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Chalmers Johnson has provided insight for years. Now I listen carefully,
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This review is from: Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope (Audio CD)
Professor Chalmers Johnson, a Korean War veteran and former CIA consultant, obviously is well-informed. This review is based on the unabridged audio CD.
Chalmers has the catchiest book titles: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire; The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic; Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic; and now Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope. His stature as an author, critic of U.S. foreign policy and declinist has grown with his audience.
In summary, Chalmers presents a well-researched and well-reasoned argument that the U.S. has to urgently scale back its commitments around the world, including withdrawal from military bases abroad, to save its democracy. The alternative appears to be bankruptcy and some form of dictatorship. It's not difficult to imagine either when listening to Chalmers' calm presentation of the facts.
Retreat from any type of venture is never easy. Yet Chalmers is calling on the U.S. to retreat from Empire. The listener would have benefited from examples of empires that deliberately and methodically scaled down - if for no other reason than to be assured it is possible. Observance of current events does not provide encouragement that any of Chalmers' recommendations will be followed.
I recommend this book not because there is any likelihood that policy will be informed by it, but because it may help prepare the listener/reader for what lies ahead. The arguments presented herein can't hurt you.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 1, 2010 8:28:10 PM PDT
I guess Johnson is not "extreme" anymore.
Posted on Nov 4, 2010 2:05:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2010 2:06:51 AM PDT
A former empire that did scale down was Great Britain after WWII - through necessity but also had a democratic nurturing of its former colonies. It ruled at times in an aggressive way but generally it made India and Kenya (Hong Kong more recently) reasonable democracies (ignoring the subsequent years of misrule by its own rulers). There was respect of these colonies of a paternalistic kind. I never have the impression that we Americans think other countries can do anything right (or the way we Americans think!) so the impression of domination is a reality (Iraq - the Green Zone is an outrage of our way overseeing the masses outside).
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