Korea: An Alternative History

Hits: 728

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!
President of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj, a Kosovo Albanian former guerilla commander who served briefly as prime minister, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the AAK headquarters in Pristina December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice.  Strategies of expansion tend to have one problem: they are hard to evaluate in the way of conventional agreement, contract or conspiracy. For decades, historians of various shades would attribute to Imperial Germany a conscious, global goal of conquest, mistaking the plans of contingent invasion with actual policy. In ...
READ MORE
Why NATO/US’s “Collateral Damage” and “Errors” are not a War Crime?
Many innocent civilians were killed in American military interventions around the world – from Vietnam and Serbia to Iran and Afghanistan, because of the alleged “errors” or “collateral damage” – without consequences for civil and military leadership. In addition to political, military and every other power, Americans secured itself with legal mechanisms. Twenty-two civilians, wounded and doctors, among them three children, were killed in the American bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. Americans acknowledged the error and apologized. The President of the United States expressed his condolences, the military leadership announced three independent investigations. “Doctors without borders” ...
READ MORE
West Rules Macedonia (FYROM) as a US-EU Protectorate, To Put a Check on Russian Influence in the Balkans
A year ago, at a closed-doors meeting between the USA and EU officials and the leaders of the four major parties of FYROM in Strasbourg, a route map for the resolution of the protracted political crisis was agreed on (or rather imposed). The roots of this political crisis are to be found outside FYROM: it is actually more a confrontation by proxy between “the West”, which supports the opposition, and Russia, which is trying to maintain its influence in the region. In conjunction with the public discontent at government policies and the escalating corruption, the negotiations have contributed to sharpening ...
READ MORE
Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America
On December 7,  1941. Japan’s Attack on Pearl HarborMyth: The US was forced to declare war on Japan after a totally unexpected Japanese attack on the American naval base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. On account of Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany, this aggression automatically brought the US into the war against Germany. Reality: The Roosevelt administration had been eager for some time to wage war against Japan and sought to unleash such a war by means of the institution of an oil embargo and other provocations. Having deciphered Japanese codes, Washington knew a Japanese fleet was on its ...
READ MORE
The Real Story of Zbigniew Brzezinski that the Media isn’t Telling
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, died Friday at a hospital in Virginia at the age of 89. Though the New York Times acknowledged that the former government advisor was a “hawkish strategic theorist,” misrepresenting his legacy as one of otherwise infinite positivity may not be as easy as the establishment might like to think.As the United Kingdom plays around with levels of the so-called “terror threat” following a devastating attack by an ISIS-inspired individual — and as the Philippines goes into an almost complete state of martial law following ISIS-inspired destruction — Brzezinski’s timely death ...
READ MORE
NATO’s War against Yugoslavia was Based on Lies
Germany joined the war against Yugoslavia under the pretense of fabricated facts. Sensational confession of German policeman Henning Hentz who served in the OSCE in Kosovo in the 90s confirmed that.The reason here is that photographs taken by Hentz in late January 1999 were used by then German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping to justify the immediate interference of NATO in the Kosovo conflict. He presented the photographs of the militants killed in Rugovo as photos of innocent Albanian victims.What did really happen in Kosovo in late January of 1999, several months before NATO launched its operation against Yugoslavia?According to Serbian ...
READ MORE
Israel Amps Up Ethnic Cleansing in Order to Further Judaize Jerusalem: The Nakba Continues
Israel will soon bar all access to a Palestinian village whose farmers have continued a tradition stretching back thousands of years of tending stone terraces to grow crops in the fertile uplands outside Jerusalem.  These farmers are among the latest victims of Israeli efforts to put in place the final pieces of a Greater Jewish Jerusalem that will require “ethnically cleansing” tens of thousands of Palestinians from a city their families have lived and worked in for generations, human rights groups have warned.  The villagers of Walaja, many of them holding Israeli papers as “residents” of Jerusalem, were warned in November that they ...
READ MORE
UN, France & US in Libya and Ivory Coast: Using Violence and Islamic Forces Just Like Kosovo
Albanian terror in Kosovo against the Serbs from June 1999 up to the end of 2000 The current problems in Libya and Ivory Coast are complex and clearly the opposition has different aspirations.  After all, both sides are involved in a bloody conflict and the use of violence is being used by each faction in these divided nations.  Therefore, it appears that the “new democratic warriors” of peace and freedom carry guns and kill their enemies, just like their enemies would kill them. This article is not about defending the leaders of either nations and clearly the leader of Libya is known ...
READ MORE
1897. Public Record Office. --- Image by © Heritage Images/Corbis
‘Blowing from a Gun’ depicted by Vasily Vereshchagin in his painting ‘Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English’ on the rebellion of 1857. Queen Victoria’s agent bought this painting, in an attempt to suppress it. ‘Blowing from the Gun’ was a means of execution where the prisoner is tied to the muzzle of a cannon, which is then fired, popping the victim’s head about 15 meters (50 feet) into the air, apparently a sort of juvenile entertainment for the colonizers. Following colonization, along came ‘decolonization’ and what do you suppose happened with colonial borders? They mostly remained as laid down ...
READ MORE
How Ukraine Turned into An Arms Dealer? Supplying Weapons to Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) together with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network revealed a scheme of weapons supply to the terrorists of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.There is no secret that the U.S. provides the so-called moderate opposition and Kurdish militia in Syria with arms and ammunition most of which are the weapons remained after the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact disbanded.The U.S. DOD, through U.S. SOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, as well as Picatinny Arsenal, American military research, and manufacturing facility located in Dover, New Jersey, acquired arms in some Eastern European countries including Ukraine for their further ...
READ MORE
US Meddling in Foreign Elections: A CIA Tradition since 1948
In a shocking display of relative independence from the post-Operation Mockingbird control of the media by the Central Intelligence Agency, a recent article in The New York Times broke with current conventional pack journalism and covered the long history of CIA meddling in foreign elections. A February 17, 2018, article, titled, "Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too," authored by Scott Shane – who covered the perestroika and glasnost for The Baltimore Sun in Moscow from 1988 to 1991 during the final few years of the Soviet Union – reported the US has interfered in foreign elections for decades. However, ...
READ MORE
The Lies that are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea’s Breakaway
Crimea’s breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America’s Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that ‘justification’ is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by ...
READ MORE
More Fake News, Again from Ukraine and Once More — About the Holocaust
While much is said in some American media outlets  about “fake news” in the US, the smallness of the matters being discussed might come into focus when compared with Ukraine, which is of late producing rather much fake news about the Holocaust and elementary points in World War II history. As we reported back in October, Ukrainian media outlet Radio Svoboda — the Ukrainian arm of the US Government-funded arm of RFERL — posted a picture from the US Holocaust Museum. It is an image of Polish Jews being deported to a death camp. There was just one problem. Radio Svoboda claimed the picture was ...
READ MORE
U.S. Geopolitical Games in Montenegro and Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović
In December last year [2015], NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. The country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, assured the NATO secretary-general that “you can count on us at any time.” It is always nice to hear that someone has your back. But in Montenegro’s case, it means that they have our back with an entire active-duty military force of only two thousand personnel. It is not quite clear how the tiny nation of less than 700,000 people enhances U.S. security ...
READ MORE
Online Privacy for Journalists
Source: VPN Mentor 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
America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group
Incisive article originally published by GR in September 2014.  Terror attacks in Western cities (Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Barcelona…) allegedly perpetrated by Al Qaeda-ISIS.          *     *     *Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during ...
READ MORE
The Demolition of U.S. Global Power
The superhighway to disaster is already being paved. From Donald Trump’s first days in office, news of the damage to America’s international stature has come hard and fast. As if guided by some malign design, the new president seemed to identify the key pillars that have supported U.S. global power for the past 70 years and set out to topple each of them in turn. By degrading NATO, alienating Asian allies, cancelling trade treaties, and slashing critical scientific research, the Trump White House is already in the process of demolishing the delicately balanced architecture that has sustained Washington’s world leadership since ...
READ MORE
Ukraine: Zbig’s Grand Chessboard – How the West was Checkmated
A quick review of Ukraine,  Zbig’s Grand Chessboard – How the West Was Checkmated is simple – this amazing work should be in everyone’s reading library.  Anyone who cares to understand the situation of what has happened, and is happening in Ukraine needs to read this book.  It covers the history of the dissolution of the USSR, the resulting creation of Ukraine, and the history of the U.S.’ attempts through various government and non-government organizations (e.g. Soros) towards the first failed colour revolution (Orange, 2004), then on towards the second attempt resulting in the successful installation of the noenazi puppet ...
READ MORE
Washington is Ramping Up Military Confrontation With Russia and China
On November 26 the New York Times asserted that “Russia’s seizure [on November 25] of three Ukrainian naval vessels was the first overt armed conflict between the two since 2014, when Russian forces occupied Crimea.” There was no armed conflict in Crimea and not a drop of blood was spilled. There was no “occupation” because, under treaty, over 20,000 Russian troops were stationed there. Crimea’s citizens have always been Russian-speaking, Russian-cultured and in general pro-Russia. Following the US-sponsored rebellion in Ukraine that went the way the US intended it to go, there was the awkward matter of Crimea which had been part of Russia until, as noted ...
READ MORE
The U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Nazi-Fascists
The Nation  published an outstanding article on March 9th, by James Carden, which described the remarkable extent to which the Obama government (and virtually all of the Washington Establishment) are supporting (financially and otherwise) fascists who want to destroy Russia.  One such example was a recent event in Washington. According to Carden: It featured the deputy speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament, Andriy Parubiy. According to the program bio, Parubiy served as the “commandant” of the Euromaidan (why did an ostensibly peaceful protest require a “commandant” anyway?) and, later, as secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. The bio provided to attendees might fairly be described as selective. ...
READ MORE
Greater Albania and the Balkans
Why NATO/US’s “Collateral Damage” and “Errors” are not a War Crime?
West Rules Macedonia (FYROM) as a US-EU Protectorate, To Put a Check on Russian Influence in the Balkans
Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America
The Real Story of Zbigniew Brzezinski that the Media isn’t Telling
NATO’s War against Yugoslavia was Based on Lies
Israel Amps Up Ethnic Cleansing in Order to Further Judaize Jerusalem: The Nakba Continues
UN, France & US in Libya and Ivory Coast: Using Violence and Islamic Forces Just Like Kosovo
The Western World’s Joke: Decolonization
How Ukraine Turned into An Arms Dealer? Supplying Weapons to Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh
US Meddling in Foreign Elections: A CIA Tradition since 1948
The Lies that are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea’s Breakaway
More Fake News, Again from Ukraine and Once More — About the Holocaust
U.S. Geopolitical Games in Montenegro and Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović
Online Privacy for Journalists
America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group
The Demolition of U.S. Global Power
Ukraine: Zbig’s Grand Chessboard – How the West was Checkmated
Washington is Ramping Up Military Confrontation With Russia and China
The U.S. Government Backs Ukraine Nazi-Fascists
Global-Politics.eu

Written by Global-Politics.eu

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