Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (American Empire Project)

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

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language: en [ english ]
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year: 2006
pages: 364
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In Greek mythology,
the goddess of retribution,
who punishes human
transgression of the natural,
right order of things and
the arrogance that causes it.


Prologue: The Blowback Trilogy

Militarism and the Breakdown of Constitutional Government

Comparative Imperial Pathologies: Rome, Britain, and America

Central Intelligence Agency: The President’s Private Army

U.S. Military Bases in Other People’s Countries

How American Imperialism Actually Works: The SOFA in Iapan

Space: The Ultimate Imperialist Project

The Crisis ofthe American Republic


Nemesis is the last volume of an inadvertent trilogy that deals with the way arrogant and misguided American policies have headed us for a series of catastrophes comparable to our disgrace and defeat in Vietnam or even to the sort of extinction that befell our former fellow “superpower,” the Soviet Union. Such a fate is probably by now unavoidable; it is certainly too late for mere scattered reforms of our government or bloated military to make much difference.

I never planned to write three books about the decline and fall of the American empire, but events intervened. In March 2000, well before 9/11, I published Blowback, based on my years of teaching and writing about East Asia. I had become convinced by then that some secret U.S. govern ment operations and acts in distant lands would come back to haunt us. ‘Blowback” does not mean just revenge but rather retaliation for covert, illegal violence that our government has carried out abroad that it kept totally secret from the American public (even though such acts are seldom secret among the people on the receiving end).

In early 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, I was putting the finishing touches on my portrait of the global reach of American military bases. In it, I suggested the sorrows already invading our lives, which were likely to be our fate for years to come: perpetual war, a collapse of constitutional government, endemic official lying and disinformation, and finally bankruptcy. At book’s end, I advocated reforms intended to head off these outcomes but warned that “[f]ailing such a reform, Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and vengeance, the punisher of pride and hubris, ” waits impatiently for her meeting with us.

I remain hopeful that Americans can still rouse themselves to save our democracy. But the time in which to head off financial and moral bankruptcy is growing short. The present book is my attempt to explain how we got where we are, the manifold distortions we have imposed on the system we inherited from the Founding Fathers, and what we would have to do to avoid our appointment with Nemesis, now that she’s in the neighborhood.

The long-awaited final volume of Chalmers Johnson's bestselling Blowback trilogy confronts the overreaching of the American empire and the threat it poses to the republicIn his prophetic book Blowback, Chalmers Johnson linked the CIA's clandestine activities abroad to disaster at home. In The Sorrows of Empire, he explored the ways in which the growth of American militarism and the garrisoning of the planet have jeopardized our stability. Now, in Nemesis, he shows how imperial overstretch is undermining the republic itself, both economically and politically.Delving into new areas--from plans to militarize outer space to Constitution-breaking presidential activities at home and the devastating corruption of a toothless Congress--Nemesis offers a striking description of the trap into which the dreams of America's leaders have taken us. Drawing comparisons to empires past, Johnson explores in vivid detail just what the unintended consequences of our dependence on a permanent war economy are likely to be. What does it mean when a nation's main intelligence organization becomes the president's secret army? Or when the globe's sole "hyperpower," no longer capable of paying for the vaulting ambitions of its leaders, becomes the greatest hyper-debtor of all times? In his stunning conclusion, Johnson suggests that financial bankruptcy could herald the breakdown of constitutional government in America--a crisis that may ultimately prove to be the only path to a renewed nation.