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9-11: Was There an Alternative? (Open Media Books) Paperback – August 30, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Open Media Books
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; Upd Exp An edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609803434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609803438
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

• "9-11 was practically the only counter-narrative out there at a time when questions tended to be drowned out by a chorus, led by the entire United States Congress, of ‘God Bless America.’ . . . it is possible that, if the United States goes the way of nineteenth-century Britain, Chomsky's interpretation will be the standard among historians a hundred years from now." --New Yorker
• "A badly needed corrective to news coverage of the present-day ‘war on terrorism.’"
--Norman Solomon, San Francisco Chronicle Review
• "Every word of 9-11 is more relevant than ever." --Amnesty International Journal (Ireland)
• "Chomsky laments that the U.S. government largely dismissed these human rights problems in its quest to “secure our interests.” The invasion of Afghanistan was far from the first time NATO overran unstable civilian populations in the search for terrorists (Chomsky offers several examples in the book) and, as we now know, it was not the last."
--Foreign Policy in Focus

About the Author

NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings as well as for his groundbreaking linguistics work. He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 and remains one of America's most uncompromising voices of dissent.

More About the Author

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. A member of the American Academy of Science, he has published widely in both linguistics and current affairs. His books include At War with Asia, Towards a New Cold War, Fateful Triangle: The U. S., Israel and the Palestinians, Necessary Illusions, Hegemony or Survival, Deterring Democracy, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy and Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Chris on October 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is basically a reprint of Chomsky's "9-11" with a chapter added at the beginning written after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Contrary to the ravings of far right demagogues like David Horowitz or a buffoon like Christopher Hitchens, Chomsky does not argue that the US deserved to get attacked on 9-11 or that Osama Bin Laden was a freedom fighter. He quite appropriately labeled 9-11 a horrendous act and a springboard for the infliction of more misery against the Palestinians and other peoples that OBL claimed to fight for.

Chomsky notes that the United States played a vital role in the creation of the jihadi network. In the 1980's in Afghanistan, the US and other countries joined with the Islamist dictatorships of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to organize, train and arm the most fanatic Islamic extremists--many of them not native to Afghanistan--in order to fight the Soviets. As Chomsky observes, the first visible demonstration of blowback from this policy occurred when jihadis assassinated President Sadat of Egypt in 1981. Since the end of the Soviet occupation, the jihadi veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan have spread out across the world and committed grizzly atrocities. After the Communist regime fell in Afghanistan in 1992, Chomsky observes, quoting a Human Rights Watch official, Afghanistan descended into the worst period in its history. The fundamentalist warlords backed by the US in the 80's took to pillaging, raping and murdering with such intensity in the period 1992-96 that many Afghans welcomed the Taliban's takeover. These fundamentalist warlords, of course, are now back in power in Afghanistan.

Chomsky notes that Bin Laden and other jihadis have explained their motives clearly.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By S.R. Hadden on September 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
In this trenchant analysis of 9-11's immediate aftermath, Noam Chomsky brings to bear encyclopedic knowledge of recent American history and cutting political insight, in criticizing the US government's immediate response to 9-11, which was, he argues, largely facilitated by news and media outlets which, in their apparent patriotic fervor, failed in their duty to subject the Bush administration's ostensible justifications for its response to 9-11 to even the most cursory analysis. The result, he argues, will be (and as we have seen, was indeed) a moral catastrophe for both the US and its victims abroad.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By doris sadler-davis on June 30, 2014
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this man is a national treasure whether you agree with him or not, you will be blown away with the facts.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
[Update, May 30, 2014: From the recently amended title of this book, you'd think the U.S. had perpetrated 9/11 itself, and actually had a choice in the matter. And in a manner of speaking, that seems what Chomsky thinks. But no, actually, the atrocities were Al Qaeda's choice. The U.S. was the victim, not the perpetrator.]

This book is moral relativism at its most extreme --- a political tract on supposed evils imposed by America on the world that meanwhile ignores all U.S. innovation and aid (food, health care, drugs, agricultural assistance, etc.) from which people around the globe benefit daily.

The book avoids discussing victims of 9/11 as well as all facts surrounding the worst single terrorist attack in world history and its perpetrators. Chomsky is uninterested in bin Laden or Islamic extremism. According to this book, everything bad is America's fault.

It contains lots of errors, too. According to Chomsky, America's attack on a Sudanese "drug plant" --- in reality a manufacturer of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction --- was calculated destruction of much-needed drug supplies for Sudan's beleaguered population. Excuse me? (Wikipedia notwithstanding --- whatever Wiki editors dislike, including true facts, they delete. On anything concerning recent or current events, it's generally trash.)

Let's get real: Who would believe claims of the Sudanese government, which for decades perpetuated terror, genocide and enslavement of southern Sudan's black, animist and Muslim populations --- murdering at least 2 million and enslaving several hundred thousand.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bonita Migliore on January 9, 2014
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If you like Chomsky, this one doesn't disappoint. Always wanted to know the scenario of 911 going on behind the Whits House doors. Great information, great insight.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John C. Landon on January 6, 2013
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This book is a puzzle, and it is hard to understand how Chomsky came to write it. After 9/11, within hours, a global group of critics and commentators began to question the official account. I recall reviewing a book here at Amazon on Sept 12, scratching my head: the Bin Laden gambit is phony. But the views of people like Chomsky on the left confused me for years, although my first instincts turned out to be right. It was clear from the start that something didn't add up. Chomsky's perspective, present in this book, is almost tailor-made to have opened the challenge to the crafted propaganda in effect from the start in the government and media. He is on the verge of seeing the real issue, but then turns around and demurs. Possibly it was too soon after the event to see what had happened. His book is all ready to go as an expose of the 9/11 conspiracy, and then a blank fire. Thus, he presents the correct background to the issue, such as the complicity of the US government in the creation of 'terrorists' and Bin Laden himself, but drifts off into a completely puzzling acceptance of the cover up. This pattern, we should note, has been present all along in Chomsky's refusal to consider the JFK assassination question, a tricky issue to be sure. To be fair, it took time for the skeptics to get their act together, and it was to be several years until figures like David Ray Griffin began to coordinate the evidence of covert conspiracy. Thierry Meyssan's The Big Lie came a year after 9/11, but didn't properly register with Americans. In fact, it was very hard to put the facts together, and it wasn't, perhaps, until the conclusive evidence that the Twin Towers couldn't have collapsed under the collision with jet planes that many were forced to go 'cold turkey' off the official story.Read more ›
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