[EDITORIALS]Lessons in Iraq issueIn his address to the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush said Saddam Hussein must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Since the Iraqi president and his family will unlikely choose to go into exile, further debate about a war appears meaningless.
Anti-war slogans plaster the world. Starting a war without the approval of the United Nations Security Council shows a fractured international community and the will of the United States to act unilaterally.
This undeniably is a challenge to the role of the UN, which has mediated international disputes since the end of World War II. It is a blow to world order that the principle of peaceful resolution through the United Nations has not been attained.
It is clear, however, that anti-war movements throughout the world and criticism of the United States are not an expression of support for the Iraqi regime and any weapons of mass destruction it might possess.
That is why Seoul is not opposing the U.S. campaign against Iraq, despite the large anti-war sentiment here.
Amid the frayed alliance between Seoul and Washington, the Korean government rightly decided to keep alive the half-century alliance with the United States for the sake of our long-term national interest.
The war against Iraq is a direct result of the change in the U.S. view toward its security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Americans not only believe in U.S. retaliation for attacks on its soil, but also overwhelmingly approve preemptive strikes to remove a possible threat.
Asking whether a global superpower should act according to such reasoning ignores the reality of international politics. Because international order is often a function of power rather than international laws or morality, Korea must carefully calculate how to maximize its national interest as a mid-size country. To this end, we must pay close attention to the new international order that will be built after the war against Iraq. Washington is likely to apply its logic of war against other state sponsors of terrorism. The Koreas must cooperate to resolve the North’s nuclear issue in order to defend peace on the peninsula.