Sorry is not the word
Daily Mirror Editorial
Apr 23, 2012

There seems to be no beginning or an end to Washington's repeatedly saying sorry. Washington said sorry after the Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan was detained by the Homeland Agents at the New York Airport for half-an-hour, delaying the lecture he was supposed to deliver at the Yale University.

And when the photos of United States soldiers holding the remains of dead Afghan insurgents leaked to media, Washington again said, 'Sorry'.

Perhaps, Washington's unacceptable 'sorry' was more to do with the fact that the photos were released for public viewing than about US soldiers exhibiting their wartime brutalities, in a manner that contradicts every core principle of humanity and human rights the US has been preaching to the rest of the world.

Earlier too, Washington had swept things under the carpet with a mere apology. In February this year, Peter Lavoy, a top Pentagon official went on an apology rant on behalf of the US soldiers who burnt copies of the Holy Quran at a military base in Afghanistan.

Even though the trite saying goes, 'Everything is fair in love and war,' when it comes to the human rights and democratic fundamentals endorsed by the US, there is a line the military forces should not cross; at least that was the impression the US gave when it went ahead with a resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva a few weeks ago.

Hence, the question is how a mere 'sorry' can erase the guilt of the US when every other country needs to be brought to book and made to face the repercussions of war activities, remains to be answered.

The fact that the US holds an unparalleled economic and political supremacy over the rest of the world should not place it differently when measuring war crimes committed by the US forces abroad. If some things are not fair in war as the US dictates, it should be held accountable for trespassing the territorial boundaries of Pakistan and the brutal treatment endured by Sadham Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gadhafi prior to their assassinations, among other things.

True enough, 9/11 was a huge blow to the world giant that put its economy and harmony on reverse gear; but so was the 30-year-long war that continued to hold hostage the peace of mind of Sri Lankans, who suffered more from terrorism than any American ever did. On the grounds of justification, both countries were fighting against terrorism. For Sri Lanka, it was safeguarding the country from a separatist cause while the US dubbed its battle to be one against the Al-qaida, a terror outfit as ruthless as the LTTE. Yet, somewhere in its tale of war, America stepped over the line, drawn by itself for the so-called common good of humanity. One is at a loss to understand how anything that is called a crime for the rest of the world can only be an 'unfortunate incident' that occurred during the course of war for America.

What needs to be answered is what justifies Sri Lanka being nearly found guilty at an international forum when the prosecutor itself had so much blood on its hands. After all, saying sorry a thousand times cannot bring the dead back to life, nor can the US undo what has already been done is a fact the super power will need a super power to gulp down.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka