Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is a strong supporter of independent media sources, and described Kilometer Zero as "truly impressive." He contributed a short piece to issue 03 of the Kilometer Zero Magazine.

Download the magazine article or read below


Q. Are Iraq, Iran and North Korea indeed the Axis of Evil?

A. In all cases, we should certainly label them as evil, because that’s what they are. We should also have labeled them as evil when we were supporting their terrible crimes, in the case of Iraq and Iran at least. Thus the US, UK, France, and others supported Saddam Hussein right through his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds, the Anfal massacres, etc., even providing him with the means for producing weapons of mass destruction at a time when he was really dangerous. That’s when his evil peaked, and ours too, with regard to Iraq. Same with Iran. The US and UK overthrew a conservative nationalist government and installed a ruler who compiled one of the worst human rights records in the world, which certainly counts as ‘evil’, extending to his backers.

With regard to North Korea, the US, UK and France didn’t happen to support that criminal state, an important exception to the general rule, but there are some background ‘details’ that are worth remembering. For example, that about 100,000 people were killed in South Korea under the US military occupation prior to what’s called the Korean War, and that there were many cross-border incidents, probably most of them instigated from the South. The No Gun Ri atrocities have recently received some belated attention, but one has to turn to the specialist literature to discover that these took place in an area of South Korea that was declared a free fire zone, a far worse atrocity, because of its unwillingness to accept the rule of the US-installed dictator. And we can proceed. No one who has the slightest familiarity with contemporary history has even the slightest doubt that the US, UK, and France, to mention just three of the worst criminals, have compiled an atrocious record in past years running right to the present. I would not insult the intelligence of the reader by sampling the record.

Intellectuals in these countries who condemn others as “evil” can be taken seriously, not simply regarded with contempt, if they rise to the minimal moral level of applying to themselves the standards they impose on others. I leave it to you to carry out the test.

—Noam Chomsky

Brief Biography

- Born December 7, 1928, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- First met his wife, Carol Schatz, in 1933 (they are still together).
- Shortly after tenth birthday, wrote an editorial on the fall of Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War. “I was always on the side of the losers.”
- Began attending the University of Pennsylvania at age 16.
- Paid for his college education by teaching Hebrew.
- While at Penn he was the only undergraduate to study Arabic.
- Made full Professor at MIT in 1961.
- Arrested during famous march on the Pentagon in Oct. 1967 (described in Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night).
- Ended up on Richard Nixon’s notorious ‘Enemies List’.
- Currently among the ten most cited writers in all of the humanities (beating out Hegel and Cicero and trailing only Marx, Lenin, Shakespeare, the Bible, Aristotle, Plato, and Freud) and the only living member among them.
- “Intellectuals try to make it look difficult; post-modernism carries this to extremes. But outside the hard sciences and mathematics, there isn’t really a lot that is beyond the reach of people without specialized training.”
- Some thirty books published critical of interventionist American policies, the corporatization of media, and First World hypocrisy.