Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Raimondo on U.S. and East Timor: Liar or Fool?

The other day there was a thread citical of Chomsky's ideas/politics - on dKos. I offered my own smackdown, part of which ran into being highly critical of a Justin Raimondo article I'd just run across in looking for criticism of Chomsky's ideas - I've reproduced that Raimondo section below, as I've new evidence to offer in this case of Raimondo's capacity for ignorance and/or mendacity and/or 'other':

As far as the distorting of Chomsky's remarks thing goes, just today I found an old article at antiwar.com from Justin Raimondo - who seems really smart, writes really well, is on top of his game related to Bush crimes - even Clinton crimes - but he did this attack piece, I guess, on Chomsky that was so typical of right-wing anti-Chomsky pieces. Check it - I really respect this dude Raimondo's writings on a lot of stuff - he's good, which makes this article all the more baffling. Like a lot of other anti-Chomsky stuff, well, I can't really say what he was thinking when he wrote it - it doesn't make much sense to me. For instance, he goes off on Chomsky for telling the U.S. to stop sending arms shipments to Indonesia, arms which the Indonesian government was using to suppress/oppress/murder/torture the East Timorese due to oil-type reasons, of course (are there any other kind?) - something like that, but it seems as though Raimondo just outright ignores Chomsky's call for the U.S. and other governments to stop helping the Indonesian government in their evil deeds, and accuses Chomsky of being an interventionist, and then implying (at least) that Chomsky is ideologically confused ('clueless') because he can't decide between being either absolutely pro-interventionism or absolutely non-interventionism - as if that means one is what we would generally call ideologically confused. I mean, reality check - is there anyone out there who believes the U.S. should never, ever, under any circumstances, intervene in another country? Or anyone out there who believes the U.S. should always, under any circumstances, intervene in another country? If so, then according to Raimondo, it seems, those people are not idealogically confused, they do, indeed, 'have a clue', as it were, and will be spared Raimondo's sharp pen. Or something.

In addition to the ridiculous nature of the supposition put forth by Raimondo - that all of us who, say, don't sleep on our sides every night, as opposed to sleep on our backs, are idealogically confused about how one should sleep - besides that ridiculousness, all of Raimondo's critique relies on believing that Raimondo himself actually believed that Chomsky was calling on the U.S. to intervene in Indonesia as opposed to just refrain from aiding and abetting the criminal Indonesian government (with guns, etc.). If you can convince yourself that Raimondo actually believed what he was saying, then Raimondo would be able to slip the 'willful deception' label, but his argument would still be totally without merit because Chomsky was not calling for intervention so much as he was calling for the U.S. to stop intervening - to stop helping the Indonesian government maim and slaughter. So, at worst, Raimondo's a liar - at best, he's a fool. I'm not just name-calling - are these labels not deserved for critiquing events that only happened, at best, in Raimondo's head?

How do we explain this Raimondo article? How would Raimondo explain it? It does appear on a fundraising-type drive/period/page, so maybe that's the motivation - attack Michael Moore, attack Chomsky, raise some quick bucks, whatever - but I have no idea. It's either stupidity, ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, or some combination of the three.

So, these types of writings do make me wonder - wtf are these people thinking? Do they, like Alterman and Dershowitz, just go batty when it comes to certain subjects? I don't get it, because they often come off as being personally convinced in what they're arguing for, and I know they're smart, in the sense that they can process a lot of information and see, in general, how it relates, and draw sensible conclusions from that process - but sometimes, they're just out there - seemingly ignoring inconvenient facts, or drawing wild conclusions on flimsy/nonexistent evidence. Whassup with that?

Why is all this important? Well, the National Security Archive - key documenters of official U.S. government war crimes and immoral activities - have published East Timor's 'Truth and Reconciliation' Report:

Washington, D.C., January 24, 2006 - The final report of East Timor's landmark Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) has found that U.S. "political and military support were fundamental to the Indonesian invasion and occupation" of East Timor from 1975 to 1999, according to the "Responsibility" chapter of the report posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive, which assisted the Commission with extensive documentation.

There is more - go read it, Raimondo, and then come back and give us an explanation.

UPDATE: We don't recall at this time if we've notified Raimondo of his treachery, so it is possible that he is still wallowing in malice and/or ignorance. We have also updated this post title from 'U.S. and East Timor' to 'Raimondo on U.S. and East Timor: Liar or Fool?' for its inclusion in the Chomsky criticism wiki page.

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