Reader Mail

So Long, Seoul

Time to bring the boys home? Also: Putting up with protesters. Plus more.

1.22.03

Send to Kindle

IT'S A FREE COUNTRY
Re: Lawrence Henry's You're Wrong, Mr. Raspberry:

I would like to compliment Lawrence Henry on a wonderfully concise crystallization of the logic and approach that liberals like William Raspberry use to control the debate around what constitutes "racism." This article should be delivered in email or print form to every liberal in America (whatever color). Now, I would love to see you publish a response from the erudite, Mr. Raspberry. Is it possible?
-- Charles Faust
San Ramon, CA

KICKING THE KOREAN HABIT
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Seoul on Ice:

This seems to be a case of the obvious being too...obvious. Of course we should leave S. Korea. Without warnings or empty threats we should simply pack up and leave. We can always come back if necessary and the cost of mobilizing 37,000 soldiers can't be too awfully high.

It is far past time for S. Korea and Japan to move out of their parents' basement and assume their adult roles in the world. They would soon come to the same realization that spoiled, adult children come to soon after being forced to leave the cushy nest. Their parents really are smart and really do know quite a bit after all. It is a humbling experience and can be a positive, life changing one for some.

I don't know offhand what the exact numbers are but I am certain that the GDP's of Japan and S. Korea exceed the GDP of N. Korea by some factor of ten or more, way more. Why in the h*** are we underwriting their defense? With apologies to the histories of valor of the fighting men of S. Korea and Japan, those two countries seem to be acting like the French of late.

Another benefit to having S. Korea and Japan assume their weighted role in the region would be the effect it would have on the Red ChiComs. (My kids love to say that). I believe it would bring more, not less, stability to that region of the world.
-- Mark S. Griffith
Parker, Co

I agree. We should withdraw our unwanted forces from South Korea. Let the two Koreas settle the issue of dominance, by force if necessary. The current deployment of the 2d Infantry Division in South Korea is nothing short of criminal. Our soldiers live in barracks within range of thousands of North Korean guns and rocket launchers capable of firing 500,000 high explosive rounds an hour for many days. If we were serious about defending South Korea, the 2d Infantry Division would be redeployed south of Route 4 and outside the range fan of North Korean rockets and artillery. Obviously, the North Koreans could still range our soldiers with long range missiles, but the immediate threat to our troops in the opening hours of the next Korean war will be the North Korean artillery. Better yet, put the 2d infantry Division on Guam or Hawaii or California. Fifty years after the Armistice was signed, South Korea should be able to defend itself. That it can't, and continues to rely on U.S. forces to do the job, is a sickness readily cured.

Let South Korea find out what the intentions are of its charming northern neighbor. Maybe South Korea will finally get serious about its own defense and start stockpiling the ammunition and purchasing the advanced weapons it requires to repulse a North Korean attack. Right now, South Korea isn't ready. It lacks spare parts for its equipment and hasn't purchased the ammunition required to defend itself. As long as the U.S. continues to keep forces in South Korea and foot the bill for fielding an adequate defense, the South Koreans will remain content to lambaste us and claim we are impeding reunification with their charming northern cousins. I say let them meet face-to-face, as I am sure they will someday, on the battlefield and decide for themselves if they really got their "bang for the Won" with the so-called Sunshine Policy. I'm sure they'll hear the bang, but the Won won't readily translate into a win.
-- Mike Slater

Tyrrell is right, as usual, but why end by telling Seoul to "call us when you need us." Who needs Seoul? In 1950-53 we invested more than 34,000 American lives in the maintenance of South Korea's freedom. Now, Roh, who must be aware that Kim Jong Il's dreams include a "unified" Korea, who maintains a million-man army across the DMZ and who seeks to develop a nuclear arsenal, speaks unkindly of the United States. I say we withdraw our 37,000 guys and all their gear and weaponry; they are needed elsewhere anyway. And I say let the chips then fall where they may (including a nuclear-armed Japan, and that ought to get China's attention). And finally I say to Seoul, "Don't call us. Not again."
-- John G. Hubbell
Minneapolis, MN

Fine article. I don't think we needed the last sentence, though.
-- Russell

TOO MUCH TO TAKE
Re: David Hogberg's Protesting Too Much :

Framing the protests as anti-war is ironic, as they are more likely to hasten military action than to delay it. Saddam can only view the protests as evidence that Bush cannot rule his own country, much less invade Iraq. The Gulf War taught Saddam that the U.S. can be beaten politically by waiting until American resolve wanes. The protests send a clear signal that retreat into exile is the second best alternative, and that the American street favors Saddam.

The rhetoric employed by the protesters contradicts their stated beliefs. They tell us they oppose "Blood for Oil," yet their position on SUV's is diametrically opposed. The primary merit of SUV's is that they provide safety for their occupants. Protesters tell us that we should discard this advantage, offering "Oil for Blood."
-- Ian Callum

Why does anyone care anymore what the New York Times spews from its editorial page?

Its place as the newspaper of record is obviously gone -- replaced with yellow dog propaganda. Unfair and unbalanced.

To engage in debating its editorials is to give it unearned credibility.

On my last visit to New York, the hotel provided a copy of the New York Times every morning. Since I left my pet bird home, I had no use for it at all.
-- Howard WimbrowOcean City, MD

I am disappointed that neither you nor the comrades at the Times mentioned the most hilarious act the Washington concert. Who was the old lady who tried to sing the generic protest song? She looked so grim and took herself so seriously. I'm thinking about putting together a massive demonstration to protest the evils of daylight savings time and I think she'd add great comic relief for an otherwise sober subject. She could use the same tune. Who'd notice?
-- unsigned

DIRTY CLEAN
Re: The Washington Prowler's Senatorial Peanuts:

So Georgia Democrats think a "Carter for Senate" campaign would be less negative, more civilized -- wonder what Carter they're talking about, as Jimmy Carter is as close to being the most bitter, negative, small politician left on the national scene.
-- Brad Bettin
Melbourne, FL

A HOLLYWOOD PLOT
Re: Art Brogley's "The Truth About Calley" letter in Reader Mail's Wintry Discontents:

Whenever I see a subordinate get off easy, I assume that it is a payoff to keep quiet. I was willing to re-enlist for a day to execute Calley, but I wanted to know what his orders were that day, plus I would have never allowed his subordinates to walk, since even I, in my years of service, knew what illegal orders were.
-- Gene 6-Pack
Palo Alto, CA

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article