the guardian Fri 29 August 2008
A prophet is rarely respected in his own country. The pieces in this collection by one of the world's leading public intellectuals have been published in newspapers around the world, but largely ignored in the US. Peter Hart, who works for the media watchdog FAIR, says in the foreword that dissenting voices are not welcome in American op-ed pages today. Given America's superpower status (Chomsky notes that the US spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined), this is worrying. More so because what Chomsky is saying is common currency outside the US. These succinct, punchy essays from 2002 to February 2008 represent a sustained attack on America's international role under George W Bush. According to Chomsky, the tacit assumption guiding all US foreign policy is now "we own the world, so what does it matter what others think?". From Iraq and the war on terror, to Iran's nuclear ambitions and US support for Israel, he accuses Washington of accelerating the race to destruction.