Famed linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky spoke with Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman today about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip the United States and his speech on Tuesday before Congress.
According to Chomsky, the main goal of Netanyahu’s visit from Israel’s perspective is “to undermine any potential negotiation that might settle whatever issue there is with Iran.”
“According to U.S. intelligence,” he continued, “their strategic doctrine is to try to prevent an attack, up to the point where diplomacy can set in. I don’t think anyone with a grey cell functioning thinks that they would ever conceivably use a nuclear weapon, or even try to. The country would be obliterated in 15 seconds. But they might provide a deterrent of sorts. And the U.S. and Israel certainly don’t want to tolerate that.”
Chomsky noted that United States “satellite surveillance knows everything that’s going on in Iran. If Iran even began to load a missile — that is, to bring a missile near a weapon — the country would probably be wiped out. Whatever you think about the clerics and the Guardian Council, there’s no indication that they’re suicidal.”
Israel does not want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons because it would allow Iran to use its arsenal as part of a deterrent strategy.
“The striking aspect of this is the chutzpah involved,” he said. “Israel has had nuclear weapons for probably 50 years or 40 years. They have, estimates are, maybe 100 or 200 nuclear weapons. They are an aggressive state. Israel has invaded Lebanon five times. It’s carrying out an illegal occupation that carries out brutal attacks like Gaza last summer. And they have nuclear weapons.”
Netanyahu seeks to prevent Iran from acquiring such weapons “because he doesn’t want to have a deterrent in the region. That’s simple enough. If you’re an aggressive, violent state, you want to be able to use force freely. You don’t want anything that might impede it.”
As for Congressional Republicans embracing Netanyahu, Chomsky said that the rationale behind that remains the same — “to undermine anything that Obama might try to do. That’s a separate issue there…Their goal for the last years has simply been to undermine anything that Obama might do, in an effort to regain power and serve their primary constituency, which is the very wealthy and the corporate sector.”
Watch the entire interview below via Democracy Now.