Media Alert: Talking Chalmers Johnson

-

bk_johnson_sorrowsofempire_lg.jpgFor those interested in the work and contributions of Chalmers Johnson, I’ll be chatting this morning with National Public Radio’s Worldview Host Jerome McDonnell of WBEZ Chicago. Best to check the schedule at McDonnell’s website.
It occurs to me that Chalmers would love the sizzle that Wikileaks has given to foreign policy discussion in the country — and the pressure it has put on those managing the “American empire.”
Chalmers Johnson would also be saying that Mullah Omar is one of the smartest people on the planet if he’s been able to get the US to commit $119 billion (FY11) to the Afghanistan War in a country with annual GNP of $14 billion. Chal would say that a good chunk of that money is flowing right into the accounts of people supporting the Taliban.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

37 comments on “Media Alert: Talking Chalmers Johnson

  1. replice vertu says:

    Farhang Jahanpour comments on Informed Comment today that:
    “What is truly alarming about the new batch of Wikileaks diplomatic files is the extent to which US politicians and their Israeli allies are obsessed with Iran. There is virtually no talk of Israeli colonial settlements on the West Bank, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the war crimes in Gaza, the attack on the aid flotilla, and Israel

    Reply

  2. replice vertu phone says:

    and then moves to the remarks of Arab potentates:
    “By latching on to the alleged remarks of these autocratic rulers, Western media has tried to convey the idea that Iran does not only pose an ‘existential threat’ to Israel, but to all

    Reply

  3. replica handbag says:

    Why couldn

    Reply

  4. brand bag replcias says:

    The http://www.webbestchoice.com/ Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir collection isn

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    Posted by Don Bacon, Dec 02 2010, 9:21AM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Indeed, the Iran cable leaks smell don’t they?

    Reply

  6. Don Bacon says:

    Farhang Jahanpour comments on Informed Comment today that:
    “What is truly alarming about the new batch of Wikileaks diplomatic files is the extent to which US politicians and their Israeli allies are obsessed with Iran. There is virtually no talk of Israeli colonial settlements on the West Bank, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the war crimes in Gaza, the attack on the aid flotilla, and Israel

    Reply

  7. nadine says:

    questions, I agree with the following comment below from the ‘plain blog about politics’, which doesn’t even mention that 23 Dem Senators must defend their seats in 2012, about half of whom come from swing or red states, and are thus very persuadable to join GOP coalitions. Any move to weaken the filibuster now would be incredibly short-sighted, desperate even.
    “Andrew said…
    I don’t think a threat by Reid to use the nuclear option would be credible at all. If the Dems actually followed through on the threat, and instituted strict majority rule, that would leave the door wide open for the GOP to do the same once they assume control of the chamber in 2013 (as they likely will).
    So the Dems would get New START, extension of unemployment benefits, etc. in 2010 — then see health care reform repealed entirely as soon as the GOP can amass 51 votes. I don’t see Dems accepting that trade-off. I suspect Republicans wouldn’t believe Dems would do it either.

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    And Jonathan Bernstein:
    “Greg Sargent has been reporting today about Jeff Merkley’s new filibuster reform plan; in an update, Sargent writes about the question of how many votes it would take to change Senate rules (see here for my reaction to the substance of Merkley’s proposal). The rules themselves say two-thirds are needed, but Merkley and Tom Udall of Colorado believe that only a simple majority is needed at the beginning of a Congress.
    I think they’re both wrong, and that the Republicans pushing the nuclear option a few years ago are correct: if a majority wants to change the rules at any time, even in a lame duck session of Congress, they can do it. That’s it. No need to wait for a new Congress, no need to put together a supermajority. If 51 Senators really want to rule by majority (party) rule, they can force it.
    This is also the conclusion reached by Greg Koger in his comprehensive book, Filibustering — and, as far as I can tell, the consensus view of academics who specialize in Congress. Basically, if the majority changes the rules, it’s not clear exactly what recourse the minority would have. The courts are not going to intervene, and what else could force a determined majority to back down? ”
    http://plainblogaboutpolitics.blogspot.com/2010/12/nuclear.html

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    On other issues, (off topic therefore),
    Kos reports the demise of any chance of Pawlenty’s getting the nod — something about a real Willie Horton moment, for real. This one looks pretty bad.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/12/1/924578/-Pawlenty-pardoned-serial-child-molester-so-wife-could-open-up-day-care-center
    *****
    The WaPo has a piece on insurance premium and deductible increases **from 2003-2009** so, before the ACA went into effect. Astounding numbers.
    “Premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance increased an average of 41 percent across states from 2003 to 2009, more than three times faster than median incomes, and Maryland’s rise was among the highest, at 50 percent, according to a report to be released Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/02/AR2010120200169.html?hpid=topnews
    *****
    And rortybomb I think it is, wonders about Obama’s ideological commitments and muses that perhaps he’s doing what he wants rather than simply fucking up endlessly.
    Mike Konczal, Dec. 1 post. No link as it would violate the 2-link only rule.
    Can we get more links in, a little pre-formed html menu (bold, block quote, and link with catch phrase?), and a 3 minute window to edit typos? Please?!!! Yeah, right.

    Reply

  10. TonyForesta says:

    Wikileaks is heroic and patriotic. Chalmers Johnson is a hero and a patriot.
    Read if you care the 1st Amendment of that “goddamn piece of paper” formally known as the Constitution. The freedom of the press is critical to a functioning democracy, for the expressed purpose of forcing honesty and accountability upon leadership. Remove this check – and the system rots and dies, as crimes go unpinished and compound, criminals flourish, and freedoms and rights are dismantled.
    We inhabit a keptocracy practicing banditcapitalism; wherein the predatorclass and predatorclass oligarchs are afforded every advantage and

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    Paul Craig Roberts cuts to the quick: “On the one hand the US government and the prostitute American media declare that there is nothing new in the hundreds of thousands of documents, yet on the other hand both pull out all stops to shut down WikiLeaks and its founder. Obviously, despite the US government

    Reply

  12. JohnH says:

    Yes, much of the facade has been stripped away. Far from reluctantly entering into wars, the Bush administration relished it. Instead of “influencing” allies, the US engages in outright bullying. Instead of being an enlightened, benign leader of the “international community,” the US does whatever it takes to get what it wants, even if it’s in violation of the laws of its allies.

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    “It’s possible that Assange doesn’t need to leak another single thing! The embassies and interested parties and the paranoid and the guilty will take care of it themselves!” (questions)
    Yup. Ain’t it grand. What I do not understand for the life of me is why nobody moved against Wikileaks months ago. They knew this was coming.
    I don’t think they really minded the previous dump (for the same reasons Steve Clemons compared it to the Pentagon Papers) but this dump has committed the ultimate sin — it has made Obama look bad. He can take anything else calmly, but if you diss him, you go under the bus. Why it didn’t occur to him or Holder or Hillary to take the actions they are taking now, back in the summer (the Pfc leaker was arrested last May), I will never understand, but then, Obama’s incompetence is clearly massive.
    Arutz Sheva (right wing Israeli site) mentioned that Fuad Ben Eliezer (dovish Labor minister in current government) said today that the Obama State Dept is so occupied with the Wiki cables that they’ve basically stopped pushing the I/P freeze, or talks, or whatever.
    “Smart diplomacy.” Hoo-ha!

    Reply

  14. Don Bacon says:

    The facts are quite different, but the US at least formerly had the facade of reluctantly entering into wars. That has changed, and along with it the country and the presidency.
    James Madison: “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”
    And so we with more war we have a more impulsive and irresponsible president, a more compliant and corrupted congress, and a more quiescent and enslaved populace.
    The problem is war.
    There is no such thing as a necessary war.
    Obama was wrong.
    Chalmers Johnson was correct.

    Reply

  15. Sand says:

    So, is Josh Marshall informing us in a polite way that Lieberman is now our new [I-CT] Israel/Likud Homeland(cough) DECIDER now?
    “…The announcement came from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Lieberman said in a statement that Amazon’s “decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material.”
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/how_lieberman_got_amazon_to_drop_wikileaks.php?ref=fpa
    Convenient?

    Reply

  16. John Waring says:

    Maw of America,
    The contemptible stance of “darn right” Bush and “move forward” Obama on torture remind me of the words the historian John Lukacs spoke about Washington compared to Nixon. “The descent of the American presidency from Washington to Nixon is in itself enough evidence to refute all the theories of Darwin. The presidency has not evolved into a higher form. It has eviscerated.”

    Reply

  17. Don Bacon says:

    But since the Saudi king said to attack Iran he’s excused for supporting al-Qaeda.
    hahahahaha
    in other news:
    In Saudi Arabia a woman cannot drive a car or have a job without permission from a male relative and, according to Islamic law, every Saudi female must have a male guardian who is responsible for making legal and personal decisions for her.
    Women in Saudi Arabia hold few positions of power. A report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace paints a grim political picture. There are only six part-time female advisors and 150 male members of the Shura Council, Saudi Arabia

    Reply

  18. Don Bacon says:

    Obama’s two main failures (of many) are failing to address the anti-American policies of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The Thinker should have thought. Is that too much to ask?
    Here are the two most important leaks, in my view, that relate to Obama’s failures.
    *Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like al-Qaeda
    *Pakistan allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.
    So we have the historically unprecedented situation where the US government is openly supporting two ostensible allies who are supporting the killing of US troops, the support consisting of military sales (Saudi) and outright grants (Pakistan).
    This is all in connection with a “necessary” war which is the more basic failure. Okay, that makes three basic FP failures(and there are many more).
    Shame on you, Obama.

    Reply

  19. Sand says:

    Harretz: “Poll: 76% of American Jews think Arabs want to destroy Israel
    51% of U.S. Jews approve of the way Obama is handling his job – a 6% drop since March; 95% think that the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any peace settlement…”
    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/poll-76-of-american-jews-think-arabs-want-to-destroy-israel-1.318669
    h/t: http://arisfreedomswitch.blogspot.com/2010/10/todays-depressing-read-haaretz.html
    What say you NJDC & J-Street?

    Reply

  20. Maw of America says:

    Thanks, John Waring. I needed that. And apropos of Obama’s first historic failure, this tale of cover-up is making the rounds:
    The Madrid Cables, from Harpers, outlining the extraordinary lengths that Obama went to bury the Spanish pursuit of Bush officials involved in torture.
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/12/hbc-90007836
    I have met the enemy and it is us.

    Reply

  21. John Waring says:

    Obama’s three historic failures:
    1. Failure to prosecute those who permitted and those who practiced torture.
    2. Failure to end the clusterF in Afghanistan.
    3. Failure to break up the big banks. There is only one way to deal with “too big to fail”, and that’s bust them up.
    Obama, I’m damaned sorry I know you.

    Reply

  22. Dan Kervick says:

    Stoller’s piece is somewhat interesting, but I can’t really tell what he is arguing for. What kinds of monetary policies would he prefer? What kinds of mechanisms and alternatives to the existing structure would he like to see in place for implementing them?
    He goes on at great lengths about the need for accountability and the evils of oligarchy, and that’s great. But I was waiting for some concrete substance to emerge from the discussion, and I couldn’t find much.
    It is interesting that in 2010 someone like Sarah Palin can stand so squarely on the side of creditors and against debtors, and yet can market herself as a “populist”.

    Reply

  23. erichwwk says:

    NICE!!
    Be careful, Steve. I notice that Jerome joined WBEZ in 1984.
    Always wondered. Did Chalmers know Eric Blair?
    Probably Eric died far too soon. (ever read “Orwell: War Chronicles”?)
    I just recently received a nice hard copy of Chalmers 1962 Stanford book with only major flaw a bit of fraying on top of dust cover.
    http://www.amazon.com/Peasant-Nationalism-Communist-Power-Revolutionary/dp/0804700745
    Just in Time. See only one other hardcopy offered, at $117.56

    Reply

  24. JohnH says:

    Yes, the Fed deserves plenty of outrage for its coddling of Wall Street during the financial bailout. But this outrage is being seized on by the finance lobby–not to make the Fed more responsive to the needs of the economy or of the unemployed–but to make sure that the currency is not marginally devalued, even if it means that the US has 20% unemployment and underemployment forever.
    The fat cats never let a crisis go to waste. If the Fed is being criticized, the fat cats redirect the criticism to benefit themselves, the original source of outrage.
    Instead of dropping the Fed’s “employment mandate,” which is intended to benefit everyone, Congress should weaken the Fed’s subservience to the financial community, which just recorded obscene profits in the midst of the Great Recession.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    Matt Stoller, a Grayson aide, on the Fed. Very interesting:
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/12/matt-stoller-end-this-fed.html

    Reply

  26. JohnH says:

    More on living the lie. Besides the daily lie about the “threat” posed by Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program, Reza Marashi exposes Obama’s fraudulent “engagement” approach:
    “It should now be clear that U.S. policy has never been a true engagement policy. By definition, engagement entails a long-term approach that abandons

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    When you live a lie, you risk having your dirty laundry exposed…but, of course, the US Government believes that it is above the law, even the laws of normal social interaction.

    Reply

  28. questions says:

    And on the scope of the bailouts….
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120104658.html?hpid=topnews
    I wonder, just musing, what it must have been like to realize just how completely fucked over the world financial system was because of the mortgage bubble in the US.
    I wonder what it must have been like to take office with an agenda of changing the clients the gov was aimed towards, of bringing in something like justice and googoo gov, and discovering that the first couple of years were going to be a 3 trillion dollar bail out of the most corrupt and dumbfuck idiots to have walked the planet in quite some time.
    Those idiots we’ve bailed out held the world in their smothering evil embrace.
    We bailed out foreign banks to keep the contamination from destroying international cooperation (like taking Gitmo prisoners and dumping nukes and agreeing to sanctions and the like).
    What a turn around from hope to cope it’s been.
    At least, assuming my reading of this is reasonable.

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    And this is pretty interesting, too:
    “One of the main tasks asked of diplomats, lobbyists, and consultants dealing with the crisis in Washington is to try and collect cables that haven’t been officially released yet, but are nonetheless being circulated inside the diplomatic community. Nobody knows exactly where all the extra cables coming from, but WikiLeaks has said it would give country specific cables to local foreign media outlets.
    One Washington lobbyist who represents countries in the Middle East said that local press in several countries he works on is reporting on cables that haven’t yet been reported on by the media outlets who had advance access to the documents. The lobbyist speculated that foreign governments may also be selectively leaking cables they’ve come across in order to spin them in their own favor before WikiLeaks or local media has a chance to weigh in. ”
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/30/beltway_bandits_scramble_to_deal_with_wikileaks_fallout
    TPM’s wire service is full of links to many equally interesting bits.
    It’s possible that Assange doesn’t need to leak another single thing! The embassies and interested parties and the paranoid and the guilty will take care of it themselves!
    Strains of “The Telltale Heart” here! Along with something about the golden opportunity to sneak in a few extras — hidden in plain sight.

    Reply

  30. questions says:

    On Interpol:
    “You may have read that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is now an internationally wanted man.
    I am probably the only full time blogger to ever have worked at Interpol, so it behooves me to explain the

    Reply

  31. JohnH says:

    “Chalmers would love the sizzle that Wikileaks has given to foreign policy discussion.” Me, too.
    The foreign policy mob has been able to pursue its perverse agenda in secret for far too long. Now, finally, we get a peek through the key hole of a door long barred to the American public.
    Now we see that the US Ambassador to Honduras concluded that a coup took place (and the US government illegally supported it.)
    Now we see that the government threatened Spanish electoral candidates for being too anti-war.
    The British government compromised its own investigation of the Iraq war in order to protect Bush.
    An Israeli General admits that Israel

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA: how do you find that stuff?”
    Actually, it was an advertisement on TWN’s homepage.
    Were I the head of a think tank, and the host of a widely read political blog, I certainly would not sign on to a Google kind of system that robs me of control of whom is hawking their shit on my homepage. Many people, if just looking at this blog for the first time, may consider these ads an NAF endorsement. Are they????
    There is NO AMOUNT of money that could bribe me into advertising something as fucked up neo-con hawklike as that movie obviously is. And its not the first time I’ve seen this kinda shit peddled here in the ads. Its a regular occurrence. At times, reading the ads on Steve’s homepage, you might as well be signed onto Newsmax or Debka.

    Reply

  33. sdemetri says:

    Obama’s capitulation on a lot of issues is mystifying. Saw the print version of this article and it puts at least one perspective on it:
    http://harvardmagazine.com/2010/11/a-nation-arguing-with-its-conscience
    Offtopic but worth looking at if you haven’t seen it, Charles Fergusson, director of Inside Job, on Charlie Rose. No, not “that” inside job.
    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11321

    Reply

  34. sanitychecker says:

    POA: how do you find that stuff? It’s priceless. Couldn’t tell if it was The Onion or just Gingrich running for president?

    Reply

  35. Don Bacon says:

    Obama:
    *We are not going to babysit a civil war.
    *I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.
    * It’s not enough to change the players. We’ve gotta change the game.
    Afghanistan’s government operating budget was $1.3B in 2009. This is less then US war costs in one week.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, I would say that Johnson will soon be rolling over in his grave, in great distress.
    Barack Obama’s unfathomable political cowardice has ushered satan back into power in Washington DC.
    Take a look at this website, and read the cast of characters.
    http://www.americaatrisk.com/index.html
    Who says the age of the neo-cons is behind us? Obama, through futile attempts at bilateralism, and a pathetic history of appeasement to the unyielding zealotry of the far right, has placed our nation in great danger, both domestically and in regards to foreign affairs.
    And apparently, if his statements regarding the results of the recent “summit” he held with the right wing criminals are any indication, he hasn’t learned one fuckin’ thing from the last two years. More and more, he looks like a ringer. Perhaps now we know who was behind this imposter’s meteoric rise to political celebrity. The right needed a fall guy for the impending disaster wrought by eight years of criminality and incompetence. Who better than a black man from the far left, tasked to lead disastrously?
    Why not?
    OK, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps he’s not a ringer.
    Does that change the results of his “leadership”?
    Again. Look at the website. Carefully.
    2012, people. These fuckin’ maniacs will have FULL control then. Thanks for nuthin’, Barack.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *