imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

An Empire Falls: Chalmers Johnson's "Blowback"

by Karl-Heinz Arnold Wednesday, Dec. 03, 2003 at 1:40 PM
mbatko@lycos.com

"The US military, Johnson declares, is transforming into an autonomous system. The mammoth military establishment is an indispensable instrument for the American empire..The military regards its own interests as higher than the old ideal.."

An Empire Falls: Analysis and Warning

By Karl-Heinz Arnold

[This book review of Chalmers Johnson’s “An Empire Falls. When does the American Century End?” is translated abridged from the German on the World Wide Web,

http://www.berliner-lesezeichen.de/lesezei/Biz00_05/text31.htm.]

The original edition published by Metropolitan, New York in August 1999 was titled “Blowback: The Costs of the American Empire”. Blowback meaning reaction is a term coined by the CIA describing the unintended consequences of American policy. Uncle Sam pursues a very costly, ruthless imperialist policy. Hopefully he can stand the echo!

Johnson says his country can neither afford the costs in the long run nor the reactions to its worldwide power politics. The author born in 1931 is well informed. He taught political science for three decades until 1992 at the University of California at Berkeley, published numerous works and directs a specialized research institute (Japan Policy Research Institute).

Johnson’s analysis of the foreign- and military policy of the US is unsparing. His warning is justified and should be taken seriously. “From a long-term perspective, the American population is neither militarily strong enough nor prosperous enough to accept constant police actions, wars and financial rescuing maneuvers necessary for continuing Washington’s hegemonial policy.

“The United States is unable to bear the costs of its global military presence and its crisis interventions and demands increasing support from the `host countries’ or even direct subsidies from its `allies’”. Japan was asked to contribute billion for the war in the Persian Gulf, Operation Desert Storm (the author could have also mentioned the billions paid by Germany).

The US military, Johnson declares in agreement with many other authors, “is transforming into an autonomous system”. The mammoth military establishment is “an indispensable instrument for the American empire.” “Accustomed to life in an old empire firmly in the saddle for a half century, the military regards its own interests as higher than the old ideal that it is only one of several means that a democratic government can use to enforce its policy.”

The term blowback or reaction implies that a country harvest what it sows, the author warns, both regarding international terrorism and the immediate costs of empire that “acutely endanger its survival”. Empires, he concludes, “are costly creations. The longer they exist, the more expensive is their maintenance.” “The empire itself is the problem.”

The USSR/US comparison is a tenable hypothesis. Johnson describes the political insensitiveness or tactlessness of the Soviet rulers before Gorbachev as one of the causes for the collapse of the USSR. He also names the economic overstrain by armaments as an essential factor since the US similarly intervenes selfishly and unscrupulously in the politics of its satellite states, Johnson says, the only remaining superpower will suffer the same fate and perish.

In the nineties, no comparably intense and justified criticism of US superpower politics was leveled by a scholar from the US like Johnson’s criticism in the ten chapters of his book…

As another general comparison, the enormous bureaucratic state machinery supported and guided the Japanese economy just as the American Defense Department supports and controls the “`military-industrial complex’ in the United States”. The chambers of commerce play an important role in the US and Japan. “The elites governed the country” and still govern today (and largely avoid foreign influence)… The chambers of commerce are very effective regionally.. Johnson’s main theme is the misguided foreign- and military-policy of the US.

The book is in sharp contrast to the song of praise of the US, of its economy and its superiority over the rest of the world as in Lester Thurow’s “The Wealth Pyramid” (1999). Johnson’s critical assessment of the great ally, the secret model and incredible schoolmaster of German politics of the last 55 years, should be read as a necessary corrective of a widespread euphoric view of the US. A distancing from US-global politics is in the interest of the majority of the German population and one of the possibilities for showing a salutary reaction or blowback to Washington.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Addendum: Benjamin Tucker American Mutualist: Tucker Did Not Advocate Voting in Businesses S25 11:45PM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy