This isn't 1950. SK has a military of its own and in the 60 years that have elapsed since the times you're speaking of, technology has advanced to the point that civilian casualties are relatively uncommon compared to when targeting civilians was a strategic objective.
How many more are going to die if NK or some faction within a collapsing NK starts spraying Asia with nukes? How many more millions of NK citizens are going to starve to death in the next few decades while we sit idly by and trust in the same old diplomatic strategies that have gotten us nowwhere so far?
JTT, let me make something clear: I don't give a rat's ass about the US. I've been in South Korea since 1996 and when I saw 'we', 90% of the time I'm talking about SK, and I'm talking about the people, not the gov't.
“Proportionality should be a guideline in war. Killing 50% to 90% of the people of 67 Japanese cities and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional, in the minds of some people, to the objectives we were trying to achieve.”
“I don’t fault Truman for dropping the nuclear bomb. The U.S.—Japanese War was one of the most brutal wars in all of human history — kamikaze pilots, suicide, unbelievable. What one can criticize is that the human race prior to that time — and today — has not really grappled with what are, I’ll call it, “the rules of war.” Was there a rule then that said you shouldn’t bomb, shouldn’t kill, shouldn’t burn to death 100,000 civilians in one night?
LeMay said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” And I think he’s right. He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?”
I don't deny that there's a grain of truth to what you're saying, though you seem quite rabid about it to the point that it's clouded your ability to reason level-headedly. Let me repeat: I don't give a flying **** about the US, OK? That would be an interesting topic to start another thread about. I'm interested in trying to figure out when the bombs are going to start raining down in the rice paddies outside my apt. Thank you for your time.
“Forty years ago, this country went down a rabbit hole in Vietnam and millions died,” Errol Morris said on accepting his Academy Award for Best Documentary this past February. “I fear we’re going down a rabbit hole once again, and if people can stop and think and reflect on some of the ideas and issues in this movie, perhaps I’ve done some damn good here.” Sadly, the ideas presented in The Fog of War seem to have passed by unheeded by too many “people.” And so, this century’s first rabbit hole is looking dark and deep.
Vietnam: The War the U.S. Lost
by Joe Allen
International Socialist Review, January/February 2004
Racism and total war
"The only thing they told us about the Viet Cong was they were gooks. They were to be killed. Nobody sits around and gives you their historical and cultural background. They're the enemy. Kill, kill, kill. That's what we got in practice. Kill, kill, kill."
A Vietnam veteran on basic training.
What was the American war like for the majority of people in South Vietnam, where the bulk of the fighting took place? While Westmoreland's war of attrition would ultimately prove unable to break the will of the Vietnamese people, it did unleash incredible destruction on them. According to antiwar critic Noam Chomsky,
In a very real sense the overall U.S. effort in South Vietnam was a huge and deliberately imposed bloodbath. Military escalation was undertaken to offset the well-understood lack of any significant social and political support for the elite military faction [the Saigon government] supported by the United States.
This "huge and deliberately imposed bloodbath" consisted first and foremost of large-scale bombing. Bombing was, and still is, one of the great sacred cows of the American way of war.' America's incredible industrial infrastructure allowed it to build a huge air force and virtually a limitless amount of ordnance during the Cold War. The B-52, which was originally designed for dropping nuclear weapons on Russia, was re-fitted for "conventional" warfare in Vietnam with devastating results. The U.S. dropped over one million tons of bombs on North Vietnam. South Vietnam, the primary battlefield of the war, had over four million tons of bombs dropped on it during the war. The amount of bombs dropped by the U.S. on South Vietnam, from the air war alone, was double the tonnage it used in all of the Second World War! Life was made unbearable in the South Vietnamese countryside. While it is probably an underestimate, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Refugees reported the civilian casualties at 400,000 dead, 900,000 wounded and 6.4 million refugees by 1971. They concluded "that there is hardly a family n South Vietnam that has not suffered a death, injury or the anguish of abandoning an ancient homestead."
The Vietnamese people were subjected to the virulent racism of the occupying American army. The Vietnamese people were regularly referred to as "gooks," "slants" and "dinks" by American troops. It's important to remember that this racism started with the top brass. General Westmoreland believed that the "oriental doesn't value life in the same way as a westerner." While this could be dismissed as the casual bigotry of a son of a rich southern family, in other cases it bordered on the genocidal. Colonel George S. Patton III, son of the notorious Second World War general and a combat commander in Vietnam, sent out Christmas cards in 1968 which read: "From Colonel and Mrs. George S. Patton III-Peace on Earth." The attached Christmas cards contained photographs of Viet Cong soldiers dismembered and stacked in a pile. This racism worked its way down to the troops through basic training. As one combat veteran recalled basic training, "The only thing they told us about the Viet Cong was they were gooks. They were to be killed."
It was during search-and-destroy missions that the most direct contact took place between American soldiers, Vietnamese civilians and NLF supporters. For historian Christian Appy, "search and destroy was the principal tactic; and the enemy body count was the primary measure of progress" in Westmoreland's war of attrition. Search and destroy was coined as a phrase in 1965 to describe missions aimed at flushing the Viet Cong out of hiding, while the body count was the measuring stick for the success of any operation. Competitions were held between units for the highest number of Vietnamese killed in action, or KIAs. Army and marine officers knew that promotions were largely based on confirmed kills. The pressure to produce confirmed kills resulted in massive fraud. One study revealed that American commanders exaggerated body counts by 100 percent.
It also resulted in atrocities. "As much as the military command might deny its significance, the widespread local support for the full-time main forces of the NLF and NVA was the central disadvantage faced by American soldiers." Villagers would supply the NLF with soldiers, food and assistance in the planting of land mines. What many U.S. soldiers feared most were
land mines and then ambushes. Soldiers would become demoralized by weeks of mundane patrolling and then they would be hit unexpectedly by the explosion of land mines or an ambush. Enraged soldiers would go back to the nearest area they had just been through and brutalize the villagers in a racist fury. The effect of fighting a total war on an entire population was to create a situation where all Vietnamese people were seen as fair game to kill. The most famous case of this (but by no means the only one) was the My Lai massacre in March 1968, where Charlie Company, led by Captain Ernest Medina and Lieutenant William Calley, murdered over 350 unarmed women and children. An army psychiatrist reported later that, "Lt. Calley states that he did not feel as if he were killing human beings rather they were animals with whom one could not speak or reason." My Lai was not an aberration-smaller, unreported My Lais happened throughout the war. James Duffy, a machinegunner on a Chinook helicopter for Company A of the 228th Aviation Battalion, 1st Airborne Division, served from February 1967 to April 1968. Testifying at the "Winter Soldier" investigation, held in Detroit in 1971, he reported one incident he was involved in:
I swung my machine gun onto this group of peasants and opened fire. Fortunately, the gun jammed after one or two rounds, which was pretty lucky, because this group of peasants turned out to be a work party hired by the government to clear the area and there was Gls guarding them about fifty meters away. But my mind was so psyched out into killing gooks that I never even paid attention to look around and see where I was. I just saw gooks and I wanted to kill them. I was pretty scared after that happened because that sort of violated the unwritten code that you can do anything you want to as long as you don't get caught. That's, I guess that's what happened with the My Lai incident. Those guys just were following the same pattern that we've been doing there for ten years, but they had the misfortune of getting caught at it.
When the Americans decided that an area could not be "pacified" they would turn it into a "free-fire zone" where anyone could be shot on sight, and which were subject to constant artillery barrages. In other areas, the Americans would literally plow the land down using huge Rome plows-giant bulldozers. The most famous case of this was the "Iron triangle." A 32-mile perimeter 22 miles north of Saigon and an NLF bastion of support, it was first flattened by B-52s and artillery fire beginning in January 1967, and then the plows moved in and bulldozed everything in sight. Despite this, the NLF built a vast area of tunnels and was operating in the area again within six months. If bombing and plowing couldn't deny an area to the NLF, the U.S. would use defoliants, such as the cancer-causing Agent Orange and other herbicides, to destroy jungle cover and food. The U.S. dropped over 100 million pounds of herbicides across Vietnam during the war with long-lasting effects on the Vietnamese and American soldiers. The U.S. simply turned whole swaths of Vietnam into dead zones. The mindset of the military command can be summed up by the slogan painted on the wall of the U.S. Army's Ninth Division helicopter headquarters during Operation Speed Express: "Death is our business and business is good."
The bitterness and demoralization among troops also encouraged a growing resistance to the war, in the form of going AWOL (Absent Without Leave), avoiding combat, "fragging" officers, and even active political resistance. This development contributed greatly to the eventual defeat of the U.S. in Vietnam.
Back to the topic, at what point would you consider getting out of SK? Have you evaluated where that line is and where you could go?
Quote:Now Arty.......behave....A partner?
Seoul plans live-fire drill next week
Allies brace for N. Korean provocation after 4-day exercise
By Jung Sung-ki
Following the end of the four-day “high-intensity” joint naval exercise by the United States and South Korea in the West Sea, Wednesday, allied forces are bracing for further provocative acts by North Korea.
The concern comes as South Korea’s marines are considering holding a live-fire exercise next week. The Nov. 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island occurred after the South held such a drill near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto sea border in the West Sea.
After the joint exercise, the South Korean military will remain on the highest alert, according to the JCS.
Col. Kim Young-cheol at the JCS operations bureau told reporters that military authorities of the South and United States were in consultations to hold more joint naval drills in waters west of the Korean Peninsula, in an effort to deter Pyongyang’s provocative actions.
“We have been in consultations with the U.S. to carry out several joint military drills to deal with provocation by the enemy later this month or early next year,” Kim said. “The timing and participating assets have yet to be decided.”
The military has deployed six more K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers, and other advanced precision-guided artillery and missile systems to Yeonpyeong.
The 130mm multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) were also placed on the island, located just 12 kilometers from the North Korean mainland. The MLRS can fire 36 rounds within 20 seconds and has a range of 36 kilometers.
Moreover, the military has deployed newer artillery-finding radars built by Sweden’s Saab to Yeonpyeong, as well as the Cheonma self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems with an effective range of 10 kilometers.
Won Sei-hoon, chief of the National Intelligence Service, said in a parliamentary session that the North will likely attempt to carry out more “reckless” provocations.
On Tuesday, outgoing Defense Minister Kim Tae-young also said North Korea would probably undertake additional provocations after the joint exercise led by the USS George Washington, a forward-deployed nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from the U.S. 7th Fleet.
“I see a substantial possibility for North Korea’s additional provocation,” Kim said at the Assembly’s Defense Committee. “We’re fully prepared to launch counterattacks should the North make another move.”
Defense analysts anticipate the North will prepare for additional action in a bid to further ratchet up tension on the peninsula, which could also shore up North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s power transfer to his youngest son, Jong-un.
Scenarios for provocations include an additional attack on the five islands of the South near the NLL; an assault landing on Yeonpyeong; artillery shelling of other border areas of the South; the dispatch of special forces to South Korean waters.
Baek Seung-joo, a chief researcher at the state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, didn’t exclude the possibility of a third nuclear test by the regime.
“With pressure increasing, North Korea could undertake radical provocations, such as the holding of a third atomic test or test-firing of long-range missiles,” Baek said.
Before the Yeonpyeong attack, Pyongyang revealed a new uranium enrichment plant with about 2,000 centrifuges to a visiting U.S. scientist.
Hong Hyun-ik, a researcher at the state-run Sejong Institute, said, “After showing off its nuclear capability, the North is likely to opt for revealing its technology related to a nuclear warhead. In this regard, the possibility of North Korea’s test-launching a long-range missile remains high.”
Some experts raised the possibility that the North would threaten to introduce a hydrogen bomb program.
“North Korea is pushing ahead with efforts to be recognized as a nuclear power with the revelation of the new uranium enrichment plant, so it may focus more on a hydrogen bomb,” said a defense expert who requested anonymity.
Spies Intercepted Plans for Yeonpyeong Attack in August
The National Intelligence Service intercepted hints that North Korea was planning to shell Yeonpyeong Island, three months before the arrack, it emerged on Wednesday.
Members of the National Assembly Intelligence Committee quoted NIS Director Won Sei-hoon as saying the agency knew from wiretapping that the North Korean regime ordered the military to prepare to attack the five islands in the West Sea. He said the NIS submitted the intelligence report to President Lee Myung-bak.
Committee members said since the North is constantly making such threats, the government apparently failed to take it seriously.
Asked what the military and the government did, Won said it was difficult to intercept further North Korean military communication before and on the day of attack because the North used landlines rather than wireless communication to carry out operations. Any damage the North suffered in the South's counterstrike is difficult to assess for the same reason, he added.
"There are obvious signs of further provocations by the North, which is seeking to undermine the South's national unity," he was quoted as saying.
Based on analysis of U.S. satellite images, he said it is now clear where 45 of 80 artillery shells the South fired struck in the North -- 30 in Kaemori and 15 in Mudo.
He separately showed a domestic commercial satellite photo of the impact points of 14 South Korean artillery shells that landed in the North.
Committee members reportedly reacted angrily since they show impact points scattered mainly in paddy and dry fields.
Won said the North's aim is to invalidate the Northern Limit Line, the de-facto maritime border, and turn the five islands in the West Sea into a disputed area. "The regime committed the atrocity because it badly needs a distraction as people are apparently restless due to the hereditary third-generation power succession and the dire economic situation."
[email protected] / Dec. 02, 2010 11:45 KST
Based on analysis of U.S. satellite images, he said it is now clear where 45 of 80 artillery shells the South fired struck in the North -- 30 in Kaemori and 15 in Mudo.
Odd innit that he'd forget to mention any signs of NK casualties.