An American gets a bit truthful with a roomful of European colleagues who are laughing at how “dumb” Bush was to send an aircraft carrier to a disaster area. The only other non-laugher was a Hindi who lost family in the disaster. Varifrank’s response was amazing.
I found it via Instapundit.
Note: When I went back to find this, I couldn’t. I found it via something else, so I want to quote it here, even though it is very long. If I can figure out why the link didn’t work, I will remove it.
Today, I was “Unprofessional”…
Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve been deeply enmeshed in one of those “go live at the end of the year” projects that we in the IT industry have learned to love. The kind where managers assume that since no one is working, why that would be the perfect time to go live!
Of course, it means that your doing complex work at the point of maximum distraction with many many holidays and no staff.
This year we had a major distraction, and I’m bothered that I described it that way.
On Christmas Day, a disaster visited the human race. Hundreds of thousands of people, quietly living their lives on the edge of the sea were killed. They were killed, not by suicide bombers or suitcase nukes or crazed men hijacking planes into buildings. They were killed with simple seawater. Those that were killed werent just simple minded fools who wandered lemming like out into the unusually low tide, only to be mowed down by the sudden flood. They were people enjoying the sights from the second story of a hotel when the ocean rose up to engulf them. The horror of it all hasnt even begun to sink in to most of us.
There is a tendancy in the western world to overlook the disasters of the third world. Unless it involves us “white folks”, the press of the western world does not seem to care or think that we do. In this disaster, one example of disgusting western depravity could be found in the many press outlets that made big news out of a “supermodel” who was (gasp!!!) harmed in the disaster. Imagine if someone on September 12th had published a report that Zsa Zsa gabor and her poodle were put out by the lack of cabs in Manhattan. It made me sick to my stomach to see this item on the news.
Today, The Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that 5,000 Americans could not be accounted for, Sweden also announced roughly the same figure for their citizens.
Now we care. And shame on us all.
Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro collegues tossed this little turd out to no one in particular:
” See, this is why George Bush is so dumb, theres a disaster in the world and he sends an Aircraft Carrier…”
After which he and many of my Euro collegues laughed out loud.
and then they looked at me. I wasn’t laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting next to me, who has lost family in the disaster.
I’m afraid I was “unprofessional”, I let it loose –
“Hmmm, let’s see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a disaster, now what kind of ship would we want?
Something with its own inexhuastible power supply?
Something that can produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?
Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the fresh water, it could help distribute it?
Something with 4 hospitals and lots of open space for emergency supplies?
Something with a global communications facility to make the coordination of disaster relief in the region easier?
Well “Franz”, us peasants in America call that kind of ship an “Aircraft Carrier”. We have 12 of them. How many do you have? Oh that’s right, NONE. Lucky for you and the rest of the world, we are the kind of people who share. Even with people we dont like. In fact, if memory serves,once upon a time we peasants spent a ton of money and lives rescuing people who we had once tried to kill and who tried to kill us.
Do you know who those people were? that’s right Franz, Europeans.
Theres is a French Aircraft carrier? where is it? Right where it belongs! In France of course! Oh why should the French Navy dirty their uniforms helping people on the other side of the globe. How Simplesse…
The day an American has to move a European out of the way to help in some part of the world it will be a great day in the world, you sniggering little f**knob…”
The room fell silent. My hindi friend then said quietly to the Euros:
“Can you let your hatred of George Bush end for just one minute? There are people dying! And what are your countries doing? Amazon.com has helped more than France has. You all have a role to play in the world, why can’t you see that? Thank God for the US Navy, they dont have to come and help, but they are. They helped you once and you should all thank God they did. They didnt have to, and no one but them would have done so. I’m ashamed of you all…”
He left the room, shaking and in tears. The frustration of being on the other side of the globe, unable to do anything to assist and faced with people who could not set aside their asininity long enough to reach out and help was too much for him to bear. I just shook my head and left. The Euros stood speechless.
Later in the breakroom, one of the laughing Euros caught me and extended his hand in an apology. I asked him where he was from, he said “a town outside of Berlin”. He is a young man, in his early 20’s.
I asked him if he knew of a man named Gail Halvorsen.
He said no.
I said “that’s a shame” and walked away to find my Hindi friend.