Synopses & Reviews
This new, fully updated edition of Noam Chomsky's classic dissection of terrorism explores the role of the U.S. in the Middle East, and reveals how the media are used to manipulate public opinion about what constitutes "terrorism." With several new chapters as well as the original sections on Iran and the bombing of Libya, Pirates and Emperors
is a brilliant account of the workings of state terrorism by the world's foremost critic of U.S. terrorism.
New chapters cover the second Palestinian Intifada or war of stones that began in October 2000; a detailed account of the impact that September 11 has had on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East; and a deconstruction of depictions and perceptions of terrorism since that date.
Chomsky starts by tracing the changing meaning of "terrorism," examining how it originally referred to violent acts by "governments designed to ensure popular submission." He calls its current application "retail terrorism," practiced by "thieves who molest the powerful." Chomsky argues that appreciating the differences between state terror and nongovernmental terror is crucial to stopping terrorism, and understanding why atrocities like the bombing of the World Trade Center happen.
In comparing the "war on terror" launched by George W. Bush to that of his father and Ronald Reagan's administrations, Chomsky recalls Winston Churchill's summation of the terror by the powerful:
The rich and powerful have every right to demand that they be left in peace to enjoy what they have gained, often by violence and terror; the rest can be ignored as long as they suffer in silence, but if they interfere with the lives of those who rule the world by right, the 'terrors of the earth' will be visited upon them with righteous wrath, unless power is constrained from within.
Pirates and Emperors is a brilliant account of the workings of state terrorism by the world's foremost critic of U.S. imperialism.
"Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty, and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive." The New York Times Book Review
"Chomsky ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the ten most quoted sources in the humanities." The Guardian (U.K.)
"Chomsky's work is neither theoretical, nor ideological: it is passionate and righteous. It has some of the qualitites of Revelations, the Old Testament prophets and Blake." Times Literary Supplement (U.K.)
"An exploder of received truths." The New York Times
"Noam Chomsky is one of the most significant challengers of unjust power and delusions; he goes against every assumption about American altruism and humanitarianism." Edward Said
"Chomsky strips away layers of propaganda not recognized as propaganda, brilliantly sifting through political discourse." John Pilger
Includes bibliographical references (p. 181-218) and index.
The most up-to-date reflections on international terrorism by America's leading dissident, Noam Chomsky.
About the Author
Noam Chomsky is universally regarded as one of our most brilliant writers and thinkers. He is listed among the ten most cited writers in the humanities, and is the only living member of the top ten. An internationally acclaimed philosopher, scholar, and political activist, he is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Table of Contents
Preface to the First Edition vii
1 Thought Control: The Case of the Middle East 19
2 Middle East Terrorism and the American Ideological System 38
3 Libya in U.S. Demonology 81
4 The U.S. Role in the Middle East 104
5 International Terrorism: Image and Reality 119
6 The World after September 11 144
7 U.S./Israel-Palestine 160