FP: Korea Was the United States’ First Forever War
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S Nathan Park Sep 5
…In 1948, the United States had the formal authority to command the South Korean military, but the United States all but signed off on the Jeju Massacre, with Col. Rothwell Brown in Jeju touting his efficient coordination of South Korean military and the police who were wiping out the mountain villages. In response to the Jeju Massacre, South Korea’s 14th Regiment, stationed in the cities of Yeosu and Suncheon, South Korea, revolted as they refused to be sent to Jeju to kill civilians. While quelling the revolt, Rhee killed another 10,000 civilians in the area, with Capt. James H. Hausman (who came to be known as the “father of the South Korean army”) overseeing the supply of aircrafts, armored cars, and weapons for the operation.
The chaos of the Korean War, which killed 10 percent of the Korean population, ratcheted up the wholesale massacre of civilians. The United States dropped more bombs in North Korea than it did in World War II’s Pacific theater, without bothering to distinguish between military and civilian targets. Gen. Curtis LeMay of the Tokyo firebombing coolly explained: “We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea both. We killed off over a million civilian Koreans.” The U.S. bombing campaign in Korea was so appalling it inspired artist Pablo Picasso to paint Massacre in Korea, third in his anti-war trilogy that began with Guernica. At No Gun Ri, U.S. forces knowingly targeted South Korean war refugees, killing 163 individuals. Rhee happily joined the killing spree, murdering as many as 200,000 civilians accused of communist sympathies in what came to be known as the Bodo League massacre. When Rhee wasn’t killing deliberately, he was killing through corruption and incompetence. Up to 120,000 soldiers in South Korea’s National Defense Corps died not from battle but from frostbite and malnourishment, as Rhee’s cronies liberally siphoned supplies.
Great editorial commentary from a Korean-American critical of the alleged virtues of the original “forever war.” The evacuation of Afghanistan is resurrecting the myth in western media. There is a paywall, but if you don’t go to Foreign Policy often the article may open up. (3 free articles a month) I doubt if they have 3 free articles worth reading. It’s an MICC establishment rag, they normally don’t have critical commentaries like this. In addition to the massacres described in the quote above, the US supported 3 consecutive dictatorships over a forty year period after it occupied the peninsula. South Korea became “democratic” not because of the US, but because of its own people’s efforts, in spite of the US. I think one other thought that I might add to his argument, is that I would refrain from idealizing South Korean “democracy.” It is the South Korean democratic movement which is admirable. The government itself, could slip back into an authoritarian despotic regime at any time, and the goons on VOA and in the Pentagon, would probably welcome it. Meanwhile, the US media claim the current democratic government of South Korea, is the threat to democracy.
September 6, 2021 at 5:06 PM #444289GZeusHParticipant
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the U.S. never tires of installing some fawning sycophant of the right-wing American model: free the markets and enslave the worker.
Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.
September 21, 2021 at 12:49 PM #446461ArtfromArkParticipant
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North Korea is a monarchical dictatorship thanks to first, the USSR, then China.
Would you rather live in NORTH Korea, or SOUTH Korea?
“There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)
September 21, 2021 at 1:58 PM #446468
September 21, 2021 at 5:30 PM #446498Ohio BarbarianModerator
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If there’s no democracy in the workplace, that’s not a democratic society, IMHO. That means Japan’s not a democracy, either. It may be more of one than the US, since we live in an oligarchy, but so long as the employer/employee relationship is the driving force of the material economy, there is no real democracy.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton
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