From the Publisher
“Chilling . . . a frightening picture . . . of the spread of American military and economic control over the world.” The New York Times Book Review
“Original and genuinely important . . . The role of the prophet is an honorable one. In Chalmers Johnson the American empire has found its Jeremiah. He deserves to be heard.” The Washington Post Book World
“Trenchantly argued, comprehensively documented, grimly eloquent . . . Worthy of the republic it seeks to defend.” The Boston Globe
A Ciceronian indictment of our nation's transformation from lone superpower to imperial bully. "Like other empires of the past century," writes Japan Research Policy Institute president Johnson (Blowback, 2000, etc.), "the United States has chosen to live not prudently, in peace and prosperity, but as a massive military power athwart an angry, resistant globe." In the absence of rivals such as the Soviet Union and with the ascendance of an administration driven by crony capitalism, which spells an end to the cherished ideals of free enterprise and the leveling influence of the free market, the American state has become an analogue to ancient Rome. It employs, Chalmers writes, "well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents, and civilian contractors in other nations," extending Fortress America's reach to every corner of the globe and, not coincidentally, enriching civilian enterprises that have been favored by insider trading within the Pentagon and State Department (think Halliburton) with fabulously lucrative contracts. Indeed, writes Johnson, there are something like 725 American bases abroad-probably many more, for that number is only what the Department of Defense acknowledges-with more added as client states in Central Asia and Eastern Europe join the American fold. What does this all mean? Perhaps a permanent military dictatorship one day, to extend the Roman model even farther. Certainly increased alienation between the US and the rest of the world, which is unlikely to shed tears when future iterations of 9/11 occur. What can be done? "There is one development that could conceivably stop this process of overreaching: the people could retake control ofthe Congress, reform it along with the corrupted elections laws that have made it into a forum for special interests, turn it into a genuine assembly of democratic representatives, and cut off the supply of money to the Pentagon and the secret intelligence agencies." Fat chance. And so, Johnson concludes this deeply unsettling essay, "the United States is probably lost to militarism." Agent: Sandra Dijkstra/Sandra Dijkstra Agency
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From The Sorrows of Empire:
- The 725 U.S. military bases acknowledged by the Department of Defense do not include the many used for communications espionage, control of the world's oil supply, or those that are simply too embarrassing for the government to speak about openly (such as the fourteen permanent bases being built in Iraq).
- The United States maintains about 347,000
soldiers, airmen, and marines at military bases in 140 of 189 member states of the United Nations.
- The American military budget is so large that the next-highest military budget in the world-
Russia's-is only fourteen percent of our own.
- Ninety-three percent of the American budget dedicated to international affairs is allocated to the military and only seven percent to the State Department.
- The Congressional Budget Office projects federal deficits over the next five years of more than $1 trillion, on top of an already existing government debt in February 2003 of $6.4 trillion. Military operations in Iraq so far have cost $143 billion; reconstruction will run from between $50 and $100 billion.