Hidden History: The 21 Korean War POWs Who Defected to China

 

They Chose China

Directed by Shui-Bo-Wong (2006)

Film Review

This documentary is about 21 US Korean War POWs who chose not to repatriate to the US when the Korean armistice was signed in 1953. Initially there were 23. The first two returned to the US in the early fifties, where they were court martialed and given 10 and 20 year prison sentences.

For the most part, the US media echoed Senator Joseph McCarthy’s view that the 21 who remained in China were Communist traitors. However in a 1954 interview about their reasons for defecting, most cited their opposition to imperialist wars or to McCarthy’s witch hunt against US political dissidents, which they equated with fascism.

The 21 were also clearly influenced by their extremely positive treatment during their three years in captivity. The Chinese who ran the North Korean POW camps allowed them to have American food, as well as encouraging them to organize football, baseball and soccer games.

On arriving in China, they were given a choice between working in a factory, joining a collective farm or attending university. Most would leave China prior to 1966, when Mao launched his brutal Cultural Revolution. In giving their reasons for repatriating, some talked of a changing political climate that was less tolerant of foreigners. Other cited concerns about the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary.

Three of the US defectors are profiled in this film:

Clarence Adams – an African American from Memphis who enlisted in 1947 to escape a gang of white supremacist cops who had targeted him. His main reason for defecting to China was to escape white terrorism, as well as economic opportunities denied to him in the US. After spending several hears at university, he worked as a translator in Beijing and broadcast propaganda speeches directed at Black soldiers in Vietnam.

David Hawkins – in a 1957 60 Minutes interview (following his return to the US), he asserts the US had no business invading a country (Korea) that posed no threat to them militarily.* He also strongly advocates for the US to recognize China (the US officially recognized China in 1972 during Nixon’s first term).

James Veneris – the only defector profiled in the film who remained in China, as a factory worker, until his death in 2004.


*See See Hidden History: The US Wars Against Japan, Korea and Vietnam and The Long US War Against the Third World

This film can be viewed free at https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/they-chose-china/

 

Mumia Abu Jamal: Book 2 of Murder Incorporated

Murder Incorporated

Book 2: America’s Favorite Past time

By Mumia Abu-Jamal and Stephen Vittoria

Prison Radio (2019)

Book Review

Book 2 of the Murder Incorporated series begins where Dreaming of Empire (Book 1) leaves off. By this point, I  have absolutely no doubt these are the US history textbooks my daughter and I should have been given in high school. They are a superb resource for the growing home school movement.

Having covered slavery, the brutal and systematic genocide of indigenous Americans and the US invasion and occupation of Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines in Book 1, America’s Favorite Pastime starts with Woodrow Wilson, his scores of invasions of Central and South America and Haiti and his entry, in 1917, into the bloodbath known as World War I. Wilson was heavily swayed in this decision by a letter from Wall Street banker J P Morgan. The latter had loaned heavily to the France and England, was at risk of losing a fortune if they suffered defeat.

Unlike most history books, America’s Favorite Pastime focuses heavily on public opposition to the World War I, Wilson’s massive pro-war propaganda machine and his systematic suppression of constitutional rights (via the Palmer Raids, the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 specifically to assist antiwar activists and conscientious objectors who were still in prison for speaking out against the war.

The authors go on to detail the 1918 invasion of the Soviet Union by the US, UK, France and Japan – a historical event censored out of most history courses, even at the university level.

Most of the book focuses on the so-called “Good War,” directly challenging the myth that the West had to go to war in 1939 to prevent the victory of global fascism. In addition to examining the role of various Wall Street corporations in arming Hitler’s war machine (including IBM, which created and managed the data system enabling Nazi’s to efficiently track down occupied Europe’s Jews), the authors discuss the numerous peace overtures Hitler made to Churchill in 1940. Which the latter categorically rejected.

They also discuss Hitler’s unsuccessful attempts to get the West to accept Jewish refugees.

This chapter details the forced internment and asset confiscation of 120,000 Japanese Americans in 1942 (of which 2/3 were US citizens and a majority children), as well as the war crimes committee by the Allies in firebombing Dresden, Tokyo and other cities and in dropping a nuclear bomb on the civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The book provides the same detailed coverage of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the US-sponsored Indonesia and genocidal occupation of East Timor, and the numerous undeclared wars and drug trafficking operations undertaken by paramilitary operation known as the CIA.

The final chapters are devoted to a blow-by-blow description of Eisenhower’s creation of the Military Industrial and the complex and systematic indoctrination young Americans receive to dupe them into enlisting in America’s “all volunteer” army.


*There were some here I hadn’t heard of previously: the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Greece (twice,), Brazil, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic – as well as the constant sabotage, terrorism and psyops against East Germany – which were the real reason the Berlin Wall was built.

 

 

 

Gun Control and the True Historic Purpose of the Second Amendment

Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment

by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

City Lights (2018)

Book Review

According to Dunbar-Ortiz, the main function of the Second Amendment, is to enshrine the voluntary militias used by white settlers to dispossess Native Americans of their land and compulsory slave patrols to hunt down and capture runaway slaves.

She disagrees with gun control advocates on many fronts:

First she disagrees that the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” relates only to their use in a “well-regulated militia.” She maintains that it clearly refers to an individual right, like the other guarantees in the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment is modeled on various state constitutions (which were already in effect) that guarantee gun possession as an individual right. Moreover the right to form state militias is already covered in Article 1 of the Constitution.

Second citing other countries like Switzerland and Canada (which rarely experience gun violence) with few or no gun control laws, she disagrees that more gun control laws will reduce gun violence in the US.

Third she disputes Democratic Party claims that blames opposition to gun control on NRA lobbying. Noting that American gun culture precedes the NRA by more than a century, she argues the organization spends far less on lobbying than Big Oil or Big Pharma.

Dunbar-Ortiz contends that US gun culture is deeply rooted in the racist, white nationalist, God-ordained nature of the virulent capitalism sanctified by the US Constitution. She reminds us of the real issue that triggered the Revolutionary War: namely the British ban on illegal settlement on unceded Indian land west of the Appalachians. George Washington and our other founding fathers derived most of their wealth from illegal surveying and speculation in Native land.

Thus when the US finally won independence in 1791, a massive escalation of “savage war” was unleashed against the indigenous nations that had civilized North America. “Savage war,” aka “irregular warfare,” refers to deliberate violence directed against women, children and the elderly, along with the infrastructure that supports their survival. Although the US government gives lip service to the Geneva Convention, which prohibits acts of war against civilians, their wars have always mercilessly targeted civilians. Prime examples are the 1846 Mexican-American War, the war against Cuba (1898-1900) and the Philippines (1898-1948) and numerous undeclared wars of the 20th century (the Korean War, Vietnam War, Central American War (1981-89), Afghan War, Iraq War, Libya War, Syria War, etc)

The most surprising part of the book is the introduction, in which Dunbar-Ortiz describes becoming a gun owner and joining the NRA when an activist group she belonged to was spied on and stalked by police and intelligence operatives.

The State Department/CIA Psy-Op Against North Korea

The Haircut – A North Korean Adventure

Hokusai Films (2017)

Film Review

The Haircut is a 20-minute classic Aussie satire exposing the blatant western propaganda aimed at demonizing North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. Prior to seeing this film, it never occurred to me that constant propaganda churned out about Kim Jung Un is virtually identical to the psy-ops painting Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega and Bashar al-Assad as insane monsters – and used to justify US invasion of their countries.

The video begins by reviewing jathe US-directed split of Korea in 1945 (similar to the US-British directed split of India-Pakistan and of Vietnam) to thwart the establishment of a unified nationalist socialist government unfriendly to western interests. Following the Korean War (1950-53), land reforms (ie returning land to landless peasants) continued under North Korean leader Kim Jung Il. Meanwhile South Korea was placed under the control of a US puppet dictator. South Korean troops remained under the control of the US military until 1994, a year after the South Korean people overthrew the last US-installed dictator (see The Long US War Against the Third World).

The filmmakers proceed to expose a number of specific lies the CIA, State Department and corporate media aggressively propagate to portray North Korea as a dangerous rogue state, starting with the myth that all North Korean men are required to wear their hair like Kim Jung Un. They trace this particular psy-op back to the CIA’s own Radio Free Asia – which credits the claim to “unnamed sources.”

They go on to examine the oft repeated slur about North Korean prison camps, pointing out that no country in the world comes close to the US record for imprisoning its population.

The film finishes with an actual visit to various North Korean tourist sites.