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Radically Inept
Monday, March 29, 2004
  Just how many military bases do we have Another one from my personal archives, and not science related, but well worth the read. Here's part of the intro to the article:

TomDispatch:
"In the piece that follows, Chalmers Johnson lays out the skeletal structure of America's 'Baseworld' and in the process offers us a powerful snapshot of an overstretched, heavily militarized empire whose leaders are ready to stretch further yet -- even, it seems, to the moon. Johnson, whose pre-9/11 book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire was prescient on the kinds of attacks our covert imperial policies opened us up to, has just published a new work, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic as part of the American Empire Project. His new book tackles a great taboo subject in our country -- militarization and its effects on us as well as the rest of the planet. It's a magnificent, path-breaking work and -- I assure you -- a must-read if you really want to grasp the contours of our world. Don't miss it. Tom"


And from the article itself:

America's Empire of Bases
By Chalmers Johnson

As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize -- or do not want to recognize -- that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire -- an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can't begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order.


I haven't fact checked sources yet, though I remember how surprised I was to learn we had a base in--You know, to this day, I have never checked to see if this particular base is some how classified, but it was in a country I didn't expect and monitoring the Chinese border. Regardless, there is at least a good bit of truth here concerning basing and politics, and the economic realities that effect both. As to the strategy implied -if it is accurate- it seems like a fairly reasonable way to achieve global influence vs global dominance. And with enough influence, you do wind up dominating the conversation.

On the other hand, I have made a point to look at Baby Bush w/ both eyes, and in the end, he just doesn't strike me as an Alexander, or Hannibal, or Napoleon, or even a Frederick the Great nor even an Ivan the Terrible! He reminds a whole lot of Johnson and Nixon. I don't see empire in our future if this is as good as the leadership gets, I just see another debacle. 
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