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Anti Chomsky Reader
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ignore the absurdities and sophistries spouted by the Chomsky cultists who have come here to flood this book with one-star reviews. They are brilliant (pseudo-) "intellectuals" who know much more than common sense. Read their writings, and you will see that their talking points directly echo Chomsky's own words.

There are no straw men here. Chomsky DID support Pol Pot. He made no bones about it--during the genocide. Let's allow the man to speak for himself, shall we?

"...the evacuation of Phnom Penh, widely denounced at the time and since for its undoubted brutality, may actually have saved many lives. It is striking that the crucial facts rarely appear in the chorus of condemnations."
After the Cataclysm [South End Press, 1979]

"The victors in Cambodia undertook drastic and often brutal measures to accomplish this task, simply forcing the urban population into the countryside where they were compelled to live the lives of poor peasants, now organized in a decentralized system of communes. At heavy cost, these measures appear to have overcome the dire and destructive consequences of the U.S. war by 1978."
Ibid.

"...executions have numbered at most in the thousands; these were localized in areas of limited Khmer Rouge influence and unusual peasant discontent, where brutal revenge killings were aggravated by the threat of starvation resulting from the American destruction and killing."
Ibid.

"While all of the countries of Indochina have been subjected to endless denunciations in the West for their 'loathsome' qualities and unaccountable failure to find humane solutions to their problems, Cambodia was a particular target of abuse. In fact, it became virtually a matter of dogma in the West that the regime was the very incarnation of evil with no redeeming qualities, and that the handful of demonic creatures who had somehow taken over the country were systematically massacring and starving the population."
Ibid.

"There was a significant degree of peasant support for the Khmer Rouge and the measures that they had instituted in the countryside."
Ibid.

"A more appropriate comparison [for Pol Pot's Cambodia] would be France after liberation from the Nazis."
The Nation, June 25, 1977, "Distortions at Fourth Hand."

"The 'slaughter' by the Khmer Rouge is a Moss-New York Times invention."
Ibid.

"I think the use of terror would be justified."
Alexander Klein, ed., Dissent, Power and Confrontation [McGraw-Hill, 1971], p. 119

"[My aim is to] stem the flood of lies about Cambodia."
From a personal 1977 communication with Francois Ponchaud

Explaining how the Khmer Rouge had actually saved up to one million lives: "U.S. officials predicted at the war's end that a million people would starve in a year. It appears that the new regime was at least partially able to avoid this consequence of the war."
Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 1977. Chomsky's letter to the editor can be seen online on Paul Bogdanor's site.

The breathtaking dishonesty of these assertions expose Chomsky as a fraud and his "revelations" as hoaxes. Take the last claim, his most egregious and contemptible by far. The prediction to which he alludes referred not to the effects of war, but to the likely death toll from the Communist take-over, especially the death march from Phnom Penh. Imagine what he must think of his credulous audience! This prediction is easily accessible as a matter of public record (see, for example, The Washington Post, June 4 & 23, 1975), and he was writing in 1977 (when it would have been fresh in everyone's mind). As we now know, the Khmer Rouge went on to murder twice that sum in a far shorter period of time than anyone would have believed and with much greater brutality than anyone could have imagined. Genocide investigators have determined that the Khmer Rouge perpetrated 1,386,734 violent killings and murdered about 2.2 million victims overall (see Etcheson's After the Killing Fields and Bruce Sharp's "Counting Hell"). (The number could be even higher if we counted all those killed by the Khmer Rouge in both civil wars and in the famine from 1979-81.)

Chomsky, claiming that the holocaust had been "inflated by a factor of a thousand," stated not only that the Khmer Rouge had refrained from murdering a million people, but that those they had allegedly refrained from murdering had actually been SAVED by the Khmer Rouge--even though the Khmer Rouge had, in fact, slaughtered well over a million individuals at the time he made this assertion.

(The great irony of all this is that, as Amartya Sen has written, "famines are, in fact, so easy to prevent it is amazing that they are allowed to occur at all"--if such a prediction HAD been made, the Khmer Rouge could have averted it just by allowing foreign aid!)

Chomsky would later rewrite his record of genocide denial, arguing that the Cambodian Civil War had killed at least 600,000 people and that American bombing was ultimately responsible for all of their deaths--although this estimate is more than twice the actual number of war-related deaths and American bombing accounted for less than a fifth of them (see Marek Sliwinski's excellent work on Cambodia).* His ridiculous intent was to make it appear that "the responsibility of the United States and Pol Pot for atrocities in Cambodia seems to be roughly in the same range." He transformed himself into an eloquent voice against "both" genocides, a delusion his cult followers have been eager to embrace. Anecdotal, forensic, and demographic evidence do not support Chomsky's fantastical version of Cambodian history. The memoirs of genocide survivors Chanrithy Him, Haing Ngor, Sam and Sokhary You, Someth May and Thida Mam, Vann Nath, Loung Ung, Sophal Leng Stagg, Paul Thai and Molyda Szymusiak all fail to mention a single death of friends or family caused by American bombing (this is hardly surprising, given that most of the bombing did not extend deeper than 10 miles into Cambodia, where there was hardly any population at all).

As Sharp examines in "Averaging Wrong Answers" our "courageous" dissident wrote that 250 people were dying every day in Phnom Penh alone due to "the conditions left by the US war" (an exaggeration of a self-described guess from the infamous pro-Pol Pot polemic Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution); in fact, the Red Cross had observers on the ground who put the death toll at 15 per day from all causes, natural and unnatural. The "war-related" deaths were caused mainly by the Khmer Rouge shelling of the city, and prove nothing about normal conditions expected for the rest of the country. Although Chomsky's original claim was that "the total for March [1975] alone comes to nearly 8000 people," his comrade Edward Herman later inflated this number to 8,000 deaths PER DAY in "Pol Pot's Death in the Propaganda System"--this statement was 30 times higher than his original exaggeration, which itself was inflated by a factor of 10 or 20. Presumably, the implication is that Pol Pot, far from killing millions, may actually have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Chomsky's work on Cambodia has no connection to reality and frequently borders on the surreal. As Sliwinski demonstrates, at least 30,000 very young children died as a direct result of the evacuation of Phnom Penh, and at least 870,000 citizens of Phnom Penh were killed by the Pol Pot regime altogether. William Shawcross believes that Phnom Penh had at least two months worth of food, and notes that many foreign nations offered to bring food into the city. The Khmer Rouge had been systematically forcing people out of their homes since 1972, which caused large quantities of food to rot. US air support kept Phonm Penh alive by dropping humanitarian aid and breaking up previous attempts to besiege the capital--as in the Berlin Airlift, the communists were the ones isolating and starving the city. As James Donald opined, "It is somewhat odd that the "American attack" should cause a huge outbreak of disease two years after it ended, and two weeks after millions were forced to march long distances in the hot sun without food or water, with the result that they had to drink from muddy puddles polluted by trampling feet, urine, and corpses."** Chomsky was so brazen as to defend the forced evacuation of hospitals!***

Chomsky's claim that "At the end of 1978, Cambodia was the only country in Indochina that had succeeded at all in overcoming the agricultural crisis that was left by the American destruction" is exactly backwards. By late 1979, UN and Red Cross officials were warning that another 2.25 million Cambodians faced death by starvation due to "the near destruction of Cambodian society under the regime of ousted Prime Minister Pol Pot," most of whom who were saved by American and international aid after the Vietnamese invasion. The Cambodian communists' economic plans were, at times, utterly surreal. Scholar David Chandler notes that, in a Democratic Kampuchea report on General Political Tasks of 1976, there are three lines devoted to education, and six devoted to urine. The document states that, regarding human urine, "We collect thirty per cent. That leaves a surplus of 70%." These were indicative of the types of policies that Chomsky and Herman claimed had lifted Cambodia out of the ashes of war. Absurdly, Chomsky even cited the Khmer Rouge decision to export food confiscated from starving victims as evidence of the success of their economic policies!

When Vietnam launched brief, punitive border raids on Cambodia to retaliate for Khmer Rouge attacks on Vietnamese villages--while still hoping to renew friendly relations with their fellow communists--Chomsky cited the supposed Khmer Rouge "victory" as evidence of popular support for the genocidal butchers: "The Cambodian people have not exactly been awaiting liberation from their oppressors." Unfortunately for Chomsky, the Khmer Rouge government collapsed almost instantly when Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion, due to the complete lack of popular support for the regime. (Would Chomsky cite the genuine popular support for Hitler as proof that Nazi Germany was really benign?)

Even left-wing revisionist historian Ben Kiernan has no stomach for Chomskyite delusions: "Along with [Khmer Rouge apologist Michael] Vickery's theory of a 'peasant revolution', we can now dismiss [Nazi Holocaust denier and Cambodian Holocaust denier Serge] Thion's assertion that in Democratic Kampuchea, 'The state never stood on its feet.' Despite its underdeveloped economy, the regime probably exerted more power over its citizens than any state in world history. It controlled and directed their public lives more closely than any government had ever done." (The Pol Pot Regime, 1996).

Chomsky continues to totally deny the brutal purges in communist Vietnam and Laos, which left up to one million people dead; his main method of denial is simply to ignore all reports of such atrocities, or to smear refugees as CIA agents while quoting communist press releases. His propaganda on Cambodia is considerably more sophisticated. Like all propaganda, it makes contradictory arguments (i.e., "the mass deaths under the Khmer Rouge were caused by war-induced famine that took several years to kick in," "the Khmer Rouge prevented famine through ingenious economic policies," and "there were no mass deaths under the Khmer Rouge"), because it is not concerned with the literal truth--only with affecting the reader's emotional state. In fact, by allowing readers "to come to their own conclusions" from a highly warped and delusional set of "facts," his propaganda mirrors the "system of thought control and indoctrination" that he claims is prevalent in the "Free World press." Of course, his ravings are far too convoluted for a mass audience, but the simple version ("the Khmer Rouge were not communists but CIA sponsored Nazis, and all leftists everywhere always opposed them") is the new (heavily revised) official version of events (taught to our kids by former Pol Pot admirers like Kiernan).

It's good to see Chomsky finally called to account for his lies.

*W.J. Sampson estimated all deaths caused by the entire Cambodian civil war at 100,000 or less (to be fair, Sampson was an early skeptic about the scale of Khmer Rouge atrocities). Marek Sliwinski put the number at 240,000. Paige Johnson and Judith Banister described 275,000 as "the highest mortality we can justify." Of these, about 40,000 were killed by US bombing, mainly combatants (Sliwinski). I'm no expert, but here's an easy way to check the estimates: Reports from the Red Cross and others in Phnom Penh in 1975 suggest that Chomsky's "8,000 dead per month" was inflated by at least a factor of 10. If we accept 800 dead per month--a high estimate describing the maximum death toll in the most stricken city in the country while it was under siege in 1975--and multiply it by 4 because the 2 million people in Phnom Penh represented a fourth of the Cambodian population--even though conditions were not nearly as serious elsewhere--we would arrive at a maximum country-wide death toll of about 3,000 per month. Although earlier stages of the war were far less lethal, we could use this to extrapolate for all 5 years of war (1970-5) through the following equation: (3,000 per month*12 months in a year=36,000)*5 years of war=180,000 total dead. This appears to be close to a possible maximum, so I don't doubt that 275,000 is indeed the highest demographically possible number of "excess deaths" attributable to the war (there had also been some low-level fighting in the late sixties). Chomsky's claim of 600,000 to 1,000,000 killed in "the US war", when he isn't claiming that most of the deaths under the Khmer Rouge were also caused by the war, is obviously an unsupportable propaganda fabrication.
**Donald: "The Khmer Rouge neglected to allow many of those they marched out of the city access to water during the march, resulting a very large death rate among the evacuees. They frequently neglected to feed their slaves for long periods. They deliberately destroyed food sources that could not easily subjected to centralized storage and control, such as fruit trees. They also forbade harvesting such food source from the wild, for example fish. They neglected to plant rice in their focus on cash crops, such as jute, and in their focus on irrigation works to build the future without regard for feeding people in the present. The famine that they caused was in part accidental, caused by incompetence, for example planting the wrong kind of rice, and building foolish irrigation ditches, but it was in part deliberate, as when they forbade fishing, had fruit trees cut down, and forbade the planting or harvest of mountain leap rice." The Khmer Rouge also outlawed medicine and hospitals.
***"I shall never forget one cripple who had neither hands nor feet, writhing along the ground like a severed worm, or a weeping father carrying his ten-year old daughter wrapped in a sheet tied around his neck like a sling, or the man with his foot dangling at the end of a leg to which it was attached by nothing but skin." - Description of the death march from Phnom Penh (Cambodia Year Zero, pp.6-7)
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376 of 527 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm sure that most of you will simply look at the rating above and immediately pass a dismissive judgment on my political beliefs and choose to not read the review. However, it is true that all political reviews are born of a political predisposition, and I am honest to enough to admit that this review is from a leftist. It is important for leftists and followers of Chomsky to not dismiss this book out of hand, to go through the evidence and judge only after you evaluate the criticisms and the factual record. On the other hand, for those of you on the right who are comfortable with the findings in this book, I urge you to consider the following:

Chapter 1 by Stephen Morris of Johns Hopkins University, called "Whitewashing Dictatorship in Communist Vietnam and Cambodia" of course attempts to make the case that Chomsky (and the far left in general), has apologized for the crimes of Communism during the United State's military involvement in Indochina during the 60's and 70's. However, I'm afraid Morris' scholarship is less than exemplary and makes incorrect assumptions about the nature of American involvement in Vietnam. Morris writes on the Communists, "the regime that controlled North Vietnam after 1954 was the political creation of the Vietnamese Communist Party [...] Its agenda was to seize total power, first by negotiation with the French, and from late 1946 on, by expelling the French from the region through armed force" (pg. 4). But what Morris presupposes here is that the Communists had no right to free themselves from French colonialism. He becomes confused on the next page while defining the ideology of the Vietnamese Communists, writing that, "North Vietnam was anything but democratic. It was a nation run by a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party," but then he also says, "the North Vietnamese, like their North Korean comrades, continued to revere Stalin publicly" (pg. 5). Unfortunately, both of these statements cannot be correct because Marxist-Leninism is inherently different than Stalinism, nor does he cite the relevant historical material to substantiate his claim. On Chomsky's apologetics for Maoist influence in North Vietnam, Morris writes that "Chomsky ignored the published eyewitness accounts of Vietnamese defectors and the well-documented scholarship of a Chinese-American academic historian" (pg. 6), yet Morris fails to name the historian. Morris makes the case that Chomsky was "not too perturbed by the Marxist-Leninist regime that controlled the population" (pg. 7), yet the quote from Chomsky that he himself provides expresses serious doubts about the social movement, "degree of centralization of control that, in the long run, will pose serious problems [...]" (pg. 8). Morris later provides an extract from Father Gelinas, a Jesuit priest who had taught in South Vietnam and argues that Chomsky distorts the meaning of Gelinas' testimony (pgs. 11-12), but no where does he indicate where Chomsky committed the misrepresentation. Similarly, Morris makes the case that Chomsky and Hermann disregarded the testimony of Nguyen Cong Hoan, quoting Chomsky, "How credible is his testimony in general?" Again, he fails to provide a citation for the quote. The rest of the essay, including his contemptuous section on Cambodia, proceeds with the same form of willful deception and miserly scholarship.

Chapter 2, Chomsky and the Cold War, Thomas M. Nichols (U.S. Naval War College)
Near the beginning of the essay, Nichols claims that Chomsky "will criticize the outcome of a revolution led by European Bolsheviks, but not those led by the likes of Castro" (pg. 38), which is simply not the case. Chomsky described Castro's regime as "tyrannical" (see Understanding Power, pg. 149). The majority of the first half the essay is an amateurish attempt to write of Chomsky as a Communist apologist without any serious referencing, nor does the author once mention the U.S.'s support for the Soviet Union during WWII, nor does he mention the U.S.'s support (rather incredibly) for the Khmer Rouge after the Cambodian genocide during the 1980's. Nichols moves on to a section titled Chomsky's "scholarship" in which he systematically distorts Chomsky's methodology. He makes the case on page 48 that Chomsky has misrepresented a study that appeared in Harvard professor William Yandell Elliot's book `The Political Economy of American Foreign Policy', which reveals that the U.S. was concerned about the Soviet Union to the extent that it would interfere with U.S. business interests. Nichols claims that Chomsky makes the case that the document was well known among U.S. planners, he writes: "This phrasing-especially the use of the word `document'-seems to indicate a widely read report", but unfortunately the word `document' in fact reveals absolutely nothing about how widely read it is. Furthermore, Chomsky himself (as quoted by Nichols), states that the document is "generally ignored." Nichols has contradicted himself in the course of a single paragraph. Additionally, Nichols makes the case that Chomsky will often make a claim in which he merely cites another of his books, which in turn, cites another of his books in such a way as to disguise the fact that Chomsky isn't referring to any actual evidence. Nichols writes: "in World Orders Old and New, his first note in his chapter on the Middle East reads: `For sources where not given here, see Deterring Democracy, chap. 1; Year 501, chap.2. An intrepid reader seeking to follow Chomsky's trail in his footnotes will find that very little of the first chapter in Chomsky's own Deterring Democracy is actually about the Middle East." While it is true that the Middle East occupies only a small portion of Chomsky's introductory chapter of the Cold War, the relevant factor is the evidence he cites. Turing to the footnotes of Deterring Democracy (pg. 68, n. 82), Chomsky cites Towards a New Cold War, but also Search for Security (Aaron David Miller), Aramco, the United States and Saudi Arabia (Irvine Anderson, Princeton U Press), Oil, War and American Security (Michael Stoff, Yale U), Oil and the American Century (David Painter, Johns Hopkins), and Eisenhower as cited in Steven Spiegel, The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict (University of Chicago). This is not exactly a slim sample of historical evidence. Furthermore, Nichols neglects to address the evidence presented by Chomsky in the footnotes to chapter 2 of Year 501 (pgs. 293-296), cited as the other reference for the relevant material in World Orders, wherein he cites a plethora of historical and scholarly material from obscure publications like the New York Times and American Foreign Policy (citing Kissinger directly). Even a superficial reading of his essay reveals that Nichols has not risen to the level of outright fabrication on the question of Chomsky's scholarly integrity.

The Anti-Chomsky reader is nothing more than a collection of misrepresentations, factual inaccuracies, and consciously willed lies. The rest of the essays that follow are of the same intellectual-scholarly caliber as the ones previously discussed. I urge you to read through them and confront the evidence they present, I'm sure you will find that it collapses upon quick inspection.
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196 of 277 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
It is important to read some Chomsky before judging whether this book is any good. There are a lot of criticisms of Chomsky (much more praise though) and unless you know the facts you could assume that it is justified. Two examples that I know a little about:

Chomsky denies the Holocost: False. He allowed an essay of his about freedom of speech to appear in the introduction of a book denying the holocaust. In short: Freedom of speech must include freedom for ideas we don't like.

Chomsky is a Pol Pot apologist: False. He criticized the US for fabrication information about Pol Pot for US political ends. He always recognized that Pol Pot was a monster.

In general the logic goes that if Chomsky criticizes America then he must support the other side be it Russia, Kemer Rouge, Saddam, Osama etc. Most thinking people know that this is not the case but it can take time to get this crucial point.

He criticizes the American government a lot for two reasons: 1. America is the most powerful and therefore the most aggressive nation on Earth and 2. He is American and feels it is his moral responsibility to do something about this aggression. He can't do much about Russia or China but in his own country where he has so much freedom he is duty bound.
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42 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading Horowitz, but I don't open a book written or edited by him expecting a sober and careful examination of leftist thought. With that in mind, this book definitely serves its purpose - to give those who already hate Chomsky some more intellectual ammunition. I doubt any Chomskyites will be swayed by it, because right from the start the book is so meanspirited, that it immediately puts sympathizers on the defensive. The book jacket, featuring a review from Alan Dershowitz, calls Chomsky an intellectual fraud and claims that nothing he says can be trusted. There are other blanket statements to that effect sprinkled throughout the book. So much for fairness.

Nevertheless, the book provides some good reminders that Chomsky has made some terrible predictions and has a tendency to overstate his case. Of course, I'd like to meet the 70something year old intellectual who hasn't made some glaring errors in the past.

The weaker chapters are on Chomsky's media theory and his supposed Holocaust revisionism. In the former, the author grossly misunderstands (or misrepresents) Chomksy's ideas to the point where he thinks that since the NYTimes and Wall St. Journal have different editorial viewpoints on various issues, somehow that refutes Chomsky's propaganda model. The latter chapter has some interesting tidbits about Chomsky's dealings with Holocaust deniers, but one wonders what the real point is. Chomsky used bad judgement, but does anyone seriously believe that he denies the Holocaust or wants to further the Holocaust denial movement? Since the right so often wastes space rehashing this incident, it makes me wonder if they're short on anti-Chomsky material.

One of the final chapters struck me as extremely unfair for its method, because it used a private email exchange as a source to prove Chomsky's duplicity. Such an exchange should not be fair game for a published attack. Chomsky, for those who don't know, is actually very generous with his time, and often engages in long email exchanges with ordinary people. One of the contributors exploits this and selectively quotes Chomsky in order to belittle him. Sadly, Chomsky may not feel like being so generous anymore.

Despite its many flaws, I do recommend this book, but not because it will lead us to the truth. Conservatives will gleefully interpret it as some sort of slam dunk or smoking gun, and Chomsky's fans will benefit from knowing what they're up against (and may even be encouraged by just how thin - both in volume and insight - this book is).
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136 of 198 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a Scot I am struck by the use of the terms 'left' and 'anti-American' here. It's as if these words carry mechanistic weight, that is, they help one understand the mechanisms by which Chomsky reached his conclusions.

But they don't. In fact, they inform one of the perspective of the person using these terms. Use of these terms denotes a simplistic and rigid belief system. How strange that anyone who doesn't believe in the free market without a bit of control can be filed in the same box as Stalin! In Western Europe the welfare state is stronger than in the US (ie. poor pregnant mothers are generally given the same level of care as middle-class pregnant mothers), yet the system is basically capitalist. Does that make Europeans generally of the 'left', or even Stalinists?

This labelling business is like some kind of weird sport: ah! I've got you categorized now, ya lefty!

I think it's helpful to look at things in more depth, allowing for more complexity and more accuracy. Think of it like this: Chomsky has certain views about how the behavior of some humans beings harms the welfare of others. The absurd invasion of Grenada (Reagan-worshippers, please try to justify that!) is one example; the US and UK support of undemocratic and murderous regimes such as Pinochet's is another. Chomsky pointed out forcefully that for various reasons, our governments supported regimes which harmed and killed many thousands of ordinary people who were just trying to work and live. And he also pointed out that this wasn't widely reported in our mass media. What's wrong with that? Why not face up to these facts? Why squirm out of it by calling him a lefty or a neo-communist? You may disagree with Chomsky's explanation, his media theory, but it is surely true that (a) our governments did bad, bad things to civilians in other countries, and (b) the media were remarkably bad at reporting this.

So as a principle, why not just deal with (a) the facts - are they correct or not?, and then, if they are, (b) Chomsky's conclusions.

This book doesn't really do this. It picks on some mistakes that Chomksy made, and then implies that this means that the reader should regard all that Chomsky states as false (a logical fallacy); it (depressingly) raises the false accusation that Chomsky is a holocaust-denier; it has an irrelevant chapter in which Chomsky's linguistics theories are challenged: so what? That's science, it's allowed, that's how science works, people disagree and then do experiments to resolve these disagreements, Watson and Crick made some mistakes in their DNA model, they were challenged and then fixed, blah blah blah, what the heck does this have to do with political debate?); his footnotes are challenged - um, so he self-references, like all other scholars, and sometimes uses hard to find sources, again, so what?; etc.

Looking at Horowitz's stuff in general, it does seem as if he is a bit of an irrational nationalistic, anti-'left' ideologue. He has found a faith and is sticking by its dogmas. He carries some core beliefs through which the outside world is interpreted. Thus, he argues from a set of unexamined (at least by him) and flimsy premises. So do many of the reviewers here. For example, if someone questions US foreign policy, they are on the 'left', and are there to be attacked. Same with Chomsky's criticism of the behaviour of the State of Israel (ie. = anti-Semitic).

Some reviewers here also seem to use this bizarre method of argument. The 'left' lives in a daydream, the 'left' lies to maintain its ideological position, etc.

Now I don't understand the value of this way of doing things. It's a distraction from getting at the truth. As a citizen I am interested in knowing about how government policies affect people domestically and abroad. Chomsky has conducted some informative analyses on these topics. Trying to bat them away by using labelling and straw men just doesn't do it for me.

The authors are ignorant or dishonest, and they get one star.
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74 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are new to Chomsky, and you feel compelled to read some of his essays (due to peer pressure or a vague notion that Chomsky is a `must read' intellectual), then read this book first. It is the preventative and the antidote to the cognitive dissonance and tedium of reading the man himself. I came to Chomsky from a general interest in linguistics. Since Chomsky is considered the father of modern linguistics, I felt sure that his more general writings would provide a rich intellectual seam. I found Chomsky's take on world to be perverse and bewildering, not least because most of his views and predictions seemed to be wrong or appear to ignore the evidence. When I came across this book I was relieved to discover that I was not the only one who found Chomsky to be deluded, and perhaps dangerous. The Anti-Chomsky reader has now given me the confidence to strike the great man from my reading list altogether, safe in the knowledge that my intellectual life will be the richer. So read this now and save much fruitless study later.
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52 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read many of the reviews below.

I also read this book.

And I've read several of Chomsky's books. Perhaps there is something wrong with my brain, but it seems to me that Horowitz and Collier (and Oliver Kamm if you want to read stuff from across the pond) are on a mission to undermine Chomsky's credibility and not based on fact, but rather on skill.

That's the reason I called this book "educational". It's a skilled effort at distraction from very real and important issues. If want to learn how to do it, read this book.

Most of the positive reviews included here make claims about acolytes and socialists and anti-Americans. Fine.

Read about East Timor.

Read about Venezuela.

Read about Guatemala.

Read about Cuba.

Read about Nicaragua.

Read about Haiti.

And not just us publications. Read THEIR publications. Why was Jean-Bertrand Aristide overthrown? Why did the US support the military replacement? Aristide was overwhelmingly popularly elected? It's issues like this that matter... not whether Chomsky has a cult following (he doesn't).

What does Horowitz and Collier have to say about the 200,000 dead East Timorese that we stood by and let die while we made money on the arms that we sold to Indonesia? I don't know about you, but if I were to find out that my country had something to do with that, I think it would be reason for concern.

I recently re-read "Deterring Democracy" which Chomsky published in 1989, right after the Berlin wall came down. Contrary to what other reviewers have said, it has predicted the future quite accurately. Have a look. You might be surprised.

..and go to chomsky.info and watch the Dershowitz debate with him. It's current and telling.
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67 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a marvelous expose' of a radical left-wing sacred cow, Professor Noam Chomsky, who somehow managed to leverage early academic success in the field of linguistics into a lifelong career as socialist left-wing gadfly. Unfortunately, in his academic pursuits, Professor Chomsky somehow apparently failed to assimilate a basic ethical principle that most people find entirely uncontroversial -- namely, that one should tell the truth and avoid intentional deception. As this volume establishes beyond any shadow of doubt, Professor Chomsky is a mendacious writer who abuses the trappings of academic scholarship to peddle a peculiar political world-view holding that U.S. power is the greatest evil in the world. This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature which debunks the paranoid musings of the famous linguist.
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71 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that "Chomskyism" is a religion for the stupid people of the world. This book documents the idiotic rants and lies of a man who, contrary to what his puppets believe, has no skills to rationalize complex geopolitical events. The best way to break this cult of distortion and malice is to read the book. It will open your eyes.
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60 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I wish every reader of Chomsky would go out and read this book. Unfortunately, most won't. The Anti-Chomsky Reader illustrates Chomsky's hatred towards Israel, and how he got into bed with a holocaust denier and his cadre of jew-haters. Chomsky not only hates Israel - he hates America too, and believes that the US had it coming in 9/11. I only with the book had been bigger..and that they could have covered Chomsky inability to protest the lack of free speech on campuses. Silly me - the only speech allowed on campus is leftish hogwash...no wonder he is not protesting.
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