Noam Chomsky - Distorted Morality: America's War on Terror?
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The hypocrisy of the U.S. government is powerfully scrutinized in Distorted Morality, a scathing thesis presented by renowned scholar Noam Chomsky. Speaking before an intimate audience at Harvard University on February 6, 2002, Chomsky sets fair and logical parameters to his thesis (namely, we are all hypocrites and, for the purposes of debate, the U.S. government should always be given benefit of the doubt) before outlining, with academic precision and citation of real history (as opposed to biased written history), the reasons why America's post-9/11 war on terror is a logical impossibility.
This, according to Chomsky's carefully supported analysis, is because the U.S. government has been, and continues to be, a major supporter of state-supported terrorism, favoring retaliatory or preemptive aggression over mediation in the world court, and avoiding accountability by excluding itself from the globally accepted definition of terrorism. (To underscore his point, Chomsky repeatedly volunteers his sources, inviting scrutiny at every turn.) With an additional hour-long Q&A session (in some ways more compelling, since it offers Chomsky's response to opposing viewpoints), Distorted Morality deserves the widest possible audience. In the short period between Chomsky's Harvard speech and the start of America's war against Iraq in March 2003, Chomsky's thesis has attained the chilling status of prophesy. Inevitably, Chomsky will be labeled anti-American, but at least his morality is crystal clear, immune to the obfuscation of politics and mainstream news. --Jeff Shannon
From the Back Cover
Noam Chomsky is a renowned scholar, the founder of the modern science of linguistics, a philosopher, a political and social analyst, a media critic, an author of more than 70 books, a winner of numerous prizes and awards, and ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the 10 most quoted sources in the humanities. In this remarkable DVD, Noam Chomsky offers a riveting but devastating critique of America's current War on Terror--arguing, in fact, that it is a logistical impossibility for such a war to be taking place. Professor Chomsky presents his reasoning with astonishing and refreshing clarity, drawing from a wealth of historical knowledge and analysis. "Only those who are entirely ignorant of modern history will be surprised by the course of events, or by the justifications that are provided..." Anyone who is serious about trying to understand world events since September 11th cannot afford to miss this.
- Q&A session
- Biography and bibliography
- Curriculum vitae
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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. For that reason many people will dismiss what Prof. Chomsky says outright; however, if you are open to things that go against the "general American consensus": then take a look at this. This DVD looks at some of America's past and present forays in international terrorism. Chomsky presents many well documented facts, he demonstrates his sources, and makes a statement similar to, "check it out and make up your own mind." That's exactly what I suggest you do.
I suggest you weigh the pros/cons and see if you think this is worth it. In my opinion, for this amount, this can be a great addition to anyone's collection of doc's.
-Just a note: Get the newer eight dollar version!-
After the 50-minute speech, there is a lively question and answer session. Chomsky seems like an extremely intelligent and articulate man. He states over and over - guys this information is not hidden, you can learn all of this with a few clicks of your mouse. Why people don't do it, I have no idea. This DVD is absolutely essential viewing for every American.
Most recent customer reviews
The Q & A session in the end is good.