Anti-usa y27 version?
UPDATE #2: The anti-US blame game being played in Korea is now making headlines in the US: (HT: Nomad)
South Korea’s frustration over the plight of Christian volunteers seized by the Taliban is starting to focus on the United States, a frequent target of resentment here. Politicians and citizens of all persuasions are increasingly calling on Washington to help resolve the 15-day-old standoff, believing the United States to be the only country capable of pushing Afghanistan to meet the captors’ demands that Taliban prisoners be freed. […]
An anti-American backlash could boost liberals who have increasingly pushed for Seoul to assert its independence from Washington at the expense of the conservative pro-U.S. opposition that now holds a commanding lead.
What is ironic about this whole thing is that the leftist anti-US politicians are the very reason that Korea has little influence with the US and with what is going on in Afghanistan. If anyone thinks electing another leftist liberal politician is going to change this fact, they will be sadly mistaken and instead will become even more irrelevant.
UPDATE #1: The Taliban has agreed to meet Korean diplomats:
“A South Korean diplomatic delegation is to meet the Taliban for face-to-face talks to look for ways and solutions to free the South Korean nationals,” Ghazni governor Mirajuddin Pattan said.
Early today rumors of a hostage rescue mission were swirling around, but were quickly put down by the Afghan government. These rumors caused the Taliban to threaten to kill four more prisoners as the hostage crisis continues on for yet another day.
Also today the blame America campaign being waged by the Korean media and government went into overdrive. I almost don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with Choe Sang-hun’s article in the New York Times:
On Tuesday, the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a civic group based in Seoul, issued a statement accusing Washington of watching the hostage crisis “as if it were a fire across the river.”
“As everyone knows, the Taliban’s demand is something the U.S. government can help resolve, not the Afghan or South Korean government,” the statement said. “The South Korean government, citing its alliance with the United States, dispatched troops for the U.S. war against terrorism. Now why can’t it use the spirit of the alliance to help persuade the U.S. administration and save its own people?”
So who is the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) to be waving the “spirit of the alliance” card you may ask? Well they are just another anti-US group that was a member of the Korean Alliance Against the Korea-U.S. FTA that even had one of their own set himself on fire outside one of the FTA meetings in Seoul.
You want some more “spirit of the alliance” from the PSPD? How about this quote from them after the defeat in local elections of the ruling Uri Party:
Mr. Kim of the PSPD said, “The Roh Moo-hyun government should look back to its identity. In the past, the government said it would resolve economic polarization, but it pushed talks for a free trade agreement with the U.S. In addition, the government said it would say what it has to say in diplomacy, but it allowed the U.S. forces to move their base to Daechu-ri.”
The PSPD has been one of the leading groups trying to stop the USFK transformation and relocation to Camp Humphreys and now all of the sudden they are one of the biggest defenders of the “spirit of the alliance”.
The “spirit of the alliance” doesn’t end there. The PSPD has in the past joined forces with North Korean apologists the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) which last year was linked to a North Korean spy ring, to attack the very alliance the PSPD are now advocating:
In the declaration, they demanded that the U.S. government apologize for crimes involving GIs, thoroughly investigate the massacres of Koreans during the Korean War and offer compensation. They also called for an immediate closure of the Koon-ni bombing range in Maehyang-ri, Kyonggi Province and revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and south Korea.
The 200 figures who signed the declaration included former Deputy Prime Minister Han Wan Sang; Kang Man Gil, professor emeritus at Korea University; Kim Jong Bae, co-leader of the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) and Dang Byong Ho, chief of the south Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).
There is more, but I think everyone gets the picture of who the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy group really is. There is plenty more absurdity to come and one of my noted useful idiots Chung Dong-young never fails to deliver. Courtesy of the Marmot’s Hole is this letter to President Bush from the former Korean Unification Minister:
If the 23 (now 21) hostages were American and not Korean, we ask what would the US have done in this situation. Koreans believe that since this crisis is a part of the War on Terror, the US is the main party and not a third party. We appeal to the US to think of the hostages as Americans and take specific measures to solve this crisis.
We respect that there is a “seen principle” among nations that they should not negotiate with terrorists, but there is also an “unseen principle”. We remember the case where an American female journalist was released in exchange for five Iraqi female prisoners, which means there is a recognition that there is an exemption to the non negotiating principle.
Saving a life is more important than one’s obligations and profit. If Pres. Bush was to step forward and save the hostages, then people around the world will continue praising you for your determination, leadership, management, and love.
So who is Chung? Well he is just another one of these “spirit of the alliance” guys that has also just happened to blame the US for the Japanese colonization of the peninsula prior to World War II, blamed the US for the Korean War, and blamed the US for the Gwangju Incident. So it isn’t really surprising he is blaming the US now if the hostages die and of course he is not alone. Via Sonagi comes this quote from Roe Hoe-chan who I just featured in my latest Korea Finder:
Assemblyman Roe Hoe-chan said, “If the US doesn’t show sincerity with regard to the hostage crisis, it’ll practically be a declaration that the US doesn’t care about the safety of Koreans because of its own interests. It’ll be difficult for our citizens to tolerate that. He continued, “If hostages continue to be killed because of America’s rigid stance, anti-American sentiments will be even stronger than in the aftermath of the deaths of Hyo-sun and Mi-seon.”
It was only a matter of time before some demagogue tried to link this current crisis to the 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident for their own political advantage. The fact the Roe is the first to do it is not surprising in the least.
You can always count on Oh My News to keep the absurdity coming:
The South Korean government indirectly asked for the United States, which exercises undue influence over the Afghan government, to be more flexible with its principled policy not to negotiate with terrorists.
“Undue influence”? I think the fact that the US military liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban and has continued to pour blood and treasure into making Afghanistan a sustainable state for the past six years is DUE INFLUENCE, which Korea does not have because they have never been committed to fighting terrorism in the first place. The Roh administration could care less if the government of Afghanistan collapsed tomorrow if it wasn’t for the hostages. There is plenty more laughers in the Oh My News article, but I’ll leave everyone with this quote:
On top of this, the Taliban are also plunging the leadership of South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun into an even worse crisis, trouncing the whole South Korean diplomacy that, before the tragic incident occurred, has smoothly — and successfully to date — handled the North Korean nuclear issues. Namely, inter-Korean affairs have all of sudden dropped to sideshows in terms of foreign policy priorities.
You mean to tell me that North Korea firing missiles all over the Pacific Ocean, testing a nuclear bomb, reneging and then renegotiating a signed agreement that to this day they have failed to fully implement is a sign of Korea’s smooth and successful foreign diplomacy? If this is the case these hostages are most certainly doomed.
There is a whole lot more examples I can provide of the blame game being perpetuated against the United States, but I think it is pretty clear the blame America campaign is currently in overdrive. The fact is that the Korean left and their media allies could care less about these hostages because according to Representative Roe’s own admission, they are trying to turn the hostage crisis into an anti-US issue equivalent to what happened in 2002. Remember it took months for the media and the activist groups to distort what happened during the accident that year in order to set the conditions necessary for the anti-US orgy of hate that took place, that ultimately led to the leftist Roh Moo-hyun being elected president.
The Korean left has no chance of winning the presidential election this year in Korea unless they can find another anti-US issue to rally behind. Chung Dong-young is one of the leftist candidates running for president thus expect him to lead the charge to blame the US for any future deaths of the hostages and use his North Korean linked activist groups to push it on the public. This is the real “spirit of the alliance” in Korea.
or the record: I firmly believe that the majority of Koreans are pragmatic, sensible, intelligent and reasonable people who know exactly where to lay the blame. Unfortunately, it’s the vocal minority who make the noise and get the attention of the media. The blame game is nothing more than a weak ploy by the Korean left to get sympathy and votes - it worked for them in 2002 but this time around, I don’t think it’ll be as effective.