NPR's Scramble to Ignore the US Scramble for Africa
[cross-posted at NPR Check]
Shhhhh...whatever you do, don't say scramble on NPR when you talk about Africa. No matter how obvious (and crass) the military, energy and economic objectives of US foreign policy in Africa are - and no matter that others know a scramble when they see a scramble - keep the focus on the US military or State Department talking points about how noble the aims of the US in Africa are - or at least how they will stop the spread of terrorism there. Zwerdling interviewed Fisher of the BBC about Clinton's trip to Africa:
Zwerdling: "What are a couple of the countries there the US has the most potential problems ahead and what could they do to help you know ameliorate them?"
Fisher: "....but it seems like perhaps Somalia seems to have been a real focus of this trip meeting with that president in Kenya and also Zimbabwe here...two areas...hoping to push things forward..."
Zwerdling: "For example, Somalia, it's been an endless civil war there are apparently huge numbers of militants and extremists crossing the border into Kenya almost unchecked. What realistically could the US do about that?"
Fisher: "...al-Shabab this Islamist group which is causing great concern in Washington, it's said to have links to al-Qaeda and the great fear is that Somalia as a failed state might act as a springboard for further terrorist activity....so Somalia is one of these very difficult problems which Africa has had to grapple with. It's been in a state of almost non-stop civil war since the early 90s so it's not a problem which is going to be solved overnight..."
Not only are the real motives of expanding US hegemony not discussed, but when the focus is on Somalia the recent history of US destruction of stability in Somalia is censored, as it always is on NPR (see April 2007 and November 2007 for two glaring examples). You can't help but sense that to honestly discuss what Uncle Sam is up to in the world might just lead someone to connect the dots and conclude that...STOP! We are not an empire, we are not an empire, we are not, not, not, not....