Chomsky gives a masterclass on what happens when the US backs ‘state terrorists’

Noam Chomsky
Ed Sykes

Renowned scholar Noam Chomsky recently spoke to Democracy Now! about ongoing US interference in Latin America. And he gave a masterclass on what happens when Washington backs “state terrorists”.

“State terrorists, backed by the United States”

The Trump administration has been ramping up tensions with independent governments in Latin America, calling CubaVenezuela, and Nicaragua a “Troika of Tyranny”. And Chomsky said this brought to mind George W Bush’s 2002 ‘axis of evil’ speech, and how that led to “the worst crime of this century” (the invasion of Iraq). He also pointed out that war hawk John Bolton – currently Donald Trump’s national security advisor – “was behind that”; just as he’s behind the current tensions with Latin American governments.

Chomsky then highlighted the link between US interference in Central America and the refugees currently at the US-Mexican border:

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It’s kind of interesting to see this hysterical raving alongside of another astonishing propaganda campaign that Bolton and his colleagues are carrying out with regard to the caravan of poor and miserable people fleeing from severe oppression, violence, terror, extreme poverty from three countries: … mainly Honduras, secondarily Guatemala, thirdly El Salvador — not Nicaragua, incidentally — three countries that have been under harsh US domination, way back, but particularly since the 1980s, when Reagan’s terror wars devastated particularly El Salvador and Guatemala, secondarily Honduras. Nicaragua was attacked by Reagan, of course, but Nicaragua was the one country which had an army to defend the population. In the other countries, the army were the state terrorists, backed by the United States


As The Canary has explained previously, US imperialism has a long history in Honduras. And Washington’s backing of a right-wing coup in 2009 was just the latest example of US lack of support for Honduran democracy and human rights. Because privatisation, repression, crime, and extreme poverty soon plagued the country; but the US propped up the coup regime, funding it generously. And as Chomsky explained:

Now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible.

The right wing’s “incredible charade”

But in spite of Washington’s previous and ongoing support for “state terrorists” in Latin America (and around the world), the US right and its media lackeys have been fuelling conspiracy theories instead of acknowledging US culpability. As Chomsky stressed:

you have this incredible charade taking place…: Poor, miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they’re sending thousands of troops to the border. The troops being sent to the border outnumber the children who are fleeing. And with a remarkable PR campaign, they’re frightening much of the country into believing that we’re just on the verge of an invasion by, you know, Middle Eastern terrorists funded by George Soros…

And he insisted that this cynical misdirection is “a long-standing element of the US propaganda system”. The right-wing establishment doesn’t admit that refugees are fleeing from “the countries that we have crucially been involved in destroying”. It doesn’t seek to end harmful US interference as a result; it doesn’t stop backing repressive regimes. No. Instead, it simply focuses attention and anger on countries that “don’t obey US orders”. As Chomsky pointed out:

Colombia, for example, has the worst human rights record in the hemisphere for years, but they’re not part of the troika of tyranny.

The reason? Colombia is one of the longest standing US allies in Latin America.

Once again, Chomsky has shown us just how easy it is to cut through the propaganda. If only there were more Chomskys in the establishment media.

Featured image via screenshot

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