Diana Johnstone is an astute and longtime analyst on global affairs, whose highly readable memoir is peppered with insights on the world events she experienced, reported on and sometimes participated in—from the Viet Nam War to today’s Yellow Vest movement in France. This mixture of autobiography and history encompasses both the personal evolution of a spirited American journalist and her keen insights into the major events of the last half century whose rectitude and indeed legality she most frequently decried. Circle in the Darkness revisits many of its key events, adding insights with the benefit of hindsight. It covers:
- early anti-war protests against the Viet Nam War in the United States,
- student days in Yugoslavia,
- life in the international press milieu in Germany during the Cold War,
- May ’68 in France,
- the turbulent politics of Italy in the 1970s,
- the impact on Europe of the criminal Middle East wars,
- the decline of French intellectuals from Sartre to Bernard Henri Lévy,
- the massive popular movement in the 1980s against deployment of U.S. nuclear missiles in Europe,
- the transformation of Europe’s Green Parties from a leading force for peace to apologists for war on grounds of “human rights”,
- today’s Yellow Jacket movement that threatens the toppling of France’s Macron government and marks a popular awakening to the lies of politicians and media in this long night of criminal deception.
She recounts the rise and fall of antiwar sentiment in the Western left from its resistance to the Viet Nam War to its acceptance of so-called humanitarian wars. Having served for six years as press officer of the Greens in the European Parliament, she enjoyed an exceptional vantage point from which to observe and analyze the role of the European Union in sacrificing democracy to the demands of technocratic neoliberal globalization. Making no secret of her personal viewpoints, while scrupulous in her respect for the facts, Diana Johnstone blames the gullible ignorance of a self-satisfied “left” for providing moral cover for NATO’s role in the criminal destruction of Yugoslavia and Libya, as well as for the destructive Western intervention in Syria.
While so doing, she exposes the realities of the process called Globalization, which aggravates economic inequalities by unleashed capitalism and replaces diplomacy with threats, sanctions and military intervention, has led to a drastic reduction of democracy in the “democratic” West.