[SPORK] Weird definition of "draining the swamp"

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Wed Apr 30 16:47:30 PDT 2003


Russell Turpin wrote:

> Jeff Bone:
>
>> However, I'm not sure it's true --- I think we could tally up 
>> invasions, excursions, interventions, police actions, illegal arrests 
>> on foreign soil (i.e. international kidnappings), assassinations, 
>> other breaches of international law, and enemy com- and non-com 
>> deaths in various conflicts of us vs. the previous USSR...  and it'd 
>> probably be a pretty close call, if we didn't lose it outright.
>
>
> Not even close. The USSR would 'win' hands down. At
> least, if we get to count the numbers of their own
> citizens who were killed. It's remarkable and
> ghastly that that exceeds the number of people they
> killed in foreign wars.

While you're probably right, I would like to see the final tally.

This site says 4,000,000 civilian casualties in Vietnam - admittedly 
including the French period - but Americans are so much more efficient 
at killing civilians.

http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html

This site says 2,000,000 more in the Korean war, and shows that the US 
PR machine was suppressing civilian casualties even back then:
http://www.cptours.com/the_korean_war.htm

>
>         *The three-year war was a bloody, unsatisfying affair for all
>         sides, and the magnitude of the devastation in Korea is still
>         not well understood, either in the U.S. or in Korea. 
>         Casualties among the Korean civilian population were
>         horrifying - likely more than 2 million dead, with the
>         majority of the population uprooted from their homes and
>         villages, many of which had been completely destroyed (by
>         comparison, the Vietnam War - from the beginning of the
>         conflict to the end in 1975 - claimed something in the
>         neighborhood of 1 million civilian casualties over two
>         decades).  *
>
>
>         * In addition to the large number of atrocity killings by both
>         North and South Korean military forces, police and guerillas,
>         it is unfortunate that some American air and ground forces
>         inflicted substantial damage on Korean civilians.  These
>         incidents included strafing and the use of napalm on civilians
>         in the unrestrained bombing campaign against cities and towns,
>         bridges and dams throughout North Korea (the intensity of this
>         air campaign is not well understood outside of wartime Air
>         Force circles - the bombing was severe, and is a major source
>         of North Korean antipathy to the US which lingers to this day).  *
>
>
>         *Also, during the panicky early days of the North Korean
>         advance, some American ground units, retreating under pressure
>         and reacting to North Korea's practice of concealing soldiers
>         and guerillas in refugee columns, sometimes did opened fire on
>         large groups of Korean civilians, killing hundreds in at least
>         one case.*
>
>
> * *
>
> *It is worth examining the facts of the situation, both because it is 
> distasteful for Americans to consider the killing of civilians by 
> American military forces - we are, after all, supposed to be the "good 
> guys" - and because of the recent surfacing of news reports concerning 
> Korean War civilian killings, such as those at the village of No Gun 
> Ri.  In this incident, which appears to be well-substantiated, a group 
> of several hundred refugees was first strafed by American planes, 
> killing about 100 people, after which the survivors were taken under 
> machine gun fire by American soldiers, killing perhaps several hundred 
> more.  Fifty years after the fact, with little understood of the 
> actual conflict, it is easy to take these reports out of context, 
> particularly for anyone with an "axe to grind".  Understanding this 
> complicated and unfortunate situation takes more than "sound bite" 
> journalism allows.*
>
> * *
>


I do find the reports of firing into crowds interesting given recent 
events and reflects nicely on the debate here on whether the US would 
use CS/pepper spray on civilians. Why bother? - they aren't Americans - 
we'll just use bullets.

Owen




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