Tuesday, August 5

NY Times: "South Korea Says U.S. Killed Hundreds of Civilians" - Total BS Story

Here we go again.  Another story on how bad the United States is, told in such a vacuum to completely ignore the real acts of terror made by the other nations involved.   It seems that this latest anti-America story concerns some alleged war crimes committed by the US Military during the Korean War:
The attack, though not the civilian casualties, has been corroborated by declassified United States military documents recently reviewed by South Korean investigators. On Sept. 10, 1950, five days before the Inchon landing, according to the documents, 43 American warplanes swarmed over Wolmi, dropping 93 napalm canisters to “burn out” its eastern slope in an attempt to clear the way for American troops.

The documents and survivors’ stories persuaded a South Korean commission investigating long-suppressed allegations of wartime atrocities by Koreans and Americans to rule recently that the attack violated international conventions on war and to ask the country’s leaders to seek compensation from the United States.

The ruling was one of several by the government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in recent months that accused the United States military of using indiscriminate force on three separate occasions in 1950 and 1951 as troops struggled against Communists from the North and from China. The commission says at least 228 civilians, and perhaps hundreds more, were killed in the three attacks.

In one case, the commission said, at least 167 villagers, more than half of them women, were burned to death or asphyxiated in Tanyang, 87 miles southeast of Seoul, when American planes dropped napalm at the entrance of a cave filled with refugees. - The New York Times
There is no mention of how the pilots should have known that the cave was full of refugees and not North Korean soldiers nor is there any mention why the cave would contain only refugees and not soldiers.  As the story mentions the US (acting as part of United Nations Forces) were bombing the area in preparation for the Inchon landings.  Surely civilians in the area were going to be struck as well.  When you think about it, it is a wonder that only a couple hundred civilians were killed in the bombings.

There is no mention in the article of any other acts involving civilians such as when the UN Forces shortly later in the war had to make a dramatic evacuation from Hungnam Harbor in North Korea:
The Hungnam Evacuation, 10-24 December 1950 - Generally described as an "amphibious operation in reverse", the evacuation of Hungnam encompassed the safe withdrawal of the bulk of UN forces in eastern North Korea. It was the largest sealift since the 1945 Okinawa operation. In barely two weeks, over a hundred-thousand military personnel, 17,500 vehicles and 350,000 measurement tons of cargo were pulled out. In comparison with the retreat in central and western Korea, little was left behind. Even broken-down vehicles were loaded and lifted out. Also departing North Korea through Hungnam were some 91,000 refugees, a large number, but not nearly as many as had gathered to leave. - history.navy.mil
Not mentioned above is that those 91,000 refugees were actually North Koreans who were fleeing their own Government.  One US cargo ship, the SS MEREDITH VICTORY managed to load and transport over 14,000 refugees by itself.
The story of the 455-foot, 10,658 ton, S.S. Meredith Victory is one that "tops everything else in sheer drama." It is the story of how Captain Leonard P. LaRue, his officers, and crew rescued 14,000+ refugees. Captain LaRue, without hesitating in his decision and without his officers questioning his decision, loaded the refugees onto the Meredith Victory by using booms and makeshift elevators. The ship was equipped to handle 35 crew members, 12 officers, and had room for 12 more passengers. Once aboard, the refugees filled five cargo holds and covered the entire main deck. The passengers on the main deck had to stand shoulder to shoulder in freezing weather with no food, no water, no doctor, no interpreters, no protection against the enemy, and the only place to go to the bathroom was right where they stood. As if this wasn't enough, the ship was carrying 300 tons of jet fuel in 52-gallon drums. - "THE GREATEST RESCUE OPERATION BY A SINGLE SHIP IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND" - S.S. MEREDITH VICTORY
I guess we get no credit for that.  One lagging mystery from that evacuation is the fate of thousands more refugees who had attempted to get to Hungnam and never made it.  It has been suggested that the advancing Chinese troops slaughtered many of them under orders from the North Korean Government, because they had done nothing to stop the American and UN Troops from advancing.

There is a book on the evacuation SHIP of MIRACLES which tells the story of the evacuation.

This news story mentions that the US should pay reparations for the deaths to surviving family members.  That is an idiotic demand.  The US suffered over 56,000 dead and still has over 8,000 missing.  Those living in South Korea have already been compensated by the mere fact that they are living south of the border with North Korea.  And as for investigating war crimes, how about these South Koreans growing a pair of balls and confronting their neighbor to the north who started the war in the first place and committed war crimes as a mere part of the way they fought:
Crimes against civilians - When parts of South Korea were under North Korean control, political killings, reportedly into the tens of thousands, took place in the cities and villages. The communists systematically killed former South Korean government officials and others deemed hostile to the communists, and such killing was intensified as North Koreans retreated from the South. - Wikipedia

Crimes Against POWS - The North Koreans severely mistreated prisoners of war. Historical accounts report frequent communist-imposed beatings, starvation, forced labor, summary executions, and death marches on UN prisoners. North Korean forces committed several massacres of captured U.S. troops at places such as Hill 312 and Hill 303 on the Pusan Perimeter, and in and around Daejeon; this occurred during early "mopping-up" actions. A U.S. Congressional report alleges "More than 5,000 American prisoners of war died because of Communist war atrocities and more than a thousand who survived were victims of war crime (...) Approximately two-thirds of all American prisoners of war in Korea died due to war crimes." The Chinese also used brainwashing "re-education" techniques on their prisoners. - Wikipedia
Simply put, the New York Times coverage of this story is not much more than a poor attempt to discredit the United States, especially given it total lack of putting the story in context with other events and atrocities of the time.  The real enemy was and continues to be North Korea. Too bad that many people continue to mistakenly believe that we must not upset our enemies as it might upset efforts to make peace with them.  It is this sort of attitude which has left certain issues, such as abductions and missing POWs unresolved over 50 years later:
He also called for efforts to resolve the issue of South Korean prisoners of war, separated families and abductees.

"The South Korean POWs and the members of the first generation of separated families are now in their 70s and 80s. Therefore, it is the obligation of both Koreas to allow them to travel between the two sides," he said.

"These people should be allowed to meet with their long-separated family members and return to their home towns. This is a moral obligation."

Seoul says 485 South Koreans, mostly fishermen, were seized in the Cold War decades following the 1950-53 Korean conflict and more than 500 prisoners of war (POWs) were never sent home in 1953.

North Korea denies holding any South Koreans against their will and describes them as defectors, even though some have managed to escape and come South. - AFP
One of those POWs escaped only a couple months ago.  See my post "Forgotten Korean War POW Escapes - 55 Years After Being Captured!" for more on that story.


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