LMAO, Corky cites an article by Edward Herman, who was desperately trying to cover both their asses for being, at the very least, incredibly naive about the Khmer Rouge when they were jointly writing about and defending Pol Pot and then follows it with Noam himself trying to focus on the forest he perceived through the lens of history after talking about how beautiful the homicidal trees were.
"I mean the great act of genocide in the modern period is Pol Pot, 1975 through 1978 - that atrocity - I think it would be hard to find any example of a comparable outrage and outpouring of fury and so on and so forth." -- Noam Chomsky, in the documentary "Manufacturing Consent," 1993.(1)
How did a man who describes the Khmer Rouge regime as "the great act of genocide of the modern period" come to be vilified as a vocal supporter of Pol Pot?
The underdogs, however, are not always the good guys, a fact clearly illustrated by the Khmer Rouge. The question of whether or not Noam Chomsky supported the Khmer Rouge is not as clear as either his critics or his defenders would like to pretend. His critics frequently extract a handful of quotes from "Distortions at Fourth Hand" or After the Cataclysm and suggest that Chomsky was an enthusiastic advocate for the Cambodian communists. His defenders, meanwhile, limit their collections of quotes to Chomsky's disclaimers and qualifiers, conveniently ignoring the underlying theme of his articles: that Khmer Rouge Cambodia was not nearly as bad as the regime's detractors claimed.
There is something vaguely unsettling in Chomsky's words, even as he acknowledges the horrible toll of the Cambodian communists: There was an atrocity, people were outraged, so on and so forth, blah blah blah. The reaction is Chomsky's primary concern; genocide itself is a lesser point.
A peculiar irony is at the heart of this controversy: Noam Chomsky, the man who has spent years analyzing propaganda, is himself a propagandist. Whatever one thinks of Chomsky in general, whatever one thinks of his theories of media manipulation and the mechanisms of state power, Chomsky's work with regard to Cambodia has been marred by omissions, dubious statistics, and, in some cases, outright misrepresentations. On top of this, Chomsky continues to deny that he was wrong about Cambodia. He responds to criticisms by misrepresenting his own positions, misrepresenting his critics' positions, and describing his detractors as morally lower than "neo-Nazis and neo-Stalinists."(2) Consequently, his refusal to reconsider his words has led to continued misinterpretations of what really happened in Cambodia.