[EDITORIALS]Shameless party tacticsOur Open Party, the ruling party of the nation, demanded yesterday that the National Assembly postpone voting on a bill to send more troops to Iraq. That is irresponsible.
The United States asked for more troops five months ago. The government decided to send more soldiers to Iraq last October, and the final decision was made at a presidential meeting with ministers in charge of national security on Dec. 17.
What has the ruling party been doing until now? Why does it demand to delay the vote on the day it was scheduled, saying that the bill does not suit the party’s position?
Our Open Party claimed that delay would not hinder the dispatch itself. But the party seemed to fail to understand that the mutual trust between the United States and South Korea will be greatly damaged by the delay. That is why we wonder if we can call the party fit to rule.
Because of the identity of Our Open Party and the composition of its membership, it might be unwilling to vote for the bill. But it should have consulted with President Roh and the administration to reflect its positions in the bill.
Raising objections after the administration finalized its plans and the opposition parties agreed to it is nothing more than a shallow trick. After entrapping the opposition parties, the ruling party is probably trying to earn votes by promoting anti-American sentiment and a spirit of independence. That is far more inferior than the stance of the Millennium Democratic Party, which said that it would participate in the voting but recommended that its lawmakers vote ‘no.’
Our Open Party Representative Chang Young-dal, who leads the Assembly’s defense committee, is also shameless. He invited activists protesting against the bill to his home and telephoned the National Assembly that he could not leave his house. We are just dumfounded. Even the riffraff doesn’t handle things in such a way.
We have an alliance with the United States. While we ask U.S. forces to stay on the peninsula, can we ignore our ally’s request for help? It is undeniable that Korea will be compared to Japan, which has already dispatched forces.
Vote on the bill. Vote against it if you must. But stop playing games with our security.