about Chalmers Johnson’s “Nemesis”-book

Linked with Chalmers Johnson – USA, with AntiWar.com, with JPRI The Japan Policy Research Institute, and with Iraqi Wars – (or how to end it?).

Published on Democracy Now, Tuesday, February 27th, 2007.

Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis, The Last Days of the American Republic, (2007) ISBN 0-8050-7911-4

In his new book, CIA analyst, distinguished scholar, and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson argues that US military and economic overreach may actually lead to the nation’s collapse as a constitutional republic. It’s the last volume in his Blowback trilogy, following the best-selling “Blowback” and “The Sorrows of Empire.” In those two, Johnson argued American clandestine and military activity has led to un-intended, but direct disaster here in the United States …

Excerpts of a long interview: … Nemesis was the ancient Greek goddess of revenge, the punisher of hubris and arrogance in human beings. You may recall she is the one that led Narcissus to the pond and showed him his reflection, and he dove in and drowned. I chose the title, because it seems to me that she’s present in our country right now, just waiting to make her — to carry out her divine mission …


… I’ve spent some time in the book talking about an alternative, namely that of the British Empire after World War II, in which it made the decision, not perfectly executed by any manner of means, but nonetheless made the decision to give up its empire in order to keep its democracy. It became apparent to the British quite late in the game that they could keep the jewel in their crown, India, only at the expense of administrative massacres, of which they had carried them out often in India. In the wake of the war against Nazism, which had just ended, it became, I think, obvious to the British that in order to retain their empire, they would have to become a tyranny, and they, therefore, I believe, properly chose, admirably chose to give up their empire …

… The much more common one would be to down the hostile missile, while it is in outer space, from having given up its launch vehicle and is now heading at very high speed toward the United States. This is what the interceptors that have been put in the ground at Fort Greely, Alaska, and a couple of them at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, are supposed to do. They have never once yet had a successful intercept. The radar is not there to actually track the allegedly hostile vehicle. As one senior Pentagon scientist said the other day, these are really essentially scarecrows, hoping that they would scare off the North Koreans.

This is a catastrophic misuse of resources against a small and failed communist state, North Korea. There is no easier thing on earth to detect than a hostile missile launch, and the proper approach to preventing that is deterrence. We have thought about it, worked on it, practiced it, studied it now for decades. The North Koreans have an excellent reputation for rationality. They know if they did launch such a vehicle at Japan or at the United States, they would disappear the next day in a retaliatory strike, and they don’t do it …

… The way that it might be stopped is by a mobilization of inattentive citizens. I don’t know that that’s going to happen. I’m extremely dubious, given the nature of conglomerate control of, say, the television networks in America for the sake of advertising revenue. We see Rupert Murdoch talking about buying a third of the Los Angeles Times. But, nonetheless, there is the internet, there is Amy Goodman, there are – there’s a lot more information than there was.

One of the things I have experienced in these three books is a much more receptive audience of alarmed Americans to Nemesis than to the previous two books, where there was considerable skepticism, so that one – if we do see a renaissance of citizenship in America, then I believe we could recapture our government. If we continue politics as in the past, then I think there is no alternative but to say Nemesis is in the country, she’s on the premises, and she is waiting to carry out her divine mission. (full long text).

Linke: The American Empire Project.

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