Hi Patrick. Thanks for your response.

I am quite busy today, but wanted to respond, at least briefly, to some specific points, which I will quote below.

“…Korean War- an American Genocide? SURELY NOT.” […] “Your argument that US’s actions were ‘Genocide’ in the Korean War…”

There seems to be some confusion here. One of the main points of my article was a nuanced (albeit concise) exploration of why the mass slaughter conducted by the U.S. wasn’t considered a genocide (the title is meant to be cynical and literal). However, my position is that the three-year massacre was morally comparable to genocide and that the reality on the ground was indistinguishable from genocide. (The other main point of the article is that we can’t fully comprehend modern North Korean society without this crucial historical context.) Check out the full article I linked to for a more complete explanation of American atrocities, including the effort to starve the North Korean population to death:

“America doesn’t always get ‘things right’ as its made/makes mistakes. Its been on the wrong side influenced by (misplaced) ‘political expediency’, instead of actions that were more consistent with our ‘constitutional democratic/republic ideals’”…

I find this notion naive at best, but it’s probably one of those things that we’ll have to agree to disagree on. I am an anti-imperialist and leftist, and have read a lot of Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn in the past (as well as Chalmers Johnson), so I’m generally aware of the scope of the American Empire, as well as its horrific crimes against humanity. So, in short, I don’t see the countless millions of innocent people the U.S. has murdered overseas nor the dozens of dictatorships, death squads, and terrorist organizations the U.S. has supported as “mistakes.” I see these actions as deliberate attempts to dominate the planet by any means necessary. It’s not an accident that we have roughly 700 military bases in 130 different countries and a military budget that is greater than the next eight countries combined.

There has been a relentless effort to indoctrinate the American public into a nationalistic fervor on these foreign policy issues ever since the Creel Committee of 1917, so it’s really difficult to escape the belief in the moral benevolence of the U.S. war machine. (And, in lieu of attempting to fully articulate my relevant views here, I do have a list of my foreign policy-related articles at the bottom of my most recent post, if you’re interested.)

“You NEGLECT the obvious fact, we supported then, and do so till NOW- (South) Koreans!”

The reason I neglected this fact is that, as you pointed out, it is obvious (as well as irrelevant to the main topic).

“The stark difference being that South Koreans went on to adopt ‘liberal democratic capitalistic; political and economic systems” over the decades…”

This is also slightly irrelevant to the main topic (since, even if S. Korea was a perfect utopia, it wouldn’t negate the legacy of mass slaughter during the Korean War), but the reality of South Korean society is a little more nuanced.

For instance, Syngman Rhee, the authoritarian leader of South Korea from 1948 to 1960, brutally executed around 30,000 political dissidents. Park Chung-hee, the South Korean dictator from 1961 to 1979, was also fond of “murdering dissidents who demanded democracy.” Here are a few sources on past South Korean dictators, as well as the authoritarian elements of their society (including “human rights abuses committed right up to the early 1990s”):

Please don’t misconstrue the fact that I’m pointing these things out as some kind of “support” for everything the DPRK has ever done; I’m merely trying to break through Western propaganda and whitewashing of this broad topic. I’m interested in an explanation of the situation, rather than taking sides or claiming a certain side is “superior.”

Like I said, there is a lot we’ll probably have to “agree to disagree” about, but I think we can both be excited for the recent prospects for peace between North and South Korea!

Cheers,

Matthew

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Socialist. Herbivore. Husband. I usually write about politics, current events, and history. My work has also been published by The Hampton Institute.

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