So-Called Bloodless Wars: Closing

An Interview with Noam Chomsky, by Carl Whithaus

Chomsky in front of a black board

Throughout the interview Chomsky develops the types of critiques found in many of his published works (i.e., World Orders, Old and New,1994; Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, 2003; Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice 2006; What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World 2007). What this interview adds is an explicit focus on ICTs. Understanding war and the US military in the 21st century requires an engagement with how communication systems work. The tensions between the use of ICTs for surveillance and control and the use of ICTs for open communication does not resolve itself into an easy dichotomy, but is rather embedded within a set of complex issues—how the military trains its officers, what sorts of blogs can be written by military personnel, intellectual property, how nation-states such as the US and Israel relate to one another, to the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Pakistan, and even to high-tech corporations.

As a critic of many of the actions taken by the US and Israeli militaries, Chomsky's views on the use of ICTs by the military draws a powerful distinction between fetishized technologically sophisticated applications of war and the lived reality of those affected by war. Understanding the dynamics of war and the military in the 21st century requires that we keep Chomsky's distinction in mind.


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Chomsky's face and glasses with lines Introduction
West Point Cadets Training U.S. Military Officers
Philipines The Conquest of the Philippines
Flying Drone IT in the Early 21st Century
Binary Numbers Cyber Section of the Pentagon The Cyber Section of the Pentagon
Lt. General William Caldwell's name on a uniform Blogs and Schizophrenia
Intellectual Property Intellectual Property
partial Israeli flag Israel
Circuit Board High Tech Corporations
War Photograph War Images
Red block to represent current page Closing

Note: The complete audio recording of the interview is available to listen to as you browse the edited webtext.