Colombia wants the United States to apologize—but for what?

Concerning the Secret Service / Colombian prostitutes scandal, Colombia’s ambassador to the U.S. has told a Colombian newspaper: “The U.S. should apologize further. It is necessary and I want to hear it from the White House. A more clear expression of remorse is required to protect the reputation of Cartagena.”

Can any of this site’s astute readers explain this? U.S. Secret Service agents hired prostitutes in Colombia. That violated their responsibilities as Secret Service agents, and they lost their jobs over it. How does that represent a wrong done by the U.S. to Colombia for which the U.S. must apologize and express remorse?

By the way, this shows another way in which VFR is unique. At what other blog does the blogger initiate a blog entry by saying that he doesn’t understand something and asking his readers to explain it?

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

As I understand it, prostitution is legal in Colombia. If that is the case, then hiring them might have violated the Secret Service code of conduct, but in no way represented a wrong inflicted on Colombia.

Timothy A. writes:

Good question, especially since prostitution is legal in Colombia.

Aditya B. writes:

I wanted to say something funny, but this is a tad serious. This whole apology business is an obsession with Indians as well. You may recall a recent incident where Jay Leno was forced to apologize for merely using the Sikh Golden Temple as a prop in a joke.

The apology is nothing more than an opportunity to see a powerful white Western nation grovel before a poor, backward, non-white nation. That’s all.

It’s all ‘bout respec’ yo!

Leonard D. writes:

There are two answers here which make sense to me.

First, all humans are tribal and feel that the women of their tribe are the communal property of their tribe. An alien man who has sex with a tribe’s women is a grave threat to the collective paternal certainty of the men of the tribe. As such the men (at least) should be expected on evolutionary grounds to feel angry about any such sex. Such anger may be expressed as violence towards the alien men, if that is safe. (Obviously not in this case.) The anger is also directed toward the women. Any woman who has sex with an alien is a whore, and in many more traditional societies would be disgraced or even killed. Colombia doesn’t allow that, of course, but the communal feeling doesn’t change. Thus we have an inchoate grievance. Note the use of the “reputation” of Cartagena.

Of course, having a communal grievance is one thing. For it to be taken seriously by the government is another. So the second answer is about why the Columbian government would make such a demand is about why presumably mature and responsible leaders would think it’s a good idea. And that is not just about them, but us.

The U.S. is rich, and Colombia is poor. According to progressive ideology, all people everywhere are equal in ability. Therefore, if circumstances are fair, all people will have equal outcomes, and there will be no rich and poor. Inequality can only be a result of unfairness; it is caused by the rich criminally exploiting the poor. Thus, all rich are inherently criminal and guilty. Even if they personally did not do anything criminal, they are the beneficiaries of a criminal system. As such, they ought to give back to the poor what they stole, until people are equal again. But at least they can give just a little, minor, apology?

Bringing it back to the case in point: those Secret Service agents were not just hiring prostitutes. They were taking advantage of their own wealth (and/or the wealth of the U. S. government) and the poverty in Cartagena. They were exploiting those women, and thus also exploiting Cartagena and Colombia.

What they did does offend Americans for several reasons. So we are naturally inclined to apologize. But we should not, because there is no good reason to. To apologize here is to accept the egalitarianism-based reasoning above. The logic of it doesn’t stop at apology. Rather, it stops only with equality.

Greg W. writes:

The U.S. apologized to everyone else already, so Colombia wants in on the action.

Actually, maybe Colombia sees nothing wrong with prostitution, and since people were fired over actions taken there, Colombia sees it as America thinking Columbia is a bad place. They may be asking “why are the agents in trouble”?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 27, 2012 09:49 AM | Send

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