By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
If I only read a few news stories here and there, I would use this space to apologize for my country.
Apologize for the mess created in Iraq. Apologize for the growing threat of global warming because of carbon dioxide emissions. And most recently, I’d apologize for the deaths of so many in South East Asia’s tsunami and for forcing North Korea’s communist government to create nuclear weapons.
At least that is what some want me to think-some lawyers, experts and foreign leaders.
Blaming America is the game, and at stake is a chance to dip into the United States’ treasure chest or the opportunity to at least pass the blame for some tragic event.
When North Korea announced last week that it did have nuclear weapons, everyone wanted to know why Korea continued its nuclear weapons programs when the entire international community desired it to cease.
Korea’s answer: President Bush made us do it.
In a statement released by the North Korean Foreign Ministry, North Korea said it has “manufactured nukes for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration’s evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle” its government.
North Korea’s assertion is absurd to begin with. Nuclear threat certainly did not deter President Bush from invading Iraq; it actually encouraged the invasion.
More ridiculous than that, however, is the notion that President Bush is somehow more responsible for North Korea’s nuclear program than North Korea’s desire for power.
North Korea’s communist government would love nothing more than the ability to hold the international community hostage in order to have its demands met. To suggest that its nuclear weapons are meant simply for protection from the United States seems like a feeble attempt by North Korea to mask its true intentions.
More disturbing than the country’s assertion, this week a group of three lawyers said it would file suit against Thailand’s government, the French hotel chain, Accor and-you guessed it-the U.S. government for the deaths of 12 Austrians and Germans in the Dec. 26 tsunami.
Herwig Hassalacher, one of the lawyers filing suit, said U.S. authorities did not give sufficient warning about the impending tsunami.
“We have evidence they did not warn us, even though they knew a quarter of an hour later about the strength and location of the quake,” Hassalacher said.
And there you have it. The cause of at least 12 out of 290,000 deaths from the tsunami was U.S. negligence.
I have no way of knowing what the Hawaii-based tsunami warning center knew on Dec. 26, but it seems to be an insult to the forces of nature to start placing blame on U.S. authorities.
America has become an easy target in this age where someone is always to blame and someone must pay when things go wrong. We have power. We have money. And as long as we do, someone will desire to have a piece of that.
In the end, I don’t feel like extending one apology for my country-at least not for any of these accusations.
Tragedies happen. Greedy men desire more power. And every once in a while, America has nothing to do with it.