Korea RAGE!!

Sophistry, deception, manipulation backed by US military soldiers and firearms. Farmers kicked out of lands families have tilled for generations. Compensations, mere pittance, like salt added to open wounds. The story of Daechuri in South Korea, of police and governments collaborating with US imperial interests resonates across Asia -- from Subic Bay in Philippines, to Okinawa in Japan, right over to Guam and other Asian Pacific Islands.

I have been watching with my friends, some videos of the struggles of Koreans against US imperialism. There are the heroic resistances of Daechuri farmers against the expansion of a US military base, Camp Humphrey, in South Korea. Across generations, people are trying to prevent their homelands from becoming mere appendages to US expansionist projects in the Middle East (US soldiers and equipment have been deployed from Asian countries to Iraq to support the war effort). To speak of independence and self-determination in Asian countries is a joke really. How can a country be independent when 35 000 troops of another nation, accompanied with high technology military equipment (and for a while nuclear weaponry), are planted on your land? Yet, the discussion of US military bases in Korea particularly, goes way beyond the seizure of land. It also has its ideological counterpart that is aimed at dividing the Korean peninsula, breaking down the strength of a united and strong Korean nation. Constantly spewing unverified reports of North Korean nuclear arsenal, the US justifies its presence in South Korea as a benevolent attempt to "safeguard" South Koreans from the crazy, unpredictable North. Of course, what lays hidden and unreported, is the fact that the US army has aided the South Korean government with a nuclear program, which naturally incites the North to arm itself similarly to prevent any offensive attacks. The logic of Mutually Assured Destruction is not a new one. I dont endorse nuclear weapons cos it is a mad undemocratic form of weaponry. But not from the US basis that it is the ONLY country that can have access to such dangerous weapons. For a anti-imperialist, anti-nuclear, environmental platform, the US and its allies have first got to disarm cos they are whats motivating a lot of other third world nations to arm themselves in this fashion. What also goes unreported is the fact that US military ships have been going up and down the coast of North Korea. Who wouldnt be threatened if some enemy that you know is out to get you, is loitering right outside your doorstep? Its not surprising. The US has always played this game w their enemies, behaving menacingly, trying to trigger attacks as a way of justifying further invasion. They do that with Iran these days. No reason why they would not have done it with North Korea, to keep alive the tensions between the North and the South, and justify its own military presence in the region.

From what me and my friends have been seeing, the discussion of reunification between the two Koreas have been divided into top down, vs bottom up visions. Then there are the obvious haters of North Korea, who are coincidentally also the ass-suckers of US empire in Korea (re: Lee Myung Bak, the new president) This new guy is all about signing the Free Trade Agreement with the US, even with much resistance from the Korean people. Korean workers and farmers, known for their militant resistance have not allowed this to happen without a fight. All power to the workers, farmers and people of Korea!

Back to the reunification question, the top-down ones are dominated by liberal capitalists who want to push for reunification cos they want to exploit the North Korean workers. I was listening to NPR the other day when they conducted an interview with a professor from Yonsei University, who said (shamelessly) that South Korea needs to reunify w North Korea cos labor in the South is getting too expensive...and this dude went on to talk about how much more profitable it would be to employ cheap North Korean labor. Since when was it OK to glorify sweatshop labor for capitalists and ruling class??

Another version that this top-down approach takes, is expressed in an over-glorification of the North, folks who conflate the anti-US imperialism of the North with a viable, desirable political vision. Masked with a veneer of radical left politics, in reality many pro-North regime folks represent nothing more then a seemingly radical vision of capitalism. To be specific, they advocate a form of state-run capitalism, as opposed to neo-liberal capitalism.

The bottom up call for reunification w North Korea expresses a wide array of political perspectives. This includes revolutionary workers and party members who see their solidarity with North Korean workers, not its state structure, as the basis for reunification. In other words, there are folks who call 1) see the US imperialist project in the Koreas as an colonial project and thus defend the sovereignty of the Korean peninsula, and 2) who reject the Stalinist model of North Korean state and 3) support, and see themselves in solidarity with North Korean workers and everyday folks.

Been a long piece. I am ending this post with a link to a 35 min long documentary on the Daechuri resistance:


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