[EDITORIALS]A new government in IraqIraq, which was under the temporary rule of allied forces, has had its sovereignty restored after fourteen months. Although foreign intervention has not yet ceased completely, and the legitimacy of the interim government is disputed, now Iraq is entering an important stage of building a new nation after Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.
We hope that the interim Iraq government will overcome the handicaps it faces with the help and cooperation of foreign forces, and that it will be born again as an independent democratic country that prospers in peace. We think that building a free Iraq is the aspiration of a majority of the Iraqi people, and, in view of their ability to develop a brilliant culture through its long history, we are confident that their aspirations will be materialized.
For that to happen, it is essential to restore law, order and social stability. At present, the situation in Iraq is very unstable. Many Iraqi resistance forces and militant Islamic groups have gathered, and they sometimes form alliances aiming at expanding their own influence. Sometimes they engage in battles independently. To overcome such a situation early, the three major factions ― the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds ― must keep territorial unity and national identity through cooperation. When Iraqis restore social stability and law and order by collaborating with the interim government, early withdrawal of foreign troops will be possible and overseas economic cooperation and foreign investment will flow in. The worst situation would be created if the various factions continue to confront and fight each other. Then there would be a danger that the country would plunge into confusion and destruction with the prolonged stationing of foreign troops there and chronic civil war. The international community should help the interim government restore stability and hold elections in 2005 as planned.
Korea, which plans to deploy additional troops there, should analyze the changing situation in Iraq objectively and have the wisdom to respond to it correctly. Seoul should be careful not to get involved in unnecessary conflicts. As the threats of extremist groups will stay high for some time, the government should not fail to take thorough security precautions.