Chomsky Says Government, Corporations Keep U.S. Public Ignorant of Major Events Abroad

"Thought-control" is as widespread in the United States as in the Soviet Union, Noam Chomsky, a world-famous linguistic theorist, told an audience of 60 freshmen at the Union yesterday evening.

"Indoctrination in the United States is perhaps even more insidious because of our apparent freedom," Chomsky added.

The strategy of "anti-communism" is a cover for American institutions to stifle economic nationalism abroad, Chomsky said. These institutions, chiefly multinational corporations and the federal government, are willing to go to war to keep foreign markets open, he said.

Chomsky said that the American people are sometimes kept unaware of major international events. He cited as an example the massacre of 100,000 people on the Pacific island of Timor by invading Indonesian forces in the last three years.

Chomsky asked how many members of the audience had heard of Timor; only three had.


Chomsky said that Indonesia started taking over the eastern half of Timor in 1975, and has since killed about as many inhabitants of the island as the Khmer Rouge has killed in Cambodea, in an island with a fraction of Cambodia's population, Chomsky said.

The Western press failed to pick up this story because Indonesia is a Western satellite, and the press has been willing to accept the hand-outs of the Indonesian propaganda ministry, Chomsky said.

Chomsky said his sources on Timor were studies of refugees presented to Congress, letters smuggled out of the country, and testimony in the Australian parliament.

Chomsky spoke at the first of nine Tuesday dinners sponsored by the Boston/Cambridge Ministry in Higher Education.

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