Posted by Zapata on July 31, 2000 at 09:13:13:
In Reply to: Re: Casting Stones posted by Bill R on July 29, 2000 at 08:19:51:
I think that we need to clear up the question of WHO we are asking to apologize/compensate here. Bill asked if HE should apologize for the actions of people of his cultural background. I do not believe that this is where the answers lies. Bill does not have to do this. Individuals should not be held accountable for the actions of a government.
HOWEVER, if it is a question of a government, then its an entirely different case altogether. Nations MUST be held accountable for their misdeeds and actions. The unfortunate reality of this, though, is that there is NO international body with the power to adjudicate and enforce such actions against a government on behalf of a group of people. (don't even think of mentioning he UN!).
Bill also asked what precedent this would set. IF, and this is a BIG if, IF there was a way to adjudicate and enforce such measures against a government, it would set a precedent for governmental accountability. Nations like Iraq, Russia, the US, Pakistan, China, India, and other nations may actually think twice before sending in troops. I am not naive enough to believe that this would solve ALL problems right away, but at least it would be the beginning of a process through which people could address their issues without having to rely on the entity that committed the crime for a decision in their favor.
I agree with the assertion that an apology without action is meaningless. There was a movie (sorry, this movie is not in line with LOTM, but it serves my purpose well in this case) in which John Travolta plays the lawyer for a group of families suing some company for poisoning their drinking water. In the film, Travolta argues that a company shows how sorry it is based on how much MONEY it pays to settle. If this is so, then an apology by Britain or France is meaningless without proper reparations.
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