Freedom of Speech: American Style
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[Squints & Smirks] Bush Beating the Bush
CAMW Rating: A happy bear for the humor!
From the Korea Times
By Ahn Jung-hyo
``The American spy plane and its crew are finally going home, I guess,'' Kim Chi-man said. The reporter for a vernacular daily newspaper, a self-styled nationalist who often sound rather chauvinistic, seemed a little too much talkative Wednesday evening after two mugs of draft beer.
``So the Chinese gave in?'' I asked.
``Not until the Americans got tantalized enough to rephrase their response to the Chinese demand for an apology. `We've done nothin' wrong, so send the crew and plane back quick and prompt,' Washington kept saying. But now, they say they are 'sorry.'''
``Well, Americans are so used to telling people around,'' said Han Si-min, the owner of the video parlor, who had joined us for a casual drink at a beer-selling 'cafe' in my neighborhood. ``Especially Asian nations. As if they are American colonies.''
``President Bush has been beating the wrong bush this time, I guess,'' the reporter said. ``Or perhaps barking at the wrong tree.''
``Which means?'' I asked.
``President Bush looked so very impatient whenever he told China what to do about the spy plane his men had landed on Hainan Island,'' Kim said. ``Kept demanding China to do something quick about the plane and the pilots. Impatient because Chinese leaders were taking too much time for whatever decision and solution they're mulling about.''
``Huba huba, that's an authentic American spirit,'' I said. ``The nation of quick action. Shoot first and ask later.''
``But that's not the Oriental way, you know. The prompt way, I mean. Certainly not the Chinese way.''
``Do you know the fable about the three men and a skunk?'' Han Si-min said with a soft chuckle. I did not. Neither did Kim Chi-man.
``A Japanese, a Korean and a Chinese took into the same room with a skunk for the night at an inn,'' said the keeper of a video parlor jubilantly. ``The Japanese, the most impatient one of them all, burst out of the door hardly when he entered the room of the skunk, screaming, 'Pagayaro!'''
The reporter beckoned at the waiter to order another round of beer.
``An hour elapsed,'' the neighbor went on, ``and the Korean leisurely emerged from the room, saying, ``Boy, he smells bad.''
``Several more hours elapsed,'' the neighbor said, ``and the skunk left, leaving the Chinese alone in the room.''
``That sure is Chinese patience,'' we agreed, laughing.
``Now, the Americans were not even as patient as the Japanese during this spy plane incident,'' said Kim Chi-man. ``And the Chinese patience simply drove them mad.''
``The Bush Administration doesn't seem to understand how the Chinese mind works at all,'' said Han Si-min. ``And the Asian mind in general, as a matter of fact. I wonder how prompt an action Americans have been taking about the Japanese fishing boat their sub sunk off Hawaii while they kept demanding China for a prompt and immediate action for their own plane.''
``Maybe the current American diplomacy runs along one single rut,'' the reporter said. ``Applying the same rule all over the world, disregarding diversities of different nations and nationalities.''
``Telling everybody to move American quick,'' Han said.
``Why do Americans keep demanding the Chinese or any other Asian nations behave like Americans?'' I wondered. ``Why don't Americans behave, or at least try to think, like Asians or some weaker nations for a change?''
``You can say that again,'' said the reporter.
``You can't reform a national way of thinking overnight, can you?'' I said.
``Maybe President Bush wanted to prove that he can tell the whole world to do what he wants them to do,'' the reporter said. ``To show his people what a strong leader they have.''
``To impress and convince the people that they made the right choice, after all,'' Han said.
``Maybe he needed that after the Miami confusion,'' Kim said.
``Well, we can keep ordering our own beer,'' I said, ``if we can't order the world when and how to drink their beer.''
CAMW: This article is keen in one passage:
"The Bush Administration doesn't seem to understand how the Chinese mind works at all,'' said Han Si-min. ``And the Asian mind in general, as a matter of fact."
We need to employ our best resources in dealing with China: our Chinese Americans who know about the Chinese heritage, and have the best interest of America at heart.