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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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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
| I Don't Really Believe The United States Should Have Had Their Spy... ||Apr 14th. at 3:32:08 pm EDT|
|Joseph Hancock (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan CA) ||Age: 41 |
I don't really believe the United States should have had their spy plane over in that part of the world when it is supposed to be at peace with the People's Republic of China. This may fly in the face of a lot of people but I do think that if an apology is owed then the US should be first to tender it. I also think it would be appropriate for China to also apologize, both parties to shake hands, and both try to live a little more peacefully after this. Blame or fault is generally on both sides of these incidents but I think the United States spy plane triggered the incident.
| Having Spent Over 20 Years In The Military Defending Our Freedom Of... ||Apr 13th. at 10:14:41 pm EDT|
|Carlee (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 40 |
Having spent over 20 years in the military defending our freedom of religion, among other things....the last thing Bush should do is apologize. The aircrew would not want it, and accepting responsibility would leave the crew open for prosecution by the Chinese! Remember, this is a very different culture, and not a free one as ours is. (However, Dubbya got a little too arrogant at the start...and made the situation worse) Thank the Goddess the crew is home safe - props don't fly well when you lose two engines on one side!!
| In Today's World, Covert Intelligence Or Spying Is Not Only Common, It... ||Apr 13th. at 8:26:58 am EDT|
|Frank (Okeechobee, Florida US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
In today's world, covert intelligence or spying is not only common, it is a requirement if we are to ensure national security. It's nasty business and opens up doors to all kinds of problems. I know allot of us would like to see it go the way of the dinosaurs, but sadly, it will not. As for the apology, things go deeper than just saying, "Hey look man, I'm sorry." In countrys like China, the word "Apology" carries more than just the common sentiments of regret. If the U.S. were to fromally apologize, we are in fact saying, "We accept full responsibility, it was all our fault and our honor is less because of it." Saying things like "Im sorry" and "We apologize" are very serious phrases when it comes to diplomacy and world affairs. Sadly, relations on this scale cannot be so easily or innocently managed. There are no easy or universally agreeable approaches to this problem, what must be done is a careful analysis of the situation and a mutually agreeable solution. Remember, the government of China must save face, like it or not. Were they to allow us to just saunter in thier country and just run things, they would lose respect and standing in thier country and in the world. That's not only unacceptable, it can be dangerous on a global scale. Personally, I think this whole thing was handled the best way it could have been, considering who we were dealing with. As for the President, when it comes to things like this, I'm thankful that people like Colin Powell and the Vice President are on the team. President Bush is just not seasoned enough to deal with countries like China, they have no respect for him. He's unproven. Cheney and Powell are differnt. China respects Cheney's experience and his ability. As for Powell, we all know who really solved this mess in China, and so does he. When you look at Powell, think "President", after all, he will have that title one day.
| The U.s. Should Use This As An Opportunity To Get The Truth... ||Apr 13th. at 2:39:41 am EDT|
|Dream (here, Michigan US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
The U.S. should use this as an opportunity to get the truth into the open: we will continue to spy on you until you disarm, as we expect you will continue to spy on us. Does this change anything? Maybe. You have proved yourselves decent enough to return our people to us. Now we have to find a way to prove ourselves as hospitable/decent/human as you.
Never stop working for a better world.
| Repost: Yeah All Countries Spy On One Another. That Is Just A... ||Apr 11th. at 10:32:28 pm EDT|
|Autumn SilverFerret (Montoursville, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Repost: Yeah all countries spy on one another. That is just a cold fact. As another post said we got caught. I think Bush should get past his pride and apologize, if that's what it takes to get those American citizens home, then so be it. For a man who doesn't even believe that my religion is real, he certainly doesn't follow his own. He doesn't seem to hold those human lives as sacred or he would apologize. Instead he risks theirs for a silly little spat. Don't get me wrong I love this country. We have a written constitution, some countries don't. We have certain freedoms that others don't. And I honor and respect the people who fought for those freedoms and are still fighting. An apology couldn't hurt to bring those people home to their families. We are grownups and if we let this petty dispute get in the way of bringing those people home then there is definitely something wrong with this country. For too long we've been playing watchdog to other countries when it's not our business. Other countries dislike us Americans for that very reason. It's time we backed down. Just because another country has a different system of government than we do, our government feels it must step in. That system works for them. Ours works for us. If we were in China's position we would be demanding the same thing if not more. We'd be screaming for blood. We killed their pilot not the other way around. In short apologize, apologize, apologize!
Love and Light!
| So We Were Spying. No Big Revelation There. We Spy On Them... ||Apr 11th. at 6:43:02 pm EDT|
|Jeff (Havre de Grace, Maryland US) ||Age: 43 |
So we were spying. No big revelation there. We spy on them and they spy on us. Our plane was in international airspace. The Chinese were playing an old game similar to the games the Soviet Union would play. A cat-and-mouse game with big hardware capable of resulting in the death of someone. All sides play this game. The Chinese would have loved nothing more than to provoke the US into making a mistake which they could come back on us. Well they messed up. A show of regret is all that is required. An appology would place the US in a bad position resulting in lawsuits and possible prision for the crew - in CHINA. Also the crew is well aware of the risks involved with the job. G.W., as much as I hate to say it, performed as his duty as Commander-In-Chief demanded of him.
| Sigh* I Guess My Post Was One Of The Ones Erased. I... ||Apr 11th. at 2:41:21 pm EDT|
|KaLee (Ripley, West Virginia US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
*Sigh* I guess my post was one of the ones erased. I hope I can remember what all I posted. Here is goes again:
I am glad this question was asked. I was found a few days ago, screaming at the TV "JUST APOLOGIZE ALREADY!" . If a grown man cannot get over his pride and say two simple word to get our AMERICAN men back on our AMERICAN soil, no matter whose fault it is, then scoot over Dubya, I am taking over. No, it probably wasn't our fault. Or, if it was, it was certainly an accident. But there are our people over there, with families and friends. People who could be being tortured right now for government secrets. People who could die just for two words and a giant stick up our President's ass. George, you are not going to die just because you have to apologize, but there are good men over there who might. Stop being such a child.
| The Way The News Came Out Here In South Africa Made It... ||Apr 11th. at 10:29:57 am EDT|
|Aquila (Johannesburg, South Africa) ||Age: 41 - Email |
The way the news came out here in South Africa made it absolutely clear that (in our journalists' opinions) the USA had been on a spying mission and had presumably wiped out the Chinese pilot, and was now making ridiculous aggressive noises at China!
Myself, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool anarchist, and I thought I disliked all governments equally......until George Dubya came along. Somehow he manages to display a horrifying image of arrogance made so much worse by rank ignorance.
I don't like politicians, but the President of the USA takes the biscuit!
As several people have already pointed out, just how would America react if the boot were on the other foot? Methinks you'd be at war already!
| Our Aircraft Was On A Routine Naval Recon Mission, Which Is Absolutely... ||Apr 11th. at 8:37:07 am EDT|
|Marhault (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) ||Age: 36 |
Our aircraft was on a routine naval recon mission, which is absolutely necessary for carrier operations in potentially hostile (The Chinese having done all kind of aggressive moves lately near Taiwan), narrow int'l waters. These missions are simply to see what might cause damage to the ships they support. Every nation with a navy does them. To call it a "spy" mission is pure propaganda. When our aircraft was intercepted, it was using its radar and cruising on autopilot, so when the Chinese gov't says we caused the crash between our slow, propeller driven aircraft and their nimble jet fighter, they are simply lying. The young hotshot Chinese pilot was trying to show off and terrorize our aircraft crew, but screwed up and got himself killed. When our aircraft was damaged, we issued an int'l Mayday signal, which all nations are required to honor, and were directed to a nearby Chinese airfield. Then the Chinese military brass got involved and is attempting to use this incident to humiliate the US. The Bush administration (for all its other evil faults) responded correctly by expressing regret to the family of the lost pilot. No more needs be said. The Chinese gov't, OTOH, needs to honor the int'l Mayday signal and return the crew and the Navy's property, which is their responsibility by international treaty. Keeping another nation's service members hostage, BTW, is, in fact, an act of war. I am sure the Chinese do not want war, but they are clearly willing to use all the aggression and treachery necessary to make the US look bad. They are playing a dangerous game, have overestimated the strength of their own hand, and underestimated ours.
| I Recently Read An Editorial In An Irish Newspaper That Expressed What... ||Apr 11th. at 1:31:48 am EDT|
|Coyotegirl (Quad Cities, Illinois US) ||Age: 23 |
I recently read an editorial in an Irish newspaper that expressed what the author thought was incredible arrogance and childishness on the part of our government. I have to agree with her; first of all, we were caught spying! To deny or downplay this is simply not honorable (let us not forget that here in America, we imprison suspected spies.) Second, a man, a husband and father is dead because of this mess. I think we should apologize for being involved in his death, regardless of who started things and admit we were partially at fault. If it will avert further aggression and bring Americans home safely, I think we should put our pride and arrogance aside and exercise personal responsibility for the effects of our actions. Personal responsibility is an important feature of Pagan beliefs, accepting that there are seldom clear cut "good guys" and "bad guys." Rather than play the blame game, I think the government would do well to exercise this Idea and admit we did something wrong.
| Yes I Think The Us Should Apologize.we Are Not Too Big To... ||Apr 11th. at 1:22:57 am EDT|
|Ina Pillar (Oregon, Wisconsin US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
Yes I think the US should apologize.We are not too big to say I'm sorry I'm sure.Pride be damned!
| If I Was Running Things On This Particular Issue, And Was At... ||Apr 10th. at 11:46:43 pm EDT|
|Perrin (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 24 |
If I was running things on this particular issue, and was at fault, which in my opinoin the Chinese were, then I would use this as an excuse to blame the other person, mainly USA. If I was the President of the USA., and it was concluded by a third party investigation team possibly French, or German, that we had done this, then I might apologize to China. I doubt seriously that we caused this, and if any country should apologize here it should be China. I also do not think that this should be left to the government officials of either country, as the incident did not directly involve either the President of the USA, or China, in fact this is a military mistake, and should be treated as such, like the incident in Italy, and the gondolla. Some one some where did not read the same flight route, and now every one is looking for someone to blame. Naturally neither side wants to admit that they blew it. It would help if we ran an operation to the twenty four free of unlawful Chinese captivity, this would remove the tension that is building between the countries. As a pagan, I feel that both countries should apologize to the other, for acting like fools. Of course as this is not a perfect world, what will likely happen is that one country or the other will do something stupid, and fire a nuke as a warning shot, which will start World War III, the last World War was started with a political assination, it is therefore possible that the next one could start that way as well. If it does find a nice deep cave, and curl up for a long winters nap. Of course if I were running this, the whole thing never would have happened, or if it did, there would be no attention to it in the media.
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