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Old 11-13-2018, 10:49 AM
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Arrow Remembering the Forgotten War

Remembering the Forgotten War
By: Hampton Sides - NYT 11-11-18
RE: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/11/o...version=latest

Technically, Korea wasn’t even a war. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore the veterans who fought in it.

SANTA FE, N.M. — Although more than 320,000 Americans served in the Korean War — and more than 33,000 were killed in action — it is still our Forgotten War, a kind of also-ran in our historical consciousness.

Perhaps it’s because the war ended in stalemate. The closing battle lines were more or less where they started, along the 38th Parallel. “We died for a tie,” Korean War vets sometimes say, and there’s something deeply unsatisfying about that narrative. We Americans understand military victory, and we’ve come to understand loss, but we can’t quite get our heads around a draw.

The men who bled and died in Korea are now taking their bows. They have certainly not forgotten Korea, and they are rightly proud of their accomplishments there. They stopped a naked act of Communist aggression and opposed three malevolent dictators — Stalin, Mao and Kim — while helping South Korea take wing as a democracy. Many Korean War veterans seem mystified that aside from endless reruns of “MASH,” their deeds have been given such short shrift in our national culture.

A few months ago, I had the good fortune to visit South Korea with a large group of American veterans. The trip was part of a generous program, led by the South Korean government, to formally thank these now old men who helped save this tiny country from destruction and set it on the road to what it is now — a modern, technologically advanced society and a staunch American ally, with the world’s 11th-largest economy.

The South Koreans lavished them with free flights, five-star hotels, air-conditioned coaches, bullet train excursions. At the DMZ, across snarls of concertina wire, we gazed upon the police state that South Korea might have become. We were dazzled by the coruscating metropolis of Seoul, which, the last time these men saw it, lay smoldering in ruins. The veterans seemed tremendously moved to learn firsthand: They aren’t forgotten after all.

By and large, though, these stoic, thick-skinned men have come to accept that their achievements will probably always play second fiddle to those of World War II, the marquee event their uncles and older brothers and cousins — the “Greatest Generation” — fought.

Recently I’ve gotten to know one of these Korean War veterans. His name is Franklin Chapman, known as Jack; he’s a retired college security chief and part Cherokee Indian who lives here in Santa Fe. In December 1950, on a subzero night in the mountain wilds near North Korea’s Chosin Reservoir, Mr. Chapman’s convoy, part of the Seventh Infantry Division, came under withering attack by the Chinese. Nearby, the American operator of a 75-millimeter recoilless rifle, mounted on the back of a truck, lost his nerve and abandoned his post in a panic.

A captain stomped among the men, demanding a volunteer to take over the gun. Private Chapman, a 17-year-old string bean from Oklahoma, raised his hand. To this day, he doesn’t know why. “Maybe I was brave,” he told me. “Maybe I was stupid.”

Climbing aboard the truck, Private Chapman could see hundreds of Chinese pressing in, with bugles blaring and bullets sputtering across the snow. He swiveled the big gun and fired.

Manning a weapon as lethal as this, Private Chapman knew it was only a matter of time before the Chinese found him. They shot him in the left arm, then the right leg, then the right arm. A medic treated his wounds, and Private Chapman climbed back on the truck.

This time he was hit in the hip, then took numerous pieces of shrapnel. He had just finished reloading when a bullet struck his forehead, embedding itself in his skull. It knocked him off the truck, rendering him unconscious. The Chinese overran his unit and cut it to pieces. The engagement, known as the Battle of Hellfire Valley, had ended.

Hours later, Private Chapman awoke to find himself with 10 other captives, hunched on the dirt floor of a farmhouse. Chinese guards marched them on mountain trails for 19 days until they reached a place called Kanggye, near the Manchurian border. Private Chapman languished there for nearly three years.

When he returned from the war, no parades or celebrations greeted him. His heroics weren’t written up in newspapers or magazines. He quietly went about his life. He joined the Air Force and served for nearly 16 years. When he kept having debilitating headaches, a surgeon removed the bullet lodged in his skull. He keeps it as a relic.

Mr. Chapman, who is 85 and mostly homebound, suffers from neuropathy in his feet from frostbite, a common malady among Korean War veterans. His body is a miscellany of aches from his war wounds and his years in the prison camps. He has also experienced PTSD, although through most of his life the condition wasn’t dignified with a name. It seems somehow apt, for a Korean veteran, that he now suffers from severe memory loss. Sometimes he can’t recognize his own daughter. But his recollections of his war experiences are stark and vivid.

Men like Jack Chapman are gradually exiting our stage. They’re unassuming, uncomplaining men who answered the call and fought for a principle, long ago and far from home, in a war that was not “officially” a war — a war that curiously became a dormant account in our public memory bank. Stalwart and humble old soldiers like Jack Chapman are the reason, on this Veterans Day, we should make the Korean War the Remembered War.

About the writer: Hampton Sides is the author, most recently, of “On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle.”
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:51 AM
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Arrow The Korean War: The moral bankruptcy of interventionism

THE KOREAN WAR: THE MORAL BANKRUPTCY OF INTERVENTIONISM
By: Jacob G. Hornberger - November 13, 2018
RE: https://www.fff.org/2018/11/13/the-k...terventionism/

An article in Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Remembering the Forgotten War” demonstrates perfectly the moral bankruptcy of the philosophy of foreign interventionism. Calling for the Korean War to become more highly remembered, the author, Hampton Sides, extols some of the popular justifications for subjecting U.S. troops to death, injury, and maiming in the Korean War.

Hampton tells the story of a veteran named Franklin Chapman, who is still alive. Hampton was sent to fight in Korea, was shot several times, and also hit by shrapnel. He was taken captive by the enemy and was held as a POW for three years. Today, the 85-year -old suffers from the aftereffects of frostbite, experiences aches and pains from his wounds, and suffers severe memory loss, sometimes unable to recognize his daughter.

Sides implies that while all this is regrettable, it’s all justifiable because Korean War veterans “stopped a naked act of Communist aggression and opposed three malevolent dictators — Stalin, Mao and Kim – while helping South Korea take wing as a democracy.”

What is fascinating about Sides’s article is that it is completely bereft of any moral outrage whatsoever against the U.S. government and, specifically, the U.S. national-security establishment. Sides seems to forget something important: The reason that Chapman was there in Korea waging war was because the president of the United States and the Pentagon ordered him to be there.

I was curious about Chapman and so I looked him up. It turns out that he has written a biography that is posted online, where he tells the reason he joined the military. No, it wasn’t to stop communist aggression in Korea or to oppose three malevolent communist dictators. Chapman explains that he joined the military for one reason alone: He needed a job.

My hunch is that like many people who join the military, he believed that his job would be the defend the United States from invasion or attack. My hunch is that the last thing he ever expected was to be sent to wage a land war in Asia. But that is precisely what the U.S. government did to him. It ordered him to report to Korea to be kill or be killed.

That doesn’t seem to concern Hampton Sides, any more than it concerns any interventionist. Equally important, it obviously doesn’t concern Sides that the order to send Chapman to fight in the Korean War was illegal under our form of government. The U.S. Constitution, which governs the actions of federal officials, including those in the Pentagon, prohibits the president from waging war against a foreign nation without first securing a declaration of war from Congress. It is undisputed that President Truman, who ordered U.S. soldiers into Korea, did not secure a congressional declaration of war. That means that he had no legal authority to order Sides or any other U.S. soldier to kill or die in Korea.

In claiming that Chapman was fighting to oppose communist aggression, Sides ignores the fact that the Korean War was actually a civil war, not a war between two independent and sovereign nations. The country had been artificially divided into two halves by Soviet communist leader Joseph Stalin, who, ironically, was a partner and ally of the U.S. government during World War II. (The irony lies in the fact that Sides extols Chapman for opposing the man who had been a partner and ally of the U.S. government just a few years before.) In any event, every Korean understood that the dividing line between North and South Korea was just an artificial construct based on international politics. Even today, if you ask a person of Korean descent here in the United States where they are from, they always, without exception, say “Korea” rather than “South Korea.”

We can concede that the northern half of the country was ruled by a brutal communist regime, one that attempted to unify the country by force. But why does a nation’s civil war justify U.S. intervention? Why should U.S. soldiers be sacrificed to help out one side or another in a civil war? That’s not what most U.S. soldiers were signing up to do after World War II. They were signing up to defend the United States, not help out one side or another in another nation’s civil war. (By the way, the same principle applies to the Vietnam War, another favorite foreign war of the interventionists.)

Another aspect of the Korean War that Sides fails to mention is conscription. The U.S. military didn’t have enough men to intervene against the North Korean regime, and not enough American men were volunteering for “service.” So, Truman and the military resorted to conscription. That means that they were forcing American men, against their will, to go to Korea and kill or be killed. An interventionist would say that it was necessary to destroy the freedom of Americans to protect the “freedom” and “democracy” of South Koreans.

Sides’s expression “helping South Korea take wing as a democracy” is an interesting one. It’s interesting because South Korea’s first elected president, Syngman Rhee, was one of the most brutal dictators in the world. Immediately after taking office, he curtailed political dissent and authorized his goons to engage in indefinite detention, torture, assassination, death squads, and massacres.

On the suspension of hostilities in 1953, it was clear that the National Assembly, which elected the president, was going to boot Rhee out of office. In order to avoid that, he ordered a mass arrest of opposition politicians and then unilaterally changed the Constitution to enable him to be elected directly by the citizenry. He remained in power until 1960, when he was forced to resign after his police shot demonstrators who were protesting his regime.

This is what Sides and other interventionists calling “democracy taking wing.” It brings to mind the U.S.-inspired coup in Chile in 1973, which ousted the democratically elected socialist president of the country, Salvador Allende, and installed a brutal right-wing military dictator in his stead, army Gen. Augusto Pinochet. To this day, interventionists say that the Chilean coup demonstrated that “democracy was taking wing” in Chile with the coup that nullified the presidential election, followed by a 16-year-long brutal military dictatorship entailing round-ups of some 50,000 people, torturing most of them, raping and committing gruesome sexual acts against women, and killing and disappearing around 3,000 people.

Sides and other interventionists are dead wrong about the Korean War and other foreign interventions. No U.S. soldier deserves to be ordered to faraway lands to kill or be killed or maimed, as Franklin Chapman was. If Sides or other interventionists want to go overseas and help out one side or another in some faraway civil war, they are free to do so. Just leave U.S. soldiers out of it. The job of a U.S. soldier is to defend the United States from invasion or attack, not be sent to participate in some bogus fight for “freedom” or “democracy” in a foreign country.

About the writer: Jacob G. Hornberger
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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