26 December 2007:
Yes, we're an imperfect country...and some of the media delights in that, pointing it out to us repeatedly. But here's a pleasant read about America and our unselfish motives around the world.
When in England at a large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
empire building by George Bush. He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedombeyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
It became very quiet in the room.
Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 5,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"
Once again, dead silence.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French
Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone
was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, 'whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, "Maybe its because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German"
You could have heard a pin drop!