05/16/06 — Unwelcome? Let’s accommodate South Korean protesters

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Unwelcome? Let’s accommodate South Korean protesters

Once again thousands of South Korean students and civic activists have taken to the streets demanding the withdrawal of United States troops from that nation.

The latest demonstration was at Pyeongtaek where “more than 4,000” protesters scuffled with police, according to The Associated Press. They oppose construction of a base that would consolidate some U.S. forces near that city of 360,00040 miles south of Seoul.

Some households would have to be moved, but the residents would be compensated.

Currently, there are 29,500 U.S. troops in South Korea, and the number has been steadily declining.

But the protesters want all of them gone — now.

Perhaps the demonstrators should be reminded that had it not been for U.S. troops going to South Korea in 1950, they would not be allowed to protest anything. They would be under rigid Communist rule and suffering the same economic depression being endured by their neighbors in North Korea.

When President Harry Truman dispatched U.S. forces to repel the North Korean invasion, virtually all of South Korea had been overrun.

In the ensuing three years, 36,916 U.S. troops were killed and 103,284 were wounded pushing the North Koreans back across the border. In all, 5.7 million U.S. citizens answered the call to the colors during that war.

And technically, it has never ended. A “cease-fire” was agreed to in 1953, but there has been no peace treaty.

Since South Korea remains technically at war, perhaps that country should treat its anti-U.S. protesters as the belligerents they obviously are. Deportation to North Korea would be a good alternative.

Or, the United States could accommodate their demands and bring all of our troops back home — with the admonition that we won’t be coming back or sending any assistance, military or otherwise, ever again.

Published in Editorials on May 16, 2006 10:27 AM