You know, in the aftermath of the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners this week, it's clear why that nation is a third-world hellhole and not part of the developed world. The reasons are legion, but one of them stood out in stark relief over the past few months: their president simply doesn't know how to manage a major crisis.
I mean, look at this comparison with how El Presidente Sebastian Pinera handled that situation with how our own President Obama dealt with the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
Not once did President Pinera talk about how he was going to make certain that the mining company was properly brought to account for their misdeeds, promising to hold his boot to their throats.
He didn't demand an end to all mining everywhere.
He didn't snub offers of assistance from other nations.
He didn't vow to "not rest" until it was over, then take off on vacations and go golfing at the drop of a hat.
He didn't try to demonize the mining company.
He didn't use the crisis to advance his political agenda.
He didn't make sure that federal government officials were overseeing and micromanaging every aspect of the disaster response, keeping outsiders and other levels of government didn't get in the way.
Nope, El Presidente Pinera did just what you'd expect from any two-bit jefe from a two-bit backwater banana republic. He marshaled his nation's resources; requested and accepted aid from anyone, anywhere; kept the spotlight focused, laserlike, on the actual immediate crisis; ignored such matters as blame and responsibility who to punish; and most critically, failed to shore up the critical golfing industry by keeping his tee times.
Poor, poor Chile. Yes, your miners were rescued, alive and mostly healthy, but that was not because of your El Presidente and his response to the crisis, but despite it. The silly Chile-pepper simply doesn't have what it takes to be the leader of a modern, advanced nation.
Maybe some day, you will. Maybe some day you'll be as good as we are. But right now, you ain't there -- and you ain't headed in the right direction.
It's sad that it takes this perfect example of how to respond to a crisis, to put into prospective how badly the Obama Administration, compounded by bureaucracies, labor unions, and inept leadership handled the BP oil rig disaster.(This article is also instructional on how the rescue played out.)