Kim Jong Il is dead

Funkenpants wrote:
H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

EDIT: Annnd... Funken, I think Paleo was referring to Japan.

Yeah, I know. That's my point. What he's complaining about was the U.S. approach in Korea that allowed Japanese war crimes to be pushed under the rug. Why do you think they did that? We learned an important lesson from the European experience of interstate warfare from 1900-1945, and our overall philosophy in Germany and Japan was informed by that lesson. Remove the militaristic leadership, execute a small slice of the ex-government, and then move on with economic development.

Ahhh, gotcha. My bad. Yes, excellent point.

Funkenpants wrote:

It's worth remembering that we could have left Germany and Japan as starving, mostly agrarian client state cesspools after the war. That might have been popular in many circles because of their behavior during the war, but it wouldn't have been the smart thing to do. Or maybe it would have been, because they compete with us economically these days...

Mr. Burns wrote:

"The Japanese? Those sandal-wearing goldfish tenders?"

EDIT for clarity

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

That's the stuff that makes me really love Korea. Once you get past them acting so Korean sometimes, they can be absolutely heartbreaking.

Very well said. I hope you're not insulted if I say it complements the whole "Irish of Asia" thing.

EDIT: Annnd... Funken, I think Paleo was referring to Japan.

I still think Poland's a better comparison than Ireland, but that's probably because I'm more Polish than Irish.

Funkenpants wrote:

Yeah, I know. That's my point. What he's complaining about was the U.S. approach in Korea that allowed Japanese war crimes to be pushed under the rug. Why do you think they did that? We learned an important lesson from the European experience of interstate warfare from 1900-1945, and our overall philosophy in Germany and Japan was informed by that lesson. Remove the militaristic leadership, execute a small slice of the ex-government, and then move on with economic development.

Bro, I just got the best idea for Iran and North Korea.

BRO.

Funkenpants wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Understandably, Koreans have a hard time imagining anyone less deserving of such security than the very folks that, 6 years earlier, had just concluded a cataclysmic war that killed millions and whose forces committed some of the worst atrocities in human history.

That's because South Koreans didn't go through the experience of the first world war, which led directly to the carnage in Europe and Russia through 1945 and beyond and taught western leaders about hazards of not wiping the slate clean after a few ceremonial executions. With the benefit of 60 years hindsight, I think it's fair to say that the European/American approach in 1945 is superior to maintaining historical grievances, however justified those grievances are.

Germany and Japan haven't attacked anyone in a long time, which given the two countries' history in the late 19th and early 20th century, is a pretty big deal.

Or you can look at what happened in Iraq, where everyone who was even remotely affiliated with the Ba'ath party (read engineers, school teachers, and all the middle manager types who keep an economy running) were barred from holding jobs during the first years of the occupation. Suddenly you had a really pissed off Sunni elite who saw guerilla war as their only option. Complicating the problem was the people that America then put in charge were not ready for these professional jobs, and instead spent most of their time getting even. This situation caused one of the worst examples of sectarian violence in recent history.

In the end, South Korea is now a democracy and has a thriving high-tech economy. I recognize some areas are still very remote and poor by First World standards, but overall the country is doing quite well. Compare this with North Korea. In the end, American policies in helping the South Koreans get back on their feet worked pretty well.

jdzappa wrote:

In the end, South Korea is now a democracy and has a thriving high-tech economy. I recognize some areas are still very remote and poor by First World standards, but overall the country is doing quite well. Compare this with North Korea. In the end, American policies in helping the South Koreans get back on their feet worked pretty well.

The South Korean move into the first world was absolutely not the result of American policies, other than having our troops there as a deterrent (which has been unnecessary for decades). The American government was perfectly happy to support brutal, corrupt, autocratic leaders such as Rhee and Park, as long as the South Koreans toed the line with respect to American policy (note the similarities to our support of similar governments in Vietnam, Central America, etc). The South Korean development of a more free society is entirely due to their own efforts in standing up to the regimes that the U.S. government backed, and if anything was done in spite of American policy rather than because of it.

One question that comes to mind.... we did a truly outstanding job with Japan and Germany. Like, a seriously good job, probably the best that's ever been done in human history. That good.

So how did we turn around and screw up just about every attempt at nation building from then on? Was it really just fear of the Soviets? How could we go from doing so very well to so very poorly in just a decade?

Malor wrote:

One question that comes to mind.... we did a truly outstanding job with Japan and Germany. Like, a seriously good job, probably the best that's ever been done in human history. That good.

So how did we turn around and screw up just about every attempt at nation building from then on? Was it really just fear of the Soviets? How could we go from doing so very well to so very poorly in just a decade?

The Balkans - would people say those are a success or failure? Or does the UN get that credit?

Aetius wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

In the end, South Korea is now a democracy and has a thriving high-tech economy. I recognize some areas are still very remote and poor by First World standards, but overall the country is doing quite well. Compare this with North Korea. In the end, American policies in helping the South Koreans get back on their feet worked pretty well.

The South Korean move into the first world was absolutely not the result of American policies, other than having our troops there as a deterrent (which has been unnecessary for decades). The American government was perfectly happy to support brutal, corrupt, autocratic leaders such as Rhee and Park, as long as the South Koreans toed the line with respect to American policy (note the similarities to our support of similar governments in Vietnam, Central America, etc). The South Korean development of a more free society is entirely due to their own efforts in standing up to the regimes that the U.S. government backed, and if anything was done in spite of American policy rather than because of it.

This.

Our actions in countries in Latin America have been extremely deleterious to the organic development of representative democracies and civil governance. Murder schools like the School of the Americas have pretty much damned residents of Spanish speaking Americas to generations of psychotic violence. When I read stories about drug cartels upholstering car seats with the face skins of their rivals, all I can see is the big finger pointing right at our policies since the 1920's.

Malor wrote:

One question that comes to mind.... we did a truly outstanding job with Japan and Germany. Like, a seriously good job, probably the best that's ever been done in human history. That good.

So how did we turn around and screw up just about every attempt at nation building from then on? Was it really just fear of the Soviets? How could we go from doing so very well to so very poorly in just a decade?

We got lucky with Germany, to a certain extent. Before there was OccupyWallStreet, there were the 68ers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_...

also worth looking at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirtsch...

As for Japan, while I in no way mean to diminish the amount of evil they inflicted, I think the problem with Japan was that it was imperialist, not backwards or strife-torn. We didn't have to create a civil society, we just appended some of the better western ideas about democracy and such onto an existing culture.

Paleocon wrote:

Our actions in countries in Latin America have been extremely deleterious to the organic development of representative democracies and civil governance. Murder schools like the School of the Americas have pretty much damned residents of Spanish speaking Americas to generations of psychotic violence. When I read stories about drug cartels upholstering car seats with the face skins of their rivals, all I can see is the big finger pointing right at our policies since the 1920's.

Well, it depends on the country. Argentina and Chile turned out okay, and we were up to some pretty dirty tricks in those countries.

Malor wrote:

One question that comes to mind.... we did a truly outstanding job with Japan and Germany. Like, a seriously good job, probably the best that's ever been done in human history. That good.

So how did we turn around and screw up just about every attempt at nation building from then on? Was it really just fear of the Soviets? How could we go from doing so very well to so very poorly in just a decade?

Japan and Germany were defeated in conventional wars where it was understood that, once you beat the standing army, the war was over. Those nations accepted defeat, and moved on from it. In the other cases, we weren't fighting conventional wars with clearly-defined victory conditions. We "won" in Korea because we maintained the status quo, essentially defining that as our winning condition after the fact because MacArthur's idea of uniting the nation ended when the Chinese poured into North Korea. In Vietnam, we supported a series of moronic, incompetent regimes against a population that considered us invaders, and our idea of victory (an Americanized Vietnamese democracy, essentially "us with different shaped eyes"), was impossible.

For all the mini-conflicts and petty dictatorships, we weren't "nation-building", we were "anti-Communism-ing", which was an outgrowth of the belief that Communism was a monolithic entity, and everything everywhere was being dictated by Moscow. We'd support anything that was anti-Communist, even though Communist movements pretty much everywhere were nationalist movements that were simply happy to get money and guns from the Soviets or Chinese. If we'd been willing to support the Viet Minh against the French, we'd have had a Communist ally in SE Asia sticking its middle finger right up China's fanny, instead of making an enemy.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Malor wrote:

One question that comes to mind.... we did a truly outstanding job with Japan and Germany. Like, a seriously good job, probably the best that's ever been done in human history. That good.

So how did we turn around and screw up just about every attempt at nation building from then on? Was it really just fear of the Soviets? How could we go from doing so very well to so very poorly in just a decade?

Japan and Germany were defeated in conventional wars where it was understood that, once you beat the standing army, the war was over. Those nations accepted defeat, and moved on from it. In the other cases, we weren't fighting conventional wars with clearly-defined victory conditions.

The ironic thing being America's first failure at nation building was Reconstruction of its own South following the Civil War.