Politics Takes Over Morality in Ethiopian Airline Incident

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Anusha Mathias

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The Ethiopian Airlines accident on March 10th has sparked international outrage. While it may appear that this outrage is rooted in a concern for public safety, the true reason may be more politically motivated than we originally believed.

The Ethiopian Airlines accident, which killed 157 passengers, brought the Boeing Max 8 plane into question since it was the second accident to happen involving this particular model. The first incident, which occurred in Indonesia last October, killed all 189 passengers on board and involved a Lion Air Boeing Max 8. China was the first country to ground all Boeing Max 8 planes following the incident and made a bold statement in the Global Times stating, “Obviously the U.S. government has the intention to protect the company at this special moment. Boeing’s interests undoubtedly weigh in the U.S. political arena.” China’s overt remarks may be motivated by the United States push against its tech giant Huawei. Even though the Global Times article was skewed to seem as if China and other countries made the right decision to protect the public while the United States decided to protect the $95 billion dollar company, it was right about Boeing’s deep ties to Washington.

Boeing has not held back on its lobbying interests in Washington. Lobbying is when a corporation seeks to influence the decision of lawmakers and politicians. Boeing spent $15 million dollars on lobbying efforts in one year and their list of political investments goes on for fourteen pages on their website. Their efforts paid off in 2005 when the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A) decided to let Boeing use their own employees to certify their planes.

The latest news says that the US has decided to ground all Boeing Max 8 planes. The delay and the new information that has been brought to light questions how political this entire issue is.