Noam Chomsky & the Alien perspective – Episode 284 (English)

We meet Noam Chomsky (and his wife) in his office at MIT in Cambridge. Tilo asks Noam to pretend to be an alien for a moment. An alien who looks down on Earth. What does he witness? Chomsky explains what the objective observer from out of space would see: What is humanity up to in the 21st century? Will it be our final century? Are we going to survive? What existential dangers are we facing? What’s the most dangerous organization in human history?

Tilo and „Alien Chomsky“ also talk about the American Empire: Is it going to last? Is America the exception to the rule of Empires always falling? What about Obama’s drone program? Is Obama a terrorist? Is Germany part of a terrorist organization? Is Martin Luther King still right about his government?
Thanks to more than a thousand supporters who helped produce this episode with Noam Chomsky! You are all being credited at the end of the episode and below. The listing on IMDb still takes time…

Team Jung & Naiv: Juliane Schreiber, Alexander Theiler & Tilo Jung

Subtitles provided by: Cristian Wente
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Transcript (by Elka Sloan):

Tilo: All right, Jung & Naiv, we are … in Boston, are we in Boston?

Chomsky: No, we are in Cambridge.

Is that different?

Across the river.

And who are you?

I’m Noam Chomsky, I have been at MIT, where we now are, for 65 years, I’m now a retired professor.

And you still have an office.

I still have an office. They’re nice to me.

Why would they be nice?

Maybe because they like me.

I heard you are a little famous … are you still famous?

That’s for other people to decide.

I read a lot about you, and I want to start with one point you always make in your books, about the “alien perspective”. Could you … let’s pretend you are an alien and watch – on Earth. What are you witnessing, like, in terms of politics?

Well, if you are an alien with a kind of a long stretch of understanding, maybe hundreds of thousands of years, and you’re watching what’s going on on Earth, you’d be pretty surprised.


About two hundred thousand years ago, a new species appeared on Earth, humans, radically different from all others, as we can tell by just looking around. For a long time they kind of just wandered around the Earth, called hunter/gatherers, hunting, picking fruit and things like that. But about a thousand years ago, they underwent a big change. They started settled agriculture, they started building cities, started expanding, started having wars, developed complex cultures … And during the last ten thousand years, they have expanded all over the Earth, some, they already had, but much more densely settled, they have … in this country, for example, they immigrated from originally England, and pretty much wiped out the indigenous population, and conquered a large part of the land … and so things continued … during the 20th century they had massive wars of mutual destruction.

In 1945 they entered a new, a dramatic new era, the nuclear age, in which they had devised means to destroy themselves. And they have been living under the shadow of this threat, which is a very serious one, for 70 years, up and back, now increasing again …  And at the same time, though we didn’t know it at the time, I’m old enough to remember it, we now know that at about the same time a new geological epoch began. The geologists divide all of history into different epochs, Pleistocene, Holocene … most of them last millions of years. This new one began … geologists now place it approximately at the end of the Second World War. It’s the period when very dramatic changes took place in the environment, caused by human activity. That’s why it’s called the Anthropocene, the human geological epoch, in which humans began to radically transform the environment, and now to the point where they’re on the verge of destroying themselves.

So, going back to this interested alien, what he sees is that this remarkable species developed higher intelligence, and it is now using it in order to destroy itself, and is on the verge of destruction. And they might watch something like the current electoral campaign, everyone’s paying attention to it, and notice a very curious fact: none of this is being discussed. What’s being discussed is tweets at 3 a.m., you know, various kinds of vulgarity, anything, but serious problems. And the two, the most serious problem that ever has arisen in human history, namely, are we gonna survive, is not being discussed.

Why not?

That’s an interesting question. The extraterrestrial alien might be asking himself, what strange form of intelligence is it that enables great accomplishments to be achieved, but is unable to ask the question “will we survive?” and “how can we ensure our survival?”

Of course there are plenty of people doing it. They’re just off the mainstream, so you don’t see it in the electoral campaign, you don’t see it in media commentary … You do see it in popular activism, all over. And that’s another fact that the alien might be intrigued by.

So, if you’re the alien, how do you explain that after 200 000 years humanity hasn’t united?

It’s tried in various times. In 1945, at the beginning of the nuclear age, it was recognized by people who were thinking, that we simply have to unite in order to overcome the threat we have created to our own existence. Albert Einstein for one said this as soon as the atom bomb went off, he said this means that we must have world government, or else we’re finished. And others drew the same conclusion. In fact, if we go back to the late Forties, some of the top bestsellers were discussions of how we can move on to world government. And there was an effort. It’s called the United Nations. Which at the beginning … it was hoped … would have promise of moving in this direction. But it was pretty quickly undermined by competing nationalisms, actually, the United States was of course in the lead, because at the end of the Second World War the US had enormous … historic … enormous power, without any historical precedent, even remotely like it, it had about half the world’s wealth, which is incredible. Other industrial societies had been destroyed or severely harmed.

The US economy gained enormously during the war. Manufacturing quadrupled, new technologies were developed; it was poised to be the dominant world power at a level that had never been seen in history. Ah, things have changed to some extent since, but it is still, to a substantial extent, true. So the US initiatives and actions were pretty critical. And in the early years, see, the US used its power to turn, to dominate the United Nations and basically to turn into a battering ram against its major enemies, the Soviet Union. So in the early years of the United Nations, if you look at vetoes of Security Council resolutions, they were almost all Russian, because the UN was being used as a way to attack the Russians. Often for legitimate reasons, but nevertheless that’s how it was used. That has changed over the years, but not in a way that has made the UN a functioning, independent force that might bring people together.

So during the Nineteen-Fifties other industrial societies began to reconstruct from the war, decolonization began; some parts of the world, huge parts of the world that had been colonies of the European powers, gained some measure of independence. All of that led to a more diversified international system, and US power within the UN, though still overwhelming, began to decline. Vetoes of resolutions are a pretty good measure of it. Up until 1970, there were no US vetoes. From 1970 to the present, the United States is way in the lead when in to vetoing resolutions, because it’s become increasingly isolated from large parts of world opinion.

Americans probably aren’t aware of this, but there are polls of international opinion, carried out by the major US polling agencies, not the Russian, no hostile enemies, like, Gallup polls, and one of the questions they ask is “which country is the greatest threat to world peace?” … and the United States is way ahead – nobody is even close. This does not get reported in the United States, so people don’t know about it …

Is it true?

Is it true? That’s what most of the world thinks.

What do you think?

Oh, I think there’s very good reason to believe it. We don’t like to look at it that way, but …

… we’re the good guys … the West …

Not the West, the United States. But every other great power has also thought of itself as the good guys. It was true of Britain when it was running the world, it was true of France when it was a dominant power, it was true of Hitler-Germany, it was true of fascist Japan, and in fact, it’s kind of universal. Every state that has any degree of power regards itself as uniquely admirable or magnificent, and doesn’t understand why the rest of the world doesn’t perceive their angelic character. That’s historically universal. Probably it is true of Genghis Kahn, though we have no records.

So … ah … let’s stick with the alien perspective again, if you say global warming and the nuclear age still has to be resolved, like, we have to fix those problems – if we don’t fix them, will the 21st century be the final, the last century of humanity?

Probably not of humanity, but of organized human life on Earth. So for example … if there is a nuclear war, which has come very close many times, sometimes by accident, pure accident, I could give you some examples which are harrowing, but sometimes by reckless actions. The threat is now increasing. Some of the leading mainstream specialists, nuclear strategists, people like William Perry, former Defense Secretary, argue that the threat of nuclear war today is greater than it was during the Cold War.


Today. And others agree. There is a journal called the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”. It’s a major journal of atomic scientists. It opened right at the beginning of the nuclear age, in 1947, two years after the atomic bombing. They established what they calling a Doomsday Clock, a clock with a minute hand. The question is: How far is the minute hand from midnight? Midnight means termination, we’re done. Every year they collect a group of specialists, experts, to try to set the minute hand. Two years ago they moved it two minutes closer to midnight. Now, three minutes to midnight, which is very close, the closest it’s been since the early Nineteen-Eighties, when there was a major war scare – we almost came to war. So it’s not just William Perry – plenty of others. Incidentally, when they moved it to midnight, it was not just because of a threat of nuclear war, it was also because of the failure of governments to deal with the increasing threat of environmental catastrophe. And it’s serious. So just take one element: Rising sea levels. That’s not in question any longer; sea levels are rising, and in fact faster than they have in recorded history. Just consider a country like Bangladesh. It’s a low-lying coastal plain; it has hundreds of millions of people. As the sea level rises slightly, those people are going to have to flee. New the chief environmental scientist of Bangladesh recently warned that tens of millions of people are going to have to flee in the coming years, just from sea level rising. And he made an interesting comment. He said that if we lived in a just world, these people would be admitted into the rich countries, the United States, England, and others, because those are the countries that are responsible for it, and have the capacity to absorb them.

If we think we have an immigrant crisis today, which is non-existent, what is it going to be like when tens of millions of people are fleeing from rising sea levels? And that’s just the beginning. Just keep to South Asia. The water supply of South Asia comes mostly from glaciers in the Himalaya Mountains. They are melting. What happens when they disappear? Thea are melting pretty fast. There goes the water supply for South Asia. Couple of billion people. In India alone, right now, there are already, about, estimated, 300 million people who barely have access to water. What’s going to happen to them? It’s all over the place. Our coastal cities are going to disappear, and the extreme weather events will increase …

Right now, there are … about one person per second is fleeing from the effects of severe weather. That’s more than the number of refugees. And that’s going to increase. We are facing a major disaster, unless something is done. Now this alien, who is watching us, he would be astonished, not just at the fact that it is not being discussed, but the fact that in the richest and most powerful country in world history, which is going to shape what happens for the future, there is a major political party, the one that happens to dominate Congress right now, which simply denies that it’s happening. They have a policy about global warming. Forget it. It’s not happening, OK?

It’s hard to find words to describe this. That means that in the most powerful country in world history, the most educated, with major advantages, a major political party is saying let’s race to the precipice as quickly as possible. And there’s no comment on it. Try to find a comment on that fact. I mean what it really means is that this is the most dangerous organization in world history.

The Republican Party?

Take a look. Is that an exaggeration? In the primary, the Republican primary, every single candidate said it’s not happening … with one exception, John Kasich, who is supposed to be the sensible, moderate. He said yes, it’s happening, but we shouldn’t do anything about it, which is worse. So that’s a 100% refusal, OK? The winning candidate denies that what’s happening, is happening, and says we should make it worse. We should use more fossil fuels, including coal, which is the most polluting, we should eliminate environmental regulations, we should refuse to help poorer countries move to sustainable energy, as was agreed in the Paris negotiations last year, which he wants to dismantle, so in other words, let’s race to the precipice as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, the threat of nuclear war is increasing, with very provocative actions on both sides. And there is very little … Specialists are concerned, but it’s not part of the general kind of conversation. It’s not what you talk about with your friends when you go out for a cup of coffee.

It’s a depressing topic. But maybe the alien would agree that ignorance is bliss? Ignorance is bliss?

For a short time. Until it hits. And it’s not bliss for other people. It’s not bliss for the one person per second who is fleeing the effects of severe weather, drought, and so on. And these droughts, which are all over the place, are really having a big effect. The catastrophe in Darfour, or what’s now happening in Syria, which is horrible, are to a significant extent the result of severe droughts. Take Syria. Awful things are happening. Half a million people have been killed, millions are refugees. The country is being destroyed. Part of the reason is that several years before the conflict broke out there was a very severe drought in Syria.

Syria has been settled for thousands of years, it is the heart of human civilization, and there has never been anything like it, in all of history. A huge drought, that drove peasants off the land, they couldn’t farm, couldn’t survive. Drove them into cities, that means densely populated urban slums, lots of tension and conflict. All of that is kind of dry kindling. Drop a match on it and it explodes. It sets up the basis for conflict.

In Darfour, where there was again a huge catastrophe, a couple of years ago, but it’s still continuing, part of the reason is that terrible droughts had driven nomadic populations into agricultural settled areas in order to survive, which set up, of course, a conflict. If there is an invasion, what amounts to an invasion, of people trying to survive, it’s not pleasant, but that’s in large part the basis of what happened there. And there’s going to be more and more of it. And we’re going to have water wars, because water is scarce and not preserved.

Ignorance is bliss, if you can get yourself away from it, and not think about the near future, or about the future of your children, say. It’s not far off.

Ahm – want to talk about the American Empire?


Martin Luther King famously said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government.” He meant the American government. He said that 50 years ago. Is that still true?

He said it at the peak of the Vietnam War, where American B52 bombers were carrying out saturation bombing in the densely populated Mekong Delta. Millions of people were killed, the country devastated … at about the time when he spoke, one of the leading specialists on Indochina, Bernard Fawl, a Vietnam historian, a military historian, who was by no means on the Left, he was strongly in favor of the US-backed Saigon government and US policy. He nevertheless pointed out that, as he put it, Vietnam as a historical and cultural entity may not survive the greatest onslaught against a population in an area this size in history. That’s when Martin Luther King spoke. Has it changed? Not that much.  

A couple of years ago … in 2003 the United States, along with Britain, invaded Iraq, killed hundreds of thousands of people, generated millions of refugees, all kinds of atrocities, torture and so on … instigated a sectarian conflict … there is a major split in the Islamic world, it goes back to the eighth century, which has been pretty amicable, just like Protestant and Catholic, kind of, not during period of the Great Wars, but during the peaceful periods. … In Iraq, the two groups were there, Shiite and Sunni, but they were intermingled, they intermarried, they lived in the same areas, sometimes people didn’t know who was who, you know. One of the effects of the American invasion, an almost immediate effect was to begin to instigate a sectarian conflict, which is now tearing Iraq apart; and it’s tearing the region apart. That’s a devastating effect, and we can go on, it’s not the only case.

Germany is like one of the leading arms exporting nations in the world; are we, as Germans, part of the problem as well?

Part, yes, of course. So, for example, inside NATO, during the Nineteen-Nineties, Turkey was carrying out terrifying atrocities against its own Kurdish population … tens of thousands were killed, about 3500 towns and villages were destroyed, hundreds of thousands, some say millions, of refugees fled the South-East of Turkey, there was every imaginable kind of torture and terror … Germany was selling arms to the government of Turkey. It wasn’t the leader – the Unites States was the leader, the big guy on the block, but Germany was participating as much as it could. And it’s not the only case.

You called Obama’s drone program, or drone-assassination program, the by far greatest terrorist campaign in the world. Does it mean Obama is a terrorist?

Well, it’s just – go back to that alien. Suppose he thought for a few minutes, and he asked himself, how would people in Germany be reacting if, say, Iran was … had a program in which sent people, assassins, around the world to murder people who were threatening Iran. For example the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, major newspapers, who run articles saying we should bomb Iran right now, not wait. Big articles. So suppose they figured, well, look, they’re threatening us, really seriously, they’re claiming they’re gonna destroy us, Let’s kill’em. And plenty of others, including, say, President Obama, who says “all options are open”, meaning including nuclear war, if Iran doesn’t do what we want. So, we’ll get rid o’ him, and plenty of people in Germany who are saying similar things. So how would people, say, young people in Germany react to those actions? Would they call them terrorism?


I think so. And that’s what we’re doing. The drone program is a program that is initiated, implemented, from the White House. Careful planning, they meet Tuesday morning, decide who’s on the kill list today, and kill people who are suspected of planning to harm the United States. Is that any different than killing the editors of the Washington Post or the New York Times? Because … there aren’t any … they’re not suspected, in fact, they publish articles saying “let’s bomb Iran right now”…

So, Obama is a terrorist?

Ask yourself how the alien would look at it. And … he’s a neutral observer. He … or she – we didn’t decide, but aliens are usually a he … so, how would he look at it?

How would Noam Chomsky look at it?

Aahm … you’ve quoted me …

And since Germany is part of the drone program, with … I don’t know, Ramstein, you know, Ramstein, they are the relais stations for the drones … are we also terrorists?

Sure. In fact not just that. You are torturers. Germany was involved in the rendition program. The worst form of torture. The most depraved form, and the most cowardly form is to take suspects and send them to terrorist countries where you know they’re gonna be tortured. That’s the peak. You send them to Syria, or Libya under Ghaddafi, and that’s the way you can make sure they’re gonna be tortured.

There was a study recently of the countries that participated in the … it’s called rendition, in the rendition program … and practically all of Europe … the Middle East, of course, because that’s where the suspects were sent to be tortured, by dictators, in fact the only part of the world that didn’t participate was South America, Latin America. They refused. Which is kind of interesting, for a number of reasons. For one thing, because they refused, for another, because not many years ago Latin America was the center of global torture. During the period of the US-backed, sometimes US-installed dictatorships of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, first Brazil, then Chile under Pinochet, then Argentina, which was the worst of all, others, Uruguay. There was horrible torture all over the place, not very long ago. But enough of a change has taken place that Latin America, virtually alone, didn’t participate in the most depraved, cowardly, disgusting form of torture, rendition. But Europe did.

So … let’s go back to the alien. I mean, he’s been watching for hundreds of thousands of years, he has seen empires rise and empires fall. And, basically the rule seems to be, every empire falls. But since the United States is the exceptional nation, maybe the American Empire is the exception to that rule? Will the American Empire fall?

If you had asked the question in 1850, Britain would have been the exception. It was ruling the waves, half, large parts of the world were red on the map, meaning dominated by Britain, it looked impregnable – you couldn’t have predicted its fall. You couldn’t have predicted the fall, in 1943, you couldn’t have predicted the fall of Hitler-Germany, 1942, maybe, it looked like it was conquering everything. In fact, if you go back to American planners, right through the Second World War, of course American leaders were planning how to run the war and what the post-war world would look like … and the United States happens to be a very open society, so we have a lot of information about what the government is doing, not like other societies, we are much more free …. And we know what they were planning. At that time, say, roughly 1942, you know, before Stalingrad, American planners assumed that the post-war world would be divided into an American-controlled world and a German-controlled world. Two worlds, the American-controlled world would of course have the Western hemisphere, take over the former British Empire, whatever they could hold on to in Eurasia, and the German-controlled world would have the rest. That’s what it looked like in 1942 … I’m old enough to remember it; I didn’t know it about the planning of course, but you could see what was happening in the world. And until the Russians turned the tide, and began to drive the German armies back, Stalingrad, Kursk, and so on, that’s the way it looked. Could you have predicted? Not really.

The American Empire is not what it was in 1945. As I mentioned, the world’s become considerably more diverse. So in 1945 the US had maybe half the world’s wealth, and today it has maybe a quarter, which is colossal, but not the same. And large parts of the world that were under US control or partially under US control, in 1945, are no longer. China for example. China became independent in 1949. There is a phrase for that in the West. It’s called “the Loss of China”, which is a very interesting phrase … when the alien observes and he notices we are calling it the Loss of China. I can’t lose your computer. I can lose my computer. If we lost China that means we owned China, and that’s the assumption. The tacit assumption is: We own it. It’s ours. And if it becomes independent, we’ve lost it. The “Loss of Indochina” was described the same way, it is an interesting mentality. But nevertheless, it has declined.

However, if you use different measures, you get a different picture. This is a different world than it was in the Nineteen-Forties. It’s a much more … in economic terms, it’s a more globalized world. Corporations, for example: In the Nineteen-Forties, they operated primarily in their home countries. And now they have global operations, so … I see you’ve got an iPhone, or whatever it is over there, something, one of those things … let’s say iPhones, which have been studied carefully. They are produced by Apple. They are assembled in South-East China, by a Taiwanese corporation, Foxconn. But Apple runs the whole operation, and if you look at the profits, they go back to Apple, overwhelmingly. Foxconn gets about 10%. China gets a little bit. They are the assembly plant for Foxconn, which is effectively a subsidiary of Apple. That’s globalized operations. And if you now look at the ownership of the world, which corporations basically own the world, it turns out that US corporations have about half of ownership of the world. So in some respects, it’s not very different from 1945. It’s not national territory that has half the world’s wealth, bus US-based corporations that do. That’s a change in the world system, a significant change, which hasn’t been sufficiently investigated. China has grown enormously, but it’s not among the top owners … if you look at Chinese corporations, they’re not the ones that run the world.

So yes, it’s a very different, complex world, changed in lots of ways. These international corporations, multi-nationals, are nationally based, so they rely on their home country, and the tax-payers in their home country … increasingly they don’t contribute to their home country. So take Apple again. It sets up a headquarters in Ireland, which may be, for all I know, the size of this office. And it says, OK, that’s our base. So we just pay Irish taxes, which happen to be very low. Luxembourg, even lower, Cayman Islands, even lower. Recently a study came out, the Panama Papers, it’s called. By now a couple of hundred journalists are trying to work through the hundreds of thousands of pages. Basically they are the records of a Panama-based law firm which is running techniques of tax evasion for corporations and wealthy people all over the world … trillions of dollars, tens of trillions of dollars being manipulated to avoid paying taxes in the home country, though they rely on the home country, for subsidy, for support, they rely in many ways.

Take a walk around MIT where we are now, just look at the buildings that are there. Notice who they are. You’ll see Novartis, Pfizer, other big pharmaceutical corporations, genetic engineering corporations and so on … What are they doing there? What they’re doing is ripping off publicly-funded research at MIT. And Harvard, mainly MIT. That’s a large part of the way the economy develops. The public pays for the research and development, the costly, risky phase, then hand it over to the private corporations for marketing and profit. And then they carry out their international operations, try to maximize profit, and very commonly work out devious techniques, so they don’t have to contribute to their home societies for … through taxes. That’s a large part of the modern world, a very substantial part.

So, is it an empire? We have to decide what we mean by the word. It’s a different kind of … form of international domination.

Do you think it’s gonna be the last empire? … The alien looks at it …

The alien who looks at it and looks at the way humans are responding to the current situation, would probably conclude that it’s quite likely that in another century human society will have disintegrated … because it will not be able to deal with the immense … it is not trying to deal with seriously, the immense problems it is facing, including …

I mentioned two, which are enormous, but there’s more than that. Another major problem is the threat of pandemics, diseases that can’t be controlled. That’s already happening. And it’s happening for important reasons. One major reason, which we haven’t mentioned, but the alien would notice, is industrial meat production. Industrial meat production is a huge contributor to global warming. It is an enormous producer of carbon dioxide and methane and other gases, but it also has another feature. Corporations pour antibiotics into these systems. Animals are crowded together in horrible conditions, and to prevent disease, and to maintain growth, there is an extensive use of antibiotics; an enormous part of the whole antibiotics production is for this. The use of antibiotics leads to mutations which make bacteria antibiotic-resistant, and by now the rate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is growing faster than the techniques for dealing with them.  So we may be destroying ourselves in that way, too. There’s a lot of things the alien would notice that we should be noticing.

So are you a vegan?

I am not, but I can imagine that one would be. The crucial question in my view is not … I mean, individual actions are OK, they’re good to do, it’s good to use less energy, and so on. But what’s really needed is collective action to deal with the roots of the problem. I mean, if you are a vegan, let’s say, and you eat food, fruit and vegetables, that are transported from somewhere else, you’re contributing to the destruction of the environment. That’s what transport is. A lot of things to look at. We all make individual compromises, there is no choice. You can’t avoid it. Like, we’ve got the lights on. You’ve got the electricity, right?

But the crucial question is really institutional. How are we gonna deal with the institutions that are creating these systems?

Tell us.

Well, there is only one way that’s ever been discovered: Organized, collective action, which has led to a lot of changes. Take Germany: It’s not the same country it was seventy, eighty years ago. Why? Germans made it a different country. We can do the same. In fact, take, say, global warming: Germany is pretty advanced among countries of the world in trying to do something about it. That’s because Germans committed themselves to do something. We can do the same on the other issues. Take, say, the threat of nuclear war: Right now it’s mostly on the Russian border. On the Russian border, not the Mexican border. Now that’s a reflection of the scale of global power. Why … there’s provocations on both sides.

And Germany is right there, in fact, Germany is right in the center of it. The major issue had to do with Germany. Go back to 1991, end of the Soviet Empire. There was the question as to how the world system would be reconstructed with the Soviet system collapsing. There were two views. Gorbachev, the Russian leader, proposed a vision of a unified security system for all of Eurasia with no military blocs, just cooperative integration. That was one vision. The Americans, with President George Bush number one, and his Secretary of State James Baker, they had a different vision. The Russian system would collapse, and NATO would expand. Crucial question was Germany. For Russia it’s a pretty serious question. Germany alone had practically destroyed Russia twice during the preceding century, and earlier, other Western invasions, from Western Europe.

So what happened to Germany was going to be a serious question. Gorbachev agreed to allow Germany to be unified, East and West, and even to join NATO, a hostile military alliance, which was quite a concession. But there was an agreement, he thought, the agreement was that NATO would not expand one inch to the East. That was the phrase that was used, which meant East Germany. NATO immediately expanded to East Germany. When Gorbachev protested, the Americans pointed out, correctly, that it wasn’t a written agreement. It was just a verbal agreement, like a handshake. So, if you trust us, that’s kind of your problem. So NATO expanded to East Germany under … the following years under Clinton, it expanded to the former Russian Empire, all the way to the borders of Russia.

In 2008, and again in 2013, under Obama, NATO offered admission to NATO to Ukraine … Take a look at the map and [at] history. Ukraine is right in the geopolitical and strategic heartland of Russia, apart from long historical, other connections. Offering Ukraine NATO membership is a very serious threat to Russia. Western analysts understand that. Right now the United States, Obama, is placing a … what’s called a missile defense system in Romania. Now the pretense is that it is supposed to defend Europe from non-existent Iranian missiles, OK? You can believe that, you can also believe in Alice in Wonderland. It’s of course aimed against Russia, obviously. Furthermore, it’s understood by strategic analysts on all sides that what’s called missile defense is an offensive weapon. Nobody believes that missile defense could ever stop a first strike, but it is imaginable that it might deter a retaliatory strike, which means, it’s a first-strike weapon, and everyone understands that. It’s highly provocative. Now the Russians are carrying out a major military build-up of their own, modernizing forces, new missile systems, nuclear submarines with nuclear weapons, and so on … and you have constant threats right at the border. Jet planes of both sides kind of buzzing each other, and so on … could blow up.

Germany is sitting right there. Germany could play a leading role in trying to reduce these tensions, and in fact some German political leaders have called for that. But these are choices, and they are choices that the German people will have to make. Do we wanna have a nuclear war and destroy everything? Do we wanna wipe out the world with global catastrophes? That’s for people to decide.

Thanks so much for the alien perspective. We have to wrap it up. Thanks so much!

Producers of this episode:

Aaron Otholt
Achim Lorenz
Achim Lorenz
Adam Ambarzumjan
Adam Gniady
Adam Grabowski
Adrian Breitung
Agathe Bronikowski
Ahmad Farid
Alan Powell
Alexander Bartel
Alexander Berner-Gandra
Alexander Dalbert
Alexander Dr. v. Wolffersdorff
Alexander Elvers
Alexander Gadomski
Alexander Hofmann
Alexander Hollweck
Alexander Katzmann
Alexander Kohn
Alexander Kölling
Alexander Kopatz
Alexander Kromm
Alexander Kromm
Alexander Lau
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Stefan & Mahela Schramm
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Stefan Büssemaker
Stefan Foth
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Stefan Huber
Stefan Leye
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Stefan Pröschel
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Stefan Seibert
Stefan Ziegler
Stefan Zurucker-Burda
Stefanie Knaab
Stefano Di Martino
Stefanos Alvertis
Steffen Bohr
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Steffen Hinterberger
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Steffen Röber
Stephan Gerboth
Stephan Haendel
Stephan Henselin
Stephan Kniest
Stephan Leibelt
Stephan Lesch
Stephan Lorenz
Stephan Nebe
Stephan Schuster
Stephan Sieben
Stephan Unger
Stephan-Alexander Meyer
Stephanie Brüggeshemke
Stephanie Holstein
Stephanie Wieland
Stephen Stegmaier
Steve Korzinetzki
Steve Meier
Steve Meszaros
Steve Ruschmann
Steven Hartig
Steven Lindenau
Susanne & Thomas Haak
Susanne Krenkel
Sven Artur Sutterlin
Sven Baldauf
Sven Bendig
Sven Benthin
Sven Gerhardt
Sven Kuhfeldt
Sven Lauts
Sven Schwöbken
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Svenja Bierwirth
T.M Kempter
Tamer Güner
Tanja Hackl
Tanja Paskalew
Tassilo Weidner
Temel Balci
Thaifu Lacour
Theo Herzog
Thilo Aßmann
Thomas Buenger
Thomas Diehl
Thomas Fragstein
Thomas Grimm
Thomas Guldener
Thomas Hartmann
Thomas Knorr
Thomas Leidel
Thomas Lünenbach
Thomas Meiner
Thomas Oetjen
Thomas Peußer
Thomas Preindl
Thomas Richter
Thomas Rossmann
Thomas Schönberger
Thomas Schreiter
Thomas Schwarz
Thomas Sopot
Thomas Volksdorf
Thomas Weispfenning
Thomas Zaremba
Thomas Zimmermann
Thorge Detlefsen
Thorsten Altmann
Thorsten Biegner
Thorsten Uphues
Thorsten Uphues
Tihomir Bicanic
Till Arfsten
Till Fischer
Till Fischer
Till Hofmann
Till Jorde
Tilman Haupt
Tilman Schlosser
Tim Carmele
Tim Conradi
Tim Gernitz
Tim Hans Arnold
Tim Lange
Tim Luft
Tim Meseke
Tim Wappler
Timm Suchard
Timo Altfelde
Timo Henne
Timo Knop
Timo Schaper
Timo Schmitt
Tina Goldschmidt
Tino Waschk
Tino Zunft
Tobias Angele
Tobias Boelter
Tobias Brehm
Tobias C.
Tobias Carstensen
Tobias Frahm
Tobias Frahm
Tobias Fuchs
Tobias Hermann
Tobias Klasse
Tobias Kütscher
Tobias Loffler
Tobias Lutz-Bachmann
Tobias Muz
Tobias Nousch
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Tobias Pingel
Tobias Pooch
Tobias Schreiber
Tobias Schulze
Tolleiv Nietsch
Tom Henke
Tom Jakobs
Tom Wassilewsky
Toni Klatt
Torben Stallmann
Torsten Hornauer
Torsten Keilholz
Torsten Kempa
Torsten Wetzel
Tristan Behr
Udo Pfister
Ugur Aktas
Ulrike Brunner
Uta Kerscher
Uwe Baur
Uwe Pulsfort
Uwe Weissenbacher
Valentin Groß
Van Duc Nguyen
Vanessa Edmeier
Varun Sjöberg
Vassilios Katsaros
Verena Hausser
Viktor Bulach
Viktor Kudrischow
Viktor Lutz
Viktor Lutz
Vincent Andrae
Vincent Kretschmer
Vincent Spanjaart
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Vinzent Rolny
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Welcom Studios
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Yassin Schniederbernd
Youri Fabian Becker
Yvonne Filipp
Yvonne Stolterfoht
Zerrin Labay y Monzo
Zorbach Roland
Zsa-Zsa Prokscha

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