Viewpoints

Noam Chomsky: ‘People of the migrant caravan are escaping violence and extreme poverty created by the U.S.’

Appearing on the progressive news show Democracy Now! this Saturday, world-renowned professor, linguist, and dissident Noam Chomsky spoke with host Amy Goodman about U.S. foreign policy in Central America and how it’s connected to the desperate situations that lead people to risk their lives in a trek north to the American border.

At the outset of the segment with Chomsky, Goodman showed clips of a recent speech given by National Security Adviser John Bolton in Miami, Florida where he declared Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to be part of a “troika of tyranny” and a “triangle of terror.”

According to Chomsky, Bolton’s words bring to mind former President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” speech back in 2002, which was a precursor to the invasion of Iraq, a war Chomsky called the “worst crime of this century.”

“It’s kind of interesting to see this hysterical raving alongside of another astonishing propaganda campaign that Bolton and his colleagues are carrying out with regard to the caravan of poor and miserable people fleeing from severe oppression, violence, terror, extreme poverty from three countries: Honduras—mainly Honduras, secondarily Guatemala, thirdly El Salvador … Three countries that have been under harsh U.S. domination, way back, but particularly since the 1980s, when Reagan’s terror wars devastated particularly El Salvador and Guatemala, secondarily Honduras,” Chomsky said.

“The most extreme source of migrants right now is Honduras,” he continued. “Why Honduras? Well, it was always bitterly oppressed. But in 2009, Honduras had a mildly reformist president, Mel Zelaya. The Honduran powerful, rich elite couldn’t tolerate that. A military coup took place, expelled him from the country. It was harshly condemned all through the hemisphere, with one notable exception: the United States. The Obama administration refused to call it a military coup, because if they had, they would have been compelled by law to withdraw military funding from the military regime, which was imposing a regime of brutal terror. Honduras became the murder capital of the world. A fraudulent election took place under the military junta—again, harshly condemned all over the hemisphere, most of the world, but not by the United States. The Obama administration praised Honduras for carrying out an election, moving towards democracy and so on. Now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible.”

Chomsky then talked about the “incredible charade” of President Trump’s threat to send thousands of U.S. troops to the border to meet the caravan, along with the right-wing conspiracy theories circulating around it.

“Poor, miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they’re sending thousands of troops to the border,” he said. “The troops being sent to the border outnumber the children who are fleeing, and with a remarkable PR campaign, they’re frightening much of the country into believing that we’re just on the verge of an invasion by … Middle Eastern terrorists funded by George Soros, so on and so forth.”

Chomsky returned to Bolton’s term “troika,” saying that just like Bush’s “axis of evil” speech, Bolton was referring to countries that simply don’t fall in line and obey the U.S.

“All of this rings very familiar bells. It’s a long—it’s been a long-standing element of the U.S. propaganda system on the—mostly on the far right, but not only, which goes way back and which is a kind of pathological feature of the dominant political culture that should be understood, analyzed and dismantled.”

Watch the segment below via Democracy Now!:

Featured image via screen grab

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