'T your Multimillionaire BoneBoy Kerry say so? life - and the Iraq "affair" - is, as we can all agree beyond politics, one big mess. the job of an American president is to make the best decision about this $4 billion/month mess in the best interest of American citizens and their future generations. Kerry voted in favor of initiating this genocide, so the __least__ he can do at this stage is get the US out, as for example his party running-mate Kucinich is proposing.

"One things for sure, with Bush in power the situation will only get worse and think about this: What would Bush be like if he did not have to worry about getting reelected? You better think twice about it."

--think THRICE: Bush was never even _elected_, rather APPOINTED to the White House by corrupt SCOTUS decision. you simpering Democrat apologists are a joke worse than "roll over - play dead" Gore - never acknowledging the utter and complete rigging of racist Jeb/Harris Florida 2000  http://www.gregpalast.com/columns.cfm?subject_id=1&subject_name=Theft%20of%20Presidency, the voting machines  http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles9/Thompson_Diebold-2000-Fraud.htm, or any of the other threats to our very democracy such as the USA Patriot act which Kerry voted for and will not repeal.

and just how much "better" can things get with a choice between Skull & Bones Multimillionaires for president? The Corporations Win Big with Bonesmen. It's the SAME TEAM dismantling the 'welfare state'. as Chomsky said: "the choice between two factions of the business party". game over, pal. get real.

"Kerry is not my first choice but he's a damn sight better than Dubya."

--oh, yeah? well then who is your "first choice", and why don't you vote for _them_? specifically, can you please make 'visible' for all of us what makes Multimillionaire Bonesman Kerry "a damn sight better than" his S & B Blood Brother Dubya?

next time 'PHH', save us all your brilliant 'political analysis' and please just type (short 'n' sweet): "vote for the lesser of two evils".

"And if nothing else, with a democrat in the Whitehouse and a republican congress we can look forward to some rare red meat. Maybe this country could use some red meat. If the two major parties fight their weaknesses will be exposed."

--"red meat"? everyone reading this right now knows precisely how rancid and rotten to the Bones the "meat" of entire system is - even Chomsky alludes to it in the above interview. the "two major parties weaknesses" are LONG AGO FULLY exposed. the Iraq/Afghanistan war, USA Patriot and Homeland Security votes are all perfect examples.

"Then maybe we'll get one of our people in."

--When? Where? Who? "maybe"?!??????!? the time and place is HERE and NOW. you think Kerry is an "improvement" over Gore (haw, haw, and all of his grand accomplishments)? does it just get "better" from here, 'PHH'? do tell . . .

"The most important thing is to get that scumbag out of there."

--well then 'PHH' you'd better get to work and hope that your 'vote' puts your rancid Bonesman Kerry where you want 'im. just don't let the SCOTUS or Diebold get involved . . .


Chomsky on Bush Lite 22.May.2004 19:03

Samba

If you think there's no difference betwwen Dems and Reps,look at Clinton's Forest protection plan or whatever it was called which didn't protect as much as we wanted,but was much much more than the acreage protected under Reagan/Bush l.Now look at Bush ll's "HealthyForests initiative,which is essentially a mechanism to allow cutting and road building in any forest in the name of fire protection,and eliminates citizen input and recourse to courts of law on those plans. Now tell me again there' s no difference.