The presidency of George Bush will undoubtedly go down in history as one in which repeated diplomatic errors were committed by a government that claimed to be led by an individual skilled in business efficiency. Perhaps, only President Bush could transform a simple relief expedition into one which arouses the anger of recipients because he found a way to violate the laws of their nation. Last week, the Philippines suffered a terrible disaster when a ferry over turned in a typhoon with the loss of over 800 people. The United States offered assistance in recovering bodies trapped inside the hull of the capsized vessel. But, of all the ships President Bush could think to send on this rescue mission, he dispatched the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The Philippine constitution forbids the entry into any of its harbors of a ship possessing nuclear weapons and members of the nation’s legislature are infuriated over the diplomatic blunder.
Minority leader, Rodolfo Blazon, expressed the feeling of many colleagues by noting, “We do not know, however, whether or not the USS Ronald Reagan is carrying nuclear weapons because if that is the case, it is a clear violation of our Constitution.”s
The more interesting question is why an aircraft carrier was sent to help in rescue operations of a capsize ferry? One would assume there are other vessels better equipped to handle such an operation.