By Noam Chomsky
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Additional info for After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology (The Political Economy of Human Rights, Volume II)
26 These conclusions he wrote from Paris, where he had been visiting monuments to Hitler's crimes. " But then he "thought of Vietnam," reaching the conclusions just cited. The "maniac Hitler crew" were presumably not guilty merely of "blunders" and "stupidity". Strout does not raise the question whether the cruelty of "maniacs" is more or less wicked than the cold-blooded decisions and rationally imposed terror of Washington politicians and military bureaucrats tabulating body counts and contracting for improved fragmentation bombs.
Contrary to common beliefs, the articulate intelligentsia remained largely loyal to the state propaganda system and, with some exceptions, only rarely approached even the periphery of this popular movement. Their opposition to the war, which developed at about the same time and for the same reasons as opposition in business circles, was highly qualified and fundamentally unprincipled: the United States simply could not get away with what it was doing at reasonable cost. S. liberals run along these lines: The American engagement in Vietnam continues to seem more bumbleheaded than evil; the progress of the war still appears to have been based upon a compendium of false analogies, bad guesses and self-righteousness.
Policy succeeds, "we may all be. S. elites. In the first place, the movement developed out of the control of its "natural leaders," thus posing a grave threat to order and stability. What is more, the general passivity and obedience on the part of the population that is a basic requirement in a state committed to counterrevolutionary intervention was overcome in significant measure, and dangerous feelings of sympathy developed towards movements of national liberation in the Third World. S. war in Indochina.