White Man’s Burden
Dorothy Thompson Slams the Korean War (1951)

The Mossadegh Project | January 4, 2018    


“What the leaders of this country cannot, apparently, get through their heads is that the rising of Asia against four centuries of domination, intervention, and exploitation by white, western men, can only be fanned and accelerated by white men conducting “Operation Killer” against yellow men.”


Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961), the famous American journalist, author and broadcaster, penned this devastating indictment of the Korean War in her newspaper column On the Record, associating the battle with international white supremacism.



October 19, 1951
Without End, Without Purpose, Korea War Has Become Bottomless Pit for Men, Money

By DOROTHY THOMPSON

Famed journalist, author and broadcaster Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961) The truce in Korea has served to give the North Koreans and Chinese a breathing space in the less favorable time of year for them, and the more favorable for their enemies, in which to build up forces. Otherwise nothing whatever has come of it, and nothing is ahead except an intensification of the war, which has become a bottomless pit for men and money.

BAD CONDITIONS

It is now late October; war must be fought through winter under conditions which are terrible for western troops, and neither the military nor the politicians have a new strategical or political idea. The war is to continue to be “Operation Killer,” and strategy has degenerated into exchanging one dead American for 20 dead Chinese or North Koreans.

At that rate it can continue until both countries are depopulated of their best youth, Korea North and South is depopulated of everybody ... or until one side or the other quits.

This, after 16 months, is the status of the war into which the president led the United States and followers of the United States in the United Nations assembly, without vote of Congress, without even consultation with Congress, in the optimistic notion that superior western weapons would rapidly subdue a third-rate Asiatic half-country, and thus prove that “crime doesn’t pay.”

HEAVY COST

What has been proved is that this primitive cops-and-robbers interpretation of history pays off in terms of a million dollars an hour, a higher casualty rate per person engaged than World War II, and an intensification of the political revolt of Asia against the west.

What the leaders of this country cannot, apparently, get through their heads is that the rising of Asia against four centuries of domination, intervention, and exploitation by white, western men, can only be fanned and accelerated by white men conducting “Operation Killer” against yellow men.

The war in Korea is being fought by Americans, with units of Britons, Australians and South Africans—the latter pre-eminent for holding aloft the standard of white supremacy—Turks, Greeks, a Swedish ambulance corps, a Danish hospital ship, and without a single Asiatic on the American side except a few Filipinos. The claim that this operation is being conducted in behalf of peace and international law cuts no ice with a revolting Asia. The west has always attempted to operate under legal sanctions, but legal sanctions have never yet checked violent mass risings anywhere or at any time.

HOLLOW VICTORY

To the Asiatic, western troops in Korea are simply the white man come back again, with his engines, his troops, and his pious platitudes.

If this really were an imperialist war, it would, at least, make some sense. But it is not even that. Win, lose or draw, the west has nothing to get out of Korea, except a continuing responsibility to rebuild it to the tune of a billion dollars a year provided, of course, there is anything left to rebuild. Meanwhile, it has served to strengthen the Moscow-Peiping axis.

NOT CONCLUSIVE

Militarily, it is an intense disappointment to those who believed that superiority of fire power could produce a quick victory on any terrain and under any conditions. It has proved that bombers are practically helpless against jet planes, and jet planes practically helpless against each other. It has not proved that aggression doesn’t pay, but it has proved that modern war is inconclusive.

Politically, this war, like World War II, is fought for no other purpose than victory. We propose an armistice, but not a peace, still leaving everything to the military, exactly as we did in World War II. The time has come to offer peace, to offer a peace the enemy might conceivably accept, and to offer a peace that takes scrupulous account of existing political realities.


Column originally distributed by the now-defunct Bell Syndicate, Inc.

Alternate titles:

War Without An End
Why Korean War Was Sad Mistake
DOROTHY THOMPSON SAYS: Without End, Without Purpose, Korea War Has Become Bottomless Pit for Men, Money


The Korean War Makes No Sense | Robert C. Ruark (1951)
The Korean War Makes No Sense | Robert C. Ruark (1951)





Related links:

Truman Always Blames Another | Dorothy Thompson, Oct. 10, 1951)

We’re In A Grisly Game Of Squat Tag in Korea | Robert Ruark (May 3, 1951)

Perpetually In Favor of War | by Bruce Barton (March 4, 1951)



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