- Jun 7, 2003
I lived half my childhood on military bases on Asia (with my parents). I never really thought much back then about why my family was there or how the native population might feel about our presence. I was a kid, you know?
We have South Korean exchange students at my university, and one of them (who I consider my friend) recently told me about a young South Korean girl who was killed by an American military vehicle. I can't find the details on this story, but I know that two US military men were acquitted of fault in the incident by a US military court. I seems that this incident has sparked a lot of protest amongst the young people in South Korea demanding that the US military leave South Korea.
It seems to me that this level of protest had to have been built up over time, and I expect that the recent incident over the two military men and the young girl was merely a spark.
From the several (heated) discussions that I have had with my South Korean friend, I feel that she holds a lot of animosity towards the US over its policies and specifically over its presence in South Korea. She often points out that the US is the only super-power on the planet, and she feels that the US abuses its power over other countries.
It makes me feel pretty bad that the young South Korean people (who I had presumed were friendly towards the US) seem so angry with us. I had assumed that the US presence in South Korea has a lot to do with maintaining the border between the North and the South. I had assumed that the South Korean people might be grateful for the fact. I get the impression that many of the young people in South Korea are not grateful, but are instead pretty unhappy with the US presence. I suggested to my friend a couple of weeks ago that it might be better for the US to pull out of South Korea.
This is the funny part, though. She then points out how this would be typical American irresponsibility to leave South Korea high and dry to be invaded by the North. *grin* It seems to me that the US can't win no matter what it does! I then suggest that a slow withdrawl of the US troops might be an acceptable plan. It would then give the young people of South Korea time to pick up a weapon and learn to defend their own northern border.
To some extent, this may now be happening:
I've talked with several other South Korean students about this topic, and their feelings seem to be consistent with that of my friend's. Anyone else out there noticing any of this? Comment?
...sorry about the long posting. I just thought I'd try to distract ya'll off the Iraq thing for a while.