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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Good lesson on morality that skirted several very hard truths

Apr 03,2003
I enjoyed the beginning of Moon Chang-keuk’s March 27 column, “Who Is The Real Evil To Be Feared?”
I was touched by Mr. Moon’s description of how his daughter came to him with an important question.
Clearly, she was troubled about the war in Iraq and needed some moral clarity. And of course she went to the one person in the world she trusts the most: her father.
Unfortunately, Mr. Moon did not tell us what he told her. Judging from the rest of the column, he gave her a long-winded, confusing history lesson couched in the morally noncommittal terms that are so fashionable these days.
One disservice Mr. Moon does his daughter is saying that peace is good and war is evil. If I were him I would have explained that peace does not always mean peace ― that the leader of Iraq routinely kills and tortures thousands of people in peacetime.
I would have told her that Iraq has attacked two other countries in recent years, and that a U.S.-led war saved one of them.
If she was still confused I would have told her that Korea’s most shameful moment in history, the Japanese occupation, was conducted in peace, and that one of Korea’s proudest moments, the Japanese withdrawal, was the direct result of war.
Without war, I would have told her, Korea would not be a country; it would be a prefecture.
Still, I would tell her to be careful with truths like these, especially at school. We would not want her teacher thinking she is pro-American or anything like that.


by Ron Holden


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