I continue to get heat from Chomsky supporters for my (yes, ill-tempered) post the other day. Richard W. Symonds writes,
As I read it, that evening lecture went as advertised – except he wanted his audience to ask questions after Pinter – he diidn’t give a formal ‘lecture’ as such..but that’s his style, I understand.
Norman Finkelstein has also criticized me, for trying to make my bones by being mean to Chomsky, something he says a lot of people on the left do. Finkelstein says I should have shown more grace.
Just to stand up for myself for a second, let me say that: a, the guy had a bad night, and I said so, justly. Alas I was also a 7-letter word that begins with a about it, and I apologized for my tone. Enuf.
b, Chomsky was wrong about Walt and Mearsheimer last year. He was wrong because he does not seem to have a sociocultural or psychological bone in his body, but tends to (fudging that one; I haven’t read him) see everything in Marxist terms, always talking about the corporations. And so he would finger Cheney’s evil Halliburton backstory, ignoring the fact that Cheney also had a long AEI backstory, in bed with neocon intellectuals who obviously influenced him (his wife worked there, too), and whom he then moved into the White House en masse, and whom he and Bush then listened to; and Chomsky thereby immunizes a powerful ethnic-religious lobby of any role in the Iraq disaster.