Blowback: Impacts of the New Militarism
The CIA coined the term “blowback” to describe the unintended results of U.S. covert operations abroad. It was first used in connection with Operation Ajax, the Agency’s 1953 coup in Iran overthrowing the democratic government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The United States today has hundreds of military bases around the world. It’s a form of domination that greatly expanded under the Bush Administration’s post-9/11 so-called War on Terror. Supporting a far-flung military empire generates large profits for many U.S. corporations. It’s terrific for weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and Northrop Grumman and for contractors like Halliburton, DynCorp and Fluor. Not surprisingly, many people from Iraq to Japan are angry with having to live with Uncle Sam in uniform in their backyard.
Chalmers Johnson, a distinguished political scientist, was professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. He was the author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire, Nemesis and Dismantling the Empire. He warned, “A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.” He died in 2010.