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Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2007

    ... a lot of true stuff, but very unbalanced ...

    It has been a very long time since I have been so disappointed by a book. ¿Nemesis: the Last Days of the American Republic¿ by Chalmers Johnson, published this February, is awful. Not because what it has to say is not true in most ways. Much of what it has to say is completely true, and as Americans, we ought to be horrified and ashamed of large portions of our foreign policy and CIA missteps since WWII. But painting a totally one-sided picture over 279 pages showing America as having done almost nothing properly or with healthy motivation since 1945 is beyond reasonable and is not believable. And it is largely self defeating to the purpose of the book. Johnson¿s sections about the tragic ¿blowback¿ (unintended consequences) America experienced due to actions by the CIA are not well known by Americans. First, in Iran in 1953 the CIA was an important part of overthrowing the democratically elected government, and reinstalling the Shah. This eventually led to the Islamic Revolution in 1979 along with many problems of today. And second, the CIA¿s covert operations in Afghanistan, starting in 1979, were intended to and did hurt the Soviet Union, but at the same time led to the Taliban¿s eventual victory in Afghanistan and their welcoming and protecting al-Qaeda. This, in turn, led to the 9/11 attacks in the US in 2001. What is the point of an author being so unreasonable and one sided when he has so many valid and important things to truthfully teach us?

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    Terrible customer service at Barnes & Noble in Westlake, CA

    I had a terrible experience with the customer service at Barnes & Noble. Went to Customer Service to find a book. Asked for the book, and the rep said nothing but kept clicking on her computer, not even looking at me. I finally asked her if she found it. She never replied but just kept clicking on her computer. I left and went up to the front desk to get help finding the book. She told me to go to customer service. When I explained what had happened the cashier at the front desk told me to go on-line. Okay thank you. I will. That means I don't need Barnes & Noble for anything!!

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2008

    Cruel And Unusual

    As the final and most anticipated book by Chalmers Johnson, the wait was worth it. In it, he likens the bloated American Empire, fattened by Military-Industrial complex tycoons with corrupt Congressman and a vengeful executive branch to the British and Roman Empires before it, and like us, were republican in nature at one time, but turned vicious in their empirical wants, especially the British in India. I liked his analysis with free trade thought as the stupidity of Friedman is taboo to anyone, as he everybody's new guru of economics now. After all, the world is flat, but it has many corners. His analysis of satellite states maybe a little bit too over stipulated and overhyped, with his comparison of the US to the USSR. His theory of client states like the Germans and the Japanese, and perhaps to a lesser degree, the English realm and Israel are highly dynamic, as in the future the new Chinese superpower will have client states with Russia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Myanmar, and perhaps Mexico. His thesis of bankruptcy actually helping us is provocative.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    Useful study of American empire and its threat to democracy

    This is the last volume of American historian Chalmers Johnson¿s trilogy on the American empire, following Blowback (2000) and The Sorrows of Empire (2003). Nemesis was the Greek goddess of retribution, who punished human transgression and the arrogance that caused it. Johnson claims that imperial overreach is undermining the USA¿s democracy. Comparing the US empire to the Roman and British empires, he shows how ¿imperialism and militarism are the deadly enemies of democracy.¿ He notes that between 1945 and 2001, the USA carried out 30 major and 170 minor overseas military operations in which the USA struck the first blow. He observes that since 1947, ¿in no instance has democratic government come about as a direct result.¿ He describes the CIA as the president¿s secret, unaccountable private army, which does what the president wants, including taking the rap for his crimes He shows how the current presidency is the most imperial ever, based on a huge standing army, 727 overseas bases, continuous wars and ruinous military spending. He shows how Congress and courts alike have failed to assert their constitutional rights against presidents¿ usurpation of powers. Johnson details the recent crimes of the US state, `the systematic killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq¿, the systematic mass torture of prisoners, sanctioned by Bush and Rumsfeld, and the brutal looting of Iraq¿s heritage. He notes the 1,000 CIA `rendition¿ ¿ kidnapping for torture - flights using Europe¿s airports, with the complicity of the British, German, Italian, Swedish, Rumanian and Polish governments. The Labour government allowed 210 landings at British airports between September 2001 and September 2005. The US state¿s overseas bases are governed by Status of Forces Agreements which Johnson examines through the example of Japan. He shows how the US state has wasted $100 billion on missile defence and space weapons. The World Policy Institute called it the `pork barrel in the sky¿. In all, this is an excellent survey of the threat that militarism and corporatism pose to democracy in the USA.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted November 26, 2008

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    Posted November 10, 2008

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    Posted December 20, 2009

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    Posted December 21, 2009

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