Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I was going to give the Korea Times a pass on this article but when I review it today. It made me a little mad.
New Dispute on Old Soldier
Historical Reappraisal Should Be Rational Than Emotional
U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur has neither died nor faded away, but stands at the center of renewed ideological battles in Korea. It is regrettable to see what should be an academic debate turn into a political and even diplomatic dispute. Historical reassessment of the Korean War and the U.S. military operations here should be made, but in rational, not emotional, ways. It appears abrupt and fussy for the nation to tussle over a foreign soldier who died 41 years ago.
The problem is that MacArthur has recently become a symbol of two polarizing sets of perceptions on modern Korean history. Young leftist groups see the late general as the head of occupying forces who divided the Korean Peninsula and would have annihilated its northern half with atomic bombs given the chance. Old rightists regard him as a savior and liberator, first from Japanese colonialists and then from North Korean communists. The truth, however, may be that MacArthur ㅡ or America ㅡ had both aspects.
There are mixed evaluations of Gen. MacArthur in the United States, too. He seemed to be a solider with big political ambitions and an extreme abhorrence of communism but was frustrated by American public opinion, which wanted no further escalation of war in Asia. Regardless of the U.S. appraisal of the late general, his statue was erected to commemorate the Inchon Landing, one of the most decisive battles of the 1950-53 war, which turned the tide of the war. No more ㅡ and no less.
Events, even ones not so proud, should have their own places in history and be remembered for good or bad reasons. So the attempted removal of MacArthur's statue can change nothing really, but shows our own historical immaturity. Moreover, it is true that many South Koreans fought to their deaths not to be communized by their northern compatriots, and the U.S. spearheaded global support for such a struggle, whatever its motivations may have been. It was apparent 55 years ago who our enemies were and who were our friends.
As long as Korean War veterans are still alive, the leftist revision of modern history may not be easy. The civic groups' efforts are attempts to bring the hitherto conservative, ideology-driven historical pendulum to a progressive, nation-oriented one. It will stop near the center, not artificially and forcefully, but in due course of time. This is the time not for emotional or physical conflicts over historical events and individuals but for a calm analysis of their merits and demerits. Only time will tell.
As President Roh made it clear that it is the government's position to keep the statue, U.S. lawmakers had better wait and see. Nor is this an issue for partisan wrangling domestically. Related officials can consider relocating it to a war memorial from the present public park someday. We have never heard of a statue of Dwight Eisenhower in Normandy to commemorate D-Day. (This is a lie)
Somebody called them out in this Letter to the Editor.
Regarding your editorial of Sept. 20,New Dispute on Old Soldier, you write "We have never heard of a statue of Dwight Eisenhower in Normandy to commemorate D-Day."
Perhaps you should spend more time on fact checking before you write erroneous information for public dissemination!
There is in fact not only a statue of Eisenhower, but a whole plaza dedicated to the general in Bayeux, France _ which is in the Normandy region.
The statues, parks, and plazas that have been dedicated to numerous generals and soldiers of many of the Allied nations are well taken care of and respected in many European countries, not only France.
Your ignorance does not make a fact, nor does it entitle you to write untruths in a public forum.
Get your facts straight!
In 1994 Monday June 6th.
Bayeux, France - The first monument on continental Europe to Dwight Eisenhower is unveiled by Eisenhower's son John, with U.S. Ambassador Pamela Harriman, 4:30 a.m.
This took 1 minute on a yahoo search engine...
And If you can look above here is 2 photos of this statue that I found on this site
We demand an apology and better facts checking from this newspaper