Feature

Turning MacArthur into a villain.

The week's news at a glance.

South Korea

Kang Kyu-hyung
Chosun Ilbo

Koreans are scapegoating Douglas MacArthur, said Kang Kyu-hyung in Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo. Most of us were raised to revere the American general. We were taught that he saved our country, first by defeating Japan in the Pacific War, then with his strategic genius in the Korean War. But many now say that this admiration is unjustified. When a few lawmakers proposed that Incheon International Airport be renamed MacArthur Airport, protesters demonstrated in an Incheon park. They tried to knock down the park’s MacArthur statue by force, calling him a “warmonger” and saying that he was to blame for the partition of the Koreas as well as for “massacres of civilians.” None of that is true. Such revisionism is just another facet of the “anti-Americanism” that is currently in fashion. Today’s conventional wisdom holds that Korea would be united today if only the U.S. hadn’t intervened in the war. The argument is emotional, not rational. Our anti-Americanism is juvenile. It’s the kind of hatred “that arises from unrequited love.”

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