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Liberals, Conservatives Clash Head on Again Over Troop Dispatch

Liberals, Conservatives Clash Head on Again Over Troop Dispatch

Posted September. 15, 2003 23:18,   


As the government mulls over whether to send combative troops to Iraq as requested by Washington, liberal and conservative groups at home are heading toward a collision course again.

Liberal groups said on Sept. 15 that they opposed the idea of sending troops to help Americans with their imperialist war, adding they would take necessary actions such as holding a rally to stop the government from making such a decision. They plan to hold a joint press interview before Chong Wae Dae in the morning of Sept. 16 to express their categorical opposition to troop dispatch.

˝It is humiliation for this country to send troops to Iraq, where Americans are waging a unjustified oil and hegemonic war,˝ said the Coalition of People in a statement. ˝We vehemently oppose the idea of sending troops to Iraq.˝

˝There is no reason for young people in this country to risk their lives in the American imperialist war, ˝ said Rev. Han Chung-mok of the Alliance for Reunification. ˝Dispatch of troops will not be justified whatsoever.˝

˝The government must not send troops to clean up the mess in the unjustified American war,˝ said the People Coalition for Participatory Democracy. ˝Iraq is increasingly seen as an American quagmire like Vietnam in the past, and dispatch of troops will most likely lead to additional dispatch.˝

Conservative groups, however, argue that sending troops will reinforce the alliance with the U.S. and help the economy presently in bad shape.

˝The government must send troops to Iraq to become a part of international forces and reinforce the tie with the U.S.,˝ said Cho Jung-geun, deputy secretary of the Civic Council for the Righteous Society. ˝Mobilization of international forces are in the works and sending troops will also help the country in dealing with the North Korean security issue.˝

˝We have to send troops for our sake,˝ said Shin Hye-shik, head of youth division of the People`s Solidarity for Anti-Nuke Anti-Kim. ˝Troop dispatch will serve national interests in many ways since it will help gain a share in reconstruction projects, train troops, reinforce the tie with the U.S. and buoy up the economy.˝

˝We urge the government to consider sending troops in the near future,˝ said Sungwoohoi, a retired military officers` organization. ˝The government must make a timely decision and take this occasion as a chance to revive the slumping economy.˝

In-Jik Cho cij1999@donga.com