Friday, June 16, 2006


(Read "Tomb Raider on the 38th Parallel" to follow along...1 post down)

So...back to the war.

When North Korea attacked South Korea President Truman was determined to bring it to an end--Pronto! He had made a promise to the American people in 1947 that went something like this:

" support free peoples anywhere in the world who were resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
This later became known as the "Truman Doctrine".

He was of course referring to Communisim. It would have been interesting if President Truman had called the Communists "Terrorists". But it isn't really "terrorisim" if the crimes aren't being commited against you, is it?

It was not until 9-11-2001 that the word "Terrorism" took root in our collective souls. Pearl Harbor was an "Attack", "Open War" if you will...but even in my reading about Japan waking the sleeping giant (the US), I still didn't hear the Japanese being called Terrorists. Sorry--I wandered off topic!

Anyway, Truman went to the United Nations--which Russia was boycotting at the time--and got full support. The war in Korea was fought under UN command and several other nations contributed troops and supplies, but in South Korea it was mostly an American affair. Truman called the US involvement a "Police Action" so he could bypass congress' permission for going to war.

(That's as good as it gets folks! If I look at my kids this way,
they run!!!) LOL!

US fighting in Korea did push the Communists back almost to the border of China by a brilliant manuver by General MacArthur...but China had been very clear: DON"T APPROACH THE YALU RIVER!!!
Yet we approached it.
And 200,000 Chinese troops crossed the river to meet us and we lost more ground than we had started with! Finally, US soldiers managed to reclaim the land up to the 38th parallel and held it securely. I imagine it was then that the landmines went into the ground that were planted by Americans and South Koreans.

There are over 1 million landmines along a 2.5 mile, by 156 mile stretch in the middle of Korea...just north of the 38th Parallel, and the rumor is that there are 3 million more stockpiled just in case we need them.

The sweet victory of pushing the Commies' out, and then the bitterness of being pushed back was a hard blow for the US.

Keep in mind that we had just come out of WWII -victorious- and the sentiment in the country was that we could not be defeated.
MacArthur, as any hard-fighting-die-hard-soldier can relate to...wanted to BOMB China! Bless him...I admire his spirit--though I have to agree with Truman that it would have been a big mistake. Truman made him resign his post and Americans were very angry about this.

...not a new concept.

My history book says the folllowing:

"MacArthur's dismissal in April 1951 set off a great debate in Congress over the conduct of the war. Trumans critics denounced him as an imbecile and an appeaser. Truman's insistence on civilan authority received wide support, but his policy of LIMITD WAR came under heavy attack. The concept of limited war ran counter to the national spirit. Many Americans assumed that if there was reason enough to go to war there was reason enought to fight on to victory, using any means necessary."

Now a days, with Iraq, it seems that LIMITED WAR has been the mindset from the beginning. We don't want to turn the country into a parking lot, we want to weed out the Terrorists, set up a democracy, and turn the whole thing back over to the people. It's a noble mind-set, but I am unsure of it's merit. I have friends who are soldiers there...or were there. Their hands are tied by the media, image problems, and of course the occasional screwed-up soldier with an anger problem.

I hate the idea of limited war. Either go in and kick a*s and get out...or don't go. But it's not that simple, is it?

An interesting side note to all of this is a quote I found to be nothing short of amazing...

In one tiny place Russia touches Turkey...and Turkey, in an even smaller place touches Greece. In 1947 Russia, as I said earlier, was doing it's best to expand...and it seems the Russians had a knack for "wiggling in" in tiny places.
Russia was demanding that Turkey give up it's rights to the strategic waterway of the Black Sea to the Mediterranean...and at the same time Moscow was working in Greece to overthrow a conservative government supported by Britan. They, the Russian, had fingers in many pies it seems!

The Undersecretary of State, Dean Acheson, spoke before a private meeting of congressional leaders and said, "Like appels in a barrel infected by one rotten one, the corruption of Greece (by Communist rebels) would infect IRAN and all to the east."

Whoa!!! Did you hear that? In 1947 the US was worried about what Communisim would do to IRAN?

Lets stop and think this over for a minute...
Do you think Iran, had it been taken over by Communisim, would have surrendered it's Islamic core?

And had Communisim spread to Iran, would it not have also crossed the border of Iraq?
Would the American public have been surprised to learn all about Jihad in the 1950's?

And how long before Communisim spread to Turkey, and Bulgaria, Romania and Poland...and then to the rest of Europe?

What would the world look like today, if not for the Korean war, and the landmines that hold the North Korean Communists, and Chinese, and Soviets at bay???

And which is worse...Communisim or Islamic Terrorism? Have we been able to put an end to either?

The world is getting smaller my friends. Can we all just get along?

No, probably not.

This story is WAY bigger than me...and I could probably study it for the rest of my life and not digest all the facets of this bit of history. I really stand amazed by what I've read and posted here. Please feel free to add any comments, make suggestions, or correct any errors found.

I think Korea will be on my list of places to visit...just after I spend a month or so with Lux at her new school! :)

"Sigh"...thanks for hanging in there...I leave you with a happy pic! Maybe it will make up for the history lesson I've dragged you through! LOL

And tell me, honestly...if you'd have had a history teacher like me, wouldn't you have paid a little more attention in class? NOT BECAUSE I AM BLONDE!!! But because of something else??? Because I found a way to tie Angelia Jolie into the subject matter??? LOL!

No matter what your answer is...I like you all the same! :) Really!


X. Dell said...

Um, I actually paid attention in my history classes, and Mr. Knabb was not nearly as appealing to the eye as you.

When you say stockpiled, where exactly?

With embedded reporters and the military's strict rules post-Vietnam for releasing information and war footage, why would the military be constricted by media if they are engaging in combat according to internationally approved rules for the conduct of war? It would be helpful to cite secific examples of such.

I probably will post something about Mossdegh and Iran and the CIA's now well documented inolvement with the establishment of the Shaw's brutal reign via his intelligence force, the SAVAK. Suffice it to say, howeveer, that British oil interests, displaced in Iran after WWII, wanted to retake control of Iran's oil supply, against the new Iranian government's desire to nationalize the oil industry.

The British needed American involvement to help them re-take Iran, but they had this obstacle in Washington named Truman. They then tried to convince Harry that Iran could fall to communism (this wwas actually a pretty cliched tactic known back then as the Domino Theory--widely discredited now). MI5, British Petroleum and the CIA knew this was patently false.

Truman, however, saw through them, and that's why he never committed troops there.

The concept of limited warfare is tied to what President Eisenhower termed 'the military industrial complex.' Despite any initial misgivings, Americans have been far more willing to embark upon limited war, as opposed to the total effort of WWI--where everything was rationed, and there were massive shortages.

Ongoing limited warfare translates into perptual warfare and the multinational corporate profits that come from it.

Such defense corporations as Texas Instruments, the Carlyle Group, etc. seem to celebrate war. Then again, it's not like those profiteers are suiting up for battle, or sending their sons and daughters into harms way.

They instead leave that up to such brave men as your father who have a duty to prosecute the war in the good faith that should have that they are defending their country.

Mayden' s Voyage said...

I was being silly X~ about paying attention...but I am glad you did--Angelina Jolie angle or not :)

I don't know where the other mines are stockpiled...the source did not say, this is one reason why I said it was a "rumor". I could not verify it.

Hmmm...why would the military be constricted? Let me give you the best (and most personal) example I can think of. I believe that it is sometimes necessary to correct behavior in a child with a pop on the hand or fanny--not often, and only when absolutely necessary...and I am well within my right as a parent to do so (in most states- I think). Now...if I had reporters in my house all day, filming me--might I respond differently because of public opinion? Even at the expense of the child...who keeps putting his fingers in the electrical socket, even though I have told him not to, moved the said child, taped up the socket...and still--he goes after it? Sometimes a physical repremand gets a toddlers attention when nothing else will.
And toddlers are not Terrorists.
Our soldiers are at a disadvantage with cameras at their backs...they are thinking 2 ways- 1) about their mission and 2) how it will look to the American public, or how their actions will be reported. This should not happen. The mission is compromised, I think, with reporters in tow. Even last week...with reports of Zarqawi being killed and the moronic questions about whether or not he was dead when they pulled him out of the building! Good heavens...If he hadn't been dead, I'd have killed him myself- given the opportunity...THAT was what the mission was about for heavens sake.
The reporters made it sound as if-possibly, the troops had done something wrong, rather than being jazzed that the evil guy was dead.
That reporting made me feel sick to my stomach...because of the spin. The media repeatedly has a "holier, or wiser than thee" approach to reporting--rather than just unspooling the events. It is wrong and goes against the principals of Journalism--which is to report the news, and leave your opinion out of it. Both the left and right are guilty of this.

Now...I am not as clever, or as well educated as you are. I am an amature in this--I readily admit it...but, after looking at the maps, reading the history, and pondering the whole Communist seems entirely likely that Russia (then, but not now) could have easily gobbled up most of the countries it touched. This is not a far fetched idea at all, at least not to me. Perhaps this is exactly why the American public was swayed...because it did seem plausible and possible. This mindset carried us right into the 1980s. I am clueless about who had control of what oil products where and when...but I do realize that this is a huge factor and must be understood for me to get a better grasp on things. Oil = Money and power...and lots of it. I do understand that much.

Ongoing limited warfare translates into a long term mental and emotional strain on the American public...but naturally someone will profit from it. A long drawn out divorce pads the wallet of an attorney. More time on the operating table means more $ out of the patient. ($1k, just to lay down in the OR last year to have a hernia repaired!) And don't even get me started on what it costs to die and be buried in this country...Funeral Home expenses :(

Is it wrong for a company who provides a service during war time to make a profit? Are you implying that Texas Instruments is doing something to perpetuate the war, and are you certain that employees of these companies don't have kids of their own fighting in Iraq? I'd be skpetical about that.

Granted X~ I live in a somewhat sheltered world. I have jumped into this Korean War thing for just this kind of dialog...and I thank you for being so thoughtful in your reply. You have certainly given me another perspecitve, and some things to think about that I had not thought of before.

A *cyber hug* to you...with a gentle poke in the ribs :) are you ticklish? Hope so! LOL :)

Unknown said...

Hi there, Sorry I wasn't there when you viosited my blog and left a comment I am back now and have staretd a travelogue blog too :)

I loved reading this blog.

X. Dell said...

Yes, Cora. I actually believe that it is extremely immoral for a party either to start a war for profit, or prolong it for the same reasonm while at the same time giving false pretenses to the public. This is our history, best summed up with the words of Gen. Smedley Butler, who said, quite frankly, "War is a racket." His knowledge came firsthand.

Butler was no liberal, by the way. He was a rabid foe of FDR's New Deal. Yet, he spent the latter part of his life teaching others about war profiteering and how it would continue to threaten our nation.

As far as the example that you gave I would raise two objections. (1) When cameras are in place in a family home, say for a reality show, people might react to them at first, but after a while they get used to them and their ehavior reverts to normal. The best example of this is the famous PBS documentary about the Loud family ( Despite having the cameras on them, dad still had an affair, and junior came out of the closet.

(2) Your analogy of a parental situation does not demonstrate specifically that the press has had a detrimental effect to combat situations. Edward R. Murrow, the famous CBS journalist, for example, broadcast from London during WWII, and he is largely credited for easing the American resolve towards isolation. Embedded reporters in the current conflict came back with many lauditory pieces on the US military, with very little critique in the beginning. Only after it became apparent that both the administration and the Pentagon had deceive them did their coverage begin to reflect what could best be called a quagmire.

That was hardly the press' fault. In fact, the press brought back the first reports that the soldiers in Iraq were not properly equipped. Only after press coverage did the Defense Department increased purchasing of flack jackets and bullets (that's right, they sent them to war without enough bullets--they might still be just as inadequetly supplied had there not been media present).

As to the causes of the Korean War, I would tend to look beyond the fact that North Korea invaded. Imagine if France and Germany decided to partition the northern part of the US and the Southern part of the US. Despite the 1860s conflict between the states, I would suspect that most Southerners of the 21st Century would be Union loyalists, and would join us Yankees in subverting foreign rule. If we thought we could reunite the country by attacking the strongest armies to the south, we would probably do so.

The same thing happened in Korea. A deal is struck between the US and the Soviet Union. They get two puppet leaders to carry out their agenda, and everybody sends troops. I would almost expect an aggressive move on their part, as happened in Vietnam (which the conquering Allies also partitioned). There were many unionists in South Korea as well.

As I stated earlier, my concerns and viewpoints do not come from dogma or ego, but rather my own sense of fair play. There is a lot going on currently, as there has been in history.

I really applaud what you're doing here. You've researched some things, and you've posted your findings. The treatment that you gave is quite informative. This is the real beginning of knowledge.

But I would nudge you in the ribs (especially if you're ticklish) and say, "Dig deeper."

Bless you. Still adore you. And I'm proud of you. Keep at it.

Helene said...


As I am totally limited in time I didn not read this post. I am honest though about it! hehehe

I hated history studies in school. It wasnt until I got old enough to really remember things that were being billed as 'historical' that I began taking an interest.

On the lighter bits here...

1. I just giggled at your photo with the look that makes your kids run! lolol THAT makes them run?lol

2. I cant believe you are in braces too!! I JUST got mine off!!

3. I hate even the thought of war... I like a good old 'win/win' in life and war is a definite lose/lose.


Mayden' s Voyage said...

I totally agree with you that it is immoral for a party to start a war for profit...
However, profits will be made in industries ranging from textiles (for uniforms and such)to weapons manufacturers- and all companies in between. I don't have a problem with profits being made under those circumstances--I hope you understood that is what I meant.

You are right...the parental example was not a good one. Parents aren't going to have to kill anyone on national television.

Your points about how the media have helped are good ones--I didn't mean to sound so one sided on the issue. As with many things in life- blessings and curses are determnined by perspective.

I think what is simmering under the placid waters of our conversation is the war in Iraq...about which neither of us can really do anything- besides voting and supporting our soldiers and their families, and talking--(writing) as we seem to do so well :)

I will make you a promise...I will keep digging. I will listen to resonable people on both sides.
I will keep reading and learning.
And you- friend, keep teaching.
(hey! that tickled! lol :)

Kate...I don't like war either. The whole idea of it seems so uncivilized, and yet--I firmly beleive in the principals and ideaology of the United States. I believe in freedom and democracy, and when it is necessary to fight for those things- we must. As to how and why we are at war--that is a converstaion for another day :)

SJ- Iread the first installment of your travel blog...the train ride? Almost felt like I was there! I look forward to keeping up with you :)

..................... said...


i'm still catching up on some blogs. i need to catch up on your korea posts. right now my cousin's baby just woke up and i'm babysitting today. :) cya later.

sparringK9 said...

/bark bark bark

your conversation with xdell is some fine reading.

"terrorists" are combatants with no nation state or clearly defined borders. often the demands are unclear other than vague "ya'll are satan" kind of stuff. i think in this battle we could replace "terrorist" with "militant islam". they have made their intentions quite clear which anyone can read for themselves. i said on other blogs already i respect them enough to take them at their word.

the goal of terrorism is just that: inflict terror. it cant be reasoned with, bought off, or out-logic-ed.
no sense of fair play as xdell would say, no regard for conventional warfare, no concern for world governing bodies (and frankly their failure rate makes that clearly understandable)

its an imperfect world. that sounds like a big shrug off and *whatever* but it isn't. what is it that one dawg can do? give a damn about my partners, my family, my neighbors, my community, do the best i can, speak up when i should and live as decently as i can. the nature of exisitence is strife. its not specific to any group. you are correct in noting that you could spend a lifetime exploring the "whys" of this conflcit or that and never exhaust the subject. that said, i have, more and more, very little meaningful commentary on our current situation left. i am already dog paddling as fast as i can.

i love your dirty harry look. "you feel lucky, punk?"


Mayden' s Voyage said...

K9...thank you :) I'm getting "schooled" with all of this reading and blogging...and blessed to have friends with varied and broader views than myself. Thanks for the defintion for "Terrorist" many words as I look up- I hadn't looked up that one!

I know the "Dirty Harry" pic is funny...but really, if I was scolding you for messing up the neighbors yard and giving you that look- it's more frightening than you might think! LOL :)
(Maybe not...)

Schaumi...hope your head doesn't start hurting with the Korea posts! Enjoy that baby! :)

..................... said...

no, my head's not hurting from your korea posts, cora, but from that dialog between you and
excuse me, but why do you think you are not as clever as I would beg to differ.
i'll just sit back and enjoy the dialog between ya'll.
oops, baby is squealing.

X. Dell said...

I'm afraid that the surest way to perpetuate terrorism is to refuse to understand it.

A Real Man said...

I am currently in Iraq. I can tell you that there were WMD's found here. I do not care for anyone in the MSM because they are telling lies. How do I know that?

At a recent conference in Colorado Springs about the effectiveness of a new battle formation the commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry told of one of the "embedded" reporters from Newsweek who wrote a story about the Unit and when it came out in the publication the story was completely different. The reporter asked why this was and was told that the story as orginally written was too "heroic."

During WWII our reporters made our soldiers heroic to help people know that their soldiers were doing the job well and keep their support for the war effort. But they also told the truth.

I Love History and my history teachers have all made it very interesting. I have taken a total of three history classes, one in high school and two in college. I also am a voracious reader so I know quite a bit about our nation and our heritage, most Americans do not.

Mayden' s Voyage said...

A Real Man:
THANK YOU for being here! Thank you for your service to our country...Thank you for your reply. I went to your blog page...I will keep checking in!

What is MSM?

Your comments, ideas and suggestions are always welcome and appreciated.
How are you doing? Hope you will come back :)
-Cora :)