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Are Noam Chomsky and Edward Said Anti-American Terrorist Apologists?

The Satanic Verses novelist Salman Rushdie reveals his ignorance and moral confusion.

by
Ron Radosh

Bio

May 1, 2013 - 12:30 pm
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As for the late Edward Said, his critique of “Orientalism” became the favored paradigm to explain U.S. policy in the Middle East, and influenced scores of leftist professors of Middle Eastern politics. As for his supposed standing up to the late Yasser Arafat, anyone who recalls what Said’s complaint about Arafat really was will remember that he was angry that Arafat appeared to play the game of engaging in negotiation with his enemies, rather than reject such posturing and commit himself exclusively to armed struggle against Palestine’s supposed oppressors. His former friend Christopher Hitchens pointed out in his own memoir that Said’s “low point was an almost uncritical profile of Yasser Arafat that he contributed to Interview magazine in the late 1980s.”

One might also recall Said’s trip to the West Bank during the first intifada, when he and his young son joined the mob in throwing rocks at Israelis, something of which he was quite proud. To Said, any action taken by Palestinians, no matter how violent, was “resistance.” Again, Hitch well summed up what Said believed, which was that “if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.” And that is why Said eventually rejected Arafat. He thought that the PLO leader was heeding the agenda of the U.S., by his very action of negotiating with its leaders.

To equate those who are truly courageous — like the brave Chinese dissidents who risk their lives to speak up for democracy, or critics of radical Islam who speak up knowing what their future is likely to be if they live under the rule of Islamic regimes — with critics of U.S. policy who live in our democratic republic is more than preposterous. It is the opposite of moral courage. A man of words and letters, Salman Rushdie should by this time be able to know the difference.

*****

Cross-posted from Ron Radosh’s Blog

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Ronald Radosh is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at The Hudson Institute, and a Prof. Emeritus of History at the City University of New York. He is the author or co-author of 14 books.

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Top Rated Comments   
Please, Mr. Radosh. PLEASE, stop using the terms "left" and "right". They're completely meaningless.

Those you describe as "leftists" are much more accurately described as Statists. And honestly, it really doesn't matter to what degree a Statist one is. It matters more that they reject Liberty, not only for themselves, but more importantly for you.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Question: "Are Noam Chomsky and Edward Said Anti-American Terrorist Apologists?"

Answer: Is the Pope a Catholic?

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (43)
All Comments   (43)
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Jeeez, why did I read this article. Must have had my head up and locked.
What a waste of time.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow! What a clear, cogent critique of the article. And here I thought he was making a significant point. Silly me.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anti-expansionism has a long history in the US, and foreigners have used this tendency to recruit followers. Herman Melville had a different take on the American Dream and has been criticized for it by leading scholars, not just Chomsky or Said: see http://clarespark.com/2009/09/06/the-hebraic-american-landscape-sublime-or-despotic/.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The American left is now, and may have always been, a haven for those who crave intellectual validation, political power, celebrity and financial reward. That may be cynical, but one cannot be too cynical when speaking of these astonishingly unremarkable people. If they had the wherewithal to compete with those who achieve success through hard work, intelligence and talent they would have done so instead of corrupting naïve young people with their simplistic anti-Americanisms and vacuous intellectual preening. If you need a ready example of the sort of person I'm describing, look no further than The Oval Office.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a picture of Barack & Michelle sitting at Edward & Mariam Said's table at a 1998 arab community event in Chicago where Said was the keynote speaker. The photo was provided by Ali Abunimal, a well know anti-Israel activist. So I guess Obama admires and agrees with at least one of the subjects of this article.
http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/what-do-you-think-about-an-arab-american-activist-saying-that-obama-is-hiding-anti-israel-stance/question-114538/?link=ibaf&q=arab+american+activist+says+obam+hiding+anti-israel+stance+march+08+
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for bringing this to my attention Mr. Radosh. Big fan of yours.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"but it ought still to be possible to recognize the courage it takes to stand up and bellow them into the face of American power. " what clap-trap!

Chomsky has made a living and a reputation by being that "guy" that comes up just a little left of his radically leftist loon peers. He gets lauded for it!

He is nothing more than a semi-literate hack, he gets credibility for having long white hair and ideas so embarrassingly wrong that it's "edgy". I remember reading some of his crap in college, I actually thought it was a joke or an example of Soviet propaganda. Zero intellectual basis for his ideas. If people realized how stupid his ideas are and that Obama adores this guy they would be shocked.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I take the hundred flower business from Mao, or from C. S. Lewis "If there is wasp in the room you want to know where it is."

I say: let'm woof. It makes the Lefties think they are accomplishing something, and not attempting worse.

When the troubles come within bayonet range, well I am sure that the woofers here will get some surprises: now they are simply too insignif.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rushdie, a victim of Islamism, has now joined the Marxist-Islamic Alliance. He doesn't understand that he is fighting to support the people who wanted to kill him for blasphemy.
Strangely, way back in 1989, Midge Decter’s article, “Rushdiad,” in COMMENTARY, included this sentence:, “Salman Rushdie’s supporters more than anything else made it clear that they can no longer understand, no longer even imagine, what it means to blaspheme.”
Decter then, like Rushdie apparently does today, approved of suppressing blasphemy. How cuckoo.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dude. McCarthy was right, all you have to do is look at Media, Acadamia, and the Govenrment to know the man was right.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Noam Chomsky is STILL alive?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The evil, even while they live, are called dead".
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know, he seemed like a zombie 30 years ago in college
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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