'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, March 06, 2006

Peter Pace on the Jafari Chomsky Thing 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace was on Meet the Press this weekend talking about Iraq. It was really dull. Pace stuck to standard Faerie Land position, i.e. everything's fine; the press isn't reporting all the good news, etc. The funny thing about the Faerie Land position is the extent to which its exact opposite is now true: Everything is horrible and the press isn't reporting the extent of the horror. Anyone who reads Juan Cole regularly knows that bombings that would have been big news in the fall of 2003 are hardly reported anymore.

Anyway, apparently Russert just read the Lawrence Kaplan New Republic article I discussed a few posts back because he kept on bringing up bits and pieces of it which led to the only interesting exchange in the interview. Russert mentions Kaplan's anecdote about the prime minister of Iraq being a Chomsky fan: (transcript here)

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Jafari said that one of his favorite American writers is Professor Noam Chomsky, someone who has written very, very strongly against the Iraq war and against most of the Bush administration foreign policy. Does that concern you?

GEN. PACE: I hope he has more than one book on his nightstand.

MR. RUSSERT: So it troubles you?

GEN. PACE: I would be concerned if the only access to foreign ideas that the prime minister had was that one author. If in fact that’s one of many, and he’s digesting many different opinions, that’s probably healthy.

Good times, good times.

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