Ship pirated: "All Americans"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jknight8907, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    #1
    Reference this article: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5glmgfimqhAuZKwq54lTM619tivUwD97ELL901

    I quote:

    In this and all other coverages of this event that I've read, a huge deal was made of the fact that the crewmen were American. Why? Are American lives more valuable than, say, British lives? Italians? Russians? etc etc. Why is the fact that the crew were Americans such a STARTLING piece of information?
     
  2. theDUB macrumors 6502a

    theDUB

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    #2
  3. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    #3
    So? Egos need to be inflated, or something?



    This thread isn't so much about pirates as much as it's about the question of an American attitude of superiority.
     
  4. theDUB macrumors 6502a

    theDUB

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    #4
    The associated press is an american news agency.

    If pirates taking an Italian crewed ship was reported by an italian news agency they would probably make a big deal of it too.

    What's your problem, exactly?
     
  5. jknight8907 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    I don't have a problem. I'm American myself. I just think it's silly to make the nationality of involved people such a huge deal.
     
  6. theDUB macrumors 6502a

    theDUB

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    #6
    OK, after actually reading the article, I have an answer to your question:

    It is notable that the crew was American because it is, appearently, rare that an American crewed vessel be taken by pirates.
     
  7. yojitani macrumors 68000

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    The same is done in Britain...and Japan. I don't remember it being so common in Germany, but that was a long time ago now :(.
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

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    #8
    When an American ship gets taken by pirates they take it back and make the pirates run away on a small life raft.
     
  9. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #9
    I believe this is the first time in recent history where an American Vessel with American crew has been taken by pirates. This is information worthy of noting because different governments deal with the problem differently and I think the whole world is interested in how the U.S. will deal with it.

    The same happened when a Saudi ship was taken. I remember them making a big deal out of it because it was thought that the Saudi's would be much more harsh to the pirates than some of the other countries' who had ships held hostage.

    I think the real question is why you're so sensitive to Americans being in the news. Do you also think it's ridiculous that BO got more press coverage than the leader of Japan at the G20?
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Are you positing that the fact that these people were Americans made a difference? Is it your contention that Americans are inherently braver or stronger or in some other way less pirate-able than people from other nations?
     
  11. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    Haha, its somewhat humorous at people's defensiveness when it comes to Americans. Don't take this personally, and this isn't about you Mac since you're from the U.S., but it reminds me so much of "small man's disease" where it's said they always feel like they have to overcompensate for some sort of internally perceived inferiority with nastiness and aggressiveness.
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #12
    First American flagship pirated in 200 years and they send the pirates packing on a life raft, you tell me.


    :p
     
  13. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #13
    With their captain as a hostage it should be said, so it's not exactly a massive bowl of cherries.
     
  14. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #14
    So more of a case of "They let the pirates go to keep the captain alive."
     
  15. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Could have been worse. Its a step in the right direction in my mind, someone has to fight back.
     
  16. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    So, I'm guessing you missed this occurrence every other time in the history of news reporting an event, since the number of Americans involved in an international event is told when reported by an American news agency.

    Plane crashes in Russia? If there were three Americans on board, that will be an addition to the news when told by American news.

    And so on...
     
  17. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    I couldn't agree with you more on the vacuous nature of such reporting jknight. It's persuasive amongst all the worlds medias. It always sickens me to hear that in X disaster all Australians are accounted for. As if faceless countrymen should mean something more to me than faceless foreigners.
     
  18. Peterkro macrumors 68020

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    #18
    The surprising thing about this to me is that there are non military ships in the world that have a all US crew, I thought that had stopped by the seventies.US officers sure but normally crewed by people from developing countries.
     
  19. freeny macrumors 68020

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  20. Don't panic macrumors 603

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    it's just a normal way to present the news in any parts of the world.
    and it is acceptable because people tend to be quite commonly more interested in what happen to people they relate to in some ways, nationality being one of them.
    Also, in case of an accident, it is more likely that relatives and friends of australians involved would be other australians, rather than, say, germans, so it makes journalistic sense that more details are discussed about australians than germans. it doesn't imply a scale of value, just a scale of newsworthiness.
     
  21. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #21
    So, .Andy... if you heard on the news that 100 people had died in a tragic fire just down the street from where you work... that wouldn't affect you any more than if 100 people in... Egypt or 100 people in South Africa had died of a similar fire? You have no closer ties to people who are more similar to you, live in the same area as you, grew up with similar values to you, etc.?

    Seems pretty ridiculous to me. I don't even know why we have the local news!!!! :)
     
  22. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #22
    "normal" doesn't mean it's right.

    This is what I think it is. It's just an added level of newsworthiness through drama. People like drama. If it happens to faceless foreigners it's not good news. If there's a possibility to put a local spin on it through the injection of local interest (the drama of people that live close by being affected) it's far more exciting. I don't think it's anything more complex than that or any more nuanced. And hence rather superficial and cynical.

    This isn't occurring down the street. The only connection I have with people from my country is that they were born in the same place as me. I should be equally affected by reports of death everywhere. Their race or nationality shouldn't really enter into it should it?

    If it's something I'm personally involved in or witnessed of course it is going to affect me more. Your analogy is flawed here. We're talking about international news.
     
  23. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #23
    I think you know that you're wrong here... but don't want to back-track. Obviously we will care about and empathize with people who are more similar to ourselves, or who grew up with more similar experiences, or who are geographically closer to us. Obviously. This is human nature, and frankly I do think it's "ok".

    This is why I, in Iowa, don't watch the local California News. It's why I, in the U.S. tend to read more U.S. news than British news or Indian News or Russian news. I agree with the poster above who mentioned that people here are willing to argue about anything. For crying out loud, it doesn't get much more simple than this. How anyone could argue with this basic logic, I'll never know. :(
     
  24. .Andy macrumors 68030

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    I can categorically say I don't emphathise with people based on how "similar" they are to me. If people die in an earthquake it's just as horrible irrespective of their nationality/skin colour/politics/experiences/similarity to myself. One shouldn't stratify fellow human beings on their socioeconomic and geographic similarity to oneself. Empathy can cross such divides.

    You're mixing up two issues here. You can watch the local news because there are issues on it that are relevant to you at your location. you don't watch your local news to get the weather so you can emphasise with people who are similar with you. You don't watch the local news to see the traffic report so you can emphathise about people who are more similar to you. You don't watch the local news to hear about politics so you can empathize with people more similar to you.

    What we're discussing here is the unequal treatment of individuals based on their nationality. *Should* an overseas disaster be more of more interest to me if there are nameless Australians hurt than if there were nameless American's hurt? Should I be relieved that my nationality isn't included in a death count? People from my city? People from my suburb? The answer is easy to all questions - no.

    And I can follow your logic. You're loud and clear that you care more about people who are more "similar" to you. I'm not sure that is something that one should be proud of or propagate. It's something that I don't ascribe to, or don't wish to ascribe to. And I think there's merit in not doing so.
     
  25. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    Maybe because its one of the first large scale pirate attack on a vessel with an American crew? Who knows and frankly who cares. If it were it were a ship with all British crew members and it was a British newspaper it would probably say something about how the crew members were all British. Why this is a big deal I don't understand. No one is saying American lives are worth more than any other nationality, its startling because most of the pirate attacks publicized recently haven't really included many Americans.

    It has nothing to do with egos, its because people tend to want to read about what happens in their or to people from their geographic area. I generally search out local news (county or city), then state, then national, then world news. Most people feel less connected to someone from China than they do to someone they don't know in their own country. Whether you think its right or wrong, its the way it is for a lot of people. People tend to seek out news that they think affects them in some minute way and they generally feel more of that connection when the nearer the event or person is to their geographic area or nation.


    I agree, people tend to empathize more with people they have something in common with, even if its something small like nationality. Do I still feel for the victims in the Italian earthquake? Certainly. But had it happened here in California I would probably feel a lot more empathetic because I have a common connection with the people here. Its human nature and I too think that its ok.

    And empathy routinely does. Most people, regardless of nationality, feel empathy for victims of the Italian quake or the tsunamis a few years back. People generally feel that emotion to a stronger degree when they have some connection to the incident though.

    I don't think its really unequal treatment, its more like unequal feelings of empathy, which is pretty different. If I could help a hurt Italian in the same capacity as a hurt American I certainly would and I think most Americans would, even if I felt less empathy for the Italian because of lack of some common connection (other than being human, which for most people isn't a very strong connection; however, if I was there and able to help I'm sure I'd feel a very large amount of empathy).
     

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