​Two ways of terrorism: theirs v ours - Chomsky lambasts US for drone attacks and media deaths

U.S. linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky. (Reuters/Jorge Dan)
Author and philosopher Noam Chomsky has challenged a hypocritical approach concerning US drone attacks and the bombing of a media organization in Yugoslavia in the light of the outburst following the Charlie Hebdo attack.

In a blog post first published by CNN on Monday this week, the noted academic raised questions about America’s interpretation of the terrorist attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this month that left 12 people dead.

While the attack was quick to be condemned as an act of terror by the US, Chomsky wrote, the American public has all but totally ignored other recent atrocities, including some it’s even responsible for.

Widespread and rampant sympathy for the French following this month’s attack was almost instant, Chomsky wrote, “amplified by a chorus of horror under the banner ‘I am Charlie.’”

But of particular concern, Chomsky wrote, is the absence of interest in the west after the NATO bombing of a Radio Television Serbia in 1999 and the 2011 outburst committed by Anders Breivik, an extremist Islamaphobe, in Oslo, Norway.

“There were no demonstrations or cries of outrage, no chants of ‘We are RTV,’ no inquiries into the roots of the attack in Christian culture and history,” Chomsky wrote about the Serbian incident.

Work crews use a digger at the destroyed part of the Radio-Television Serbia building after a NATO air strike over Yugoslav capital early April 23, 1999. (Reuters)

The event in Oslo, he added, is an example that “[t]here are many other events that call for no inquiry into western culture and history.”

Chomsky believes the US is currently in the midst of its own campaign of terror, which rivals anything the French have experienced as of late.

“Also ignored in the ‘war against terrorism’ is the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times - Barack Obama's global assassination campaign targeting people suspected of perhaps intending to harm us some day, and any unfortunates who happen to be nearby. Other unfortunates are also not lacking, such as the 50 civilians reportedly killed in a US-led bombing raid in Syria in December, which was barely reported.”

Chomsky’s latest remarks ring similar to what he told RT during an exclusive interview in 2013.

“The drone campaign is by far the biggest terrorist campaign in the world. It’s never described that way but that’s of course [that is] what it is. Furthermore it’s a terrorist generating campaign. From the highest levels and most respected sources it’s recognized that the drone attacks create potential terrorists on quite a substantial scale. Therefore it’s a threat to US security, apart from being a terrorist campaign in itself, and almost never discussed,” he said.

Now in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, Chomsky writes that it’s only right to consider terrorism for what it is, and now what a particular point-of-view portrays it to be depending on the persons involved.

“Contrary to the eloquent pronouncements, it is not the case that ‘Terrorism is terrorism. There's no two ways about it.’ There definitely are two ways about it: theirs versus ours. And not just terrorism,” he wrote.