North Korea cheered this month when a man with a knife and a history of violent behavior slashed the face of Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea. The attack in Seoul was “a knife shower of justice,” North Korea said, praising it as “deserved punishment for warmonger United States.”
If that sounds mean-spirited, consider this: For years, North Korea has taught schoolchildren to bayonet effigies of U.S. soldiers. Under its young dictator, Kim Jong Un, the government has suggested it was prepared to nuke Washington, Austin and Southern California. More than 40 years ago, Kim Il Sung, the “Great Leader” who founded the family dictatorship that rules North Korea, said there was “no secret” about his country’s behavior: “What is most important in our preparations [for war] is to educate all the people to hate U.S. imperialism.”
Where does the hate come from?
Much of it is cooked up daily in Pyongyang. Like all dictatorial regimes, the Kim family dynasty needs an endless existential struggle against a fearsome enemy. Such a threat rationalizes massive military spending and excuses decades of privation, while keeping dissenting mouths shut and political prisons open.
The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.
The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.
The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.
Although the ferocity of the bombing was criticized as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world, it was never a big story back home. U.S. press coverage of the air war focused, instead, on “MiG alley,” a narrow patch of North Korea near the Chinese border. There, in the world’s first jet-powered aerial war, American fighter pilots competed against each other to shoot down five or more Soviet-made fighters and become “aces.” War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war.
The Kims, though, have kept memories of the war and the bombing terrifyingly fresh. North Korean state media dress up the historical record in a Big Lie, claiming that Americans and South Korea sneakily started the Korean War and that Kim Il Sung brilliantly won it against overwhelming odds. (The Chinese don’t get much credit for fighting the United States to a draw.) State media warn that, sooner or later, the Americans will strike again.
“It is still the 1950s in North Korea and the conflict with South Korea and the United States is still going on,” says Kathryn Weathersby, a scholar of the Korean War. “People in the North feel backed into a corner and threatened.”
There is real value in understanding this paranoid mind-set. It puts the calculated belligerence of the Kim family into context. It also undermines the notion that North Korea is merely a nut-case state.
Since World War II, the United States has engaged in an almost unbroken chain of major and minor wars in distant and poorly understood countries. Yet for a meddlesome superpower that claims the democratic high ground, it can sometimes be shockingly incurious and self-absorbed. In the case of the bombing of North Korea, its people never really became conscious of a major war crime committed in their name.
Paying attention in a democracy is a moral obligation. It is also a way to avoid repeating immoral mistakes.
And if North Korea ever does change, if the Kim family were overthrown or were to voluntarily loosen its chokehold on information, a U.S. apology for the bombing could help dispel 65 years of hate.
About the author:
Blaine Harden, a former Post reporter, is the author of the book “The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot.”
Source: The Washington Post
Terrorists attacked the Macedonian city of Kumanovo on 9 May, but one wouldn’t know that by reading the Western media’s reaction to the tragedy, despite the fact that they typically mention that 8 police officers were killed and another 37 wounded during the firefight. The media’s disingenuous ‘reporting’ reeks of ulterior motives, which is evidenced most visibly by their reluctance to use the word terrorist without putting it in questionable quotation marks, but also takes more subtle forms such as casting suspicion on the government for complicity in the attack and/or inferring that the attack was some type of legitimate ...
Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation, prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep.Negotiations aren’t possible because Washington refuses to sit down with a country which it sees as its inferior. Instead, the US has strong-armed China to do its bidding by using their diplomats as interlocutors who are expected to convey Washington’s ultimatums as threateningly as possible. The ...
Throughout the past decade, the UN General Assembly Third Committee has adopted the resolution: “Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”Every year the resolution is adopted by an overwhelming majority of UN member states, while the European Union, which, as the battleground of Nazism should have supported the resolution, merely abstains, and their fence-straddling raises disturbing questions about their actual tendencies. Japan’s abstention raises equally disturbing questions. The United States has consistently, and shockingly, opposed this resolution.The resolution is sponsored by the Russian Federation, which ...
The opposition in Montenegro unanimously decided to boycott the local elections in Niksic, scheduled for March 12. This decision was made in protest against the political trial against the deputies from the Democratic Front (DF) Andrija Mandic and Milan Knežević. DF, Democratic Montenegro, Demos, civil movement URA, the Social Democrats and the Socialist People’s Party refused to participate in the elections after the Mandic and Knežević were deprived of parliamentary immunity.Andrija Mandic said that the prosecution was launched in order to weaken the Democratic Front. He added that he wants to raise the question about the legitimacy of the removal ...
Ukraine is an East European territory which was originally forming a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. That is a present-day independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson’s theory-model of the “imagined community” – a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. According to Anderson, the nation is abstract and firstly subjective social construction that defy simple, objective definition yet have been for the last two centuries the crucial basis of conflict in world politics and international relations, through assertion of their expressed nationalism.[i] However, nationalism is quite ...
Five days before the celebration of the 71th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s capitulation to the Soviet and allied troops in the WWII, the new NATO Supreme Commander in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti announced that he came to beat the drums of war again. Ignoring the historic facts and legitimate Russian interests in its around, in his first speech after assuming office he condemned alleged “Russian aggressive behavior that challenges international norms” and called the bloc members to “fight tonight if deterrence fails.”This commonplace declaration fairly correlates with the military and media strategy the Western ruling class adopted decades ago. Even putting aside the ...
The chemical poisoning of civilians in Syria has proved a boon and a blessing for the West’s militarists who energetically seek confrontation with Russia — and with China and any other countries that might pop up on their screens of raging aggression. Nobody doubts for an instant that chemical agents are vile and that anyone using them offensively should be severely punished. But the pseudo-sympathy of those who profess to be shocked — shocked! — by pictures of dead children, supposedly killed by chemical weapons, is obnoxious.Trump declared “I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big ...
One sharp and interesting analysis of situation in Serbian province of Kosovo Metohija came last week from Andrew Korybko, program host at Radio Sputnik.Mr. Korybko speaks on how the whirlwind of geopolitics, military interests and global giants of business, as well as the change of US administration, could impact the fragile peace in Balkans and what’s behind the latest tensions:”Serbia’s NATO-occupied province of Kosovo has been up to its old tricks lately in trying to provoke Belgrade into another military confrontation conveniently timed to coincide with Trump’s inauguration.The former so-called “Prime Minister” of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, was detained in France ...
In years before 2014, the Afghan think tanks would opine that the US may wind down the Afghanistan’s conflict through the end of this year, inferring that the goal of founding the nine large military bases across the country is almost accomplished. Many would delightfully say that Afghanistan is phasing into a new chapter with the flames of war quelled as the US government insisted on troop withdrawal.Entrenching military headquarters in strangers’ territories has no excuse or legal ground under any circumstances. The Afghan nation would cast aside objection to this permanent military foothold thanks in most part to the ...
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world! That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
“This is an historic opportunity to demonstrate the even-handedness of international justice” – Michael Mandel, law professor, York University, Toronto, Canada, 1999NATO leaders found guilty of war crimes in Yugoslavia “NATO leaders acted in open violation of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12th August 1949, and the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8th June 1977 . . .” Dr Will Podmore, The Lancet (June 26th 1999)In the District Court of Belgrade on September 22, 2000, the President of the court, Veroljub Raketic, handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for ...
Tyrants and despots have never required justification for their actions. In the 17th century, as political philosophers began to reject the classic Catholic doctrines of politics and ethics, The Prince was viewed as more relevant: truths are more important than ideals.It is probably not an accident that The Prince has been misinterpreted for 300 years. Taken literally, there is no better justification for tyranny, whether political or economic, than the universal misinterpretation of The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. This small pamphlet, written in 1513–1514, addressed to the new Medici prince, if taken literally, outlines the best practices to attain and ...
In the sea of misinformation sloshing around the Western media during the Yugoslav civil wars, Serbs fared the worst. As a rule, they were accused even of atrocities that never happened, or were committed by others. The real truth would usually emerge several years later, from the mouths of international officials who at the time held important and responsible positions.Jack Kelley: Thousands of Serbs died due to his fabricated stories; that puts him on war criminal listAmerican press and electronic media have “discovered” that the Serbs weren’t the “bad guys” to the extent the American reporters from the Balkans made ...
Central Bosnia in 2016: Flags of the ISISThe conflicts that engulfed the former Yugoslavia still remain unresolved in the political arena and open to Western political shenanigans and covert meddling from Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Bosnia and Kosovo. Orthodox Christianity faces many attacks and only a naïve individual would claim that America and the hands of Turkey and Saudi Arabia are clean.America and other Western nations did little to stop Turkey invading Cyprus in 1974 and creating a de-facto nation and altering the demographics of northern Cyprus and using this area for military purposes.Irrespective of the rights and wrongs ...
Key facts about Kosovo’s Islamic Albanian minority of Serbia and the century long drive by Islamic extremists to exterminate Kosovo Serbs from that region:1389—Muslims defeat Christian Serb defenders in Kosovo, depopulate the area and invite mountain tribe of Albanians, in exchange for converting to Islam, to take over pillaged land from Serbs.1594—Sinan Pasha, an ethnic Albanian, who was a commander in the Ottoman Turkish Empire, burned the relics of St. Sava at Vracar, Belgrade. St. Sava is the Saint that brought Serbs into Christianity.1878—Albanian nationalist leaders meet in Prizren, known as the First League of Prizren, to announce the creation ...
“A famous American family” made its fortune from the Nazis, according to John Loftus’ documented historical analysis. The Bush family links to Nazi Germany’s war economy were first brought to light at the Nuremberg trials in the testimony of Nazi Germany’s steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen was a partner of George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush: From 1945 until 1949 in Nuremberg, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany.Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and ...
Saudi Arabia believes that the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana could lead to a stable ceasefire, according to the statement made by the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. He expressed hope for reaching a ceasefire saying that the Astana talks are worth testing. He also confessed that so far the negotiation process has not resulted in the halt of fighting and transition to peaceful settlement.Al-Jubeir also mentioned that if the talks succeed, the way of political means should be studied more closely. He refused to comment on the talks agenda, pointing out that its possible success does not mean ...
“Russia Wants to Undermine Faith in the U.S. Election. Don’t Fall For It.” Thus reads the cover ofTime magazine with a photo of Vladimir Putin on the cover staring at me from shelves as I sit in an airport. Genuinely curious, I check out Massimo Calabresi’s article online.Of course, U.S. elections are almost completely unverifiable and do not even pretend to meet international standards. Jimmy Carter doesn’t even try to monitor them because there’s no way to do it. Much voting is done on machines that simply must be trusted on faith. Whether they accurately count the votes entered is ...
Why has Barack Obama airdropped 50 tons of ammunition into areas that “moderate rebels” in Syria supposedly control? This is essentially the equivalent of poking the Russians directly in the eyes. Much of this ammunition will end up in the hands of those that the Russians are attempting to bomb into oblivion, and so to Russia it appears that we are attempting to make their job much harder. And of course the truth is that there aren’t really any “moderate rebels” in Syria at all. Nearly all of the groups that are fighting are made up primarily of radical jihadists ...
Between The Lines: Western Public Support For Albanian Terrorism
The Problem is Washington, not North Korea
UN Anti-Nazi Resolution 10 Year Anniversary: Syria, Israel and North Korea Support It, US Adamantly Opposes It
Democratic Front of Montenegro will continue to fight against NATO membership
“Operation Unthinkable” (1945) And US-NATO’s Threats To Wage War On Russia
Western Hypocrisy About Airstrike Killings
Why the Albanians Need Tensions in the Province of Kosovo-Metohija Now?
The US Military Bases Abroad are Disrupting the World Order
The Syrian War of Imperialism
The Hague Tribunal: Only The Serbs Are Prosecuted – KLA And Croatian War Crimes Ignored
Lawyers Serve Indictment on NATO Leaders for War Crimes
Neoconservatives, Machiavelli and The Prince
All The American Lies About Serbs – Some Of The Worst War Crimes Have Been Committed By Reporters
Bosnia, Cyprus and Kosovo: America and Islamism in the Balkans
Kosovo: Key Dates In The Century Long Goal To Create Greater Albania
Bush Family Links To Nazi Germany: “A Famous American Family” Made Its Fortune From The Nazis
Saudi Arabia Reacts to Preparation for Astana Talks
What’s Behind Time Magazine’s Putin Demonizing?
Is Barack Obama Actually Trying To Start World War III?