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"Chalmers Johnson: 1931-2010 - The Death Of A Right Wing Anti-Imperialist"
1) 2:49 Chalmers Johnson: 1931-2010 - The Death Of A Right Wing Anti-Inperialist (long) Mp3
2) 1:55 Chalmers Johnson: 1931-2010 - The Death Of A Right Wing Anti-Inperialist (short) Mp3
Chalmers Johnson (1931 - 201), by Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Death of a Right Wing Anti-Imperialist
[col. writ. 12/4/10 (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal
The late, great Chalmers Johnson, author of the post 9/11 blockbuster, Blowback, passed away recently, after what could only be termed an extraordinary life.
At the time of his death he was known as a prominent anti-imperialist, a feat all the more remarkable given his trek from the right, from a stint in the Navy (where he earned the rank of Lt. -j.g.), to his role as a consultant for the CIA.
He would later call himself a "spear carrier for empire", not just (or even primarily) in his role as a military man, but in his post Navy career, when he went to work for think tanks and foundations, because, as he frankly put it, "that's where the money was."
But a funny thing happened as he studied China, Japan and other Asian societies. He learned that revolutions were fueled, not so much by foreign intrigue, but by social and economic injustices. His studies also took him to global histories, as expressed perhaps best in the third work of his trilogy: "Blowback,The Sorrow of Empire," and "Nemesis", where he issued a warning to the U.S. empire:
Like the Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Imperial German, Nazi, Imperial Japanese, British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Soviet empires in the last century, we are approaching the edge of a huge waterfall and are about to plunge into it.
Johnson quotes an historian to finish his point:
The historian Kevin Baker feared that we are no longer far from the day when, like the Roman Senate in 27 BC, our Congress will take its last meaningful vote and turn over power to a military dictator. "In the end, we'll beg for a coup."  *
From a childhood amidst the Great Depression, to a life lived abroad as part of the Cold War navy; to a GI Bill funded high education, to a staunch anti imperialist intellectual and critic, Chalmers Johnson made an immense contribution to American public life.
While he didn't create the term 'blowback' (the term was used internally within the CIA), his book popularized it, and until reading his work, I had no idea that the US had <u>over 700 bases around the world</u>, many secret from people in whose lands they are located.
Chalmers Johnson was in his 79th year of life.
--(c) '10 maj
[*Sources: Johnson, Chalmers: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire; The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, secrecy and the End of the Republic, and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Empire.
Metropolitan Books, N.Y., 2000 to 2006.]
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