Plenty of disinformation in Korean War article
By Ray Nasser
Recently there was a column titled, "Korean War history distorted." I suppose to some extent all history is distorted, depending on the perceptions and ideology of those writing about the past. I just finished reading the book "Disinformation" by the former Romanian spy chief, Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa. It reveals how effective disinformation can be. He relates that all disinformation must have some truth in it.
To me, several items of disinformation leaped from the page of that New-Gazette article. The article begins with disinformation. It starts out stating that those who commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War evoke standard rationalization and the righteousness of the United States' part in that conflict. Of course we do. What in the world is wrong with a nation believing it is right in what it is doing? Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il unequivocally continued to shout the righteousness of their country. I don't know of any nation that doesn't think it is right.
Here is the point the author was making. We who love our country so much are smug and unsophisticated creatures. We don't know enough to come in out of the rain.
The author uses so-called historian Gabriel Kolko to support his disinformation ideas. Like so many anti-capitalists, Kolko rewrites history that fits his leftist principles. He says the hostilities in Korea were a civil war. The attack on the South was not a civil conflict. If this were a civil conflict, why did Kim Il-Sung have to have permission from the murderer of millions, Josef Stalin, to invade the republican government of South Korea? He made several requests to Stalin to make the attack before it was finalized. Kim was trained in Russia and became a major in the Soviet army. His training and combat experience (as a guerilla fighting the Japanese in Manchuria and Korea) led him to become a hardened and dedicated communist.
Harry Truman at the Cairo conference agreed to allow the Soviet Union to occupy Korea from the 38th parallel north IF the Soviets would join in the war with Japan. Stalin kept delaying to enter the war until after the first atomic bomb was dropped. Then, Stalin agreed to fight the Japanese. Unfortunately, Truman kept his promise. Stalin then appointed Kim to head the new People's government. (Yes, Stalin made the arrangement.) Kim was permitted to build a professional army with Russian-made T-34 tanks (extremely well-built tanks) and MiG 15s (our F-84s, could not out-maneuver them). Their small arms, machine guns and cannons were almost all made in Russia.
Kolko is quoted as saying the United States IMPOSED the North-South division. Great disinformation! It was a farce to allow Russia to enter Korea in the first place. It sounds so sweet that the North wanted to unify the peninsula. Sure, under tyrannical communism. What did he think South Korean President Syngman Rhee was trying to do? The author of the article relates that Rhee was responsible for mass killings of communists and suspected sympathizers with the help of their "American sponsors." I have never read of any American participating in those killings. You never find "fair and balance" in these leftists writings. Kim and his son were responsible for killing and imprisoning hundreds of thousands of dissidents and even those who innocently would say or do the "wrong" thing. But that is not to be mentioned. For most, life in the North has always been cruel to the point of starvation.
It is doubtful that Kolko has ever written anything about the murders of Soviet officers when a new tyrant comes to power. Stalin, Malenkov, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko and Gorbachev all murdered officers of former leaders. According to Gen. Pacepa, they never trust anyone. How many have read of the thousands who starved to death in Ukraine because of the failed five-year plans? No, socialists never mention these or other failures.
I have talked to a number of South Koreans, including generals and ambassadors, and I do not believe that even one would agree that the United States had imperialistic designs or that this was a civil war. When another nation directs the war, supplies the arms and equipment and sends troops to help, how can one call it a civil war? Russians advised and helped train Kim's Army. MiG-15 fighter pilots were Russian during most of the war.
Later, a few Koreans were trained to fly the MiG. The Red Army was all but defeated by October 1950. Almost all the fighting after Oct. 25, 1950, was against the Red Chinese. A civil war? Hardly! Imperialistic? I don't think we have control over the South Korean government. I am sure we have a great deal of influence because of economic aid.
The author wrote that it was lunacy for Douglas MacArthur to propose using atomic weapons against China. Yet, it was the threat of using atomic weapons that brought the communists to stop their July 1953 attack and return to the peace talks at Panmunjom. Perhaps a threat of atomic weapons earlier could have saved a lot of lives. We now know that Russia did not have the capability to retaliate with atomic weapons in 1950-53.
The U.S. was criticized for decimating North Korea. Well, how about the decimation they did when they plunged down on the South. I remember seeing train engines lying on their sides with boilers ripped open and rails twisted and sticking up in the air. Yes, I recall the bridges over the Han twisted and torn. Not many buildings were left standing when I went through Seoul. I also recall packs of children begging for food. I was told how the Reds wantonly killed the civilian population that got in their way. Because one of our officers was Chinese-American, he was butchered alive when the Reds came down into our trenches. That's decimation.
When a nation, or even an individual, is attacked, I believe they have the right to use any means available to resist the attacker. If a belligerent doesn't want to get hurt, he shouldn't attack. I remember reading a statement by a famous man to the effect that if a king goes out to war he should consider if he had enough troops and equipment to win. It is important to count the cost. Stalin and Kim failed to do that.
The author wrote that American elites are vulgar Marxists. Meaning, of course, capitalists. I agree, Marxists are vulgar. So many have become entrenched in our media, unions, theater and corporations. We feel their influence every day.
Ah yes, I see the term "working class" is used. What a wonderful term to distinguish between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. I suppose stupid Americans will continue to fight for "global corporate capitalists," as you infer, and continue to struggle for freedom and prosperity. Perhaps you mean like Russia, East Germany, Rumania, Bulgaria, Cuba and so many others.
Ray Nasser lives in Danville. He is a combat veteran of the Korean War and taught middle school in Danville for 20 years. He also is a veterans advocate at Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System in Danville.