Chomsky on the Charlie Hebdo attack.

12 Jan

The Prime Directive

Noam Chomsky has always been the voice of reason, putting things in context and reminding us that people in power define what words mean.

“THE WORLD reacted with horror to the murderous attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo. In the New York Times, veteran Europe correspondent Steven Erlanger graphically described the immediate aftermath, what many call France’s 9/11, as “a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety.

It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris.” The enormous outcry worldwide was accompanied by reflection about the deeper roots of the atrocity. “Many Perceive a Clash of Civilizations,” a New York Times headline read.

The reaction of horror and revulsion about the crime is justified, as is the search for deeper roots, as long…

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