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teleSUR's The Global Empire with Abby Martin talks to renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky about U.S. elections, wars, and power.

“What right do we have to kill somebody in some other country who we don't like?”

This idea, that the United States has the right to invade, bomb, and kill, is a myth that renowned author and intellectual Noam Chomsky debunked during a 25-minute interview with Abby Martin for teleSUR's The Empire Files.

Even if the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which the United States bombed in October, had been only full of Taliban, Chomsky asks, why does the United States feel it has the right to kill people there?

“The idea that we have the right to use force and violence at will is accepted pretty much across the spectrum,” Chomsky said of politicians and the media in the United States. “The very idea of invading is criminal, but try to find someone who describes it as a crime. Obama is praised because he describes (the Iraq War) as a mistake.”

Obama is considered an anti-war candidate (but) Obama is running a global terror program of a kind that has never been seen before

Calling the invasion of Iraq “the worst crime of this century,” Chomsky said, “Suppose it had worked ... it's still a major crime, why do we have the right to invade another country?”

He points out that in the current landscape of U.S. presidential contenders there is not one true anti-war candidate.

“For example, Obama is considered an anti-war candidate (but) Obama is running a global terror program of a kind that has never been seen before, the drone program,” he said.

RELATED: Opinion – Syria and Afghanistan: The Limits of Bombing

He says this pro-war, right-wing shift has been a result of the implementation of neoliberal policies, which shifted both parties to the right, pushing the Republicans “off the spectrum.”

“They became so dedicated to the interests of the extreme wealth and powerful that they couldn't get votes,” Chomsky said. “So they had to turn to other constituencies that were there, but were never politically mobilized, like Christian evangelicals (and) people who are so terrified that they have to carry a gun into a coffee shop.”

In doing so, the Republican Party “abandoned any pretense of being a normal political party” to become “a radical insurgency which has abandoned parliamentary politics.”

“The only thing that's ever going to bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements, which don't pay any attention to the election cycle.”

Chomsky said the result is that today's Democrats have shifted to the right as well.

“Today's mainstream Democrats are pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans,” he said. “Someone like Eisenhower, for example, would be considered way out on the Left.”

He calls today's Republican “libertarian” principles “anarcho-capitalism,” saying that if the U.S. were to implement policy based on those theories, “the whole society would collapse ... it would be tyranny.”

Traditional libertarianism was a left-wing ideology, Chomsky explains, opposed to master-servant relations, “but not in this version.”

Chomsky talks about Bernie Sanders, who is considered the most left-wing and progressive of the presidential candidates, calling him important and impressive, saying he is “doing good and courageous things.” However, he says, Sanders' campaign “ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement which will use the election as an incentive, but then go on, but unfortunately it's not.”

“When the election's over, the movement's going to die,” Chomsky observes. “The only thing that's ever going to bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements, which don't pay any attention to the election cycle.”

RELATED: Opinion – Bernie Sanders May Not Be a Hawk, But He's Also No Dove

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