Wednesday, July 13, 2011

South Korean Ingrates? Or American Dupes?

Townhallista Dennis Prager is livid that "South Korea has joined with only two other countries in the world in dropping the name of the forthcoming film 'Captain America' and using the subtitle, 'The First Avenger'" — Ingratitude, Thy Name Is South Korea. "For years now, I have intended to write a column about the most glaring case of international ingratitude of which I am aware," the neocon writes. "The 'Captain America' story has finally pushed me over the edge." Ooooooo! Tough guy!

Mr. Prager asks, "Whenever I confront someone who claims that America's wars abroad were fought for economic gain or to extend its alleged imperialist empire, I ask the person about the Korean War: What imperialist or economic reasons were there to fight in that country?"

The neocon is absolutely right that there was no "economic gain" from Mr. Truman's War, at least not for the American people. And it's not so much about an "imperialist empire" in the traditional sense of the word but about Military Keynesianism, as this "police action" set the stage for NSC-68 and the six decades of undeclared wars that followed, allowing the National Security State to suck the blood and treasure from the American people.

The neocon mentions "the two-thirds of South Koreans who, according to a 2002 Gallup-Korea poll, view[ed] the United States unfavorably" (without mentioning any context, of course) and argues that "[t]he South Korean government should conduct a national plebiscite on whether America should withdraw its troops from that country." That sounds like a good idea, but Koreans, who have their own interests, not those of Americans, in mind, would likely vote to keep us here.

The question is not whether Koreans are sufficiently grateful, but whether stationing our troops here for six decades is good for the American people. I have never once read any argument even attempting to say that it is. That is why I view "those anti-American demonstrators" Mr. Prager also mentions as allies of the American people.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was incredulous when I read his article. Firstly, it was the private business' decision -- not pressure from Korea. Second, but more importantly, I find Koreans in general a bit too pro-American -- why aren't they upset that there's a US military base in the middle of Seoul? Generations past would have greatly resented it.

Personally, I'm a bit ambivalent about the issue. I do feel some gratitude for the American intervention in protecting the existence of South Korea. However, I cannot help but think that the separation of the peninsula and the conflict shortly after was partially the fault of America(and other Western powers), and thus cannot be too thankful.

Thirdly, those South Korean anti-American demonstrators weren't really anti-American -- just anti-LMB. Fourthly, the American Empire pails in sanity and rationality to the other Anglo Empire, the British Empire: the latter had Haydn and A Tale of two Cities; the former has Rihanna and "Jersey Shore."

8:53 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Why not rename him Captain Korea? A bit of editing and a bit of daubing and voila. A super hero we can all enjoy flying across the screen doing his part to engender nationalism.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


I recently asked an American friend whether he thought a certain Filipino writer was anti-American. He replied that being "pro" something never automatically makes one "anti" something. And to that I add: unless you buy into the idea that "you're either with us or against us."

4:56 AM  

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