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The Critique of "Blowback" by Chalmers Johnson

The paper includes a critique of "Blowback," a book by Chalmers Johnson. The price of American Empire and its effects are discussed in the book. A assessment of whether the author uses the information to support his argument convincingly is made after the article provides the information the author uses to support it. The study concludes by analyzing the author's thesis and providing support for the book's main assertion. Blowback, as described in the book, is the retaliatory attacks that the America has faced all over the world as a consequence of their foreign policies. The September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on the American soil are examples of attacks that have occurred as a consequence of the American foreign policies that have been kept hidden from the attention of the American people. Therefore, the drug lords, terrorists, illegal arms merchants, and rogues states, the author concludes that they amount to blowback as a result of earlier operations propagated by American troops.

The Hidden American Foreign Policies

Notably, many of the American foreign policies have remained hidden from the people, and the government has kept them as secret and the real motives of the government officials. Therefore, it is the high time for the American government to rethink of the consequences of some of their foreign policies and review them so as to mitigate terrorism activities against the American nationals in foreign countries and indeed the American Nation.

Evidence-Based Information to Support Claims

The author uses an evidence-based information to support his claims. The author having served the Korean War and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for over six years, he had the exposure of the American foreign policies, and thus the evidence he gives in the book is backed by facts that can be proven from other reliable sources (Johnson 12). The author claims that America is an imperial power and it is one of the most powerful nations in the world. After the collapse of the Second World War and the consequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, America continued to dominate most parts of the world for an extended period. After the collapse of the cold war, America did not destroy most of it's the apparatus that were used in the war. Most of their troops continued to occupy the allied nations, and there is enough evidence that most of these troops continued to behave badly in their host countries and they ended up creating hatred among the people.

America's Empire of Satellite Nations

Additionally, the country continued its thriving business of selling arms to the host nations and thus helping to charge the weapons wars and races. Notably, the Special Operations Command of the Defense Department together with the Central Intelligence Unit were not dismantled. America has continued to develop an empire of satellite nations around the world and has kept in their manipulation of the satellites, using them as military bases for policing actions and wars. The author uses the facts as mentioned earlier to support the claim that blowback is as a result of the American foreign policies that have continued to face strong opposition from the host nations and thus leading to retaliatory attacks. He has used the information to convincingly support his claim since America has suffered significant blows in the hands of the terrorists (Johnson 16). The bombing of the Pan Am in the year 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was probably at retaliatory attack as a result of America's involvement in the assault on Libya two years before. The attack on the World Trade Center in New York and a series of attacks on United States facilities in Africa and the Mideast are some of the evident attacks, and the author uses to support his claim convincingly. Additionally, the attack on the USS Cole, in the year 2000, where some American sailors were killed and scores injured, and the al-Qaida claiming responsibility, was probably a blowback attack as a result of America's establishment of intelligent facilities in the nation. Therefore, all these evidence are an undeniable proof of the complex foreign policies America has continued to propagate on foreign soils and their due consequences.

Effective Communication of Claims

What I like about the assigned reading is the fact the author has documented a series of shreds of evidence in his claims, leaving the reader convinced of the truth his claims. Given the biography of the author having worked with the American government in implementing some of its foreign policies, it is clear that his claims are more than just propagandas. Remarkably, the author uses allusion to the major terrorist attacks America has ever faced and tries to reason the origin of the attacks. It is clear that the perpetrators of the attacks hail from nations that America has its roots and the targeted attacks on the American infrastructure in the foreign nations are clear evidence that their presence in those countries is not pleasing to the hosts (Johnson 22). The choices of the words the author has used in addition to the sentences structure, and all add up to his convincing claim. Additionally, the paragraph development and the overall organization of the reading have enabled the author to produce an excellent book that touches on the facts about the blowback attacks. The style elements have affected the author's clarity of his work and his communicative efforts positively. The events in the book are well arranged and are in line with the thematic issue in the book.

Author's Thesis and Suggestions for the Future

In the book, the author's thesis surrounds the issue of counter terrorist attacks propagated against the American nation as a result of their foreign policies. The author documents a series of evidence of the terrorist attack that has been spread by terrorists as a consequence of the policies developed by America in foreign lands. The primary focus of the author is in North and South Korea, Japan and China (Johnson 26). He warns of impediment retaliatory attacks from these countries if the United States does not change its ways. The presence of the American troops in the Okinawa Island has resulted in a series of rape cases on the local women and girls. The author notices that the abuse cases in the Island propagated by the American troops is twice that of the United States. The soldiers take advantage of the Okinawan culture that humiliates adult women who report rape cases. As a result, there exists a hostile environment between the soldiers and the locals. The author denies the fact that the American troops are still needed in the island. Additionally, he claims that the United States foreign economic policy has been criticized for harming other nations. The book puts the disturbing reports portrayed by media into perspective and helps the reader to understand the present happenings regarding the war on terror.


Notably, the book contributes to understanding the anti-Americanism that is experienced in some parts of the world and contains suggestions for the right way forward. Finally, there are no flaws in the clarity of the author's argument as all the main ideas are chronologically arranged and clearly elaborated. Therefore, the author calls upon the American nation not only to portray physical power but also express the greater moral power to the rest of the world.

Work Cited

Johnson, Chalmers. Blowback. 2015. Print.

March 02, 2023

Learning Politics

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Expertise Foreign Policy
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