[FOUNTAIN]Roh has no forces to deployStrategies, tactics and political engineering bloom in turbulent times and during crises. Political skills develop in a more refined manner as military forces and political powers clash more violently. A book on military strategies written by Sonja, a 29-year-old general during the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.) in China, was the product of a turbulent age. The wisdom of political engineering, a product of experience and imagination, has endured 2,500 years.
Sonja says in a chapter on military force in his book: “A person who is good at tactics seeks victory in the demonstration of fighting forces. Making the troops fight well is like rolling a round rock off a steep cliff. If you find competent soldiers and make them move actively, forces will be automatically added to them.” Forming a central force, making it move and increasing its force by acceleration are the three ways to use force, according to Sonja.
The political situation of 1988, when the four-party system was formed for the first time in Korean history, was unprecedentedly chaotic. President Roh Tae-woo, chairman of the ruling party, was in a sweat after the appointment of the head of the Supreme Court was disapproved by the alliance of three opposition parties. He was about to be a lame duck president. So he tried to back up his forces. Kim Dae-jung, chairman of the second most powerful party, was complacent with the four-party system. Being defensive, he did not make a move.
Kim Young-sam, chairman of the third party, took the initiative in creating a coalition of three parties. He threw himself into the matter as if rolling a rock off a steep cliff. This was a case of successful political engineering in which Mr. Kim gave up the moral cause to gain absolute expansion of force.
President Roh Moo-hyun has been left out in the cold by the four-party system more seriously than any time before by the National Assembly. The central force, what little there was, is split. If not, the proposal for approval of the appointed head of the Audit and Inspection Board would not have been so strongly disapproved. Roh Moo-hyun also might be in a sweat with the remaining four years of his presidency ahead.
Pursuing politics of division instead of expanding forces, President Roh may treat Sonja’s advice lightly. He seems to believe in fortune.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.