Bill Moyers and I agree on a Christmas stocking gift

Posted on December 19th, 2009 in General by Robert Miller

Last night I watched the Bill Moyer’s Journal on PBS. At the end of his always interesting hour, he said he had been reading and re-reading books and recommended Chalmers Johnson’s most recent book, “Nemesis: the Last Days of the American Republic,” which was actually published a couple of years ago. This book was the last of Chalmers Johnson’s trilogy which began with “Blowback” followed by“Sorrows of Empire.” Blowback  was first published before 9/11 with modest sales, but when 9/11 hit, sales of his book and his subsequent books took off. They were among the books that Ron Paul recommended to Rudolf Giuliani during the Republican primary election last year. These three books provide a riveting, sobering analysis of where we are as an empire and why we cannot sustain the current version of our empire, as we devolve into a military empire that goes to war on borrowed money, where each new war is vastly more expensive than its predecessor. Today we have a expansive military-industrial complex that is still fed by the manufacturing of Cold War airplanes and other hardware that are unlikely to be of any use to us. We have increasingly secret black  budgets within the military (not just the CIA) that have virtually no oversight and seem out of control, with Congress merely serving as a cheerleader.  We have exceeded the Cold War budgeting for the military because of a few thousand terrorists, while during the Cold War, we were told that millions of communists wanted to devour us, which of course turned out to be utterly preposterous.

We have entered into one costly war after another and we sustain these efforts by increasing secrecy, as we trash our own domestic policies. I have written on “Nemesis” when I first read the book in 2007 and I have commented many times on Johnson’s trilogy series beginning with Blowback in relationship to many other articles, including Parallel Americas ,The New Roman Empire, What the U.S. Did to Haiti in 2004, Nemesis, Charlie Wilson’s War: History or hoax?, Chalmers Johnson on our economy and the military, The Pentagon’s Long War, Chalmers Johnson on Intelligence Privatization , When America Died!, Folly Compounding in America, Part 1, Folly Compounding in America Part 2 and Waiting for the other shoe to drop: the death spiral of military spending. Johnson’s books prevent you from being idle on the subject of our empire.
Chalmers Johnson is one of the few Americans with sufficient experience within the CIA and military to write knowledgeably and objectively about the subject. He doesn’t hesitate to throw in a strong measure of passion about his position, with an added measure of certainty that we are headed in the wrong direction, just as Rome took a wrong turn towards militarism as a fatal step towards their own downfall. So, if you are looking for a gift to put in a stocking, I endorse Bill Moyer’s choice of “Nemesis” or any one of Johnson’s previous books. If you haven’t read them, I guarantee they will change the way you look at America and reveal more about our history, the Parallel America that militarists hoped we would never learn about. But I warn you that Johnson does not put any frosting on his cake and he accesses his inside knowledge of government to expose the kind of false history we have been living for the past many decades. Can we avert a shipwreck? Can we come to our senses like the British did when they gave up their aspirations of empire? Of coure there are many who would argue that we are not a military empire and if you believe that then you definitely want to read his Johnson’s book(s). Johnson’s trilogy of books proved to be one of my reading experiences that was instrumental in transforming me from “science only” into a person more acutely aware of the social and political dilemma we have created for ourselves through our vast overstretch of military bases and overt and covert military actions. My current state of non-apologetic discourse has a lot to do with Johnson’s “Trilogy.” So if you are thinking about a book for someone special, or someone who needs to know the other side of our history, try “Nemesis.” . It is one of those books that won’t put your mind at ease, but might swing you into action.

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