Well, I wasn't going to get into the politics of this because I figure opinions about politics and religion are as abundant as boogers and everyone's always so quick to pick one out and flick it at somebody...but then I thought, what the heck, I'll flick, too. So, now that I've revealed my relative level of intelligence, this is what I think about the 'plane thing'.
I, too, wonder at the accidental nature of this. That aside, I would like to respond to Severn's comments. I'm not sure what was intended by the response about the rest of the world remembering that we are a superpower but personally, I didn't care for the tone of the statement, either, and tend to agree with Severn's response.
As to why America won't 'just apologize', I would compare that to this scenario...I am driving to work one day and my car is clipped by another driver whose car then spins out of control, hits a tree and the driver is killed. My car also is damaged and so I must pull into a nearby driveway for safety. It just so happens that this driveway belongs to the deceased drivers spouse, who upon learning of these events, locks me inside his/her house, cleans my car out of all valuables and refuses to return me or my car and belongings to my family...until they apologize. Would that not be an absurd request, not to mention...a hostage situation? Whether America should apologize or not is not the issue as far as I am concerned. I don't believe Severn's comments were not so much naive as idealistic. And idealism, I applaud. But to apologize when a wrong has been committed against this country, not by this country is ludicrous. And though it may seem like a 'simple' way to end this issue and return those taken hostage to their homes and families...I believe, in the long term, it would only encourage other hostile forces to play such dangerous, inhumane games against America and it's military personal.
As to the other comments...beaucracy has nothing to do with it. Living here, I know personally that our government saves it's best beaucratic offerings for its own citizens.
I won't comment on the 'touchy subjects' except to say that they are only relavent to this situation because all wars are fought over power and today power equals money: not simply military strength.
And yes, we're talking about China! Arguably, a greater 'superpower' than America believes itself to be. China, I believe, holds the status of 'most favored nation' for trading with America. Why? Because if we fully play our 'superpower' hand, at best, we are likely to end up with more innocent dead than we are any true 'victory'. If China (and don't forget their allies) wanted to call our bluff, they could very probably collapse our economy.
In my opinion, that is the bottom line here. We 'honored' this country with a trade agreement that ultimately gave them power over us. They are now exerting that power.
I pray that the powers that be in America do not allow this to escalate to the point of violent aggression. And I pray they don't have to apologize for a wrong uncommited to avoid such.
Severn---I thank you for your thoughts. They really got me to thinking myself.
[This message has been edited by JLR (edited 04-06-2001).]