Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dismantle the Empire!

"What harm would befall the United States if we actually decided, against all odds, to close those hundreds and hundreds of bases, large and small, that we garrison around the world?" asks Chalmers Johnson — The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century. He continues:
    What if we actually dismantled our empire, and came home? Would Genghis Khan-like hordes descend on us? Not likely. Neither a land nor a sea invasion of the U.S. is even conceivable.

    Would 9/11-type attacks accelerate? It seems far likelier to me that, as our overseas profile shrank, the possibility of such attacks would shrink with it.

    Would various countries we've invaded, sometimes occupied, and tried to set on the path of righteousness and democracy decline into "failed states?" Probably some would, and preventing or controlling this should be the function of the United Nations or of neighboring states. (It is well to remember that the murderous Cambodian regime of Pol Pot was finally brought to an end not by us, but by neighboring Vietnam.)
Tolle, lege. Prof. Chalmers argues that "the main fears you might hear in Washington -- if anyone even bothered to wonder what would happen, should we begin to dismantle our empire -- would prove but chimeras." It is ironic that the tough-guys who support wars and empire are at heart a bunch of scaredy-cats afraid of the dark.

Related is Lawrence S. Wittner reminder us that "the record $708 billion military spending called for by the Obama administration for fiscal 2011 will be nearly equivalent to the military spending of all other nations in the world combined" — America's Runaway Military Spending. "When it comes to military appropriations, the U.S. government already spends about seven times as much as China, thirteen times as much as Russia, and seventy-three times as much as Iran."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Casey Khan said...

"It is ironic that the tough-guys who support wars and empire are at heart a bunch of scaredy-cats afraid of the dark."

Right. These folks are the spiritual descendants of Thomas Hobbes.

12:33 AM  
Blogger setnaffa said...

Some of your sources sound like they get their meme from Putin...

12:54 AM  

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