The renowned American linguist Noam Chomsky gave a lecture in Iceland on Friday September 9. Professor Chomsky began his lecture by saying that in two days we would remember September 11, a terrible crime that had been committed with cruelty.
“But it could have been worse”, he said according to mbl.is. He added that terrorists could have succeeded in blowing up the White House, kill the president and put in place a terrible military junta, which would have killed thousands of people and get a group of economists, the boys from Kandahar, to ruin peoples lives.
Chomsky continued that this sequence of events was not imagination. In reality, he said, this was an account of Latin America and an event that was often called the first 9/11, when Americans deposed Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973 and replaced him with General Augustos Pinochet. The ‘boys from Kandahar’ is a reference to the Chicago economists, including Milton Friedman, who gave advice to the military government of Pinochet.
Chomsky said that the US had unilaterally taken the right of a superpower to influence world events as the pleased. Their own behavior was subject to a different criterion than that of others.
“Let’s imagine, that on the tenth anniversary of the first 9/11, a group of people would have been sent out to murder Nixon and Kissinger and throw them into the ocean. Would that have been applauded? That’s what they did to bin Laden after he was taken, unarmed and defenseless”, Chomsky said.
The lecture was held in a packed Háskólabíó, a movie house that holds one thousand people. Professor Chomsky was in Iceland on the invitation of the University of Iceland, which is celebrating its centennial. Chomsky is a professor emeritus at MIT in Boston and is known both for his theories in linguistics and for his outspoken criticism of US politics. He is 82 years old.