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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 28,390,502  

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Question of the Week: 36 - 4/9/2001

Should the United States Apologize to China

Hopefully, the tense situation between China and the U.S. will resolved soon and the flight crew will come home. Should the United States apologize to help make that happen? Both sides state that the other side is at fault. Is it national pride, administration politics or just plain stubbornness at work here? Both countries came out early with the saber rattling. Did they both say too much, too soon and now must 'save face' and not back away from that position? How do Pagans in other countries view this incident? Does pride really cometh before a fall? Is principle or practicality more important in certain situations? If you were running things, what would YOU do?

 Reponses:   There are 32 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

First: I Think The Chinese Government Doesn't Want An Apology. They Want... Apr 8th. at 4:11:43 pm EDT

Stormkitten (Fairfax, Virginia US) Age: 24

First: I think the Chinese government doesn't want an apology. They want the US to abase themselves before the world.

I think that the Chinese government is deliberately trying to draw the US into war, myself. They've been deliberately inciting us for years over multiple incidents, like the Dalai Lama and Tibet and Tianenmen Square and Taiwan, and now this. They've got these big fancy nukes, and just like any child with a new toy, they've got a yen to try it out. And that is what must be avoided at all cost. (Note here that I say the government, not China as a country!)

As much as I hate to say it, I think the US should refuse to take the bait. There is a line between apology and abasement, and that is what needs to be walked here. The last thing the world needs is a major superpower war. The US should apologize. They should not do more than that.

The Us Should Apologize. Bush's Words Early Last Week Were Nothing But... Apr 9th. at 3:17:57 pm EDT

T.J. (Billings, Montana US) Age: 45

The US should apologize. Bush's words early last week were nothing but threats, and then when he saw that his actions were doing nothing but provoking nastiness from them, he started to blunder, and by Thursday, he was babbling at the podium.

The precedent for this was set with the U-2 spy plane in the 1960's. A *spy* plane was caught here. While I don't respect China's politics, particularly on their treatment of their own civilians, the fact that they caught someone spying on them, and are angry about it is quite justified. I'd like to know how Bush would respond if the situation were reversed. Somehow I doubt the plane from China would be going back very fast, either.

Bush needs to stop being the schoolyard bully and suck up to the fact that he screwed up yet again. This presidency is going OH so well so far. Makes me ashamed to be an American with a president like him. He's doing nothing but promoting our country as a bunch of bigheaded thugs who are whining about getting caught. No wonder the world hates Americans.

This Is A Tough Question, As I'm Neither A Fan Of The... Apr 9th. at 4:08:35 pm EDT

Kensho Godchaser (Bellevue, Washington US) Age: 27 - Email

This is a tough question, as I'm neither a fan of the Bush administration nor the Chinese Communists. I'm hesitant to make ANY judgment, as both governments are spinning out propoganda and jingoistic hysteria at alarming rates. Frankly, the reaction of both sides sicken me. The Communists are fomenting hate and venom against the US as usual through Xinhua and online message boards. The US, meanwhile, now insists domatically that it won't apologize for the tragic loss of life involved *even if the facts turn up errors made by the spy plane crew*.

Is no one in this country saddened that we live in a world so dominated by narrow political interests that we can't mourn the death of the Chinese pilot as a loss to *humanity*, instead of a "casualty" for "the other side"?

To me, this event raises a larger question about our government and its relationship to China. Why have we done NOTHING to prevent human rights abuses by the Chinese Communists until the lives of 24 Americans entered the mix? We won't refuse to endorse China's entry into the WTO because of the 1.2 million Tibetans they've tortured and killed over the past 40 years, or the thousands they massacred in Tiananmen Square in 1989, but we'll threaten that carrot because a spy plane took a rough landing? Goddess help us!

Should The U.s. Apologize? Simple Put No. First Off The Reconosince Plane... Apr 9th. at 4:46:12 pm EDT

John (Annapolis, Maryland US) Age: 26 - Email

Should the U.S. apologize? Simple put no. First off the Reconosince plane was in international waters when the collision occured. Secondly the plane made an emergency landing which is allowed under International laws. Third since when is spying on each other something new or technicoly illegal, sure no side likes being spyed on but lets get real spying is something we have done since we learned to stand up right. If the Chinese want to keep the stinking airplane they should just do it but there is absolutley no reason for them to keep the crew. Most of the material should have been destroyed or zeroized (erased) by the crew before they landed if they were doing thier job properly. I'm sorry that thier pilot died and that is the only thing we should say sorry for his death.
Beside the accident was most likely the result of hotdogging by the Chinese pilot trying to scare the Americans on board by coming up in front of them in an after burner climb and he came to close. Considering that one the U.S. plane is a propeller plane and cannot manuver as well or as fast as a jet.Two there should be no way a recon plane with better than average radar and radio devices would not see and try to avoid any other plane.

Are We As Americans So Vein And Overflowing With Mishandled Pride That... Apr 9th. at 5:26:28 pm EDT

Demarkus Hawkins (Indianapolis, Indiana US) Age: 25

Are we as americans so vein and overflowing with mishandled pride that we can't even say a simple "I'm sorry" regardless if we were in the right or wrong? If it brings those pilots home, I say do it. Hell, send China a Hallmark card! It works every time!

I Know That If A China Spy-plane Crashed And Killed Two Of... Apr 9th. at 5:52:59 pm EDT

Theresa (Boynton Beach, Florida US) Age: 34

I know that if a China spy-plane crashed and killed two of OUR people, we would probaley want more than an appology. President Bush's foolish "pride" is going to get us all in trouble one of these days. He should appologize for the killing of the Chinese who died because of the plane crash, and then get our men out of there!!!

Frankly, I Couldn't Care Less. The President Of This Country Has Made... Apr 9th. at 7:12:26 pm EDT

Aedh Rua (Prophetstown, Illinois US) Age: 35

Frankly, I couldn't care less. The president of this country has made it clear that my religion is not a real religion to him. The fundies who now rule this country have made it clear for decades that they don't regard me as a "real American" because of my relgion. Now, a group I once greatly respected has decided that, because of my religion alone, I am some kind of white supremist hate-monger. Fine. If America won't have me, then I am not an American, in any sense.

This conflict is to me an egotistical little pissing match between two "presidents", neither of whom is in fact legally elected. The shame of it is that several American flyers who were just doing their duty, as they have for decades in that part of the world, had to get caught in the middle of this stupidity, and are imprisoned, basically for no good reason.

I certainly do not think that the Chinese are in the right, here, but neither are the Americans. In simple point of fact, this whole thing is just a waste of time, money, and potentially of human lives, should it get out of control. Two so-called "great powers" are risking war for, well, no one is quite sure what.

Personally, I wish the two governments involved would just cut the stupid crap, pick up their marbles, go home, and try to do something useful. Is this too much to ask? Apparently.

Several issues of Pagan Perspectives ago, I suggested that if things got too hot in the United States, that maybe some smart foreign government would be willing to take in a bunch of highly computer literate American Pagans. The time to think about this option is apparently coming sooner than I could ever have imagined possible.

I'd Like To Use My Two Cents To Introduce A Flavor Of... Apr 9th. at 8:02:49 pm EDT

Nelli (Santa Cruz, California US) Age: 24 - Email

I'd like to use my two cents to introduce a flavor of paranoid conspiracy...
One of the best (and well-proven) ways to stimulate an economy in recession is to have a war. Paid attention to the stock market lately? And there china is, the last great bastion of communism... and here we are with a president who has all the compassion of any aristocratic spoiled brat and all the imagination of a pebble (perhaps less, depending on where you stand on the souls of rocks). And we already have ample evidence that he'll do whatever it takes to become and remain "most powerful".
I think I should write whodunits!
Let's just all pray that someone's good sense prevails, and that people on each side of the issue can retain the perspective that war = bad, peace = good.
Blessed be... .

This Whole Mess Has Nothing To Do With Who Was At Fault... Apr 9th. at 8:59:11 pm EDT

Tanais (Spokane, Washington US) Age: 20

This whole mess has nothing to do with who was at fault. Chinese hate Americans and Americans hate Chinese. Ok I'm over simplifying but that's the basic stance with our conflicting governments. Nobody can convince me that the Cinese government cares what happened to their pilot. They want to spin this to their advantage. Get some aviation and intelligence gathering technology from the United States while pretending to be a victim. Then we have our "fearless leader" Bush listening to one too many lawyers instead of bringing the detained Americans home. Bush is also trying to spin this crisis to his political advantage by making him look like the good guy in the eyes of the Americans and compitent in the eyes of the rest of the Republican party by listening to his lawyers. Anyone else find it convenient the wife of the missing pilot was crying in bed asking for an appology from the United States? I've never been married but my first reaction wouldn't be to lay blame on a foriegn government. The loss of life doesn't even register with the leaders of these countries. China has committed horrible atrocities for many years but nobody on the news is talking about that. They are talking about how this death effects the Bush presidency. Tibetans get massacred but it took the death of one pilot for the US to threaten "strained relations". What is wrong with that sentence? All the while this is going on an innocent woman lost the man she loves and she is having her grief used as mass propeganda. All I can say is we sorta elected Bush and all I can do is prey he decides to do the right thing.

I Know That We Are Not Supposed To Post More Than One... Apr 9th. at 9:14:07 pm EDT

Aedh Rua (Prophetstown, Illinois US) Age: 35 - Email

I know that we are not supposed to post more than one opinion, but, just to be clear, when I write about American Pagans relocating to another country, China is not remotely the one I have in mind. I am sure there are some nice quasi-neutral nations somewhere which are willing to welcome us, and to stay out of silly squabbles over nothing.

Neither China nor the United States would appear to be that country.

Blessing Out To The Pilot That Is Missing Or Killed. I Will... Apr 10th. at 12:37:19 am EDT

Riki Crosado (Christchurch, New Zealand) Age: 34 - Email

Blessing out to the pilot that is missing or killed. I will ask one simple question. What would the US do if a chinese SPY plane had to land on us soil? I think it is right to protect the intrests of your country. I think the US is wrong here to be spying on other countrys. The chinese are only protecting thier soil. I don't back the chinese, and I don't think the chinese government is a evil that will end one day soon. But in the end, the US plane was spying on the chinese. That is wrong. I only hope that the US government apologizes soon so that the crew of the SPY plane can go home!

Okay, I'll Repost, As Requested! I Really Think We Should All Stop... Apr 10th. at 5:28:53 am EDT

Jools (Rhyl, England UK) Age: 34 - Email

Okay, I'll repost, as requested! I really think we should all stop being so touchy - we all know that our own government spies on other governments, and that they spy on us ( including the ones we're supposed to be allied to), so what's all the fuss for? The crew of the downed USA plane and their families have been put through all this trauma for what is, basically, the posturing and gesticulation of various governmental departments. THIS IS ABOUT PEOPLE, the American crew and the family of the Chinese pilot, not the blustering of various governmental officials. What was wrong with administering any and all necessary first aid to the downed crew, giving them a brief " slap on the wrists" speech, and handing them back to the USA with a mutual shrug of the political shoulders and an "okay, you caught us" or "okay, we caught you"? Then the USA could have sent a private apology to the Chinese pilot's family ( though I, too, find it hard to believe that an ultra-mobile thing like a fighter couldn't avoid that huge plane), and everyone would have been happy? It infuriates me that the victims of this incident have become pawns in the inter-govermental chess game - and why is it that the minute adults get involved with politics, they all turn in to playground whingers?!

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