"NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Noam Chomsky, supporters of the U.S. plan say that the only reason that Assad agreed to hand over, relinquish control over chemical weapons was because of the threat of military force, of U.S. military force. And what interest does the U.S. have in striking Syria militarily?
NOAM CHOMSKY: The first comment is correct. The threat and use of force can be effective. So, for example, Russia was able to control Eastern Europe for 50 years with the threat and occasional use of force. Hitler was able to take over Czechoslovakia with the threat of force. Yes, it often works, no doubt. That’s one of the reasons it’s banned under international—under international law.
The reason—the pretexts for imposing—for carrying out a forceful act have generally declined, to the point that even the British government hasn’t accepted them, and the Congress was apparently going to reject them, and the United States, the government, resorted to the—what is usually the last—the last resort, when everything else fails, saying our credibility is at stake. That’s correct. U.S. credibility is at stake. Obama issued an edict, and it has to be enforced. That’s a familiar doctrine. It’s one of the leading doctrines of world affairs. Credibility of powerful, violent states must be maintained. It’s—occasionally called it the Mafia doctrine. It’s essentially the doctrine by which the godfather rules his domains within the Mafia system. That’s one of the leading principles of world order: Credibility has to be maintained."