Monday, May 09, 2011

Noam Chomsky on Osama bin Laden’s Death

Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death

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.

By Noam Chomsky

chomsky300.jpgIt’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them.

In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany.

What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”

Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement.

There is also much media discussion of Washington’s anger that Pakistan didn’t turn over bin Laden, though surely elements of the military and security forces were aware of his presence in Abbottabad. Less is said about Pakistani anger that the U.S. invaded their territory to carry out a political assassination. Anti-American fervor is already very high in Pakistan, and these events are likely to exacerbate it. The decision to dump the body at sea is already, predictably, provoking both anger and skepticism in much of the Muslim world.

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.”
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. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

There’s more to say about [Cuban airline bomber Orlando] Bosch, who just died peacefully in Florida, including reference to the “Bush doctrine” that societies that harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves and should be treated accordingly. No one seemed to notice that Bush was calling for invasion and destruction of the U.S. and murder of its criminal president.

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.

Copyright 2011 Noam Chomsky


American Kids React to Osama Bin Laden's Death

This is a special episode of KIDS REACT - It is important to take pause when historical events occur and to reflect on how the next generation views the actions of our ever changing world. Though this is a more serious subject than our usual episodes, it is valuable to learn from the insights of more innocent eyes than our own.

Link to Video -

If they only knew, why so called Terrorists hate them ?


  1. Shock of Reality5/09/2011 08:52:00 PM

    First of all I want to say that I wasn’t there and neither were you, so in which circumstance Osama died is still a mystery. So I am not ready to come to any conclusion and give it an assassination title at this moment. But still I have few questions that I would like to raise them up in front of everyone. The USA accepted that the Osama was unarmed, so I was wondering why don’t the SEAL commandos tried to arrest him? Was it that difficult to take over an unarmed 58 year old man by hand for a highly trained SEAL commando? Did that commando even tried to catch him? He had the option to shoot him in his leg and neutralize him, did he took that option? Didn’t the generals in the pentagon know how much valuable live Osama can be? Just imagine how much intelligence we can gather if we able to interrogate him. Just imagine how much terror cell can be exposed. So in my opinion what America did is either dumb or they are trying to hide something.
    Last but not least after 9/11 Osama openly accepted that he was behind the attack, and different evidence also supported that. So I don’t have any sympathy for him. And I strongly believe that this type of people deserve to die like this.

  2. Dear Shock of Reality;
    Look at the US laws that killers stay for some years and then they're on parole while...
    Although for many reasons i hate the guts of the Pakistani regime in general (no better no worse in my humble view than Indian one or, the one I cannot go back to where I was born, Iran) but i still agree with Pakistanis being upset with action imposed in their lands. However be it a plane or a drone that does the CIA things. It's all wrong. But what pisses me off the most is the usage of the name of an American Indian Geronimo. First of all whenever i hear Geronimo, I think of Geronimo Pratt - Black Panther Party member framed killing somebody in LA while he was somewhere else being listened to by FBI spies... but then... You remember Colin Powell? i hated his guts since he had "Buffalo Soldier" photograph in his bureau. That is the time when whites used blacks to kill redskins known as "Indians". A progressive black fellow tells me it is the most shameful part of their being in military to them worse then Vietnam, Iraq and what have you. But Obama, somebody who had said he will stop all wrongdoings of Bush and according to republicans has only continued his ways and kept military running. To kill an Arab under an American Indian name tells us this black man's administration is as white racist as you can imagine. May someday something as powerful and revolutionary as Naxalites liberate this dirty US.

  3. Shock of Reality5/10/2011 04:40:00 PM

    Look at the US laws that killers stay for some years and then they're on parole while...
    I am not sure about that, because in average every year 56 people get death sentence in USA for different crime, and as long as I know they get executed by 3 ways either hang, electric chair or poison injection.
    The next issue with Pakistan ….. I think we have a wrong impression about Pakistan. It’s not like that all Pakistani are terrorist and they helped OSAMA to hide in their country. But you can’t forget that osama was hiding at a stone throwing distance from Pakistani military academy. And he was not only hiding their, he was working from there also, so technically it is not possible to do such operation unless he got good support network. So if USA informed the Pakistani govt then the chances were high that OSAMA would escape from their. In my opinion what Obama did is actually a good practical decision.
    About the issue Geronimo I wonder how many people in America and around the world knew this name before this hype {unless they are major in history}. So I don’t think we would go anywhere by digging up 200 year old grave.
    Next issue…. Obama will stop all wrongdoings of Bush when you are in middle of war you can’t just quite it like that. In practical sense it takes a lot’s of time to bring back the troops. The process has already started and It may take 2-3 years more to bring back the troops back in home. So have some patience.
    May someday something as powerful and revolutionary as Naxalites liberate this dirty US.
    To be honest I didn’t understand this part completely… can you plz explain me in brief.

  4. Yes, I accept or everybody must be accet America has done well, but we should not forget it, Who made Oshama Bin Laden ? Who create All Queda ? Amrica made all for her benefit, when she does not need at all then destroy. Just like hide and seek game.Laden Killed by Amreca's commondo, in Pakistan without any permission of Pakistan, its proved that might is right.

  5. Shock of Reality5/10/2011 07:38:00 PM

    Well Freedom you pointed out few really Good point, and I am agree with it more or less. Though we don't have any evidence but we can suspect that there is a very dirty game is going on behind the scene. Can you imagine that Indian spy agency RAW was behind the Purulia arms drop case. It seems few people in power pulling the strings from behind the scene, and creating all this trouble for common people.

  6. Regarding all mentioned points my possibly Indian comrade, not much comments. i hastily pointed a thing or two since I get nervous due to past experience in Islamic Republic of Iran's prisons. And this happens very much when I see Noam Chomsky's words here. His stand on the Nandigram heroic defense of the people for their own land is due to his earlier illusion of both Chinese Helmsman and Pol Pot phenomenon. On that regard to make it short, for sometimes I was struggling with American "KASAMA" comrades. No. Great Leap Forward was not solely happenstances. From killing the birds up to mixing metals and ... were all elements of Lysenko Lamarckian leftovers that had tragic results in environment and everything of India. I stand with great sister A Roy when she points out our great late founder Mazumdar's failure and the silence they had re Pakistan killings all over the ML party. And when in Trickling article she points out very well that after all the global warming and what you have perhaps there will be a day only for Adivasis sisters and brothers - hopefully of course enlightened by the blazing trail - to coexist with nature. This is a matter that American reds are quite careless about. But on the other hand i think in our glorious Dalit comrade G N Saibaba very well points out - was it in his writing on Special Economical Zone with a name like Imperialist something - he exposes not only the people's whereabouts destruction but also ecological disasters for dams and highways that you can see well in China today. I wish i had a copy of - in English – late central committee sister Gandhi who has given a dialectical understanding of caste system and all that to know how it fits in a place where I have never seen or lived.

  7. On that final matter, how could I rationalize it; Red Sun has an alleged but very meaningful quotation that I ought to know in what content it was said. Late great comrade Mazumdar (whose photo with simple and decent smile of an innocent fellow washes out lots of things I do not want to relate with say Mao, Abimael Guzman, anybody else gives me peace of mind unlike the rest..) has said something like until your hands are not wet with blood of the enemy you are not worth being called a revolutionary. How does that fit up in the US or be related at all?
    That question and answer does not fit here. A look at Ward Churchill (whom if he ever makes a round in the US along with Arundhati Roy is biggest thing to relate American Indians and Indian Americans) called Pathology of Pacifism exposes well that left movement is like a Carnival. People chant, this or that but then what? That needs to be discussed somewhere else comrade. I wish we could have mail exchange so I could point out that five years I have been translating mentioned items into Farsi and, slowly am final editing them with this other Che minded comrade to make it more readable but not feeling well to post things in Kasama anymore. Iranians – I belonged technically and – just today have been kicked out of a position in that are strange communists who believe in some sort of idealistic Councils only republic that is a great thought for the long term. Without variety there is no evolution. And everyday we learn from both Russia and China mistakes.... these guys all ask me why India. We are as Aryans as ruling Indian empire is who seeded the caste system in its today's version for people of colour. Sixty million Iranians and 700 million other human beings in dire conditions and people being indifferent? I do not believe in post modernist nonsense. Best can be said about America is that they have to do their best to give their masses training to defend themselves without weapon as much as possible and leave it to the point when without weapon still they are attacked by the state. They have to be doing like exercising jogging with slogans or some cultural chanting (and see their physical fitness results) and mix it up with something like recycling something with the homeless people so, without weapons people get healthy and, generally do something positive in society so that through such community action they benefit their own lives and, ecological, social etc. improvements will make them inevitable factors of the latter society. Details? Not here and, I express apology if I have been long but, today has been a turning point for self. Shine brighter than any revolution in history of the humankind, please. After all I when fighting with so many anti Maoist I believe India's Mao Tse-tung Thought people ought to have Indian Karma. A self burning in north of Africa made tons of revolutions all over the Middle East. In a subcontinent where day after day peasants finish themselves off so humbly, result is like nowhere ever seen in the history.

  8. Shock of Reality5/15/2011 03:15:00 AM

    Hi green Red, Just wondering are you a spammer/boat? after reading your comment three times I realized that it has no head or tell.
    Good Luck with your spamming :)

  9. Hello Mr/Ms Shock of Reality.

    I could not comprehend Spammer/boat. Spam is something to do with bad commercial or virus things into mail. Hence it has a negative connotation. Since you had properly had pointed out about my general ... babbling they may say? ... and then on the last point that is the most important point for me and many to have anything as near and as glorious this greatest outstanding happening in India in the US, any sort of echo, etc., that is a complex questions many are trying to find out. I personally have a ... mental disorder that sometime gets better, sometimes worse but, for whatever past reasons disordedr, after so long I have found these Naxalite people as the main positive thing to live for in this ugly world. A world that for some people its cruel image and nature wants you more often to run awway from, this site and its topic is what makes life more hopeful. And since somebody - a great activist introduced me to happenings in India after i had heard of Nepal that has its own respect and peculiar status, at last i found a hope to live for. first thing i was informed great about India's recent history was Nandigram resistance and, while had not read the text of it, i heard Chomsky has taken a pro so called communist party of India marxist's terrible behaviour in Nandigram terrible massacre regardless of his better writings, but his being negative about Mao Tse-tung Thought after his earlier pro status makes his article in such a holy - that i mean great - site i read slowly, odd. History of that very state West Bengal is very important about Naxal's revolution and, seeing the name of CPI Marxist devils disappear in election and having them lost election after so long is what they deserve for the name they have tarnished. if my writing here is offensive i better go but if it wasn't bad then i have to exercise to write more focused. with apology and still respect for this great movement, G R

  10. Shock of Reality5/16/2011 01:51:00 AM

    "I personally have a ... mental disorder that sometime gets better, sometimes worse"

    Yep I expected that, So how is your treatment going on? are you on medication now?

  11. Somewhat but, if you ever found on any site they discussed this aritcle:,0,2906706.story
    or its related discussion re West Bengal, that matters and lead me.

    Re this very box, did Chomsky and a bunch of super intellectuals take the side of CPI M? And if so, he is condemnable? At least on the ground? This past promoter of Kampuchea regime is a Mao phobie?
    That is what matters.

    re medication, if we are friends, it is my battle. thanks for sympathy. bye


NOTE : The Comments section is provided in the interests of free speech only. It is mostly unmoderated, but comments that are off topic, offensive, slanderous, or otherwise annoying stand a chance of being deleted. The fact that any comment remains on the site IN NO WAY constitutes an endorsement by Naxal revolution, of any view expressed, fact alleged, or link provided in that comment.