The Dartmouth Observer

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Sunday, November 30, 2003
Chomsky and America

In a New York Times interview earlier this month [you need to pay to read it - don't], Noam Chomsky surprised quite a lot of people by saying that America was "the greatest country in the world." Now, nearly a month later, he claims in an interview with the Guardian that "That interview never took place...It was a senseless contraction of an hour-and-a-half telephone conversation in which I explained question by question why I am not going to answer this question or that question, because it is not a sensible question." Pressed further by his interviewer to give a straight answer, he proceeds to say:

My feeling is, to answer your question, that evaluating countries is senseless and I would never put things in those terms, but that some of America's advances, particularly in the area of free speech, that have been achieved by centuries of popular struggle, are to be admired.

No one, of course, could ever accuse Chomsky of evaluating America.