How many does it take to metamorphose wickedness into righteousness?  One man must not kill.  If he does, it is murder... But a state or nation may kill as many as they please, and it is not murder.  It is just necessary, commendable, and right.  Only get people enough to agree to it, and the butchery of myriads of human beings is perfectly innocent.  But how many does it take?

--Adin Ballou, The Non-Resistant, February 5, 1845

Jack Woddis in An Introduction to Neo-Colonialism (1967) tells a story of Korea that the West/United States has covered over.  After 1945 throughout Asia the story was the same.  Everywhere the colonial powers, aided by the United States (which was simultaneously playing its own game in order to step into the shoes of the other colonial powers), strove to keep the people down.  Where they thought it possible, they tried to re-establish the old colonial system, as in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaya.  In other Asian territories, too, they endeavored to retain, in varied and most appropriate forms, the essence of their power.   In Burma, Britain was compelled to grant independence in January 1948--but only after the anti-imperialist leader, Aung San, and his key ministers had been assassinated by pro-Western henchmen, thus paving the way for the conceding of independence to a government more likely to prove co-operative with British monopoly interests.

In Korea, Japan, as a defeated power, was unable to re-establish here rule.  Moreover, the temporary Soviet occupation in the North, and the strength of the national liberation movement led by Kim Il Sung put a brake on imperialist plans.  But here, too, as in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaya, the Western powers tried to brush aside the Korean people's own patriotic bodies and institutions and set up a regime under their control.  Under the war-time agreements for the Japanese surrender, Korea was temporarily divided at the 38th parallel.  Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945, and the Soviet troops as arranged for by the surrender agreement, moved south to the 38th parallel.  The Japanese forces fled in the face of the advancing Russians, anticipating a warmer welcome from the American forces which landed in south Korea on September 8, 1952, nearly a month after the surrender. 

The late professor George McCune described the contrast in these words:

"The atmosphere between the Japanese and the occupying forces in the north was one of enmity.  In the south the Japanese assumed an attitude of guileless co-operation toward the occupying authorities."

The Soviet authorities in Korea, explained Professor McCune, place reliance on the local people's committees set up by the Koreans.  On September 6, 1945, two days before the arrival of the American troops, a national congress was held in Seoul (in the south), "attended by representatives from all parts of Korea."  This congress was initiated by Korean leaders, including many patriots released from Japanese prisons in Korea after the surrender.  An outstanding liberal leader of these forces was Lyuh Woonhyung.  The congress proclaimed the People's Republic of Korea on September 6.  "When American forces arrived in south Korea on September 8, the People's Republic offered its services to the American command, but was given a cold shoulder.

The American General Hodge attempted at first to retain the existing Japanese administration, but was compelled by public protest to drop the idea.  At the same time, the Americans backed the right-wing "Provisional Government" in exile, and brought back its leader, Syngman Rhee, who had been living for years in the United States.  There was no doubt of the popular support for the People's Republic.  The Christian Science Monitor's representative reported on January 3, 1946, that the "so-called People's Republic...enjoys far more support than any other single political grouping."  But the American authorities were not interested in which political grouping was most representative of the people.  It was determined to establish its own power in the south (and was later to attempt to take over the north as well).

Lyuh Woonhyung was assassinated, the democratic movement in the south suppressed, and an American puppet government under the dictator Syngman Rhee installed against the wishes of the Korean people.

Where the colonial powers were unable to prevent the coming to power of governments representing the workers and peasants, as in China, North Korea and North Vietnam (and ten to fifteen years later in Cuba), the successful operation of neo-colonialism proved impossible.


Novelist John Le Carré Reflects On His Own 'Legacy' Of Spying


A Legacy of Spies
A Legacy of Spies

by John le Carre

Hardcover, 264 pages

If John le Carré's espionage novels seem particularly authentic, it may be because the author has first-hand experience. Le Carré worked as a spy for the British intelligence services MI5 and MI6 early in his writing career, and only left the field after his third book, 1963's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, became an international best-seller.

Le Carré's latest book, A Legacy of Spies, revisits some of the characters from his earlier novels, including his most famous protagonist, George Smiley. It follows a protégé of Smiley's, Peter Guillam, as he re-examines some of his actions from when he was a Cold War spy, including his role in the deaths of another agent and a recruit.

The novel mines the moral tension inherent in espionage — a tension le Carré himself remembers. "I felt I had to suppress my humanity," he says of his time as a spy. "The lies straight into the face, the befriending, the false befriending. ... I suppose I've been a lot of people in my 85 years, not all of them very nice people."

He describes his path from spy to novelist as a "zig-zag journey," but notes that, ultimately, fiction writing has helped him understand himself better.

"When you really have to put a character together piece-by-piece, what makes it work is a piece of yourself," he says. "And until that happens, the character doesn't really have a being at all. So the real joining in fiction writing is that sense of finding all the possibilities of your own character and awarding them in an organized way to the different characters of your creation."

Interview Highlights

John le Carré attends the 2011 London premiere of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a film adaptation of his 1974 novel (which also features George Smiley).

Sang Tan/AP

On how his characters are less ideologically driven than they used to be, and how that's a reflection of the times

Back then, we had a clear philosophy which we thought we were protecting, and it was a notion of the West — it was a notion of individual freedom, of inclusiveness, of tolerance. All of that we called anti-communism. That was really a broad brush, because there were many decent people who lived in communist territories who weren't as bad as one might suppose.

Now, today, this present time in which these matters are being reconsidered in my novel — we seem to have no direction. We seem to be joined by nothing very much except fear and bewilderment about what the future holds. We have no coherent ideology in the West. And we used to believe in the great American example; I think that's recently been profoundly undermined for us. We are alone.

On his feeling that Brexit is a mistake

I feel most strongly about the timing of Brexit, which is appalling. At the very moment when Europe needs to be a coherent single block able to protect itself morally, politically and, if necessary, militarily, we've left it and we're stuck in the Atlantic and — as George Smiley remarks himself — [we're] citizens of nowhere at the moment.

On whether he looks back on his intelligence career with regret

Yes, I do. I regret in my student days posing as a crypto-communist and trying to attract Soviet recruiters in those days. I was sort of half successful — I got picked up and flirted with by a Russian recruiter in the Soviet embassy in London, and it all came to nothing. Perhaps I wasn't clever enough or perhaps I was compromised by somebody else. But in the course of posing as that person, I had to sign up as some kind of secret communist, and that meant deceiving my colleagues and my fellow students, and looking back on that I feel very queasy about it.

On the compromises he made as a spy

Where I was asking people to do things, I tried to persuade them that they were doing it for the greater good and I was doing it for the greater good. Where I had to deceive people, I felt I was doing that for the greater good, too. But then you get alongside the borderline of how much of this stuff can we do and remain a society that is worth protecting. ... I did what I think was probably, in the end, the right thing. We expect intelligence services to deliver, but then when we're asked to get our own hands dirty, we get squeamish about it.

On growing up with a con man dad, and how his childhood prepared him to be a spy

My father was a compulsive liar and in and out of jail, and the people around him were tremendously colorful, amusing people. ... I think my own alienation from my environment left me solitary and more reflective; more watchful of other people around me. I think survival, early survival, requires that you have a quick read of people — you can understand them quickly, relate to them quickly, you can scent them in an almost animal way, perhaps sooner, more quickly, than people who had a more settled childhood. So you understand people's defenses better. ...

At the age of 5, my mother disappeared. And after that, it was living in the wake of this maverick fellow, who often was enchanting, for a long time. That was my world. ... I spent a lot of time, if he left the house, going through his pockets and things, trying to figure out what was going on. We were displaced repeatedly by angry debtors. For quite long periods he was on the run. He was on the run in the United States even, wanted by the forces of the law.

He filled my head with a great lot of truthless material, which I found it necessary to check out as a child, with time. Yes, in that sense, these were the early makings of a spy. ... His great passion, which he achieved, was to turn me into a seeming gentleman.

Sam Briger and Mooj Zadie produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Nicole Cohen adapted it for the Web.

Week In The News: DACA Decision, North Korea Tension, Irma Destruction46:31

Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Hurricane upon hurricane this week. Straight from Harvey to Irma. Both record-breaking monsters. Caribbean devastation. Now Florida braces for a hit. In Washington, the Trump administration dumps DACA. Leaves 800,000 dreamers hanging. And it’s over to Congress. Dems do a deal with the President. Republicans fume. We’ve got a giant data breach at Equifax. Donald Jr. questioned. North Korea says hydrogen bomb. This hour, On Point: Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines. --Tom Ashbrook.


Josh Gerstein, White House Reporter for Politico who also covers the Justice Department and courts. (@joshgerstein)

Nancy Cordes, Chief Congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

From Tom's Reading List

Politico: Legal Fight To Preserve DACA Takes Shape — "The looming fusillade of litigation could blunt or delay the impact of Trump’s actions for some so-called Dreamers, but appears unlikely to completely block an effort by Trump to phase out DACA. The effort could also divert advocates from a full-court press for legislation to permanently address the Dreamers’ predicament."

The New Yorker: What Would War With North Korea Look Like? — "A war with North Korea would probably be a combination of both types of conflict, played out in phases, according to former generals who served in Korea and military specialists. The first phase, they say, would be a conventional war pitting North Korea against American and South Korean forces. It could start several ways, but two scenarios, both preëmptive actions, reflect how a full-fledged conflict might start—even if unwanted by both sides. Asked on Wednesday if he was considering military action, President Trump told reporters, 'Frankly, that’s not a first choice, but we will see what happens.'"

Wired: Hurricane Irma: A Practically Impossible Storm — "People evacuate, or they stock up on provisions and take shelter. They try to adjust building codes. But in general, humans keep building sprawling, low-lying cities on coasts. And in the face of what scientists know about climate change, that’s a very bad idea. 'The underlying probabilities of very intense storms are going up,' says Emanuel. 'We’ve certainly seen category 5 hurricanes before, but they’re rare. There’s only been three hurricanes that struck the US as category 5, and this, I hope, won’t be the fourth. But it might be.'"

Equifax Breach

Equifax says a cybersecurity breach might've impacted 143 million of its customers. The consumer credit reporting agency has created this website, which it says will help you identify whether your information has been affected. You will have to enter the last six digits of your social security number and your last name. Learn more here.

This program aired on September 8, 2017.


President Trump's decision to rescind DACA will help MS 18 and MS 13 recruit 800,000 new members.  The gangs can use these highly educated English speakers, who understand the American system, to enhance their drug smuggling activity and digitize their operations.  Americans don't seem to question the operations of the Latino gangs as to how the operation prospered so easily in the States.  It's simple, the gang members are all from America, speak English, and understand the system because they were deported more or less at the same ages of The Dreamers.  Now Jeb "Law & Order" Sessions wants to increase MS 18 and MS 13 membership by 800,000 young, healthy, literate, bilingual savvy people.  Perhaps this is why he told the FOP Convention that the police can expect grenade-launchers and armored vehicles fitted with treads.

The ten-million-undocumented Latinos came into America (living mostly on land that was appropriated from Mexico), walked unnoticed into the United States because the border guards looked the other way.  This is because, as Peter Hakim stated to Diana Nyack, the US never wanted a war on its southern border, and this blind-eye was a steam-valve.  Then too, Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers-CIA sponsored "Dirty Wars," to thwart Communism, which in the majority of cases was Socialism: the peasants taking back their land from US Corporations like United Fruit under-fire making for a run north.

The Latino Undocumented only became a problem after they stopped cleaning toilets and started hanging sheet rock.  Next: the Irish.

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