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Distorted Morality - America's War on Terror?


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Product Details

  • Actors: Noam Chomsky
  • Directors: John Junkerman
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ak Press
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C826E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,380 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Distorted Morality - America's War on Terror?" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Customer Reviews

In no way does he excuse the oppressive governments of other countries.
John Robinson
If you have seen other Chomsky and want to hear what he has to say about this issue, by all means he's always worth hearing!
N. Caine
If you haven't heard of Chomsky, read any of his books or seen/heard any of his appearances, this probably isn't for you.
Mike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on June 2, 2004
Format: DVD
"Distorted Morality" consists of a "talk" Noam Chomsky gave at Harvard a couple of years ago and a series of question and answer sessions that took place at MIT. Chomsky, if you aren't familiar with him, is a linguistics professor at MIT who sidelines as a critic of American foreign policy. He's considered one of the brightest linguistic theorists in the world, a man who formulated a theory about language several decades ago that's still talked about today. It's sad to say, but the general public probably won't remember him for his scholarly work. Chomsky has written dozens of books about the scurrilous behavior of our elected officials and their actions taken against foreign nations, from the Vietnam War to activities in East Timor to the current war on terrorism. He attacks the media for serving as an instrument of American hegemony. One day, Chomsky hopes to replace capitalism with a system of government referred to as anarcho-syndicalism. He also unwaveringly supports the United Nations and the World Court, hoping that the United States will toss its sovereignty aside and merge with those two international bodies. I didn't get all of this detail from "Distorted Morality," but from another, longer DVD about Chomsky's background and intellectual underpinnings called "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media."
Chomsky's lecture at Harvard-which he calls a "talk" because it sounds more informal-deals with the Bush administration's efforts to combat international terrorism. Beginning with a premise about terrorism taken from an old American military handbook, he attempts to prove that a war on terrorism is an impossibility, an illogical idea completely inconsistent with our nation's prior actions in Central America and the Middle East.
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250 of 280 people found the following review helpful By Earl Hazell on May 8, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Noam Chomsky is one of the most important living Americans, if for no other reason that the media and the intellectual public's total refusal to engage him in debate on any of the issues he brings up make it clear how fragile our democracy has once again become. Better to silence, ridicule him and question his patriotism than to deal with the factual nature of what he brings to light? In a dictatorship maybe!
This DVD is actually my introduction to him, regarding hearing him speak. Without going too far in the direction of being too linguistically intellectual, or too far in the other of being self-righteously rhetorical, Chomsky proves for any person willing to think (and not just feel emotions the corporate media has expressly designed to make us feel) that a war on terror could not possibly exist. He brings to light foreign policy facts that show Terrorism as a modern political tool of ALL nations today, with smaller nations and dictatorships having in actuality less effect on the world stage with terrorism (despite the press they receive in developed countries leading one to believe otherwise) than the far more deadly and effective examples of terrorism practiced by, well, us. Chomsky, in his intellectual but raw, Sagittarian tell-it like-it-is way, does not demand anti-Americanism, or an insurrection, or even civil disobedience with this lecture to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. His spelling out of not just facts of the structure of language, but facts of current events and recent history reveals the moral vacuum in our present day world; a vacuum that, just like nature's abhorrence of a true vacuum, is abhored by the hearts of good people from whom true knowledge and information has been kept--which is most of America and the world.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful By John Robinson on November 16, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is true that Chomsky spends a great deal of time criticizing his own country and relatively little criticizing other countries. He is even kind enough to tell us why: Because, as a citizen of the USA, it is simply more sensible, efficient and responsible for him to focus his efforts there. As a voter and a public personality, he can make a difference in the US, much more so than in other countries. He believes, in short, that criticism, like charity, begins at home. In no way does he excuse the oppressive governments of other countries. He does force the realization, however, that we simply DO NOT KNOW if those governments would have ended up being oppressive in the absence of American foreign policy atrocities, because, in fact, many of them were never given the chance.
At the very least, Chomsky's work can help us to "de-brainwash" ourselves. We may not end up agreeing with him (I disagree with his viewpoint on the Second Amendment, for example), but at least we will be thinking 'outside the box', for a short time, anyway. And it is always good to do that as it leads to further insights. This is the way society evolves.
Five stars for the always thought-provoking Mr. Chomsky. Don't be afraid to think afresh, people. Buy it now.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mike on April 19, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
-Just a note: Get the newer eight dollar version!-
After reading several of the reviews it became apparent that I should write one. There are flaws I see with some of the reviews written, I will address them after a quick summary, and cost/benefit analysis.

If you haven't heard of Chomsky, read any of his books or seen/heard any of his appearances, this probably isn't for you. I point you to Manufacturing Consent (the quintessential Chomsky DVD about American Culture, media, indoctrination, etc).

Whether or not you like Chomsky, this is a good DVD. I'm not going to summarize, (it's already been done), but for the price, this is a good deal. Whether you plan to write a paper on or just want to hear about the state sponsored international terror, hypocrisy, and moral issues in America's past and present; and the future implications of them. For eight dollars this is a great buy.

The Q&A portion of the extras, with fifteen questions, is alone worth the cost. The Q&A is an hour, with questions from both, people attending at Kennedy School of Govt. (Harvard), and people at MIT. They ask poignant questions with inspired responses from Noam.

Now to address comments by reviewers:
If you can't handle watching something without constant cuts, mind numbing music and lots of Hollywood glitz: this isn't for you. If you can't handle C-SPAN or a college lecture, this isn't for you. If you like Chomsky, and are willing to watch something that isn't the slightest bit reminiscent of the MTV beach house(like ... uh... what's it called? a documentary!) then check this out.

Most people outside of college and the scholarly community are unaware of, or don't think about many of the points Chomsky argues in his books, lectures and public appearances.
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