Moderate Rebels episode 6

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss North Korea, the Trump administration’s genocidal threats, the bloody history of the “forgotten” Korean War, and how the US has militarized South Korea.

Blumenthal reports on-the-ground in Seoul, where he interviews labor organizer Wol-san Liem on anti-war activism, THAAD protests, government repression, and the potential for peace and reunification in the Korean peninsula.

0:00 to 15:34 – North Korea
15:34 to 28:49 – Korean War
28:58 to 58:07 – Wol-san Liem interview on South Korea

Show Notes

North Korea

Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal, “Pundits Slam Trump’s Biblical Language on North Korea, But Praise His Defense Secretary’s Genocidal Threats“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 10 August 2017

Tim Shorrock, “How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 5 September 2017

Tim Shorrock, “Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again“, The Nation, 5 September 2017

Jon Schwarz, “North Korea Keeps Saying it Might Give Up its Nuclear Weapons — But Most News Outlets Won’t Tell You That“, The Intercept, 25 August 2017

Korean War

Blaine Harden, “The U.S. war crime North Korea won’t forget“, The Washington Post, 24 March 2015

The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.

The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.

The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.

Although the ferocity of the bombing was criticized as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world, it was never a big story back home. U.S. press coverage of the air war focused, instead, on “MiG alley,” a narrow patch of North Korea near the Chinese border. There, in the world’s first jet-powered aerial war, American fighter pilots competed against each other to shoot down five or more Soviet-made fighters and become “aces.” War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war.


Scholar Bruce Cumings

Bruce Cumings, “Americans once carpet-bombed North Korea. It’s time to remember that past“, The Guardian, 13 August 2017

Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History, University of Chicago, September 2005

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 6