iowastate / Member

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The Ugly American is still active.

For anyone who has read the 1958 novel "The Ugly American" which was amazingly accurate for the time we have just gotten proof that this syndrome is alive and well in American politics.

The novel takes place in a supposedly fictional southeast Asian nation but that was when we began interfering in the eventually failed struggle to combat the "evil" of international communism.

notice how Mandela who was on the terrorist list and not allowed a visa to the United States is now hailed as a hero?

In the novel, a Burmese journalist says "For some reason, the [American] people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious."

What has happened recently is the same double standard.

United States embassies are considered American soil and beyond touch in the countries they visit however our government evidentally does not believe in giving the same treatment to their "supposed" allies.

Witness the treatment of Devyani Khobragade, the Deputy Consul General of India, hardly a simple staff member, who was arrested and strip searched in New York.

For espionage or being a threat to the security of the government?

it must have been something really serious, right?

she was accused by her maid of not providing her with a proper salary and not treating her nicely.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with international protocol the embassies are not required to follow the American system of jurisprudence even while over here - there is a thing called "Diplomatic Immunity" which our government considers sacrosanct for out diplomats but is ignoring for the visiting dignitaries and that is why the Government of India is in such an uproar and I don't blame them a bit.

Considering that for some reason Ms Khobragde is still under charges I would expect that without these chareges being dropped forthwith and both she and her government being given an immediate apology I would expect and even hope that our Ambassador be expelled and returned to Washington.

This is an inexcusable mistake and faux pas by the Untied States (not a spelling error)

p.s. in the book "The Ugly American" that sobriquet applies to the diplomats and the majority of the businessmen.

the hero of the book was a man who lived among the people of the country he loved, spoke the language and did his best to improve the lives of those who had the hardest lives.

the ideal of the Peace Corp rather than the reality where largely untrained volunteers are dropped in and create havoc as often as they aid the people they wish to help. Volunteers by Tom Hanks is one of my favourite movies though.