Chomsky ii

The Guardian interview with Noam Chomsky I referred to previously has been removed from the site by the Reader’s editor:

He has found in favour of Professor Chomsky on three significant complaints.

Principal among these was a statement by Ms Brockes that in referring to atrocities committed at Srebrenica during the Bosnian war he had placed the word “massacre” in quotation marks. This suggested, particularly when taken with other comments by Ms Brockes, that Prof Chomsky considered the word inappropriate or that he had denied that there had been a massacre. Prof Chomsky has been obliged to point out that he has never said or believed any such thing. The Guardian has no evidence whatsoever to the contrary and retracts the statement with an unreserved apology to Prof Chomsky.

Read the original interview here [pdf]. The problem I have with it now, is that it’s not that difficult to argue with Chomsky on things he wrote or said. That’s why I don’t really understand the reason to misrepresent his opinions. Though, I already said before the journalist was showing off.


[x]#1554 fan vrijdag 18 november 2005 @ 13:18:13

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    John-Paul Pagano  op 19 november 2005 @ 05:32:53

    It is telling that Chomsky has declined to accuse Brockes of inventing any of his actual quotes. He opts only for making the inspecific and unfalsifiable charge that she “[invents their] contexts”. The Guardian’s retraction says nothing about the fidelity with which Chomsky’s statements were rendered. Therefore, the ones that stand alone should be considered accurate until Chomsky specifically and credibly disputes them.

    The Srebrenica controversy has eclipsed the fact that Chomsky minimizes another set of atrocities in a different part of the interview: those of the European pogroms against the Jews. Chomsky refers to them as “not very bad, by contemporary standards”. This is outrageously false, as an examination of the historical record shows. Chomsky’s minimization of the pogroms, which taken as a whole (from the 16th to the 20th Centuries) claimed an estimated 300,000 Jewish lives, cannot be vindicated by an appeal to “invented contexts”.