By Subrata Ghoshroy
In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview, Chomsky discusses the global politics of Iran’s and India’s attempts to become nuclear powers.
On Wednesday night, in a vote of 86 to 13, the U.S. Senate passed a historic nuclear deal with that will allow the United States to trade with India in nuclear equipment and technology, and to supply India with nuclear fuel for its power reactors. The deal is considered hugely consequential by its supporters and opponents alike — and a significant victory for the Bush administration.
Last month, Subrata Ghoshroy, a researcher in the Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, met with Noam Chomsky in his office at MIT, where he is the institute professor of linguistics. “Before we started our discussion,” Ghoshroy writes, “Professor Chomsky asked me to give him a little background information. I told him that I was researching missile defense, space weapons and the U.S.-India nuclear deal.” Ghoshroy is a longtime critic of the U.S. missile defense program and a former analyst at the Government Accountability Office who in 2006 blew the whistle on the failure — and attempted cover-up — of a key component of the program: a $26 billion weapon system that was the “centerpiece” of the Bush administration’s antimissile plan.
Ghoshroy and Chomsky discussed the then-pending nuclear deal, which would sanction trade hitherto prohibited by U.S. and international laws because of India’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear tests it conducted in 1998. Ghoshroy has written several articles criticizing the U.S.-India deal as a triumph of the business lobby — an assessment Chomsky agreed with. He said that Condoleezza Rice is actually on record admitting what is truly behind this deal, which he characterized as a “non-proliferation disaster.”
Ghoshroy’s subsequent conversation with Chomsky touched on a number of interweaving topics, including: India and the importance of the non-aligned movement; the myths of free trade and the so-called “success” of neoliberalism; Washington’s historic opposition to promote new world economic and information orders; Latin America’s growing independence; the West’s hypocrisy over Iran’s nuclear program — and MIT’s ironic role in it during the shah’s regime; and, finally, U.S. elections and the prospects for change.
The result is a two-part interview, the second of which will run on AlterNet tomorrow. Part One begins with India, the Non-Aligned Movement, and why a “majority of the world supports Iran.” (The Non-Aligned Movement, which consists of some 115 or more representatives of “developing countries,” originated at the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, which was convened mainly by newly independent former colonies from Africa and Asia to develop joint policies in international relations. Jawaharlal Nehru, then India’s prime minister, led the conference. There, “Third World” leaders shared their similar problems of resisting the pressures of the major powers, maintaining their independence and opposing colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially Western domination. India continued its vigorous participation and leadership role in NAM until the end of the Cold War. For further reading, visit the NAM Web site.)
Subrata Ghoshroy: (Comparing India) with the situation in Latin America, there is a lot more explicit stance (in Latin America) against imperialism and toward independence.
Noam Chomsky: It exists (in India), but I think that India should be in the lead, as it was in the l950s when it was in the lead in the non-aligned movement.
Senate Backs Far-Reaching Nuclear Trade Deal With India
Measure Goes to Bush, Giving The President a Rare Victory
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 2, 2008; Page A17
The Senate last night approved a historic agreement that opens up nuclear trade with India for the first time since New Delhi conducted a nuclear test three decades ago, giving the Bush administration a significant foreign policy achievement in its final months.
The bill, which passed 86 to 13, goes to President Bush for his signature, handing the chief executive a rare victory that both advocates and foes say will reverberate for decades. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who conceived of the deal, have pushed hard for it from the earliest weeks of the president’s second term.
The agreement, which sparked fierce opposition from nuclear proliferation experts, acknowledges India as a de facto nuclear power, even though it has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. …
Chomsky: “If the U.S. Carries Out Terrorism, It Did Not Happen”
By Subrata Ghoshroy
October 4, 2008
In an exclusive interview, Noam Chomksy weighs in on the financial collapse, the election and the power of U.S. propaganda.
Part Two of Subrata Ghoshroy’s exclusive interview with Noam Chomksy takes on the United State’s capacity for revisionist history and propaganda, from Ronald Reagan’s supposed commitment to free markets, to American terrorist actions in Latin America in the 1980s, to the bankrupt rationale for Clinton’s intervention in Bosnia. Chomsky also elaborates on MIT’s role in developing computer technology in the service of the military industrial complex — which he discussed in Part One. Finally, he puts the current financial crisis into global context — and weighs in on the presidential election, explaining why, like any other race in which two pro-business parties dominate everything — it is “not a serious election.”
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