Despite backing down from calling Americans "stingy," UN Official Jan Egeland launched the first salvo in what I think we will all come to expect the moment a major disaster, natural or by our own hand, erupts on our land. The big "Crocodile Tears" moment will be coming, when the world will offer a facial look of pity and sympathy and, either internal or external, offer nothing more than a simple "sorry," or a more heart-hitting "told you so."
For offering only $5 million less than what is termed by many, given its extraordinary costs, as a coronation rather than an inauguration, I hate to say it but our country got the slap in the face it deserved. How tragic is it that the one leading, or at least trying to lead, the charge in providing aid and comfort is not our currently elected leader, but rather our former (and nearly-impeached) president, Bill Clinton? And we have the nerve to call ourselves "a generous country?" Markos is right
: our President had the chance to show true leadership, and we once again failed, immeasurably.
For America as the leader of the free world, the greatest country in the world, and the richest nation on earth, it is not Clinton's job to be spokesperson for this nation, but yet he is. When leaders of other nations cut short their vacation time to help those that are in need, our President, the most vacation-friendly president ever, could not find it in his heart to cut his brush-clearing, bicycle-riding time to act as a real leader. Such arrogance and selfishness won't necessarily come back to bite him in the ass, but it will on the rest of us, and that is what pisses me off so much.
Whether you are a CEO, a Director, a Manager, a Captain, or President, as quoted in the Spiderman movie, "with great power comes great responsibility." You must understand that the actions you take will have an indirect or direct affect on those who work below you, whether you like it or not. But for our least-responsible President in history, he thinks the world revolves around him and his friends, the only people he sees. For such an outspoken Christian, having this kind of selfishness and irresponsible attitude is like pissing on the very Good Book Bush loves to support and bring up whenever he can.
I always go back to Chris Rock because while he does make me laugh, he does offer some interesting viewpoints. When discussing adultery, he mentions that after you cheat on your woman, "she forgives you, but she never forgets." Our lack of real sympathy, concern, and leadership is like Rock's discussion of adultery - the world may eventually forgive us, but they will never forget.
Even when a new president graces the steps of the White House in 2009, the world won't forget how America treated them the last eight years. At the turn of the decade, if not sooner, Americans will get a massive dose of reality. Chris Rock goes on to say that the woman you cheated on, who'll never forget that, may want to "work it out." And "work it out" means "payback. And you know what payback is? You ain't gonna get no pussy for a long time."
Since the rest of the international community knows that old saying "united we stand, divided we fall," the world will want to work things out, but our endless free ride will have an abrupt, and possibly tragic end. Americans will learn that a new leader and Congress won't erase eight years of hubris, eight years of international arrogance and ignorance, eight years of spite, eight years of destruction, eight years of unrelenting greed, eight years of hell.
That Crocodile Tear Moment will come when a tragedy or crisis occurs here, the kind that Americans will rightly or wrongly equate with the tsunami disaster in Asia, and the only thing the world can offer are words of support, however empty they may or may not be. Many wing-nuts will no doubt turn incredibly bitter and angry at the world, even going as far as to say that America should threaten nuclear war if the world doesn't help us. But our threats will be as empty as the words and actions we relayed to the world during the Bush era; the world will simply say, "Sorry...but we told you so."
It's funny to say this knowing that a Bush aide said, while describing the President's view on this matter, "Actions speak louder than words." In this age, actions do speak louder than words, and Bush this past week has had the opportunity to take that statement to heart. Now, sadly, whenever he tries to act presidential or caring or concerned, it will opined that he did so only because the world finally got on his case. George Bush - the greatest follower of the free world.
Americans, all caught up in their self-righteous, credit-card filled, materialistic, naval-gazing life, don't realize that as we dumb ourselves down, the world smarts itself up. Bush's lackadaisical response to the tsunami catastrophe, both in actions and words, is pretty much confirmed for most of the world where we stand. The world sees through us, through our political posturing and positioning. They know we don't care about them much. They know they are moving on without us. They know that our rope to the main mothership of world progress is about to be cut, leaving us stranded in an ocean we know nothing about.
But the scariest thing is that they know that we don't really know, and they are not caring anymore.
The Crocodile Tear Moment is coming.