Monday, November 26, 2007

The Truth is of Little Concern to the Korean Truth & Reconciliation Commission


Over at the Marmot’s Hole he has a couple of postings up here and here about the Korean government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report that the US government should compensate Korean civilians killed in an air strike during the Korean War. This is the commission’s first report on what is expected to be a series of reports accusing the US military of criminal actions against civilians during the Korean War and demands for compensation.

Before I even began researching into this incident I was pretty much certain that this war criminal claim would turn out to be no different than the fraudulent accusations made about the No Gun Ri Incident along with the Associated Press’ attempt this year to make another sensational war criminal claim with the USS DeHaven Incident. Both claims ended up being quite easy for me to debunk with a little research which is the same with this issue.

The war criminal claim being leveled by the commission is that an air raid by US Corsair bombers killed 51 Korean civilians in the Yecheon area of South Korea in January of 1951. The commission is claiming that this document proves their claims of war crimes being committed against civilians:

What is interesting about this document is that it is an order from the Commanding General of X Corps General Edward Almond to the Commanding General of the ROK Army’s 2nd Division to destroy enemy forces in the triangle shaped area of operations between the cities of Yecheon, Andong, and Yongju and that the ROK 2nd Division would have maximum air support from the US during the operation. No where in this document do I see anything about targeting civilians or anything else remotely close to a war crime. Additionally you can also see in the order that the ROK 2nd Division was attached a TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) from the US Air Force to coordinate air strikes for the Korean division. These were not just air planes randomly strafing but just like the USS DeHaven Incident the fighters over this area were directed by TACPs who were in direct support and control of the ROK Army.

In this map posted below you can see that the 2nd ROK Division is X Corps reserve located just north of Mun’gyong before moving to clear out the area they were assigned:

Right click and select view image for larger picture or click here.

You can also see in the map that the fighting in this area was quite desperate as the Chinese and the North Koreans were in the midst of a full offensive operation and the capitol of Seoul had been lost again on January 2, 1951. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee makes the claim that the North Korean Army was never in Yecheon thus making the bombing of the Korean civilians criminal. In the above map you can see that a North Korea unit did in fact make it all the way to Andong just east of Yecheon and that the North Korean Army had other plans for dealing with the territory to the west of Andong where the incident happened:

Enemy guerrillas, numbering between five thousand and seventy-five hundred and currently massed around Tanyang and along the twenty miles of Route 29 cutting through a high mountain spur between Tanyang and Yongju, were to displace south and southeast to disrupt the Eighth Army’s Pusan-Andong line of communication. The whole operation, according to the captives, was to be conducted in conjunction with Chinese advances in the west.

Ebb and Flow, Page 219

If you look on the map you can see that these 5,000 to 7,500 guerrillas are heading straight for Yecheon where the killing of the civilians supposedly took place. Yes, the North Korean may not have been in the area of Yecheon but thousands of guerrillas were. Additionally the document provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is nothing new. The fact that General Almond ordered the ROK 2nd Division to this area is available in history books:

Almond concentrated the bulk of the ROK 2d Division at the lower end of the Mun’gyong pass, where it could help bottle guerrillas massed in the mountains to the northeast around Tanyang. Already operating against these guerrillas was part of the X Corps special activities group, a small provisional force recently formed by X Corps headquarters around its special operations company for raids and other missions behind enemy lines. The group so far had been fully committed to security missions in the X Corps’ rear area.

Ebb and Flow, Page 225

The amount of communist guerrillas operating within South Korea before, during, and even after the Korean War is a fact that many Koreans would rather not have known, but the fact remains that many South Korean communist guerrillas augmented by North Korean cadres fought against the allied forces during the Korean War to include the Yecheon sector. If the civilians that were killed in the air strike were in fact civilians, they would have been killed in an area of operations that the ROK Army was responsible for that was infiltrated with thousands of communist guerrillas not to mention the fact that any air strikes called in would be under the direction of a highly trained US Air Force TACP under the full control of the ROK Army. It is quite telling that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission mentions nothing about this.

To understand why such information is left out and not mentioned, it is important to understand what this commission really is. The Marmot has done an excellent job exposing the possible motives of the leader of this commission Father Song Ki-in:

“If you look at history to now, (US assistance to Korea) has been out of US national interests, they’ve never really helped us in actual fact… If just dialogue with Pyongyang goes well, all the United States needs to leave here is a team of advisers.” In a 2005 interview with the Weekly JoongAng, he said, “North and South Korea, Seoul and Pyongyang first need to join hands to [get the] US military to withdraw. North and South Korea must closely stick together, even if kept secret from the United States.” He’s called the US a “barrier to Korean reunification,” and has blamed the US for the division of Korea, saying, “If you look at the old Katsura-Taft Agreement, doesn’t it clearly reveal has the United States has treated our nation? Actually, many US troops were killed during the Korean War, but the 38th parallel was drawn by the Americans, and they provided the cause for drawing the parallel.”

Clearly this guy is just another in a long line of fifth column anti-American activists in Korea. The Taft-Katsura Agreement is just more simplistic anti-American propaganda just like the claims made by this commission. To this day I haven’t met a critic that can debunk my view on the Taft-Katsura Agreement and I seriously doubt Father Song Ki-in could either. I also find it interesting that Father Song blames the US for providing the cause for drawing the 38th parallel. What is interesting about that is that the reason the parallel was initially created was because the US military defeated the Japanese during World War II freeing Korea from the Japanese colonizers leading to the nation being occupied by Russia in the North and the US in the South. I guess he would rather had the peninsula occupied completely by the Russians in which case he would never have been a Christian preacher in the first place. Yes the logic from these people is truly mind boggling.

This commission, just like the No Gun Ri issue, Taft-Katsura, and even the General Sherman incident are all just part of a long line of historical revisionism endorsed by leftist Korean politicians and activists that seek to blame the United States for all the failings of the Korean government. If the failures of prior Korean governments was the fault of the big, bad United States, then all the failures of the current Korean government must also be the fault of the big, bad United States now. That is why the Korean government finds it so necessary to create a historical context in order to blame current problems on the US. So when the North Koreans detonate a nuclear weapon, who does the South Korean government blame for it? The United States of course, while totally remaining silent about the fact the South Korean government are the ones that financed the nuclear weapon by giving massive amounts of non-monitored aid and hard cash to the North Koreans.

When the current nuclear deal eventually unravels, which it will, the South Korean leftists will blame the United States again for this and they can point to their built up pile of historical revisionism to provide context that the US is not a friend of South Korea now and never was. This is of course rubbish, but the more and more I read blatant anti-US propaganda from government bodies like this Truth & Reconciliation Commission the more I wonder if the US should be a friend to South Korea now? I guess next month’s South Korean presidential election will go along ways to determining that.


Good post yet again.

The key is the line about the guerrillas. It isn’t so amazing that South Korean society has wiped away the historical fact of one of the North’s key battlefield tactics that played a significant role in its overall strategy. What is amazing is that organizations like the Associated Press has decided that there were no guerrillas too. The use of guerrillas and infiltrators was well-known and documented at the time of the war and figured into all the history books about the war, but since the fall of the Cold War, I guess, certain mindsets have decided those at the scene on the time and after were liars or wrong.

Outside of the war, the South Koreans have decided that there were nothing but freedom fighters/democracy advocates in situations like the Cheju Island massacre and other events. Everyone in total are now defined as fighters for democracy with democracy meaning of the type the South now enjoys rather than the type found in places with names such as the “Democratic” People’s Republic of Korea.

It is really nothing more than a whitewashing of history. There is no truth being found. It is simply a redefining of history.

What is fairly galling is how this commission has gone out of its way to avoid really getting at sore points — like any claims of massacres committed by South Korean troops during the war.

You would have thought having put two former presidents on trial and giving them death sentences for the Kwangju Massacre would have set solid precedent for this commission which came later to go hog wild with claims against South Korean soldiers against “just civilians” during the war, and I have waited patiently over the years for the commission to begin such a hunt, but what have we gotten instead?

Targeting the US for “war crimes”
Rehabilitating the image of all “democracy advocates”
and taking the property away from Japanese collaborators.

That leaves a huge 200 pound gorilla sitting in the room nobody is acknowledging. At some point the commissions refusal to look at it becomes the real story. In all this time, why has it not moved to “set the record straight” on the claims of South Korean war atrocities?

Well, I guess for one thing, that would end up interfering with the redefinition of all guerrillas and North Korean stooges post war was real democracy advocates and freedom fighters……because surely a large section of Korean society would become motivated to fight against the commission —- meaning - engage in a real, honest debate as to the nature of what happened in the past — if the commission sought to tarnish the image of the South Korean military during the war. Suddenly, with most of Korean society animated about “the truth” behind subversive activity in South Korean society before, during, and after the war, suddenly the truth commission would have a harder time redefining the past. — In fact, the commission would end up being obliterated by South Korean society if it dared try to follow through on attacking the South Korean military and government for what those type on the commission have long said their own government did in the past.

Meaning, before these guys got into office, for decades, they did make strong claims against the South’s government - as well as championing things like the Taft-Katsura “Treaty” and claims against the US, but since they have become part of the government and have the power to open up cans of worms officially, they have decided to avoid digging into claims against the previous South Korean government.

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