US invasion of Iraq worst crime of century: Noam Chomsky

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SHAFAQNA – Prominent American author and linguist Noam Chomsky has blasted the US foreign policy, calling Washington’s 2003 invasion of Iraq “the worst crime of this century.”

“What right do we have to kill somebody in some other country who we don’t like,” Chomsky said on Monday.

Calling the US-led invasion of Iraq “the worst crime of this century,” the renowned scholar and intellectual said, “Suppose it had worked… it’s still a major crime, why do we have the right to invade another country?”

In March 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law, over Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’; but no such weapons were ever discovered in the country.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

The US war cost American taxpayers an estimated $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans.

“The idea that we have the right to use force and violence at will is accepted pretty much across the spectrum,” Chomsky said.

He said President Barack Obama owes his popularity to denouncing the invasion of Iraq. However, elsewhere in his remarks, the scholar criticized Obama for his policies, accusing him of conducting terror missions using drones.

“The very idea of invading is criminal, but try to find someone who describes it as a crime. Obama is praised because he describes (the Iraq War) as a mistake.”

“Obama is considered an anti-war candidate (but) Obama is running a global terror program of a kind that has never been seen before, the drone program,” he said.
The philosopher further pointed out that in the current landscape of US presidential hopefuls, there is not one true anti-war candidate.

He also noted that candidates such as Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders are “doing good and courageous things,” but those campaigns are not being directed towards a sustaining a popular movement and their influence “is going to die” once the elections is over.

“The only thing that’s ever going to bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements, which don’t pay any attention to the election cycle,” Chomsky added.

The world famous author then took a jab at the two main political parties in the US. He explained that both sides have become more right-wing.

He blasted Republicans for embracing radical extremism which has turned them into a “radical insurgency.”

“The Republican party, about twenty years ago, basically abandoned any pretense of being a normal political party,” Chomsky said. “Their only policies are don’t do anything or bomb. That’s not a political party.”

“[Republicans] became so dedicated to the interests of the extreme wealthy and powerful that they couldn’t get votes. So they had to turn to other constituencies, which were always there but were never politically mobilized. So they turned to Christian evangelicals, the nativists who are afraid they’re taking our country away from us. People who are so terrified they have to carry a gun in a coffee shop,” he added.

He then turned to the Democratic Party and touched on their transformation, saying mainstream Democrats have taken positions once held by moderate Republicans.

“Today’s mainstream Democrats are pretty much what used to be called Republicans,” he noted.

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