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SKorea's Youth Would Back The North In A US War: Survery Finds

Popular among the southerners

Washington (UPI) Aug 19, 2005
First it was a Pew Foundation survey that found Osama Bin Laden more trustworthy than George W. Bush in Muslim countries with a combined population of 450 million, including Jordan and Morocco, two close friends of the United States.

Now we have two-thirds of South Koreans of military age, of both sexes, telling Gallup pollsters they would side with Kim Jong Il's North Korea in the event of a war between the United States and North Korea. This may be the time to get 37,000 U.S. troops out of harm's way in South Korea rather than face the grim prospect of being stabbed in the back by young South Koreans.

Watching leaders of North Korea's Communist party wined and dined and toasted as champions of reconciliation by South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun at the Blue House, the South Koreans of military age could be forgiven for concluding the U.S. alliance was a relic of yesteryear.

The Korean War (1950-53), when the United States, mandated by the United Nations, saved South Korea from being turned into a factory for human robots, was their grandfathers' war. Nothing they could relate to now. Even the South Korean government now favors letting North Korea develop "peaceful" nuclear power for its energy needs.

Pity poor Karen Hughes, Bush's close friend, now the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, who has to punch above her weight in the ring of world opinion surrounded by fans rooting for the evil heavyweight.

A score of university students from almost all 22 Arab countries, invited to tour the United States by the State Department, did not try to disclose their contempt for an imperialist superpower charging around the world and trampling on Arab rights in particular and Muslim rights in general.

At a think tank briefing, several said the Bush administration uses the word "terrorism" to flay those who don't agree with its marching orders. Sept. 11, 2001, was seen as "payback" for the terrorism the United States allegedly practiced against governments that opposed its imperialist designs.

Whatever arguments were put forward to defend America's reputation, the radicals countered with American "atrocities" from the "genocide" to wipe out native American-Indians to the killing of 150,000 innocent Japanese civilians in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the "massacres" of Afghan and Iraqi civilians.

An attempt to explain how President Truman's decision to bomb Japan had been motivated by the need to spare the lives of an estimated 1 million Americans was greeted by skeptical snickers. How did we come up with the figure of 1 million? they wanted to know.

One young woman wore a Castro-type military cap and said listening to me convinced her she should never come back to America. Your tax dollars at work!

More serious was the assessment of a prominent Republican Richard McCormack, undersecretary of state for economic affairs under President George H.W. Bush. His biggest beef is with our Iranian policy.

He knows the country well. Iran, he says, is many things, just like Washington is many things. And the balance on policies tips one way, and then another, depending on whose thumb is on the scales at any one time. Iran, of course, has some dark types pulling the strings. But there are others there, too, of a very different type.

To declare regime change as U.S. policy in a place like Iran makes everyone in Washington feel we are striking a blow for what is good and true. But it's also a message to the leadership that we have in mind getting rid of them. Our ability to do so is almost nil. So what such a policy does is help the hard-liners and reinforce them.

The supreme leader has a tremendous amount of power in Iran and he is far more flexible than his predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini. McCormack believes we should be talking with him at a very high level.

Not some shadowy putative representative, but some well-known American like Brent Scowcroft, President George H.W. Bush former national security adviser, should be subcontracted to build a dialogue of some kind with Iran's supreme leader. The current freeze in communications at the very top hurts us also on the nuclear side.

What good does it do for the Europeans to make nice to the Iranians, if the Iranians think that we will still be lurking in the alley with a knife aimed at the regime? It just means the argument tilts in favor of retaining the possibility of a nuclear deterrent at some point in the future as long as the geopolitics in the region are in such a state of flux.

McCormack believes that refusing to talk with anybody is a stupid policy. Leaders are people, he says, and people are always complex figures with egos, interests and emotions.

Trust is also a very personal thing. It has to be built slowly on an individual level. So why not engage at a credible level with a country as crucial to our interests as Iran? "No talk" policy serves nobody's interests in the end.

What did 15 years of refusing to talk with the fruitcake in Libya do for us? What happened when we finally started to engage with him? We actually got something done. Have we learned nothing from this? And the Iranian government is a far more sophisticated operation than Libya's and our interests in improving relations with Iran are a hundred times larger than they were with Libya.

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Outside View: Russia Fights Nuclear Terror
Moscow (UPI) Aug 19, 2005
The recent series of terrorist attacks have shown the terrorist threat has not diminished and victory over this evil is not within our grasp.

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