Donald Douglas

Noam Chomsky UCLA Lecture on ‘Palestine in Crisis’ (VIDEO)

2011 May 10

This report appeared originally at American Power. See, “Noam Chomsky Attacks Israel’s ‘Expansion Over Security’ at UCLA Lecture on ‘Palestine in Crisis’.”


I experimented with video blogging, and this clip captures more of Chomsky’s comments on U.S. policy than his remarks on Israeli expansionism. Here he argues that from Washington’s perspective democracy and freedom in the Middle East are antithetical to American interests. The U.S. and Israel allegedly fear the Arab Spring because the revolutions threaten American hegemony in the region. Chomsky spouts a lot of disinformation, which is his trademark. He says at 40 seconds that “about 90 percent of Egyptians view the United States as the main enemy” and that “about 80 percent in the region wanted to be sure Iran had nuclear weapons”:

Actually, public opinion in Egypt is much more complicated than that, and while there’s obviously variation across individual polls and over time, there’s no support for Chomky’s claim of “80 percent” across the region supporting Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. In fact, according to a Pew Global Attitudes survey in April 2010, “a majority of respondents in Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon as well as Israel said the spread of nuclear weapons was a major threat” (the number was 41 percent in Egypt).

But these are only quick examples of the kind of propaganda one hears at a Noam Chomsky lecture. Indeed, what’s even more fascinating than hearing Chomsky’s America-bashing is observing the rock star status he’s afforded by the huge crowd of collegiate wannabe bohemians, diehard pro-terror communists, and the campus Islamist jihadis who thronged the event. I’ll post pictures later. Chomsky was swarmed by extremist acolytes upon entering the lecture hall. Upon speaking, it was as if his attacks on “American imperialism” and “corporate dominance” were like throwing bags of candy to children. I arrived at UCLA at 5:00pm, and the event was scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00pm. There was a long line out in front of the lecture hall, and while I was dressed casual with my baggy shorts and Famous Stars and Straps shirt and cap, I nevertheless hid the cover of Peter Collier and David Horowitz’s, Anti Chomsky Reader with my copy Chomsky and Ilan Pappé’s Gaza in Crisis. No need to get these thugs riled. That said, I haven’t shaved in weeks, and the beard’s getting a little scruffy, frankly, and thus I imagine that grizzled look went over well among the hordes. Honestly, some Muslim women simply do not smell good, and that’s to say nothing of the countercultural radicals who look like they just awoke from a night’s sleep out on the sidewalks of Westwood. Hey, I guess it’s a good thing that the Muslim dude I saw in building of the Samueli School of Engineering, where I stopped off to take a leak before heading back out to the parking garage, was performing his ablutions right there at the bathroom sink!

In any case, listening to Chomsky drone on lethargically, I was reminded of this passage from David Horowitz’s essay at the reader, “Noam Chomsky’s Anti-American Obsession”:

It would be easy to demonstrate how on every page of every book and in every statement that Chomsky has written the facts are twisted, the political context is distorted (and often inverted) and the historical record is systematically traduced. Every piece of evidence and every analysis is subordinated to the overweening purpose of Chomsky’s lifework, which is to justify an idée fixe — his pathological hatred of his own country.

The point was evident at the moment Chomsky commenced. The talk was on “Palestine and Israel in Crisis,” but Chomsky was emphatic in stressing the everything Israel does “is at the direction of the United States.” That claim sets the tone, of course, for Chomsky’s attacks on America’s imperial ambitions in the region. But despite the monotonous delivery, Chomsky was sharp intellectually and stayed on point in discussing the Middle East “crisis.” And note that nothing, not a single fact surrounding the cycles of violence and bloodshed in the region, is the fault of the Palestinians. He made a big point, a number of times, to stress that the U.S. and Israel face a “crisis of legitimation” in world opinion. He argued, by that token, that this was in fact an increasing “crisis of delegitimation” that’s bringing about a “tsunami” of condemnation against the United States, which Chomsky eagerly claimed to be a declining power, but which will nevertheless will remain influential of global affairs for some time to come. (Which begs the question of course of whether or not the U.S. really is the “hegemon” that’s the basis for Chomsky’s decades-long excoriation of his own country.)

Another term Chomsky used repeatedly was “illegal” — as in Israel “illegally” occupying Gaza and now “illegally” occupying the West Bank with its “illegal” settlements that form the basis for its policy of “expansion over security.” That theme, which was essentially the thesis of the night, was that, according to Chomsky, never has Israel been about peace in the Middle East. He cited a number times when Israel allegedly rejected accommodation with the Palestinians, and instead the Jewish state was alleged to be bent in expansion into the territories it claimed in its numerous wars of conquest. Chomsky laid out a vision of either a future two-state accommodation on the basis of peace (not likely) or Israel’s complete decimation of Palestine resulting in a one-state domination. A third option was “what’s happening right now.” Israel will continue to expand the “illegal” settlements, and the U.S. will continue its “hegemonic” role of regional domination in the Middle East.


At the conclusion of the event, Chomsky responded to questions and went off on his familiar rant about how those who proclaim themselves pro-Israel are actually working feverishly for its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction. Chomsky then returned to the comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa, and while he admitted key differences, he argued that in one key similarity the time will come when Israel’s crisis of legitimation becomes overwhelming, and forces upon it a reckoning for the survival of the Jewish state.


I note here at the end that Chomsky concluded the question and answer session by arguing that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated, “murdered,” so that the U.S. could avoid putting Bin Laden on trial, because “they have no evidence against him.”


That final jab at the U.S. went over extremely well with the crowd of anti-Americans and Arafat-styled student-cum-terrorists.

President Obama’s Postmodern Middle East Policy — Victor Davis Hanson Provides the “Ah-Ha! Factor” at West Coast Retreat

2011 April 8

Victor Davis Hanson gave the breakfast keynote address at the West Coast Retreat on Saturday, April 2nd. And out of a long day of many outstanding presentations, this one was truly special. I think Hanson’s talk provided the weekend’s biggest “Ah-Ha! Factor.” That’s the moment when all the pieces of the intellectual puzzle snap together and you say to yourself, “Ah-Ha!” It’s a gleeful flash of recognition. The loose ends have been wrapped up and you really see things in a new light.

Hanson described President Obama‘s approach to policy (both foreign and domestic) as a postmodern problématique. Over the last couple of years, Obama has made promises of public policy completely abstracted from reality: on energy (cap-and-trade, eventually abandoned), on health care (ObamaCare, riddled with waivers), and on foreign policy (from Guantanamo to Libya, one brush with reality after another).

Simply put, every single claim President Obama has ever made has been completely divorced from reality. read more…

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John Yoo at West Coast Retreat: Obama Has Made Us Less Safe

2011 April 6

I’d like to follow-up on NewsReal Blog Editor David Swindle’s comments on the last-day session at the Freedom Center’s Retreat. David writes:

The speakers and panels where intellectually intense and at times emotionally draining. The threats facing our country today are challenging — play time is over.

Indeed, it is. And I’m looking forward to David’s continuing coverage of the presentations, and for him to elaborate on both of those points on emotions and threats. For my own part, I’d say frustration — amazingly — was a key sensation I experienced after spending time with my fellow conservatives at the retreat. As many participants expressed, the entire weekend was a sustained experience of intellectual stimulation. The speakers examined some of the most important issues facing our country today. But I felt some frustration because the presentations were so powerful and informative that I wanted to share them with the world! If more citizens had regular access to current information on policy — untainted by the lamestream media’s bias and ideological blinders — we’d be able to tackle our problems much more quickly and way more effectively. read more…

Movie Review: Julian Schnabel’s Anti-Israel Propaganda “Miral”

2011 March 28

“Like I said, the concept of having an even hand, to make something more balanced — I don’t think that’s the job of an artist.”

— Director Julian Schnabel, interviewed at New York Times, March 22, 2011.

I’m not familiar with Julian Schnabel’s previous work. Apparently an acclaimed painter, Schnabel directed the 2000 film, “Before Night Falls,” a biographical picture on the life of Cuban gay dissident and intellectual Reinaldo Arenas. One of the film’s reviewers described Arenas as having an “obsession with absolute freedom.” And thus, in turn, the notion of an “obsession with absolute freedom” gives us insight into Schnabel’s motivation for making his latest movie, “Miral,” a pro-Palestinian propaganda flick based on an autobiographical novel by Rula Jebreal. This is so, because frankly, Schnabel’s message in “Miral” is aggressively, shamelessly anti-Israel. The Jewish state is pictured as the caricature of an oppressive, villainous totalitarian regime. It would be too simple to call “Miral” one-sided, because it’s so much more: The film is nothing short of a merciless attack on truth and objectivity. Indeed, Schnabel confesses so much at the epigram to this essay above. The director was asked, by Deborah Sontag of the New York Times, “Did you at any point consider showing Israeli victims of Palestinian violence?” And he responds, “Like I said, the concept of having an even hand, to make something more balanced — I don’t think that’s the job of an artist.”

Or, that’s not the job of an anti-Israel propagandist. read more…

Ralph Nader, Formerly America’s Premier Consumer Advocate, Now Just a Run-of-the-Mill Obama-Hating Antiwar Communist

2011 March 21

Cross-Posted from American Power

I’d say “Bush-hating antiwar communist,” but G.W. long ago split the scene. This is Obambi’s war, and he’s starting to rouse the deeper layers of the neo-communist contingents. And if it were just Daniel Ellsberg that’d be one thing. He’s been known as a fellow-traveler for some time now. But Nader was the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2000, winning something like 3 million votes nationwide. He’s a reformer who’s purportedly done much to improve life for Americans. Say it ain’t so Ralph! You’re making Noam Chomsky proud with that rant about war crimes, sheesh! Just don’t go nuclear on Israel, will ya? Consistency might at least help your legacy. But if you go aggro Jew-hater on Jerusalem that’s it. You’ll be remembered by anti-Semitism instead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Or wait, been there already, Ralph? “Criticizing Israel is Not Anti-Semitism.” Okay, fine. I can see why you’re so well liked over at communist Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!

Anyway, see the full report at The Hill (via Memeorandum):

Progressive Democrats Challenge Constitutionality of Military Action Against Libya

2011 March 20

Well, it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. The only problem, again, is that these are not “liberal” Democrats. They’re communists, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — Michael Capuano, Barbara Lee, Jerald Nadler, Maxine Waters — and pathetic neo-communist hangers-on, like Rep. Dennis Kucinich. See Politico, in any case, “Liberal Democrats in uproar over Libya action” (via Memeorandum). These are the reflexively antiwar leftists I mentioned previously, but William Jacobson’s got the lowdown on the folks from Daily Kos, who seemed quite the interventionists at the news of the attacks: “Strange Days – Daily Kos Takes On A Martial Look.”


UCLA’s Palestine Awareness Week: Students for the Extermination of Israel

2011 February 28

I paid a visit to the UCLA campus last week to cover the Muslim Student Association’s Palestine Awareness Week. I gathered together an initial report featuring an interview with UCLA’s campus organizer Hamzah Baig, as well as photos from the student demonstrations: “Israeli Apartheid Week, Students for Justice in Palestine, UCLA, February 23, 2011.” Upon additional reflection, the day’s events formed an essential learning experience for me. This was my first time attending Israeli Apartheid Week at any of the California campuses. Not knowing what to expect, I mainly hoped to gather some information for a couple of blog posts. I did that, and more: I came away with the experiential knowledge that our premiere public universities are aiding and abetting Islamist jihad and the global neo-communist campaign for the extermination of Israel. read more…

Unions and ‘Public-Sector Thugs’

2011 February 23

I received a comment last night from M. Bouffant:

Hey, “public-sector thug,” when Gov. Brown starts cutting your salary & benefits, are you going to take it?Say, why not volunteer to give a few dollars back to cut that deficit right now? Or would that be too “collectivist?”

I’ve had a couple of other comments of this sort as well. Folks like this aren’t regular readers here, or else they’d already have noticed my position on public unions: “‘Have You or Anyone Close to You Belonged to a Union?‘” I’ve never had issues with unions. It’s progressives I have issues with, and I work with these clowns. Mostly selfish and dumb, I called out some folks at my college for their pampered privilege. At one point, of course, a third of the American labor force was unionized, and millions of God-fearing workers have benefited from collective bargaining. read more…

The New York Times Whitewashes Marxist Revolutionary Frances Fox Piven

2011 January 22

I have considerable respect for non-violence, but I don’t treat it as inevitably a necessary rule …”

That’s the quote from Frances Fox Piven’s discussion at the C-SPAN clip above.

Piven is a long-established Marxist revolutionary of the slow-burn academic variety. She’s notorious for her longstanding call to break the American system through a revolt of the masses from below, called The Cloward-Piven Strategy. read more…

Christian Caryl, Contributing Editor at Foreign Policy and Newsweek, Slams Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

2011 January 5

And Caryl’s currently a Senior Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies (CIS). And he’s got a refreshing take on the WikiLeaks phenomenon, at New York Review, “Why WikiLeaks Changes Everything“:

Among the cables released so far are revelations that have prompted headlines around the world, but there are also dispatches on Bavarian election results and Argentine maritime law. If the aim is to strike a blow against American imperial designs—as Assange has suggested in some of his statements—I don’t see how these particular cables support it. Assange has claimed to Time magazine that he wants to “make the world more civil” by making secretive organizations like the US State Department and Department of Defense accountable for their actions; he also told Time that, as an alternative, he wants to force them “to lock down internally and to balkanize,” protecting themselves by becoming more opaque and thereby more “closed, conspiratorial and inefficient.” This is, to say the least, a patently contradictory agenda; I’m not sure how we’re supposed to make sense of it. In practical terms it seems to boil down to a policy of disclosure for disclosure’s sake. This is what the technology allows, and Assange has merely followed its lead. I don’t see coherently articulated morality, or immorality, at work here at all; what I see is an amoral, technocratic void. read more…

Can Sarah Palin Win the 2012 Republican Nomination?

2011 January 1

In July 2009 I published “Can Palin Win the 2012 GOP Nomination?” That was 18 months ago. It’s amazing how time flies, and with the New Year upon it might be time to rephrase the question: Will 2011 be the year of Sarah Palin? read more…

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Let’s Get Tough With Israel — Or the Palestinians?

2010 December 29

From the letters to the editor at Los Angeles Times (in response to this article):

Palestinian- Israeli impasse

Re “Let’s get tough with Israel,” Opinion, Dec. 22

Yousef Munayyer is dead wrong. It’s time to get tough with Arab terrorists, not with the only democracy in the Middle East. read more…

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