More insight from Chomsky

On February 12, the statements of Osama bin Laden were reviewed in the New York Times by NYU law professor Noah Feldman. He described bin Laden's descent into utter barbarism, reaching the depths when he advanced "the perverse claim that since the United States is a democracy, all citizens bear responsibility for its government's actions, and civilians are therefore fair targets." Utter depravity, no doubt. Two days later, the lead story in the Times casually reported that the United States and Israel are joining bin Laden in the lower depths of depravity. Palestinians offended the masters by voting the wrong way in a free election. The population must therefore be punished for this crime. The "intention," the correspondent observed, "is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections" so that President Mahmoud Abbas will be "compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement." Mechanisms of punishment of the population are outlined. The article also reports that Condoleezza Rice will visit the oil producers to ensure that they do not relieve the torture of the Palestinians. In short, bin Laden's "perverse claim"; but when the United States advances the claim, it is not ultimate evil but rather righteous dedication to "democracy promotion."1

Notes: 1. Noah Feldman, "Becoming bin Laden" (review of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden), New York Times Book Review, February 12, 2006, p. 12; Steven Erlanger, "U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster," New York Times, February 14, 2006, p. A1.

This is from Noam Chomsky, an excerpt by from a new book called Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, by Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar, which is coming out in a couple of weeks. This was taken from a larger excerpt found here. I recommend checking it out, of course.

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