It is with great solemnity that this question is raised. And I must attribute the quote to Commander Ahmad Masood, the head of the Afghan Northern Alliance who battled on many fronts and against many enemies with a high degree of distinction. Unfortunately when he spoke these words he was referring to our leaders in Washington D.C. and the situation was highly dubious as they had abandoned him at a time of need in the latter ’90’s when our support was promised yet not delivered due to dithering. He was ultimately killed by a suicide bomber acting as a TV reporter and commissioned by Osama bin Laden as he envied the Commanders worldwide popularity.
But in light of the tragic event off the coast of Italy and the subsequent events and reports unfolding literally by the minute, I feel the question is valid at this point. All reports indicate the Captain and the man responsible for the 4500 odd souls on board was engaged in consuming cocktails at the bar with a beautiful young lady as opposed to commanding his ship. When the ship struck ground and began to take on water it is being further reported that he was one of the first to abandon ship. So much for the Captain going down and you know the rest. It is further being reported that the crew was following the Captain and the passengers be damned.
As to the cause of the hit it is reported that crew “showboating”
was at play ie. sailing to close to the shore so as to allow members to wave to island lubbers. This is deemed to be the cause at this point. How stupid. Then according to passenger reports chaos ensued. No direction, not sure what to do, improper announcements. In other words a disgraceful exhibition by the staff and crew.
If that were not enough the just released tapes by Italian Coast guard will turn your stomach. They were speaking to the Captain and his 1st mate. Needless to say they were outraged and demanded for the two to return to the ship and do their jobs. They did not and will likely spend their days in jail for a host of crimes.
Furthermore the notion of “Woman and children first” seems to have been disregarded as numerous reports of fathers jumping onto rescue boats before their wives and children was also occurring. Talk about selfish behavior. I suppose it is easy to critique not having been there but I surely hope I would have acted differently and I know I would at least I hope so.
Perhaps the problem is the size of these luxury cruise ships. Over the top anyone? Staffed primarily by entertainers and cooks and nary a true sailor to be found. It could be a part of the problem. As to Captain and crew are they really sailors or just amusement directors? I can’t answer these questions not being an industry analyst but it sure seems, excuse this one, but Titanically incompetent. Recall as my Greek brethren did the same many years ago of the coast of South Africa. It is a sorry trend.
“Are there no real men left” I answer this with a firm YES. Recall the soldier awarded the posthumous Medal of Honor for jumping on a live grenade to protect his mates and insuring his death. A real man. Or the firefighters storming the twin towers to rescue those they did not even know. Real men. I believe courage and bravery surround us and I find these acts of cowardice to be isolated at best.
Humanity has its issues but I choose to believe in the better angels in everyone. I hope you do as well.
Article first published as <a href=’http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/costa-concordia-are-there-any-real/’>Costa Concordia. “Are There Any Real Men Left”?</a> on Technorati.