Noam Chomsky on Paris attacks: "If you want to end it, the first question you ask is -- why did it take place?"

"If on the other hand you want to increase the attacks," Chomsky said, "let's bomb them more"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published December 11, 2015 8:12PM (EST)

  (AP/Nader Daoud)
(AP/Nader Daoud)

How should Western leaders react to the terror attacks in Paris, renowned linguist and professor Noam Chomsky was asked by acTVism Munich host Zain Raza shortly after the attacks.

"It depends what they want to do," Chomsky replied over a video feed at the event titled Germany’s role in the European Union and International Affairs: Post War History, Present and Possible futures.

"Do they want to encourage further terrorism, or do they want to end that kind of terrorism? That’s the choice," he said of European and U.S. leaders. "If you want to end it, the first question you ask is: why did it take place? What were the immediate causes and what were the deeper roots? And then you try to address those."

"The only information we have is the explanation given by ISIS," Chomsky began,"they say, if you bomb us we’ll attack you."

"Well, that’s probably the reason," he concluded, asking "where did all this come from? The invasion of Iraq, the Wahabisation of Sunni Islam, the brutality of the Assad regime and so on."

It is these root causes that must be addressed, Chomsky argued, "if you want to reduce the possibility of further attacks":

If on the other hand, you want to increase the attacks, you do exactly what President Hollande is announcing right now. Let’s bomb them more. Let’s destroy ISIS by military force. Probably impossible. But if it did happen, it’s pretty likely that something worse would emerge from it. Because the roots are not addressed. And they are real.

Watch Chomsky's take on the Paris attack, via acTVism Munich below:

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By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Aol_on Imperialism Noam Chomsky Paris Attacks Terror Video