Did you know that "in the past the United States has been particularly good at exporting hope"? Those were the words of Joseph Nye (intellectual from Harvard) and inventor of the concept of "Smart Power." Yes indeed, millions of civilians from Haiti, Iran, Vietnam, Angola, Mozambique, Guatemala, etc....are resting in peace from all that hope that the US brought them.
People often confuse NPR's occasional critique's of the Bush extremist imperialism with a leftist critique of imperialism in general - it is a fatal mistake. See this earlier post for how devoted NPR is to the US imperial role in the world. Of course to sell this requires some serious distortions of history and fact as the quote from Nye above reveals.
On Thanksgiving morning, as part of NPR's series on American Power, Renee Montagne reveals a lot about how distorted history can get on NPR. After Nye critiques Bush foreign policy for relying far too much on the use of force, and contrasts it with the "soft" power of past years, she says, "So you're saying under, in at least the last few years under the Reagan Administration that there was a nice balance between hard and soft power?"
Holy crap! So the criminals of the Reagan years spreading civil war, torture, rape and genocide thoughout Africa and Latin America had found "a nice balance." Nye, agrees that Reagan was "very adept at combining hard and soft power."
Montagne isn't through though. She then goes on to contrast the evil Chinese with the saintly US efforts around the world:
"China...engaging in Latin America, in Africa, in the Middle East. New markets, oil deals, forgiving debt....its soft power depends to some extent on its willingness and ability in the world to act functionally without morals, not put any conditions on its aid or make demands about human rights when it comes in with its products."Honestly, as I type this transcription I almost can't believe that I'm not making it up; it's that profoundly dishonest and ridiculous. But Nye can only concur, with "That's true."