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Chomsky on the War and International 'Diplomacy'

Amidst a long, and interesting perspective on the War from Noam Chomsky, is the following:

In any legal system that you take seriously, coerced judgments are considered invalid, but in the international affairs conducted by the powerful, coerced judgments are fine  -   they are called diplomacy.

What is interesting about this case is that the coercion did not work. There were countries -- in fact, most of them -- who stubbornly maintained the position of the vast majority of their populations.

The most dramatic case is Turkey. Turkey is a vulnerable country, vulnerable to U.S. punishment and inducements. Nevertheless, the new government, I think to everyone's surprise, did maintain the position of about 90 per cent of its population. Turkey is bitterly condemned for that here, just as France and Germany are bitterly condemned because they took the position of the overwhelming majority of their populations. The countries that are praised are countries like Italy and Spain, whose leaders agreed to follow orders from Washington over the opposition of maybe 90 per cent of their populations.

That is another new step. I cannot think of another case where hatred and contempt for democracy have so openly been proclaimed, not just by the government, but also by liberal commentators and others. There is now a whole literature trying to explain why France, Germany, the so-called "old Europe", and Turkey and others are trying to undermine the United States. It is inconceivable to the pundits that they are doing so because they take democracy seriously and they think that when the overwhelming majority of a population has an opinion, a government ought to follow it.



This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 6, 2003 12:36 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Roll Your Own.

The next post in this blog is Compare and Contrast: Vertigo Then/Now.

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