By Chalmers Johnson
April 29, 2008
This essay is a review of Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire by Alex Abella (Harcourt, 400 pp., $27)
The RAND Corporation of Santa Monica, California, was set up immediately after World War II by the U.S. Army Air Corps (soon to become the U.S. Air Force). The Air Force generals who had the idea were trying to perpetuate the wartime relationship that had developed between the scientific and intellectual communities and the American military, as exemplified by the Manhattan Project to develop and build the atomic bomb. Continue reading
By Chalmers Johnson
26/04/08 “Le Monde”
The military adventurers in the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups thought that they were the “smartest guys in the room” — the title of Alex Gibney’s prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination. Continue reading
By Chalmers Johnson
Jan. 25, 2008
Ha-Joon Chang is a Cambridge economist who specializes in the abject poverty of the Third World and its people, groups, nations, and empires, and their doctrines that are responsible for this condition. He won the Gunnar Myrdal Prize for his book “Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective” (2002), and he shared the 2005 Wassily Leontief Prize for his contributions to “Rethinking Development in the 21st Century.” The title of his 2002 book comes from the German political economist Friedrich List, who in 1841 criticized Britain for preaching free trade to other countries while having achieved its own economic supremacy through high tariffs and extensive subsidies. He accused the British of “kicking away the ladder” that they had climbed to reach the world’s top economic position. Chang’s other, more technical books include “The Political Economy of Industrial Policy” (1994) and “Reclaiming Development: An Economic Policy Handbook for Activists and Policymakers” (2004).
His new book is a discursive, well-written account of what he calls the “Bad Samaritans,” “people in the rich countries who preach free markets and free trade to the poor countries in order to capture larger shares of the latter’s markets and preempt the emergence of possible competitors. They are saying ‘do as we say, not as we did’ and act as Bad Samaritans, taking advantage of others who are in trouble.” “Bad Samaritans” is intended for a literate audience of generalists and eschews the sort of exotica that peppers most economic writing these days—there is not a single simultaneous equation in the book and many of Chang’s examples are taken from his own experiences as a South Korean born in 1963.
by Chalmers Johnson
Global Research, January 24, 2008
Within the next month, the Pentagon will submit its 2009 budget to Congress and it’s a fair bet that it will be even larger than the staggering 2008 one. Like the Army and the Marines, the Pentagon itself is overstretched and under strain — and like the two services, which are expected to add 92,000 new troops over the next five years (at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion per 10,000), the Pentagon’s response is never to cut back, but always to expand, always to demand more. Continue reading
By Chalmers Johnson
I have some personal knowledge of congressmen like Charlie Wilson (D-2nd District, Texas, 1973-1996) because, for close to 20 years, my representative in the 50th Congressional District of California was Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham, now serving an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence for soliciting and receiving bribes from defense contractors. Wilson and Cunningham held exactly the same plummy committee assignments in the House of Representatives – the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee plus the Intelligence Oversight Committee – from which they could dole out large sums of public money with little or no input from their colleagues or constituents. Continue reading
By Carolyn Baker
Vulture restructuring is a purging cure for a malignant debt cancer. The reckoning of systemic debt presents regulators with a choice of facing the cancer frontally and honestly by excising the invasive malignancy immediately or let it metastasize through the entire financial system over the painful course of several quarters or even years and decades by feeding it with more dilapidating debt. Henry Liu, “The Pathology Of Debt“
Carolyn Baker Reviews Danny Schechter’s e-book SQUEEZED (Click on link to Download) Continue reading
By Tom Engelhardt
October 22, 2007
They came in as unreformed Cold Warriors, only lacking a cold war — and looking for an enemy: a Russia to roll back even further; rogue states like Saddam’s rickety dictatorship to smash. They were still in the old fight, eager to make sure that the “Evil Empire,” already long down for the count, would remain prostrate forever; eager to ensure that any new evil empire like, say, China’s would never be able to stand tall enough to be a challenge. They saw opportunities to move into areas previously beyond the reach of American imperial power like the former SSRs of the Soviet Union in Central Asia, which just happened to be sitting on potentially fabulous undeveloped energy fields; or farther into the even more fabulously energy-rich Middle East, where Saddam’s Iraq, planted atop the planet’s third largest reserves of petroleum, seemed so ready for a fall — with other states in the region visibly not far behind. Continue reading
Oct. 3, 2007
Antiwar Radio: Charles Goyette Interviews Chalmers Johnson
Chalmers Johnson, author of the indispensable Blowback trilogy, discusses the economic costs of empire, his belief that Bush has decided against war with Iran, the failure of the American people and the structure of the Republic to prevent executive branch tyranny, Admiral Fallon’s dangerous insubordination for a good cause and the future of blowback against the United States, the secrecy of the national security state and Israel’s recent bombing of Syria.
August 06, 2007
In this episode we bring you a piece sent to us by our friends in San Diego, who have a great show called “Alternate Focus,” which mostly trains their investigative lens on issues related to the Middle East. They do excellent work and this piece is really good. “The Bases Are Loaded” is their look at US military bases in Iraq. http://alternatefocus.org
Will the U.S. ever leave Iraq? Official policy promises an eventual departure, while warning of the dire consequences of a “premature” withdrawal. But while Washington equivocates, facts on the ground tell another story. Independent journalist Dahr Jamail, and author Chalmers Johnson, are discovering that military bases in Iraq are being consolidated from over a hundred to a handful of permanent US “megabases” with lavish amenities. While US officials try to obscure much of what is taking place through denials and quibbles over the definition of “permanent,” this excellent video cuts through the crap. Gary Hart, James Goldsborough, Nadia Keilani, Raed Jarrar, Bruce Finley, Kam Zarrabi, and Mark Rudd all add their observations about the extent and purpose of the bases in Iraq.
Pepperspray Productions formed shortly after the WTO protests in Seattle, in response to the Independent Media Center’s call, “don’t hate the media, be the media!”. We believe that the Corporate Media is not telling us the whole story, and that the people must make our own media if we want our voices to be heard.
‘Kidnapped’ Filipinos build US embassy by Nicola Smith
House panel probes charges of human trafficking in Iraq embassy project By Robert Brodsky
Plan Iraq – Permanent Occupation by Stephen Lendman
McMansions, SUVs, Mega-Churches and the Baghdad Embassy by Phil Rockstroh
By Tom Engelhardt
July 24, 2007 5:04 pm
The secret prison was set up on a secure U.S. Naval base outside the U.S. and so beyond the slightest recourse to legal oversight. It was there that the CIA clandestinely brought its “suspects” to be interrogated, abused, and tortured.
That description might indeed sound like Guantanamo 2002, but think again. According to New York Times reporter Tim Weiner’s new history of the Central Intelligence Agency, Legacy of Ashes — a remarkable treasure trove of grim and startling information you hadn’t known before — this actually happened first in the Panama Canal Zone in the early 1950s. It was there, as well as at two secret prisons located in Germany and Japan, the defeated Axis powers (and not, in those days, in Thailand or Rumania), that the CIA brought questionable double agents for “secret experiments” in harsh interrogation, “using techniques on the edge of torture, drug-induced mind control, and brainwashing.” This was but a small part of “Project Artichoke,” a 15-year, multi-billion dollar “search by the CIA for ways to control the human mind.” Continue reading