Occidentalism
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Ungrateful Korea? 恩をあだで返す韓国? 배은망덕 한국?

September 16th, 2005 . by Matt

mac
A drawing of Douglas MacArthur on the front cover of the May 2, 1942 edition of Australian Womens Weekly

In 1945, the allied forces led by the U.S. liberated Korea from Imperial Japan and gave Korea its independence. These forces were led by General Douglas MacArthur, leader of the allied forces in the Pacific. American forces occupied southern Korean, while Soviet forces occupied northern Korea, up to the 38th parrallel. The Soviet Union installed communist Kim Il Sung to rule North Korea, and Rhee Syngman became the leader of South Korea, with US support.

On June 25, 1950 North Korea launched a devestating surprise attack on South Korea, with the approval of Soviet leader Stalin.

In a short time the North Koreans were in control of 90% of Korean territory as the outmatched South Korean army fell back and routed. Seoul was taken and the North Korean army moved on to Pusan, the largest city in the most southern part of Korea.

Called to war again, to help Korea for a second time, General Douglas MacArthur saw the defeated South Korean forces and created a bold plan to outflank the north Korean forces by heroically landing at Inchon, to take advantage of of the fact that the North Koreans and their Soviet advisors would never expect such dangerous gamble.

attack
The soldier scaling the seawall at Incheon is named Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, and he was a member of the Marine Corps. He died for Korea, and for the freedom enjoyed by present day Koreans. Was his life wasted for ungrateful Koreans?

On September 15, 1950, the Allied forces attacked Incheon and was successful. General MacArthur came close to uniting Korea, but the Chinese army intervened to assist the North Korean army.

battle of seoul
The battle of Seoul. More ‘foreigners’ dead for the sake of Koreans

A cease-fire was established on July 27, 1953, and Korea still remained divided. Still, the people of South Korea were spared the hell that was to become North Korea, and owed General MacArthur a debt of gratitude. The people of Inchon were especially grateful, and erected a 16.5-foot bronze statue at Freedom Park in Inchon of MacArthur in 1957.

macarthur
MacArthur statue at the Freedom Park in Inchon. Korean ‘progressives’ want to tear it down

Now many Koreans want to tear the monument down as an ‘obstacle to unification‘. They also say that MacArthur is a war criminal.

“MacArthur is a war criminal who massacred numerous civilians at the time of the Korean War,” anti-U.S. groups said in a plea submitted to South Korea’s National Human Rights Commission last month. “To induce or force children to respect such a person by erecting a statue of him and teaching them that he is a great figure is a national disgrace and greatly injures the dignity of our people,” they said.

Kim Soo-nam, 65, who heads another pro-reunification group, recalled the insensitive behavior of U.S. troops during the war. “They sat in their jeeps and scattered biscuits on the ground. The poorly dressed young children would swarm like ants, and they took photos of that,” he said. He add rectifying “the vestiges of colonialism and our distorted history must begin with removing the MacArthur statue, which is a symbol of imperialism.”

“MacArthur is a general of blood and tears. He can’t stand in this place which symbolizes peace and freedom,” said Yoon Han-tak, 70, a retired schoolteacher.

Mr Yoon, I say to you that your freedom was purchased at the high cost of Allied blood. And now you sell it so cheaply!

Thanks to the kind of education South Koreans recieve at their schools, they think that Kim Il Jong is good, and MacArthur is bad.

This Newsweek article gets it spot on, rare for foreign coverage of Korea.

The Unwanted General
Young revisionists in South Korea are rethinking who the villains and heroes were in the Korean War

Sept. 5, 2005 issue – Fifty-five years ago this month, U.S. Gen. Douglas Mac-Arthur led 70,000 United Nations troops ashore at Inchon on the Korean Peninsula. They attacked North Korean troops, who had penetrated 300 kilometers south, from behind and within two weeks had forced them to retreat. To commemorate the turning point of the war, grateful South Koreans erected a statue of MacArthur in Inchon. But most of those visiting the monument these days do not come to honor the Amer-ican commander. Instead hundreds of protesters have gathered recently to demand that the statue—celebrating a man they see as a warmonger determined to fight communism at the expense of Korean blood—be torn down. “MacArthur started and perpetuated Korea’s division,” says Han In Sup, a civic activist leading the campaign to remove the statue. “He came here to serve U.S. interests, not to save Koreans.”

And then, shockingly to people that dont know the situation in Korea –

In a news-paper survey taken this August, 66 percent of those aged between 16 and 25 said they would now side with Pyongyang if a war broke out between North Korea and the United States. The new civil war may be between allies, not enemies.

Where are these youth getting these attitudes? It must be from the schools and the media. All that is standing in their way is a small group of war veterans that remember what MacArthur did for Korea.

defense
If its only the old people defending MacArthur, then he doesnt have a chance

This CS monitor article makes it clear that this is a ‘generational clash‘ between the young and anti American, and the older generation that actually remembers the war.

INCHON, SOUTH KOREA – A bronze statue of Douglas MacArthur looks over South Korea’s bustling Inchon harbor, a reminder of the American general’s role in driving back North Korean forces in 1950. These days, however, the statue has become a touchstone for an intergenerational conflict about the role of America in modern-day South Korea.

Young radical leftists have led assaults on the 15-foot-tall statue, meeting resistance from South Korean military veterans – some of whom show up wearing military uniforms or civilian garb with medals, ribbons, and old unit insignia. The protest has been building for more than a year and is likely to intensify around Sept. 15, the 55th anniversary of the Inchon landing. At a typical demonstration last month, hundreds of Korean riot police were there both to protect the statue and defend the leftists against the veterans, who threatened to beat them.

The struggle reflects in microcosm a gulf between older-generation Korean conservatives, who remember MacArthur as a hero who saved the South from communism, and younger Koreans pushing for reconciliation with the North.

Some foreigners say that the most anti foreigner and anti American Koreans are of the older generation, but I have found the opposite to be true. The only people I have met spewing anti American hate have been young Koreans, not the elderly. I remember vividly when a Korean foreign student insisted that the American soldiers driving the tank that accidentally ran over 2 schoolgirls in 2002 were laughing after ‘deliberately steering the tank to murder them’.

Now the ‘progressive’ Koreans are going after MacArthur, who is now a villian to Korean youth (does anyone have a Korean textbook to see how he is described?).

I think that it is time for the US to withdraw from Korea. Any help that foreign countries offer Korea will later twisted into some sort of attack by evil foreigners on Korea. Considering the way that US soldiers are treated and thought of by Koreans, its too much to expect them to fight and die for Koreans again.

UPDATE: Congressmen have written President Roh expressing their concern about what is happening. Below is an excerpt –

The House Committee on International Relations, in a letter to South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, said the U.S. Congress is “disturbed” by reports of protests around the statue of General Douglas MacArthur, whom protesters describe as a “war criminal.”

“Needless to say, Mr. President, the Congress of the United States and the American people would never subscribe to such a description of a hero who led the Allied forces which liberated the Republic of Korea twice,” the letter said, referring to Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule and the famous Incheon landing that marked its 55th anniversary on Thursday.

See One Free Korea for the full text.

Meanwhile, in response to the letter, the Choson Ilbo has called on the Korean government to ‘take a clear position’ on issue but has also said that –

…phrases in the U.S. lawmakers’ letter like “liberating Korea twice” are apt to hurt Korean pride.

Which really cuts to the heart of the issue. Isnt it for the reason that MacArthur ‘liberated Korea twice’ and that it hurts Korean pride that some Koreans want to take the statue down? An honest person shouldnt feel damaged pride when hearing the truth.

UPDATE II: The Korean media is starting to recognise the danger in these anti American protests. This is a must read JoongAng Daily editorial.

UPDATE III: The Choson Ilbo reports that protestors have attacked police that were stopping them from tearing down the statue of MacArthur.

macarthur
‘Progressive’ protesters illegally try to tear down the statue of General MacArthur

UPDATE IV: In a case of me totally missing the obvious, it seems that the anti American protesters chose 9/11/2005 because in coincides with the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Below is Joshua’s comment from marmot that brought this to my attention.

This is not just about views of MacArthur or Incheon, or the feng shui merits of having his statue on the hill. It’s about a violent attack on a symbol of America, deliberately scheduled to take place on 9/11. This could only have been meant as a rhetorical statement of approval of the mass murder of Americans. Not all of the anti-American violence in Korea recently has been rhetorical, as you know, and few of those behind it have met with serious punishment during Roh’s presidency. And while it may lack the same symbolic potency, the hateful malice of 9/11/05 was no less vile than that behind a cross burning. By just how much of a margin did we avert a direct confrontation between these violent thugs and returning American veterans?

Every nation has its lunatic fringe, of course, and it’s a sure sign of a true democracy when all facets of it speak freely. But speech and violence are two very different things, and Roh earns this criticism because he’s agnostic about distinguishing the two by imposing hard time for political violence–regardless of party affiliation. Even Roh’s own party can’t quite figure out what it thinks of the Redvests and their methods. In a week when we’ve seen some extraordinary herrenvolk ideology coming from both Koreas, a senior member of the Uri party actually praised the 9/11/05 thugs for their “deep ethnic purity.” Last I’ve heard, no one has stripped him of his leadership post or expelled him from the party. I’m sure no one will seriously consider either idea.

As we have seen all too often, Roh is a weak man who instinctively aims for the middle ground between opposing views, almost without regard for the objective merits of each side’s view. We have seen North Korea play this insight brilliantly during the six-party talks. Congress, it seems, has finally figured this out. It perceives Roh’s blindness to the excess of young left-wing Koreans, perhaps because they are his electoral base. It realizes that Roh will take the support of the United States for granted unless it shifts the debate by making its demands public. It probably does not mind embarrassing Roh, or sending a message to Korean voters that the alliance is terminable at will.

Finally, consider the likely political consequence of that statue coming down. If it does, future congresses are unlikely to authorize the President to send forces to protect South Korea. Alliances are based on common interests and values. That basis is called into question if Roh not only “balances” between its protectors and its historical overlords, but also triangulates between violent radicalism and democratic tolerance. Congress is telling Roh to do our taxpayers the courtesy of telling us whose side he is on, and acting as if he means it.

Great analysis, Joshua.

UPDATE V: Some good commentary about this issue by GI Korea.


41 Responses to “Ungrateful Korea? 恩をあだで返す韓国? 배은망덕 한국?”

  1. comment number 1 by: nou

    first of all, the group who is insisting the removal of the statue in korea is a real minority. the governement and the general public are strongly against them. the korean student movement is dying out nowadays because of the establishment of democratic regime. now even students are not interested in their movement. they are doing this stunt to get some attention from the public and the students. i hope the government takes strong stance against them.

  2. comment number 2 by: dogbert

    It’s hardly a minority…this represents Koreans’ true feelings.

    What can you expect when Korea’s own history teachings negate the role the Allies played in defeating Japan? Somehow there are still Koreans who believe that Japan was defeated in World War II by Koreans.

  3. comment number 3 by: Victor

    What can you expect when Korea’s own history teachings negate the role the Allies played in defeating Japan?

    Is this true??

    (or is he deluded on that point?)

  4. comment number 4 by: Victor

    What can you expect when Korea’s own history teachings negate the role the Allies played in defeating Japan? Somehow there are still Koreans who believe that Japan was defeated in World War II by Koreans.

    P.S. this really bothers me. If it’s TRUE, I dont think I can really support KOREA on this blog.

  5. comment number 5 by: nou

    victor, i was banned without justication. you can email me at [email protected]

    he will probably delete this message. write down my email.

  6. comment number 6 by: Victor

    This is the second part of the nou’s post that has been deleted by Matt. And, nou is now banned. Is this some kind of a fascist blog created by a descendent of criminals (yes, australia, the land of prisoners)

    ……..secondly, the title of this thread. “Ungrateful Korea? ?????????? ???? ???”
    why is japanese placed there? japan has nothing to do with this incident and the article is entirely written in english. it’s like placing french or german title on this. the only reason that i can find is that the poster is driving this site in which japanese criticize koreans. he has always compared korea to japan to criticize the former whatever the matter is. now his intention looks very clear. he is creating more hostilily between two nations by doing this. two nations do not need wicked meddling of an autsralian.

    i visited here to see valid critics on korea ignoring some of his questionable intentions. but not anymore. i urge all the koreans who are defending korea here to leave this site. ignore him and let him continue his evil hobby. i don’t think this site will get ever any significance with this attitude so no use to defend whatsoever.

    you can see some of his posts in eslcafe.com. i will not reveal his pseudo name there because of his privacy. but you will soon know which pseudo means him. it will give you more light what he intends to do.

  7. comment number 7 by: Victor

    nou’s post in its entirety:

    first of all, the group who is insisting the removal of the statue in korea is a real minority. the governement and the general public are strongly against them. the korean student movement is dying out nowadays because of the establishment of democratic regime. now even students are not interested in their movement. they are doing this stunt to get some attention from the public and the students. i hope the government takes strong stance against them.

    secondly, the title of this thread. “Ungrateful Korea? ?????????? ???? ???”
    why is japanese placed there? japan has nothing to do with this incident and the article is entirely written in english. it’s like placing french or german title on this. the only reason that i can find is that the poster is driving this site in which japanese criticize koreans. he has always compared korea to japan to criticize the former whatever the matter is. now his intention looks very clear. he is creating more hostilily between two nations by doing this. two nations do not need wicked meddling of an autsralian.

    i visited here to see valid critics on korea ignoring some of his questionable intentions. but not anymore. i urge all the koreans who are defending korea here to leave this site. ignore him and let him continue his evil hobby. i don’t think this site will get ever any significance with this attitude so no use to defend whatsoever.

    you can see some of his posts in eslcafe.com. i will not reveal his pseudo name there because of his privacy. but you will soon know which pseudo means him. it will give you more light what he intends to do.

  8. comment number 8 by: Ell

    In terms of education, it’s seems true that they are teaching kids
    that North Korea is a good neighbor.
    A Japanese newscaster visited a Korean elementary school and
    interviewed several. Most had positive things to say about Kim Jong Il.
    One such example was:
    “He’s working for the unification of Korea. I think he’s a nice person”.
    Most of the kids’ drawings were also poilitically inclined.
    What are they teaching these kids?
    Japanese elementary kids wouldn’t be drawing a picture of an island and
    putting the phrase “Takeshima is ours!” on it. The drawing would be more
    personal and apolitical.

    I don’t know what’s going on in Korea now, but it’s alarming as a neighbor.
    – The extreme (in Japanese eyes) anti-Japnesism
    – The extreme rush to try to accomplish unification while ignoring the issues such as the North Korea’s kidnapping of citizens (of South Korea; Japanese were not the only ones kidnapped by the North Korean government)
    – The one-sided education that seems to cater to over-emphasizing nationalism and hiding problems that exists in North Korea, economically and politically

    Korea worries about resurge of Japanese militarism, but from a Japanese point of view, Korea’s extreme nationalism would more easily lead to Korea’s militarism.

  9. comment number 9 by: Matt

    victor, i was banned without justication. you can email me at [email protected]

    he will probably delete this message. write down my email.

    You were banned for doing something you were warned about before. You are allowed to talk about the issues. You are not free to make ad hominem attacks against me.

    This is the second part of the nou’s post that has been deleted by Matt. And, nou is now banned. Is this some kind of a fascist blog created by a descendent of criminals (yes, australia, the land of prisoners)

    Nou was banned because nou was making off topic attacks against me. He has been warned about it before. This isnt a ‘facist blog’, but dont think you have free speech. There are rules here, and you just broke them with your ‘descendent of criminals’ comment. You can talk about the issues on the blog, not your mistaken ideas about my political ideology or insults to my ancestors.

    nou’s post in its entirety:

    No. That is NOT nou’s post in its entirety. Its missing the part where he says he is leaving and not coming back. Why is he still trolling my site?

    secondly, the title of this thread. “Ungrateful Korea? ?????????? ???? ???”
    why is japanese placed there? japan has nothing to do with this incident and the article is entirely written in english. it’s like placing french or german title on this. the only reason that i can find is that the poster is driving this site in which japanese criticize koreans

    The Japanese is there because the Korean is there. Japanese often read this site through machine translation, but can only do so in one language. It is there for convenience.

    he has always compared korea to japan to criticize the former whatever the matter is. now his intention looks very clear. he is creating more hostilily between two nations by doing this. two nations do not need wicked meddling of an autsralian.

    I didnt even mention Japan or compare it to Korea in this post. How can you accuse me of that? ‘wicked meddling of an autsralian’? I warned nou about this before, but he doesnt stop there.

    i visited here to see valid critics on korea ignoring some of his questionable intentions. but not anymore. i urge all the koreans who are defending korea here to leave this site. ignore him and let him continue his evil hobby. i don’t think this site will get ever any significance with this attitude so no use to defend whatsoever.

    Evil hobby? Thats a personal attack, and not allowed. ‘i urge all the koreans who are defending korea here to leave this site’? I warned you that this is not the place for you to conduct some sort of Jihad. Start your own blog if you dont like the content here.

    you can see some of his posts in eslcafe.com. i will not reveal his pseudo name there because of his privacy. but you will soon know which pseudo means him. it will give you more light what he intends to do.

    Do you mean my username, ‘shakuhachi’ (means flute) over at Daves ESL cafe? Everyone knows it anyway. Anyone that wants to see my posts over there are most welcome. Just go here and type shakuhachi into the author search.

    Victor, you should be careful about not being used by others. Also be careful not to make offensive comments about peoples ancestors, which you did to me without me ever having done anything to you.

    Nou, please do not post by proxy. Remember I know what your ISP is and I can send a mail to their abuse section if you keep it up.

  10. comment number 10 by: Matt

    Quite simply, having trolls like nou means having to write the comment I wrote above again and again, in different ways.

    Let me make it clear

    You dont have free speech. If you want to talk about me being evil, or speculate about my ancestors, or talk about cars, or motor tools or any other off topic subject, do it somewhere else. The comments section is for commentary/opinions on what I wrote on the blog.

    I am excercising my right of free speech by removing obscentities from comments and making sure the comments stay on topic. Because I have been busy in the last few days I have let the comments get to wild and off topic. Now I will aggressively cull comments that dont fit with the rules.

  11. comment number 11 by: Two Cents

    Now the ‘progressive’ Koreans are going after MacArthur, who is now a villian to Korean youth (does anyone have a Korean textbook to see how he is described?).

    I have a Japanese translation to the 1996 high scool textbook. It doesn’t mention MacArthur’s name. Just basically says that the Allies, consisting of the US, British, French, and a total of 16 other countires fought with ROK to drive back the Soviet and Chinese backed North and that unification under the South was lost by intervetion of Chinese communist forces.

    What can you expect when Korea’s own history teachings negate the role the Allies played in defeating Japan?

    Is this true??

    Victor, they don’t negate it, but they don’t stress it either. They dedicate a lot of pages to how Koreans fought for independence from Japan (which unfortunately was only a part of the Koreans, and in many cases, simply communists). Then, the opening statement for the section on modern times simply says that the Korean independence was finally achieved though the independence movement and the defeat of Japan in WWII. There’s not much on WWII, since the preceding section deals mostly with how bad the occupation was and how bravely Koreans defied Japan, and the next section simply starts by, “After the end of the WWII, …” Having read the sections, you would get the impression that Koreans were the main players in driving out the Japanese.

    Matt, I guess that when Koreans, even if a minority, can distort history to make a hero of this magnitude a villan, then the day will never come when they can see the Japan-Korean annexation objectively.

    Roh’s statement didn’t exactly defend MacArthur either, I think. All he said was basically, “Guys, I agree with you, but this is not a good time to chase the US off our soils.”

  12. comment number 12 by: Matt

    I have a Japanese translation to the 1996 high scool textbook. It doesn’t mention MacArthur’s name. Just basically says that the Allies, consisting of the US, British, French, and a total of 16 other countires fought with ROK to drive back the Soviet and Chinese backed North and that unification under the South was lost by intervetion of Chinese communist forces.

    Is that a hardcopy or online? If its online, I would love to read it.

  13. comment number 13 by: Two Cents

    Sorry, hardcopy. You can purchase it here.

    新版 韓国の歴史―国定韓国高等学校歴史教科書 世界の教科書シリーズ
    申 奎燮 (原著), 大槻 健 (翻訳), 君島 和彦 (翻訳)
    http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4750316733/qid=1126934837/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_10_3/249-2624121-2049124

  14. comment number 14 by: Matt

    Just reading the reviews, it seems that their are many points where this Korean state textbook completely leaves reality behind, and turns into a work of fiction. I will try to get my hands on this book at Kinokuniya.

  15. comment number 15 by: ponta

    My position is clear.
    If you want to prove matt is wrong on some points or that he is ill-motivated, all you need to give evidences and arguments against his thesis on the topic.
    And all I want to do is to enjoy the good debate.
    I really like to see how matt’s oppornent argue against it.
    So far many commentators like mattlover or mattress made useless comments:(here,I am not saying mattlover is Korean)
    A personal attack is sometimes useful as in proving the credibility of testimony,but usually it is not usuful and but devastating.
    I saw really dirty commments like ??? Bush attacking Matt personally. I am short temper, if I were in his position, I got really mad.
    I am still expecting the good debaters.
    On the other hand, some claims that Matt deletes the comments that disagree with his opinion and leaves dessidents who just looks stupid. I think this is a criticism to be taken seriously.
    (Is this why I found few good debaters for Korean side?)

    The readers are smart. They don’t judge Korea just besed on this blog. They don’t judge negatively on Korean just based on the fact that there are debates on some issues about Korea.
    They would judge negatively if Korean can not respond to Matt adequately.
    They would judege negativelyl if Matt is unfair in choosing which comments to be deleted.

    This is Matt’s blog, so he has right to delete whatever he wants.
    I like this blog, and I like fairness, and I don’t like this blog judeged unfairly.
    It is inevitable someone who was deleted has complaints.
    It is also necessary to delete comments that contain obscene expression and violates privacy.
    So, it might be good idea to set up rules in clearly defined terms for delete, and make them known beforehand, or
    it might be good idea to make new categroy “a trashbox” or something for deleted opinions, so that everyone can see and judge the value of them, or
    whatever , so that the readers are assured that this blog is fair.
    I hope Matt and other keep up a good work.

    Matt
    Maybe this helps you..
    http://f17.aaa.livedoor.jp/~kasiwa/korea/textbook_korea/

  16. comment number 16 by: Matt

    Matt
    Maybe this helps you..
    http://f17.aaa.livedoor.jp/~kasiwa/korea/textbook_korea/

    Wow! Great! A thousand thanks to you, Ponta!

  17. comment number 17 by: Victor

    (I guess I’m not banned…? I was holding my breath. Not that I would really care if was….)

    Matt,
    No matter what you say, you cannot justify what you did today. Nou’s post was a personal attack?? Come on, take it like a man. You didn’t have to delete it or ban him for that. It does not make sense at all… Not at all!!

    If you don’t want any more off-topic posts, feel free to ban me from your site. Otherwise, I will have to keep expressing my “dissenting opinions” until I know what’s going around here.

  18. comment number 18 by: Matt

    Matt,
    No matter what you say, you cannot justify what you did today.

    Victor, its my blog. When you start paying the internet hosting fees for it, then you will be qualified to decide what is justified and what is not.

    Nou’s post was a personal attack?? Come on, take it like a man.

    This comments section is a place where people can post opinons without fear of personal attack. That goes for everyone.

    If you don’t want any more off-topic posts, feel free to ban me from your site. Otherwise, I will have to keep expressing my “dissenting opinions” until I know what’s going around here.

    Victor, you call an attack on my ancestors a disssenting opinion? Make it clear, because that will decide whether I ban you or not. I also suggest that you take a look around the past commenters. Plenty of people have ‘dissenting opinions’, and have not been banned.

    Nou’s ban will stand (even though nou wrote that she would never post again – didnt he send that part of the ‘entire text’ to you?). It has nothing to do with you.

  19. comment number 19 by: Victor

    Matt,
    before I go to bad, I’ll just clarify one thing.

    you call an attack on my ancestors a disssenting opinion

    I admit that I was over the line. But…I was citing a “fact”, just like you are doing on this blog. (no offense) Besides, it is what everybody “knows”…at least in Canada…The following is not a canadian article but since you need evidence, I have one for you.

    But these descendants of criminals are among the world’s more law-abiding people, providing a neat refutation of the biological explanation of crime.

    quoted from descendants of criminals

    It’s on the 14th line, I think.

    Oh, please I’m not trying to be nasty here. Feel free to yank this post if you want.

  20. comment number 20 by: Victor

    Plenty of people have ‘dissenting opinions’, and have not been banned.

    Just one more thing,
    I don’t see anybody who is expressing any “dissenting opinions” here, at least not in any logical way.

  21. comment number 21 by: Matt

    Victor, you wrote ‘Is this some kind of a fascist blog created by a descendent of criminals’.

    Meaning that I am a decendent of criminals. In fact, this is not true. I would suggest you keep your speculation to yourself.

    If you have a dissenting opinion about what I have actually written, then lets see it.

  22. comment number 22 by: Matt

    Just one more thing,
    I don’t see anybody who is expressing any “dissenting opinions” here, at least not in any logical way.

    That statement could well apply to you.

    I dont know how old you are, but I would suggest you research the issues before you comment on them. Google is a good resource – just make a search.

  23. comment number 23 by: Victor

    The readers are smart. They don’t judge Korea just besed on this blog.

    Ponta,

    Sounds like you are talking to me.

    Great! That’s what I was asking you to do…I’m trying to learn more about Korea myself. When I learn more, I will tell you more…

  24. comment number 24 by: Victor

    (darn, cannot go to sleep)

    Meaning that I am a decendent of criminals. In fact, this is not true. I would suggest you keep your speculation to yourself.

    I take back the commenta about your ancestors. If you need my apology, you have one. No need to be nasty here.

  25. comment number 25 by: Gerry Bevers

    Two Cents’ comments about Korea’s government-sanctioned history book is correct. It just mentions World War II in passing and does not say anything about MacArthur.

    I have the 2001 version of Korea’s middle school history book. Here is the section on the Korea War, which is relatively not too bad:

    6.25 전쟁

    북한 공산주의자들은 통치 기반을 정비한 후, 대한민국에 대한 무력 남침를 서둘렀다. 그들은 소련과 비밀 군사 협정을 맺어 군사력을 증강시켰다. 6.25 전쟁 직전에 북한의 병력은 20만 명에 이르렀고, 소련의 지원을 받아 전투기와 전차 등의 현대식 무기까지 갖추었다.

    그러나 당시 남한은 각지에서 발생한 소요 사태와 파업 등으로 사회가 안정죄지 못한 상태였으며, 인구의 급격한 증가로 인한 식량 부족으로 경제적으로 매우 어려웠다. 또, 정당과 사회 단체의 난립으로 정치적으로도 불안정한 실정이었고 군사력도 제대로 갖추지 못하였다. 남한의 병력은 10만 명 정도에 지나지 않았고 무기와 장비도 뒤떨어진 상태에 있었다.

    북한 공산주의자들은 남침 준비를 서두르면서도, 겉으로는 남한에 대해 평화 공세를 펴 그들의 남침 의도를 숨기려고 하였다. 그러다가 1950년 6월 25일, 마침내 북한 공산군은 38 도선의 전 지역에 걸쳐서 남침을 감행하였다.

    우리 국군은 빈약한 무기에도 불구하고 자유 수호의 결의를 다짐하면서 공산군의 침략에 맞서 용감히 사웠다. 그러나 병력과 장비가 부족한 국군은 공산군의 대규모 남침에 일시 후퇴하지 않을 수 없었다.

    이에 정부는, 공산군의 남침을 피해 대전, 대구를 거쳐 부산으로 피난하고, 이 곳을 임시 수도로 하였다. 그리고 낙동강 저지선까지 후퇴한 국군은 이곳을 거점으로 반격 작전을 준비하였다. 나이 어린 학도병들도 자유 수호를 위해 책 대신 총을 들고 국군과 함께 용감히 싸웠으며, 많은 청넌들이 군에 지원하여 조국 수호에 앞장 섰다.

    공산군의 격퇴

    북한 공산군의 침략이 있자, 긴급 소집된 유엔 안전 보장 이사회는 북한 공산주의자들을 침략자로 규정하고 공산군의 철수를 요구하는 한편, 유엔군의 한국 파병을 결의하였다.

    그리하여 미국을 비롯한 우방 16개국이 세계 평화의 자유 수호를 위하여 우리 나라에 군대를 보내 와, 유엔의 깃발 아래 국군과 함께 싸웠다.

    한때 낙동강까지 후퇴하여 전세가 매우 위급하였으나, 재정비되고 강화된 국군과 유엔군은 인천 상륙 작전을 계기로 반격을 시도하여 서울을 수복하였다. 이어서, 이 기회에 통일을 이룩해야겠다는 생각으로 38도선을 넘어 공산군을 쫓으며 북한으로 진격하였다.

    국군이 압록강과 두만강 부근까지 진격하여 통일이 눈앞에 다가온 듯하였으나, 뜻하지 않은 중공군의 개입으로 다시 물어서지 않을 수 없었다. 중공군은 수많은 군대를 동원하여 인해 전술로 밀고 내려왔다. 그러하여 한때 서울을 다시 내주었으나, 전력을 가다듬은 국군과 유엔군은 서울을 재탈환하고, 적을 다시 38도선 부근까지 격퇴하였다. 그 후, 치열한 공방전이 계속되었다.

    이러한 가운데, 전쟁에 지친 공산군은 남침의 실패를 깨닫고 소련을 내세워 휴전을 제의해 왔다. 이후, 유엔군과 공산군 사이에 2년여에 걸쳐 판문점에서 휴전 회담이 진행되었다. 이 때, 우리 겨레는 완전 통일이 아닌 휴전에 반대하였으나, 결국 휴전이 이루어졌다(1953).

    북한 공산군이 일으킨 6.25 전쟁은 자유와 평화에 대한 도전으로서, 동족 상잔의 범죄였다. 수많은 사람들이 생명과 재산을 잃었고, 공장과 발전소, 교량과 철도 등이 파괴되었다.

  26. comment number 26 by: doing my best

    Concerning negative points toward Korea:

    The Cambodia hostage situation would make a good topic:

    http://www.phnompenhpost.com/TXT/letters/l1413-2.htm
    (apology from a Korean)

  27. comment number 27 by: ponta

    Matt, Nou, Victors.
    Matt has his arugement and his evidences backed up by newspaper articles, and others.
    This is a completely correct procedure when you debate.
    You can interprete his intention in your own way but that is a side issue.
    And author’s intention is not easy to determine.
    Besides, supposing that you are right about his intention, I don’t think it is a good argument that since his intention is bad, his thesis is bad, his argument is groundless.

    Personal attack does not help refute him either..
    Nou went too far when he said what Matt is doing is “evil hobby”
    Victor made a big mistake whe he uttered ” a decendent of criminals”

    The best way is to refute him directly on the topic.
    If you have no evidences like newspaper articles, your impression, your opinion is still okay.
    You might point out, for instance, when Matt claims Korean journalism is not reliable, why does he rely on it when he is trying to support his opinion?.That’s one possible argument, .(but it will be rebuttled by saying, for example, that, they are not that bad, or if you are careful, there is no problem.)

    Some Korean complain that Matt should write about good things about Korea too.
    Basically, it depends on the editor, Matt, what should be on the blog:this is his blog.
    In addition, we know where to find good things about Korea:go to NYT, articles by Oonishi.

    However, I think the blog like this needs good oppornents.
    This blog is sometimes provocative for Korean.
    So in order to be fair, in order to be trusted by ordinary readers with common sense, it might be better to have opposing views in the comments.
    So far, there were, in my impression, only poor debaters for Korea like Mattress and others.
    So far, I find Two Cents and others who are in basically agreement with Matt impressive.
    And there are noises like ********* which are constantly trying to makes this blog looks prejudiced.
    I thought Nou was the one who can correct prejudices about Korea, if any, that some people are inclined to form.
    Nou is not the type who is subject to emotions and fanatic nationalism but I believe he is the one who would listen to reason and rationality when the argument is right.
    I think it might be good idea for this blog to have people like them as far as they have intention to argue in the right way.

    (you can delete this post, 彼が何度も警告を受けていたならしようがないとも思いますが、他に多少なりともまともな反対意見を言ってくれそうな人が少ないし・・・失礼かとは思いましたが一筆させていただきました。)

  28. comment number 28 by: Whoever

    Can anyone recommend a good Korean war movie?

  29. comment number 29 by: dead

    There is still one question.
    Why are all the posts on this webiste negative toward Korea?

    I am not denying the content. But calling things like “finger-chopping wacky”
    and “Racist Industrial Complex” does not help the problem.

    I would like to know why Koreans do these type of things.
    Cutting off one’s finger? Well, there must be some reason.
    Just calling it “wacky” is irresponsbile.

    Calling Koreans “ungrateful” is too.
    How can you understand the situation if you don’t explore the reasons?

    All this site does is show Koreans doing embarrasing or shameful things.
    It does not explain why.

  30. comment number 30 by: Matt

    There is still one question.
    Why are all the posts on this webiste negative toward Korea?

    Answered here. Also, on the right hand side on the main page of the blog, there is a section called blogroll. That contains links to other blogs about Korea, people with points of view that are different to my own. Read them, I do.

    I am not denying the content. But calling things like “finger-chopping wacky”
    and “Racist Industrial Complex” does not help the problem.

    I would like to know why Koreans do these type of things.
    Cutting off one’s finger? Well, there must be some reason.
    Just calling it “wacky” is irresponsbile.

    I dont know the reason. You cant expect an answer from me when I dont know it. Its wacky because its unexplained.

    Calling Koreans “ungrateful” is too.
    How can you understand the situation if you don’t explore the reasons?

    All this site does is show Koreans doing embarrasing or shameful things.
    It does not explain why.

    The ‘ungrateful’ had a ? mark after it, so it was a question. It is also an unresolved dispute, a conflict between young and old. You have been commenting here – why dont you explore the reasons?

  31. comment number 31 by: Victor

    Can anyone recommend a good Korean war movie?

    “Taekeukgi (spelling) -brotherhood of war” is pretty good and most blockbusters have it, I believe….

    There is still one question.
    Why are all the posts on this webiste negative toward Korea?

    They say “c’est la vie” and I’d say “c’est the blog.”….

  32. comment number 32 by: Matt

    Can anyone recommend a good Korean war movie?

    Dont forget shuri (쉬리) – not exactly a war movie but plenty of excitement.

  33. comment number 33 by: Victor

    All this site does is show Koreans doing embarrasing or shameful things.

    Dead,

    It’s pretty obvious that this blog is “designed” to dig up some dirt on Korea. That way, he can show everybody…..oh well, whatever he wants to show. Obviously there have been some skeletons in the (korean) closet and he’s been doing an excellent job to expose them, given the level of support he is receiving in this neighborhood.

    Therefore, don’t expect him to use “heroic self-mutilation” for example for “finger chopping wacky”….Unless somebody actually provides some kinds of “concrete evidence” to refute his arguments, i think questioning his intention will not get you anywhere.

    didn’t mean to be presumptuous.
    Just my two cents

  34. comment number 34 by: Victor

    p.s.
    By the way, i think every country has some major “skeletons in the closet” as well. Personally i’m not too keen to dig up what is not my business, but because of my ethinic background, korea seems to have become my business in the recent couple of days….

  35. comment number 35 by: Matt

    p.s.
    By the way, i think every country has some major “skeletons in the closet” as well. Personally i’m not too keen to dig up what is not my business, but because of my ethinic background, korea seems to have become my business in the recent couple of days….

    “There is no truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world”
    Thomas Jefferson (American 3rd US President (1801-09). Author of the Declaration of Independence. 1762-1826)

  36. comment number 36 by: Two Cents

    Therefore, don’t expect him to use “heroic self-mutilation” for example for “finger chopping wacky”….

    During the Takeshima/Dokto dispute, a Korean congressman entered the Japanese diet building wielding a knife, with intentions of chopping off his fingers in front of Japanese congressman to protest. For argument’s sake, let’s just assume a similar situation. The US and Japan is currently fighting over the import of US beef (the BSE problem). If a Japanese congressman was to enter the US House of Congress weidling a knife to chop his finger off, how would the Canadian press report on it? An example of “heroic self-mutilation” or “finger chopping wacky”? The latter I would believe. I think I would be embarassed to have such an emotionally-driven congressman in Japan and instead of defending him, would condemn him for doing so (and probably most Japanese would, too). Matt, an Australian, is just presenting what he thinks, and from what I have read, don’t really give a damn about political correctness in expressing himself.

  37. comment number 37 by: Mattress

    Dokdo? see you agian…
    http://aog.2y.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=1679&st=0
    http://aog.2y.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=1679&st=20

    Matthew, Be scrupulously fair, please!!!!!!

  38. comment number 38 by: Victor

    Two cents,
    “Heroic self-mutilation” was an example (yes, i admit, it was rather far-fetched), and I used such a strong example just to emphasize my point.

    You are right, I wouldn’t expect anybody to describe such an incident as heroic…

  39. comment number 39 by: Chris

    Victor and others on this blog,

    To answer your question about whether or not South Korea (and North Korea, for that matter) negate the role that the allies played in defeating Japan during WWII, all I can say is: YES THEY DO!!!!

    The next time you are in Seoul, I recommend braving the tear gas and the demonstrators in order to visit the War Memorial Museum. I have been to the so-called War Memorial Museum right next to Yongsan Garrison probably four or five times at least. It is a complete whitewash and travesty of history. The first time I visited the museum I didn’t really notice the whitewashing. I was overwhelmed by all of the details. However, that is probably the whole point of the museum. After subsequent visits, I discovered that nearly all of Korea’s “victories” are loudly trumpeted with huge 3-D displays with computer graphics and translated into English. For example, we are bludgeoned over the head ad nausem about Admiral Yi Sun Shin’s naval victory at the Battle of Masan and just how it important it was to world history. However, all of Korea’s defeats, such as how the Kingdom of Shilla united with the Han Chinese to conquer the Kingdom of Gogureyo [sic] or the Mongol conquest of Korea or the fall of old Seoul by the heroic forces of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, are in Korean only. They probably don’t want foreigners to know about those. When it comes to WWII, the museum really doesn’t have a lot. It’s just a small room. There aren’t any pictures or displays of Korean kamikaze pilots. There aren’t any pictures of Koreans wearing Japanese Imperial Army uniforms, such Park Chung Hee and Baik Sun Eup most certainly did. The museum does go into great detail about several obscure raids conducted by communist guerillas in Manchuria during the 1930s, in English. Message: ALL Koreans were guerilla fighters; No Koreans were Japanese collaborators. (Yeah, right.) There aren’t any references to the signing of the armistice aboard the USS Missouri or the atom bomb or anything like that. To me, the museum is trying to give Koreans the impression that they were victims AND to show that Koreans “liberated” themselves. Now, if that isn’t whitewashing history, then what isn’t. After all, according to the high-and-mighty President Noh, Korea doesn’t whitewash history. What a laugh!!!! I guess a museum showing how Korea has mostly been the punching bag of Han China/Mongolia/Manchuria just wouldn’t bring in the crowds.

    Be seeing you,

    Chris
    Yongsan Garrison, Seoul
    Former Headquarters of the Japanese 20th Infantry Division (Yes, that has been whitewashed, too!!!)


  40. […] But then I remembered seeing this […]

  41. comment number 41 by: Yoshi_UK

    I really don’t mind whatever they learn within their country. However, if they REALLY wish to be our enemy state and side with their “friends” in the North, that’s fair enough. America should just pull out and Japan should cut the diplomatic relations with them on the ground that they are supporting a fascist regime. We shouldn’t be bothered whatsoever happens to them afterwards. I’m sick to death of all this nonsense.