Korea: An Alternative History

For decades, consumers of the US media have been fed a series of repeated lies concerning the status of northern Korea. Tales of mass starvation and brutal torture are told over and over, occasionally updated but essentially the same as those told when Washington first realized it could not defeat the national forces headquartered in Pyongyang.

Naturally, these stories become more frequent and considerably more dramatic during those times the US military heightens tensions in the region. While some of these “reports” are probably based in fact, the more revealing aspect of their being told is the lack of context involved in their telling.

In other words, most US residents have very little knowledge of Korean history and culture and, if asked, would most likely be unable to identify where Seoul or Pyongyang are on the map.  This serves the interests of the powers that be in DC quite nicely. If the citizens of an aggressor nation (which the United States certainly has been in Korea) are ignorant of the land and people their rulers wish to attack, then those citizens are likely to believe most anything they are told by those in power intent on making war.

This seems especially the case when it comes to Korea—now Washington’s longest surviving enemy.  Indeed, most all US political figures liberal and conservative, military members and media folks buy into the commonly held portrayal of northern Korea as a land ruled by a brutal dictatorship imposed originally from the outside that starves many of its people and enslaves the rest.  Even many of those who have expressed doubts about similar claims made by war hawks in regards to other nations (Iraq, Iran) believe such stories when it comes to Korea.

This situation exists because it strengthens the US argument for the continued occupation of the Korean peninsula and its maintenance of the state of not-quite-war.  As author Stephen Gowans makes clear in his recent book Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom, the history of Korea is quite different than that most US residents have been told.

By removing the US-imposed imaginary line of demarcation along the 38thparallel that divides Korea into two entities, Gowans is able to provide a history closer to the Korean history understood by many Koreans.  It is a history of resistance to outside intervention; a resistance forged in blood from fighting Japanese and US invaders. It is also a history that emphasizes the self-reliance and independence of a people.

Gowans begins his text with a discussion of Korean history prior to World War Two.  His summary highlights the independence of the Korean people and the series of invasions and occupations they repelled over the centuries.  He discusses the Japanese occupation in detail, providing a summary of the manner in which the Japanese stole Korean lands, enslaved its people and forced thousands of its women into prostitution to serve Japanese troops.

Concurrent to this history, Gowans explains the world situation at the time—a situation that saw the great imperial powers Britain, Russia, France and the US heading towards war while the lesser powers (esp. Germany and Japan) saw war as the only way they might obtain more resources and markets.  Weaving these stories together provides the reader with an alternative understanding of how and why Korea’s history took the path it did.

When the second of the twentieth century’s two great wars was over, Korea was free of outside domination.  Japan had been defeated and awaited its fate.  Meanwhile, the Korean people began to take back their country.  The resistance forces who had helped overthrow the Japanese occupation forces began to set up local and regional governing councils.  This action was supported by the Soviet Union but was strongly opposed by the United States, which had already decided it was going to make Korea its outpost in eastern Asia.

To this end, policy makers in Washington and generals in the Pentagon worked together to devise a way to destroy the popular government being constructed in Korea. In a now-familiar scenario, right-wing figures from Korea were given positions of power in the governing structure put in place by Washington, leftist and democratic organizations and individuals were imprisoned, tortured and killed by Washington’s clients, and fake elections were held.  Many of the officials in this government had also served the Japanese occupation regime—a fact that did nothing to make the US-imposed authorities any more popular. So, the resistance continued.

The military leadership of Kim Il-sung combined with the popularity of the resistance’s political platform proved a serious opponent to US plans.  Ultimately, it was the strength and depth of the resistance that led to the intensification of hostilities, a division of the nation and the conflict the west calls the Korean War.

Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom is a crucial text for those seeking to understand how many Koreans see their world.  It is fiercely anti-imperialist in its understanding of history and pulls no punches when discussing the destructive nature of the United States’ role in modern Korean history.

Some readers may find Gowans’ indictment too strong and even unfair.  If one finds themselves among those readers, I suggest they forge ahead anyhow.  His history is not just valid, it is probably closer to the truth than the history most Americans have been fed the past seventy years.  Indeed, it could even clarify Korea’s uncertain future—a future hopefully of peace and prosperity.


Originally published on 2018-05-04

Author: Ron Jacobs

Source: Counter Punch

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
The Biggest Threat to US National Security is the US Government
A dictatorship does not represent the public but only the aristocracy that, behind the scenes, controls the government. Jonathan H. Adler, Professor at Case Western University School of Law, noted, regarding George W. Bush’s secret policy for the NSA to access everyone’s phone-records, that “The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh),” and he presented Judge Kavanaugh’s entire published opinion on that. Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution could be shoved aside because he thinks that the ‘national security’ of the United States is more important than the Constitution. Kavanaugh wrote: The Government’s program for bulk collection ...
READ MORE
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
The refusal of the United Nations to qualify the recent US airstrike against Syria as an act of aggression makes the Organization irrelevant – something Russia has been trying to prevent. It has become vulnerable to scathing criticism after demonstrating its impotence and inability to act. The continued paralysis is an eloquent example of the UN’s disengagement and lack of political will to fulfill its duty. The Organization’s image has suffered great damage. It still has a chance to rectify it by launching an investigation into what really happened in Syria. Article One of the UN Charter states that one of the purposes is ...
READ MORE
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
Will the election of Republican George W. Bush as President usher in changes in foreign policy with regard to Serbia, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans? Will there be a continuation of „humanitarian interventionism“, „military humanism“, „economic globalism“ and „globalization“? The Bush Administration foreign policy team has rejected the selective humanitarian interventionism of the Bill Clinton/Al Gore Administration, as espoused by Madeleine Albright and James Rubin. John Hulsman, Balkans adviser to Bush, announced that Bush was concerned about „imperial overstretch“ and has rejected a foreign policy that uses the US military in „nation building“. Hulsman has announced a „philosophical sea change“ in Balkans ...
READ MORE
Israeli Blockade of Gaza: The Only Solution is the Establishment of an Independent Palestinian State
Antisemitism needs an excuse and Netanyahu sadly provides it every day on the Israeli- Gaza border.  His heavily armed snipers have gratuitously killed over 200 unarmed Palestinians at the March of Return protest and injured over 10,000 at the border since 30 March 2018 in a sickening exhibition of state sponsored violence that has brought death and disability to those actively, and largely legitimately, demonstrating for return of their land and property. You cannot deprive 2m of their human rights, enshrined in international law, without consequences. Israel is not an island in the sky and the dispossessed Palestinian people are very ...
READ MORE
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy, Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form, and which was derived from the so-called Roman salute. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the ...
READ MORE
Kosovo and the Jihadist Green Corridor in the Balkans
The Green Corridor[1] is a geopolitical concept with two meanings: (a) The Islamists’ goal of creating a contiguous chain of Muslim-dominated polities from Istanbul in the southeast to northwestern Bosnia, a mere 120 miles from Austria [2]; and (b) The process of increasing ethno-religious assertiveness among the Muslim communities along that route. The process entails four key elements: Expanding the area of those communities’ demographic dominance; Establishing and/or expanding various entities under Muslim political control with actual or potential claim to sovereign statehood; Enhancing the dominant community’s Islamic character and identity within those entities, with the parallel decrease of presence and power of non-Muslim groups; and Prompting Muslim communities’ ambitions for ever bolder ...
READ MORE
The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy
One has to wonder just how much longer the American people will silently permit the categorical failure of American foreign policy, both in theory and in practice. The evidence confirming the totality of our failure is breathtaking in scope and severity. Changes are needed to preserve U.S. national security and economic prosperity. Recent headlines have captured the character of this failure. Fifteen years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released findings that “corruption substantially undermined the U.S. mission in Afghanistan from the very beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. … We conclude that failure to ...
READ MORE
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted.  The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States.  Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power.  The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “anti-terrorism”today. Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy ...
READ MORE
The Basic Guidelines Through the Kosovo Question
The Kosovo Question recently once again became an important issue of global politics and international relations for two reasons: 1) The Albanian “government” of the “Republic of Kosovo” announced to officially proclaim the existence of the Kosovo Army (that is a violation of the 1244 UN Resolution in 1999), and 2) The “president” of the “Republic of Kosovo”, a war criminal Hashim Tachi, participated on November 11th (2018) in Paris to the world leaders’ celebration of a centenary anniversary of the end of the WWI (the signed armistice with Germany) as the official representative of an “independent” Kosovo. He was ...
READ MORE
From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II
I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views. The degradation of ...
READ MORE
NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia. Baker told Gorbachev: “Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east.” In the following year, the USSR officially dissolved itself. Its own defensive military alliance (commonly known as the Warsaw Pact) had already ...
READ MORE
Trump’s UN Speech (September 2017)
I listened to part of Trump’s UN speech this morning. I was so embarrassed for him and for my country that I had to turn it off. I wonder if whoever wrote the deplorable speech intended to embarrass Trump and inadvertently embarrassed America as well, or whether the speechwriter(s) is so imbued with the neoconservative arrogance and hubris of our time that the speechwriter was simply blind to the extraordinary contradictions that stood out like sore thumbs all through the speech. I am not going to describe all of them, just a couple of examples. Trump went on at great length about how ...
READ MORE
Export of Kosovostan Jihad in the Middle East: The Christian Genocide in Syria
Many of us go through life searching for our purpose, for something that we are passionate about. After years of searching finally I stumbled upon mine a few years ago. Having the world hear Syrians telling their side of the story while living through this imposed war is what ignited that fire in me. As a Syrian American that was born in Syria and lived in both countries my entire life, I feel a strong link to my heritage, my birth country, my culture, my language, my customs, my nationality, and my history. We have been bombarded with lies and propaganda ...
READ MORE
The 6 Reasons China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military
Why the Gap In Military Superiority Is Closing? China and Russia are still behind the U.S. militarily. But they are both showing surprising breakthroughs that – sometime down the road in the future – could threaten U.S. hegemony. The Washington Times reported last month: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday warned Russia and China are quickly closing the military technology gap with the U.S. as inconsistent military budgets and slower innovation threaten America’s lead in the military world. *** “It’s evident that nations like Russia and China have been pursuing military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States,” he continued. “They’re ...
READ MORE
Faith Attaguile, from Encinitas, yells chants with others on the corner of Broadway and Front Street , Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown San Diego, during a protest in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
On April 7, two U.S. Navy battle ships USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at al-Shayrat military airfield in Syria’s Homs province from the Eastern Mediterranean. The U.S. strikes particularly targeted the main landing strip, aircraft, radio locators, air defense system and fuel stations. The strike was approved by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said that the Syrian Air Force used affiliated al-Shayrat air base to prepare chemical attack on the city of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib.  “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and ...
READ MORE
Making Balkan Caliphate: The Wahhabies – A New Danger for the Balkan and European Security
Editor’s note: This article was written and originally published in January 2015.      „God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for sake of God is the highest of our aspirations“ Jihadi credo The West Europe before the 2014 Christmas became once again a target of several mini-terrorist acts by the radical Islamists among whom the Wahabbies are the most active and dangerous. On Tuesday, December 23rd, Germany’s security service warn of highest terrorist threat in decades as the German participation in the anti-ISIS struggle became the reason for potential terrorism. ...
READ MORE
Bush Family Links to Nazi Germany
“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 ...
READ MORE
President Obama’s Farewell Speech
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
President Trump: Just Another Con Man Riding a Trojan Horse
Trump the Anti-Globalist Champion of the People? Many Americans who’ve been supporting President-elect Trump see him as the populist leader who will save America from ruin. Trump supporters have been unfairly marginalized and pigeonholed by the MSM broad stroke as white supremacy extremists bent on plunging America back into a new Jim Crowism era and a second Civil War along with a growing number of angry, uneducated, disenfranchised blue collar, mostly white male redneck loser types. Despite a spike in racist graffiti and vandalism since the election, this gross overgeneralization is the Hillary/Soros/Rothschild/MSM’s desperate attempt to discredit Trump’s victory while Soros ...
READ MORE
US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
Media across the world are literally transfixed by the spectacle of US elections. The Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton, Republicans vs. Democrats battle is captivating enough to distract public attention from other issues. Democracy promotion has been a centerpiece of US foreign policy for over half a century since the days when President Woodrow Wilson crafted a new foreign policy that involved active democracy promotion. The implementation of the «beacon on the hill» concept presupposes that the United States would act as a model of excellence for others to follow is analogous to contemporary soft-power democracy promotion efforts. Lecturing on democracy is a ...
READ MORE
The Biggest Threat to US National Security is the US Government
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
Israeli Blockade of Gaza: The Only Solution is the Establishment of an Independent Palestinian State
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
Kosovo and the Jihadist Green Corridor in the Balkans
The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy
Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Global Neoliberalism and America’s Drive for World Domination
The Basic Guidelines Through the Kosovo Question
From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II
NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
Trump’s UN Speech (September 2017)
Export of Kosovostan Jihad in the Middle East: The Christian Genocide in Syria
The 6 Reasons China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military
Chemical Attack in Idlib – Duplication of Scenario in Eastern Ghouta
Making Balkan Caliphate: The Wahhabies – A New Danger for the Balkan and European Security
Bush Family Links to Nazi Germany
President Obama’s Farewell Speech
President Trump: Just Another Con Man Riding a Trojan Horse
US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu