In recognition of the 28th Anniversary of the Gwangju Uprising I have posted an article written by Georgy Katsiaficas that blames the Gwangju Uprising like just about everything else unpleasant in Korean history, on who else, but the big, bad Americans:
Contemporary South Korean anti-Americanism appeared after the Gwangju Uprising – and for good reason. The U.S. government aided and actively abetted Chun Doo-hwan in suppressing the uprising and helped stabilize his government afterwards. In 1980, popular intuition in South Korea knew well the role of the U.S. The rationales for U.S. encouragement of the suppression of the Gwangju Uprising are commonly understood in terms of national security – avoiding a “second Iran” (where American hostages and the U.S. Embassy were still held by radicals in May 1980), preventing the debacle of “another Vietnam” (which had “fallen” only five short years earlier), repelling a possible North Korean threat, responding to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on December 25, 1979, or stopping the threatened nationwide uprising against the military that loomed in 1980.
My reading of thousands of pages of official U.S. documents clarifies that the chief perceived threat articulated by the U.S. government in 1980 was of a capital flight by U.S. investors who worried that the R.O.K. government after Park Chung-hee’s assassination might prove unstable. These documents portray U.S. officials’ awareness of the need to demonstrate regime stability in South Korea in 1980, leaving little choice but to endorse Chun’s rule. The U.S. subordinated its own professed concerns for human rights to the economic interests of American corporations. [Gwangju News]
Make sure you read the rest of the article by clicking on the above link. Of course I highly disagree with much of the article, but it is still worth the read to see what many in the anti-US left think of America’s role in the Gwangju Uprising. I will probably post a more detailed response sometime next week, but in the mean time I highly recommend reading Richardson’s posting from last year and more importantly the comments that provides some great information and perspective about what really happened in regards to the Gwangju Uprising.
Likewise if you want to read more about the Gwangju Uprising I also highly recommend reading Linda Lewis’ book, Laying Claim to the Memory of May:
From the comments section from Brian................
GI, he’s giving a talk at the Gwangju International Center on May 31st on that topic, if anyone is interested.
I was down at some of the memorials today and yesterday. Wall-to-wall Mad Cow stuff. So much for solemnity. Also, on Chungjangno—the main drag in downtown Gwangju—they had a series of paintings, about a half-dozen of which were regarding the tank incident. The old standby “Fuck USA” was painted on one of them, and there was another mural of white soldiers aiming bayonets at helpless Korean children. Then, a few meters away there was tons of anti-FTA stuff . . . I don’t think “irony” is in the Korean dictionary because beside the posters lampooning Bush and Lee Myung-bak there were those featuring Kim Dae-jung shaking hands with Kim Jong-il. More anti-beef stuff at the cemetery, too. Oh, and there was a huge candlelight rally last night in front of the Old Provinicial Hall. Not to mourn the deaths of those murdered in Gwangju, hahahahaha, no, this was over Mad Cow Disease. They had a row of paintings devoted to the 2002 tank incident. “F* USA” made an appearance
The fact that the 5.18 remembrance was hijacked by the anti-US loons doesn’t surprise me in the least. I have seen so many disgusting things from these people I have no respect for them at all.
Shattered the Korean military did plenty wrong in Gwangju. Bayoneting people for protesting is usually not the best way to put down a protest. Plenty of thuggery by the ROK Army in Gwangju. I can’t blame the people in Gwangju for wanting to fight back against these thugs.
However, the anti-US left is just trying to blame the US for the thuggery instead of the name man who ordered it Chun.
__________________________________________________________________NOW FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ME, I WRITE MOVIE REVIEWS FOR A FEW DIFFERENT WEBSITES. I RECEIVED A LOT OF FLACK FOR THE REVIEW I DID FOR THE MAY 18TH FILM (May 18th Review)
Long story short, It was a joke of a film and did not deserve the attention that it was shown at the Box Office here in Korea. The complaints I received were down right insane and now instead of a sorrow remembrance of the victims, we're fracking given this stoopid anti-beef crap.
So would it be safe to say that MAY 18TH MEANS NOTHING IF THIS IS THE RESPONSE, and if this is it, why in the hell should anyone care about it? If those who's' families were affected by this have DECIDED THAT IT IS MORE WORTHY TO PROMOTE THIS LIE THAT TO REMEMBER THE HONORED DEAD THEN THE HELL WITH ANYMORE MAY 18TH PROGRAMS OR STORIES!
Why should the world give a damn to remember when the Koreans themselves will not?