Last year I watched a PBS documentary about the Korean War, with heart-wrenching images of men killing other men on a battlefield in the dead of winter.
Having seen other documentaries on the same subject over the years, this one provided more food for thought as far as war goes, and also nourished my permanent opposition to the madness of war and the wanton killing by both sides over [respective governments’] political, ideological and other differences that force them to face-off in the first place.
What was especially painful to watch were men (on either side of that Korean conflict) not only trying to stay alive by killing one another, but also combating a mutual enemy that had no preference for either side, the elements. Those political and ideological pawns and tools… were simply no match for the sub-zero force of nature. The grotesque images of frozen bodies of national warriors – American and North Korean alike – strewn on the Korean battlefield reinforced my thinking about the ludicrousness of war.
As one article states, the Korean War began in June 1950 “when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.” It was one aspect of what back then was called the Cold War (in this case literally, figuratively, and geopolitically). It was financed by what then were the Soviet Union on one side (along with China enabling the North), and the U.S. and its allies supporting the South. The three-year conflict officially ended in 1953, leaving up to 2.5 million people dead.
[I sometimes think if North Vietnam and South Vietnam, or even West Germany and East Germany, were able to erase their Demilitarized Zone and Wall, why can’t the two Koreas? Why is that relic of Cold War friction and conflict allowed to fester?]
In intervening years, generations of politicians (America with its extended geopolitical arms and North Koreans) have been engaged in that contrived, sustained and extended Cold War madness for the most part spitting (bellicose) words, rhetoric, and making recurring threats [of war].
With its development of an atomic bomb, and having had an opportunity to use it in 1945, not on a Hitler-like dictator who had committed major “crimes against humanity” prior to Japan. It’s called leverage, then and more so now.
Which current U.S. president, Donald Trump, threatened to use on North Korea by threatening “fire and fury” on North Korea, because he has a bigger button, bombs and nuclear missiles… everything that can effectively demonstrate that America is not to be messed with. In response, his North Korean nemesis, Kim Jong-Un, having made extensive progress in the development of his nation’s defense capability, in turn threatened to do serious damage to certain American cities.
All that dual posturing notwithstanding, it was interesting to observe that spirit of rapprochement on display at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, S. Korea, last month, as Koreans from both sides of the 38th parallel entered the stadium in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood (Korean solidarity). It had people around the world talking about the possibilities of two nations comprised of people of the same stock, who have been separated by ideology, geopolitics and whatnot finally trying to put the Korean war behind them and begin serious discussions which could possibly lead to the breaking down of the 38th parallel, reconciliation, exchange of prisoners, the reunification of families, normalizing of relations [Koreans are one and the same people after all] and lasting peace…
As an innocent citizen of the world I pose no threat to anyone; in fact, I just want to go about the business of living my life without having to worry about the possibility of nuclear war, a recurring subject in the media. Who needs nuclear war?”
Clearly, Hiroshima and Nagasaki haven’t taught the world (at least nations that possess those weapons of mass destruction of the human race, and that continual parade of political leaders in whose hands the world has been entrusted, have not learned anything about the “end of days… of human existence… of nuclear Armageddon” any lessons.
Maybe one of those nuclear-equipped national leaders might have to use one, just to wake up the world?
Oh, don’t look to U.S. President Donald Trump and that much anticipated face-to-face meeting announced with his North Korean nemesis Kim Jong-un in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, some are speculating that a positive outcome (“a rise in stocks…” according to one newspaper article) would/could be one outcome.
Another article sates that rising stocks would be “paltry compared to cutting the chance of a global nuclear war.”
See, some people are talking… thinking stocks and investors, and nuclear holocaust. Others are outright skeptical, cynical…
Personally speaking, I do not want man-made [geo]political, pernicious contraptions to truncate my daily earthly existence. I want my life to be determined by natural forces, akin to a ripe fruit hanging on one of the braches of this tree of life… until my inevitable destiny determined by time.
In the meantime, and inasmuch as I’m unable to stomach that man currently ‘lording’ over the White House and Americans, and notwithstanding his over-inflated ego, perverse, polarizing person and persona, if he can be a genuine party to minimizing the risk of nuclear war at best, and ideally global denuclearization, he and his North Korean counterpart – whom the Western media should stop describing as crazy – will be remembered in a positive way in future documentaries.
Furthermore, here’s hoping that as the 21st century unfolds documentaries will be focused on the peace dividend most of the citizens of the world are striving to earn, and not on horrific images like the Hiroshima and Nagasaki aftermath, or Korean war scenes…