Mohammed Attar Interviews Noam Chomsky
July 11, 2013
"During his recent visit to Beirut, American thinker and philosopher Noam Chomsky met with a group of independent Syrian media activists, aid workers and individuals active in cultural and economic spheres. Chomsky had made it clear that he had come to listen to them; to lend an ear to their different views on the current situation in Syria.
Following the meeting I had the honour of holding an interview with him. At the outset of our discussion I stated that my motivation in talking with him was to encourage him to open up to Syrians, to address them directly with his evaluation of the situation in their country, following a series of interviews with Lebanese newspapers in which he had approached the subject through the filter of the papers’ own priorities and political biases. However Chomsky, now in his eighties, gently insisted that he was here to acquaint himself with the issue up close, rather than to offer fully formed conclusions of his own.
The discussion ranged over positions that Chomsky has subscribed to in previous interviews concerning his view of the complex situation in Syria, Hezbollah’s involvement, the American and Israeli stances towards revolutionary Syria and other related issues......
In your view, what is Israel’s true position regarding the Syrian revolution?
Israel has done nothing to indicate that it is trying to bring down the Assad regime. There are growing claims that the West intends to supply the opposition with arms. I believe this is quite misleading. The fact of the matter is, that were the United States and Israel interested in bringing down the Syrian regime there is a whole package of measures they could take before they came to the arms-supply option. All these other options remain available, including, for example, America encouraging Israel to mobilize its forces along the northern border, a move that would not produce any objections from the international community and which would compel the regime to withdraw its forces from a number of front line positions and relieve the pressure on the opposition. But this has not happened, nor will it, so long as America and Israel remain unwilling to bring down Assad regime. They may not like the regime, but it is nevertheless a regime that is well practiced in accommodating their demands and any unknown alternative might prove worse in this respect. Much better, then, to watch the Syrians fight and destroy each other.