Tag: armistice

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Remembering the Forgotten War: Armistice Day, July 24


freedom houseJuly 24, 1953, the UN forces, a thin cover for the United States, and the Chinese, with their new client state the North Koreans, stopped shooting at each other across the Korean Demilitarized Zone. This year is also the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the war, started when the North Korean communists launched a lightening strike south, nearly winning before the U.S. could get enough troops, with the right equipment, supply lines, and leadership into place. This was the first war of the nuclear era, with the Soviets and U.S. each possessing deployable atomic bombs. Neither the Russians nor the United States wanted to have done to their cities what we had done to two Japanese cities. This was an important condition underlying the unwillingness to seek total victory. Today, South Korea stands as a sharp rebuke to any who would excuse or romanticize communism. Children born during that war on the two sides of the line have had such different lives. The two societies from one people have diverged so markedly.

Here is the annual presidential proclamation, designating July 27 as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day:

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[From The World Crisis 1911–1918 by The Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill, C.H., M.P. Part III 1916–1918, Chapter XXIII Victory, pp 1400—1401 (originally published 1931, page numbers from 1993 Barnes & Noble reprint)] And then suddenly the first stroke of the chime. I looked again at the broad street beneath me. It was deserted. From […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Armistices vs. Forcing a Surrender


I’ve been thinking of what kind of problems ensue when leaders try an armistice to end a war rather than insist on the enemy surrendering. I’m sure that experts can provide instances where it has worked well but consider these two important examples:

  1. WW 1 ended in an armistice between the western powers and Germany. For the next 20 years Germany moved from serious poverty to a major power in the world — and filled with notions of anger and revenge. This armistice ended when the biggest and most murderous war in history started.
  2. The Korean War ended in an armistice between Korea, China and the United Nations (mostly the Unites States). We are now faced with a rather putrid result in North Korea.

If North Korea starts another major war or major conflict then it seems we have every reason to agree with Douglas MacArthur that we should have gone in against the Chinese and settled things permanently. I’m not belittling the risks with that nor do I know enough to authoritatively criticize what the leaders were up against but I really do think that the Chinese Communists couldn’t stand up to us and Mao needed to be slapped down. It’s clear also that the Soviets were behind the whole thing, too — that definitely makes one wonder what to do. However, giving Mao a defeat and uniting Korea into a western-oriented government could well have been better.