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Rory Carroll's selective interest in Chomsky's views

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joe emersberger

Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Rory Carroll's selective interest in Chomsky's views Reply with quote

Two emails to Carroll and his editors from 2008

Email to Rory Carroll (copied to Guardian editors) June 24, 2008
RE: Intellectuals condemn authoritarian Ortega

Dear Rory Carroll and Siobhain Butterworth:

Please explain why an article was written about the open letter to Daniel Orgeta signed by Noam Chomsky et al, but no article was ever written, in fact no mention ever made in Guardian, about the open letter sent to Alvaro Uribe in March by prominent human rights groups - most notably Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch..

The letter to the Alvaro Uribe basically asked him to stop condoning the assassination of opposition march organizers. [1] In contrast, the letter to Ortega was prompted by a hunger strike provoked by the government's cancellation of the legal status of a political party over a technicality.[2]
The letter to Colombia addressed a far more serious abuse of power but was ignored. Why no article ever written entitled "Human Rights Groups Condemn Uribe"?
Joe Emersberger


Email to Rory Carroll (copied to Guardian editors) June 25, 2008
Dear Rory Carroll and Siobhain Butterworth:

Why not write an article about this other letter Noam Chomsky just signed? This one addressed to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. It should interest the Guardian even more than the letter to Ortega given that it addresses a deadly, rather than legalistic, "stifling of dissent".

Joe Emersberger

24 de Junio, 2008
Palacio de Narino
Bogota, Colombia
South America
Dear President Uribe :

We write to you to express our strong support for the courageous
report of Ivan Cepeda Castro and the Movement of Victims of State
Crimes ( MOVICE) on the worrisome influence of paramilitaries in the
Universidad de Cordoba, an important institution of higher education in
northern Colombia.

MOVICE called attention to the fact that the head of the university,
Rector Claudio Sanchez-Parra, was chosen by paramilitary leader
Salvatore Mancuso. Mancuso has for the past several years exerted
strong influence over appointments in the university. During this period
19 members of the academic community have been murdered. Rector
Sanchez is the subject of investigations by the Attorney General’s office
for his ties to paramilitaries, and has appointed several relatives of
Mancuso to university posts.

Those professors, students and employees who oppose the
corruption and violence brought by the paramilitaries, and particularly
those who are members of the union for university personnel,
SINTRAUNICOL, have had their lives threatened. An attempt on the
life of one of the union’s leaders was made after Claudio Sanchez
became Rector.

We are particularly distressed that you have personally
commended the Rector and severely critiziced Mr. Cepeda and
MOVICE, whose defense of the victims of paramilitary and state sponsored
violence we celebrate.

We call upon you to end paramilitary influence in the university
and guarantee a respectful academic enviroment free of threats. Instead
of crass personal criticisms of Mr. Cepeda show him the respect a true
friend of letters deserves.

We pledge to focus our attention on the Universidad de Cordoba,
and support the courageous efforts of those who seek to end the
destructive paramilitary influence there.

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor ( retired) MIT
John I. Laun , President Colombia Support Network
Eunice Gibson, Adjunt Professor of Law at Lakeland College and MATC
Al Gedicks, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Marc Becker, Truman State University
Bishop thomas Gumbleton, Detroit
Dan I. Bolef, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis
Regina Birchem, PhD
Mark M. Giese, Racine Wisconsin
William Aviles, Professor of Political Sciences, University of Nebraska-
Al Gedicks, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin -La Crosse
Nancy McClintock, member WILPF
Natalia Jaramillo, Founder Committee, Civic Human Rights Network
Dave A. Davis, Kansas City
Father David Wanish, Diocese of Madison
Dan Kovalik, USSW, Associate General Counsel
Marian Seagren Hall of Wausau, Wisconsin
Joshua Clark, University of Texas, Austin
Nicolas Zakzuk, Miami
Edith Ballantyne, Special Adviser on United Nations to WILPF
Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
Ann Tiffany, CSN Central New York
Luis Alfonso Hernandez
Fredrik Jansson, President Colombianätverket, Stockholm, Sweden
Lynn Biddle. Cambridge, Massachussets
Pat Stoner
Zoltan Grossman, Faculty in Geography and Indigenous Studies, The
Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
Sister Frances Hoffman, O.P. Sun Prairie Public Library
Luis Alonso Cardona Betancourt, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Islas Canarias
Philip E. Gates, Retired Superintendent of Schools, Arizona
Enrique Santiago Romero- Abogado, Madrid, Espana
cc Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Assistant Secretary of StateThomas Shannon
US Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield
Colombia ‘ s Ambassador to the US Carolina
Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:43 am
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joe emersberger

Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

With Rory carroll on sabatical to write a book about Venezuela, Tom Phillips satds in to continue the Gaurdian's campaign against the Chavez government.


Dear Guardian editors

You very recently updated Chomsky's efforts to have Judge Afiuni freed in

Why not do an update on the effort Chomsky has made, along with John
Pilger and many others, to have the Guardian devote coverage to the
assassination of hundreds of Chavista peasants in Venezuela? [1]

Your article mentions Chomsky's criticism of the disproportionate attention
given to the Afiuni case, but it is silent about the criticism Chomsky has
made of the Guardian itself.

On August 4, you published the brief petition to the Guardian that Chomsky
and others signed. Two months later, an op-ed by Edward Ellis about the
assassinated peasants appeared in Comment is Free.

If the Guardian can find space to update the Afiuni case, which by no
reasonable standard is anywhere near as grave as the peasants', why not do some
follow up on their situation? To date, the Guardian's journalism, as
opposed to its op-ed section, has ignored them completely. Why is that? Is it
because powerful Chavez opponents are implicated in the peasant murderers?

Joe Emersberger

[1] Abuses in Venezuela, Thursday 4 August 2011
_ (
Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:28 pm
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joe emersberger

Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Another recent email to Tom Phillips:


Mr. Phillips:

You cited one of your main sources in this article as follows:

“Javier Corrales, an expert on Venezuela from Amherst College in Massachusetts”

Actually, you should know that Javier Corrales is a vehement, and not very rational, critic of the Chavez government. You should - at the very least - have cited him as a fierce Chavez critic and not a neutral “expert”.

In 2009, in an article entitled “Chavez Regime Has Launched Autocratic Blitzkrieg “, Corrales wrote

“Whereas many authoritarian regimes-such as those in China, Saudi Arabia or Singapore-seek political legitimacy by attempting to deliver at least the appearance of order, Chavismo advances its objectives by enabling chaos….

The government does nothing to stop rising crime rates or arbitrary decisions of the bureaucracy. Consequently, ordinary citizens live in fear of random violence, regime opponents live in fear of targeted assaults by state-sanctioned thugs, and business leaders live in fear of attacks by government-sponsored labor groups.”[1]

Corrales is, of course, perfectly entitled to believe this theory that the Chavez government deliberately does nothing to stop violent crime. However it does not take much of an expert to notice a few relevant facts and the questions they raise:

1) The Venezuelan opposition, its media and its allies in the international press, have done everything they can to hype the threat of violent crime in Venezuela. Are they too – part of the Chavez government conspiracy to spread panic according to Corrales?

2) Venezuela state governments, local governments and police forces are controlled by Chavez opponents. Are they too part of the conspiracy to allow violent crime to benefit the Chavez government (putting aside the obvious question of how this would actually occur)?

3) Hundreds of Chavista peasants have been assassinated since 2001 by hired gunmen in crimes that strongly implicate wealthy landowners. Are the landowners and their hired gunmen also part of the conspiracy to help Chavez in some mysterious way by murdering his supporters?

I’ll leave you to ponder these questions, but in future please consider using more diverse sources – or at least not withholding from your readers the kinds of sources you are using.

Joe Emersberger

Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:31 pm
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