We always want to know how many Americans. If it's a disaster in Asia like the Thai Tsunami, we want to know how many Westerners, how many tourists, not how many Thais died.
The cruise ship held upwards of five thousand. Only 126 were Americans, and they are all accounted for. Whew. Mostly Italian, it seems. Like us, but different enough to mute the scale of the disaster.
If it were a Filpino ferry and everybody who drowned was from there, it might not make the evening news. A capsized American rowboat would hold more interest.
It's normal, especially for Americans. The more people look like us, or sound like us (like Canadians), the more we worry about them. Of course it's a normal extension of worry about ourselves.
It's also un-Buddhist. They're the only religion that forbids recruiting, and the only one you can join without leaving your old one. As a religion they're not big on who's in and who's out. On a good day, a Buddhist sees Cambodians and Canadians as equally impermanent.