[KS] Re: Still Invaded Economically and Culturally
jdh95 at hitel.net
Mon Jul 31 18:54:57 EDT 2000
Martin Hart-Landsberg wrote:
> Kushibo wrote (see below):
> "One can look back over the last 100 or 150 years and easily infer
> stagnancy under Chinese domination, brutality under Japanese occupation,
> and stability with eventual flourishing of both democracy and the economy
> while under a ROK-US alliance."
> My response:
> Flourishing of democracy under a ROK-US alliance? Are you kidding?
Had I actually said it exactly that way, I might have been kidding. I
referred to a flourishing of democracy *while* under a ROK-US alliance. A
big difference from what you ascribe to me, which seems to suggest a much
more direct causal relationship.
You also took it out of context: the last 50 years versus what the Chinese
and the Japanese had done. Furthermore, you seem to have ignored the next
sentence, which was intended as a qualifying statement: "That's not to say
that the US military presence caused the said flourishing of democracy and
strengthening of the economy, but it did lead to enough stability to allow
those things to evolve."
> U.S. was happy to sacrifice Korea to Japanese control in an effort to win
> Japanese support for U.S. domination of the Philippines.
That was not under the ROK-US alliance of which I spoke (since there was no
ROK at all), but rather preceded it by a half century.
> It was U.S.
> foreign policy that in large part was responsible for the destruction of
> the Korean People's Republic at the end of World War II
There was a Korean People's Republic at the end of World War II?
> and the division of the country.
True enough. But that, too, was not under the ROK-US alliance to which I
referred. Now perhaps we can get into an argument over how much (if at all)
the US botched things up when it cut Korea across the middle, and would
Korea have been better off as a unified nation under communist leadership.
Two or three million North Koreans dead from starvation tells me no.
> It was U.S. military, political, and economic support for
> Park Chung Hee that enabled him to stay in power.
Well, General Park is a national hero nowadays, the economically benign
dictator that he was.
> It was the U.S. that
> gave military, political, and economic support to Chun Doo Hwan, enabling
> him to consolidate and extend his dictatorial rule.
Yes, the US tended to want the status quo of avowed anti-communist
leadership, sometimes at the expense of supposedly democratic movements. But
the other half of what I referred to, Korea's economic expansion toward
becoming the 11th largest economy in the world, was a major event then.
> The U.S. did not play a democratic role in South Korea.
Well, it's a good thing I never said it did. Although Kim Daejung's probably
thankful the US gov't went to bat for him.
> And while it did allow, for cold war
> reasons, a state directed economic strategy which did promote economic
*Now* you address what I was getting at.
> once the cold war began to lose its significance for U.S. planners
> (in the late 1980s), the U.S. government strongly and successfully
> pressured the South Korean government to dismantle its controls, helping
> to create the recent conditions of economic crisis.
Excuse me? The problem is a government that creates an environment of
corruption by having too much control (which they tighten or loosen as a
means of control and providing favors) over too many things, not too little.
> The point is not that past South Korean governments have depended on the
> U.S. for support but that this support has come at a high price.
You're right. You've convinced me. 47 years of helping stave off Korean War
II while helping provide the stable conditions that allow the country from
going from the world's poorest (according to a popular Korean claim) to the
11th largest in the world, is of no consequence whatsoever.
> independent reunified Korea would have every reason for seeking a more
> hands-off relationship with the U.S.
Tell that to Kim Daejung. He doesn't seem to agree.
K U S H I B O
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