From honey to ashes

We now know that with the collapse of Berlin Wall, Chomsky collapsed, too


From honey to ashes
by AmirAshkan Pishroo

I always thought that if I ever wrote anything against Noam Chomsky all my ancestors would rise from their graves – and I’d just have to bury them again, as Groucho Marx once said. But that was the Chomsky of old times, when he was regarded as “Einstein of Social Sciences.” That claim about him, however, today no longer seems to hold water.

As Hegel said, “philosophy paints its gray on gray only when a form of life has grown old.” Chomsky did not know that his purpose was philosophy of language, not international politics, never mind the Middle Eastern politics. But we now know this thing, to paraphrase Richard Rorty, “for we latecomers can tell the kind of story of progress which those who actually making progress cannot.”  We now know that with the collapse of Berlin Wall, Chomsky collapsed, too.

By the Balkan wars of the 1990s, Chomsky has already denounced Vaclav Havel, a real dissident against arbitrary power, while openly defending the dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic. He showed no solidarity with tolerant Muslim minority of Bosnia and Kosovo when they were prosecuted, deported, and murdered by the Serbian forces. It is thanks to American humanitarian intervention that these Muslim communities were saved from total genocidal attempts that was taking place in the backyard of Europe. Chomsky only became interested in Muslim after 9/11 when the extremist Muslims have become the perpetrators.

In his Love, Poverty, and War, Christopher Hitchens nicely sums up that: “if a supposed scholar takes the Christian-Orthodox side when it is the aggressor, and then switches to taking the “Muslim” side when Muslims commit mass murder, I think that there is something very nasty going on. And yes, I don’t think it is exaggerated to describe that nastiness as “anti-American” when the power that stops and punishes both aggressions is the United States.”

Chomsky went on to rationalize, here, the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in the 9/11, arguing that the death toll was minor compared to the list of victims brought about by the U.S. foreign policy. He notes, “for example, Clinton’s bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people.” His message was simple and clear: the U.S. only had itself to blame.

This line of argument received its low point with the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, written and directed with Michael Moore, who is called Moqtada al-Moore by Iraqis intellectuals, since he represents Moqtada al-Sadr as a “national hero.”

In an interview, published in, Chomsky disgracefully claims that the United States is more fundamentalist than Iran. What is more sickening is his ambivalent attitudes toward the question of democracy in Iran: “if Iran opens up in such a way as to subordinate itself to the general neo-liberal order I think it will be very harmful for many people in Iran, probably the majority. So opening up is a mixed [blessing].”

From the imperial safety of his neo-liberal suburban Massachusetts home, Ayatollah Chomsky is here to tell the Iranians like the children who do not like taking medicine, prescribed by the Islamic doctrine, that the reason it tastes bad is that it is good for you, since it prevents the deadly virus of neo-liberal flu.

Tragedy or not, the collapse of Chomsky is for real. He has abandoned the Iranian and Iraqi democrats, feminists, and progressive forces, and joined forces with the reactionaries in the Middle East, criticizing the U.S. who is helping not only the Iraqis and Lebanese to build a workable democracy, but also supporting the democratization of Iran.


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Oh My God

by TheDBA (not verified) on

Let me guess... You are one of the remaining 29% idiots that approves Bush/Cheney policies!!!! And probably a member of Heritage Foundation.

As Steven Colbert puts it, you are just a backwash of 1/3 full glass!!!


The earth would certainly be

by Anonymous2 (not verified) on

The earth would certainly be a happier place without the Bill Kristols and their herd of sheep followers Zions, AmirAshkan Pishroos, Freds of this world. Go back to your master, he is calling for a war with Russia.

AmirAshkan Pishroo

"Revenge of the Dinosaur Left"

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

Very impressive comment, Anonymous Observer.


You Are Right

by Anonymous Observer (not verified) on

I have read many Chmosky books and have actually attended a couple of his lectures, but I have to agree with you. The lure of Chmosky and other leftists diminished after the collapse of their source of inspiration, the Soviet Union. In the face of that collapse, they have been trying to re-brand themselves as "counter-culture intellectuals" who know the dangers of the modern global capiltalist system better than you and I. You see a great deal of that in the ex-pat Iranian community here, and specially on this site: the leftover 60's and 70's leftists who gave us the gift of the Islamic Revolution, and who are still trying to stay relevant. Just read these comments. In fact, in my humble opinion, these same leftists are the main obstacles to meaningful non-violent change in Iran today, with their advocacy for war with Israel (which they have been doing for the past thirty years in various shapes and forms), and their continued insistence on a confrontational stance with the United States and the West. I call it "Revenge of the Dinosaur Left"!!!


Suppressio verdi, suggestio falsi

by Fred on

Just like the Islamists, challenging this living God in the slightest triggers the personal attack auto pilot bypassing the dialectics part of their rambling dogma.

AmirAshkan Pishroo

بیضه شرع اطهر

AmirAshkan Pishroo


با نقد کردن چامسکی تو گویی بیضه شرع اطهر پاره شده

حالا درهای بهشت برویمان بسته  خواهد شد و همگی می جهنمیم




by Ram-44 (not verified) on

I suggest that you take a look at the blog that is featured right now on the Front Page, titled:


This is the link to it:


There is a video in that blog of Noam Chomsky speaking to exactly the issues that you are talking about here.

Please watch the video, and correct your article accordingly. That's the only way that you can maintain any semblance of intellectual integrity to any argument that you are making in that regard.

We are eagerly awaiting for your corrections .... :) !


suggestion for the writer

by IRANdokht on

Please stay away from topics that are way over your head: It makes you sound childish and your article sensless and ridiculous.



Chomsky knows

by Sia khoshtip (not verified) on

That if there is a war with Iran, all Iran has to do is to order its citizens to put their behinds towards Israel and throw air. The Israel will have a hurricane guz.


Mola Nasredeen: Iranian of the day?

by Mehdi on

I am laughing so hard, and I am at work! My boss wants to know what's so funny. Man, your comments are FUNNY! And to the point!

Mola Nasredeen

sister zion I agree with you, chomsky's house must be abolished

by Mola Nasredeen on

his family deported and he should be put in a dungeon. He must be starved with no medical care unless he confess to his crimes against our beloved country Israel. And he must start working as our spy among the intellectuals in MIT University and elsewhere. He could easily make twice as much as what he make now, what an idiot he is!



Well done

by Zion on

This was a very intelligently written article with many good points. Ayatollah Chomsky is exactly what he is become. The irony is, reading his supporters `logic` here only corroborates your point. If only you read enough of the guy... how much is enough? Once you start to agree with the cult, that is a sign that you have read enough. Not before. If only you met the guy, please, in order to write about someone of his grandeur you must first feel the blessing of his presence. You shouldn`t have written about him without first having a Darshan... .

You realize you have criticized the source of emulation of all these people? ;-)

It is at moments like these that one truly appreciates the foundations of scientific communities where op or low scholars are tested and questioned no matter what their position. Makes it clear when real academia ends and the cargo cult takes over.


What a load of bollocks ….

by KB on

As others have pointed out here, what qualifies you to write this article criticizing Chomsky in the manner that you have? All you have done is repeated others who have been blindly critical of Chomsky and as often done by people like you have mentioned snippets of truth. I think Mola Nasredeen has summed it up nicely

How come all you Iranian and non Iranian Zionists ( Mehdi Mazloom, Farhad Kashani, Fred, Zion,…) who write on this site, have very similar style of writing. Do you get special schooling for this? Or are some of you one and the same?

ebi amirhosseini

Polotics aside..

by ebi amirhosseini on

He is still the "linguistic guru" for me & others who studied linguistics.Although later few of his students brought in their own linguistics theories which proved some of his wrong,but still he is the one & only in that field for me.



by Anonymous-today (not verified) on

Quoting Rorty and Groucho Marx doesn't change the childish piece of nonsense that you have written. What are you, a third year college student, hoplessly trying to show off that you've read a few books? Chomsky still remains one of the most impressive intellectuals in the world and that is with the on slaught of attacks on him from minds much bigger than yours. And, this is to that opportunist Fred. What act of progressiveness of "Chomsky of yesteryears" do you have in mind? Or are you just talking out of your rear-end? The "Lefties" may change and evovle but right-wing windbags like you always remain the same.


From Honey to Ashes

by nbf (not verified) on

What drivel; what juvenile writing. We need to do something about the shortage of Op-Ed writers for The Iranian. Right now the door is open to anyone who can merely manage to string together a few paragraphs, regardless of whether they make any sense.


What a simple and naive article

by XerXes (not verified) on

It's interesting to see a person quoting a few unrelated verses from some philosophers to credit him/herself with the audience that yes, I know!
Your argument here is to criticize Mr. Chomsky without bringing your own. All you are doing is just stating what he has said with a simple I don't agree!
What kind of argument or debate is this?
Let's say that you disagree with him, that the United States was the government that had given life to Al quada, helping the dictatorial states around the middle east, arming Israel to be a perfect Mini Me, assisting Wahabis and arming them to counter act the Shias and others, started an unnecessary war with Iraq that has caused one million innocent lives, vanished and destroyed...
OK, you disagree with all these points. What is your counter argument?

Chomsky has taken a role, just because he is in a position to do so, and because he sees it his responsibility to be a voice, a microphone against all the propaganda that you hear on the media 24/7. He never claims to be all knowing or having an extensive knowledge of the world politics, although he has shown that he is capable of understanding the basics that run as an issue in todays' uncertain world. His claim is to leave the lives alone, atrocities regardless of nationalistic ideologies is wrong, and a true human should be working for making life better for humans rather than for a political party or a country.

Bring it on mr. philosopher. Bring on your argument. I am no Chomsky, but I'll take it. Let's see your logic and reasoning. Better have prove, similar to your quotes from various philosophers. I want to hear your argument as why it is not the US fault that the region is in this state. I want to hear you saying that Mulla Omar was not a US creation and Osama was not armed and trained by the US. I want you to tell me who should be taking responcibility for a coups that occur in a south American countries. I want you to enlight us. I want to hear a person such as yourself to define their political character and understandings, a person who claims to have read well and can think.
I bet you are from a position of power... Remember this and I shall bring it back if you decide to explain yourself. I'll be checking periodically.
Let's see where you stand in humanity and world affair.

Waiting to hear from you.

Mola Nasredeen

brother pishroo how can one trust a man with a big nose and

by Mola Nasredeen on

glasses. You are %100 right about this Chomsky guy! Well said! Bravo to you! How can one trust a man who claims to be  jewish but is against the policies of our beloved country, Israel? How can he be against confiscation of Plestinians' land and call himself a jew? The nerve this guy's got, I tell you. We the chosen people on this earth should do the same thing we did to that Norman Finkelstein guy at DePaul University. He was claiming to be a jew too, right! We should get this Chomsky guy fired from his job at the MIT University and waterboard him till he learn his lesson.

PS: I would like to welcome you to our little zionist/Iranian-haters group here at this website. We must use every tool available to us to protect our beloved Israel. But I hope you are not one of those who writes under many names, and you really are a new member. Iranian haters business on this website has been slow recently, brother mazloom's writing didn't help much either. Again, I like to welcome you. One world, many races but one chosen people by Yahova.



Pishroo, you have too much roo

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

This says it all:

Chomsky went on to rationalize, here, the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in the 9/11, arguing that the death toll was minor compared to the list of victims brought about by the U.S. foreign policy.

So speaking the truth about victims of US atrocities that FOX News DIDN'T spend months covering = rationalizing terrorism?

Even as Chomsky hatebots go, you have a lot to learn.


Fred then & now: always invoking slogans and nothing more

by 1975 Esfahani (not verified) on

As always, Fred invokes lame sloganeering in place of reasoned argument and evidence. Let us take apart Fred's post piece-by-piece:

"But isn’t that the story of most of the petrified lefties who have never managed to go beyond their Anti-Imperialism slogans embodies in the Anti-Americanism?"--Let us go beyond the sheer illiteracy and poor grammar demonstrated here. Rather, let us focus on the word "Anti-Americanism". If it is "Anti-American" to criticize (even harshly) the policies of the U.S. government, is it also "Anti-Iranian" to denounce the policies of the IRI? Of course, any sane person knows the answer to that question (hint: No), but then again not everyone is sane.

"Isn’t that why most of them can be found in the Islamist republic’s camp, the current poster boy of Anti-Americanism, defending the very antithesis of what they originally were opposing?" Once again, please ignore the poor grammar and syntax. Concentrate on the phrase "Islamist republic's camp" (never mind that there is no such entity as the "Islamist republic"; Iran's current official name is the Islamic Republic of Iran). Who is in this camp? Presumably, "Islamist/Anti-Semites and their likeminded lefty allies"? The only problem with that lame slogan is that the leading "dissident" Iranian organization is the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which is the closest thing that one could get to a group that is simultaneously "Islamist" and "lefty".

"Aside the Islamist riffraff and assortment of other loonies, review of political genealogy of most of the Islamist republic’s apologists, lobbyists and outright supporters would be an eye-popping endeavor."--The subliterate construction of the sentence would be forgivable if not for the author's frequent failed attempts at eloquence. As noted above, the Islamist MEK is currently collaborating with the U.S. and Israeli governments against the Iranian regime, as is the uber-Islamist American puppet dictatorship in Saudi Arabia. In fact, backing for Sunni Islamists fighting Iran (presently in the form of the Jundallah and previously the Taleban) has been a cornerstone of Washington's anti-IRI policy for decades. But what is Fred to do when some of the leading lights in the "camp" opposing the IRI are themselves fanatical Islamists? As a last resort, he might try a dose of intellectual honesty...

Please publish this post in its entirety, as I have refrained from using profanity. Thank you.


Dear AmirAshkan

by His ex-Student (not verified) on

If you were to spend 10-minutes with Chomsky in person, I am sure that you would take back most, if not all of these comments that you have written about him.

I have to say that your 'True' knowledge of Chomsky is very limited and inaccurate. I don't want to say that you are necessarily a biased person, but you definitely come across as one.

Before you write such critical account of anyone, you owe it to your readers to do your homework. Unfortunately, this piece leaves much to be desired.


You're no Chomsky

by No way! (not verified) on

It's clear you're no Chomsky from the holes you leave in your argument/s. Chomsky never defended atrocities committed by anyone, including the Serbians. What makes Chomsky unique (and others hypocritical) is that he doesn't care who is the offender and what lines of political correctness are drawn - he cares about humanity. His concerns about the NATO bombing of Serbia was not that Milosevic was some kind of hero in his opinion, but rather that the bombing ultimately led to more fierce aggression against the Bosnians and more women and children died as a result. He consistently argues (correctly) that when wars happen, the media white washes the entire affair as good or bad, and often in terms of "the right thing to do" - but his concern is more about what is the ultimate result of aggression. Aggression leads to civilian deaths, no matter the justification. I don't claim to speak for him, but that's what I interpret from his writings and speeches.

Your comments make me wonder if you've ever attended an event where he's spoken or read much of his work. Only three days after 9/11, Chomsky talked at length at MIT about the horrible crimes against people on 9/11. He condemned them in the strongest terms. I was there. Once he cleared this he proceeded to explain how the US has created so many atrocities in other locations and his point was not to justify/excuse the 9/11 attacks, but to provide a historical perspective of suffering globally. His stance is that America is not some entity. He/you/I are collectively responsible for its actions. He doens't simply critique.

I can go on... but let me end with this - you say that Chomsky only became interested in Muslims after 9/11 - where have you been? Do you know nothing about his writings and activism on the plight of the Palestinians?

Go ahead and critique Chomsky, but please go and read his writings and listen (I mean really listen) to what he has to say.


Chomsky then & now

by Fred on

True, as you say this Chomsky has no resemblance to the progressive Chomsky of yesteryears.  But isn’t that the story of most of the petrified lefties who have never managed to go  beyond their Anti-Imperialism slogans embodies in the Anti-Americanism? Isn’t that why most of them can be found in the  Islamist republic’s camp,  the current poster boy of Anti-Americanism, defending the very antithesis of what they originally were opposing? Aside the Islamist riffraff and assortment of other loonies, review of political genealogy of most of the Islamist republic’s apologists, lobbyists and outright supporters would be an eye-popping endeavor.


Oh really...

by another iranian (not verified) on

You make assertions against Chomsky but you don't demonstrate any level of knowledge or nuance which are hallmarks of Chomsky's writing. If you know Chomsky at all you know that he has written an awful lot over a long and prolific career. It's silly to try to denounce him in a couple of paragraphs.

Also, as an Iranian "democrat, feminist and progressive" I don't at all feel that Chomsky has abandoned me! I am far from needing to worship heroes -- Chomsky can indeed by critiqued, like anybody else. He does not claim to be the author of a Bible or a Koran and we don't have to worship him, but, boy, he can't just be dismissed so easily either!