Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2nd by Chalmers Johnson

By Chalmers Johnson

Now with a brand new and up to date advent via the writer, the bestselling account of the influence of yankee international guidelines, hailed as "brilliant and iconoclastic" (Los Angeles Times)

The time period "blowback," invented through the CIA, refers back to the unintentional result of American activities overseas. during this incisive and debatable booklet, Chalmers Johnson lays out in shiny element the risks confronted by means of our overextended empire, which insists on projecting its army strength to each nook of the earth and utilizing American capital and markets to strength international financial integration by itself phrases. From a case of rape by means of U.S. servicemen in Okinawa to our function in Asia's monetary quandary, from our early aid for Saddam Hussein to our behavior within the Balkans, Johnson unearths the ways that our inaccurate guidelines are planting the seeds of destiny disaster.

In a brand new version that addresses fresh foreign occasions from September eleven to the struggle in Iraq, this now vintage ebook continues to be as prescient and strong as ever.

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Additional info for Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2nd Edition) (Blowback Trilogy, Book 1)

Sample text

In fact, when this kind of conflation occurs in private, nonpolitical human speech, and where it is unaccompanied by physical brutality, when, say, a jealous lover or a terrified parent asks questions and asserts the answers in a way that rocks between utterly self-sufficient conviction and a pleading need of the listener's crediting or confirmation, the person may well be involved in the response to the very extent of his or her being. But as the content and context of the torturer's questions make clear, the fact that something is asked as if the content of the answer matters does not mean that it matters.

These physical realities, an annihilating negation and an absence of negation, are therefore translated into verbal realities in order to make the in­ visible distance visible, in order to make what is taking place in terms of pain take place in terms of power, in order to shift what is occurring exclusively in the mode of sentience into the mode of self-extension and world. The torturer's questions—asked, shouted, insisted upon, pleaded for—objectify the fact that he has a world, announce in their feigned urgency the critical importance of that world, a world whose asserted magnitude is confirmed by the cruelty it is able to motivate and justify.

It is in part this world-ridding, path-clearing logic that explains the obsessive presence of pain in the rituals of large, widely shared religions as well as in the imagery of intensely private visions, that partly explains why the crucifixion of Christ is at the center of Christianity, why so many primitive forms of worship climax in pain ceremonies, why Bronte's Wuthering Heights is built on the principle first announced in Lockwood's dream that the pil­ grim's staff is also a cudgel, why even Huysmans's famous dandy recognizes in his sieges of great pain a susceptibility to religious conversion, why in the brilliant ravings of Artaud some ultimate and essential principle of reality can be compelled down from the heavens onto a theatre stage by the mime of cru­ elty, why, though it occurs in widely different contexts and cultures, the me­ taphysical is insistently coupled with the physical with the equally insistent exclusion of the middle term, world.

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