- Aug 21, 2003
- Reaction score
- Chattanooga, TN
Wasn't sure exactly where to put this... War College? Horror Stories? Or here for serious discussion.AP IMPACT: US wavered over S. Korean executions
By CHARLES J. HANLEY and JAE-SOON CHANG, Associated Press Writers Sun Jul 6, 1:42 PM ET
full story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080706/ap_on_re_as/korea_mass_executions_us
SEOUL, South Korea - The American colonel, troubled by what he was hearing, tried to stall at first. But the declassified record shows he finally told his South Korean counterpart it "would be permitted" to machine-gun 3,500 political prisoners, to keep them from joining approaching enemy forces.
In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.
Extensive archival research by The Associated Press has found no indication Far East commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur took action to stem the summary mass killing, knowledge of which reached top levels of the Pentagon and State Department in Washington, where it was classified "secret" and filed away.
Now, a half-century later, the South Korean government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is investigating what happened in that summer of terror, a political bloodbath largely hidden from history, unlike the communist invaders' executions of southern rightists, which were widely publicized and denounced at the time.
Seems like dirty little secrets, dirty little lies keep coming out of the woodwork with more frequency.
I would have to agree. It's the same responsibility of watching a crime in progress and doing nothing."Although we can't present concrete evidence, we bereaved families believe the United States has some responsibility for this," she told the AP, as she visited one of the burial sites in the quiet Sannae valley.
Question is what is the U.S. going to do by way of owning up to that responsibility?
Here's going to be what I think is the crux of the whole situation.
As much as I hate to say it, this is no different than late 1940's Nazi soldiers executing Jews simply because the enemy was advancing. In many cases however the Jews were simply left behind in hopes to slow up the advance of the oncoming Allied military.An American historian of the Korean War, the University of Chicago's Bruce Cumings, sees a share of U.S. guilt in what happened in 1950.
"After the fact — with thousands murdered — the U.S. not only did nothing, but covered up the Daejeon massacres," he said.
Another Korean War scholar, Allan R. Millett, an emeritus Ohio State professor, is doubtful. "I'm not sure there's enough evidence to pin culpability on these guys," he said, referring to the advisers and other Americans.
Here however, the U.S. went to the aid of South Korea supposedly to help stem the spread of Communism. Well okay but I don't think we should've stood idly by while thousands were being massacred. This makes the U.S. just as guilty as if they had pulled the trigger themselves.
What is amazing is how long this has been kept secret.
One wonders what this will do (if ANYTHING) for how the U.S. is viewed militarily ... particularly with our presence in Iraq.