Noam Chomsky: Russia is fighting more humanely than the US did in Iraq

Jakub Ferencik
5 min readMay 4

At 94 years old, Chomsky is still rolling. You’d think that the book royalties would amount to a lavish end to his career. Apparently, he’s in it to stay relevant.

In his latest diatribe, he claimed that the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003 is a greater moral blunder than Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

There are a few issues here, but let’s not forget this is not the first time Chomsky has let loose, so to speak.

The trend might just continue — and Putin apologists are here for it.

Let me explain.

Photo by Andre Klimke on Unsplash

This is not the first time Chomsky has gone public with views that I fundamentally disagree with.

In an interview with Russell Brand in 2022 on his podcast Under the Skin, the linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky claimed that Americans have less freedom than Russians.

Any student of history will know that Russians in the 1980s did not have more political freedoms than Americans in the 21st century. In fact, today there are more political prisoners in Russia than at the height of the Cold War.

But Chomsky disagrees.

In his words,

Take the United States today. It is living under a kind of totalitarian culture which has never existed in my lifetime, and is much worse in many ways than the Soviet Union before Gorbachev.

He then added “If today, in the United States, you want to find out what [Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov of Russia is saying, can’t do it. It’s barred. Americans are not permitted to hear what Russians are saying. Can’t get Russian television, can’t access Russian sources.”

“But the United States has imposed constraints on freedom of access to information which are astonishing, which in fact go beyond what was the case in post-Stalin Soviet Russia,” Chomsky claimed.

Here Chomsky seems to fundamentally misunderstand the meaning of the term totalitarianism.

Under totalitarian dictatorships, every aspect of society is controlled by one dictatorial government. Stalin was totalitarian. Hitler was totalitarian.

Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | RA for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ articles with 1+ mil. views