Talk:Chalmers Johnson

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Television Career[edit]

I remember watching Prof. Johnson regularly in the mid/late 1960s on a PBS show produced by KQED, Berkeley. The program was a roundtable called something like "world press review" and Chalmers Johnson was the China expert. Hope someone might document this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Who wrote Blowback?[edit]

There seems to be some online confusion as to whether Blowback was written by Chalmers Johnson, or Christopher Simpson. Who wrote it? Roidroid 04:14, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe there are two separate books, on by Chalmers Johnson and one by Christopher Simpson from much earlier, but someone should research this. The Print copy of Blowback I have is very specifically Johnson. (StarkeRealm 08:07, 14 October 2007 (UTC))


I recently discovered the works of Dr. Chalmers Johnson and find them fascinating. His last two books dealing with American militarism ring true with my experiences in other cultures. I have seen first hand the destructive power of jingoism in other countries and how easy it is for self serving and power hungry individuals to stoke its fire among the ill informed but well meaning populace. 'The Sorrows of Empire', Dr. Johnson's last book describes in great detail how that is being done here in this country. That has me concerned about the future of this great experiment called USA. Surely, there are other Americans out there on the Net who share my fears about the Republic? If yes, I would like to invite them to a honest discourse on current trends in our government and their future impacts on not just America, but the world at large. Thank you. 14:42, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"discussionesque" material[edit]

I removed the following "discussionesque" material from the article for being non-encyclpedic: [Some time between 1953 and 1955 Mr. Johnson served as a naval officer; according to the Prologue in his book "The Sorrows of Empire" he was released from active duty (RAD) in 1955. Question, did he possibly attend the Navy OCS at Newport, RI? I was a member of the first class. WR]] 18:51, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

problematic changes[edit]

Per WP:BLP, I removed this:

Johnson made several outlandish statements during an appearance at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California on March 3rd, 2007. Among the falsehoods he promoted was a statement that military service was a requirement for citizenship during his time in service during the Korean War

and this:

and became a Marxist who advocates the overthrow of the US govt.

with an associated edit summary that he is "very frank" about his socialist views. Okay, but Marxism != Socialism or desire to overthrow the US government. I have no problem reinserting a neutral version of the above sentence, provided it follows the WP:ATT and WP:BLP guidelines. --Otheus 06:42, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for removing that Otheus. Only in America is anyone who criticizes corporate state capitalism and a permanent military buildup decried as "commie" who wants to "overthrow the govt." Inoculatedcities 16:52, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Only in America are those who attempt to tell the truth about the constant assault of the radical left on our rights, our nation and institutions routinely silenced and derided as you have done here. -- 03:49, 8 May 2007
As for the first quote, it's possible someone misconstrued him talking about the draft, which IIRC was still in effect at that time. As for the second quote, it's possible that he's talked about the destruction of the industrial military complex. But, that's not the same thing as trying to overthrow the government itself. (StarkeRealm 08:02, 14 October 2007 (UTC))

Edit by Nbauman[edit]

I removed the following paragraph awkwardly appended to the "Themes..." section.

Most Americans don't understand how America is perceived by the rest of the world, said Johnson. For example, Osama bin Laden gave three "rational" reasons for the attack on the World Trade Center: First, the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia; second, Zionist expansion against the Palestinians; third, the death of half a million Iraqi children as a result of the American-led sanctions.

While Johnson has cited these reasons for anti-Americanism abroad, this section needs to be put into the context of the previous paragraph. One might as well pick any of a number of startling observations from his books and append them to the article. I'm not saying this paragraph isn't relevant to the "Themes..." section, it's just poorly written. Inoculatedcities 16:54, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Historical Non-Fiction?[edit]

I suppose a "Non-Alien Native Speaker of English" might use the term "Historical Non-Fiction." But most people just say "History."

Johnson is not a historian; he is a political scientist. Also, it doesn't make much sense to associate him with any literary movement at all; he is a social scientist by training and output. "Writer" is really not the appropriate infobox to use for this article about him and his work. Pechmerle (talk) 07:56, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

The Guns of August : Lowering the Flag on the American Century[edit]

Lowering the Flag on the American Century

Thirty-five years from now, America's official century of being top dog (1945-2045) will have come to an end; its time may, in fact, be running out right now. We are likely to begin to look ever more like a giant version of England at the end of its imperial run, as we come face-to-face with, if not necessarily to terms with, our aging infrastructure, declining international clout, and sagging economy. It may, for all we know, still be Hollywood's century decades from now, and so we may still make waves on the cultural scene, just as Britain did in the 1960s with the Beatles and Twiggy. Tourists will undoubtedly still visit some of our natural wonders and perhaps a few of our less scruffy cities, partly because the dollar-exchange rate is likely to be in their favor.

If, however, we were to dismantle our empire of military bases and redirect our economy toward productive, instead of destructive, industries; if we maintained our volunteer armed forces primarily to defend our own shores (and perhaps to be used at the behest of the United Nations); if we began to invest in our infrastructure, education, health care, and savings, then we might have a chance to reinvent ourselves as a productive, normal nation. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. Peering into that foggy future, I simply can't imagine the U.S. dismantling its empire voluntarily, which doesn't mean that, like all sets of imperial garrisons, our bases won't go someday.

Instead, I foresee the U.S. drifting along, much as the Obama administration seems to be drifting along in the war in Afghanistan. The common talk among economists today is that high unemployment may linger for another decade. Add in low investment and depressed spending (except perhaps by the government) and I fear T.S. Eliot had it right when he wrote: "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper."

I have always been a political analyst rather than an activist. That is one reason why I briefly became a consultant to the CIA's top analytical branch, and why I now favor disbanding the Agency. Not only has the CIA lost its raison d'être by allowing its intelligence gathering to become politically tainted, but its clandestine operations have created a climate of impunity in which the U.S. can assassinate, torture, and imprison people at will worldwide.

Just as I lost interest in China when that country's leadership headed so blindly down the wrong path during the Cultural Revolution, so I'm afraid I'm losing interest in continuing to analyze and dissect the prospects for the U.S. over the next few years. I applaud the efforts of young journalists to tell it like it is, and of scholars to assemble the data that will one day enable historians to describe where and when we went astray. I especially admire insights from the inside, such as those of ex-military men like Andrew Bacevich and Chuck Spinney. And I am filled with awe by men and women who are willing to risk their careers, incomes, freedom, and even lives to protest -- such as the priests and nuns of SOA Watch, who regularly picket the School of the Americas and call attention to the presence of American military bases and misbehavior in South America.

I'm impressed as well with Pfc. Bradley Manning, if he is indeed the person responsible for potentially making public 92,000 secret documents about the war in Afghanistan. Daniel Ellsberg has long been calling for someone to do what he himself did when he released the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. He must be surprised that his call has now been answered -- and in such an unlikely way.

My own role these past 20 years has been that of Cassandra, whom the gods gave the gift of foreseeing the future, but also cursed because no one believed her. I wish I could be more optimistic about what's in store for the U.S. Instead, there isn't a day that our own guns of August don't continue to haunt me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

This is a vintage piece of Johnsonian writing, but it ought to be cited and linked in a footnote to the article, rather than stuck in here. Pechmerle (talk) 01:34, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Why We Fight Criticism[edit]

I feel that the statement that ends the biography section currently "A critical review by Victor Davis Hanson of "Why We Fight", the 2005 film, including Johnson's views as expressed in it, can be found in a March 2006 issue of The National Review.[7]" belongs not in this article, because it only indirectly links to Johnson and by its own admission primarily relates to the film, but rather may warrant inclusion in the Why We Fight article. Certainly if it belongs in this article it does not belong at the end of the biography section. Michael Keith Jewitt (talk) 16:20, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I removed the comment, if a moderator disagrees, I apologize Michael Keith Jewitt (talk) 23:55, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Broken Link. Misdirected Link.[edit]

The first external media link,an audio interview with Johnson (March 2010 on Media Matters with Bob McChesney) is 'broken' in the sense that it connects to another day/segment of that live program, WITHOUT Chalmers Johnson. An hour long pod, it is all about the then current election cycle and American politics. I was looking forward to hearing one of the last public utterances by Chalmers and was greatly disappointed.

External links modified[edit]

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