Horsemen, Draw Nigh!

The title of Chalmers Johnson’s latest book, the last in his trilogy of empire, invokes the Greek goddess of retribution.  He named the first book in his trilogy after the CIA term for the harmful unintended consequences that sometimes result from the agency’s covert policies.  “Blowback,” he wrote, “is but another way of saying that a nation reaps what it sows,” which is but another way of saying that there is a moral order in the world that men violate at their peril; that justice may be delayed but is nonetheless certain.  In Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (2000), which he finished writing in the summer of 1999, Johnson warned:

The innocent of the twenty-first century are going to harvest unexpected blowback disasters from the imperialist escapades of recent decades.  Although most Americans may be largely ignorant of what was, and still is, being done in their name, all are likely to pay a steep price—individually and collectively—for their nation’s continued efforts to dominate the global scene.

The book went unnoticed before September 11.  Now, Chalmers Johnson has been on C-SPAN and interviewed by NPR, but anyone who believes he is being read, and heeded, by large numbers of Americans, especially among the leadership class, should consider the fate of the Trojan prophetess Cassandra,...

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