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Korea and Moral Equivalency

Reader comment on item: Israel Shuns Victory

Submitted by James Eckert (United States), Mar 28, 2006 at 13:35

As an opponent of moral equivalency in Israel and Iraq, be careful to avoid it in elsewhere.

"The Korean War ended more than a half century ago, but neither North nor South having given up its aspirations means fighting could flare up at any time."

First, arguably, the South has in fact given up its aspiration to peacefully combine with the North. The example of Germany has taught many that one's oppressed countrymen are better left alone - they are expensive and obstinate. Hardly worth the trouble.

More importantly, I believe that it is wrong to suggest that, if the South has not given up hope, that this hope somehow "means fighting could flare up at any time". The North, and only the North, threatens peace in Korea. Another example: Taiwan may continue to hold aspirations of a unified China, but that would not justify saying "China's civil war ended more than a half century ago, but neither China nor Taiwan having given up its aspirations means fighting could flare up at any time."

If only one side threatens the peace, I believe that it is moral equivalency to suggest that both sides' aspirations mean that fighting could flare up at any time.
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Daniel Pipes replies:

I did not engage in moral equivalency but I did ignore the fact that the South's war goal has changed since the 1950s. Thank you for pointing that out.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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