Written on: 23/12/2003 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
Metropolitan, 2004, $25.00, 387 pp.
Before 9/11 in BLOWBACK, Chalmers Johnson anticipated dire consequences and negative active reactions to the American U.S. foreign policy that has run roughshod over much of the world, but especially Asia. In his latest cautionary book, Mr. Johnson pulls no punches as he accuses the Bush crowd of global militarism using a "private army" of Special Forces to keep the American colonies "in line". Referring to Presidents like Eisenhower, Mr. Johnson makes the case that the military-industrial complex has already happened, but is really a federal government-industrial complex. He insists that the State Department, EPA, and Interior, etc. have been silenced by the war machine and the oil magnates. "Pre-emptive intervention" is just a fake way of covering the administration's belief that the USA is the New Rome."
Though he takes the clever Clinton to task as a disguised imperialist, Mr. Johnson spends much of his criticism on Bush bashing. The author insists that the "boy emperor" and his merry men (and a few women) are destroying the nation with their illusions of grandeur policies. This segment of THE SORROWS OF EMPIRE is the strength of the book as Mr. Johnson lays out powerful evidence with astounding and absorbing details of outlandish defense overkill with related scenarios and incredible spending that Everett Dirksen could not imagine. However, the book lacks substance on what can be done besides booting out the current Congress perhaps because the author feels we have crossed the Potomac. Still the case for American imperialism endangering the future of this country is strongly made.
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