2010-11-26 02:57:08 UTC
And if you want to change the world, don't be surprised the world also
* * * *
November 24, 2010
Why Are We Still in Korea?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
This writer was 11 years old when the shocking news came on June 25,
1950, that North Korean armies had crossed the DMZ.
Within days, Seoul had fallen. Routed U.S. and Republic of Korea troops
were retreating toward an enclave in the southeast corner of the
peninsula that came to be known as the Pusan perimeter.
In September came Gen. MacArthur's masterstroke: the Marine landing at
Inchon behind enemy lines, the cut-off and collapse of the North Korean
Army, recapture of Seoul and the march to the Yalu.
"Home by Christmas!" we were all saying.
Then came the mass intervention of a million "volunteers" of the
People's Liberation Army that had, in October 1949, won the civil war
against our Nationalist Chinese allies. Suddenly, the U.S. Army and
Marines were in headlong retreat south. Seoul fell a second time.
There followed a war of attrition, the firing of MacArthur, the
repudiation of Harry Truman and his "no-win war," the election of Ike
and, in June 1953, an armistice along the DMZ where the war began.
Fifty-seven years after that armistice, a U.S. carrier task force is
steaming toward the Yellow Sea in a show of force after the North fired
80 shells into a South Korean village.
We will stand by our Korean allies, says President Obama. And with our
security treaty and 28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea, many on the DMZ,
we can do no other. But why, 60 years after the first Korean War, should
Americans be the first to die in a second Korean War?
Unlike 1950, South Korea is not an impoverished ex-colony of Japan. She
is the largest of all the "Asian tigers," a nation with twice the
population and 40 times the economy of the North.
Seoul just hosted the G-20. And there is no Maoist China or Stalinist
Soviet Union equipping Pyongyang's armies. The planes, guns, tanks and
ships of the South are far superior in quality.
Why, then, are we still in South Korea? Why is this quarrel our quarrel?
Why is this war, should it come, America's war?
High among the reasons we fought in Korea was Japan, then a nation
rising from the ashes after half its cities had been reduced to rubble.
But, for 50 years now, Japan has had the second largest economy and is
among the most advanced nations on earth.
Why cannot Japan defend herself? Why does this remain our
responsibility, 65 years after MacArthur took the surrender in Tokyo Bay?
The Soviet Empire, against which we defended Japan, no longer exists,
nor does the Soviet Union. Russia holds the southern Kurils, taken as
spoils from World War II, but represents no threat. Indeed, Tokyo is
helping develop Russia's resources in Siberia.
Why, when the Cold War has been over for 20 years, do all these Cold War
alliances still exist?
Obama has just returned from a Lisbon summit of NATO, an alliance formed
in 1949 to defend Western Europe from Soviet tank armies on the other
side of the Iron Curtain that threatened to roll to the Channel. Today,
that Red Army no longer exists, the captive nations are free, and
Russia's president was in Lisbon as an honored guest of NATO.
Yet we still have tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the same bases
they were in when Gen. Eisenhower became supreme allied commander more
than 60 years ago.
Across Europe, our NATO allies are slashing defense to maintain social
safety nets. But Uncle Sam, he soldiers on.
We borrow from Europe to defend Europe. We borrow from Japan and China
to defend Japan from China. We borrow from the Gulf Arabs to defend the
To broker peace in Palestine, Obama began his presidency with a demand
that Israel halt all new construction of settlements in East Jerusalem
and the West Bank.
Today, as his price for a one-time-only 90-day freeze on new
construction on the West Bank, but not East Jerusalem, "Bibi" Netanyahu
is demanding 20 F-35 strike fighters, a U.S. commitment to a Security
Council veto of any Palestinian declaration of independence, and
assurances the U.S. will support a permanent Israeli presence on the
Jordan river. And the Israelis want it all in writing.
This, from a client state upon which we have lavished a hundred billion
dollars in military aid and defended diplomatically for decades.
How to explain why America behaves as she does?
From 1941 to 1989, she played a great heroic role as defender of
freedom, sacrificing and serving mankind, a role of which we can be
forever proud. But having won that epochal struggle against the evil
empire, we found ourselves in a world for which we were unprepared. Now,
like an aging athlete, we keep trying to relive the glory days when all
the world looked with awe upon us.
We can't let go, because we don't know what else to do. We live in
yesterday -- and our rivals look to tomorrow.
COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan needs no introduction to VDARE.COM readers; his book
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America,
can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book is Churchill, Hitler,
and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
the World, reviewed here by Paul Craig Roberts.