Politics, Ideas and Religion Today

There was a wonderfully heartening discussion at Trinity Church in Boston on Friday evening, Oct 8th. Taking place immediately before the 2nd Bush-Kerry debate, the crowd was energized, excited, and keenly receptive.

“MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky and Boston Globe columnist and author James Carroll discussed the domestic and international consequences of US foreign policy, and its relation to traditional American values, including religion. The session was moderated by Amy Goodman, host of National Public Radio’s DEMOCRACY NOW!”

Here are some details about the most recent writings of all three:

James Carroll:
“With the phrase “this Crusade, this war on terror,” President George W. Bush defined his purpose in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. And just as promptly, James Carroll, Boston Globe columnist, son of a general, former antiwar chaplain and activist, as well as recognized voice of ethical authority, began a week-by-week argument with the administration over its actions. In powerful, passionate bulletins, Carroll dissected the president’s exploitation of the nation’s fears, his invocations of a Christian mission, and his efforts to overturn America’s traditional relations — with other nations and its own citizens.

Crusade, the first collection of Carroll’s searing columns, offers a comprehensive and tough-minded critique of the war on terror. From Carroll’s first post 9-11 rejection of “war” as the proper response to Osama bin Laden, to his prescient verdict of failure in Iraq, to his never-before-published analysis of the faith-based roots of present U.S. policy, this volume displays his rare insight and scope. Combining clear moral consciousness, an acute sense of history, and real-world grasp of the unforgiving demands of politics, Crusade is a compelling call for the rescue of America’s noblest traditions.”

Noam Chomsky:
“From the world’s foremost intellectual activist, an irrefutable analysis of America’s pursuit of total domination and the catastrophic consequences that could follow.

For more than half a century, the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing — as in the Cuban missile crisis — to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. Now the Bush administration is intensifying this process, driving us toward a choice between the prerogatives of power and livable Earth. In Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this moment, what kind of peril we find ourselves in, and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species.

Amy Goodman:
“In The Exception to the Rulers, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, with the aid of her brother David, exposes the lies, corruption, and crimes of the power elite — an elite that is bolstered by large media conglomerates. Her goal is “to go where the silence is, to give voice to the silenced majority.” As Goodman travels around the country, she is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”