ONCE AGAIN, KOREA! Professor/BabaCharles Simmons


Professor/BabaCharles Simmons

5 April 2013

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 U.S. on one hand, and the peoples of Asia on the other. The U.S. invaded Korea in 1950 in an attempt to stop the Chinese Revolution led by Chairman Mao Tse Tung that 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 had heard in Harlem during WWI.

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 of the war between the U.S. and Korea although the U.S. withdrew after 3 years of fighting and declared a victory. But if you talk to any 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 –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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 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.

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