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If the 20th century was the American century, the 21st century may be a time of reckoning for the United States. Chalmers Johnson, an authority on Japan and its economy, offers a troubling prognosis of what's to come. Blowback--the title refers to a CIA neologism describing the unintended consequences of American activity--is a call for the United States to rethink its position in the world. "The evidence is building up that in the decade following the end of the Cold War, the United States largely abandoned a reliance on diplomacy, economic aid, international law, and multilateral institutions in carrying out its foreign policies and resorted much of the time to bluster, military force, and financial manipulation," writes Johnson. "The world is not a safer place as a result." Individual chapters focus on Okinawa (where American servicemen were accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in "Asia's last colony"), the two Koreas, China, and Japan. The result is a liberal-leaning (and Asia-centric) call for the United States to disengage from many of its global commitments. Critics will call Johnson an isolationist, but friends (perhaps admirers of Patrick Buchanan's A Republic, Not an Empire) will say he simply speaks good sense. All will agree he is an earnest voice: "I believe our very hubris ensures our undoing." --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This no-holds-barred indictment of what Johnson calls the post-Cold War American "global empire" is not for the faint of heart. Among the opening images is a plastic bag containing three pairs of bloodied men's underwear gathered as evidence from the brutal 1995 gang rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by two American marines and an American sailor, a crime that was officially passed off as an aberration but may qualify more accurately as another move in the endgame of, in Johnson's astringent phrase, "stealth imperialism." In his highly critical appraisal of the global U.S. military presence, Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and prolific commentator on Japan and Asia, focuses on the effects of "blowback," a term coined by the CIA to denote the unintended consequences of policies that were in many cases kept secret from the American public. From anti-Chinese pogroms carried out by U.S.-trained soldiers in Indonesia to the viciously suppressed 1980 pro-democracy demonstration in Kwangju, South Korea, Johnson examines the fallout from what he sees as American "economic colonialism." Detailed assessments of American engagement in Japan, Korea and China are coupled with closer-to-home observations on the liquidation of American jobs in places such as Birmingham, Ala., and Pittsburgh, the latter yet another consequence of the massive U.S. trade deficit with the countries of East Asia. Brazenly spending ever-swollen defense budgets, Johnson argues, the Pentagon is fueling an "antiglobalization time bomb" that could blow up at any moment. His chilling conclusion--backed by copious and livid detail--is that a nation reaps precisely what it sows. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is the new agers ,for lack of a better definition, Bible.If you are researching the New Age movement, this book/manual was written by a prominent leader in the New Age... Read morePublished 20 days ago by We shall see.
I should have read this years ago. Some of this stuff is just incredible. How do we get ourselves so intertwined in so many world issues and just expect everyone to accept that we... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Scott Rudd
about what the u.s. armed forces do over seas and get away withPublished 2 months ago by t.j. matthews
An excellent primer on the US's Pacific empire. Professor Johnson's arguments are cogent and easily digestible, if not entirely pleasant to the taste. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christopher M. Howard
I read this book in high school. Don't think it is only pertinent to the US.Published 3 months ago by Fred Concklin
I recommend to anyone w sufficient understanding, the necessity of understatement that is produced by the 'propaganda-Machine' of the new-Rome, which Prof. Read morePublished 3 months ago by peace-Warrior
Too bad those countries didn't get to meet us 'actual Americans', instead of the greedy politicians, nobles, bankers, military heads and other shysters. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Leatherneck