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Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best…

Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope

by Chalmers Johnson

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This (along with the other 2 books in the triogy, Blowback and Nemesis, is an important read for anyone concerned about the future of the US, both economically and politically. Will we gracefully dismantle our empire of some 747 military bases (not including Iraq and Afghanistan) over 500,000 troops, spies, contractors, dependents, and other on military bases located in 130 countries (there are only 192 countries in the UN) and the bloated military budget that goes with it, or will we take the suicide option of bankruptcy. We appear to have opted for suicide.

"Like all empires of the past, the American version of empire is destined to come to an end, either voluntarily or of necessity. When that will occur is impossible to foretell, but the pressures of America's massive indebtedness, the growing contradiction between the needs of its civilian economy and its military-industrial complex, and its dependence on a volunteer army and innumerable private contractors strongly indicate an empire built on fragile foundations. Over the next few years resistance to military overtures is likely to grow, meaning the agenda of national politics will be increasingly dominated by issues of empire liquidation -- peacefully or otherwise." p 127 ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
The analysis is always spot on , but I could do without the editorializing ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
'Dismantling the Empire,' Chalmers Johnson's most recent book, is a collection of essays written for the website TomDispatch.com (with the exception of the Introduction and two of the essays) and put into book form. The subjects covered consists mostly of information that can be found in his “Blowback Trilogy” and include such topics as the CIA and their covert activities and their bungling of operations, the military industrial complex and the “empire of bases” the U.S. across the globe, and other acts of imperialism, such as the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. This “empire of bases” costs the U.S. government billions of dollars a year and, along with the other forms of U.S. militarism, is quickly bankrupting the government, leading to the collapse of this empire.

What is different about this book is that in the final chapter Johnson makes a valiant attempt at proposing a solution to the looming collapse of the American Empire. He outlines ten steps that the U.S. government could implement to stop the inevitable collapse, two examples being stopping relying on “military Keynesianiam,” the use of military spending to prop up the economy, which is economically unsustainable and destructive, and close all of the U.S. military bases around the world, which cost enormous amounts of money to maintain.

This is a fairly short book that does a good job of summing up much of Johnson's earlier work and adds some common sense solutions to this empire run amok. If only someone - anyone - would listen to his advice. ( )
  PrimeTruth | Aug 26, 2013 |
This posthumous collection of essays from TomDispatch.com (plus two essays from other sources) lacks the coherence of the books in the Blowback trilogy, but it does collect all we have of the early notes toward what could have been another book in Johnson's series about the American "empire of bases". ( )
  LarryMcc | Jul 9, 2011 |
Chalmers Johnson has developed an ever more freewheeling style that is now far removed from the sort of academic history he began his career writing. In any case, he was "deeply bored" (1) by his academic specialty.

No historical determinist, Johnson sees nothing inevitable in the direction taken by the U.S. since 9/11. He is firmly in the mainstream, paying no heed to the 9/11 Truth movement or more radical critiques of American politics (Sheldon Wolin's Democracy Incorporated is cited respectfully, but these essays do not incorporate that book's insights).

Johnson succeeds in stringing together these disparate essays, written over a period of six years, into a coherent argument. But he gives short shrift to the hopes raised by his title, contenting himself with a bare-bones list of ten ways to begin dismantling the empire tacked onto the final chapter. Congress is never mentioned in the list, yet in previous books Johnson identifies Congress as the only institution that could effectively accomplish changes he desires, admitting such a development was "difficult to imagine" (The Sorrows of Empire, p. 312). Here, in a book published less than three months before important midterm elections, he never addresses the problem of reforming Congress. Thus while Dismantling the Empire is an effective critique of U.S. imperialism and militarism, it is of little value as a guide of how to oppose it, and its title is so misleading as to constitute deceptive advertising. ( )
  jensenmk82 | Sep 22, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805093036, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The author argues that our secret operations in Iraq and elsewhere around the globe will continue to exact a price at home unless President Obama begins to crack down on the Pentagon before it successfully dismantles the American Dream.

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