Chomsky responds to criticism of PPS/23 quote

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Nathan Folkert

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Aug 10, 2002, 9:36:39 PM8/10/02
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russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote in message news:<afe9ed76.02080...@posting.google.com>...
> quote...@yahoo.com (David Manning) wrote:
> > Apparently, Chomsky was asked about the quote in an online forum last
> > month. The entire exchange (sent to me via email) is below.
>
> Great! Thanks for posting this, David!
>
> Chomsky's response to the criticism that his quote from PPS/23 is
> misleading includes a wide range of attacks on US foreign policy,
> so to start with, here's my overall assessment of US foreign policy:
> groups.google.com/groups?selm=afe9ed76.0202131956.3fb1b0d0%40posting.google.com

Hey Russil, it's been a while. I saw that you got
alt.politics.international up and running, but unfortunately it is not
available on google -- I can only see posts that have been
cross-posted to other forums, which usually means they're pretty
random.

I've been looking into some of the issues that Chomsky brings up here,
mainly concerning U.S. policy toward Latin America in the early
post-war period. If you come across the 1945 document he references
here, let me know. I've been a bit disappointed by the rather spotty
internet coverage of some of the early planning documents such as the
NSC memos and discussions from the time. Microfilm, I have learned,
is a major pain in the ass. I'll probably transcribe and post some of
them here at some point, so those curious in the future don't need to
sit in the basement of a library somewhere winding reels and reloading
paper cartridges.

- Nate

Josh Dougherty

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Aug 10, 2002, 10:31:25 PM8/10/02
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Russil, your efforts here are valiant and lengthy, but it's really
impossible to evade the reality of the quote. It *is* in fact the
priority to "maintain this disparity" and, as a subordinate clause, to
do so in a way that will maintain "national security" while
accomplishing the first goal. There's no way around it.

russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote in message news:<afe9ed76.02080...@posting.google.com>...

> > Noam Chomsky writes in response to Lee Konstantinou:
> > You're quite right in seeking to explore the exact meaning of
> > documents that are cited. But in doing this, it's a good idea not to
> > keep to interviews, which are necessarily abbreviated and without
> > references, but at books. I cited Kennan more completely years
> > earlier, in print, in Turning the Tide (1985), from a scholarly
> > collection by Thomas Etzold and John Lewis Gaddis.
>
> "More completely"? If I recall correctly, the PPS/23 quote in "Turning
> the Tide" is *exactly the same*, except that Chomsky doesn't elide
> "without positive detriment to our national security" and one instance
> of "in the Far East."

Apparently you expect Chomsky to reprint the entire document? That is
what footnotes are for, and that is likely what he's referring to by
"cited". The interview books often don't have sources for the quotes.
Unfortunately I don't have Turning the Tide to check.

> > The crucial distinction that you overlooked is this. Throughout this
> > document, and such documents generally, there are two distinct issues
> > raised: (1) What are our goals, values, principles? (2) How can we act
> > to realize them? (1) has to do with (roughly speaking) the "mentality"
> > of the author, Kennan in this case. (2) has to do with his tactical
> > assessments given particularly circumstances (which will change, as
> > circumstances change). By far the most important issue is (1);
> > tactical judgments are speculative, challenged, and are at best a a
> > matter of time, place, and uncertain judgment. They are of interest in
> > the study of details of implementation of the postwar imperial order,
> > but not to the abiding and dominating principles that are applied in
> > one way or another, are institutionally rooted, and hence stable over
> > time.
>
> Kennan argues almost the exact opposite. What matters in international
> politics is not one's objectives but one's *methods* -- not the ends,
> but the means which one is willing to use to achieve them.

That's pretty silly, and it's hard to distort the quotes or what
chomsky said to come up with the contradiction that you obviously wish
to find at every turn. "Methods" are means by which you acheive an
end, "objective". If the objectives don't matter, and "methods" are
there only for the purpose of "acheiving them", then how is it that
"methods" matter, but the "objectives" which serve as the basis for
their very existence do not? If we don't have objectives, then who
needs methods?

> Goals are unreal; methods are real.

This is also false. He is not arguing that "goals are unreal", just
certain goals, ie: democracy, human rights etc... whereas others, ie:
preventing "communistic" (an interesting term) influence are very
real.

And again, without goals there's no point at all in having a "method".
Just stay home.

> It doesn't matter how worthy your goals are
> if you use evil methods.
>
> Or as Stanley Hoffmann puts it:
>
> We do disagree on the subject of American objectives in
> Vietnam. Professor Chomsky believes that they were wicked;

I think he believes that they were selfish goals and objectives.
There were
in fact no "worthy ends" being sought in the name of the Vietnamese.
And
the notion that these "worthy goals" were the basis of policy and
simply
went awry because the Vietnamese weren't "ready" for our brilliance
due to a
variety of their social and cultural circumstances is absurd.

> Thus Kennan's "tactical judgements" -- what he was recommending the US
> actually *do* -- are indeed what's important.

right, maintain the disparity.

> > Kennan's tactical judgments may be of some interest, but his
> > enunciation of abiding principles and values is far more important,
> > and is of particular significance because of his importance as a
> > conceptual planner, and his position at the extreme dovish humanistic
> > end of the spectrum, so much so that he was removed 2 years later in
> > favor of hardliners. Therefore his interpretation of the stable
> > principles is particularly revealing.
> >
> > On (1), Kennan is lucid and completely unambiguous. He begins with a
> > fact: we have 6% of the world's population, and 50% of its wealth. We
> > then have an explicit goal: we must "maintain this position of
> > disparity". There is no ambiguity at all about what disparity he is
> > talking about: it is our overwhelming wealth as compared to others. He
> > then he adds a further consideration: we must maintain the huge
> > disparity of wealth between us and others "without detriment to our
> > national security" in the face of certain "envy and resentment."
>
> As I said to Nafeez, I hate to say it, but Chomsky's method here seems
> practically Freudian (as with his talk about Kennan's "mentality").
> Chomsky uses Kennan's words the same way a psychoanalyst would use
> a Freudian slip: "Aha, the primary concern of US policy wasn't
> security, it was wealth! Kennan's reference to 'national security'
> is merely a minor consideration in comparison with the true goal!"

What it is is a secondary clause. The goal is to A) maintain the
disparity, and B) accomplish 'A' in a manner that will avoid reprisals
that doing 'A' would necessarily tend to cause.

> But that wasn't the case, as should be clear from reading the rest of
> the section -- Kennan isn't talking about how to exploit the wealth
> of Asia, but how to protect US security.

It was unneccessary for Kennan to be arguing in those terms. To
maintain the disparity, one must merely maintain the current
relationships. To do so, it will be particularly important to prevent
"communistic" influence, or any form of left politics, which will
often, and did, mean blocking democracy. So, thankfully we've made it
clear that we shouldn't concern ourselves with things like democracy.

> A couple quotes from PPS/13:
>
> All in all, our policy must be directed toward restoring a balance
> of power in Europe and Asia. This means that in the C.F.M. meeting
> we must insist on keeping Western Germany free of communistic control.
> We must then see that it is better integrated into western Europe and
> that a part of our responsibility for conditions there is shifted to
> the western European allies and the German people themselves.

"communistic" is an interesting term. It need not be "Communism", let
alone
"Soviet controlled" (the all-purpose rhetorical bludgeon that you seem
to prefer) it must only be "communist-like" in some way or another, as
defined by Washington, and then it's time to go in and wipe it out to
restore the order we choose for them. So, thankfully we've given up
those ideas of democracy, so we won't feel guilty while squashing it
out when it happens to take the form of anything "communistic".

> And:
>
> In these circumstances it is clearly unwise for us to continue the
> attempt to carry alone, or largely singlehanded, the opposition to
> Soviet expansion. It is urgently necessary for us to restore something
> of the balance of power in Europe and Asia by strengthening local
> forces of independence and by getting them to assume part of our
> burden.
>
> > That may require varied tactical decisions. But in pursuing them, we must
> > keep to the primary goal, and also abide by the primary principle of
> > implementation: We must "dispense with all sentimentality and
> > day-dreaming," "concentrate everywhere on our immediate national
> > objectives," and dispense with illusions about "altruism and
> > world-benefaction," which we cannot afford. That is flatly untrue; as
> > he knew, we could easily afford them, given our huge wealth, but not
> > if we intend to satisfy the overriding interest of "maintaining the
> > disparity."
>
> "As he knew"? Kennan is explicitly arguing that the US *cannot* help
> solve Asia's problems (in constrast with Europe, for example).

Yes, and Chomsky is arguing that what Kennan is arguing is a crock,
and that he knew it was. As Chomsky points out, "we could easily
afford" to help solve Asia's problems, "given our huge wealth". Now,
this is obviously true and it's obvious that Kennan wouldn't have been
oblivious to this reality, but it does not enter into the discussion
because it would conflict with the primary goal. Therefore, "the US
*cannot* help solve Asia's problems" by choice, not out of objective
impossibility, as you seem to be arguing on Kennan's behalf. That
choice being taken for granted, as a given, then of course we are left
with the proposition that it is impossible.

> The peoples of Asia and of the Pacific area are going to go ahead,
> whatever we do, with the development of their political forms and
> mutual interrelationships in their own way. This process cannot be
> a liberal or peaceful one. The greatest of the Asiatic peoples--the
> Chinese and the Indians--have not yet even made a beginning at the
> solution of the basic demographic problem involved in the
> relationship between their food supply and their birth rate. Until
> they find some solution to this problem, further hunger, distress,
> and violence are inevitable.
>
> Kennan is arguing that the concepts of human rights, raising of living
> standards, and democracy are not helpful or applicable in this situation.
> If the population is living at the edge of starvation, with no savings
> which can be invested, how can living standards be raised?

People raise living standards by putting effort toward socially
productive work. This can be done with or without "savings to
invest". If you believe it does, I'd ask you how you think anyone
ever acquired any savings, if the savings must have been pre-existing
before any raising of standards could take place? If you and a few
others were placed on a deserted island with no "savings to invest",
are you telling me that you could not find a way to work intelligently
with the resources of that island and raise your living standards as
time went on?

Secondly, there were "savings" in all those countries, it was just in
few hands. When democracy exists, it has a levelling effect on gross
disparities of that sort after a while.

> The Soviet answer is that you extract the necessary surplus from the
> peasantry by force (starving them if necessary), as Stalin did.

Stalin was a bastard, but his concerns were not simply "raising living
standards" in an environment of relative peace but with few resources,
they were protecting Russia from an imminent German attack and conquer
of the country. To do this, he had to force extremely rapid
industrial development within an unusually limited time span, and he
used some pretty brutal methods. But, Stalin's methods wouldn't
necessarily be the methods of everyone else, or even anyone else,
particularly under different circumstances or even necessarily given
the same circumstances.

> How could this be done within an American framework of human rights and
> democracy?

It can be done within a framework of human rights and democracy. I'm
not
sure what to make of the "American framework". If you mean they must
do so within an "American framework" of choices for what they are
permitted by the US to do in their own countries, then it may well be
impossible. But, they could adopt a framework in which the general
population of that country are the primary beneficiaries of the
resources of that country, and then put their efforts toward socially
productive development and use of those resources. Real functioning
democracy will go a long way toward that end, and is basically a
prerequisite for human rights and the raising of living standards.
But, this option is not up for debate because it comes into opposition
with maintaining the disparity, a condition dependant on certain other
parties being the primary beneficiaries of the nations' resources.

> Kennan, by the way, played a major role in organizing the Marshall Plan
> for the reconstruction of Western Europe. In "Memoirs 1925-1950", he
> says that the task of rebuilding a society which is already industrialized
> (as in Western Europe and Japan) is far different from the task of
> developing a preindustrial society; the fact that the Marshall Plan
> succeeded does *not* mean that a "Marshall Plan for China" (or the
> Middle East or Latin America or Africa) would have any chance of
> succeeding.

They certainly could have no chance of succeeding when the "Marshall
Plan" for Europe (for the US actually) was dependant upon the
resources of the Middle East, Latin America and Africa being
subjugated to the needs of the US and Europe. So, you are right, you
can't do both.

> > Proceeding, we therefore have to put aside such "unreal
> > objectives as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and
> > democratization" and "deal in straight power concepts...unhampered by
> > idealistic slogans." Kennan he knew perfectly well that these "unreal
> > objectives" were the very real objectives of the popular democratic
> > and anti-fascist forces that he and his associates committed
> > themselves to destroy, restoring traditional structures of domination.
>
> Again, Kennan is arguing that the US should *leave Asia alone*, not
> that it ought to destroy "popular democratic and anti-fascist forces".

Completely untrue. The "popular democratic and anti-fascist forces"
were typically of a moderately left variety, and sometimes worse
"communistic", then they must be destroyed by violence, and replaced
by right wing autocracies, because they threaten our objectives.

> We now turn to a wide range of attacks on Kennan. Here Chomsky
> switches from criticizing Kennan's "principles and values" to criticizing
> Kennan's "tactics" -- that is, Kennan's recommendations for what the US
> should actually do in different parts of the world (which is, I think,
> better grounds for criticism).
>
> > There could not be a more clear, explicit, and cruel expression of how
> > we should organize the world. This passage happens to refer to the Far
> > East, but the same principles applied elsewhere: in Africa, which
> > should be turned over to Europe to "exploit" for their reconstruction
> > (one can imagine a different relation between Europe and Africa in the
> > light of their history, but that was never considered, needless to
> > say);
>
> This refers to PPS/23, section I: Kennan describes the problem of where
> Britain is going to get its food and raw materials from in the future
> (according to Hans Morgenthau, Britain had to import two-thirds of its
> food), and suggests that (a) Britain be encouraged to join Western Europe
> and that the US and Canada increase their trade with the European area,
> *and* (b) that Western Europe undertake a joint effort to economically
> develop and exploit their African colonies. Here, frankly, I think
> Chomsky has a point: at least in PPS/23, there's no indication that
> Kennan is considering the interests of the Africans. (In Kennan's
> defense, Anders Stephanson notes in "Kennan and the Art of Foreign Policy"
> that Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary -- who considered
> himself a socialist -- proposed a similar plan. The idea was dropped
> a year and a half later.)

Well, certainly a "Marshall Plan" for Africa would have had "no chance
of
succeeding", so why should he have considered it?

> > in Latin America, where we should "protect our resources,"
> > preferring police states if necessary;
>
> Refers to Kennan's 1950 meeting with US ambassadors to Latin America,
> as he was leaving the State Department (from Walter LaFeber's
> "Inevitable Revolutions"). According to Wilson Miscamble, in
> "George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950",
> Kennan's actual influence on US policy towards Latin America was nil.
> In PPS/23, Kennan notes that there ought to be a section on Latin
> America, but he doesn't know enough about Latin America to be able
> to include one.
>
> > In Asia, the Kennan
> > conception was implemented in Southeast Asia, which must serve its
> > "function" of providing resources and markets for the former colonial
> > powers while Japan should be granted its "Empire toward the South", as
> > Kennan put it, restoring the effective wartime relations but under the
> > US aegis.
>
> "Effective wartime relations"? Japan's "effective wartime relations"
> with Southeast Asia were extremely barbaric and violent. Japanese
> soldiers killed, tortured, and raped millions of civilians (not to
> mention prisoners of war).
> http://www.cofepow.org.uk/pages/asia.html
>
> Presumably Chomsky means something different.
>
> > And in Japan itself, the course of democracy had to be
> > reversed. Kennan had been instrumental in implementing that "reverse
> > course" in Japan a year earlier, undermining unions and other
> > democratic forces, and restoring those he called the "natural"
> > leaders, "the industrial and commercial leaders" of the former fascist
> > regime "who have the strongest natural ties to the US," Kennan
> > advised; by "the US," of course, he doesn't mean US workers, but the
> > "natural leaders" of the US itself.
>
> Kennan did indeed play a major role in the "reverse course" (although
> Chomsky has the timing wrong -- it wasn't a year earlier, Kennan
> handed PPS/23 to Marshall the day before flying to Japan). As Kennan
> describes it in "Memoirs 1925-1950", his main concern was to prevent
> Soviet control over Japan through the Japanese Communist Party.

So, if the Japanese might actually want a "communistic" government,
then we must step in and prevent democracy, a concept thankfully
discarded as a goal.

> > The further passages you cite keep very strictly to the same brutal
> > principles, but turn to the tactical questions of how we can implement
> > them. Kennan was something of a pessimist about "imperial
> > overstretch." The US, he felt, should recognize the limitations of
> > what it could do in pursuing the national interest as he construed it
> > in the cited passage, particularly in the vast continent of Asia. He
> > felt that China and India were beyond our reach,
>
> "Beyond our reach"? Again, Kennan is arguing that the US cannot help
> China and India, not that the US cannot take them over.

Could not help them, in a manner that would subordinate them to US
interests...so therefore, can not help them.

> > and we should
> > concentrate on Japan and the Philippines. With regard to them, his
> > comments are even more cruel and cynical than the statement of general
> > principles I quoted. As I mentioned, he had just helped implement the
> > intervention in Japan to block democratization and restore the
> > traditional order,
>
> To block Soviet control, not democratization.

Here's your all-purpose rhetorical bludgeon of "Soviet control", a
very useful tool to justify crushing democracy anytime it veered at
all to the left in a foreign country. So again, if Japanese want a
"communistic" government, this translates to "Soviet control" and
therefore, them voting for what they want is not "democratization".

> > and at the time, the US was doing the same, with
> > extreme brutality, in the Philippines and South Korea
>
> Again, Kennan played no role in South Korea, so far as I can tell.
> I'm afraid I don't know anything about Kennan's view of the Philippines,
> beyond his comment in PPS/23 that the Philippine government ought to
> have full control over internal affairs.
>
> > (the same was
> > true throughout the regions from which the fascists were expelled:
> > Italy, Greece, France, etc.)
>
> The US was attempting to prevent a Communist (i.e. Soviet) takeover of
> these countries.

There you go again. The soviets were everywhere forcing Italian,
Greek and French citizens everywhere to form unions, movements and
parties...etc. and therefore it was "soviet control". That's rather
convenient. So, if countries in Europe were voting for a "Capitalist"
government, this means then that it was "U.S. control" and therefore
the USSR would have been justified in going in and subverting,
violently or otherwise, all these parties, movements, individuals etc.

> I hope Chomsky's not suggesting that Soviet control
> of Italy, Greece, and France would somehow have reflected "popular
> democracy." (At the time, the Soviet Union controlled Communist
> parties abroad.)

No. that's your straw man Rus, not Chomsky's. Chomsky is suggesting
that when workers, union leaders, teachers, students, church
leaders..etc. etc. in these various countries get together, form
various movements that reflect their interests, and they wish to vote
for a party, even a Communist one, or a "communistic" one, that this
is in fact, DEMOCRACY in effect, and that sending in people to repress
them, subvert them, or kill them for doing this, is in fact attacking
"popular democracy". But, we've put the notion of democracy aside, as
unacheivable daydreaming, thankfully.

> Kennan says explicitly that the concepts of democratization, etc. are
> unreal in the context of Asia: the real problem is the relationship
> between food supply and population growth, and democracy isn't going
> to help. Now Chomsky is saying that Kennan regards them as real.
> Which is it?

He regards them as unreal because, in these cases, democarcy will
conflict with the prerequisite interests. Therefore, he knows that
they are real, but regards them as unreal because they can not be
acheived along with the necessary US conditions met, and therefore are
not on the table for discussion in the first place.

> > Throughout the world, the policies in which he was involved, extended by his
> > successors, kept closely to the principles and values he enunciated
> > with such clarity, though tactical judgments varied.
>
> Again, Chomsky is inferring Kennan's "principles and values" -- his
> "mentality" -- using what amount to Freudian methods.

That's the job of a scholar, to infer the over-riding principles that
run through words, policies..etc. To look, for instance, at all the
invasions or CIA subversions in various countries and uncover a
unifying principle at work, what connects what otherwise would seem
like unconnected, isolated events.

> > You're quite right that Kennan is not calling here for violent
> > intervention in Indochina. Nor has anyone ever suggested that he was.
> > No one was. This is 1948, remember. The US had not yet decided whether
> > the best way to attain the imperial objectives that Kennan spelled out
> > with such cruel lucidity was by supporting independence or by
> > supporting the return of the former colonial powers. And as often,
> > different tactical judgments were made, while the objectives remained
> > stable. In Indonesia (the primary concern) the US shifted to support
> > of independence; in Vietnam, by 1950 -- that is, two years after this
> > document -- it shifted to support for the French.
>
> Kennan didn't. In August 1950, he wrote:
>
> With respect to Indo-China, we should let Schuman know at the coming
> meeting of the Foreign Ministers that the closer view we have had of
> the problems of this area, in the course of our efforts of the past
> few months to support the French position there, has convinced us that
> that position is basically hopeless. Stressing that this has been,
> and continues to be, their own responsibility, we should say that we
> will do everything in our power to avoid embarrassing the French in
> their problems and to support them in any reasonable course they would
> like to adopt looking to its liquidation; but that we cannot honestly
> agree with them that there is any real hope of remaining successfully
> in Indo-China, and we feel that rather than have their weakness
> demonstrated by a continued costly and unsuccessful effort to assert
> their will by force of arms, it would be preferable to permit the
> turbulent political currents of that country to find their own level,
> unimpeded by foreign troops or pressures, even at the probable cost
> of an eventual deal between Viet-Nam and Viet-Minh, and the spreading
> over the whole country of Viet-Minh authority, possibly in a somewhat
> modified form. We might suggest that the most promising line of
> withdrawal, from the standpoint of their prestige, would be to make
> the problem one of some Asian regional responsibility, in which the
> French exodus could be conveniently obscured.
> [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/korea/
> large/sec3/kw149_1.htm]
>
> During the Vietnam War, in 1966, Kennan gave five hours of televised
> testimony against the war.
>
> > You're also right that Kennan was not calling for "slaughter of
> > millions." No one has remotely hinted that he was suggesting that. In
> > fact, you'll have to search far to find any case in history where even
> > the most vicious mass murderer was calling for that.
>
> Really? Hitler did.

Not really, not in those terms. Those who wish to embark on immoral
policies always couch them in more moralistic terms. Rather than say,
"let's go slaughter jews", he would say that "we must defend ourselves
and our country" from some kind of jewish conspiracies and
subversion...or something, and thereby slaughtering jews is couched as
self defense.

Similarly, squashing popular democracy in a place like Italy or
Guatemala or elsewhere can be couched as defending ourselves against
"Soviet control and expansionism".

> > As for the idea that "our ideology has little appeal to the people of
> > Asia," if by "our ideology" we mean "human rights, the raising of the
> > living standards, and democratization," that's exactly what had great
> > appeal to the people of Asia. That was the threat that Kennan and his
> > associates recognized throughout the world --
>
> I don't see how Chomsky can quote Kennan saying that "our ideology has
> little appeal",

you missed the important point. It begins with the *IF by* clause.
IF "our ideology" means these things, THEN they certainly did have
great appeal, and as such, either Kennan's concept of "our ideology"
was different than these things, OR he was being disingenuous or just
wasn't accurate.

> and then immediately say that Kennan recognized that
> US ideology had great appeal to the people of Asia.

He didn't say that "Kennan recognized" what you've revised, nor did he
say that "US ideology had great appeal". It's a question as to what
Kennan actually means by "our ideology", and whether the terms
actually described are in fact "US ideology". These are points
specifically in question in Chomsky's paragraph, and dramatically
misrepresented by you in order to fabricate another contradiction.
They obviously mean something different to Kennan than those terms
described.

> *Communism* had great appeal to the people of Asia, as demonstrated in China
> and Vietnam.

So, you realize this too. Well, then good thing Kennan knew to take
democracy off the table, not because the concept isn't "applicable" to
them given their "birth rate" or "food supply" or any other stated
gibberish, but because it would mean that the people of Asia would
vote for and work toward what appealed to them, and is therefore
unacceptable.

> > in Japan, for example,
> > when the State Department initiated the "reverse course" under
> > Kennan's initiative.
>
> Correct, in order to prevent a Communist (i.e. Soviet) takeover.

all-purpose answer.

> > I'm surprised by your suggestion that his words about maintaining
> > disparity can be understood to mean that "because of the of the fact
> > of the disparity he worried of negative effects on our national
> > security." Surely that is not a possible reading.
>
> Surely it is. :-)

It's both. Also Rus, economic interests are generally held under the
rubric of "national security"...like in Iran or Guatemala in the
1950's. IOW...maintaining the disparity, is in fact a primary concern
of "national security".

The term does not apply only to preventing armed attack, as should be
evident to anyone that pays attention to when it's invoked, like with
contemporary policy toward Cuba as just one example out of many.

> > The text explicitly contradicts it.
>
> In what way?

"Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of
relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of
disparity".

If the concern was primarily with attack as you say, stated explicitly
as the potential consequence of an existing disparity by Kennan, why
would the first stated objective toward preventing said attack be to
maintain the stated cause of the future attack?

> > Furthermore, if we were to accept that interpretation,
> > what follows would be totally irrational. Under that highly strained
> > interpretation, he should have been calling for reducing the disparity
> > so as to improve our national security, not maintaining it.
>
> Again, *Kennan is arguing that the US cannot help the Asian countries
> to reduce this disparity.*

Ha Ha. Well, certainly the US can't help them reduce the disparity
when the main stated objective is to maintain it.

And of course he is arguing that, because the manner in which we could
help them reduce the disparity is unacceptable and therefore not on
the table at all, so the US cannot. If I had 100 million dollars and
you had 5, how is it impossible for me to reduce this disparity? It
certainly is possible for me to do this.

> The peoples of Asia and of the Pacific area are going to go ahead,
> whatever we do, with the development of their political forms and
> mutual interrelationships in their own way. This process cannot be
> a liberal or peaceful one. The greatest of the Asiatic peoples--the
> Chinese and the Indians--have not yet even made a beginning at the
> solution of the basic demographic problem involved in the
> relationship between their food supply and their birth rate. Until
> they find some solution to this problem, further hunger, distress,
> and violence are inevitable.
>
> > I also don't understand your statement "`but then again Kennan does
> > make the point that "the Philippine Government [should have a]
> > continued independence in all internal affairs.' Not exactly
> > neo-imperialistic sentiments." That's virtually the definition of
> > neo-imperialism. Even under direct imperial rule, say the Raj, the
> > imperial power preferred to have internal affairs administered by the
> > colonized people,
>
> ... in order to most effectively exploit the colonial territory for
> the economic benefit of the imperial power. Which is obviously not
> what Kennan is recommending.
>
> > I think the original reading is very accurate, and quite strongly
> > supported not only by the rest of the document (once we make the
> > crucial distinction between principles and tactical judgments about
> > their implementation), but also by the general pattern of policy
> > decisions and implementation during Kennan's years as head of the
> > Policy Planning Staff, and subsequently.
>
> I've posted the entire document, as well as all of Kennan's writings
> that I could find on the web, at
> http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/future/kennan.html
>
> I invite other readers to judge for themselves.

All I can say is that you tried. Chomsky's reading is not in any way
beyond the pale, and many of your attempts at drawing contradictions
are rather tortured. It seems you think Kennan's a great guy and want
to defend him, but Chomsky specifically points out virtually every
time he cites this quote that Kennan is at the more dovish end of the
spectrum, meaning that his views can be considered among the most
benign that you could find among US planners. IOW...that *even* at
the more humane end of the spectrum (Kennan) you can find stuff like
this. So, i don't think you should take it as some kind of personal
attack against Kennan. You should hear some of the things he says
about Kissinger. :-)

> As I've said elsewhere, the US *has* certainly done lots of immoral things.
> Kennan himself is a harsh critic of US foreign policy. But it shouldn't
> be necessary to make stuff up, and that's what I think Chomsky is doing.

I don't think so. The presumptions are there, and what he is saying
about it is there. Is there more in the document than what is quoted
and analyzed? Yes. But what is discussed is not inaccurate.

analyst41

unread,
Aug 11, 2002, 12:30:15 PM8/11/02
to
Chomsky is a piker who reminds me of that scene in "Blazing Saddles" -
there is an entire wide open desert and someone puts up a toll gate in
the middle of it and the villains get held up trying to go through it.

Why look for evidence of the preternaturally evil nature of Americans
in documents when American ACTIONS speak loudly and clearly ? He is
a sick piker who probably WAS caught distorting a quote because he has
to maintain the greatest myth leftists like to maintain "the American
people are good, it is ony the rulers who are evil".

The American people are MORE predatory and genocidal towards the third
world than the rulers - rather than foist wars on the good and
innocent American people, the rulers actually modulate the genocidal
tendencies of Americans and try to obtain fig leafs such as
"Anti-communism" and "Anti-terrorism" etc. to justify wars agains the
third world which actually warm the cockles of average American
people.

If you take the example most frequently cited when the American people
turned against their government over a war - Vietnam - AT NO TIME WERE
A MAJORITY OF AMERICAN PEOPLE opposed to the Vietnam war - the turning
point was unacceptable number of middle-class white casualties.

There is an Anglo-Saxon/Germanic core running from Texas to Florida
that essentially ensures that no government (house plus senate plus
the presidency) in Washington that does not engage in continual
gencide aginst the third world can survive long.

The block vote from Texas to Florida has controlled the presidency for
the past 40 years or so - and these states have made sure that a
solid block of 20-odd senators are always present in the senate who
would actively clamor for predatory warlike policies toward the third
world.

Genocidal attacks by the U.S. governmnet to appropriate third world
resources are fully supported by the American people and in fact the
genocidal impulses ORIGINATE from the people - especially Southern
White Males.

Chomsky the pedant-piker will not face this and was probably forced
into misrepresentation of George Kennan, trying to find what wasn't
there.

Dan Clore

unread,
Aug 11, 2002, 2:27:33 PM8/11/02
to

Whether you're an authentic Usenet Kook or just a troll,
that was a fun read.

--
Dan Clore

Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
All my fiction through 2001 and more. Intro by S.T. Joshi.
http://www.wildsidepress.com/index2.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587154838/thedanclorenecro

Lord We˙rdgliffe and Necronomicon Page:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/
News for Anarchists & Activists:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

Said Smygo, the iconoclast of Zothique: "Bear a hammer with
thee always, and break down any terminus on which is
written: 'So far shalt thou pass, but no further go.'"
--Clark Ashton Smith

analyst41

unread,
Aug 12, 2002, 12:15:54 PM8/12/02
to
Dan Clore <cl...@columbia-center.org> wrote in message news:<3D56AC95...@columbia-center.org>...

I am glad you enjoyed it. Were any parts more fun than the others ?

Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 12, 2002, 3:28:16 PM8/12/02
to
nfol...@cs.stanford.edu (Nathan Folkert) wrote:
> Hey Russil, it's been a while. I saw that you got
> alt.politics.international up and running, but unfortunately it is not
> available on google -- I can only see posts that have been
> cross-posted to other forums, which usually means they're pretty
> random.

Hey, Nathan! I've sent a couple requests to Google to archive the
group, but no luck so far.

> I've been looking into some of the issues that Chomsky brings up here,
> mainly concerning U.S. policy toward Latin America in the early
> post-war period. If you come across the 1945 document he references
> here, let me know. I've been a bit disappointed by the rather spotty
> internet coverage of some of the early planning documents such as the
> NSC memos and discussions from the time. Microfilm, I have learned,
> is a major pain in the ass. I'll probably transcribe and post some of
> them here at some point, so those curious in the future don't need to
> sit in the basement of a library somewhere winding reels and reloading
> paper cartridges.

I'd definitely be interested in hearing what you find out.

Russil Wvong
Vancouver, Canada
www.geocities.com/rwvong

Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 16, 2002, 9:13:32 PM8/16/02
to
jbd...@hotmail.com (Josh Dougherty) wrote:
> Russil, your efforts here are valiant and lengthy, but it's really
> impossible to evade the reality of the quote. It *is* in fact the
> priority to "maintain this disparity" and, as a subordinate clause, to
> do so in a way that will maintain "national security" while
> accomplishing the first goal. There's no way around it.

It'd be fun to write up a lengthy, point-by-point response, but it'd
probably be pretty tedious for readers. :-) Instead, I'll try to
summarize my main points.

1. Kennan argued in PPS/23 (February 1948) that the US did not have
solutions to the problems faced by the Asian countries -- in
particular, the problem of balancing population growth and food
supply in China and India -- and that because of its great wealth,
the US would be envied and resented. He predicted that the Asian
mainland would fall under Soviet influence, regardless of what the
US did; he recommended that rather than trying to prevent this,
the US ought to focus on keeping Japan and the Philippines out of
the Soviet sphere of influence, and leave the rest of Asia alone.
[http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/future/kennan/pps23.html]

2. Chomsky's quote makes it appear that

(a) Kennan was saying that the US ought to hold people down, when
in fact he was saying that the US ought to leave them alone;

(b) the real goal of US foreign policy was to "maintain the
disparity" in wealth between the US and the rest of the world,
when in fact Kennan was arguing that the US *could not* reduce
the disparity in wealth between the US and Asia. The goal
of US foreign policy immediately after World War II was to
contain the Soviet Union, by restoring the balance of power in
Europe and Asia.
[http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/future/kennan/pps13.html]

In my view, this illustrates Orwell's comment about propagandists
suppressing material facts and removing quotes from their context.

Chomsky's response:

On (1), Kennan is lucid and completely unambiguous. He begins
with a fact: we have 6% of the world's population, and 50% of
its wealth. We then have an explicit goal: we must "maintain
this position of disparity". There is no ambiguity at all
about what disparity he is talking about: it is our
overwhelming wealth as compared to others. He then he adds a
further consideration: we must maintain the huge disparity of
wealth between us and others "without detriment to our
national security" in the face of certain "envy and

resentment." That may require varied tactical decisions. But
in pursuing them, we must keep to the primary goal....

Chomsky is taking a single sentence from the middle of a 21-page
document and arguing that this represents the primary goal of US
foreign policy, ignoring the rest of the document and numerous
other documents in which it's clear that the primary goal of US
policymakers was containment of the Soviet Union. In their view,
the Soviet Union was a threat not because it stood outside the
capitalist economic system, but because of its military power, its
hostility towards the capitalist countries, and its willingness to
use violence (primarily violence by Soviet-controlled Communist
parties rather than outright invasion, in Kennan's view). (Note
that in 1948, the US had 10 divisions; the Soviet Union had 25
divisions in East Germany and Poland, and 40 divisions in the
Western zones of the Soviet Union. Of course, the US had a
monopoly on the atomic bomb until 1949.)

From Kennan's "Long Telegram", February 1946:

In summary, we have here a political force committed
fanatically to the belief that with US there can be no
permanent *modus vivendi*, that it is desirable and necessary
that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our
traditional way of life be destroyed, the international
authority of our state be broken, if Soviet power is to be
secure. This political force has complete power of disposition
over energies of one of world's greatest peoples and resources
of world's richest national territory, and is borne along by
deep and powerful currents of Russian nationalism. In
addition, it has an elaborate and far flung apparatus for
exertion of its influence in other countries, an apparatus of
amazing flexibility and versatility, managed by people whose
experience and skill in underground methods are presumably
without parallel in history. Finally, it is seemingly
inaccessible to considerations of reality in its basic
reactions. For it, the vast fund of objective fact about human
society is not, as with us, the measure against which outlook
is constantly being tested and re-formed, but a grab bag from
which individual items are selected arbitrarily and
tendenciously to bolster an outlook already preconceived.
This is admittedly not a pleasant picture. Problem of how to
cope with this force is undoubtedly greatest task our
diplomacy has ever faced and probably greatest it will ever
have to face.
[http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/documents/episode-1/kennan.htm]

From Kennan's 1952 dispatch on "The Soviet Union and the Atlantic
Pact":

... the conditions that existed as World War II came to an end
seemed to offer high promise for the success of such
tactics. The effects of Nazi rule on the social fabric of the
occupied countries, as well as of Germany herself, had
weakened the traditional institutions of those countries, and
had in fact performed a good deal of the work which the
Communists would in any case have wished to carry out in order
to soften these countries up for seizure of power by Communist
minorities. The postwar exhaustion and bewilderment of peoples
everywhere heightened vulnerability to Communist pressures and
deceits. The positions gained in Eastern Europe by the advance
of the Red Army in the final phases of the war, plus the
Soviet right, on the basis of Yalta and Potsdam, to a
prominent voice in the determination of the future of Germany,
protected by the veto power in the Council of Foreign
Ministers, made it seem to Moscow implausible that vigor and
hope and economic strength could ever be returned to the
Western European area otherwise than on Moscow's terms; and
these terms, in the Kremlin's mind, would be built around a
set of conditions in which the triumph of Soviet-controlled
forces would be assured. In France and Italy, furthermore, the
Communists had succeeded in exploiting both the resistance to
the Germans and ultimately the liberation from them, for
purposes of infiltration into every possible point of
political, military and economic control, and had thereby
reached positions of influence from which it seemed most
unlikely that they could be dislodged without chaos and civil
war. In these circumstances the Kremlin had good reason to
hope that a relatively brief period--let us say three to five
years--would see Communist power, or at least Communist
domination, extended to the Western European area in general,
even in the absence of any further military effort by the
Soviet Union. By virtue of such a development, as Moscow saw
it, the preponderance of military-industrial strength in the
world would be assembled under Soviet control. England would
represent at best an isolated industrial slum, extensively
dependent on the Communist-controlled Continent across the
channel. Taken together with the possibilities for Communist
success in China, where the immediately desired phase of
"expelling the imperialists" seemed to he progressing almost
unbelievably well with no effort at all on Moscow's part, all
this meant that prospects were not bad for the rapid advance
of the Kremlin to a dominant and almost unchallengeable
position in world affairs. Thus the lack of desire or
expectancy for a new major foreign war did not mean that
Moscow had no hope for the expansion of Bolshevik power in the
postwar period.
[http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB14/doc1.htm]

3. A further comment:

(c) Chomsky says that Kennan represents the "extreme dovish" end of
the spectrum. In fact, Kennan's view was (and is) that US
foreign policy should be based on enlightened self-interest, not
democracy and human rights (except by example). It should be
clear from PPS/23 that Kennan was arguing *against* people who
believed that US foreign policy should be based on democracy,
human rights, and world benevolence, such as Henry Wallace,
former Vice-President and Secretary of Commerce and
presidential candidate in 1948. And, of course, there *was*
an attempt at "altruism and world-benefaction", Truman's
"Point Four" program.
[http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/andrewss.htm]

4. I am *not* arguing that US foreign policy is virtuous and
benevolent, or that Kennan himself has never made any
recommendations which cannot be criticized on moral grounds. In
the same document, PPS/23, Kennan recommends that the US encourage
the Western European countries to retain, develop, and exploit
their African colonies, as a source of food and raw materials,
with no mention of the interests of the Africans themselves.
(This recommendation was studied for a year and a half before
being dropped for practical reasons; see Anders Stephanson,
"Kennan and the Art of Foreign Policy.") Here, Chomsky definitely
has a point. He's also right to criticize US foreign policy in
Latin America (although according to Wilson Miscamble's "George


F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950",

Kennan had no influence on US policy in Latin America).
[http://groups.google.com/groups?
selm=afe9ed76.0202131956.3fb1b0d0%40posting.google.com]

The US has done plenty of immoral things. But *it shouldn't be
necessary to make stuff up*, and I think Chomsky's quote of
PPS/23 is so misleading that it falls into this category.

Why spend time arguing about this? I think it's important to pay
attention to US foreign policy, and to criticize it -- particularly
considering the current policy of the Bush Administration -- but
*first you need an accurate picture of the facts*. And I think
Chomsky gives a very misleading picture. I have a particular interest
in the PPS/23 quote because I've read quite a bit of Kennan's
writings, and it seems to be worth responding to because it gets
posted a lot. (Since May, it's been posted to 31 different
newsgroups, ranging from alt.music.pink-floyd to
soc.culture.scottish.)

I've tried to put together a brief introduction to international
politics for people who want to learn more, as an
alt.politics.international FAQ:
[http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/future/apifaq.html]

I've also put together a Global Issues FAQ:
[http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/future/globalfaq.html]

Links to Kennan's writings:
[http://www.geocities.com/rwvong/future/kennan.html]

Frank Church

unread,
Aug 19, 2002, 5:13:54 PM8/19/02
to
This bumble head has the audacity to say that one of the most
respected linguists in the world can't read and interpret a simple
document. Chomsky needs no crib sheet. Give the man the respect he
deserves. The 8th most quoted human in the world must know more than
you, ya internet nebbish. Back to the back of the class with ya.

James A. Donald

unread,
Aug 20, 2002, 12:48:09 PM8/20/02
to
--
On 19 Aug 2002 14:13:54 -0700, tog...@rocketmail.com (Frank

Church) wrote:
> This bumble head has the audacity to say that one of the most
> respected linguists in the world can't read and interpret a
> simple document.

Or, alternatively, Chomsky can read and interpret the document,
but chose to lie about its contents, something he routinely and
regularly does.


--digsig
James A. Donald
6YeGpsZR+nOTh/cGwvITnSR3TdzclVpR0+pr3YYQdkG
e6T/oYJw2G9z8V2DLdFzKLckpk/z5368iG7l+ZZu
2sx0BCEZGVsHqft+ARteY7CNdBtT1tBpAcv8DQ0sm


Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 20, 2002, 1:34:35 PM8/20/02
to

I have no doubt that Chomsky's a brilliant linguist, or that he's
much smarter than I am. But being smart doesn't necessarily mean
that he's right.

analyst41

unread,
Aug 20, 2002, 2:47:10 PM8/20/02
to
russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote in message news:<afe9ed76.02081...@posting.google.com>...


You and Chomsky reminds me of English college dons fighting it out in
the "letters to the editor" section of journals or magazines making
meticulous point after meticulous point against each other and
exchanging pedantic vituperation until the Editor steps in and closes
the topic.

Chomsky is either a twit or a diabolical Jewish plant to prevent real
criticism of Israel from being made (in other words, Chomsky sets the
limits of criticism of Israel - anything more severe than Chomsky must
be driven by anti-semitism).

His devotees often complain that he is not allowed on mainstream T.V.
- and when he was on Paula Zahn - within MINUTES he was bullied by the
blowhard Bill Bennett into agreeing with this ASTOUNDING STATEMENT -
"The U.S. is the best country in the world".

At any rate - the preternatural evil of the U.S. is COMPLETELY
illustrated by Iraq -

(1) Iraq knew that if it took Kuwait's oil the U.S. might object -
they seek permission and are given it.

(2) The invasion occurs - and the cruellest and most comprehensive
trade sanctions in human history are imposed and thoroughly enforced.

(3) By requiring more humiliation than any sovereign state can endure,
the option of backing out is closed to Iraq.

(4) A war between complete unequals duly occurs - but the "victory"
isn't enough for the U.S.

(5) ONE - THIRD of all monies from "oil -for-food' TO THIS DAY are
appropriated for "war reparations"

(6) A functioning modern society is destroyed, TONS of depleted
Uranium released into the fragile desert environment, hundreds of
thousands of children killed

(7) "No-fly" zones, declared by Kofi-Annan to be illegal are enforced
through CONTINUAL BOMBING of a soverein nation.

An entire people are being strangled to death for over 10 years by a
country that has 10 times the population and 10000 times the weapons
and satellites and missiles. Comes 2002 and the U.S. CLAIMS SUDDENLY
THAT IT FACES UNACCEPTABLE THREATS FROM A STATE THAT HAS TAKEN SO MUCH
CASUAL CRUELTY at its hands, and is too weak to do anything about it
and the rest of the world goes about its business as if this
grotesquely sadist business isn't taking palce.

I don't know what your game is trying to discredit Chomsky, but he,
Edward Said Robert Jensen and othet pious, scholarly "left wing"
hand-wringers are nothing and perhaps worse than nothing - it is
everyday average people who need to understand what the U.S. is about.

Werner Cohn

unread,
Aug 20, 2002, 6:11:56 PM8/20/02
to
in article 66a868c0.02081...@posting.google.com, Frank Church at
tog...@rocketmail.com wrote on 8/19/02 5:13 PM:

> This bumble head has the audacity to say that one of the most
> respected linguists in the world

Respected by whom ? Not by linguists who respect data and scientific method

"audacity" to question question Chom ? So lèse-Chom has become the greatest
of sins ?


>can't read and interpret a simple
> document. Chomsky needs no crib sheet. Give the man the respect he
> deserves. The 8th most quoted human in the world must know more than
> you, ya internet nebbish.


But who are the seven ahead of him ? Maybe we should listen to them.


Also, just who did the counting in this alleged research of who is quoted,
and how was the counting done ? Just what kind of "quoting" was counted ?
Who did the alleged quoting ?

Chom and his followers are well known for their propensity to make invent
data, on both linguistic and political matters.

Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 20, 2002, 10:11:26 PM8/20/02
to
anal...@hotmail.com (analyst41) wrote:
> I don't know what your game is trying to discredit Chomsky, but he,
> Edward Said Robert Jensen and othet pious, scholarly "left wing"
> hand-wringers are nothing and perhaps worse than nothing - it is
> everyday average people who need to understand what the U.S. is about.

If I understand correctly, you think Chomsky doesn't go far enough:
you believe that it's not just the American government that's evil,
as Chomsky argues, but the American people as well; and that Western
civilization should be destroyed.

From reading through your past postings, you appear to be a Tamil
nationalist who hates and despises (a) Westerners, (b) Pakistanis,
(c) non-Tamil Sri Lankans, (d) North Indians, and (e) Tamil Brahmins.
My apologies if I'm drawing unwarranted inferences.

groups.google.com/groups?selm=60758fd6.0204100740.429b04d7%40posting.google.com
groups.google.com/groups?selm=92vkoq%249rk%241%40nnrp1.deja.com
groups.google.com/groups?selm=8ob1cr%24582%241%40nnrp1.deja.com

Since I'm not a Tamil -- excuse me, a non-Brahmin Tamil -- I don't
think we have any grounds for rational communication. Nationalism
is one of the most powerful emotional forces of modern history;
people like Orwell, Erich Fromm, and Hans Morgenthau suggest that
identifying completely with a Cause larger than oneself is a way
of overcoming the psychological anxiety caused by the atomization
of modern society, and the awareness of one's own mortality. If
you die, the Cause lives on. How can I argue with that?

Across the ocean, corpses soaking in the water;
Over the mountain, corpses lying in the grass.
We will die by the side of our lord.
We will never look back.

(For the record, I think Western civilization is facing a number
of major challenges -- see the Global Issues FAQ -- but I wouldn't
count it out any time soon.)

analyst41

unread,
Aug 21, 2002, 10:51:05 AM8/21/02
to
russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote in message news:<afe9ed76.02082...@posting.google.com>...

congratulations on your "opposition research" - did you find out if my
Momma wears army boots ?

OK - you will not comment on Iraq - lets take you up on scholarly
nitpicking - looks to me like Chomsky got it right and you are just
indulging in some malicious character assassination.

I quote your site verbatim with my comments in brackets

start quote:

Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of
its population. This disparity is particularly great as between
ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail
to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming


period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to

maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our
national security.

[NOTHING can be clearer - continuation of this diparity is the goal]

To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and
day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated
everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive
ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and
world-benefaction.

[the BEST interpretation is - Kennan in advocating callously ignoring
the 94 pct who must fight for our leavings - however the possession of
the tiniest amount of common sense would lead one to infer that Kennan
is suggesting that moral scruples should not get in the way of "taking
care of business" to maintain this disparity]

For these reasons, we must observe great restraint in our attitude
toward the Far Eastern areas.

[OK you have latched on to this isolated sentence to infer that Kennan
is only advocating neglect and not active predation on Asia - but read
on ]

The peoples of Asia and of the Pacific area are going to go ahead,
whatever we do, with the development of their political forms and
mutual interrelationships in their own way. This process cannot be a

liberal or peaceful one. The greatest of the Asiatic peoples&#8212;the
Chinese and the Indians&#8212;have not yet even made a beginning at


the solution of the basic demographic problem involved in the
relationship between their food supply and their birth rate. Until
they find some solution to this problem, further hunger, distress, and

violence are inevitable. All of the Asiatic peoples are faced with the
necessity for evolving new forms of life to conform to the impact of
modern technology. This process of adaptation will also be long and
violent. It is not only possible, but probable, that in the course of
this process many peoples will fall, for varying periods, under the
influence of Moscow, whose ideology has a greater lure for such
peoples, and probably greater reality, than anything we could oppose
to it. All this, too, is probably unavoidable; and we could not hope
to combat it without the diversion of a far greater portion of our
national effort than our people would ever willingly concede to such a
purpose.

In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now
with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with
regard to the Far East.

We should dispense with the aspiration to &#8220;be liked&#8221; or to
be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism.

[astounding - I doubt that HITLER made speeches more chilling than
this]

We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our
brothers' keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological
advice. We should cease to talk about vague and&#8212;for the Far
East&#8212;unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the
living standards, and democratization.

The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight
power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans,
the better.

{your interpretation ?]

We should recognize that our influence in the Far Eastern area in the
coming period is going to be primarily military and economic.


We should make a careful study to see what parts of the Pacific and
Far Eastern world are absolutely vital to our security, and we should
concentrate our policy on seeing to it that those areas remain in
hands which we can control or rely on.

[How do you reconcile this sentence with your assertion to the effect
that Kennan merely advocating leaving Asians alone with their poverty
etc. He is clearly advocating that parts of Asia "vital to U.S.
security" remain in the hands of pro-U.S. regimes (= Kleptocracies
that hold power only with U.S. assistance and actively work against
their citizens). Only the tiniest connecting of the dots is required
to further infer alleviating the poverty of their citizens cannot be
allowed to get in the way of the lofty goal of American security]


It is my own guess, on the basis of such study as we have given the
problem so far, that Japan and the Philippines will be found to be the
corner-stones of such a Pacific security system and if we can contrive
to retain effective control over these areas there can be no serious
threat to our security from the East within our time.

End quote.

Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 21, 2002, 4:56:19 PM8/21/02
to
anal...@hotmail.com (analyst41) wrote:

> russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote:
> > From reading through your past postings, you appear to be a Tamil
> > nationalist who hates and despises (a) Westerners, (b) Pakistanis,
> > (c) non-Tamil Sri Lankans, (d) North Indians, and (e) Tamil Brahmins.
> > My apologies if I'm drawing unwarranted inferences.
> >
> > Since I'm not a Tamil -- excuse me, a non-Brahmin Tamil -- I don't
> > think we have any grounds for rational communication.
>
> congratulations on your "opposition research" - did you find out if my
> Momma wears army boots ?

I'm not trying to be insulting. I simply don't see how we can have a
rational discussion, whether it's about Iraq, George Kennan, or anything
else. If you're really convinced that Americans are evil, I don't think
I'm going to be able to change your mind.

I will offer one suggestion: perhaps you hate and despise Americans
for the same reason that you hate and despise everyone else. If you're
motivated, it's not hard to find things to hate about anyone.

Werner Cohn

unread,
Aug 22, 2002, 12:17:40 AM8/22/02
to
in article B9883787.20012%wern...@worldnet.att.net, Werner Cohn at
wern...@worldnet.att.net wrote on 8/20/02 6:11 PM:

Still waiting to hear: who are the seven more quoted than Chom ? Maybe we
should all become fans of theirs, for their wisdom. Would Number One be
eight times as wise as Chom ?

analyst41

unread,
Aug 22, 2002, 6:23:28 AM8/22/02
to
russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote in message news:<afe9ed76.02082...@posting.google.com>...
> anal...@hotmail.com (analyst41) wrote:
> > russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote:
> > > From reading through your past postings, you appear to be a Tamil
> > > nationalist who hates and despises (a) Westerners, (b) Pakistanis,
> > > (c) non-Tamil Sri Lankans, (d) North Indians, and (e) Tamil Brahmins.
> > > My apologies if I'm drawing unwarranted inferences.
> > >
> > > Since I'm not a Tamil -- excuse me, a non-Brahmin Tamil -- I don't
> > > think we have any grounds for rational communication.
> >
> > congratulations on your "opposition research" - did you find out if my
> > Momma wears army boots ?
>
> I'm not trying to be insulting. I simply don't see how we can have a
> rational discussion, whether it's about Iraq, George Kennan, or anything
> else. If you're really convinced that Americans are evil, I don't think
> I'm going to be able to change your mind.
>

Look, you want to have a "focused" discussion - and I have accused you
of maliciously slandering Chomsky and have provided focused arguments
(I don't recall writing "death to America" anywhere in my response to
your charges against Chomsky regarding Kennan) to support that. Why
can;t you respond to them ?

For all you know I could be a child-molester on top of the other
things you accuse me of being - but putting that aside for a moment -
intellectual honesty demands that you respond to my criticism of your
charge that Chomsky made up stuff about what Kennan wrote.

Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 22, 2002, 7:33:31 PM8/22/02
to
anal...@hotmail.com (analyst41) wrote:
> russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote:
> > I'm not trying to be insulting. I simply don't see how we can have a
> > rational discussion, whether it's about Iraq, George Kennan, or anything
> > else. If you're really convinced that Americans are evil, I don't think
> > I'm going to be able to change your mind.
>
> Look, you want to have a "focused" discussion - and I have accused you
> of maliciously slandering Chomsky and have provided focused arguments
> (I don't recall writing "death to America" anywhere in my response to
> your charges against Chomsky regarding Kennan)

Earlier in the thread, you wrote:

anal...@hotmail.com (analyst41) wrote in message
news:<60758fd6.02081...@posting.google.com>:

If you think Americans are preternaturally evil, what's the point in
arguing over whether Chomsky misrepresented Kennan? From that point
of view, it's a trivial issue, as you said. You despise Americans
in general -- to you, they're enemies, as are other Westerners,
Pakistanis, North Indians, non-Tamil Sri Lankans, Tamil Brahmins --
everyone, it seems -- so why argue whether one American misrepresented
another?

If other people think that my criticism of Chomsky amounts to
"malicious slandering", they're free to read the original document
and judge for themselves.

analyst41

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Aug 23, 2002, 11:39:26 AM8/23/02
to
russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote in message news:<afe9ed76.02082...@posting.google.com>...

At one level, you are right. But why can't you humor me and try to
refute my attempt to prove that you are more despicable than Chomsky ?

After all, I didn't merely chant slogans to that effect - I have
offered an independent argument that Chomsky WAS justified in drawing
his conclusion as to what Kennan advocated.

Brain Death

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Aug 23, 2002, 12:08:04 PM8/23/02
to

I remember one of the Bagels telling me that Chomsky was closing in on
Shakespeare for citations. A quick google search showed about 10
times more Shakespeare mentions; apparently Noam is not in imminent
danger of surpassing the Bard.

BD

James A. Donald

unread,
Aug 23, 2002, 12:10:09 PM8/23/02
to
--
On 23 Aug 2002 08:39:26 -0700, anal...@hotmail.com
(analyst41) wrote:
> After all, I didn't merely chant slogans to that effect - I
> have offered an independent argument that Chomsky WAS
> justified in drawing his conclusion as to what Kennan
> advocated.

Your argument appears to presuppose that Chomsky was telling
the truth about Kennan, yet your opponent has offered evidence
that Chomsky lied. Your argument is not based on what Kennan
said, but what Chomsky claims that Kennan said.

You quote the same ambiguous out of context fragment as Chomsky
quotes, and then assert that the context and meaning was what
Chomsky said it was.

--digsig
James A. Donald
6YeGpsZR+nOTh/cGwvITnSR3TdzclVpR0+pr3YYQdkG

UVxCAPLJFp7lyjJ4dk2FEXmjOjBdlW4QZFXlJRLp
2gxM21YhB8VHdWJuVjXm9Guy0GgwCuFEjMtfJjARh


Russil Wvong

unread,
Aug 23, 2002, 9:45:16 PM8/23/02
to
anal...@hotmail.com (analyst41) wrote:
> russi...@yahoo.com (Russil Wvong) wrote:
> > If you think Americans are preternaturally evil, what's the point in
> > arguing over whether Chomsky misrepresented Kennan? From that point
> > of view, it's a trivial issue, as you said. You despise Americans
> > in general -- to you, they're enemies, as are other Westerners,
> > Pakistanis, North Indians, non-Tamil Sri Lankans, Tamil Brahmins --
> > everyone, it seems -- so why argue whether one American misrepresented
> > another?
>
> At one level, you are right. But why can't you humor me and try to
> refute my attempt to prove that you are more despicable than Chomsky ?

Lack of time. If you want to despise me, feel free; you don't need
to bother "proving" that I'm despicable. :-)

Personally, I wouldn't claim that I'm more moral than Chomsky -- he
certainly *is* very dedicated to his political principles, and he
spends a great deal of time and energy trying to reach people, which
is admirable. I just think he's wrong.

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