A man is detained by police during a protest against U.S. beef

imports, President Bush's visit and demanding the resignation

of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.



The Hankyoreh, South Korea

Bush Like a 'Loan Shark' Here to 'Collect'


"What's really dangerous is that American capital considers the entire world its prey. In its arrogance over being on a throne of power, it wonít be satisfied until everything belongs to it."


By Kim Seon-woo, Poet

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August 6, 2008


South Korea - The Hankyoreh - Original Article (English)

The entire country is in a flurry over U.S. President George W. Bushís visit. As I write these words, in downtown Seoul there are protests opposing his visit and gatherings welcoming him, and Iím told on the news that the police are on high alert. Police say they're going to fight back with liquid tear gas-laced water cannons and color guns if protests turn "illegally violent."


Riot police use water cannons with colored water to identify

protesters during a rally against President Bush's visit, Aug. 5.


Police declarations of war against the public have become annoyingly repetitive, and again this time around it looks like they've defined people who participate in candlelight vigils as potential terrorists. To them it's a stark dichotomy: you're either a citizen or a rioter. When the police told those participating in the candlelight protests that they were "threatening citizensí safety, they laughed out loud saying, "Uh, we are citizens!" What citizens were in need of police protection? There is such a thing as pseudocyesis [false pregnancy], so perhaps this could be called "false citizenry."


Should everything noisy be put down indiscriminately by the authorities? Shouldnít that habitual response have changed by now? The world moves in a series of causes and effects. When there's noise, the method of approach should be to figure out what the cause is. Threatening citizens as has been done in the past is no longer acceptable. Whoever may visit my country, I'd like to be able to receive that person and then send him on his way with heartfelt sincerity. The Korean way of thinking is to send anyone - even a drifter who calls on oneís home - off after having fed him a warm meal. The Korean heart wants to afford people that kind of hospitality, so when Koreans tell someone they aren't welcome, you have to ask why.




The way the United States treats Korea is not the only problem. Letís set aside for a moment, the hypocrisy and ignorance of how the U.S. divides the world into good and evil and maintains a constant global tension, while making itself out to be an apostle of peace and justice. What's really dangerous is that American capital considers the entire world its prey. In its arrogance over being on a throne of power, it wonít be satisfied until everything belongs to it. All of this and its habit of never hesitating to go to war for money are the greatest factors threatening world peace.




Because of the unquestioned consumer patterns of America's capitalism, the United States dirties the global environment more than anyone else. So when the American president comes to town like a loan shark who has arrived to collect, what reason do we have to welcome him with open arms?



What Americans need most right now in terms of transforming their thinking is a return to the question of why. The United States needs to ask itself why most of the world doesn't like it, hates it and doesn't want to associate with it.


I have friends around the world who are embarrassed to be Americans. I have met them in my travels and find that they love the America that they know as home and as a place they were born and raised in. But they're internally conflicted because of being ashamed by America because of its politics.


I too love Korea insofar as it's the home I was born and raised in. I love the warm way of the heart that is inherent in our culture. But when it comes to the political sphere, as a Korean I am frequently ashamed of Korea. And not just because of domestic Korean politics. There have been many times I haven't wanted to identify myself as Korean because I was embarrassed at the behavior of Korean capital in countries not as well off as ours.




Isnít it strange? The friends Iíve made traveling the world, people who desire lives of freedom and peace, were all sensitive to shame. They hadnít started any wars, but they were ashamed of their president and their countriesí power apparatus and wished that they could make amends. I hope the American President remembers that if the United States is still around a hundred years from now, it won't be because of those who are now in power, but because of the wandering Americans who feel shame and repentance and know how to examine themselves. And so I hope he isn't too offended at the inhospitable reception he receives from Korean citizens. Before being offended, I hope he first asks the question, "Why?"
















































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US August 6, 6:05pm]

While many South Koreans are indeed angry - at the their own leaders, the U.S. government and George Bush, at least as many are glad to see President Bush - and held a massive demonstration to welcome him in Seoul Tuesday, Aug. 5.

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Demonstrations for and againts President Bush greet him on arrival in Seoul, Aug. 5, 00:02:55WindowsVideo

RealVideo[LATEST NEWSWIRE PHOTOS: South Koreans 'Welcome' President Bush].

Thousands welcome President Bush in Seoul, Aug. 5.

But demonstrators were also out in full force to 'greet' the president.