BTS 2/5/07: The Follies of Empire

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On tonight’s Beneath The Surface we consider the follies of empire with Chalmers Johnson, whose new book Nemesis, the last in his Blowback trilogy, hits the bookstands tomorrow. If you are watching the miniseries "Rome" these days, you’ll get an idea of what Johnson says is in store for us if we don’t forsake empire for democracy.

We then ask Dariush Zahedi to lay out the further folly of invading or striking Iran – which would boost Ahmadinajad’s failing popularity and play into the hands of the reactionary Mullahs.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Chalmers Johnson is an author and professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is also president and co-founder of the Japan Policy Research Institute, an organization promoting public education about Japan and Asia. He has written numerous books including, most recently, three examinations of the consequences of American empire - Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Crisis of the American Republic. Johnson was featured in the Eugene Jarecki-directed film "Why We Fight," which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

2. Dariush Zahedi teaches international political economy and political science at UC Berkeley. In 2003, he was imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage and later acquitted.