The Ongoing Story of the Ugly American

Forty odd years ago, Graham Greene wrote a famous book entitled The Ugly American which also was made into a motion picture. The story is basically that of a well meaning American who continually makes political mistakes because of ignorance of local customs and people. The ugly American scenario was recently re-enacted by Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, who handles East Asia and Pacific Affairs. On a trip to the Philippines, Hill commented that recent elections in the country demonstrated that “democracy in the Philippines has already matured.” The comment came after an international observers mission had concluded, based on field evidence, that the elections had been absolutely chaotic and the mission has doubt as to whether the Philippines can be categorized as a democratic state.

Alejandro Lichauco, writing in the Daily Tribune, commented on Hill’s statement. “Now, don’t you consider that’s a blatant example of US interventionism, calculated to give the world the impression that, as far as the US government is concerned, nothing, after all, went wrong with the elections, and that all those complaints and protest of fraud, terrorism, vote-buying, and voter intimidation, were pure fancy? And that therefore, political business should now proceed as usual and nothing should be allowed to upset the administration applecart.”

The present Philippine government supports Bush in Iraq so that means it must be democratic. After all, we Americans are fighting against those who oppose democracy, so it stands by logic that any government supporting our glorious fight must, by definition, be a democracy. The ugly American of Graham Greene led to the defeat of any hope a democratic government could be established in Vietnam, and one suspects the same ugly Americans are doing something similar in the Middle East and other parts of the world. One wonders where Bush finds these people for his administration. Oh well, I really know the answer, they are loyal Republicans and that is all that counts. I suspect a prospective candidate must submit to a competence test prior to getting a position in the Bush administration. If he passes, it is an automatic denial of a position.
Information from Daily Tribune

Oh, here is the headline appearing in the Manila Sunday Times:
“Lunaro del Sur special Polls Marred by Violent Fraud”