How to Win Friends and Inoculate People
2013-04-29 0:00

From: Neatorama

The Navy’s new strategy for saving the world. In the U.S. Navy, floating hospital ships are curing the sick and healing the blind. It’s all part of the Pentagon’s plan for global domination.

For millions of people in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the U.S. Navy no longer conjures up images of war games and nuclear submarines. Instead, the sight of American sailors means one thing: free medical care.

In recent years, the Navy has started dispatching dozens of hospital ships—some as big as shopping malls—to aid developing nations. The crews consist of doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, volunteers, and even acupuncturists, all there to help. But as mental_floss reporter David Axe learned while visiting the Kearsarge ship in Nicaragua, the Nashville in Gabon, and the Comfort in Panama, these missions aren’t about altruism; they’re about winning friends and influencing nations.

Soft Power

The U.S. Navy has been in the medical business for decades, often setting sail in response to earthquakes or hurricanes. But until recently, these missions were for emergencies only, and not part of a bigger diplomatic strategy. It took the Iraq War to change that.

After years of failing to pacify Iraq with firepower, the Pentagon decided it needed to think outside the arsenal. The result was a new theory called "soft power."¯ The idea is to send the military into potential conflict zones—along with other government agencies and civilian volunteers—years before any fighting breaks out. The troops hand out free medical care, aid local governments, and build roads and schools. Basically, they do anything they can to be of assistance.

By giving everyone a helping hand, soft-power programs hope to improve the United States’ image and leave a lasting, positive impression of America on the citizens of other nations. "It’s about influencing generations to come,"¯ says Navy Commodore Frank Ponds.

Beginning in 2006, the Navy sent ships to places where conflicts were simmering. Then, in November 2007, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made soft power official policy during a speech at Kansas State University. Now, it’s all the rage at the Pentagon. There is at least one major soft-power mission to Asia, Africa, and Latin America each year, meaning U.S. Navy ships are already becoming an increasingly common sight all across the world.

[...]


Managing the Press

In some areas, the patients treated at these hospital ships have never seen a doctor before, so the Navy’s arrival can be an almost miraculous event. But if soft power sounds like all good news with no downside, there’s a reason. The Navy carefully manages the press coverage of its hospital ships in order to emphasize the positive. It’s all part of the strategy. For every person his doctors treated in 2008, Commodore Ponds says he wants 10 other people to hear about it. It’s no surprise that most Navy hospital ships sail with large numbers of reporters on board. In August 2008, Navy doctors performed eyelid surgery on an 11-year-old boy to remove a mysterious growth that had impaired his vision and made him an outcast in his Nicaraguan village. Of course, there was a journalist standing by to get a quote from him the moment he could see again. The boy reportedly said, "I can now read my textbooks... I am very happy."¯

Read the full article at: neatorama.com



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

School Textbook: “There’s No Such Thing as Reverse Racism” Only White People can be Racist
2015-03-03 2:14
Only white people can be racist. A school textbook teaches students that “there is no such thing as reverse racism” and that women can never be as sexist as men. The passage, which appears to be taken from a “multicultural education series” book entitled Is Everyone Equal, states, “STOP: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the ...
Americans to Receive Full Biometric Treatment for all Forms of European Travel
2015-03-02 23:39
Travel becomes truly ominous... In a trend that isn't wholly surprising, EU Observer reports: US citizens and other non-EU nationals who enter Europe will be asked to have their faces image-captured and fingerprints scanned upon arrival at a half-dozen major airports. [emphasis added] This "biometric dragnet" is the pilot test for the EU's new "smart borders" packages. The test ...
Breaking: Google gives new meaning to “Orwellian”
2015-03-02 18:14
Becomes Ministry of Truth “…if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.” (1984, George Orwell) The New Scientist has the stunning story (2/28/15, “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links,” by Hal Hodson): “THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories ...
Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead in Shadow of Kremlin - A Staged Shooting?
2015-02-28 22:37
NY Times: Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead in Shadow of Kremlin Mr. Nemtsov, a former first deputy prime minister of Russia, was killed in central Moscow in the highest-profile assassination in Russia during the tenure of President Vladimir V. Putin. A Staged Shooting? ... Why does the dead body of fitness enthusiast Boris Nemtsov have a pot belly? The Anti-New York Times doesn't ...
Spielberg's Hoax - The Last Days of The Big Lie
2015-02-28 20:18
Editor's Note: This is an absolutely SHOCKING video. How this has gone largely unchallenged for such a long time, is a remarkable testimony to the trustworthiness of gullible but good-hearted people. Watch it all the way to the end and learn something new about the remarkable lies and falsehood in our world. If the video is blocked in your country, see ...
More News »