August 16, 2004

Crocodile Tears

President Bush announces a troop realignment as part of a long range DOD modernization that is not exactly a secret on Capitol Hill and the Dems question the timing?!

Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and an adviser to Kerry's presidential campaign, called Bush's plan "pretty alarming."

Holbrooke, who is also a former ambassador to Germany and former assistant secretary of state for Asia, said, "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals. The Koreans are going to be equally unhappy. How can we withdraw troops from Korea while engaged in a delicate negotiation with the North Koreans? And there's a country that really does have weapons of mass destruction."

It's very amusing to watch the Dems morph into military-hugging hawks.

As a key member of the Clinton administration that was roundly hookwinked by North Korea he might want to rethink his criticism. Protesting against the US military has become a regular event and most South Koreans would be well pleased to see the US leave the Peninsula completely.

US faces Korean dilemma

But these are awkward times for the US military in Korea. While the North looks threatening, the South is an increasingly reluctant host.

Nationalist feelings are growing in South Korea, even among Korean troops that serve alongside the Americans. US officers talk about bruised feelings following a series of mass anti-American demonstrations.


Soldiers spat at

Scott Snyder of the US-funded Asia Foundation in Seoul said the message is getting through to Washington. Rising nationalism in the South can no longer be ignored.

"If the government and if the public decides that US troops are no longer needed, I think the US government and public will expect that they will be withdrawn because the American public does not see itself, or see the US, as an imperialist power," he said.

"If we're not wanted in a particular place, or the protection that those security forces provide is no longer perceived as needed, then indeed I think they will be withdrawn."

Out on the town near the US base in Seoul, soldiers are only welcome in certain bars and clubs. Some say they have been spat at and insulted on the street.

"It's different seeing people that you're helping protect rally against you," one US serviceman said. "It's a little hard to swallow at first. I didn't expect to see that."

BTW-How does Holbrooke know Germany is unhappy? Speaking of suspicious timing, are the Dems acting as a shadow goverment?

Posted by feste at August 16, 2004 04:04 PM | TrackBack
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