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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 10:53 PM
Original message
Korean War Panel Finds U.S. Attacks on Civilians
Source: The New York Times

SEOUL, South Korea A commission charged with investigating wartime atrocities has found that American troops killed groups of South Korean civilians on 138 separate occasions during the Korean War.

But in a flurry of rulings made in the past few days, the commission decided not to seek compensation or criminal charges in about 130 of the cases either for lack of evidence or because it found that the killings were militarily justified.

The findings, which have not been formally announced and will end the commissions work, appear to reflect the desire of the conservative government of President Lee Myung-bak to wrap up the inquiry and to avoid antagonizing the United States.

The commission will recommend that South Korea start negotiations with Washington to seek compensation for the victims in the remaining eight cases, the president of the commission said Friday.

In the other 130 cases, the commission could not find evidence of illegality by the American military or it determined that the deaths resulted from military necessity, said Lee Young-jo, president of the governments Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

They were more like cases of negligence than of liability or war crimes, said Mr. Lee, whose commission wrapped up its four-year-old investigation on June 30. For such a low level of unlawfulness, I dont think any government negotiations with the United States for compensation are necessary.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/world/asia/10comissio...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 11:21 PM
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thats your opinion. Those are not the facts.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Well, it's fact that the US imperialists killed hundreds of thousands in a land not their own.
The families of the deceased cry out for justice and the US owes a heavy blood debt to the Korean nation.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. My father
fought in the Korean War, he was at the Chosin Resevoir when the Chinese attacked, so don't you fucking dare besmirch the whole military for the actions of a few. Most UN troops fought and defended S.Korea with honor, your unwarranted attack on the troops who fought is dishonorable and cowardly. Shame on you.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. That's ludicrous.
Edited on Sat Jul-10-10 05:29 PM by David__77
This has nothing to do with anyone's personal feelings. My father served in Vietnam for several tours over 6 years' time, but, as he would readily admit, there was nothing at all honorable about it - it was an occupation oppressing the Vietnamese people. He earned cheap medals and PTSD, but certainly no honor and glory.

Yes, I will "fucking dare" characterize the attacks against the Korean (and Vietnamese) people as oppressive and genocidal. Many US troops had the courage to resist orders, and they should be upheld as heroic. Others came forward with their stories and their remorse for their actions. Others think it was great. The real war criminals were the ones sitting in Washington and others power centers in the West, not in the trenches on the Korean peninsula. This is the whole fog of "support the troops" that you are raising. The way to "support the troops" is to ensure that the US never again engages in such activities as it has in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
37. Your fathers opinion that the medals he was awarded in
Vietnam were cheap medals is his right, however the medals I was awarded in Vietnam, I earned and am damn proud of them and my service over there.
How do you like them apples?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. Thank you for your service
Was it true that NK and the Chinese pretty much had a scorched Earth policy, killing and destroying everything in their path?
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. According to my father
god rest his soul, the NK and Chinese had a scorched earth policy and the NK's especially murdered SK civilians as they advanced and retreated. For that poster to claim that america owes Korea a heavy blood debt is just beyond the pale, Without America and the U.N. forces, SK would not exist today and the whole Korean peninsula would look like NK now. We are not occupiers of SK, most older Koreans are very grateful that we are there as a tripwire against NK and that bat shit crazy dictator. The vast majority of American and U.N. troops during the Korean War fought honorably and bravely against overwhelming odds and they should be honored not vilified
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ronnie624 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #16
30. If there was a scorched earth policy, it was implemented by Curtis LeMay.
The U.S. holds the distinction of having created the greatest amount of death and destruction. Our bombers leveled practically every building in Korea, and killed millions of people (mostly women and children, of course, because they tend to be the most vulnerable to the ravages of war).
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. Although to be fair, the early SK government was fascist at best
Thankfully, they had a democratic tradition that emerged
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. I 100% agree with you
Edited on Sun Jul-11-10 12:31 PM by cowman
What just pisses me off is when a certain poster says that the U.S. owes Korea, not S.K. but Korea, so I assume that he also meant the NK who started the fucking war to begin with, a huge blood debt, to me, that is an insult to my father and all who served to protect S.K. during that terrible time. Certain posters here are dishonest and are trying to re-write history to satisfy their revisionist views.
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ronnie624 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. The essay by Brian Willson is excellent. You should read it all.

General Mark Clark replaced Van Fleet as UN commander in Korea. Clark was opposed to a negotiated settlement of the war, and he believed in throwing everything at the enemy he could. He chose to bomb reservoir dikes in the North, flooding the North's sparse agricultural lands, threatening the North Koreans with starvation. He bombed North Korea's hydroelectric plant just south of the Yalu River, and he gave the Air Force permission to strike again at North Korea's industrial and population centers. Pyongyang was bombed again, including the use of napalm, and the burning to death of civilians was extensive. The Air Force was after military targets, but distinction between military targets and civilians was blurred and was recognized as such by Air Force commanders.

The U.S. Navy joined in the overkill by attacking North Korean fishing vessels, crippling this source of food for the Koreans. General Curtis LeMay, of Tokyo firebombing fame, agreed with the Air Force's plan to flatten North Korea's cities, and in retirement was to describe the U.S. as having "burned down every town in North Korea." An estimated 2 million civilians died in North Korea. The bombings created hatred for Americans, and U.S. airmen downed in North Korea were beaten to death.

A few people wrote letters of protest against the bombing, among them the Archbishop of New York, Methodist leaders and the Free Church of Scotland. Winston Churchill, again Prime Minster in Great Britain, and his nation involved in the UN effort in Korea, said he would not take responsibility for napalm being splashed "about all over the civilian population."

Korea: The War before Vietnam, by Callum H. MacDonald, p 234.

No matter how intensive the bombing, the Chinese were able to move their supplies south, largely through deep and narrow trenches. That the extended bombing by the U.S. Airforce contributed to a quicker end of the war is doubtful. The North Koreans were no more inclined to give in to terror bombing than had been the British or the Germans.

<http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch24kor8.htm >



"Over a period of three years or so we killed off - what - twenty percent of the population." - Curtis LeMay



The U.S. was to take the southern zone; the already present Soviet troops were to remain temporarily in the northern one, with the aim of repatriating all Japanese in their respective sectors. The U.S. immediately created the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK), which was the sole legal authority south of the 38th Parallel, and it remained so until the Republic of Korea was formally established on August 15, 1948, exactly three years later. Tragically, Western plans for a post-war division of Korea were proceeding without the prior knowledge or consent of the Korean people.

*****

The United States direct involvement in Korea beginning in August 1945 provides us the earliest example of U.S. Cold War behavior. When examined carefully, it reveals a great deal about the nature of her national psyche as it is expressed in corresponding misguided political and vicious military policies, as well as the kind of unrestrained terror that was to be in store for its victims. Fear of communism a national, and Western, mental illness of paranoia caused a ferocious fury of violence to be directed at undeserving "Third World" peoples, as the monolithic spread of communism, itself grossly exaggerated, was regularly confused with genuine national self-determination (democratic) movements striving for independence from Western, colonial forces.

*****

And in the autumn of 1950 when U.S. forces were in retreat in North Korea, General Douglas MacArthur ordered all air forces under his command to destroy "every means of communication, every installation, factory, city, and village" from the Yalu River, forming the border between North Korea and China, south to the battle line. Massive saturation bombings throughout the war using napalm, incendiary, and fragmentation bombs left scorched cities and villages in total ruins. Just as in World War II, the U.S. employed mass destruction through strategic bombing to include civilian populations. This despite the Nuremberg Charter that emerged after that War, largely due to pressure from the U.S., which declared as a war crime "the wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages," and as a crime against humanity "inhumane acts against any civilian population." The U.S. military also operated under its own Field Manual 27-10: Rules of Land Warfare, which prohibited aerial bombing of civilian targets. However, as the Indigenous Americans continually reminded us, "White Man speaks with forked tongue," having violated every one of the more than 400 treaties signed with various Indigenous nations. Such deception has been a chronic pattern in the history of the "American civilization." This fact cannot be ignored forever!

<http://www.brianwillson.com/history-of-u-s-sabotage-of-... />
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. That is patently
Edited on Sun Jul-11-10 12:37 PM by cowman
false
Fact: The vast majority of US and UN forces did not indiscriminately or on purpose target civilians.

Fact: The N.Koreans and their Chinese allies DID have a scorched earth policy.

Fact: The US and UN forces DID NOT have a scorched earth policy.

Fact: The N.Koreans and their Chinese allies murdered thousands of S.Korean civilians as they advanced and retreated.

Fact: The N.Koreans are still committing terrorist acts and acts of war against the S.Koreans.

Fact: The vast majority of S.Koreans are grateful for our presence as a tripwire against the N.Koreans
Feel free to dispute any of these facts.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. My brother was in the Airborne at that time and many of his friends came back in coffins.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. My father was a Platoon Commander with the Marines
and he had a casualty rate of appox 30%. But he always maintained that the Marines didn't retreat or give up. I just can't imagine what it was like to fight in the dead of winter without the proper gear or supplies.
My time in Vietnam didn't consist of freezing weather, it was mostly rain, rain, and more rain and when not raining, the humidity was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. He also said that some GI's used to shoot their frozen toes off just to be sent to the rear. Thats
a war that no one reads about any more. Fifty thousand GI's killed in just over two and a half years. How soon we forget the many that gave their lives in that conflict. They really called it a Police Action. Hmmm.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. that had to be the biggest joke of all
I don't remember my history book saying that police fought that war
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. You are fucking kidding right....
The Koreans should be very thankful for us intervention and blood spilled on their behalf considering the alternative.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. Didn't I see you in downtown Oakland, thursday night with some of those anarchist?
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. I don't think I know you...
It would be better to state your point.

There certainly are some justifiably angry people, including a mother who lost her son, in Oakland. I am certainly not an anarchist.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. Maybe not an anarchist
but you are part of the blame America first crowd. When you post ridiculous comments about our militarys efforts during the Korean War, as far as I am concerned, you are attacking my father who in my eyes was a hero and to say that we owe Korea a blood debt is just pure bullshit.
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ttwiddler Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
31. Another fact
The generation of South Koreans would not agree with you in the least. As a teenager visiting Seoul, I was continuously approached by older Koreans and thanked for American intervention and protection over the years.
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clixtox Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. That is one opinion, the opposite opinion has adherents also!

Upon reading the whole article linked at the top of the thread it is apparent that the USA employed indiscriminate bombing, strafing and napalming of allied civilians only because they had gathered together in groups. How convenient!

I doubt that the USA has been among the "good guys" in any conflict since World War Two, and we lost whatever positive karma we might have had then when we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, arguably unnecessarily.

The USA is a nation of cold-bloodded killers, and has been since many of our ancestors committed genocide against those American Indians populating North America since right after the first settlers arrived from Europe.

Really!
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. A nation of cold blooded killers?
what a crock of shit.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
timo Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. full
full of poop as a christmas goose, plenty of us here apart of this nation have never killed ANYBODY!!!!!
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, what the hell they were only civilians
It seems unless you are in the military your life is not worth much.........
And if you are in the military you need to be an officer......

I am just angry about wars ...... and senseless killing
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1963superfly Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. Amen to that
I agree senseless killings and here's proof
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/its-fun-to...
put the shoe on the other foot (what if they were here doing the same thing as we are to them?)
what would you do?
ANSWER: what the Iraqi and Afghanistan people are fighting back
Bring our troops home... ALL OF THEM
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. There are instances of that on film
I've seen the documentary footage here in the UK on TV.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. If killing of civilians is 'militarily justified', then we were no different from the Waffen SS
We are about to see Petraeus in Afghanistan increase the rate of "militarily justfied" killing of civilians.
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1963superfly Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. IT'S HERE !!!
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Very few will admit this is an imperialist country at its very roots.
There is no honor whatsoever in these incursions and attacks against sovereign countries.
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Synicus Maximus Donating Member (828 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. By that you do mean the attack of North Korea on South Korea don't you?
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Naw
he probably believes the NK claim that the South attacked them and they were just pursuing the South back across the border.
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cowman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. Because very few
Americans believe it. You are in the tiny minority.
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Starckers Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-10 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
40. FDR
Why do you have FDR as your photo for posting when he was the
worst president ever in oppressing US civilians with  all
those of  Japanese and German descent US citizens thrown into
concentration camps.
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SunnySong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. Or the Us and England in WW2 not killing civilians in war is a recent idea.
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Synicus Maximus Donating Member (828 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-10-10 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
21. Please let me know of in which war, which side did not kill
civilians and/or prisoners. I would really like to know, because I can't think of one. anywhere anytime.
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