Posts Tagged ‘Joy Brigades


Fat Man


On August 9th, 1945 a lone American B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb like this one on Nagasaki, Japan.  The instantaneous destruction of that city and roughly eighty thousand of its inhabitants brought about an immediate decision by the Japanese government to bring an end to World War II.  It also caused US planners to change their minds about the post-war world.  Europe under the Allies; United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union and France had been carved into zones of influence with the Soviet Union dominating huge parts of eastern Europe.  Six months later US leadership realized the Soviet Union would do the same thing in post-war Asia.  The race was on to see who would control what.  The United States decided, after having previously stated that it had no intentions toward Korea, that Korea would be divided at the 38th parallel.  The Soviet Army, then invading North Korea, halted at the the 38th parallel and waited while the United States tried to find a military unit to establish American control over the zone now known as South Korea.  The first American ground troops didn’t enter South Korea until over a month after the war had ended.

Since then, millions of Koreans have died because their country was divided between a Communist North Korea and a Capitalist South Korea.  There was precedence for such a division elsewhere in the world.  After all Germany had been divided into East Germany and West Germany.  And why not?  Germany had caused the untold suffering of millions of people, started a war that had destroyed dozens of countries, enslaved whole peoples and murdered millions of so-called undesirables (untermenschen).  With the end of the war in Asia it was fair to divide Korea because the Koreans had attacked dozens of countries, the Koreans had started a war that led to the deaths of millions of people and the Koreans had bombed Pearl Harbor.

Oh wait, that was the Japanese.

What did the Koreans do to deserve being divided?  They had been enslaved by the Japanese to work in Japanese labor camps, forced to fight in the Japanese Army, and tens of thousands of Korean women were forced into the “joy brigades.”  “Joy brigades” served the comforts of Japanese soldiers.  So these Koreans deserved to be punished? Their country deserved to be split.  Families divided.  Their nation occupied by foreign armies.  Why?  Because the Korean peninsula is strategically located as a staging area to invade mainland Asia.  Surrounded by water on three sides, the United States, with control of the seas, is able to control Korea with a minimal amount of troops.  So millions of Koreans have suffered because of the aggressively expansionistic policies of the Soviet Union, American strategic greed to maintain a staging area on the Asian mainland, and Chinese desire to rid itself of a threatening foreign army pointed like a dagger at its back.

World War II, for the United States, started when hundreds of bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor, and ended when two bombs dropped on two different days compelled the Japanese to surrender, which created a situation that continues to cause Korean suffering and provide for further world political tension.  Apologist historians have tried to assuage Japanese anger because of the total destruction of the Japanese cities, saying it was excessive force.  Well, if you don’t want the United States to drop bombs on your country, don’t drop bombs on the United States.  America has justified the occupation of South Korea because the United States was trying to stop the spread of Communism.  In case you folks have forgotten, Gorbachev took a walk on Broadway and Communism disappeared from most of the world.  It has stopped spreading.  So why is Korea still divided?


June 2019
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