Wednesday, January 31, 2007
An Excellent, Long Article
By Chalmers Johnson
"......The choice ahead
By the time I came to write Nemesis, I no longer doubted that maintaining America's empire abroad required resources and commitments that would inevitably undercut, or simply skirt, what was left of our domestic democracy and that might, in the end, produce a military dictatorship or - far more likely - its civilian equivalent.
The combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, an ever growing economic dependence on the military-industrial complex and the making of weaponry, and ruinous military expenses as well as a vast, bloated "defense" budget, not to speak of the creation of a whole second Defense Department (known as the Department of Homeland Security) has been destroying our republican structure of governing in favor of an imperial presidency. By republican structure, of course, I mean the separation of powers and the elaborate checks and balances that the founders of the United States wrote into the constitution as the main bulwarks against dictatorship and tyranny, which they greatly feared.
We Americans are on the brink of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation starts down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play - isolation, overstretch, the uniting of local and global forces opposed to imperialism, and in the end bankruptcy.....
So my own hope is that - if the American people do not find a way to choose democracy over empire - at least our imperial venture will end not with a nuclear bang but a financial whimper. From the present vantage point, it certainly seems a daunting challenge for any president (or Congress) from either party even to begin the task of dismantling the military-industrial complex, ending the pall of "national security" secrecy and the "black budgets" that make public oversight of what the government does impossible, and bringing the president's secret army, the CIA, under democratic control. It's evident that Nemesis - in Greek mythology the goddess of vengeance, the punisher of hubris and arrogance - is already a visitor in the United States, simply biding her time before she makes her presence known."