Chomsky: banned in Guantánamo, at liberty in Belfast
That Noam Chomsky's books have been banned, apparently, in the US detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, probably tells you all you need to know about the man and the place.
The MIT professor's own comment on the affair: "This happens sometimes in totalitarian regimes."
Thankfully, he faced no such censorship on the William Crawley's BBC NI Sunday Sequence programme today when "one of the world's great thinkers" spoke at length to the US intellectual and linguist. ;-)
William Crawley's interview with Chomsky focused on religion and the ethics of war and William has written up some of those thoughts on his own blog. The full interview is available on the iPlayer (1:06hr 30secs in) for the next week (at least in this country).
For the full, unexpurgated Chomsky, you'll have to wait for the Amnesty International Annual Lecture being held this Friday in Belfast's Whitla Hall. While only 1,200 people have been able to get tickets for the lecture (sorry, we couldn't get a bigger venue in Belfast for the date Prof Chomsky was available), Amnesty International aims to make it available online in the near future.
Meanwhile, there's a rich back catalogue of Chomsky commentary available via your local, friendly bookseller (or, indeed, its large, anomymous online equivalent). Right now, I'm thoroughly enjoying Perilous Power – The Middle East and US Foreign Policy, from 2007. Described as 'dialogues on terror, democracy, war and justice', it's a transcript of days of discussion betwen Chomsky and Middle East analyst Gilbert Achcar.
I like that sort of thing. But, I'm looking forward even more to hearing from the Professor himself on Friday.
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