Prof. Noam Chomsky.
(Screenshot: YouTube/Democracy Now!)
Left-wing icon Noam Chomsky, an MIT professor, author, philosopher, and frequent debate opponent of the late conservative William F. Buckley Jr., said the news stories about the Trump presidential campaign somehow "colluding" with Russia were "a joke" and "not a major issue," but they are tearing away at a positive element of the Trump administration -- the drive to reduce tensions with Russia.
During the April 4 edition of Democracy Now! panelist Juan Gonzalez noted that Chomsky had referred to the Trump-Russia issue as "a joke," and asked the professor, "Could you give us your view on what’s happening and why there’s so much emphasis on this particular issue?"
Chomsky, the author of more than 100 books, said, "It’s a pretty remarkable fact that -- first of all, it is a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter. The United States doesn’t just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn’t like, institutes military dictatorships."
"Simply in the case of Russia alone—it’s the least of it—the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways," said Chomsky. "So, this, as I say, it’s considered—it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world."
“So why are the Democrats focusing on this?" he said. "In fact, why are they focusing so much attention on the one element of Trump’s programs which is fairly reasonable, the one ray of light in this gloom: trying to reduce tensions with Russia? That’s—the tensions on the Russian border are extremely serious. They could escalate to a major terminal war. Efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed."
"Just a couple of days ago," said Chomsky, "the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, came out and said he just can’t believe that so much attention is being paid to apparent efforts by the incoming administration to establish connections with Russia. He said, 'Sure, that’s just what they ought to be doing.'"
Continuing, Chomsky said, "So, you know, yeah, maybe the Russians tried to interfere in the election. That’s not a major issue. Maybe the people in the Trump campaign were talking to the Russians. Well, okay, not a major point, certainly less than is being done constantly."
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP)
"And it is a kind of a paradox," he said, "that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.”