Noam Chomsky: My Dinner with Hassan

Just a short post until Chris can give it the full treatment. Last May Noam Chomsky, groundbreaking linguist and veteran lefty, had dinner with Hassan Nasrallah. That’s right, Hassan Nasrallah. Now, we know that Chomsky and Nasrallah are likely to set off some alarm bells, but regardless of how you feel about the two, wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation? We’ll have Chomsky on for the hour tomorrow.

Noam Chomsky

Professor of linguistics, MIT

Public intellectual in philosophy, intellectual history, and international affairs

Author, most recently, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy

Thomas Ricks

Staff Writer, Washington Post

Author, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

Update, August 15 2006, 6:52 PM

As you can see, we’ve added Thomas Ricks to the conversation. Here, from Chris’s billboard, a better idea of what we’re going to be talking about.

Noam Chomsky and Tom Ricks could be said to embody two different ways of knowing – the war in Iraq, for example. Chomsky is the Einstein of language theory, not a military strategist. He got to know about Iraq by reading up and thinking hard, before the US invasion: for example, about a major problem in the Shiite majority which, in any kind of Iraqi democracy, would want to align with the Shiite state of Iran. That was “the last thing the US wants, Chomsky saw in advance, because “Iran is [the US’s] next target, as now it seems to be. Tom Ricks is a Pentagon reporter who covered the war room and the fighting day-to-day for four years compiling his top-of-the-list best-seller, Fiasco, about a bad war plan, badly executed. With two ways of knowing, two angles of view, one from the briefing room and battlefield, the other from hyper-rational analysis at satellite height, Tom Ricks and Noam Chomsky are next, on OS.

Chris Lydon, Open Source billboard, August 15, 2006

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