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[casi] Excerpt from Noam Chomsky interview

The following is an excerpt from a recent (8th March) interview with Noam
Chomsky. The full text of the interview can be found on-line at


Of the various potential military operations that you mentioned, the one
that I think is serious is Iraq. Again, that has nothing to do with
international terrorism.

The Iraq policy is also a kind of continuation, but it could change. They
may consider this to be an opportunity to reestablish control over Iraq,
which is extremely important. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in
the world, much of it under-developed or undeveloped. Saudi Arabia is the
major one, Iraq is second, and it's substantial. It's estimated to be huge,
way beyond the Caspian, East and Central Asian region. You can just be
confident that the United States is not going to allow that to stay out of
control and certainly not to fall under the influence of its rivals, like,
say, France and Russia, which have the inside track now on Iraqi oil. So one
way or another, the US will do what it can, and it can do a lot, to regain
its control over those resources.

It has nothing to do with terrorism, it has nothing to do with Saddam
Hussein's atrocities. We know that for certain. The reason we know that is
because, you hear Clinton, [British Prime Minister]Tony Blair, Bush and
[former Secretary of State] Albright, and the rest of them talking about
what a monster Saddam Hussein is, we can't let him survive, he used chemical
warfare against his own population and he carried out major massacres and so

All of those charges are correct. But they're just missing three words,
namely: with our support.

It's true, he carried out all these atrocities, developing weapons of mass
destruction -- with our support. The US and Britain supported him, and
continued to support him well after the atrocities, continued to provide him
with technology to develop weapons of mass destruction, as they knew, at a
time when he was really dangerous, much more dangerous in the 1980's when
this was going on than today. So the charges are correct, but they're
plainly irrelevant. And they're just pure deception. Unless one points out,
yeah, he did all these horrible things with our support, then this is just
worse than lies. So it's not because of his atrocities, its not because of
terrorism, to which he may have connections or not. (they haven't even tried
to show anything). It's in order to regain control of, primarily, the oil
resources in a very rich area. And that involves a lot of complications.

It involves Turkey, for example. A very live issue in Turkey right now is
whether to agree to US pressure for Turkey to provide the ground forces for
an invasion of Iraq. [The US] have to have some kind of ground forces. They
have nothing comparable to the Northern Alliance there and it's a much more
substantial opponent. Turkey, of course, has a huge army, and according to
discussion inside Turkey, and a little bit here, they are being pressured to
agree to send their military forces in to take over northern Iraq, something
which they have mixed feelings about. The negative side is that they're
going to get a lot more Kurds under their control and they have plenty of
problems dealing with their own Kurdish population, which they treat
extremely ruthlessly -- with US support. That's how they can get away with
it. The last thing they want is a bigger Kurdish population.

On the other hand, the positive side for them is that Turkey has always
felt, with some justice, that what's called Northern Iraq should really be
inside Turkey. A lot of the population is Turkish. The border between Turkey
and Iraq was just established by the British. It had no meaning. It was
established in order to ensure that Britain would keep control of the oil
resources of Northern Iraq and that they wouldn't go to Turkey. The Turks
aren't exactly delighted with this, obviously...

If Turkey takes it over, it means the US takes it over, because it's a
client state, and the US would somehow take over the rest. You can be fairly
confident that plans of that kind are being considered very seriously and
might be implemented.


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