Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Here is another reason why a war should never happen.

The Korean Mother would talk about seeing Sang'i Yongsa (= "injured veterans") when she was a child. Soldiers injured from the Korean War would become a class of thugs/beggars, who would constantly cause a ruckus because they were always drunk and screaming about how they gave their lives for the country, only to be looked down upon as cripples.

The Iraq situation now is extremely similar to the Korea situation 50 years ago. Unlike other liberals, the Korean did not think it was a totally crazy idea to invade Iraq in order to establish democracy. It could happen, and the world would be better for it if it did. The Korean, however, knew that it would take at least 40 years to do so -- it took Korea that long. The Korean wonders if the architect of Iraq now has thought of that.


  1. Again and again, people continue to compare the war on Iraq with the Korean War (and even World War 2) with little regard to the fact that U.S. actions in the Korean War was a foreign intervention explicitly requested by the South Korean government to repel an invasion by the North, while in Iraq, the U.S. itself was the aggressor and invader with no real just cause. And this makes a world of difference.

    Also, while it is true that the U.S. intervention saved South Korea from communist rule, the ensuing decades of modern Korean history only prove that democracy must ultimately be established by the people themselves, not by foreign tanks and bombs.

    Given the other vast range of issues surrounding the war including its potential impact on ethnic strife, provocation of global terrorism, and lack of viable proof to garner support from the international community, it was ludicrous to think that the Iraq War would be a good way to fight terror and establish peace and democracy in the Middle east, even more so based on the example of Korea.

  2. The Iraqis didn't attack us. The nuts in Afghanistan did. Iraq had squat to do with it. It was ill thought out you had top people saying, 'oh yeah, it'll only take 2-3 months at the most...' Heck, I even heard some commentators say, 'oh yeah, we'll just go in, blow stuff up and come back home...should take about 5 days.' The whole administration/media was stuck in IDIOTVILLE!

    Iraq did not become a breeding ground for terrorism until WE had the bright idea to TRY and link Iraq to 9/11 and invade, which Iraq had nothing to do with that. (We didn't invade to 'liberate' them, either. It was to control oil) Thanks to us, it NOW is a breeding ground for terrorism. Now, it is a big mess that the kid in the white house has no idea to clean up.

    So yeah...yay us, yay democrazy! (yes, I meant to spell democracy that way)

  3. Is being a career soldier (i.e., staying in the military longer than the required service time) a respected profession in Korea?

    If a country treats its veterans poorly, I suspect that it would be hard to recruit good people to become career soldiers.

    Re: the invasion of Iraq. The situation with Iraq seems more directly analogous to the United State's occupation of Japan, which was very brief. I had a visiting professor from Tokyo tell my quantitative history class that the American occupation of Japan had a very positive influence on Japan's development. (I think she was mainly speaking from a cultural and, in particular, feminist viewpoint.) But I am not very hopeful for Iraq. Iraq is far more chaotic than Japan ever was. If the government cannot function enough to even maintain basic public safety and utilities, and people's basic allegiances are to clans and religions rather than the nation, I don't see how allowing voting does anything more than put a bandaid on a hemorrhage.

  4. Melinda O,

    In terms of the length of the occupation it may be similar to Japan. (One would hope!) But remember, by the time Japan started WWII it was a fully modernized country, and the destruction from WWII was only an interruption to their amazing growth. Comparison to Korea seems more apt because like Korea, Iraq was firmly stuck in pre-modernity when the Americans came in trying to establish modern democracy.


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