Why Are We Still in Korea?

This writer was 11 years old when
the shocking news came on June 25, 1950, that North
Korean armies had crossed the DMZ.

Within days, Seoul had fallen.
Routed U.S. and Republic of Korea troops were retreating
toward an enclave in the southeast corner of the
peninsula that came to be known as the Pusan perimeter.

In September came Gen. MacArthur`s
masterstroke: the

Marine landing at Inchon behind enemy lines
, the
cut-off and collapse of the North Korean Army,

recapture of Seoul
and the march to the Yalu.

"Home by
we were all saying.

Then came the mass intervention of
a million
of the People`s Liberation Army that
had, in October 1949, won the civil war against our
Nationalist Chinese allies. Suddenly, the U.S. Army and
Marines were in headlong retreat south. Seoul fell a
second time.

There followed a war of attrition,
the firing of MacArthur, the repudiation of Harry Truman

his "no-win war,"
the election of Ike and, in June 1953, an
armistice along the DMZ where the war began.

Fifty-seven years after that
armistice, a U.S. carrier task force is

steaming toward the Yellow Sea
in a show of force
after the
North fired 80 shells
into a

South Korean village.

We will stand by our Korean allies,
says President Obama. And with our security treaty and
28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea, many on the

, we can do no other. But why, 60 years after the
first Korean War, should Americans be the first to die
in a second Korean War?

Unlike 1950,
Korea is
not an impoverished ex-colony of Japan. She
is the largest of all the
"Asian tigers,"
a nation with twice the population and 40 times the
economy of the North.

Seoul just hosted the G-20. And
there is no

Maoist China

Stalinist Soviet Union
equipping Pyongyang`s armies.
The planes, guns, tanks and ships of the South are far
superior in quality.

Why, then, are we still in South
Korea? Why is this quarrel our quarrel? Why is this war,
should it come, America`s war?

High among the reasons we fought in
Korea was Japan, then a nation rising from the ashes
after half its cities had been reduced to rubble. But,
for 50 years now, Japan has had the second largest
economy and is among the most advanced nations on earth.

Why cannot Japan defend herself?
Why does this remain our responsibility, 65 years after
MacArthur took the surrender in Tokyo Bay?

The Soviet Empire, against which we
defended Japan, no longer exists, nor does the Soviet
Union. Russia holds the southern Kurils, taken as spoils
from World War II, but represents no threat. Indeed,
Tokyo is helping develop Russia`s resources in Siberia.

Why, when the Cold War has been
over for 20 years, do all these Cold War alliances still

Obama has just returned from a
Lisbon summit of

, an alliance formed in 1949 to defend Western
Europe from Soviet tank armies on the other side of the
Iron Curtain that threatened to roll to the Channel.
Today, that Red Army no longer exists, the captive
nations are free, and Russia`s president was in Lisbon
as an honored guest of NATO.

Yet we still have tens of thousands
of U.S. troops in the same bases they were in when Gen.
Eisenhower became supreme allied commander more than 60
years ago.

Across Europe, our NATO allies are
slashing defense to maintain social safety nets. But
Uncle Sam, he soldiers on.

We borrow from Europe to defend
Europe. We borrow from Japan and China to defend Japan
from China. We borrow from the Gulf Arabs to defend the
Gulf Arabs.

To broker peace in Palestine, Obama
began his presidency with a demand that Israel halt all
new construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and
the West Bank.

Today, as his price for a
one-time-only 90-day freeze on new construction on the
West Bank, but not East Jerusalem,
"Bibi" Netanyahu is demanding 20 F-35 strike fighters, a U.S.
commitment to a Security Council veto of any Palestinian
declaration of independence, and assurances the U.S.
will support a permanent Israeli presence on the Jordan
river. And the Israelis want it all in writing.

This, from a client state upon
which we have lavished a hundred billion dollars in
military aid and defended diplomatically for decades.

How to explain why America behaves
as she does?

From 1941 to 1989, she played a
great heroic role as defender of freedom, sacrificing
and serving mankind, a role of which we can be forever
proud. But having won that epochal struggle against the
evil empire, we found ourselves in a world for which we
were unprepared. Now, like an aging athlete, we keep
trying to relive the glory days when all the world
looked with awe upon us.

We can`t let go, because we don`t
know what else to do. We live in yesterday — and our
rivals look to tomorrow.



Patrick J. Buchanan


no introduction
VDARE.COM readers; his book
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America
, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book

is Churchill,
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
the World,



Paul Craig Roberts.