The Sorrows of Empire24:50

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photoIn his new book "The Sorrows of Empire; Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic" author Chalmers Johnson asserts that in the 13 years from 1989 to 2002 there was a revolution in America's relationship to the rest of the world; there had always been an element of militarism and occasional extra-constitutional lapses but for the most part, foreign policy was civilian.
By 2002 American had a military empire.

He points out that in many ways the framework for this empire was constructed out of necessity during World War II, the aftermath and the Cold War. Bases spread across the world in order to contain the Soviet Union and Americans and the west in general believed it had a responsibility to defend all nations against communism. This was not intentional imperialism but lead to the use of imperial methods and "the habitual use of imperial methods for forty years became addictive."

"During the 13 year period after the cold war a huge complex of interests, commitments and projects was woven together into a new political culture that parallels civil society." This complex, believes Johnson, is now Empire and it has a physical geography that can be traced. Its growth was masked by the cold war but when the cold war ended American triumphalism laid the groundwork for a shift to imperial thinking in the general population. On Point explores the rise of militarism in America with Author Chalmers Johnson.


Chalmers Johnson, president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego and author of "Blowback" and "The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic."

This program aired on February 19, 2004.