Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump and the Decline of the US Empire

"From the point of view of U.S. power, (Trump) is harming it, but from the point of view of U.S. elites, he's giving them everything they want," Chomsky said.

Renowned U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky welcomed a teleSUR team into his office at the University of Arizona to discuss the presidency of Donald Trump and the decline of an empire.

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"From the point of view of U.S. power, (Trump) is harming it, but from the point of view of U.S. elites, he's giving them everything they want," Chomsky said, describing the current administration as a "two-level wrecking ball."

The political activist and cognitive scientist went on to describe the incumbent U.S. president as a "con man."

"Everyday there's one insane thing after the other... and while this show is going on in public, in the background, the wrecking crew is working.

"What they're doing is systematically dismantling every aspect of government that works for the benefit of the population. This goes from workers' rights to pollution of the environment, rules for protecting consumers, anything you can think of is being dismantled."

Chomsky reasoned that the ultra-wealthy, Wall Street and the constituents of those in power couldn't be more pleased with efforts made to increase their fortunes.

"That's why the stock market goes up: the stock market has not much to do with the economy, but it keeps booming because that's the rich people."

Chomsky pointed out that the decline of the United States, a trend tacitly expressed whenever Trump vows to "make America great again," began not recently but back in 1949 when China became independent.

The loss of China was followed, Chomsky said, by "McCarthyism, repression and the destruction of unions." It continued under President John F. Kennedy when he was weighing whether to escalate in Vietnam and said: "I don't want to be responsible for the loss of Indochina."

The decline of the U.S. empire further accelerated when Europe and other industrial societies reconstructed in the wake of World War II: "decolonization took place" and the empire has yet to recover, Chomsky said.

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Chomsky: Trump Driving US to Another Economic Crash

A surge in Wall Street stocks after Donald Trump’s election and a billionaire-packed cabinet will lead to a 2008-like economic crisis.

The United States is heading toward another large economic crash as President Donald Trump packs his cabinet with billionaires and former executives in Wall Street, renowned political scientist and linguist Noam Chomsky said in a recent interview.

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In an interview with AlterNet, Chomsky pointed to the staggering number of Wall Street chiefs who have been appointed in his cabinet. "Anti-establishment is kind of a joke," Chomsky concluded. "Take a look at Trump and take a look at who's appointed for the cabinet."

He pointed to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin who "comes from Goldman Sachs, a major investment firm where he was for almost 20 years."

As a result, Wall Street has been cheering for Trump and his administration, Chomsky argued. “As soon as Trump was elected, and since, stock values in financial institutions escalated to the sky.”

Stocks like pharmaceuticals, banks and prisons have all soared under the promise of tax reform and less regulation.

Investors are “delighted he’s going to eliminate regulations, let them make more profit; of course, it’ll lead to another crash, but that’s somebody else’s problem. The taxpayers will take care of that.”

Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and fight against the establishment but as far as most experts and observers are concerned his administration is the richest in the country’s history.

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He had also promised to better the lives of working class people but his tax plans suggest that the top one percent and the wealthy in the U.S. are poised to benefit the most from his administration while white workers, who helped vote him in, will continue to suffer.

Trump has also introduced a new healthcare bill, which would replace the so-called Obamacare. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have slammed the plan as a disaster and vowed to vote it down when introduced.

The bill would see millions of people losing their healthcare insurance, which would affect the very same people who voted for Trump: the poor white working class.

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Noam Chomsky Warns Trump Presidency Threatens Human Survival

Trump's presidency will further isolate the U.S. from the world, but will also have a detrimental impact on climate change and world conflicts.

Prominent U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky warned Monday about the possibility of a nuclear war and the further risks linked to global warming as a result of a Donald Trump presidency, during a speech for the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now!.

Commenting on the concrete implications of the Republican candidate's win, Chomsky said that the Iran nuclear deal could be reversed.

“Other countries who are parties to the deal might well continue,” he said. “That means ignoring U.S. sanctions. That will extend U.S. isolation, even from Europe.”

“Brexit may assist with (U.S. isolation) because Britain was the voice of the United States in NATO, the harshest voice,” he added.

“The threats and dangers are very real,” he said. Namely, the positions that Trump has taken in regards to climate change and the Iran deal pose a threat to the future of the country and the world.”

“The threats that we now face are the most severe that have ever arisen in human history,” he added. “They are literal threats to survival: nuclear war, environmental catastrophe.”

“They became more urgent on Nov. 8, for the reasons you know and that I mentioned. They have to be faced directly, and soon if the human experiment is not to prove to be a disastrous failure,” he warned.

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Chomsky Predicts Sanders Will Lose, Bernie Disagrees

Noam Chomsky said he was glad to see Sanders in the race, but denounced that elections were bought by billionaires.

The internationally renowned intellectual, political commentator, author and linguist Noam Chomsky predicted independent senator Bernie Sanders would not win the presidential elections of 2016, something the politician disagreed with.

“I'm glad that Sanders is running,” Chomsky said. “A good way to bring important ideas and facts to people. His candidacy might also press the Demos a little in a progressive direction.”

However, Chomsky said, “In our system of bought elections, he has scarcely a chance of getting beyond the primaries, and even if by some miracle he were elected, he wouldn't be able to do anything.”

Chomsky explained that Sanders would be hand-tied because he would lack congressional support, governors, and more.

“As far as I can see he’s a thorn in the side of the Clinton machine, which is not a bad thing,” Chomsky concluded.

But Sanders told British newspaper the Guardian he was as pessimistic.

“He’s right, we live in an increasingly oligarchic form of society, where billionaires are able to buy elections and candidates, and it is very difficult, not just for Bernie Sanders but for any candidate who represents working families,” he told the Guardian. “But I think the situation is not totally hopeless, and I think we do have a shot to win this thing.”

Sanders has surprised many due to the popularity he has garnered toward his presidential nomination and many news outlets have given him credit for succeeding in including the inequality debate and stagnating incomes into the political discourse in the United States.

“The 73-year-old can claim credit for pulling the Democratic party to the left, even if he doesn't take the nomination from frontrunner Hillary Clinton,” the Guardian said.

 

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Chomsky on Cuba: After Decades of U.S. Meddling & "Terrorism," Restoring Ties is Least We Could Do

The United States and Cuba have held a second round of talks as part of the effort to restore full diplomatic ties for the first time in more than half a century. The two sides could reopen embassies in Havana and Washington in time for a regional meeting next month. World-renowned political analyst and linguist Noam Chomsky welcomes President Obama’s decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba, but cautions that after more than half a century of U.S. meddling in the island nation, it’s the minimum step he could take.

AMYGOODMAN: As we continue our conversation with Noam Chomsky, we turn now to Latin America. Democracy Now!’s Aaron Maté sat down with Noam Chomsky yesterday on Democracy Now!, the MIT professor emeritus. We asked him to talk about the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations and U.S. meddling in Cuba.

NOAMCHOMSKY: The U.S. has been at war with Cuba since late 1959. Cuba was—had been, essentially, a colony of the United States, a virtual colony. In January 1959, the Castro guerrilla forces took over. By late that year, around October, U.S. planes were already bombing Cuba from Florida. In, I think it was, March 1960, there was a formal decision internally to overthrow the government. John F. Kennedy came in shortly after, got the Bay of Pigs. After the Bay of Pigs, there was almost hysteria in Washington about how to punish the Cubans for this. Kennedy made some incredible speeches about how, you know, the future of the world is at stake in dealing with Cuba and so on. The U.S. launched a major terrorist war against Cuba. We kind of downplay it, and what you can get reported is CIA attempts, you know, to kill Castro—bad enough—but that was a very minor part of it. Major terrorist war is part of the background for the missile crisis, which almost led to a terminal nuclear war. Right after the crisis, the terrorist war picked up again.

Meanwhile, the sanctions have been very harsh sanctions against Cuba, right from the Eisenhower regime, picked up, extended by Kennedy, extended further under Clinton, who actually outflanked Bush from the right on extending the sanctions. The world has been totally opposed to this. The votes at the General Assembly—you can’t do it at the Security Council because the U.S. vetoes everything, but at the General Assembly, the votes are just overwhelming. I think the last one was 182 to two, you know, U.S. and Israel, and sometimes they pick up Papua or something like that. This has been going on year after year. The U.S. is utterly isolated, not just on this issue, many others.

Finally, notice that Obama didn’t end the sanctions. In fact, he didn’t even end the restrictions, many of the restrictions on travel and so on. They made a mild gesture towards moving towards normalization of relations. That’s presented here—the way it’s presented here is, we have to test Cuba to see if our long—as Obama put it, our efforts to improve the situation in Cuba have failed, right? Big efforts to improve the situation—terrorism, sanctions. The sanctions are really incredible. So, if, say, Sweden was sending medical equipment somewhere which had Cuban nickel in it, that had to be banned, you know, things like that.

AMYGOODMAN: And terrorism, you mean?

NOAMCHOMSKY: Terrorism just—it went on into the '90s. The worst part was under Kennedy, then picked up again in the late ’70s and so on. Major terrorists are provided refuge in Florida. The late Bosch is one, Orlando Bosch. Posada is another. You remember there was something called the Bush Doctrine, Bush II: A country that harbors terrorists is the same as the terrorists themselves. That's for others, not for us. We harbor them and also support their activities.

But we have to test Cuba to see if they’re making successful gestures, now that our old policy of bringing freedom and democracy didn’t work, so we have to try a new policy. I mean, the irony of this is almost indescribable. The fact that these words can be said is shocking. It’s a sign of, again, a failure to reach a minimal level of civilized awareness and behavior. But the steps—I mean, it’s good that there are small steps being taken. It’s interesting to see what the Cuban intellectual community—there is a dissident intellectual community in Cuba—how they’ve been reacting to it. Actually, there’s an interesting article about it by my daughter, Avi Chomsky, who’s a Cuba specialist. But we don’t look at that. We don’t hear what they’re saying.

AMYGOODMAN: What are they saying?

NOAMCHOMSKY: What they’re saying is approximately what I was just saying: You know, it’s a good step that the U.S. is beginning to move, but they’ve got to begin to face up to the reality of what’s been happening, which is that the U.S. has been attacking Cuba. And the reason for—the primary reason, probably, for Obama’s slight moves are that the U.S. was becoming completely isolated in the hemisphere. It’s not just that the world is opposed, the hemisphere is opposed. And that’s a remarkable development.

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