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Ignoring the Korean War


The Korean War was among the deadliest of the Cold War’s battlegrounds. The conflict, despite resulting in millions of civilian deaths and more than 40,000 US casualties, has not received the attention it deserves (apart from the fact that it was featured on the sitcom). M*A*S*H) This section is dedicated to Vietnam, World War II, and other conflicts of the 20th century.

But like other neglected Cold War front-lines, the “Forgotten War” has fallen victim to several politicized and one-sided “anti-imperialist” narratives that focus almost exclusively on the atrocities of the United States and its allies. This tendency was most recently illustrated by a Jacobin column by James Greig, who omits the brutal conduct of North Korean and Chinese forces, misrepresents the underlying cause of the war, justifies North Korea’s belligerence as an “anti-colonial” enterprise, and even praises the regime’s “revolutionary” initiatives. Greig’s article was preceded by several others, which also framed the war as an instance of US imperialism and North Korea’s anti-Americanism as a rational response to Washington’s prosecution of the war. Daniel Bessner, a left-wing foreign policy thinker, also contributed…

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