Sunday, June 03, 2007


This morning I had to wake up to Liane Hansen saying, "...this week Putin criticized the United States for what he called imperialism [Hansen’s emphasis] in global affairs, and he said, and I’m going to quote, 'It wasn’t us that initiated a new round of the arms race.' What do you make of that tone?"

Her tone is what struck me. She said imperialism very slowly and with utter disdain - as if the term was nothing but jingoistic nonsense. That's interesting because you have to be a fool or liar to deny that the concept of the US as an empire is taken very seriously by people of many political viewpoints. If the US government does not hold imperial ambitions then how does one explain these statements of the official 2002 US National Security Strategy:
  • To contend with uncertainty and to meet the many security challenges we face, the United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia, as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. forces.
  • Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.
  • We will take the actions necessary to ensure that our efforts...are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans and which we do not accept.
And from whom was Hansen seeking insight on this claim of American imperialism? From the fear-mongering Thomas Pickering, a loyal soldier of US global power who has served Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush (Pickering was also, notoriously, ambassador to El Salvador).

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind hearing from such establishment players on NPR , but why is there never any serious counter-perspective? Why don't we hear about Russia from experts like Craig Murray, who also has the dirt on the US-British behavior. Or why not bring on critics of US imperialism such as Chalmers Johnson or Noam Chomsky?

It seems plainly obvious that NPR tightly restricts the limits of what is considered acceptable for debate. Those limits are based in an unquestioning faith in the overall goodness of American power and policy, regardless of any and all evidence that might undermine that faith. It's enough to drive someone crazy...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post reminds of of Dan Schorr's weekend commentary: Don't be nice to the Russians, or they'll think we're pussies.

Dan Schorr... Dan Schorr... Dan Schorr makes me so tired.

(of Dan Schorr.)