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Poor Taste

Chile's president is on a world tour to bask in on the glory of the miners' rescue and benefit from the huge media interest. That might be poor taste. (I think it is, but still alright in terms of pursuing national interests.)

What is definitely poor taste is the phrase the president wrote in a government guest book in Berlin. Sebastian Pinera wrote "Deutschland ueber alles," or "Germany above all." He has now apologized, reports Yahoo! News.

The European and North American media also demonstrates poor taste considering its obsession with the 33 Chilean miners while at the same time ignoring the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Pakistan caused by the floods. See the article by Sidra Tariq, cross-culture intern at atlantic-community.org.

Endnote: A few Latin American friends of mine told me in the past that we should include their countries when discussing transatlantic relations because the continent has an Atlantic coast and European heritage/history. Well, here you go ;-(

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Zyme on :

"Pinera says he learned the slogan in school during the 1950s and '60s and understood it to be a celebration of German unification under Otto von Bismarck." Well he was pretty accurate wasn't he? Hadn't this phrase been coined in the second Reich? "He adds that he was unaware it was "linked to that country's dark past." Oh dear - it appears we have been so apologetic for decades that foreigners will have to apologize for bringing us into a context we have already gotten over with.

Marie Claude on :

well from where he lives, people hadn't the same perception of the slogan

Pamela on :

Dear Sidra, The flood has most certainly been covered, not least by what is still considered to be the newspaper of record, the New York Times. Pakistan Flood Sets Back Infrastructure by Years http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/world/asia/27flood.html 2010 Pakistan Floods http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/f/floods/2010_pakistan_floods/index.html Pakistan Flood Disaster Relief: How to Help http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/pakistan-flood-disaster-relief-how-to-help/ There are many more articles, not just from the NYT. I am so very sorry for your country's suffering. Our family lost my father's patrimony in a flood caused by hurricane Gloria in 1985. I know first-hand what water does. I'd rather face fire. You write: ------------- The colossal devastation caused by the floods has come at a time when Pakistan is already beset with the enormous losses incurred from fighting terrorism. No country with the resources and capacity of Pakistan could meet an assault of such magnitude on its economy. The international media is required to intensify its coverage in order to convince international leaders, private concerns, and the general public to extend their full support to Pakistan. A lot of those in international circles are hesitant in donating to Pakistan for the fear that such assistance might be pocketed by several corrupt institutions or politicians. ----------- Yes. That is a true statement. And the Pakistani people are paying the price for the institutional corruption and the government support for terrorism. It sucks. I'm sorry. ------------ As for Pinera's cultural mis-step. Cut him a break. Just this once. He's on an adrenaline high. When reality kicks in - it always does - it's going to be a bitch. ---------- "The European and North American media also demonstrates poor taste considering its obsession with the 33 Chilean miners while at the same time ignoring the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Pakistan caused by the floods" I've already demonstrated that the U.S. media has not ignored the floods in Pakistan. I'm not clued into European media so I can't speak to any 'obsession' with the Chilean miners in that regard. There was certainly a lot of coverage in the U.S. media. And why not? It is a phenominal story of human endurance and cooperation. What you do NOT see in the U.S. media - or anywhere else - is the contribution made not just by the U.S. gov't (NASA), but by individual Americans who hauled ass to Chile and drilled down to get them out. Here is the story that is not getting any attention. China Recovers Bodies of Remaining Trapped Coal Miners; 37 Dead http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-18/china-recovers-bodies-of-remaining-trapped-coal-miners-37-dead.html China is not releasing any details, so I don't know if those miners could have been saved. That the miners in Chile were is a testament to the very best of humanity. Unless you're that guy with a wife and how many mistresses and you just got caught. Oops.

Joe Noory on :

[blockquote]The European and North American media also demonstrates poor taste considering its obsession with the 33 Chilean miners while at the same time ignoring the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Pakistan caused by the floods.[/blockquote] Why single out the west? NHK and CCTV were "all Chilean miners, all the time", and barely covered the floods in Pakistan at all. The man who ignored the floods the most was Pakistan's PM who kept partying in London during the worst of it, saying somethign to the effect if "floods happen" when faced with the question.

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