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Ugly Americanism redux August 4, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

For generations, Americans have had the deserved image when abroad of being self-centerred and arrogant as far as understanding and respecting that they are in another country. Americans travel with the attitude that everywhere ought to be exactly like the US as far as customs and laws, except when the customs are quaint enough to attract their tourists’ curiosity. They think freedoms of access, speech, the press, innocent until provent guilty, ad nauseum are the way the world ought to be, so they behave as if it is.

The latest cases in point are the hikers who were in Iraqi Kurdistan and accidentally wandered into Iran. They, like their ilk of the two reporters who wandered over the Chinese- North Kprean border, are either totally oblivious to the world or as arrogant as hell. In both cases, they were near a poorly marked border of a nation that is hostile to the US. They did not understand that this means, in those other nations’ terms, also hostile to US citizens.

Next we will most likely hear of idiot Americans wandering around Darfur and getting kidnapped by Arab tribesmen or maybe Hugo Chavez will host some guests. These people create their own terrible situations and expect the rest of the world and especially the government that issued their passports to save them. That government had much more important things to deal with, particularly with those hostile nations that are developing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. Stay the heck out of the area, all of you idiots, and let the US focus on real issues.



1. AlchemX - August 4, 2009

I’d say these other countries have some even dumber people actually. Americans are so free, they often forget how not free the rest of the world is, that’s very sad itself.

I feel the world should have all of those rights in every country, any country without them is usually a shitty place.

But yeah, stay out of parts of the world that are stupid.

2. fetzthechemist - August 4, 2009

I made no value judgement about those places, but agree with you. If you want freedoms, then pick the right places to be. If you want risk, take the chances and also accept the consequences. I can spit on a Bible here and not get arrested, although I might be vilified. Assuming the same in Tehran and spitting on the Koran would be asinine.

3. AlchemX - August 5, 2009

Leave the value judgements to the readers, as a blogger you are only allowed so many, lol. The two girls in Korea were just freed after Bill’s visit. He definitely has a way with the ladies.

4. The Chemist - August 7, 2009

I still find Jesse Jackson’s success rates as an unofficial hostage negotiator surprising. (I know he had nothing to do with this, but I’m reminded of it nonetheless)

I’ve found that longtime expats in other countries are very critical of interlopers and newcomers who screw up and expect to get a diplomatic bailout. They take it personally in many cases. I remember the case of the two Brits who were having sex on the beach in Dubai and getting arrested after throwing things at the cop who told them to take it somewhere else. All my old friends from Abu Dhabi, be they American, Canadian, non-Emirati Arabs, South Africans etc. uniformly thought it was asinine on the part of the two Brits. All the UK expats I talked to didn’t think their government should have gotten involved.

I remember being exceedingly pissed off that an Atlanta record producer was arrested with a hotel room full of hard drugs in Dubai and got off because of intervention from the city. Even though I’m not really a believer in making drugs illegal, I’m less in favor of promoting a tiered justice system anywhere. Had it been some Pakistani laborer with a little pot, you better believe he’d get the full sentence on the nose.

5. The Chemist - August 7, 2009

(I should clarify, the city that intervened was the city of Atlanta, not Dubai.)

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