tv Democracy Now LINKTV December 31, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! noam: so, , is it ththe most grt moment in my life? yes, but also in all of human history. amy: today, noam chomsky for the hour on the twin threats of nuclear war and climate change, the election of the far-right former army captain jair bolsonaro in brazil, and how u.s. foreign policy in latin america has led to the migrant crisis. noam: you have this incredible charade taking place,
which the world is looking at with utter astonishment. poor, , miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they are sending thousands of t troops to t the border. amy: we will also speak with professor chomsky about ththe deadly attack on thehe pittsburgrgh synagogu, the crisis in gaza, and the u.s-backed saudi war in yemen. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, demomocracy now.org, the war and peace report. i amam amy goodman. today we spendnd the hourr with noam m chomsky, the worlrld renowned professor, linguist, and dissident. democracy now!'s nermeen shaikh anand i recently spoke to him from tucson, arizona,
where he now teaches at the university of arizona. he is also institute professor emeritus at the massachusettsts institute of technology, wherere he has t taught for more than hahalf a century. i begigin by askingg professor chomskyy about president trump's national security adviser john bolton's recent praise of brazil's newly elected far-right president jair bolsonaro, a former army captain who has embraced brazil's former military dictatorship and has a history of making racist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments. noam: well, it is entirely natural for bolton to welcome bolsonaro. bolsonaro is definitely his kind of guy. he is vivicious, b brutal, a strong supporter, enthusiastic supporter of torture. he was a little bit critical of the military dictatorship
because it did not kill enough people. he thought it should have killed 30,000 people like the argentine dictatorship, which was the worst of the u.s.-backed dictatorships in latin america. he wants to throw the country open to investors and turn brazil into kind of a caricature of a country. this includes opening up the amazon to his agribusiness supporters. that would be a serious blow, if not a death knell, virtual genocide for the indigenous population. according to bolsonaro, they don't deserve a square centimeter. but by and large, he is the kind of guy that bolton would admire. nermeen: among the cabinet ministers that bolsonaro is likely to appoint is one who --
could you say something about his background. he i is going to be bolsonaro's chief financncial advisor, the head of the so-called super ministry, combining the current planning, finance, anand induststry ministrieies. what is this person's background? noam: he is an ultra-right wing chicago economist. he has spent time in pinochet's chile. he has been very frank and open in interviews with the brazilian press about his plans. it's very simple. as he puts it, privatize everything, everything, infrastructure, anything you can think of. the reason, the motive is to pay off the debt which is owned by the predatory financial institutions
that have been robbing the country blind. this will give away the resources of the country for the future. as i mentioned, one part of f it is bolsonaro's favoririte progrm of opening the amazon to agribusiness. he is exactly the kind of person who succeeded in driving chile's economy to utter disaster in only a few years. it is really remembered that when the chicago boys took over the pinochet economy, they had every conceivable advantage. there could not be any dissent. the torture chambers took care of that. they had the advice of the top stars of the chicago
right-wing economic system.. they were clever enough not to nation -- privatize the -- one of the major bases of the chilean economy, a highly efficient, nationalized copper corporation, the biggest inin the world. they had every conceivable advantage. wiwithin abobout five years, they had created such an economic disaster that the state had to take over the economy. people as a joke used to call it the chicago road to socialism. they have left a residue which is pretty bitter. the pension system doesn't work. the educational system has collapsed. this is a man, one of the great admirers, is taking over the brazilian economy. it will be a heyday for investors.
the stock market loves it. they think they will be able to rob freely. brazil does have enormous wealth and resources. which they will be glad to get their hands on. for the future of brazil, it's a disaster, i think. for the region, quite harmful. he has already said they may pull brazil out of the south american trade system ththat had been esestablished and pushed f forward, and for the world, it will also be a potential disaster. destroying -- if they proceed to destroy the amazon, that is a very serious attack on the environment.. but again, that's just in line with bolton, trump,
and exactly what they are doing right here. it's a counterpart to recently opening up huge areas of the west for furtheher exploioitation o of ssilil fues to accelerate the race to disaster, which is not very far off. agagain, two peas in a a pod, they should get along fine. amy: during an interview with a brazilian tv program in 1999, jair bolsonaro said, through the vote, you will not change anything in this country, nothing, absolutely nothing. it will only change, unfortunately, when one day we start a civil war here and do the work the military regime did not do, killing some 30,000. starting with the president. not kicking them out, killing.
if some innocent people are going to die, fine. in any war, innocents die. that is a quote from 20 years ago. but the description of what he is knknown for in brazil right now -- for decades, he has openly praised the country's former military dictatorship, once saying the dictatorship should have killed 30,000 more people, as we just heard. he also has a history of making racist, misogynistic, homophobic comments. has spoken in favor of torture. threatened to destroy, imprison, or banish his political opponents.s. has encouraged police to kill suspected drug dealers. once told a female lawmaker she was too ugly to rape. he also said he would rather hear his son had died in a car crash than learn his son was gay. you were just recently in brazil. where you also visited lula in jail. one of the few people able to do that. high prorofile people, and actually speak about itt to the press after.
talk about who exactly bolsonaro is. are yoyou afraid the c country will d descend into a military dictatorship? and where lula stands in all of this today. noam: let's start with lula. there has been a long, slow, right-wing, what is often called soft coup. one step was impeaching the president, dilma rousseff, in 2013. she was impeached on charges by a parliament of thieves called -- the most dramatic vote for impeachment was in fact bolsonaro's. when he voted for impeachment, he dedicated his vote to the chief torturer of the military regime. he had been responsible for the torture of dilma rousseff himself.
that was his dedication when he voted for the ridiculous impeachment. that's a competitor for one of his most vile moments. there is plenty of competition. the next step was to ensure that lula would be put out of commission. he was far and away the most popular political fifigure in brazil, so, in order to carry off the right-wing soft coup, it is necessary to get rid of him. he was s sent to prison for 12 yrs.. virtually a lifefe sentence. solitary confinement, barred from receiving books, press, or journals, and crucially, the courts decided, not permitted to make a public statement, unlike say, a convicted murderer.
so he is silenced. put away. then comes the next step, , hug, there has been a major -- in fact, i think he should be regarded as one of the most -- as probably the most important political prisoner in the world today. there had been, for years by the media oligopoly, which is quite right-wing, a demonization of his party. the workers paparty. towards the end of the campaign, there was a massive increase in the demonization and lies over social media, which is utterly scandalous. that is where most brazilians get their information. so-called. so, and it was -- i should say that --
you should look at the charges against lula, for which he was sentenced to this imprisonment and permanent silencing. he was charged with an accusation on a plea bargain, already dubious, that he had been offered an apartment, which he never lived in an to which he did not have e a key.. ok, that's something. maybe you get a tap on the wrist. but what was done was so utterly disproportionate to the nature of the alleged crime, and that, given the timing, makes it pretty clear, i think, that he should simply be regarded as a political prisoner. last step in this soft coup. i should say that the pt gave an opportunity to the right-wing to carry off these maneuvers that we have been seeing.
we shoululd recognize that the years of lula's tenure in office are what the world bank called a goldeden decade, a unique time in brazil's history in which there was enormous progress in reducing poverty, social inclusion, new opportunities for the oppressed. that's the golden decade that has been completely suppressed. but at the same time, the pt, regrettably did not make significant changes in the strtructural system under which brazil and much of latin america has suffered for a long time. elites in latin america simply have no r responsibility for the welfare of the country. they don't pay taxes.
export capital. import luxury goods. radically different say, from east asia. pt did nothing to change this. they also did nothing to open up more possibilities for less monopolizized media. very unfortunately, they fell prey to the corruption which is endemic in the brazilian political class. not t to the e extent of t thr accusers, but bad enough. all ofof this prprovided an opportunity for the far right to carry out this process, which led to the election of the most malicious and vicious creatures of the current range
of pretty ugly characters we see around the world. nermeen: president trump's national security advisor, john bolton, just gave a speech on latin american policy. he described a troika of tyranny, saying this triangle of terror is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the western hemisphere. professor chomsky, can you respond to that, troika of tyranny, says john bolton. noam: well, that, of course, immediately brings to mind the "axis of evil" speech of george bush back in 2002, which was the prprecursor, laying the groundwork,
for the invasion of iraq, the worst crime of this century, with horrendous consequences for iraq, eliciting ethnic conflicts that are tearing the region apart -- a major atrocity. john bolton was behind that. and his new troika -- i doubt that the u.s. will dare to do something similar, but that's what it brings to mind. it's kind of interesting to see this hysterical raving alongside of another astonishing propaganda campaign thatat bolton and his colleagues are carrying out with regard to the caravan of poor and miserable people
fleeing from severe oppression, violence, terror, extreme poverty from three countries. honduras -- mainly honduduras. secondarily, guatemala. third, el salvador. not nicaragua, incidentally. three countries that have been under harsh u.s. domination, way back, but particularly since the 1980's, when reagan's terror wars devastated particularly el salvador and guatemala, secondarily hondururas. nicaragua was attacked by reagan, of course, but nicaragua was the one country which had an army to defend the population. in the other countries, the army were the state terrorists, backed by the united states.
the most extreme source of migrants right now is honduras. why honduras? well, it was always bitterly oppressed, but in 2009, honduras had a mildly reformist president, mel zelaya. the honduran powerful, rich elite couldn't tolerate that. a military coup took place, expelled him from the country. it was harshly condemned all through the hemisphere, with one notable exception -- the united states. the obama administration refused to call it a military coup, because if they had, they would have been compelled by law to withdraw military funding from the military regime, which was imposising a regime of brutal t terror. honduras became the murdrder capital of t the world.
a fraudulent election took place under the military junta. again, harshly condemned all over the hemisphere, most of ththe world,d, bubut not by the united statese. the obama administration praised honduras fofor carrying outut an electioion, moving towardsds democracy and soso on. now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible. and you have this incredible charade taking place, which the world is looking at with utter astonishment. poor, miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they're sending thousands of troops to the border. the troops being sent to the border outnumber the childrdren who are flfleeing.g.
and with a remarkable pr campaign, theyey're frightening much o of the country into believing that we're just on the verge of an invasion by, you know, middle eastern terrorists funded by george soros, so on and so forth. i mean, it's all kind of reminiscent of something that happened 30 yearsrs ago. you may recall, in 1985, ronald reagan strapped on his cowboy boots and called -- got in front of television, called a national emergency, because the nicaraguan army was two days' march from harlingen, texas, just about to overwhelm and destroy us. and it wororked. i mean, , this spectacle is almost indedescribable.
even apart from noticing where they're coming from, the countries that we e have cruciaially been involveved in destroying, it's -- the ability to carry this off repeatedly is quite an amazing commentary on much of the popular culture. but the troika, just like the "axis of evil," are those who justst don't obey u.s.s. orders. colombia, for example, has the worst human rights record in the h hemisphere for years, but they're not part of the troika ofof tyranny. all of this rings very familiar bells. it's a long -- it's been a long-standing element of the u.s. propaganda system on the -- mostly on the far right,
but not ononly, which goeses way back anand which is a kind of pathological feature of the dominant political culture that should be understood, analyzed, and dismantled. amy: the world renowned professor, linguist, and dissident noam chomsky. we will l return witith him in a moment to talk about the twinin threats of climate change and nuclear war.r. [music break]
amy: thihis is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue e our conversasatin with t the worldld renowned professor, linguist, and dissident noam chomsky. democracy now!'s nermrmeen shaih and i recentntly spoke to him and d asked him to talk about the twin threats of climate change and nuclear war. s spoke in n the wakeke of a nw reportrt by nature magaze that the world has massivively underestimimatd the amount of heat absorbed by our oceans and president trump's decision to pull the united states out of the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty, knowown as the inf. professosor chomsky bebegan by talking about the significance
of this landmark nuclear arms pact with russia. noam: well, the inf treaty was a very important development. you may recall that in that period, in the early and mid-1980's, the short -- this has to do with short range nuclear missiles. they were being installed in western europe, pershing ii missiles in western europe, which had a few minutes' flight time to moscow. if you think what that means, the rurussian detectction systes are, first of all, far more primitive than ours, but even sophisticated -- if they had had sophisticated detection systems, it would have e given them barely a f m minutes' wawarning before a possible heavy nuclear strike, even a decapititation strike, against moscow.
and ththe russians wewere doing the same. theyey were budingng short-term missiles aimed at western europe. notice -- not at the united states. this w was internal l to europ, short-term, shshort-range e missiles. wellll, the 1987 i inf treaty ended that extreme perilil, sharply reduced it. missiles were reduced and so on. this was an important step forward. breaking the treaty reinstates that system. now, there's an obvious way to deal l with the problem. namely it's called -- it's kind of a bad word, maybe i should spell it. it's called diplomacy. there have been -- the way to deal with the problem is quite straightforward,, do what has not been done as yet, have technical experts from both sides,
and neneutral ones, investigigate the claiaims thate beining made by bothth sides, and determine if they're valid. and to the extent that there are, negotiate a way to overcome these violations of the treaty, and then enforce the treaty even further. carry it further. we should be moving towards eliminatating nuclear weapons. remember that the new start treaty is coming up for renewal. that's a very important one. start has led to the sharp reduction of nuclear weapons -- by no means anywhere near far enough, but nevertheless quite significant. we should also recall that trump's pulling out of the inf t treaty has a precursor, namely, the nuclear posture review of the trump administration, which already called for developing newew weapons,
tactical nuclear weapons, which themselves greatly increase the threat of a possible war. a target of these missiles can't know whether they're conventional or nuclear, or whether they're short-rangege or much more powerful missiles. you have a f few minutes' wawarn time to o make these decisions. yoyou look over the history of the nuclear age, and it is practically miraculous that we've survived this far. there's been case after case where we came very -- both sides came very close to making a dedecision to launch nuclear weapons,
which means basically terminating humaman civilizatio. and miracles like that can't go on forever. and enhahancing the threat is just beyond insanity. ending the inf treaty not only opens the door for the united states and russia to develop more dangerous lethal weapons, but, of course, for others to join in, as well, greatatly increasingg the hazazard to all of us. and there are diplomaticic optis that have not been pursued. and they are the ones that -- they arere the ones that should be uppppermostst, not vastly endangering ourselves and everyone else. trump also brought up the fact that china i is not a partrtner to t the inf. yeah, they're not. well, that's because of their particular geostrategic position and ththeir defensive e posture inin the western eururasia,
eastern eurasia. eastern eurasia. so, the way to deal with that proboblem isis to brinthemem into the treaty, not to break the treaty and greatly increase the danger to the woworld. we should bear in mind that the bulletin of atomic scientists, which has established, since 1947, beginning of the nuclear age, it has established the doomsday clock, where the minute hand is a certain distance from midnight. midnight means goodbye, termination of all of us. at the beginning, 194747, it was seven minutetes to midnight. it's oscillated up and back since. last january, after a year of the trump administration,
it moved to two minutes to midnight. that's the closest it's been to terminal disaster ever, with one exception, 1953. the united states, then the soviet union, exploded thermonuclear weapons, demonstrating that, in our ingngenuity, we had devised the means to destroy everything. at that point, the clock did move to two minutes to midnight. hasn't gone that close to disaster since.e. but it did last januarary. and now it's worse. the nuclclear posture review, the revelation, since that time, that the u.s. actually has developed a firsrst-strike potential, which h could prevent -- could eliminate any deterrent to a first strike, then trump's nuclear posture review,
which calls for extending the nuclear threat, and now this latest step. this is a march to disaster, which is only paralleled by the moves of the administration to race towards ththe cliff of environntal d destructition with eyes opopen. they know exactly what they're doing. trump himself is a firm believer in global warming. the others as well. but just in order to fill a couple of overstuffed pockets with more dollars, they're willing to threaten the existence of organized human life. a couple of weeks ago, the ipcc, an international group of scientists monitoring climate change, came out with a very ominous report w warning
that the world has maybe a decade or two to basically end its reliance on fossil fuels if we're to have any hope of controlling global warming below the level of utter disaster. and that, incidentally, is a conservative estimate. it's a consensus view. there are -- repeatedly, over the years, it has been shown that the ipcc analyses are much less alarmist than they shouould be. now comes this report in nature that you mentioned, a couple of days ago, which shows that there has been a serious underestimate of the warming of the oceans. and they conclude that if these results hold up, the so-called carbon budget,
the amount of carbon that we can spew into the atmosphere and still have a survival environment, has to be reduced by about 25%. thatat's over and above the ipcc report. and the opening up of the amazon to further exploitation will be anotheher serious blow at the prospects of survival of organized human society. i should -- at the same time, the e trump administration, righght now, is opening up new arareas of the west for fracking, for inincreasing the use of fossil fuels. you have probably seen and maybe discussed one of the most amazing documents i have ever seen.
the trump department of highway stanandards, whatever it's call, just issued a long report, hundred-page report, urging that all regulations on automotive emissions should be ended. and they had a very logical argument. they said if we exextrapolate current trends by the end of the century, the climate will have warmed several degrees centigrade, meaning a huge rise in sea level, which they underestimate. so, basically, we're going over the cliff anyway, and automotiveve emissions really don't add much to this, so therere's no point cutting them back. the assumption of the department is that everyone in the world is as criminally insane as we are,
and isn't going to do anything about it. and since -- on the assumption, yeah, lelet's just rob while the planet burns, putting nero into o the shade. he onlnly fiddled while rome b burned. i cacan't think of anything like this in human history. you just can't find words to describe it. and at the peak of the monstrosity is, in f fact, the trump administstration. we should recall t that trump himsmself, as i mentioned, is a a firm believer in global warming. recently, he applied to the government of ireland for permission to build a huge wall, one of his famous walls, this one to protect a golf course of his in ireland, which, as his plea indicates, is threatened by sea level rise as a result of global warming.
you take a look at the big banks, jpmorgan chase and the others. they're increasing their investments in fossil fuel development. the energy corporations are working all over the world to try to find new resources that destroy the environment. the media are focusing on real l outrages, like the ludicrorous mimilitary preparation for this wave of mothers and children planning t to invade us and destroy usus, you know, they're concentrating on that, but take a look at their coverage of these things. so, there was a big report, long front-page report, in the new york times a couple days ago about the opening up of the west to further fossil fuel extraction.
discussed everything you can think of. did mention some of the negative consequences, like it might harm water resources. it might make things harder for ranchers. not one phphrase, one phrase in this long report, on the effect on the environment. in the political campaign going on, every -- all kinds of issues are e not discussed, bubut not the two existential threats that human beings face, threats that have never arisen in human history. we have to m make decisions now which will literally determine whether organized human life can survive in any decent form. you can just imagine what the world wouldld be like if the seaea level reses, say, 10 or 20 feet or even higher, which is within the range --
easily within the range of predictions. i mean, the consequences are unimaginable. but it's as if we're kind of like the proverbial lemmings just happily marching off the cliff, led by leaders who understand very well what they're doing, but are so dedicated to enriching themselves and their friends in the near future that it simply doesn't matter what happens to the humanan species. there'e's nothing like this in all of human history. there have been plenty of monsters in the past, plenty of them. but you can't find one who was dedicated, with passion, to destroying the prospects for organized human life. hitler was horrible enough, but not that. amy: the world renowowned professor, linguist, and d dissidenent noam chohoms. when we rereturn with him in a momenent, he will l talk about the pittsburgh synagogue attack,
i'm amy goodman. we continue our conversation with noam chomsky. democracacy now!'s nermeen shaih and i spoke to him on november 1, just days s ter a gunmnman shot dead 11 jewish worshipers at a synagogue in pittsburgh, in the deadliest anti-semitic attack in u.s. history. i asked noam to talk about anti-semitism and his own jewish upbringing in philadelphia, pennsylvania. his s father was a h hebrew linguiuist. noam: when i was a child, the threat that fascism might take over much of the world was not remote. it was much worse than what we are facing now. my own locality happppened to be veryry anti-semimitic. wewe were the only jewisish famy in an n irish --
mostly i irish andnd german catholic neieighborhrhood, much of which was pro-nazi, so we could see e it better on the ground. what we are seeing is a revival of hate, anger, fear, much of it encouraged by the rhetorical excesses of the leadership, which are stirring up passions of terror, even the ludicrous claims about the nicaraguan army and the caravan of miserable people planning to kill us all. all of these things, praising somebodody who body slammed a reporter, one thing after another,
all of this raises the level of anger and fear, which has roots. the roots lie in what has happened to the general population over the past 40 years. people have had significant distress. the astonishing fact about the united states is that life expectancy is declining. thatat doesn''t happen in developed societies aside from major war or huge famine, but this i is happening because of social distress. and not necessarily impoverishment. people who are demonstrating this fear and resentment are -- maybe even are momoderately affluent, but whwhat we see is they are stagnating. in the past, you had this dream.
you worked hard.d. you could geget ahead. your children would be a little betetter. now it has stoppeded. it has stopped for the last 40 years as a result of very specific socioeconomic policies which have been designed so that they sharply concentrarate weal, they enhance corporate power. that has immediate effects on the political system for -- in perfectly obvious ways, to the pointnt where lobbyists literally y write legislation. this onslaught has literally cast a bunch of the populatation asaside. they are stagnating. they are not moving forward. they see no prospects. and they are bitter and angry about it. amy: and then if you couould tak about specifically, the targeting of the jewish worshipers and the clclear connection that the shooter
made between this temple and the formally known as hebrew immigrant aid society, a group that has h helped to resesettle refugees of any religion for well over 100 years, and he repeated words that trump has begun using more and more about they are helping the invaders come in. if you could respond specifically to that. noam: well, i think it's pretty clear he i is whipping up terror about invasions, people pouring across the border who want to destroy us all. you take people who are already somewhat disturbed and living under harsh conditions, and this can incite them to ask of extreme violence
against targets like the jewish temple. all the anti-semitic tropes were pointing that direction. but most -- also against african-americans, immigrants, any vulnerable population that is easy to target for lotsts of cultural and historical reasons. all this amplified by the loudspeaker up in the white house and his minions, who are doing what they can to terrorize the population and create the conditions under which you can get something like an attack on a synagogue. amy: i want to turn then to a clip of the israeli ambassador to the united states, ron dermer, who was interviewed soon after the massacre.
ron dermer: to simply say that this is because of one person or it only comes on one side is to not understand the e history of anti-semitism or the reality of ananti-semiti. one of the big f forces in colle cacampuses t today is anti-semi. and those ananti-semites are usually not neo-nazis on college campuses. they're coming from the radical left. amy: this is right after the white suprpremacist attack on the synagogue, and ththe israeli ambassador to the u u.s. is now injecting, saying this comes from both sides. if you could respond to this? interestingly, two days later, whenen trump and his family went to pittsburgh, the only -- and this is pointed out in the new york times -- the only pubublic official standing there to greet him was israel's ambassador to the united states, ron dermer. people like the pittsburgh mayor and the others said this was not the time to come.
noam: well, i think it's quite easy to understand. there is an alliance of reactionary repressive states developing under the u.s. aegis. israel is a leading member of it. saudi arabia is another, one of the most brutal, regressive, harsh states in the world. united arab emirates, egypt under the harsh, brutal dictatorship, the united states, israel, and the united states, of course, very -- especially under this -- the alignment goes way back, but the trump administration has gone way out of itits way to lend support to israeli crimes, israeli expansion, and the e israeli right wing, of course, which is increasingly dominant, is delighted. so, the fact that, say,
the israeli i ambassador would cocome out and say that is realally no more surprirising than the fact that john bolton would praise the election of a strong advocate of torture, murder and repression. itit all fitits the same patter. amy: this issue of the number of people who died this weekend, the horrific massacre, 11 jews died. the momodel of the coverage, of knowing who each pers w was, hearing their names, their life stories, their ages, who their families were, knowing when thehe funerals are taking place through the week -- what about this being a model for what's happening in gaza? i mean, for example, on, i think it was, friday, six palestinians were killed, with those ongoing protests near the separation wall. israraeli military has gunned dn more than 200 palestinians.
that was friday. six palestinians died. and on sunday, three palestinian teenagers were killed in an israeli airstrike on the gaza strip. your thoughts on dermer trying to make this connection to get away from the issue of white supremacy and, somehow, someway, blame the left? noam: well, remember, all of this in gaza is being done with overwhelming u.s. support, even u.s. weapons, literally. gaza is on the verge of becoming , literally, uninhabitable. the international monitors, the u.n. and others, have warned that, within just a few years,
it may be literally unlivable. i mean, right now, there's virtually no potable water. the sewage pours into the sea, because israel has bombed and destroyed the power plants and the sewage plant. back in 2005, when israel withdrew its illegal settlers in gaza and moved them to illegal settlements in the west bank, it imposed a siege on gaza. the official terms for that -- official, not making this up -- are, "we have to impose a diet on gaza, not harsh enough so they will all die," implication being that would d not look very good,
"but harsh enough so that they can barely survive." and there have been -- quite apart from the brutal siege, there have been repeated attacks on gaza by the israeli army. gaza is virtually defeeless. this is s one of the stronongt armies i in the world, lashing out to d devastate gaza. there's always pretexts.s. there are prpretexts for everytything. hitler had a pretext for invading poland. he was protecting germany from the wild terror of the poles. and the israelis, with u.s. backing, have concocted pretexts -- no time to go through it here, there's plenty in print about it. every one of them collapses on inspection. it's just a punching bag. and the effect on the people of gaza is to create utter desperation. the current march is just an attempt to somehow break
the e siege, make life possible. the problem could be overcome easily, simply by providing them with the opportunities for survival.. that's it. not trying to block every attempt at political unification of the factions. it's often been a pretext for another attack. some of what has gone on, parts of it we have seen, are just grotesque, like when a highly trained israeli sniper murders a young woman far from the border who's trying to help a palestinian volunteer medic, young woman, who's trying to help a wounded man, and a sniper murders her. highly trained snipers. they know what they are doining. the internationanal monitors who have gone through the hospitals
are shocked by t the kinds of wounds they're finding, purposely designed to maim people so they will barely -- not kill them, but maim them, so they won't be able to have -- even take part in the minimal life that exists there. actually, trump had a solution to this, to the misery of gaza and the prospect that 2 million people, half of them children, will soon be in a situation of, literally, beyond the possibility of survival. they had a lifeline, what's called the unrwa support, international support, which was barely keeping them alive. so, trump's reaction is to cut it, cut support for it. and he even had a reason. he said, "they're not being grateful enough to me for my efforts to give them the ultimate deal that i'm planning."
ultimate deal, which means give up all your rights and forget it. i mean, the war in yemen, which finally, at t last, is getting a little bit of atattention, has been a major horror story. the most careful estimates of the killing, that are now just coming out, show t that there may be seven or eight times as high as what has been -- the numbers that have been given. they're on the order of 70,000 or 80,000. the analysis of these saudi-emirate programs, a long study that came out of the fletcher school of international diplomacy at tufts university recently, showed, quitite persuasivevely, that the policies of t the attackers are aimed at destroying the food supplies,
making sure the population starves to death. they're also trying to close the port through which some supplies come. all of this is fully backed by the united states. u.s., and brbritain secondarily, supply the arms. the u.s. s supplies the intelligence for the saudi air force, which is carrying out massive atrocities. all of these things are happening. for years, they've barely been discussed. now, finally, you're seeing pictures on the front page of starving yemeni children, even a call for a ceasase-fire - much belated. little attention to our cruciail reresponsibility for it.t. just like our responsibility, which is overwhelming, for the plight of the m miserablele people trying to escape from the troika --
honduras, el salvador, guatemala -- the three countries that have been completely under our thumbb and are suffering bitterly for it, now trying to escape. so we turn them into an invasion mob planning to destroy us. all of this is surreal. it only is overshadowed by the f failure to attend even m minimally to the literal existential threats, that are not remote. amy: do o you considider this one of thehe gravest times, in your lifetime, in u.s. politics, noam? noam: it's one of the gravest times in human history. humans have been around for 200,000 years. for the first time in their history, they have to decide, and quickly, whether organized human society
is going to survive for very long. so, is it the most gravest moment in my life? yes, but also in all ofof human history. amy: the world-renowned professor, linguist, and dissssident, noam chomsky, speaking to us from tucson, arizona, where he now teaches at the university of arizona. he is also institute professor emeritus at the massachusetts institute of technologogy, where he has t taught for more than 50 years. to see a transcript, video, or audio podcast of the interview or any of our shows, go to democracynow.org. ththat doeoes it for today''s s. dedemocracy now! is s produced - special thanks to -- and to our camera crew. i am amy goodman. thanks so much for joining us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org