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Remembering Chalmers Ashby Johnson (8/6/31 - 11/20/10)

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Remembering Chalmers Ashby Johnson (8/6/31 - 11/20/10) - by Stephen Lendman

A personal note. 

It's no way to begin a Sunday or any day. An email explained. My first thought was: damn, we lost another good one when we urgently need him and many others, given the state of today's America - out-of-control militarism, imperial arrogance, and homeland repression at a time of economic crisis for millions. Johnson knew the threat, challenging it brilliantly in his important writings and outspokenness. Now he's gone.

A former cold warrior, Chal, as friends called him, turned activist critic of US foreign policy, an imperial agenda doomed to fail. When the Cold War ended, he saw no further logic to US global bases, continued heightened militarism, and occupation of Japan, South Korea, Germany and elsewhere.

Peace breaking out was glorious. "Give Peace A Chance," wrote John Lennon, his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame song predated it by a decade. 

In a March 2006 Tom Engelhardt interview, Johnson said:

"I was a cold warrior. There's no doubt about that. I believed the Soviet Union was a genuine menace. I still think so....As I saw it, the only justification for our monster military apparatus, its size, the amounts spent on it, the growth of the Military-Industrial Complex....was the existence of the Soviet Union and its determination to match us."

After it imploded, he thought: "What an incredible vindication for the United States. Now it's over, and the time has come for a real victory dividend, a genuine peace dividend. The question was: Would the US behave as it had in the past when big wars came to an end?" Instead, we "began to seek an alternative enemy. Our leaders simply could not contemplate dismantling the apparatus of the Cold War. That was, I thought, shocking....I was flabbergasted and felt the need to understand what had happened."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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