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Once again, Korea!

By Professor/Baba Charles Simmons

Since most of the world’s population was not around at the beginning of this conflict, it is important for people everywhere to know the history of this 60-year-old struggle between the Western powers led by the United States and the people of Asia.

The United States invaded Korea in 1950 in an attempt to stop the Chinese Revolution led by Chairman Mao Tse Tung, who had kicked out the Western powers in 1949. The West feared a general independence victory against Western colonialism throughout Asia that was set in motion in the early part of the 20th century.

The United States was defeated in its objectives in the mid-1950s, especially after Mao Tse Tung sent in Chinese troops on the side of the Korean forces. However, the United States still succeeded in dividing the nation politically into North and South, with a major force of U.S. troops, naval and air forces remaining in South Korea under a puppet U.S. government. The same pattern would play out a decade later in Vietnam following the freedom fighters defeat of the French colonialist in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu led by the revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh, who said that one of his major mentors was Marcus Garvey, who Ho Chi Minh heard in Harlem during World War I.

The North of Korea became the site of the revolutionaries under Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the present leader. There was never an armistice nor an official end to the war between the United States and Korea although the United States withdrew after three years of fighting and declared a victory.

But if you talk to any of the U.S. soldiers who were there on the ground, they will tell you a totally different story of major U.S. defeat. Some of the African American soldiers remained in Korea and became citizens to avoid returning to the segregated U.S.A. There have been minor and major escalations of the conflict since the end of the shooting “War,” and Korea, a poor but proud agricultural nation, has maintained its right to its path of socialist development. The United States has surrounded the nation with tens of thousands of troops, a naval fleet, the U.S. Air Force and nuclear weapons scattered throughout the islands and nations of Asia. Wall Street is waiting for an opportunity to return and restore “democracy and capitalism.” We have a son stationed in the region at the present moment. Many more thousands of young men and women of the United States will be the casualties if Wall Street has its  way. But no one or any life form on our embattled planet is safe and all of humanity’s rich and poor will suffer greatly from the fallout if the nuclear weapons begin to fly.

That is the immediate problem for all of us. It was the hope of the colonial powers and the United States that the only countries to have the nuclear weapons would be the white nations, including Western Europe, South Africa under the apartheid government and Israel. However, the Chinese broke that rule in 1960 and others followed including India, Pakistan, and North Korea. So the western objective now is to keep any other country outside of Europe from getting the bomb and thereby maintaining U.S. and European supremacy.                        The United States is the only country to have used them. However, the only way to rid the planet of nuclear danger is to require all nations to get rid of the nuclear weapons. No one should have them and the people of planet Earth must struggle for peace and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction. An immediate goal of neighborhood, city and county governments throughout the United States and the world should pass legislation calling for the end of weapons of mass destruction including mines that are crippling the poor people everywhere.                     Trade unions, universities and faith-based organizations should demand the withdrawal of their money from any bank or investment that finances warfare. We must teach our youth everywhere to support peace. Collectively, these actions will force the national governments to act in favor of the people.

Professor/Baba Charles  Simmons is co-founder of the Hush House Black Community Museum and Leadership Training Institute for Human Rights. He can be reached at charles.simmons@emich.edu.

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