Sunday, 8 July 2012

Can Chomsky mean? If so, what?

Orlando Bosch, a pal of Fidel Castro who fell out with the great man but carried on killing and maiming all and sundry purely out of habit, died in America round about the time Osama bin Laden was killed. Chomsky  felt very bad about this. Why hadn't the US Marines stormed the spic's house, or hospital bed, or whatever and shot the worthless thug? After all, if Osama deserves to be shot in his own house, why not thousands of other shithead terrorists?

Why does the U.S make a distinction between guys who harm their interests and other guys who want to harm guys who harm their interests? Why is the U.S behaving in a rational manner? Clearly it is because the Media is like totally brainwashed and there is a conspiracy of silence going all the way to the top. Just the other day there was a lady who was beaten up and raped and robbed. Instead of fixing her assailant a sandwich and helping nurture his self-esteem, she characterized his behaviour with an epithet which was pejorative or maybe even Racist. Not that Chomsky is blaming that woman, who was a victim of rape. No. the true culprit is the U.S Military Industrial Complex and its silent accomplices in the so called Liberal Media.

Chomsky asks-

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.

Are you kidding me? I'd watch that even if it was up against the new season of Supernatural or a Buffy re-run. But not for long- five minutes at best before I click over.

Chomsky's issue with the American assassination of Osama has to do with its violation of 'elementary norms of International Law'. Is this actually true? If so, the Govt. of Pakistan is the proper party to raise the issue. If they do not do so either they are a failed state, in which case, Pakistan is a sort of terra nullius and no norms arise or; they are either afraid of or in cahoots with America- in which case no evil consequence of the sort Chomsky highlights is likely to flow from the assassination.

Does Chomsky have a theory of meaning? Or rather, holding the views he does on Language- if in fact, he holds any views at all- is it logically possible for him to mean anything at all by his statements? If he himself can't mean anything even if his sentences are well formed, is it not the case that the only valid acceptation of his remarks we are left is with is one which senselessly inflates the power of the United States in a manner which trivializes any attempt to form a countervailing force against the misuse of that power?

No doubt, a woman who has been raped should express her appreciation to the impetuous magnanimity of her sperm donor. No question, she should nurture his self-esteem, offer a balm for his bruised knuckles and fix him a sandwich. After all, as a human being he has a fundamental right to food, shelter,  Health Care,   Higher Education and Playstation2 .
How would she like it if he complained to the Police about her behavior and got her sent to Prison? 
Just because a person is beating or robbing or raping you does not mean you can violate their fundamental rights. 

Chomsky says- 'Same with the name, Operation Geronimo. The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It’s like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk… It’s as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”
'There is much more to say, but even the most obvious and elementary facts should provide us with a good deal to think about.'

Does Chomsky think America denies citizenship to Native Americans? Perhaps he is unaware that Native Americans have played a heroic role as soldiers against Hitler and Tojo. The Luftwaffe did not employ Jews or Gypsies. It took no pride in their martial exploits. It gloried in an ideology which sought to exterminate them.

Contra Chomsky, there really is no great puzzle for Linguistics if weapons or military operations are named after fearsome weapons or warriors.
What is odd is for an American to think Osama bin Laden had been 'glorified' in any way by the manner in which he was captured and killed.
Perhaps there is a simple explanation.
What Chomsky has been doing with his 100 odd books is magnifying the power of the U.S. As a matter of fact countervailing forces and pressures do exist, but Chomsky chooses to negate or trivialise them.  Which, I guess, is patriotic of him.

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