Monday, August 4, 2008

Another Nightmare Bush Can Pass On To The Next President: Korean War Massacres

The Massacre At No Gun Ri Was Just
The Tip of the Iceberg

While the Koren War is often called "The Forgotten War," it hasn't been forgotten by the people of South Korea whose family members were killed by American soldiers:

By CHARLES J. HANLEY and JAE-SOON CHANG, Associated Press Writers 1 hour, 12 minutes ago

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korean investigators, matching once-secret documents to eyewitness accounts, are concluding that the U.S. military indiscriminately killed large groups of refugees and other civilians early in the Korean War.

A half-century later, the Seoul government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has more than 200 such alleged wartime cases on its docket, based on hundreds of citizens' petitions recounting bombing and strafing runs on South Korean refugee gatherings and unsuspecting villages in 1950-51.

Concluding its first investigations, the 2 1/2-year-old commission is urging the government to seek U.S. compensation for victims.

Oh Boy! You can bet that George Bush will relish handing off this one to McCain or Obama. Killing civilians is enough, but killing civilians trying to flee to the safety of American arms is worse! This may be worse than the MyLai Massacre: America might have to dole out a hefty chunk of change for this mistake.

And the mistake gets more complex when we find out that the Army conducted an investigation of the famous No Gun Ri Massacre from 1999 to 2001, but neglected a prime piece of evidence - a letter from the American ambassador at the time, John Muccio, stating (in secret) that the Army had adopted a policy of killing refugees because they could not distinguish between Communist North Koreans and South Koreans.

This kind of action is certainly not new. It sounds silly to compare the Korean War to something like the Albigensian Crusade of the 13th Century, but the comparison is there: the Cathars (Albigenses) were considered heretics by the pope and a deliberate genocide by the Vatican and the King of France took place. But when laying siege to a town suspected of harboring Cathars, one soldier asked the papal legate (representative) how he would tell the Cathars from the "real" Christians,the legate's response was "Kill them all. God will take care of his kind." The French soldiers killed every man, woman and child - a total of 15,000 people. Later, it was discovered that there were only 200 Cathars in the city.

Collateral damage happened in Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq.
"We honor our own who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met." - inscription on a plaque in Veteran's Memorial Park.

Does that seem familiar? Something else: the No Gun Ri Massacre investigation (ended Jan. 2001) was inconclusive, but it admitted that the Muccio letter was suppressed. The future President George W. Bush would have been apprised of the findings and of the incidents of Korean civilian massacres. The number of cases alleging U.S. massacres of civilians: 215. Each massacre, it is estimated, killed 50 to 150 people. Bush won't have to do the math concerning a possible settlement (he couldn't anyway). He'll leave the mess to the next President.

One of the most famous photographs to come out of the Korean War: after the bombardment of Inchon, Korea (the first for American forces), a little child cries for his mother. What happened afterwards, we'll never know. The photo at the top depicts Rugees fleeing from their homes - some to be napalmed or strafed by American troops.

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