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Korean War

credit: SDASM Archives

The fall semester of classes has started up and one of my classes is American History Since 1865. One of the first assignments is to write about the person’s I most admire and despise from history. I had to think about it for a little bit, but here are the people I most despise and admire from history.

I must admit that this exercise is difficult for me because I’ve not really thought about who I admire or despise. There are those who are easily hated because of atrocities perpetrated upon humanity: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, along with other such dictators and warlords who were really just drunk on power. There are the cowards who killed and maimed dozens of innocents in public shootings and individualized worship, but those people can be dismissed as having mental issues who happened to fall through the cracks of our society because of a poor and inadequate mental health system. Together these person’s throughout history are the epitome of those to be abhorred. Their very actions warrant instant hatred and revulsion.

There are many throughout history who I have disliked or found myself disgusted by their acts of stupidity, but I can only think of one person, one man who I can say I despise and that is General Douglas MacArthur. His arrogance and pompous leadership lead to thousands of soldiers dying needlessly in the Korean theater of war. He believed that his strategies were perfect and fool-proof even when those who were doing the fighting told him otherwise. It was his insistence to march beyond Pyongyang that directly led to the Chinese entering the war and thus drove the fighting to its inevitable stalemate, all the while sitting at his desk in the swank luxury of the command headquarters in Japan. He never accepted responsibility for any of the actions he ordered that turned out wrong, always putting the blame on others. He was a man who thought himself a god, untouchable and righteous.

With that being said, I am unable to pick out just one person who I most admire because it is really a multitude of persons and they are the soldiers who fought in the Korean War. These men stood their ground as wave after wave of Chinese soldiers advanced on them in the darkness of night. They had to run the gauntlet which was a narrow valley road surrounded on both sides by Chinese who unleashed a terrifying barrage of gun fire down on the retreating columns of soldiers and vehicles. I do admire the WWII soldiers as well, but I admire more those men who were ordered to fight against insurmountable odds in Korea and did so with an incredible bravery I could only hope to have a tenth of in my soul.

Do you agree with who I picked for my most admired and despised persons? Let me know what you think in the comments.