Ingratitude, Thy Name Is South Korea

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South Korea has joined with only two other countries in the world in dropping the name of the forthcoming film “Captain America” and using the subtitle, “The First Avenger.” The other two countries are Russia and Ukraine. According to the New York Times report, “Although that country (South Korea) is one of Hollywood’s top-performing territories, resentment about the continued presence of the United States military runs deep.”

For years now, I have intended to write a column about the most glaring case of international ingratitude of which I am aware. The “Captain America” story has finally pushed me over the edge.

For decades, there have been anti-U.S. demonstrations in South Korea. And each time I wonder the same thing: Do these people have any idea what the living hell known as North Korea is like? Do these people understand that the United States is the reason they are so free and prosperous, completely unlike their fellow North Koreans who had the horrible luck not to be liberated by America? Do these people know how many Americans died to enable them to be free?

Whenever I confront someone who claims that America’s wars abroad were fought for economic gain or to extend its alleged imperialist empire, I ask the person about the Korean War: What imperialist or economic reasons were there to fight in that country?

The answer I most often receive is, “Frankly I don’t know too much about the Korean War.” And it’s a good thing for the critics of America’s wars that they don’t know much about the Korean War. If they did, they would either experience cognitive dissonance or have to severely modify their position on America’s wars.

Just five years after a war-weary America celebrated the end of World War II, Americans were asked to fight the successor-evil to Nazism, communism, in Korea, a country most Americans could not identify on a map or did not know anything about. In an earlier version of what happened in Vietnam, the Soviet Union and China backed a communist attempt to take over the southern half of the Korean peninsula — the northern half had been communist since the end of World War II — and install a Stalinist tyranny over the non-communist southern half.

Over 36,000 Americans died in America’s successful attempt to keep SouthKorea from becoming communist. And another 92,000 were wounded.

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  • Questions

    Race has more to do with this than you think. Yes, there is much to admire about Korean culture. But in the end it is not white. And Koreans always will resent us for it.

  • Ghostwriter

    I once viewed a film called "Kimjongila." There are testimonies of people who escaped from North Korea. Many of them told heartbreaking stories of them losing loved ones. I also heard that there are a few North Korean refugees living in the United States. I wonder how they feel about this?

  • Brujo Blanco

    I have live in S. Korea. The problem is the same as our problem. Kerchief whackos have taken over the educational system. Many S. Korean college student have been taught that the two Korea cannot unite because of the USA.

  • jasonz

    ok then, lets leave! Im all for getting out of these countries and letting them be enslaved by the communist system they think is oh so much better. im for the gulags, the opression, the death camps. Im tired of America fighting for countries that do not appriciate it. they want our money and our success but they want to spit on us and the very things that created our success. we cannot keep being the world police. lets grab the people who want the communist system and ship them over to these countries. Let these countries fight for their own freedom. KLets take away ALL forign aid to them. Countries should be allowed to choose their own path. if they become a threat to America, then we invade and wipe them out. no more weak hearts and minds crap. we go kick butt take ALL their stuff inclufding their land and leave them nothing. we protect our allies and thoes who are like us and the rest I will just watch DIE and laugh

  • mlcblog

    You can bet your bottom US dollar that there are communist organizers at the forefront of the anti-American protests.

  • skulldiggerin

    I keep wondering 'bout the factor that allowed the Taehan Minkuk to go from one rag-of-a-country to a regional superpower.
    Could it be the American Military Steel Umbrella ?

    No,no,no ! The South Koreans have done all of it by themselves !
    Why, they even won the Korean War by themselves and bate back the Chikoms !

    Go home Americans !
    Your staying in this peace-loving country is an obstacle to its people reunifying
    with their longing brothers in the marvelously free and prosperous Chosen Min Jujui
    Imun Kongwhakuk , slanderously called North Korea by American Imperialists' running

    Let Korea become whole again under the enlightened leadership of kom-rat
    KimJong Il, Dear Leader of the Kim Die-Nasty.

  • skulldiggerin

    Give me Captain America any day and every day !

  • KathleenP

    It's human nature to bite the hand that feeds. Most South Koreans I've met are reflexively anti-American, as are mainland Chinese; quite a lot of Japanese also rant and rave against the evil Yanks too. (I've never had the pleasure of meeting a North Korean, strangely enough.) But when it comes right down to it I think most of them have enough sense to know whose side they're really on. It's not like the Americans have ever done it for the gratitude, anyway. A friend who used to be in the U.S. Navy recalled an elderly Frenchman looking daggers at him in a Paris cafe. He said he was tempted to politely remind the man in his fractured French that if it were not for the U.S. military, he and all his compatriots would now be speaking not French but German. But he resisted. Demanding gratitude is always bad form, but the lack of it sure gets tiring after awhile.

  • tarleton

    Gratitude is a dog's disease….STALIN

    As a long time student of History , I have a bleak and pessimistic view of human nature….oh well !

  • tarleton

    The most valuable assets of a country is the lives of it's citizen/soldiers and the fact that the US Nobely spent it's soldier's lives to protect S Korea from it's psychopathic northern brother and then to be shown this type of ingratitude is pathetic ….I suspect it comes from the younger generation that have no sense of History and are trapped in the prison of the present ….oh well !…no good deed goes unpunished !

  • WLIL

    It is a well known fact that asian countries/people (islamic and nononislamic) in general expect gratitude for even problems that they caused or created but they almost never show gratitude to the West even if the West had helped them or contributed towards their asian prosperity.

  • Blackdog52

    It does seem odd, this general hatred that we find among people who are beneficiaries of this country – people who owe us their freedom, or former enemies who found in America the most benign conquerer in history – rebuilding their countries and then giving them back to them. Last time I looked, the Japanese were running Japan, the Italians running Italy, and the Germans running Germany. When the French told us to leave in 1964, we left. Odd sort of imperialism.
    Part of it, I think, is a residue of the Cold War. The Soviet Union maintained a "disinformazia" – disinformation – department dedicated to spreading calumnies against the US. It's purpose was to defame and discredit America before the world. Some of the lies took root and are still with us. One of the more interesting (this from Germany) is that we have concentration camps for children in America.

    • skulldiggerin

      There is such a thing called pride and it's the most stupid thing
      standing in the way of gratitude.

  • blackdog52

    Part of the reason for the hatred we get from beneficiaries of this country reflects on their character. Part is simply human nature. Repentance and gratitude are heavy burdens. Absent the Grace of God, no one bears them for long. The Japanese simply deny the evils which they committed in WW 2. They have no cultural heritage of confession and repentance as we do in the West.
    The German's don't deny Germany's crimes. They simply claim that America is as bad or worse, thus negating any moral claim against them.

  • Don from B.C.

    I'm of the opinion that the US should withdraw from all these countries. And the next time these countries ask for help, the US should just say, "no".

    I wonder how quickly the detractors will flip over their double edged sword to go from the "Imperialist America" rant to the "America is selfish and won't help anyone" rant.

    I would like to see that.

    • Wes in MT

      This has already happened. I recall a certain european minister saying america was stingy in the aftermath of the Indonsian tsunami while Bush was president. Inspite of the fact that private giving by americans eclipsed every other nation and our american navy was on the scene almost immediately, the only one in the world with that capability. I place alot of blame on Hollywood and its' lot o lefty cranks. I also wish we could by statute stop funding the left in acadamia. While they hide behind the first amendment, nowhere does it say that our nation must also fund (and fund it well) those spewing anti-american propaganda. It makes me sick

  • Reason_For_Life

    Prager, if you knew anything about Korea you would know that the South Koreans are terrified of the North. They aren't removing "America" from the title because they are ungrateful, they removed if from fear that the North Koreans will do something crazy.

    Despite the fact that South Korea's economy is forty times the size of North Korea's and could easily win any war against the North they still must live with the fact that Seoul is closer to the North Korean border than New York City is to Philadelphia.

    Tunnels were built in the 1970's for the purpose of invading the South. I once rode a train in South Korea and asked my Korean companions what it was like living with a lunatic dictator so close to them. They acted like they didn't understand what I was talking about. Then, a stranger, whose accent indicated that she was an American, came over to me and told me point blank to shut up and that I didn't know what I was doing.

    The South lives in constant fear so call them cowards if you want (try living with a psycho neighbor for 60 years first) but don't say that they are ungrateful.

    • Mario

      The more reason to not defend them. I think that having a nutcase with nukes living north of you is no reason to act like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. I have friends that are stationed in South Korea and they tell me the young generation are more into their version of J-POP and their man wa (korean version of comics) and just like to be trendy like any misguided youth in any foreign country. The only exceptions are the older generation that either fought or suffered during the Korean War. People of that generation still appreciates the efforts of the Americans that fought and died there. Unfortunately most of them are either dying off or if they are politcians, they do not want to rock the boat and they follow what they see as the popular slogan of the day. Therefore shame on them for their ungratefullness especially the youth and bring our troops home and let them fend for themselves. The idea that Mr. Dennis Prager said about the only action the US should bring into effect is the ever popular but weak condemnation at the UN General Assembly.

  • Ghostwriter

    I have a theory about this and I don't know how other people will feel about it. In the early years of the twentieth century,Japan invaded and colonized Korea. From what little I do know of this time,the Japanese were very brutal. There were even protests from what few Koreans lived in America at the time. Then came World War II and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Americans fought the Japanese and eventually won. My feeling is that in places like Korea,the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki felt like a small but overdue act of revenge for what they had to go through.

  • Ghostwriter

    After the defeat of Japan,the Americans basically rebuilt the country. There is probably a deep seated feeling not only in Korea but also in much of Asia is that the Americans were "too nice" to the defeated Japanese. They felt as though the Americans should have punished the Japanese far more than we did. That feeling was transmuted into an animus towards the United States.
    Also,for many years now,a steady flow of Japanese anime and manga (Japanese comic books) have imported into this country. There are whole sections of this stuff in bookstores and video stores. I think that has provoked some jealousy among the Koreans that so little of their stuff have been brought to America while the Japanese enjoy far more success here with their stuff. I think the feeling is "Why are American enjoying this Japanese garbage? They should be enjoying our stuff,not this Japanese tripe!" What does everyone think?

    • skulldiggerin

      For all the Japs' brutality, Koreans must remember they 're of same culture.
      Only that their mercurial mentality is much inferior to the Japanese's.

  • WLIL

    Whatever good the American did for Asia was exploited by Asia to further their growth but as soon as Ameica became less wealthy, they would start irationally finding fault with Americans. Asia obsesseion with wealth but not with morality is also a problem that Asia have to address to prevent asian countries/region (islamic or nonislamic) from going downhill once the West stop supporting or defending their asian brutal countries.

  • WLIL

    Why are some Americans keep on helping ungrateful exploitive rich asians individuals who already own properties, business and already secure in their own countries? If Americans or other West business interest is only benefiting some ungrateful nonislamic asian or some islamic infested asian hellhole, it is better for Americans not to get involve in Asia as it does not benefit disadvantaged asians, be they islamic or nonislamic.

  • Mike from Brooklyn

    I love Dennis Prager but he is making one mistake that is obvious to me. The fact is that the freedom of countries like South Korea are important for us as trading partners.
    Now that is imperialism, it is not at all. The South Koreans, when all is added up make out better than we do. that is obvious. But we do need trading partners, and we need free peoples to share the world with. A South Korea that is as poor and unfree like the North is bad not only for them but for us too.

    • RJUSA

      Mike – unfortunately, your point is incorrect. South Korea puts tarriffs on our products while we allow them free entry into our markets. They don't buy our cars or anything else from us for that matter.

      • WLIL

        I agree with you , though I am not American. Many asian countries(islamic or nonislamic) burderned USA with unequal economic exchange after those asians finished with taking over of Western technologies. It does not benefit America at all to do business with selfish Asia or Middle East or Africa as those third world tend to give very little and take alot or too much most of the time from the West while causing more economic, political, economic, religious and diversity problems for the West.

    • mrbean

      They don't have any blacks or illegal immigrants either to darg their society down.

  • Mike from Brooklyn

    Sorry, my eyesight is not getting better, and I am leaving out a needed word here or there, example – Now that is NOT imperialism. Also That is obvious should be capital. Sorry, and next time I will read slower and see if that helps.

  • imrnlil

    Screw you South Korea, you're on your own.

  • mswihart

    The US gov is borrowing $.40 of every $1 spent. We *have* to make significant cuts. While it is not enough to only make military cuts, we should look at some cuts in the military. I propose pulling our troops out of South Korea, as well as Europe, and Japan.

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