Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Product of Rumsfeld's Longing

Part of the document dump surrounding the Pentagon's propaganda--er, military analyst--program was a .wav file of a luncheon in December 2006 with the Secretary of Defense and several retired military officers. During the luncheon, Rumsfeld lamented that the leaders of Iraq do not include a Syngman Rhee.

Just what that might entail became clear this week:

Grave by mass grave, South Korea is unearthing the skeletons and buried truths of a cold-blooded slaughter from early in the Korean War, when this nation's U.S.-backed regime killed untold thousands of leftists and hapless peasants in a summer of terror in 1950.

With U.S. military officers sometimes present, and as North Korean invaders pushed down the peninsula, the southern army and police emptied South Korean prisons, lined up detainees and shot them in the head, dumping the bodies into hastily dug trenches. Others were thrown into abandoned mines or into the sea. Women and children were among those killed. Many victims never faced charges or trial.


In the late 1940s, President Syngman Rhee's U.S.-installed rightist regime crushed leftist political activity in South Korea, including a guerrilla uprising inspired by the communists ruling the north. By 1950, southern jails were packed with up to 30,000 political prisoners.

This is the legacy Rumsfeld dreamt of in Iraq. Democracy, indeed.

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