Sludge Report #57 – Why Dubya Should Say Sorry
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Sludge Report #57
Why Dubya Should Say Sorry
This morning on the wires we learn that after half a weekend’s reflection, US President George “Dubya” Bush remains resolutely opposed to saying “sorry” over the South China Sea spy plane incident which has plunged Chinese/US relations into their darkest funk for a decade or two.
The argument that Dubya and his advisors appear to have bought into holds that as the accident happened in international airspace it is no one’s fault. And certainly not theirs.
Sludge has formulated a simple explanation for why this argument fails at almost every step.
Imagine for a moment that China is not a country, but rather is just an ordinary suburban house somewhere.
The house is occupied by John, who for some reason or other Dubya and his friends want to keep an eye on.
Dubya sends off one of his minions, Chuck, armed with a range of high tech spying equipment, cameras, listening devices etc. to spy on John’s house.
The minion takes up position in the road reserve – public property.
He listens away to John’s conversations with his special equipment. He takes pictures through the windows, and of people coming and going. Basically does the usual stuff you might expect spies would do.
Everything is fine until John’s dog challenges Chuck in the bushes. “Woof, woof,” says John’s dog. The dog then bites Chuck on his ankle. John hits the dog with his camera stand, killing it dead.
In severe pain, with blood pouring out of his ankle, Chuck knocks on John’s door and asks him to ring the hospital.
John, unsurprisingly, wonders what has happened to his dog. On learning his faithful and loyal friend is now dead he asks Chuck what he was doing in the bushes.
Chuck replies that he has been spying on John, but that as it is public property he is entitled to lurk in John’s bushes if he wants.
John, unsurprisingly, finds this explanation rather unsatisfactory. Nevertheless being a forgiving person he asks Chuck to apologise. Chuck says he was only following orders and refers John back to Dubya, who sent him on his errand in the first place.
Dubya tells John that though he “regrets” the death of his faithful dog, as the dog bit Chuck on public property, it is neither Chuck’s nor his fault that the dog is now dead. And No, he won’t apologise.
John at this point decides to commandeer Chuck’s spy equipment, securing it away in his shed, and decides to ring the police rather than the hospital.
Now ask yourself. Should Dubya apologise or not?
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