In terms of advanced and unchallenged military power, there has been nothing like the U.S. armed forces since the Mongols swept across Eurasia. No wonder American presidents now regularly use phrases like “the finest fighting force the world has ever known” to describe it.
With “Blowback,” Chalmers Johnson aimed to paint a portrait of how America’s informal empire and its historically unprecedented garrisoning of the world looked to others, and so explain why animosity and blowback were building globally. Now we have a secret history of 21st-century American war in Jeremy Scahill’s latest book, “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield.”
The Invisible Government, published by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross in 1964, was groundbreaking, shadow-removing, illuminating. It caused a fuss from its very first paragraph, which was then a shockeroo: “There are two governments in the United States today. One is visible. The other is invisible.”