From the Chomsky playbook

I wrote about the monologue that preceded Tucker Carlon’s interview of Vivek the Fake in “Tucker’s tailspin.” Alana Goodman reported on Ramaswamy’s comments to Carlson in the Free Beacon story “Ramaswamy Says GOP ‘Selective Moral Outrage’ on Israel Driven By Money, Lobbying Groups.”

Goodman’s account was cruelly accurate and Ramaswamy threw a fit complete with press release denouncing her. John McCormack reviewed Ramaswamy’s critique in the cruelly accurate NRO/Corner post “what Ramaswamy Said about Israel, Armenia, and ‘Financial and Corrupting Influences’ in U.S. Foreign Policy.” McCormack found that Ramaswamy’s critique of Goodman’s account — how to put it? — lacked merit.

Goodman took up a thread of the interview in which Ramaswamy denounced his competitors’ outrage over Hamas’s slaughter of Israelis. He found it to be “selective.” Unless they denounced other such outrages, we were to infer that they were corrupt:

Vivek Ramaswamy criticized Republicans for their “selective moral outrage” at the mass terrorist attacks in Israel, and argued that politicians calling for a stronger military response against Hamas and Iran are driven by donor money.

The Republican presidential candidate questioned why his GOP opponents are not expressing similar outrage about the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and accused them of “ignoring the interests of the U.S. right here at home.” Specifically, Ramaswamy, in an interview with Tucker Carlson, equated the influx of fentanyl over the southern border — a “genocide,” in Carlson’s estimation — with Hamas’s attack against Israel.

“The selective nature of ignoring certain other conflicts — even more importantly, ignoring the interests of the U.S. right here at home — is what irritates the heck out of me,” Ramaswamy told Carlson.

“It is shameful. And I think that there are, frankly, financial and corrupting influences that lead them exactly to speak the way they do, that’s just the hard truth,” he added.

Ramaswamy, incidentally, seemed a tad vague on the Armenia/Azerbaijan outrage. When Carlson asked him what it was all about, this is what he had to say:

What’s happening is an atrocity. I mean, you have people who are Armenians, largely Christians, six-figure numbers—100,000-120,000—being driven back to their country from a region that has long been a place they have called home, a lot of atrocities that aren’t even yet coming to light in Western media.

One thing does not sound like the other thing. Ramaswamy is profoundly unserious. What this has to do with Hamas’s attack on Israel is mystifying.

Unless we talk about everything we are to talk about nothing. One can only speculate why Ramaswamy takes this tack.

Ramaswamy’s technique here reminded me of Noam Chomsky’s endless yammering about East Timor. Chomsky harped for years about the “genocide” conducted by Indonesia in East Timor. He used it as a stick with which to beat the United States. See, for example, Chomsky’s 1999 “East Timor retrospective,” originally published in Le Monde Diplomatique. In their introduction to The Anti-Chomsky Reader (2004, still kept in print by Encounter Books), Peter Collier and David Horowitz characterize Chomsky’s effusions on this subject over the years as reflecting “his idées fixes about East Timor.”

At the same time, among many other things, Chomsky variously denied and downplayed the virtual campaign of genocide waged by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Keith Windschuttle conveniently summarized his record on this point in the accessible 2003 New Criterion essay “The hypocrisy of Noam Chomsky.”

Chomsky’s point, implicit or explicit, was always more or less the same. As he put it in The Political Economy of Human Rights (1979, quoted in The Anti-Chomsky Reader): “Washington has become the torture and murder capital of the world” (emphasis in original).

One hesitates to pursue Ramaswamy’s point about Armenia and Azerbaijan. Whatever it is, he doesn’t mean it. He only means to say it.

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