June 03, 2005

Base Closures are Base Openings

No news is good news (in this case, for Donald Rumsfeld).

While we are inundated with stories about howling Congresspeople indignant about all the bases closures around the country (which will have negative consequences for the local district and state economies), we hear almost no news at all about the blizzard of base openings around the world (which will have positive consequences for American corporations and the local economies of those countries).

Welcome to Pentagon World as Tom Engelhardt calls it. From Kosovo to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, from all the "Pipelinestan" countries of central Asia to Iraq, from Diego Garcia to Pakistan, the United States is constructing the largest complex of overseas military bases ever built. Unlike qualities of the British empire, as Englehardt puts it, it's all gunboat, no colonies.

If there is one book on this subject that Americans ought to read, it is Chalmers Johnson's "The Sorrows of Empire").


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