MacArthur Was Right About N. Korea, Then and Now

In June of 1950 the North Koreans launched their suprised attack on the South and overran Seoul in a matter of days and pushed back the fledgling South Korean Army and the few US troops on hand to the extreme southern areas of the Korean Penisula.  We finally got a few more troops on the ground and our troops rallied to hold them off and secure a small enclave.  We were pretty much on the ropes because we had few troops and few supplies.  We were outnumbered by overwhelming odds but managed to stem the onslaught.  The North Koreans had been a source of concern since the end of WWII when it fell under the domination of China and Russia.  The Soviets had declared war on Japan only days before the nuclear bombs hit Japan to grab territory and power and influence in the region.  The Communist Chinese had just expelled the last of the Chinese armis of Chiang Kai Chek onto the island of Taiwan.   The North Koreans embraced the communist agenda wholeheartedly and were bent on spreading their communist beliefs and system to the rest of the penisula and believed that the West would not put up strong resistance because we were thought to be still war weary from WWII.  It would be a cheap and quick win for the Communists in Korea and for their puppet masters in Bejing and Moscow. 

This was when General MacArthur made his surprise and rather daring move to counterattack at Inchon.  That was a coastal town not far from Seoul.  The terrain and coastal area was rugged and the tides were severe which made for a very dangerous and dicey landing.  But the landing was a succes and we were behind the enemy with a substantial force.  It was a very hard fought few days but then our troops in the south of the penisula joined the fray and began their push to the north.  The military operation was a success and we and our allies pushed the North Koreans out of the south and up to the Yalu river in the far north of Korea.  We were winning and big time.  There had been much speculation from the inception of the fighting about whether or not the Chinese communists or the Soviets in Moscow would enter the battle directly or indirectly.  This was especially true with the Chinese because they had a direct border connection to North Korea.  We had made our intentions clear that we would not invade China.  We wanted no part of trying to invade and subdue the Chinese.  We might have wished it could happen but that task was beyond our means at the time and certainly beyond the enthusiasm level of the American people for the war.  We were reluctant warriors in this conflict from the beginning.

It was about this time that the Chinese did enter the war in the winter of 1950 and attacked with hundreds of thousands of soldiers.  They had far more troops than we could ever put into the region.  This produced some the finest moments in the history of the US Marine Corp.  They had to retreat but held firm throughtout and fought the famous Resevoir battle.  The temperatures were beyond frigid and their uniforms weren’t suited for such extreme cold.  We were pushed back to the lower regions of North Korean before the lines stablized.  During the period MacArthur became rather vocal about how he thought the war should be fought.  He even speculated about the use of nuclear weapons to thwart the Chinese advance and also had advocated an advance into China to create a buffer area.  He was not proposing and occupation of China.  These positions were counter to the expressed aims of Truman.   This was the first war where we started using euphemisms rather than plain talk.  The Korean War was not referred to that way by the Truman administration.  It was a “police action” by the United Nations.    Funny, how it looked like a real war to the grunts on the ground and our prisoners captured by the North Koreans.  

It has always been our law and policy that the military has to be subordinate to civilian authority.  MacArthur had made known his disagreement with Truman publicly although he did continue to obey the orders and directives he was given from the Pentagon.  Truman went ballistic however because he believed MacArthur was flaunting his power as President.  The General was fired.  Shortly after his dismissal he gave that famous speech at West Point.  The one about old soldiers not dying but fading away and the call to duty and honor.  MacArthur believed that the Communists, be they Russian, Chinese or Korean, were evil and not to be trusted and that we did face a battle with them to the finish at some point.  Jong Il has not refuted the veracity of that belief.  Only today the news is filled with more accounts of their completing additional steps in the production of nuclear weapons.   The world knows about their recent missile tests and the dire threat they pose along with the rapidly approaching day when they are tipped with  nuclear arms.   The North Koreans are still a severe threat to the peace in that region and to the world because they do not hesitate to spread and sell their beliefs and weapons to enemies of the West at any opportunity. 

MacArthur was right 60 years ago and that view is correct today.  We should gird ourselves and do what is necessary to protect our people and our allies.  Our security is very much at risk with that rogue communist state flaunting its nose at the world and openly declaring its intention to bring harm and destruction to the West.  Avoiding a problem, pretending it doesn’t exist, doesn’t solve the problem.  No thoughtful person can dispute that North Korea is a problem at the moment of the first magnitude.

Now we have avowed Communists in positions of authority in the current administration, the green czar and the diversity czar.  How can that be?


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Filed under Foreign Affairs, government, history, military history, Politics, War

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