Dismantling the Empire
America's Last Best Hope
The author of the bestselling Blowback Trilogy reflects on America's waning power in a masterful collection of essays
In his prophetic book Blowback, published before 9/11, Chalmers Johnson warned that our secret operations in Iraq and elsewhere around the globe would exact a price at home. Now, in a brilliant series of essays written over the last three years, Johnson measures that price and the resulting dangers America faces. Our reliance on Pentagon economics, a global empire of bases, and war without end is, he declares, nothing short of "a suicide option."
Dismantling the Empire explores the subjects for which Johnson is now famous, from the origins of blowback to Barack Obama's Afghanistan conundrum, including our inept spies, our bad behavior in other countries, our ill-fought wars, and our capitulation to a military that has taken ever more control of the federal budget. There is, he proposes, only one way out: President Obama must begin to dismantle the empire before the Pentagon dismantles the American Dream. If we do not learn from the fates of past empires, he suggests, our decline and fall are foreordained. This is Johnson at his best: delivering both a warning and an urgent prescription for a remedy.
This timely book from accomplished historian Johnson (Blowback) collects previously published articles that make succinct, hard-hitting attacks on what the author perceives as America's ruinous imperial follies. Johnson is especially critical of the U.S. penchant for covert operations run by the CIA "the president's private army" and its enthrallment to what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. For Johnson, the country's devotion to the "military Keynesianism" ascendant since WWII has not only caused untold and unnecessary damage at home and abroad but is "a form of slow economic suicide." His proposal to abolish the CIA and sell off the more than 700 military bases around the world may sound fanciful, but, Johnson insists, "Change is in the air." Indeed, he's no voice in the wilderness: recent movements across the Congressional aisle to drastically curb Pentagon spending suggest a new and serious attempt to address the problem so compellingly presented here.
Very thoughtful and relevant
Not liberal as a previous reviewer said. It's about America's place in the world. Just read the sample and you'll realize that he believes all recent administrations have contributed to current situations. This is a thoughtful treatise from a foreign relations specialist.
This is a great read for Americans who wonder why so many nations around the globe hate the U.S.- only the receiving end (people/nation) know the true oppression.
Thanks for letting me know this was a liberal book! I will buy it immediately. Save me the trouble of being tricked into spending money that would go to a conservative.