Jan 9, 2005

Some Things are Better Left Unsaid

A short while back I wrote an essay entitled Why I Blog, in it I tried to explain how sometimes mere words are not enough to convey what one means to say, and how a deeper more intimate understanding of the language, the culture and the people you are attempting to communicate with is sometimes required to get your message across.

The International Herald Tribune ran a story on 5 January 2005 entitled "Powell says it plainly: Aid has image value", Colin Powell's quote from the article is below:

"We'd be doing it regardless of religion," Powell said. "But I think it does give the Muslim world and the rest of the world an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action - that we care about every individual and the dignity of every individual" as well as "the needs of every individual, regardless of faith."

Interestingly enough and to be expected, Powell's comments here in Southeast Asia are having the unintended effect of raising suspicion and mistrust rather than dispensing of it. Not only do the comments lack humility, but they seem to seek some sort of atonement for past sins. As if the onus is on America to prove something to the world and that we have failed in doing it.

The article and Powell's comments seem to suggest that America is hopeful to score some political points out of this terrible tragedy. The message Powell unwittingly conveys is that America now stands a chance to gain out of another's misfortune.

Should Asians and the rest of the world be thankful for this catastrophe that it now gives them an opportunity "to see American generosity"?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License