08 October 2008

W and 2MB both suck!

Such is the consensus that I gleaned from the rest of the day. Now, it's the evening of the 8th - I am back in Seoul, and this is my sixth or seventh post just today (!). Still no photos.

The "love hotel" that I had stayed in last night actually belongs to the relative that I was visiting - an uncle. He runs it as a family business, and his son took me out for a drive before his evening shift. He told me that during his military service a few years ago (as required of all South Korean men for two years), he cultivated a very deep hatred of America. The reasons: Americans can sell crappy weapons to him, and get away with it, even when South Korean suppliers make better weapons. Americans start unnecessary wars to make money - then ask "allies" like South Korea to help with the plundering. Americans can get away with anything - including raping/murdering South Korean women. And during a joint exercise of American and South Korean forces, Americans take a break during a battlefield training and eat a full lunch, while South Koreans must eat MREs like they would in a real battle, and even clean up after the Americans when the exercise is over.

My cousin further told me that South Korea needs to defend itself without American help, due to American arrogance. He reserved his strongest hatred for W. He only wished that South Korea's economic power were stronger, so that it could stand up more against any American overreaching. I at that time told him that South Korea has all the economic might it needs already, and that it's just the wrong kinds of mentality and leadership from the government that keeps South Korea a virtual 51st state of the US. I then criticized the current Lee Myung-bak government for continuing that mentality; he concurred, though he admitted to voting for Lee last year, because his predecessor Roh Moo-hyun was doing the Communists' bidding at the expense of South Korea's general population. He finally added that the politicians in South Korea are so rotten, that a good foreign leader will have to be brought in if anything is to be fixed. I remembered a movement back in 2002 during the FIFA World Cup, when many South Koreans wanted the then-head coach of the South Korean soccer team, Dutchman Guus Hiddink, to run for the presidency; honestly, his Dutch egalitarianism and lack of political connections would've made him a better President than anyone.

I then returned to the hotel, so that I could start my trip back to Seoul. The traffic caused the bus ride to take much longer than the distance suggested. Once back in Seoul, I took a cab back to my apartment. The cab, an older Hyundai Sonata, had a nice aftermarket GPS navigation system, with traffic alerts and other nice features; the driver was happy to explain its features to me. I then identified as an American, talked about my aging Garmin GPS at home, and mentioned the handful of GPS brands available in North America; he then told me that there are over a dozen GPS manufacturers in South Korea, all of them very good. I suggested that they should consider exporting their products to the US.

At that point, the driver told me bluntly that I should think twice before visiting South Korea again. His reason: the everyday people are very good, but the elites and the government are full of crooks, naming a few high-profile crooks high up the ladder in the current Lee Myung-bak government. I responded by saying that the US is not much better - and that I did not vote for W. He then told me that he's following the US presidential race, and that Obama is likely to win. He further went on to add that the Lee Myung-bak government is hurrying up to sneak in a few extra agreements with W, before Obama takes over, as Obama is less receptive to the Lee agenda than W. I responded again, telling him that while Lee would love a McCain presidency, I would rather vote for someone who works for the everyday people of both the US and South Korea, and that is Obama. I further told him that as my South Korean stay stretches longer, I may not be able to register absentee, and I may not be able to return to the US in time to vote; that will be my biggest regret.

Glad to know that the hatred of W, 2MB, and their failed economic theories is pretty much universal. I am more confident than ever that the people power of South Korea will triumph; after all, the people have a very healthy disrespect for authority (something Americans once had, but need to learn again), and brought about the democracy that took off in 1987, and did fairly well until 2MB started dismantling it this year. And I will remember my cousin's vow to re-enlist should North Korea start a war; despite what the right-wingers say about the liberals being sheeps welcoming the Communists with open arms, the South Korean people will reject the Kim Jong-il tyranny at least as much as the past tyrannies of Syngman Rhee and Park Chung-hee, if not more.

(And speaking of my cousin, he says he will also re-enlist if Japan invades and takes over Dokdo/Liancourt Rocks. His hatred of Japan, and its right-wing nationalist Liberal Democratic government, is extremely strong as well.)