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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
| 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.
| Apologize! The Crew Needs To Be Set Free! Until The Us Gives... ||Apr 10th. at 10:40:25 pm EDT|
|Kira Rae (Hopkinsville, Kentucky US) ||Age: 35 |
APOLOGIZE! The crew needs to be set free! Until the us gives China that big "We are sorry, We made a mistake, Its our fault" China will hold the crew. 'Save Face'? Oh come on! Right now the main issue should be the crew and doing what it takes to set them free.
| The Us Government Should Just Swallow Its Pride And Say Sorry. How... ||Apr 10th. at 4:34:38 pm EDT|
|AndrasteM (NYC, New York US) ||Age: 35 |
The US government should just swallow its pride and SAY SORRY. How hard can that be ? It WAS a spy plane after all, not some innocent little passanger jet that strayed off course. Say sorry and get the crew home.
| Has Anyone Thought Of The Legal Implications Of An Apology? An Apology... ||Apr 10th. at 2:24:27 pm EDT|
|Monica (Ft. Walton Beach, Florida US) ||Age: 30 |
Has anyone thought of the legal implications of an apology? An apology could lead the way for China to bring wrongful death suits against the US or even the individual crew members. China doesn't want the US to apologize, they want us to say we were wrong in spying on them. That could then begin an international legal free-for-all. The Chinese have been flying entirely too close the the US planes for some time now and you can't tell me that a jet couldn't get out of the way of a propeller plane unless the jet was where it shouldn't have been in the first place.
| I Recall The Republicans Ranting And Railing During The Lewinsky Scandal About... ||Apr 10th. at 1:41:56 pm EDT|
|Jen Bryan (Cedar Park, Texas US) ||Age: 28 |
I recall the Republicans ranting and railing during the Lewinsky scandal about the effect our previous President's behavior would have on the morals of the nation, and how what he did was presenting the wrong type of leadership role model for the nation's children.
As a mother, I know that I teach my son to apologize. I teach him to apologize for things that he does deliberately, as well as to apologize for things he does that cause adverse affects on someone or something else by accident. If he trips over our cat, he apologizes to her and he kisses her on the nose even if he didn't see that cat in front of him - just in case he hurt her by not paying attention.
I suppose my three year old knows right and wrong better than our current President, because we all know well how and when to apologize for something that hurts someone else. While it doesn't surprise me that the Republicans are again hypocrits, feeling themselves above common decency and courtesy simply because the Chinese government is Communist and therefor "different", it does make me ashamed of my leadership.
Not to mention the fact that George W. is demonstrating the opposite of the values I try to instill in my son. Pot, Kettle, Mr. Bush. Apologize.
| China Should Have A Joint Investigation To See Who Is Really At... ||Apr 10th. at 1:34:49 pm EDT|
|Frederico A. Dacenzo (Williamsport, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
China should have a joint investigation to see who is really at fault in this, then go from thier.
| In Response To Theresa's Post... An Inexperienced Pilot In A New *jet... ||Apr 10th. at 12:48:20 pm EDT|
|Sam-I-Am (Lawrenceville, Georgia US) ||Age: 29 |
In response to Theresa's post...
An inexperienced pilot in a new *jet* fighter should not have been sent to intercept the larger, slower aircraft. It is unfortunate that the pilot died but, high risk is part of spying. Some people feel spying is wrong; it's a necessary tool of our social and cultural structure. Clandestine operations have been written about since the beginning of recorded time.
I dont think either government should apologize to the other. I do agree with another post; both sides should apologize to the pilot's family.
People want someone to blame for a tragedy. But, when a police officer is involved in a wreck (and dies) with a civilian car during a high speed chase, we don't blame the civilian.
The world is too complicated to say us & them; good & bad.
May the Goddess bless and protect those who protect us (& them).
| Both Sides Are Milking This For Cynical Crowd (cattle?) Control Reasons. In... ||Apr 10th. at 7:48:46 am EDT|
|Mark Taylor (Snoqualmie, Washington US) ||Age: 48 - Email |
Both sides are milking this for cynical crowd (cattle?) control reasons.
In any espionage game, there are NO "Good Guys", it's measured evil vs evil.
To identify with either side in this sort of conflict is to take on the mantle as a supporter of this sort of activity.
Maybe it's inevitable in the power games of empires, but that is no reason to take a side.
My best guess is that when they grow tired of this standoff, they'll find a way out that won't interfere with the much bigger money and trade game.
Don't get me wrong - I'm far from being apolitical, but stupidity on this scale is very difficult to get excited about. Same as two rival gangs playing chicken on the freeway!
I think the Bush administration should apologize to the American people and the Chinese government to the Chinese people. Will it happen? Ha!
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