PHuKET: How typical of Phuket that the massive nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the warship USS Princeton should become pawns in an argument about money.
Even if the blame for the latest Phuket indignity lies with the contracted marine service group, it's Phuket's reputation that is being shredded.
How much more thoughtless and irresponsible can people on Phuket get?
While the wrangle goes on, it's the innocent US servicemen and women who are being fleeced in a new way by Phuket's tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.
It may not be a problem created by the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers - but it's certainly their greed we are now seeing in action once again.
Want to get to Patong, sailor? That will be 2000 baht for you and your friends. Want to get back at 2am? Maybe 4000 baht, if you're lucky.
It has taken Phuket to bring superpower rivals China and America together to agree: Phuket stands for trouble, Phuket stands for corruption, Phuket stands for greed.
We hope the US Ambassador does what China's Ambasador did this week and holds a public meeting to tell the Phuket authorities and the Phuket media exactly what she thinks of Phuket.
The absence of ''duty of care'' on this international tropical holiday island not only puts lives needlessly at risk. It also reflects shamefully on some greedy locals and their wish-washy administrators.
While most tourists keep coming and manage to enjoy themselves, those with two eyes and a nose can see and smell the problems that Phuket's so-called leaders ignore.
Phuket needs a major shakeup, an overhaul that sorts out all the problems before its once-bright future is tarnished forever.
We hope the US joins with China and Europe and demands immediate changes. The alternative for them all is simple: lift anchor and sail on to somewhere else.