Patrick Goodenough | International Editor | Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The newspaper, Mainichi Shimbun, published what it called an exclusive interview with Chomsky, to coincide with the sixth anniversary of al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks on the United States.
In the interview, Chomsky argued that the Iraq war "significantly increased the threat of terror," and he cited Michael Scheuer, a former CIA analyst and author of the book "Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror," as calling Bush bin Laden's main ally.
Chomsky later added, "just as Bush is Osama Bin Laden's best ally, he is also Ahmadinejad's best ally." Washington's "threats" against Iran had the anticipated effect of making the Iranian government "more harsh and verbal," he said.
The interview was published four days after al-Qaeda released a video message from bin Laden in which the fugitive terrorist approvingly cited both Chomsky and Scheuer.
"This war [in Iraq] was entirely unnecessary," bin Laden said in the video, according to the transcript released by the SITE Institute. "And among the most capable of those from your own side who speak to you on this topic and on the manufacturing of public opinion is Noam Chomsky, who spoke sober words of advice prior to the war, but the leader of Texas doesn't like those who give advice."
The al-Qaeda chief also urged those wanting to know the reasons why the West is "losing" the war to "read the book of Michael Scheuer."
Elsewhere in the Mainichi interview, Chomsky is quoted as saying:
-- That he had predicted directly after 9/11 that governments would use the attacks "as an excuse" to intensify repression.
-- That the invasion of Iraq was a war crime.
-- That the U.S. bombed Taliban-ruled Afghanistan after 9/11 despite having no real evidence at the time that the plot had been hatched in that country.
-- That while Afghanistan today needs constructive help, including offers of alternatives to poppy cultivation by peasants, "what the West prefers to do is to bomb."
-- That "the United States is not a functioning democracy."
-- That the "first 9/11" wasn't the al-Qaeda attack in 2001 but the Sept. 11, 1973 military coup that toppled Chile's communist President Salvadore Allende. "The effect of the first 9/11 was incomparably worse than the second 9/11," Chomsky says. "How come nobody talks about that? Well there is a simple reason. Because we were responsible for it."
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