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Yonhap: Kabul Won’t Budge Because of West

Now even Yonhap is setting the United States up to take the blame if the hostages in Afghanistan get killed.

In an analysis report, Yonhap — citing experts — says Kabul is ignoring the Taliban’s demands because it doesn’t want to offend the West, including the United States and Great Britain.

It notes that more than 90% of the Afghan budget is provided by foreign aid, especially from the United States, and that the Karzai government cannot act freely of US influence because it’s protected by NATO.

Yonhap ends by saying most analysts say negotiations to free the hostages depend on how effectively Seoul persuades Kabul to act and how effectively it secures the cooperation of the Western nations.

Of course, what Yonhap doesn’t say is that, perhaps, Kabul is ignoring the Taliban’s demands because a) it doesn’t want to turn kidnapping into a lucrative business, and more to the point b) Korea’s contribution to the fight against the Taliban has been next to nil, and its 200 non-combat troops will be withdrawn by the end of the year anyway. Kabul has absolutely no reason whatsoever to free enemies of the state who, upon their release, will go about attacking schools, hospitals and other infrastructure, killing Afghan civilians and attacking both its troops and the troops of allied states, all to rescue a bunch of highly irresponsible individuals who should have never been in the country in the first place and were probably engaged in activities even the Karzai government deems illegal. When Kabul freed five Taliban terrorists to save an Italian journalist earlier this year, it didn’t do it out of the kindness of either Karzai’s or Bush’s heart — it did it because Italy threatened to pull out its 2,000 troops. Influence is earned, and Seoul — so sorry — hasn’t earned any.

Rather than pinning this all on the West (read: the United States), what really needs to be asked is a) should we (Koreans) even be trying to negotiate with the Taliban, and b) if we do choose to negotiate, what can we do to earn the necessary influence with the Karzai government. Seoul needs to be showing Karzai the green and/or promising to send combat troops, not pestering Washington or NATO to lean on Kabul. And if the media thinks it can get the government to adopt a strategy of threatening Washington with increased anti-Americanism if it doesn’t get Karzai to do what Seoul wants, Yonhap, the JoongAng Ilbo and Hankyoreh (just to mention the ones I’ve read) had better recognize — this is a war against an organization that aided and abetted in the slaughter of 3,000 innocent Americans in our own damn country, and if you think we (Americans) are going to help said organization because the Korean embassy in Washington threatens us with “Fucking USA,” you’re sorely mistaken, my friends.

UPDATE: More bitching courtesy Yonhap, this time about Korea’s burdensome position “sandwiched” between Kabul and the Taliban. Yonhap quotes an Afghan source as saying that although the Korean government wants to accept the Taliban’s demands, Kabul — which actually has the authority to release the prisoners — is steadfastly refusing. Later, it quotes Al Jazeera, which reported today that the reason Kabul is refusing is “because it was greatly criticized by the United States” when it swapped Taliban prisoners for an Italian hostage in March.

And then there’s this classic from Yonhap — apparently, the Bush administration finds itself in a “dilemma,” namely, that the kidnapping might cause a rift in the Korea-US alliance and heighten anti-war sentiment in the United States.  It also claimed that at a “sensitive time” right before presidential elections in both countries, the White House is on guard against the kidnapping becoming a political issue. A Washington source said Bush was caught between US policy of not negotiating with terrorists and assistance requests from its ally, Korea. Yonhap also noted that if the US appears to be helping Korea, it could make the situation worse and heighten anti-war sentiment in the United States. However, one official said that if the United States refuses to help, it could once again ignite anti-American sentiment in South Korea ahead of the Korean presidential election.

NOTE TO YONHAP — It’s not the United States that’s caught in a dilemma. You are. The US will (or at least should) do exactly what it did with the Italians — not a God-damned thing (unless Seoul asks for a rescue operation). You, on the other hand, are now faced with a choice — you can now either stick firm to the principle of not negotiating with terrorists and let your hostages die, or pay an extravagant amount of money — both in ransom to the Taliban and to buy influence with the Afghan government — AND piss off the United States, Great Britain, Germany and just about every other NATO member with troops in Afghanistan (save for, perhaps, the Italians) to rescue your guys. Have fun.

UPDATE 2: Cheong Wa Dae has issued a statement expressing regret about the press — the foreign press, that is!  During a regular briefing, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Chun Ho-sun said that the foreign press was indiscriminately releasing unconfirmed reports that did not take into account that they could play into the kidnapper’s plans, and that the presidential office couldn’t help but express regret over these reports.

A Cheong Wa Dae official said the statement was made because the foreign press reports, quoting local Afghan sources, were amplifying confusion.

Chun also asked local media to be careful about what they report, saying the situation was one which lives hanged in the balance. In particular, Chun said media speculation about a memo written by Foreign Minister Song Min-soon — photos of which made it on the air — mustn’t negatively influence the hostages’ situation.

UPDATE 3: More of the same nonsense from Planet Hankyoreh. Again. Of course. This time with a warning that if the “silent” United States — which “holds the key to the prisoner release” — continued to look like it was just watching from the sidelines, it could aggravate anti-Americanism in Korea. It also noted that if the situation deteriorates, it could add strength to calls within Korea to remove its troops from Afghanistan.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • cm

    If I was Kabul or the US, I wouldn’t free one damn prisoner. I’ve been saying it all along, ROK government immediately caved in to appease the murderers and thugs (which in the long run will kill more people), as usual. Just don’t expect others to do the same.

  • slim

    Faulty analysis like this got the 23 missionaries in trouble in the first place.

  • iheartblueballs

    Oh, the irony of hearing the same crowd that regularly condemns the “imperialist world police” for using their power, now condemning them for not using that power. Delicious.

  • tambe

    Not much to disagree with in the post, except for this:

    “you’re sorely mistaken, my friends.”

    Koreans aren’t your (or any other American) friends. They use you for security and a market to sell their goods. There is no reciprocity in the Korea-America relationship.

    If you accept that, everything gets much easier to understand.

  • http://www.lostnomad.org/ Nomad

    Well said, Robert.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Right on, Robert — I’m rarely on your political side, but I’m totally with you on this.

  • mateomiguel

    If the Republic of Korea puts the responsibility for the safety of Korean citizens in the hands of the US government, then aren’t they equivalent to, say, the Republic of Texas who does the same thing? I think that Koreans needs to think that when they go running to a larger foreign ally for help they are de facto giving sovereignty to that nation. I don’t think they want to become a state of the US, do they?

  • Zonath

    Well, if living next door to North Korea has taught South Korean politicians anything, it’s how to roll over and pay a ransom when asked. (And then blame the United States for the entire situation anyhow.)

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  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr

    Koreans aren’t your (or any other American) friends. They use you for security and a market to sell their goods. There is no reciprocity in the Korea-America relationship.

    If you accept that, everything gets much easier to understand.

    Well said. Korea isn’t America’s friend. There are Koreans who have American friends, and Americans who have Korean friends, but the two states and their bodies politic are not friends. Only the United States’ leadership caste labors under the misapprehension of “friendship” — the hoi polloi, of course, could not care less about Korea.

  • R. Elgin

    . . . one official (Korean) said that if the United States refuses to help, it could once again ignite anti-American sentiment in South Korea ahead of the Korean presidential election.

    It is cold, callous and despicable for certain Koreans to play this sort of political game when lives are at stake. I do not think the public will hold America responsible simply because people with an anti-America agenda try to play them in that direction.

  • yourbutt

    The hostage situation to me has more to do with crazy Christians throwing themselves in harm’s way for their ridiculous and obnoxious beliefs. “They bought their tickets, they knew it was dangerous. I say, let ‘em die!”

    (And perhaps sigh in relief that we’ll have 23 less loonies yelling at the top of their lungs in subway stations and out on the streets that we are all going the hell.)

    PS. I was surprised to see that Bob didn’t run the pic making the waves on the Korean blogosphere. You know the one with the crazy Christian putting his hand on the head of a Buddhist monk in a Pusan Subway Shopping Center. How obnoxious is that?!

    PSS. You guys are AGAIN looking for a fight where there isn’t one. I read Korean newspapers (in Korean), too. It seems the ROK gov and the US gov are actually cooperating quite well and pooling resources to save these miserable Christian asses. As far as I can tell, no one (in the gov anyways) is blaming the US.

    And in the media? (On this blog, I probably will get my head chewed off for calling a spade a spade, but… the media isn’t monolithic here (though in your odd persecution complex you want to think so). Some people think the US can do more, others think the US shouldn’t. But the “never negotiate with terrorists” mantra is bullshit. It always has been. It is merely for domestic consumption (in this case expat consumption, apparently).
    ^^ ahn-young chinku duel!~~

  • SalinaChan

    I strongly disagree with the sentiment that negotiations with the Taliban will have a political fallout for the S.Korean gov’t. The Germans paid ransom money before, so did others and even though Washington may not be delighted about the fact, there were no consequences. The Germans always claim they did not pay anything, so they stick to the official line and none complains. Pressuring Kabul may not work, after all, S.Korea has only a very limited presence in the country and will leave soon anyways, so the only thing left is to pay and that’s what they should. One may argue about the wisdom of giving money to the Taliban now, but overall, Seoul should be more concerned about their own people in distress, instead of western governments and besides, S.Korea is not in the Talibans’ line of fire so no worries for Korea about terrorists attacking by using the money eoul gave them.
    Harsh as it may sound, that should be Seouls’ position.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    As I told the folks in my Sunday School class, these 23 missionaries chose to express their faith by going to Afghanistan to minister to the Afghans. They knew the danger, and they took the risk. They made their choice. The Korean government should not negotiate with the Taliban over these hostages. The Taliban are murderous, violent, fundamentalist Islamist terrorists. Negotiating with them will lead to more hostage-taking — especially hostage-taking of Koreans.

    If Christian missionaries wish to witness — in word or in deed, or both — to Muslims, then they should not expect their own governments to pay ransoms for their release. It was said — perhaps by Eusebius — that the blood of the martyrs watered the seeds of the church. If that’s so, then Christians should accept the possibility of martyrdom.

    That said, I do not know what these missionaries have expected, nor am I sure that anyone knows clearly since their wishes have not been expressed in any reports that I’ve read. Doubtless, their faith is on trial. Faced with death, whose thoughts wouldn’t be concentrated? — if I may borrow a thought from Samuel Johnson. I hope that they are released unharmed — the 22 remaining one, at any rate — but that should be the decision of the Taliban, and nothing more than moral pressure should be exerted, with the exception of a rescue operation if that be the decision of the NATO forces in Afghanistan.

    I suspect that the Korean government has already gained the reputation as one willing to pay ransom, based on the experience of hostage-taking by Somali pirates and Nigerian rebels. Unless I’m mis-remembering what happened in such cases…

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    One may argue about the wisdom of giving money to the Taliban now, but overall, Seoul should be more concerned about their own people in distress, instead of western governments and besides, S.Korea is not in the Talibans’ line of fire so no worries for Korea about terrorists attacking by using the money eoul gave them.
    Harsh as it may sound, that should be Seouls’ position.

    Fair enough. I guess it could also be argued — along similar lines — that since Seoul seems intent to pay ransom that very well may be used to kill Americans (seeing how it, unlike Korea, is in the “line of fire”), the United States should launch a rescue attempt to free the hostages before said ransom is paid. Sure, the hostages could get killed and heighten anti-Americanism in Seoul, but Washington should be more concerned with protecting its own citizens — including its soldiers in the field — rather than the Korean government.

    Harsh as it may sound, that should be Washington’s position.

  • http://www.tomcoyner.com TomCoyner

    As much as I can empathize with the Marmot, it is wise not to get sucked into this country’s remaining Third World mentality of refusing to take adequate responsibility for its actions.

    Believe it or not, Korea has grown up a lot during the 30 years I have been associated with this place. But this incident provides another example of that the nation still needs to achieve more maturity until becomes a genuine First World country.

    So, Marmot, be patient. The place will mature at its own pace regardless how ridiculous it may act at times — or how pissed off you may get. I have seen worse from Korea, and in time, we will see better. And if in the process the Koreans continue to blame America for their shortcomings like immature adolescents, we have two choices.

    Either we lower ourselves to their level or try to maintain a sense of an adult’s maturity.

    Chill out, dude…

  • SalinaChan

    Robert: I agree with you, that there could be a military solution to the issue, but what if it goes wrong? You said it yourself, protester in Seoul (ok, no one in the US would really care about that) but there is the possibility of American soldiers getting killed in the process. May not go down well with Congress or the Media that not only do they get killed by fighting the Talibans but also when rescuing the hostages (ok, they are missionaries, that should give the government some points among the christian rights).

    I doubt that any ransom paid to the Taliban would affect the coalition troops that much, after all, they can not buy much in terms of heavy equipment with it. As for trading prisoners, well, the troops just killed 50 there, so one or two dozen out of prison doesn’t seem to be making things worse. And once the Koreans are free, the Army can move in anyways.

    I agree with you, that America should also protect her citizens, just as Korea should. In all fairness however, i belive that the misguided kids are currently in more need of protection than heavily armed US soldiers on the battlefield and telling the world “we let them kill the missionaries so our troops are safe” wouldn’t look too good on TV.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for putting an end to the Taliban once and for all and I support most of the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, but civilians (no matter how stupid the things they did) should be protected by all governments while soldiers did usually not join the Army to ensure a long life for themselves.

  • Fantasy

    “…soldiers did usually not join the Army to ensure a long life for themselves…”

    Sounds somewhat cynical.

  • ziffel

    “Yonhap also noted that if the US appears to be helping Korea, it could make the situation worse and heighten anti-war sentiment in the United States.”

    I’m not sure if I even understand the logic behind this statement, but whatever it is, I suspect it’s both tortured and ultimately wrong.

    That this incident is going to (or could) materially affect anti-war sentiment in the US is a narcissistic stretch of projected imagination.

    My own note to Yonhap: Brace yourselves, but this isn’t ongoing front-page news in the US. It’s probably page 12 news about an issue that most people don’t know or really care about.
    (If it helps, think about Yonhap’s coverage of, say, Chinese oil workers abducted in Nigeria. Hardly similar cases, but I hope you get the idea.)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “It’s not the United States that’s caught in a dilemma. You are. The US will (or at least should) do exactly what it did with the Italians — not a God-damned thing (unless Seoul asks for a rescue operation). You, on the other hand, are now faced with a choice — you can now either stick firm to the principle of not negotiating with terrorists and let your hostages die, or pay an extravagant amount of money — both in ransom to the Taliban and to buy influence with the Afghan government — AND piss off the United States, Great Britain, Germany and just about every other NATO member with troops in Afghanistan (save for, perhaps, the Italians) to rescue your guys. Have fun.”

    Rob, you need to realize that if Yonhap (the South Korean government’s ‘mouthpiece’) uses such strong words to say that the US isn’t involved in trying to free the hostages, then it’s probably safe to say that they are, whether it be directly or indirectly.

    Some of my friends, former members of special forces from countries other than the US, have told me that it wasn’t rare for them to be sent abroad to do intel at the expense of the US government.

  • dlatn

    “PSS. You guys are AGAIN looking for a fight where there isn’t one. I read Korean newspapers (in Korean), too. It seems the ROK gov and the US gov are actually cooperating quite well and pooling resources to save these miserable Christian asses. As far as I can tell, no one (in the gov anyways) is blaming the US.

    And in the media? (On this blog, I probably will get my head chewed off for calling a spade a spade, but…the media isn’t monolithic here (though in your odd persecution complex you want to think so). Some people think the US can do more, others think the US shouldn’t. But the “never negotiate with terrorists” mantra is bullshit. It always has been. It is merely for domestic consumption (in this case ex-pat consumption, apparently)”

    Well said, but sadly in vain. the misconceptions perpetuated on this blog are not likely change.
    Many of the commenters here would do well to read Kipling, Conrad, Maugham, etc
    White guys still going around the world telling others how to do things…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    …or was it just for the benefit of the US government. It doesn’t matter, it’s a well known fact that information is gathered through the presence of special force members on ‘exchange programs’ with the Armed Forces of countries who have access to areas that are off limits to US soldiers. It caused quite a scandal a few years back when a Navy Seal was seen wearing a Canadian uniform in Somalia (or was it Rwanda). In any case, this led to the Canadian government revealing the existence of JTF-2.

    Back to topic, sorry.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #20…

    Mmm, well. I’m not white.

  • dlatn

    “White is a state of mind”
    Martin Luther King

  • dlatn

    White is a state of mind

  • cm

    “Koreans continue to blame America for their shortcomings like immature adolescents, we have two choices.”

    No, you are absolutely wrong there. “Koreans” aren’t blaming America because of what Yonhap whines. Yonhap’s article is what we call projection. They are projecting that the US not freeing Taliban POW’s may cause anti-US sentiments in Korea. But the overwhelming sentiment in Korea is the blame goes to the hostages.

  • dlatn

    “it caused quite a scandal a few years back when a Navy Seal was seen wearing a Canadian uniform in Somalia (or was it Rwanda). In any case, this led to the Canadian government revealing the existence of JTF-2.”

    I hope it wasn’t the guy in Somalia filmed with his fly down.
    That destroyed my stereotype of Canadians as boring dicks for a whole month.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #23.

    Oh, gee. Nice try. Calling me an Uncle Tom. It’s as pathetic as it is underhanded…You see, I’m not black, either.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #26.

    Don’t know. I don’t waste my time staring at the crotch of men on TV.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    PS. He must have made quite the impression on you…Somalia and Rwanda happened 15 years ago.

  • dlatn

    Sorry someguy, I did not mean to imply that. Merely that by white I meant the white institutions, nations, way of thinking. I don’t believe skin color comes into it.

    by the way, do you mind me asking just what color you are?

  • Fantasy

    Dlatn:

    Someguy is very secretive about this. But then, he is entitled to be. You know, up there in Canada they have classifications which are very different from those in the US…

    BTW, I am not white either. Over here in Germany, we also have categories which are quite different from the US ones…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Neither white nor black.

  • dlatn

    Cool, I’m not white either. Or black. We must be the Marmot’s token colored commenters.
    Have you noticed how there is no colored guest blogger?
    We seem to be the only people here now, I think all the white commenters must have gone up to the house for dinner or something.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    First I was an Uncle Tom and now I’m colored? What are you, a KKK member having an identity crisis?

  • dlatn

    Sorry, by colored I mean not black or white.
    I never took any art units at college, but I have long assumed that things that are not black or white are in fact colored.
    However, from a pure physics perspective, I believe white is the radiation of a broad-grab of the visible light spectrum, while black is actually a lack of photos.
    So I’m sorry if you were somehow confusing.

  • Fantasy

    Well, I myself do not mind as being lumped into a category “coloured”, in whatever way this is defined in the States or elsewhere (I take it to be a term primarily in use in South Africa).

    But, having neither black nor white natural parents I prefer to describe myself as “looking like an Indian” (i.e. an Indian from India, of course, not a Native American). Culturally I have nothing to do with India, though…

  • Fantasy

    I meant:

    Personally, I do not mind being categorised as…

  • slim

    Send 22 Yonhap journalists to Afghanistan to exchange for the missionaries.

  • http://orientem.blogspot.com/ The Western Confucian

    jefferyhodges, it was the heretic Tertullian, God bless him, who said it: “sanguis martyrum semen christianorum.

  • Fantasy

    “Have you noticed how there is no colored guest blogger?”

    Well, as a native speaker of German instead of English I do not think I could handle the responsibility of blogging in English. But you sure have got a point. Any takers ?

    “We seem to be the only people here now, I think all the white commenters must have gone up to the house for dinner or something.”

    Well, it’s late in the ROK, early in the States. For me here in Germany it is just the right time (2:45 pm)…

  • http://orientem.blogspot.com/ The Western Confucian

    dlatn and Fantasy, I’m a Gypsy quadroon. Can I count myself “the Marmot’s token colored commenters”?

  • http://orientem.blogspot.com/ The Western Confucian

    I’m a Gypsy quadroon who’s had one cup too many of makkeoli (I’m also an Irish quadroon, after all); that should read: “Can I count myself among ‘the Marmot’s token colored commenters?’”

  • tambe

    “Cool, I’m not white either. Or black. We must be the Marmot’s token colored commenters.
    Have you noticed how there is no colored guest blogger?
    We seem to be the only people here now, I think all the white commenters must have gone up to the house for dinner or something.”

    A “token” would have been chosen, you are posting of your own free will.

    Regardless. I’m a homosexual muslim Eskimo with a blue racing stripe. Can I be the “colored” poster? It don’t get much more minority than me.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Have you noticed how there is no colored guest blogger?

    Tell that to min0306.

    PS: No more of this racial nonsense, please.

  • dlatn

    That depends.
    Gypsy quadroon is:
    A) a tint
    B) WW1 biplane
    C) a shade
    E) savage little mixed breed
    F) a hue
    G) Central European sexual act
    H) synonym for color

    But I’m pretty sure you’re really just another white guy at heart.

  • Fantasy

    Western Confucian:

    At first I did not understand the term “quadroon”.

    But then I found the following definition in a German source:

    “The terms mulatto, quadroon, and octoroon originated with the racial policies of European colonizers in the Americas, especially the Spanish. Because civil rights and responsibilities were based directly on the degree of European blood that a person had, such classifications were highly elaborated, and minor distinctions in ancestry were carefully recorded. While these terms have highly precise definitions, in actual practice they were often used based on impressions of skin color rather than definite knowledge of ancestry.”

    Robert, this definition is not meant as racial nonsense, please take my word for it.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    OK, let me rephrase that — anyone who continues this race discussion gets banned.

  • dlatn

    I’ll stop now.
    I don’t want to get banned.
    I’m just glad somebody noticed it was nonsense.

  • abcdefg

    “gypsy” always has the effect of making me think of Franz Liszt. And by another weird mental association, I start thinking about Gargamel from the Smurfs. :]

    (sorry, Marmot, I wanted to mention the Smurfs! But props to whoever understands what the basis for those mental associations are)

  • Fantasy

    “props to whoever understands what the basis for those mental associations is”

    I do understand your allusions, as I am ethnically (but not culturally) a “gypsy” (better: Romany) – but now let us really leave it at that.

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  • SomeguyinKorea

    “(sorry, marmot, i wanted to mention the smurfs! but props to whoever understands what the basis for those mental associations are)”

    Yeah, I get it…you’ve been eating too many mushrooms.

  • Maddlew

    Huh?

  • dlatn

    He is not black, nor white, nor colored.

  • kwon

    I agree with what Robert wrote, but would like to add, never forget the ruling party positioning itself for the december election.

  • Sonagi

    Back on topic, I found a related article at the Chosun Ilbo. Korean-proficient commenters might check out the message board. The posts with the most recs are critical of the Korean government’s handling of the crisis and its attempts to shift responsibility onto the US:

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/07/26/2007072600530.html

    Far from taking the anti-US bait of the Korean media, netizens responding to the Naver news story in the OP are mostly critical of the church group’s trip and of the possibility of paying millions of dollars in ransom to a terrorist group that will use that money to fund more death and destruction.

  • michael

    Marmot–well said.

    Actually, the Korean media (and gov’t) are on a predictable script, blaming the U.S. and ignoring their own people’s stupidity.

    If Moslems came to Korea illegally and went around trying to convert Koreans to Islam, well, imagine the reaction of the Korean media. What a bunch of dolts.

    Coincidentally, it was about a year ago that another group of xtians was booted out of Afghanistan–”There have already been angry demonstrations against what Afghans say are the ‘proselytizing’ visitors.”
    http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200608/200608040020.html

    The arrogance of ignorance.

  • yourbutt

    I don’t know who said it above, but as a Korean who reads Korean news and blogs more in Korean than in English (when I am avoiding my work at the office, that is^^), I can say with some authority that 90% of Koreans don’t blame the US at all. They blame those crazy and rude Christians who went to dangerous Afghanistan against the MOFAT and others telling them over and over not to go.

    That is why I noted surprise that neither Bob nor even one of his henchmen posted the pic and story about the crazy “missionary” that put his hand on the Buddhist monk’s head while the monk was sitting in deep meditation while yelling weird prayors (I guess he was trying to cast out demons from the monk’s body, or something).

    The — on this foreigner blogs anyways — dredded and much ballyhooed Netiziens had a field day with that. Imagine the reaction here if the “Hanky” reported something like ‘KFTA will destroy Korea’s agricultural sector.’ That incident in Pusan had a similar impact for us.

    So, I hate to break to you. You can always find an article here and there talking a great deal about US-Korea conflicts, but, by and large, it is not really what is on the minds of people like me. I am very critical of the US and maybe would be dismissed here as more or less a “typcial Korean,” but I don’t blame the US for all the problems Korea faces. You guys exaggerate, conflate and sometimes just get what Koreans thinking wrong.

    A lt times, it seems you guys put up these “straw giants” lable them “typical liberal Korean thinking” and take pop shots at them. It has been a long time since I was in college, but isn’t that a logical fallacy???

    As some other blogger said: Dude, chill out…

  • michael

    For what it’s worth, yourbutt (you related to Starbutts?) I usually go on and on criticizing the media and gov’t in Korea, not Koreans per se. My Korean friends are rather like you from the sound of it.

    “straw giants”:)

  • sumo294

    Notice how quiet the Korean liberals are? Because no matter how you spin it the left will suffer for their unwillingness to go all out in protecting its citizens.

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  • patriotic american

    Koreans (regular “Kim Kim-chi” citizens) and the ROK gov’t are pretty whimpy with all their whinning about this hostage situation. What a bunch of girls!! I mean, why the hell should the US or the UK risk anything for them when they didn’t send troops in the first place?!?

    They are the Asian version of “Blame America Firsters” back in the land of the brave and home of the free. Man, I am sick of these knuckleheads. You would never hear an American Christian missionary complain about being kidnapped. And he would not expect or ask his government to bail him out of a fix he himself got into. He would take it on the chin like a man.

    Why dont the ROK Army go in there with cammnados? I know from personal experience that the ROK Army has a capable counter-terrorism contigent, the 707th Special Missions Battalion, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. Even the friggin’ French (read Frogs) have the GIGN…!!! They could, if they choose, go in there and get the job done. No fuss, no muss. Roh is a pussy. I am sorry, but he is.

    Yeeeehah!!! Hell yeah!!!

  • Railwaycharm

    Roh is a pussy without the good taste to give his countrymen a reach-around!

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