[FOUNTAIN]Mine eyes have seen the gloryThe Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed by the English team of Charles Mason, a mathematician and astronomer, and Jeremiah Dixon, a mathematician and land surveyor, between 1763 and 1767. The line is the boundary between the U.S. states of Maryland and Pennsylvania. The survey was completed up to the western limit of Maryland in 1773; in 1779, the line was extended to mark the southern boundary of Pennsylvania with western Virginia. Before the Civil War, the term was used to mean the boundary between the slave states and the free states. After the war, it was used as an informal line dividing the southern from the northern states. South of the line are regions where people are conservative and aggressive, sticking to Puritan beliefs. Most of them are Republicans.
Joseph A. Fry, who studies this cultural and political connection with foreign policy, is the author of a book called "Dixie Looks Abroad: The South and U.S Foreign Relations, 1789-1973."
Mr. Fry writes, "Southerners have always supported issues or policies on which the large interests of the United States are dependent." That gives readers some hints about where George W. Bush's unilateral foreign policies came from.
So it was not surprising that people south of the Mason-Dixon Line were not happy with Bill Clinton's foreign policies. Mr. Clinton had to wade through all the objections these people had when he dealt with Kosovo, a Middle East peace agreement and North Korean nuclear weapons.
But Israel could get what it wanted with the support of southern Americans. Israel is also a favorite of right-wing Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. George W. Bush, who was baptized by the evangelical minister Billy Graham, strongly holds these southern political and religious beliefs.
Now Mr. Bush is at war against Islamic fundamentalists and has declared Iraq, Iran and North Korea part of an axis of evil to justify wars against them. He says agreements with evil nations are not acceptable; only Puritan beliefs and America's power can save those devilish countries.
Conditions on the Korean Peninsula are in bad shape because North Korea and the United States will not negotiate. The government is trying to get them to cooperate, but Seoul also must understand the historical background of U.S. foreign policy: the sense of God's righteousness that pervades it.
The writer is a JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer.
by Kim Seok-hwan