(graphic from Peace Pledge Union)On yesterday's ATC Guy Raz presented a piece on imperialism that deserves attention because it purports to seriously examine the concept of "American imperialism," which as Melissa Block states in her introduction, "has gained traction abroad since 9/11."
One might expect any serious discussion of American imperialism to discuss the global network of US military bases, or the longstanding US tradition of aggression and intervention against sovereign non-belligerent states. You might expect to hear extended interviews with Chalmers Johnson, Noam Chomsky or Joseph Gerson. Instead the bulk of Raz' report is given over to unabashed apologists for American imperialism (Newt Gingrich, Niall Ferguson of the Hoover Institute, Francis Fukuyama of RAND and the US State Department, and the vitriolic Victor Davis Hanson of the National Review).
From these intellectuals we learn the following:
- Gingrich: The US has "no interest in conquering territories. We have every interest in getting people to believe in their own freedom, getting people to govern themselves."
- Ferguson: "A world without the US after 1945 would have been a worse world."
- Hanson: "We appeal to particular appetites: freedom, leisure, affluence, informality especially." and "The freewheeling American approach to money, to education, to popular culture, means that the power of the mullah, the patriarch, hierarchy in general, is always undermined by radical American egalitarianism."
Again it is a real shame that NPR takes on what could be a very rich an interesting topic, and then uses it to distort and misinform listeners.