Most of us know what happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The date is not missed each year around the world, which is only right and proper to remember the victims and the tragedy. Our media here always mark the date with some “shocking new tale” of some sort.
However, probably no one in the west knows anything about another massacre, only 9 years earlier than Tiananmen Square, occuring in the same region as Beijing, but this time carried out by the western ally of South Korea.
In 1980, there was also an uprising, featuring once again mostly students and young people in the South Korean city of Gwangju.
The uprising and protests occured for much the same reasons as the later ones in Beijing, and had much the same outcome – an horrific civilian death toll caused by the Korean military government’s taming of the protests. It was a massacre – the Gwangu (sometimes Kwangju) massacre – and hundreds or thousands were killed by South Korean government troops. Just as happened in Beijing nine years later.
So the obvious question is, why are the two very similar massacres treated so differently around the world and in the global media? I just found out today that even my home city in New Zealand has a rock with a plaque on it marking the Beijing deaths – which I didn’t know.
I’m sure we don’t have a rock marking the equally tragic Kwangju massacre deaths as the date, May 18, or the event, are never mentioned at all. It is likely our political leaders don’t know anything about this massacre.
Could the total media silence concerning the Korean Kwangju massacre possibly be related to the fact that, unlike in China, the Korean military government was aided and abetted by and carried out their massacre with the full prior knowledge and assistance of, the American government?
One massacre would be an embarrassment to Washington and its so called ideals; the other offers a huge propaganda opportunity, which has been milked for all its worth.
Once again, the western mainstream media aid and abett suffering and silence. And hypocrisy knows no bounds.