In the Name of the International Community


In the name of the international community

Alfred Mendes looks at some of the historical background to the goings on in Korea, and at the peculiar evolution of a term

‘The international community’ is a term so frequently used by the ‘Global Policeman’, America, that one is led into believing that it is synonymous with ‘America’ -but was not the United Nations Organisation formed to represent the international community? So, with the present impasse over Iraq and Korea in the full glare of light, it is therefore essential that this crucial US/UN relationship is examined more closely - always keeping in mind the following truism: ‘behind light there is always a shadow’. This necessarily means taking a walk down memory lane to the birth of the UN, which is commonly believed to have been conceived at the mid-Atlantic meeting between FDR and Churchill in August ‘41 (subsequently christened the ‘Atlantic Charter’) which called for a post-war international settlement of a socio-economic nature.

The next step was the Bretton Woods Conference of July ‘44 - in which two prestigious economists, Maynard Keynes (British) & Harry Dexter White (American) were the key players. This conference led to the formation of two financial/banking organisations which were to play important (though not necessarily effective) roles in the post-WW 2 scene: (a) The International

Monetary Fund (IMF); and (b) The International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD or ‘World Bank’). Significantly, both were soon to be incorporated into the UN. Indeed, Bretton Woods could justifiably be described as the precursor to the United Nations. (One significant shortcoming on the part of this conference was its failure to accede to the Norwegian’s demand to close down the Bank for International Settlements which had played an important role in assisting Nazi Germany before & during WW 2 [the US corporate establishment had seen to that] - but that’s another story, covered by this author’s “The Money-Traders Global Network”).

WW 2 had decimated the economies & infrastructure of most of the worlds’ nations (particularly that of the USSR) - but greatly enriched the economy of the USA. FDR had died in April ‘45 & had been replaced by Truman. The USSR would now no longer be an ‘ally’ - and all Lend-Lease Aid would be terminated on May 8th ‘45 without prior consultation with any of its (USA’s) allies. And, as if to ram-home-the-message, the isolationist, anti-communist Senator Arthur Vandenburg (who would subsequently play an important role in

kick-starting the Marshall Plan - which would facilitate the movement of American capital into Europe) was made delegate to the US-financed San Francisco Conference of 50 nations which resulted in the signing of the UN Charter in June ‘45.

A few additional facts should be added here: The USA (1) donated the land site for the UN Secretariat in New York City; (2) loaned the money to build the UN HQ buildings; (3) guaranteed the independence of the UN’s American staff who, understandably, accounted for two-thirds of the UN staff (a promise that would soon be reneged upon); & (4) supplied 40% of the UN’s running costs. From 1946 to 1953, Trygve Lie, a Norwegian lawyer, was the first UN Secretary-General. In ‘49, the US State Department reached an ‘agreement’ with Trygve Lie whereby the US would be given powers to vet potential & existing American employees (not unlike the agreement reached by the British government & the BBC in ‘37 whereby MI5 would vet the latters’ employees - though this would be rectified in ‘86 after public exposure).

The purge of American employees holding left-wing views had begun - as reported by Linda Malvern in the Guardian’s ‘UN Blues’ of 1995 (commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UN)... “In a matter of years the UN staff was purged in a witch-hunt as systematic & ruthless as the one against Hollywood”. This was in reference to the anti-communist campaign of the 50’s, master-minded by Senator Patrick McCarran (Senator Joe McCarthy’s Svengali) which resulted in the notorious McCarran Act. In 1952 J. Edward Hoover, Director of the FBI, agreed to pass on to Senator McCarran’s committee any information they had on the UN’s American employees, as a result of which 30 employees were ‘interrogated’ by the committee - 18 of

whom invoked the 5th Amendment. Trygve Lie sacked those 18.

There was more to come, but this whole dirty episode can best be encapsulated in the following tragic case: Abraham Feller, an American lawyer who had served in FDR’s New Deal administration, was the first American to be appointed to the UN - as Trygve Lie’s Chief Counsel. In early November 1952, Feller learnt that he faced being subpoenaed by the McCarran committee; on November 10th Trygve Lie announces that he (Lie) is resigning; on November 13th Feller struggles from his wife’s grasp and plunges to his death from their Manhattan apartment on the 12th floor; In January 1953 the FBI is allowed to set up an office in the UN’s headquarters. (Trygve Lie would not be the last UN General Secretary with dubious qualifications for the job: for example, Kurt Waldheim, who had served in the Wehrmacht in Yugoslavia during the ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Jews & Gypsies in WW 2, was Gen. Sec. from ‘72 to ‘82!).

The USA would now embark upon its Cold-War strategy, while repeatedly proclaiming that any actions it now undertook would be under the banner of the ‘International Community’, conveniently overlooking the fact that from WW1 to WW2 (a period that cried out for cooperation between all nations), it (isolationist USA) had - pointedly - not joined the international community of the League of Nations! One can only conclude that, within the contemporary global scene, such proclamations make sense only if the term ‘International Community’ is replaced by the more truthful, pragmatic ‘American Corporate Administration’. The ambiguity of this US/UN relationship would soon be ‘put to the test’ by the coming crisis in Korea - as portrayed below in chronological, précis form:

At the Yalta Conference in early Feb. ‘45, the US & Britain persuaded the USSR to join them in the continuing war against Japan. Stalin promised to do so 3 months after the end of the war in Europe..... On Aug. 6th ‘45, America dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima - again, without previously consulting its allies., and two days later, as promised (see above), the USSR invaded Korea, which for the past 40 years had been occupied by Japan..... On Sept. 6th ‘45, liberated Koreans consisting mainly of anti-Japanese resistance groups of a left-wing bent, held an assembly and formed the ‘People’s Republic Government of Korea’..... Two days later, US troops entered Korea, ignoring this newly-formed government - and proposed the setting up of a ‘line of demarcation’ at the 38th Parallel (latitude) to the USSR. The latter accepted this and drew back to this proposed border.... On Oct. 5th ‘45: Using Japanese & Korean ‘quisling’ elements, the US formed an ‘Advisory Council’ (which included many ex-collaborators) - and 5 days later, under the title of the ‘United States Military Government in Korea’ (USAMIGIK), proclaimed itself the government of South Korea. On Nov. 20th ‘45: the ‘People’s Republic’ (see above) held a Congress and refused to dissolve itself. It was now considered ‘unlawful’ by the US Military Govt. who, on Feb. 14th ‘46, set up a ‘Representative Democratic Council’ in South Korea under the Korean Syngman Rhee (who had spent the last 37 years in the US).

Nov. 14th ‘47: With no agreement having been reached between USA & USSR on Korean Unification, the UN General Assembly set up the ‘UN Temporary Commission on Korea’ to expedite its (Korea’s) unified independence. The USSR vetoed UN entry into North Korea - so the UN decided to hold the election in South Korea (only) thereby making a mockery of their declared aim towards unification! This election was held in May 10th ‘48 and won by the rightist, Syngman Rhee..... In August ‘48 the US Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur made a speech in Seoul in which he declared that the barrier of the 38th parallel ‘must, and will be torn down’, and on Dec. 12th ‘48 the UN Gen. Assy. passed a resolution backing Syngman Rhee - by 41 - 6.

In Jan. ‘50 Sec. of State Dean Acheson stated that Korea does not fall within their (US) ‘defensive perimeter’ which stretches from the Aleutians to the Philippines, a statement that evoked heavy Republican criticism as ‘inviting a North Korea invasion’ (shades of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait 40 years later!)...... On May 30th ‘50: Syngman Rhee was defeated in an election, after months of making threats that he will invade North Korea.

Ironically, on June 25th ’50 fighting does break out at the 38th parallel. As Alfred Crofts, who had been a member of the USAMIGIK (see above), wrote in “Our Falling Ramparts - the Case of Korea”: “..three-fourths of South Korea was overrun. The invaders’ Russian tanks could easily have been stopped in the hills by a resolute defense”. And further, according to columnist Holmes Alexander: Dean Acheson “never was quite sure that Rhee did not provoke the Red attack of 1950”.

UN ‘Temporary Commission on Korean Unification’ (see above) cabled news of this ‘invasion’ to UN Sec. Gen’l. - which included the fact that North Korean Radio claimed that South Korea had invaded, and on June 27th ‘50, on the basis of this cable (& no other), the UN Security Council adopted a US resolution condemning North Korea & demanding immediate withdrawal to the 38th Parallel. Truman ordered US naval & air forces to assist the Korean ‘government’, and the US demanded that the UN impose sanctions on North Korea - in answer to which, a resolution was passed recommending ‘such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to restore peace & security in the area’. This was passed , attaining the necessary 7 votes (of 11) required by the Charter.

July 10th ‘50 From State Dept. Bulletin XIII: Acheson states that the US was in Korea “solely for the purpose of restoring the Republic of Korea to its status prior to the invasion from the North”..... July 12th ‘50 North Korean army now nearly as far south as Pusan. As reported in NY Herald Tribune of July 13th ‘50 - to applause, a Congressman urges that North Korea be atom-bombed if they do not withdraw within a week..... On Sept. 11th ‘50 Truman authorised a US invasion of North Korea, and on Sept. 15th ‘50 the US landed marines at Inchon, from where they advanced to the 38th Parallel...... On Sept. 26th ‘50 Gen. MacArthur was given the order to invade North Korea & destroy their armed forces. With US/UN troops now at the 38th parallel, on Sept. 30th ‘50 Gen. MacArthur informed Sec. of Defense Gen. Marshall that he intended to ‘liberate’ North Korea under the June 27th UN resolution (see above). Marshall’s cabled answer: ‘We desire that you proceed with your operations without any further explanation or announcement and let action determine the matter’.

On Oct. 1st ‘50 the US- led forces invaded North Korea. (N.B. [a] four-fifths of all American casualties occurred after this northward move; [b] North Korea’s infrastructure was destroyed; & [c] it certainly did not ‘restore peace & security in the area’).... 6 days later, on Oct. 7th ‘50 the UN Gen. Assy. approved the US/British resolution sanctioning this northward invasion..... On Nov. 24th ‘50, well-aware of the dangerous situation brewing on their border with Korea, Chinese representatives arrive in New York to participate in the UN Sec. Coun. peace talks, and on that same day Gen. MacArthur launches a 100,000-troop offensive towards the Yalu River, knowing that his forces were inadequate for a frontal attack (100,000 troops facing him & 40,000 guerillas in his rear). It can safely be assumed that his real objective could only have been to (1) prevent a peace settlement with China; & (2) provoke China into entering the war. NB: a new weapon was used in Korea - napalm!

On Nov. 26th ‘50 Chinese forces attacked US/UN troops across the Yalu, routing the latter, and in late Dec. ‘50 they crossed the 38th parallel on their southward march.....On entry of China into the war, head of Bomber Command in the Far East, Gen. Emmet O’Donnell wanted to A-bomb them at once: “They’ll understand the lash when it is put to them!”...."almost the entire Korean Peninsular is just a terrible mess. Everything is destroyed....Just before the Chinese came in we were grounded. There were no more targets left in Korea”.....On Jan. 5th ‘51 the US warned 29 governments that unless China is branded as an aggressor by the UN, the latter might collapse!....In mid-Jan. ‘51 the Chinese advance was stopped.... On Jan. 19th ‘51 the US Congress passed resolution demanding that the UN names China as the aggressor and ban it from the UN...... On Jan. 23rd ‘51 the US Senate passes a similar resolution....and on Jan. 31st ‘51 a UN Sec. Coun. resolution branding China as ‘aggressor’ was passed.

June 29th ‘53 Quoted from TIME magazine: “The war to save Korea has also killed 400,000 South Koreans, left 500,000 homes of all Koreans homeless, and 100.000 orphans..”

On July 27th ‘53 the Korean Armistice was signed....On Oct.14th ‘54 Syngman Rhee addressed the US Congress, calling on the US to join him on a war on Red China! (He was finally to be forced out of office in the Spring of 1960).

If nothing else, the foregoing is confirmation that by sponsorship (discriminatory aid, grants & military training/weaponry to selected nations), and manipulation (military action in particular), the US had, from the outset, gained effective control of the United Nations Organisation - for which the international community paid (and is still paying) a high price. There are many examples of this onward march of Capitalism: Korea, Vietnam, al.... but they do not fall within the constraints of an article of this length. Suffice it to say that they are all well-known, well-documented events. In short, the United States of America has suborned the declared aims of the UN Charter to the aims of its capitalist, corporate establishment. In the words of Erskine Childers’s article ‘Faith, Hope, Disparity’ in ‘The UN Blues’ (again): “The western industrial powers have refused to allow the main UN and the General Assembly the economic and social leadership rôles they approved in 1945. They have insisted that the IMF and World Bank (which they control) are the bodies to deal with macro-policy, but have seen to it that these agencies do not formulate policies”.

Conclusion: George W. Bush in his State of the Union Declaration of Jan. 28th ‘2003 stated that America will act alone, if it must, but “..the course of this nation does not depend on the decision of others”.... Enough said!


David Horowitz “The Free World Colossus” Hill & Wang (‘65)

The ‘Guardian” in association w/Channel 4 “The UN Blues”