Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic / Chalmers Johnson -- NY: Metropolitan Books, 2004.
This is the second (and best) book in a three book series written by Chalmers Johnson. Blowback, the first book in the series, makes the point that much of what is described as irrational terror attacks are in fact what the CIA has termed "blowback," or the unpleasant consequences of US actions abroad. The Sorrows of Empire focuses on the massive (and growing) number of US military bases abroad. Over 700 are officially recognized by the Pentagon, but Johnson reminds us that there are many more covert bases. The third book, Nemesis, recapitulates many of the points made in the previous two volumes and emphasizes how the ascendent values of militarism may be imperceptibly transforming American government into a unconstrainable military bureucracy.