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Nemesis

March 2nd, 2007 · 1 Comment

Reading:
Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (American Empire Project) (Hardcover)
by Chalmers Johnson (Author)

Like ancient Rome, America is saddled with an empire that is fatally undermining its republican government, argues Johnson (The Sorrows of Empire), in this bleak jeremiad. He surveys the trappings of empire: the brutal war of choice in Iraq and other foreign interventions going back decades; the militarization of space; the hundreds of overseas U.S. military bases full of “swaggering soldiers who brawl and sometimes rape.” At home, the growth of an “imperial presidency,” with the CIA as its “private army,” has culminated in the Bush administration’s resort to warrantless wiretaps, torture, a “gulag” of secret CIA prisons and an unconstitutional arrogation of “dictatorial” powers, while a corrupt Congress bows like the Roman Senate to Caesar. Retribution looms, the author warns, as the American economy, dependent on a bloated military-industrial complex and foreign borrowing, staggers toward bankruptcy, maybe a military coup. Johnson’s is a biting, often effective indictment of some ugly and troubling features of America’s foreign policy and domestic politics. But his doom-laden trope of empire (“the capacity for things to get worse is limitless…. the American republic may be coming to its end”) seems overstated. With Bush a lame duck, not a Caesar, and his military adventures repudiated by the electorate, the Republic seems more robust than Johnson allows. (Feb.)

Tags: Booknotes

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ken Larson // Mar 3, 2007 at 10:45 am

    I take a rather pragmatic view, which I believe is appropriate for our country these days considering how massive our government has grown and how many wrong turns major agencies such as the Pentagon have taken.

    The American recipe is now overpowered by salt (Military Industrial Complex Influence) and the public is puking.

    Let’s not just get a new chef, let’s overhaul the restaurant, change the menu, lower the prices and grow green and lean.
    Here’s a typical example of too much salt:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

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