A curious article from AP says Italy, France, Portugal and Spain denied the use of their respective airspace to the plane carrying the Bolivian president Evo Morales on his way back home from a summit meeting in Moscow, on suspicion or baseless rumor that Edward Snowden was on board.
So what if he was on board? What's that to these nations?
Action speaks louder than the vocal protests by these governments over the NSA spying.
Or does it?
From AP (7/3/2013; emphasis is mine):
Bolivian leader's plane rerouted on Snowden fear
VIENNA (AP) — The plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was rerouted to Austria after various European countries refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian officials said Tuesday.
Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said that Snowden was not on the plane, which was taking Morales home from a summit in Russia, where he had suggested that his government would be willing to consider granting asylum to the American.
A furious Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said France and Portugal would have to explain why they canceled authorization for the plane, claiming that the decision had put the president's life at risk.
"We don't know who invented this lie" that Snowden was traveling with Morales, Choquehuanca said in La Paz. "We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales."
In a midnight press conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said that not only France and Portugal, but also Italy and Spain were denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace.
He described Morales as being "kidnapped by imperialism" in Europe.
"The ambassador for Spain in Austria has just informed us that there is no authorization to fly over Spanish territory and that at 9 a.m. Wednesday they would be in contact with us again," said Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra, adding that the Spanish government had put as a condition for passage the "revision of the presidential plane."
Earlier, Choquehuanca said that Spain's government allowed Morales' plane to refuel in its territory before flying on to Vienna.
French government officials reached overnight said they could not confirm whether Morales' plane was denied permission to fly over France. Officials at Portugal's Foreign Ministry and National Civil Aviation Authority could not be reached to comment.
(Full article at the link)
The last paragraph has made me wonder if this action of denying the use of airspace was originated from the national governments at all.
But assuming the action was taken by these national governments for now, there is an expression in Japanese that describes a government, a nation, which tries its best to please a master (usually the United States of America) and wouldn't dare asserting its own opinion against the master. The expression is "ame-pochi" - "ame" for America, "pochi" is a name of a dog. If a Japanese hear the word "pochi", he/she invariably identifies it with a dog. Many Japanese sarcastically call their own government and country "ame-pochi".
Japan is not alone in being "ame-pochi" after all.