I have a healthy cynicism when it comes to the U.S. military, so when this morning I read that the U.S. Navy was sending a warship it used in the Iraq War in 2006 filled with Navy doctors, nurses, dentists, medical technicians, veterinarians and Seabee construction sailors to Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru for a mission called Continuing Promise 2008, a humanitarian mission, you’ll pardon me if I laughed a little.
The mission is supposed to change Latina America’s stereotypes of the U.S.
“It’s amazing sometimes the misperceptions that people have of America and the American people,” said the Boxer’s skipper, Capt. Matt McCloskey. “They think of America as ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ or ‘Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.’
“This is a chance to show them the real America and the real Americans, trying to be good neighbors.”
Except that this one ship comes at the same time the U.S. Navy has decided to set reestablish an entire fleet in the region, and not for a humanitarian mission.