Sunday, February 2, 2020

Week5_Raylph Evangelista_ASA150E

When I first read the topic for the week,  Forgotten, Suppressed, Invisible Histories, I was thinking that we would be reading about a group of people that rarely get talked about. Korea wasn't even in my list of guesses because I have literally never heard of there being Koreans in the Vietnam War during all my years of schooling. Viet Thanh Nguyen's book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War did a good job of explaining and revealing the facts of Korea's participation in the war and how it attributed to their success as a country in modern day. 

Image result for koreans in vietnam"I always knew about the Korean War and just like most wars, I knew that their lands got desecrated. After the Korean War, Korea was in economic turmoil and I always wondered how they came to be such a capitalistic and thriving society if it was so bad for them post war. When I read that the United States had given them economic payment to join the war, I was shocked. On one hand, I can see why they would accept the offer because it would contribute to bringing their country back into a thriving society but on the other hand, I feel like they totally disregarded that the Vietnamese people were also human. The United States paying the Koreans to be mercenaries definitely attributed to them being able to be so aggressive and violent towards the Vietnamese people. I specifically recall reading about how a child walked into an American camp with a bomb wired to him and the Korean soldiers got really upset. To set an example they "went to a school, snatched up  some boys, threw them into a well, and tossed a grenade in afterwards" (Nguyen, 150). When I read this, all I could think of was how ruthless you had to be in order to do such a terrible thing. It was probably an order but still, they were killing innocent children. I don't know if I can blame the Korean military for doing what they did because I can see why they did it, but to be as extreme as they were just leaves me speechless and disappointed.

Question: Why is media so powerful to the point where groups of people can commit such heinous acts and still be seen as normal and humane?

Nguyen, Viet Thanh. Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. Harvard University Press, 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment