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Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:31 AM

 

America's Overseas Base Empire and a Dangerous New Way of War

By TomDispatch, Sun, July 15, 2012

It was January 15, 2004, and TomDispatch had only been in existence for a year when Chalmers Johnson, author of the prophetic book Blowback (published in 2000 and a bestseller after the 9/11 attacks), did a piece for this site entitled “America’s Empire of Bases.” He wrote then: “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.”

It was a benchmark essay for TomDispatch and a theme -- the unprecedented way Washington was garrisoning the planet -- that Johnson would return to repeatedly and that others of us would take up. This mattered because, despite the crucial role that Washington's empire of bases played in the American way of war and its dreams of global dominance, bases were then, and remain today, a phenomenon largely ignored in the mainstream media.

In 2004, the Pentagon was, for instance, already building the first of its 505 bases, the biggest among them meant to be “enduring,” in Iraq -- American ziggurats, I called them at the time. Some of these were large enough to qualify as full-scale American towns, with PXs, fire departments, bus routes, the usual range of fast-food joints, internet cafes, and the like -- and yet it was the rare American reporter who saw a story of any sort in them, even when visiting one of them. The same was true in Afghanistan, where the U.S. was building (and is still upgrading) 400 or more bases. No one even bothered to try to count them up until Nick Turse did so in February 2010 for this site. (Ann Jones took TomDispatch readers onto one of them in August of that same year.)

In his books and at TomDispatch, Johnson put significant effort into trying to come up with a number for the bases the Pentagon garrisoned outside the United States. In January 2011, Turse returned to that task and found that number to be well over 1,100. Again, it’s not a figure you normally see reported in the mainstream. In March 2010, John Feffer reminded TD readers of just how far the Pentagon would go to hang onto a single major base, among so many, on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/2012-election/americas-overseas-base-empire-and-dangerous-new-way-war

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Reply America's Overseas Base Empire and a Dangerous New Way of War (Original post)
rug Jul 2012 OP
sinkingfeeling Jul 2012 #1
patrice Jul 2012 #2
Octafish Jul 2012 #3

Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:36 AM

1. I read 'Sorrows of Empire' and it broke my heart.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:39 AM

2. K&R

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:46 AM

3. A Must-Read

From the OP's article:

For China and Russia in particular, ever more U.S. bases near their borders threaten to set off new cold wars. Most troublingly, the creation of new bases to protect against an alleged future Chinese military threat may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy: such bases in Asia are likely to create the threat they are supposedly designed to protect against, making a catastrophic war with China more, not less, likely.


Which is what's necessary for Oceania to always be at war with Eastasia or Eurasia. Whatever. For control of the planet, its resources and all the serfs.

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