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Noam Chomsky: Nuclear War More Likely Today Than During Cold War

  • Noam Chomsky said there are dozens of false alarms every year that at any moment could trigger a nuclear war.

    Noam Chomsky said there are dozens of false alarms every year that at any moment could trigger a nuclear war. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 February 2016

The threat of a nuclear war, Chomksy said, is greater today than during the Cold War.

U.S. linguist, analyst, intellectual and writer Noam Chomsky warned that a nuclear war is more imminent today than during the Cold War as the Pentagon expands its 800 bases around the globe in an attempt to dominate the world.

Chomsky said he believes a nuclear war would be something highly irrational, but could happen due to an accident or a human error.

“The threat of a nuclear war is greater today than during the Cold War,” he said in an interview published by La Jornada on Sunday. “The risk of a nuclear war is concentrated in the proliferation of incidents involving armed forces of nuclear powers.”

He continued saying, “Russia is the main pebble in the shoe of the Pentagon's world domination because it has an enormous military system.”

The linguist argued that the “problem is that both Russia and the United States are increasing their military systems acting as if war were possible, which is part of a collective madness.”

China mainly has a policy of defense and does not posses a huge nuclear program, although it's possible they will increase its military capabilities in light of the world tensions, he added.

“The United States has 800 military bases around the world and invests in armed forces as much as the rest of the world combined,” he noted.

“War has been very close to breaking out on various occasions,” he said, recalling the incident that occurred when Ronald Reagan was president and the Pentagon decided to put the Soviet armed forces to the test by carrying out simulated attacks against the then Soviet Union.

“What happened was that the Russians took this very seriously,” he said. “In 1983, when the Soviets automated their defense systems and detected a U.S. missile attack.”

He explained that protocol in place in situations like these is to go directly to the highest command and launch a counter-attack.

“However, there was a person in charge of transmitting that information, Stanislav Petrov, who decided it was a false alarm, and thanks to that we are here today talking about it," he told La Jornada.

Chomsky highlighted the fact that there are dozens of false alarms every year.

“Currently, acts of provocation by the United States are constant. NATO is carrying out military maneuvers 200 meters away from the Russian border with Estonia,” he said.

If other countries acted with the same irresponsibility as Washington, a war would have already broken out, Chomsky said.

He said even before it was the United States, the country was a society of colonizers, when they began eliminating Indigenous populations, destroying many First Nations.

WATCH: Noam Chomsky on the Laura Flanders Show

In 1898, the United States began its imperialist activities by taking over Cuba and then invading the Philippines, murdering a couple hundred thousand people.

He went on to criticize the one-party system in his country.

“Our country has only one political party, the party of corporations and businesses, which are divided into factions: Democrats and Republicans,” he said.

He said the parties' original forms and traditions had "suffered a complete mutation during the neoliberal period.”

“There are the modern Republicans who call themselves Democrats, while the older Republican organization was completely eliminated, because they both made a transition to the right during the neoliberal period, just as it happened in Europe. The result is that the new Democrats lead by Hillary Clinton have adopted the old Republican programs,” he said.

Finally, he blamed the United States for the crises affecting the Middle East.

“Scarcely 15 years ago we did not observe the types of conflict that we see today in the Middle East. It's a consequence of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which is the worse crime of the century,” he charged.

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