Geez, I wish I had drawing skills. I don't, so I will have to rely on the 1,000 words.
The following scene came to me this weekend as I attempted to go back to sleep between bouts of cramps from a stomach flu. (I'm sure that had no bearing on the subject.)
Imagine that you are adrift in the ocean.
Rescue Option 1: USS Obama - US Coast Guard-ish vessel, moving slowly at first, but more swiftly by the minute. As she gets closer, you see that she's an old girl, with lots of recent battle wounds, but her decks are manned by your countrymen. They work steadily and eagerly to repaint the hull and decks, to repair battle damage, neglected parts and replacing outmoded equipement. As she nears you, a well-organized crew hurls a life-preserver your way. You're hauled aboard, given medical treatment and returned to shore swiftly.
Rescue Option 2: USS Clinton - The same vessel as above, but not much repair is taking place. Actually, most of the crew that's not involved in bickering, backstabbing or outright fistfights have relegated themselves to opposite sides of the vessel. On a bright note, there is one attractive deckhand that seems above the fray. It's the Chief Officer, Bill! He's expressing his desire to help you, but somehow gets distracted by a female deckhand and fails to do anything to help you as the vessel lumbers by.
Rescue Option 3: USS McCain - The hind-most portion of the vessel is a modern ship, but for some reason deckhands from every country seem to be fitting strange, wooden appendages marked "Made in China" all over the ship...they seem to be converting it to an 18th-century British Man O'War...
The few Americans you can see are manning the guns, which are firing madly in all directions while ship changes course erratically, giving a sense of having no clear target in mind. A few of the shells whiz by and you hope out loud that their firing doesn't kill you before they can rescue you.
As the ship occasions closer, you can see that the decks are lined with fat, white businessmen, lounging, telling jokes and smoking cigars. Occasionally, a business man will pick up a flaming $100 bill that has flown from the ship's stacks and uses it to light a new Havana Gold. The businessmen don't seem fazed by either the blasting of the guns or the smouldering mess of burning currency that flies from the stacks and litters the decks.
Large holes keep appearing in the hull. More businessmen, only smaller and thinner than those lounging on deck busily cut holes through the hull and have formed a thriving market of selling the pieces of hull to each other.
The ship's PA alternates between describing the yet invisible land ahead (a paradise to hear him tell it!) and telling you not to worry as God is going to save you.
As the ship draws near, you can that the bridge is lined with pictures of George W. Bush in royal attire. You hear someone mutter a profanity from the rear engine room ("So"?) but the figure disappears before you can make out his identity.
As the ship passes, the deckhands raise what appears to be an anchor, its top portion painted into the shape of a golden cross. They yell something to you, but you can't make it out (Spanish? Chinese?). Before you can deduce their meaning, they drop the anchor on you and the ship continues on.