Remembering Chalmers Johnson


chal johnson.jpg
In November, my Japan Policy Research Institute co-founder Chalmers Johnson passed away. I wrote about him here at the time, but in early December I did an interview with WBEZ Chicago’s Jerome McDonnell which I never posted here and really liked.
So, for those interested in Chalmers Johnson who I think was one of the nation’s great intellectual giants of the last century, enjoy.
— Steve Clemons


6 comments on “Remembering Chalmers Johnson

  1. Jonathan Swanson says:

    Chalmers Johnson was one of the greatest
    intellectual minds this country has ever seen! He
    had a major impact on me intellectually. He will be
    missed. This country has lost one of it’s finest
    minds! We can only hope that others will carry on
    the great work that Chalmers was doing in the area
    of American Empire and imperialism!


  2. yoyo says:

    Your writing, and the initial sounding reasonable, very critical and did not really take some time, I am perfect. Somewhere within the paragraphs you really can make me, but only while a believer. I still have a problem with your logic jump, you can do good to help fill those gaps. If you really can achieve this, I will eventually be hooked.


  3. Michael Lutz says:

    I do believe that President Obama is an honest and decent individual. I am sure the issue is that he is just not strong enough to go down the Chalmers Johnson path to saving the country. His focus is on jobs, jobs and jobs and to promote Johnson’s vision, millions of jobs would be lost that are now supported solely by “military Keynesism”. He would lose in 2012 for sure and consider his personal choice between a second term and leading the charge to save the country a la Chalmers.


  4. Richard Frost says:

    Thank you for posting this; I enjoyed the interview.
    However, I was not entirely happy with the speculation about Chalmers’s likely verdict on President Obama, for it smacked rather too much of apologism for my liking.
    Barack Obama has been a huge disappointment to those who believed that his vote against the Iraq war bespoke the presence of a conscience. He has ended up acting much like his predecessor would have done, continuing and even expanding the same basic policy thrust. I have found it difficult to watch him speak at the memorial service in Arizona (after the Giffords shooting) knowing that he has on his hands the blood and tears of countless innocents in lands not covered by incessant cable news. Where is the memorial service for them?
    I simply do not buy the myth that Barack Obama is a fundamentally decent man who has been either corrupted or frustrated by the entrenched oligarchy in Washington, D.C. I believe he is cut from the same cloth. He had his eye on the main chance and seized it in 2008, accepting generous campaign contributions from all the usual suspects, including Goldman Sachs. If I could see this, I’m 100% sure that Chalmers could see it, too.
    If anything, Barack Obama is even more dangerous than George W. Bush. His apparently civilized and highbrow demeanor provides effective camouflage for the ugly acts of wanton imperial violence that are practiced under his auspices. With a Nobel peace prize in your back pocket, you can get away with murder. And he does – every day.


  5. rc says:

    “Government-Industrial Complex equals Military-Industrial Complex plus State-Industrial Complex. GIC = MIC + SIC. Everything Ike warned about, and more.”
    I think with Afghanistan you could add the narcotics industry as well. They are not growing less poppies these days!
    The British used it to dump on China in the opium wars. What has changed except the countries involved (other than Afghanistan)?


  6. Don Bacon says:

    It is an interesting interview and highlights the work Johnson did in the impact of the MIC on US foreign policy, with the aim of promoting corporate profits with extensive overseas bases and wars.
    The problem of course goes much deeper than overseas bases, and Johnson may have covered it in his writing, and that is the influence of the MIC in all the congressional districts which benefit from military spending and thus ensure continued political support for everything military.
    I don’t know if Johnson ever got into it, but what has interested me recently is the movement of the State Department into the promotion of corporate interests. (Call it the SIC?) It’s like State took a cue from Defense — same objective with different methods and a greater negative impact upon Americans.
    US embassies overseas are working with taxpayer money (via AID) and the US Chamber of Commerce overseas bureaus (called American Chambers) to promote the US corporate foreign investment and job outsourcing which are just killing the US worker economy, while of course it promotes corporate productivity and profits.
    Government-Industrial Complex equals Military-Industrial Complex plus State-Industrial Complex. GIC = MIC + SIC. Everything Ike warned about, and more.
    Thank you Chalmers Johnson for jumping on it, and Steve Clemons for promoting it.


Add your comment

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