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Audio and transcript of speech at Harvard: Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Foreign Policy, His Own History of Activism, and the Importance of Speaking Out
By Matthew W. Hutchins
The Harvard Law Record
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Scholar assails U.S. for hypocritical application of Non-Proliferation Treaty
Even the most radical conservative can agree with Noam Chomsky on at least one thing. “No one in their right mind wants Iran to develop nuclear weapons.” But to Chomsky, nonproliferation requires reciprocal action, rather than international condemnation. Chomsky’s reputation as a prolific author of books on subjects including linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, political science, and media might lead one to believe that his views stem from esoteric theoretical arguments, but Chomsky takes a pragmatic view of international relations. His conclusion is that Iran is developing nuclear weapons out of a rational fear for its national safety because of the systematically threatening posture of the United States and Israel.
Speaking at Harvard’s Memorial Church on Saturday, March 6th, Chomsky critiqued the foreign policy of President Obama ’91 and explained the historical reasons that Iran would perceive a need to develop nuclear weapons. “If they’re not developing a nuclear deterrent, they are crazy.” The problem, said Chomsky, is the defiant and hypocritical insistence of the United States on holding the constant threat of military action over Iran as a punishment for its noncompliance with United Nations mandates. “Hostile actions of the United States and its Israeli client are a major factor in Iran’s decisions of whether or not to develop a nuclear deterrent.”