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Militarism and the American Empire: Conversation with Chalmers Johnson, President of the Japan Policy Institute, January 29, 2004 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Chalmers Johnson, who is President of the Japan Policy Research Institute. A distinguished social scientist and public intellectual, he's the author of fifteen books, including Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power, a classic in Chinese studies, and MITI and the Japanese Miracle, a classic in Japanese studies. Professor Johnson is a former professor of political science at UC Berkeley, where he also served as chairman of the department and chair of the Center for Chinese Studies. book coverHe's an emeritus professor of political science at UC San Diego. His most recent books focus on American power in the world, and include Okinawa: Cold War Island; Blowback: The Cost and Consequences of American Empire; and he has just published The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic.

  1. From Political Scientist to Public Intellectual ... former "spear carrier for the empire" ... end of the Cold War ... institutions of the Cold War don't change ... lessons of Okinawa ... triumph of vested interests
  2. Blowback ... Afghanistan ... Osama bin Laden ... Sepoy mutiny
  3. American Empire ... militarism and imperialism ... warnings of George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower ... a system of Okinawas ... bases as colonies ... Camp Bondsteel: securing oil in the name of humanitarian intervention ... historical comparison: Rome ... military capital investment ... acquisition continues ... bankruptcy and overextension ... Pentagon's paramount role in government
  4. The End of the Republic ... Rome: from republic to empire ... the lonely voice of Senator Byrd ... militarization of policy ... military "proconsuls" ... humanitarian intervention supports domination ... lack of international legitimacy ... oil-based foreign policy and Iraq ... comparing the two Bush administrations ... educating the public ... signs of hope: the peace movement and social protest ... failure of news media ... economic mismanagement

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