Monday, June 28, 2004

A Belated Reply From the Man Himself

My apologies, with everything that's been going on I just haven't had time for my comments page. Apparently, someone did send Chomsky my review of Peace in the Middle East and posted his response:
I started reading it, but stopped when I got to his "favorite howler." Even those extreme apologist for state crimes knows (1) that there was nothing remotely like the predicted slaughter in South Vietnam, or for that matter any slaughter, and (2) far more important, that to advocate an actual slaughter in South Vietnam, as the editors were doing, on the grounds that it would prevent a later slaughter (that did not take place) belongs in the annals of Nazism and Stalinism. It was bad enough when they wrote it. For Sullivan to repeat it now that he knows the outcome goes beyond that. To call it a "howler" really does lead one to question the man's sanity, to borrow some of his rhetoric.

The rest is just a hysterical tantrum. Impossible to comment on such crazed frothing at the mouth.

What's below that brilliant insight I'm afraid I won't discover.

Noam Chomsky
Well, from what I can decipher from this rather tangled non-response response, we can reach four conclusions: 1) Chomsky is still in the business of denying atrocities on the part of regimes he supports; in this case, North Vietnam. It is he who is the apologist for state violence - and a career one, at that - and not I. 2) He is also still in the business of comparing everyone he dislikes to the Nazis. 3) He thinks someone named Sullivan - I'm guessing Andrew Sullivan; flattering, but untrue - wrote the piece. 4) Chomsky didn't actually read it. My comment on Chomsky's asinine apologetics for totalitarianism in Vietnam is in the first third of the piece, before most of my major arguments and criticisms. If he's going to call me hysterical - and he should know - he might at least actually read what I wrote.

Oh, and the Chomskyite who posted it signed off with the comment that he assumes I get lots of F's on my term papers. Charming fellows, aren't they?