[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[KOREAN-WAR-L:11410] Re: Books
What I do assert is that an army in a defensive position has an absolute
decision to make - allow no one through their lines, or surrender. Units
were being flanked, and so they should have allowed innocent appearing
possibly civilian columns to pass through? STUPID!
I would assume that the natural reaction of civilians when being shot at
would be to run away. Do you wonder why civilians continue to advance even
when being fired on? Like perhaps they have a gun at their backs?
Do soldiers have a right to shoot women and babies? Yes they do. When the
probability is high that the women and babies are being used as shields for
an advance, soldiers must shoot, because if using women and babies as
shields is successful then more women and more babies will be used as
shields. War is hell, with the only think worse being the slavery visited on
people who do not fight.
Walter E. Wallis
----- Original Message -----
To: "KorWar-L" <KOREAN-WAR-L@listproc.cc.ku.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 10:27 AM
Subject: [KOREAN-WAR-L:11407] Books
> Jose Castillo's encouragement is much appreciated (although I won't allow
myself to be encouraged enough to swamp the list with verbiage; there's
plenty in our book, in many, many libraries nationwide).
> Joe Brennan's contribution heartens a sometimes despairing soul. This is
precisely the kind of clear-eyed questioning and research we had hoped
historians -- professional and amateur -- would pursue after our stories ran
in 1999-2000. Instead, we've had to deal with unfounded attacks principally
inspired by one man on a vendetta, a guy who has cleverly worked the
Internet and some news media enough to instill a vague notion out there that
AP's work was flawed (beyond the single flaw of Ed Daily, the man, one of 27
ex-GI witnesses, whose information turned out to be second-hand).
> When we saw Bateman's book touted on this list, we had to counter at least
with a sensible review of our own.
> I'll hold back my verbiage regarding Joe's central questions about what
evidence exists of mass infiltration by NKPA among refugees. But consider
> On the very day the NGR killings began, Maj. Gen. Hobart Gay, 1st Cavalry
Division commander, told reporters in the rear that he believed MOST of the
people in white streaming down the roads were North Korean infiltrators.
> Three years later, corresponding with Army historian Appleman, Gay did not
cite civilian-clad infiltrators at all in explaining his defeat during those
days in late July 1950, but rather ``the thing the Division Commander most
feared'' -- sweeps by enemy units around his unguarded flanks and through
the gaping hole, seven miles wide, separating the 8th Cavalry's two
battalions. (Gay referred to himself in the third person.)
> The Army's 1999-2001 No Gun Ri investigation sought assiduously to confirm
infiltrators in refugee columns during this period, but largely failed. (Not
that it didn't happen: Our book cites an example of it later in the war
involving the 7th Cav and Chinese soldiers among NK refugees.)
> Speaking of the Army investigation: Joe and everyone else should approach
both the Army IG report and Bateman's book with extreme caution. We've
documented countless major ... issues? ... in both. Joe himself has just
provided one example: The 5th Air Force document showing that it had a
policy of strafing refugees, that ``to date we have complied'' with the Army
request. This is critically important. Check out the IG report's Chapter 3
( http://www.army.mil/nogunri/Chapter3.pdf ), specifically its discussion of
this Turner Rogers memo on page 98, and you'll see that the Army suppressed
the fact that Rogers confirmed the Air Force was ``complying'' and was,
indeed, strafing refugees. This is only one of dozens of such deceptions in
the IG investigative report, including the suppression of entire critically
important documents and testimony, as today's Army sought to absolve the
U.S. military of culpability at No Gun Ri.
> As for Bateman's book, we found well over 100 egregious errors, major
omissions, distortions, wild fantasies and fabrications. It belongs on the
science fiction shelf. The guy didn't even explore the bulk of the story,
refusing to talk to the Korean survivors, never visiting the site, and then
implying that the surviving villagers are a bunch of liars and cheats. The
omissions only begin with the above Turner Rogers memo, left out entirely as
Bateman insists there was no strafing. Even the Pentagon concluded they were
strafed! Then his central ``finding,'' that ``two guerrillas'' had fired
from among the refugees, is sourced to a document (not reproduced by him, of
course) that we found, when traced, had nothing at all to do with No Gun Ri.
(At page 120, for those of you with Bateman's book.) Extreme caution.
> Finally, Mr. Wallis's posting:
> He says it's ``unprovable'' that infiltrators were NOT in the refugee
columns. But, Mr. Wallis, there's no hard evidence that they WERE. You
surely don't mean that U.S. troops had the right to kill as many babies,
girls, women as they chose, because a negative couldn't be proven.
> You also write, ``I have to speak for buddies not here to defend
themselves. For whom do you speak?'' That kind of loyalty was one of the
first things we learned about (or re-learned) as we worked on No Gun Ri.
We'll always admire it. As for whom we speak for: We're journalists, not
advocates, except as advocates for the truth. When journalists become
spokesmen, we're all in real trouble.
> Charlie Hanley