[Note: This comment comes from friend Dave Hughes. DLH]
From: Dave <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [Dewayne-Net] Why Can’t We Be Like South Korea?
Date: July 29, 2015 at 10:40:11 EDT
I find it ironic – and illuminating – that South Korea has developed such a nationally complete, useful, and enviable Internet service. As one of just a handful of Americans who are still living (I am 87) I fought in the Korean War from soon after the North Koreans invaded in 1950. I have often ruminated on how South Korea which was a very backward, Japanese dominated, poor agrarian Asian country while I was retreating from the Yalu River before the Chinese and Soviet backed North Korean Army in the bitter winter of November 1950. But with two Purple Hearts later together with 34,000 American soldiers dead, I left Korea in 1952 as it began to grow as a not only free nation with only a diminishingly smaller deterrent US military presence but also has become in the decades following the 1953 Armistice a prosperous, Democratic, technological, thoroughly modern nation state.
I pondered how that complete transformation took place, and I concluded that when, in its impoverished darkest days with a defeated Army and corrupt government, it came back. Guess what? South Korea is a textbook case of Technological Transfer between US military forces and its American military culture in a briefly US occupied country. Large numbers of poorly educated South Korean soldiers learned how to drive and maintain US Army trucks from our soldiers, how to use and repair American military radios , observed what the relationship was between American soldiers and officers and their civilian, including Congressional leaders, observed how our market economy worked while building their own nation and military.
Who do you think set up the first civilian car repair shop in teeming Seoul as the Korean Army was greatly reduced in size after the 1953 Armistice? Who opened the first civilian AM radio store in and repaired radios ? What was the genesis of the trained work force and developing corporate leaders? They and their fathers first learned it as South Korean soldiers supplied by corporate American companies under US Aid, after being trained by their counterpart low ranking drafted Sp4’s US servicemen. Who taught them a lot beyond mere technical skills. They taught them American know how and political culture.
Few Americans even knew where ‘South Korea’ was on a map in 1949. 65 years later we envy their national public high speed Internet and Wi-Fi mastery – and buy their Samsung smart phones from an open market economy.
Americans tend to think the US Military should be withdrawn from all over the world. But they rarely understand, much less observe or study how US military intervention – in our, and not just their – national interests has very long term ameliorative effects. And we dismiss ‘nation building’ as policy, while never studying where and how it actually works.
I never returned to visit my battlefields, because the last hill I took – Bloody Baldy Hill 347 – at a cost of all 6 of my officers and 165 enlisted men killed wounded or captured is now in the middle of the DMZ. If I tried to go there I would be shot by North Korean soldiers from their failed state.
But I admire from a distance, what we accomplished by just going to defend them.
Why Can’t We Be Like South Korea?
When Internet access is slow or just nonexistent in the US, we shrug our shoulders. But in that small Asian nation, lousy connections are not tolerated.
By Susan Crawford
Jul 23 2015