Another post from my old blog I wish to have preserved for posterity. I sent their site an email asking some specific questions that I raise in this post (What kinds of crimes are included in their statistics, Is the crime rate of GIs in Korea higher than that of the average Korean male, etc.) and asked why they neglected to include such crucial information (or point out on their site where I can find it).
Surprise, surprise, there was no reply.
Anyway, here's the original post:
This site, USAcrime, is perhaps the worst of the worst as far as blindly anti-American NGOs go. I've copied their English introduction page here and added a few innocent comments of my own.
"The USFK (United States Forces in Korea) has been stationed in South Korea since 1945. Presently there are 96 bases of 74 million pyong (one pyong = 6 sq feet) occupied by 37,000 U.S. troops in South Korea
[Informative statistics and facts. Good research.
Question: How long do you think they can keep this up?]
The long history of the USFK in South Korea has greatly influenced our society.
Yes, I've noticed that too. You no longer are forced to learn Japanese, nor are you eating grass and living in constant fear of the Dear Leader. Do go on...
Statistically, people bound by SOFA (soldiers, civilian components, their families and their relatives) have committed 2-3 crimes against Korean citizens a day. Hence there have been over 100,000 cases of criminal acts since 1945. Nevertheless, Korean courts have only judged around 4% of these crimes (confined to US soldiers). In most other cases, U.S. soldiers who have committed crimes against the Korean people, have been released without punishment or due compensation to the victims.
Answer of earlier question: Not very long.
Playing with statistics looks fun! Can I play too?
Ok, according to your numbers (100,000+ cases over the past 59 years) that's about 1,700 "criminal acts" per year from a population of 37,000 (actually, it should be more than that even now that the numbers have been reduced, because their statistics include soldier's families, relatives, and all others covered by the SOFA).
Thus about 4% of GIs are committing crimes each year (actually less, since there would certainly be some repeat offenders doing more than their share).
So at worst, only 4% of the soldiers are bad guys and the other 96% are more or less law-abiding people doing nothing more than serving their country and protecting Korean democracy at your nation's request.
Wow! 33,600 soldiers every year just minding their own business and doing nothing more than making sure Korea stays safe. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I never realized just how well they were doing.
Also, what percentage of these "crimes" are traffic violations? What percentage is just brawls between GIs or fights in which both parties (GI and Korean) were at fault? Come on, drunken Korean men never bait GIs or start pushing first?
Oh my God! He's even got a tattoo! Those animals!
Not to excuse all of the above actions, but I sense that this site is trying to give the faulty impression that all of these "crimes" are on the level of murder and rape. If these figures for "crimes" include all of the above, however, then that 4% Bad GI percentage goes down even further. Hell, that makes them even more law-abiding than peace-loving Canadian English teachers!!!
Here is some information on the US Embassy site.
The Korean Government has also chosen not to exercise its jurisdiction in minor cases, the bulk of which are minor traffic infractions. Some confusion has arisen because statistics in Korea include these minor infractions in the total of crimes committed. The number of serious crimes, as defined by the Korean Government, committed by USFK personnel has remained constant over the past decade -- between zero and ten cases per year. I am not minimizing the victims' loss and pain when I say that the number of serious crimes committed by USFK members is low. Of course, even a single crime is one too many, but I want to underline the fact that the SOFA does not encourage crime, and the overall USFK crime rate is very low.
0-10 per year from a population of 37,000. Yes, clearly this is a huge problem that terrorizes Koreans day and night. Just imagine, each year, of every 3,700 GIs you run into on the street, one of them could be a violent criminal and there is a 1 in 365 chance that the day you meet him (or her!) is just the day he strikes! Lock your doors, hide your daughters. My God, I've been in Korea for almost 5 years now and I've probably encountered nearly 3,000 already. I'm lucky to be alive.
By the way, what is the crime rate among average Koreans? Isn't it about the same? Well, perhaps I'm jumping the gun here. I'm sure later this site will let me know that kind of crucial information and thus prove crime by GIs in Korea is indeed a serious matter (beginning to hold breath while waiting for this to happen right........now]: back to the noble NGO site.
Moreover, the USFK has polluted our environment and undermined our culture.
[exhaling...] Well, I see we are changing the topic somewhat. Ok, yes, the USFK has polluted your environment. One person dumped 120 liters of diluted formaldehyde into the drains that lead to two water treatment facilities before emptying in the Han which, as we all have seen many times before, is where all Seoulites daily fill their water jugs and carry back to their mud huts to provide their families with their water drinking needs.
Woe be us!
Pop Quiz: How many people in this picture have real jobs?
First of all, simulated tests showed that it was not toxic by the time it reached the water supply and it does not even begin to compete with the HUNDREDS OF TONS of similar waste poured DIRECTLY into the Han by Korean companies. Read more about it here (picture swiped from same site).
What else...they undermined your culture? Hard to refute such a vague, baseless generalization as that except with this less vague and baseless generalization: You're organization is full of clueless, racist, morons.
They have introduced the AIDS virus to Korea, brought recreational drugs, and started a black market for the illegal trafficking of PX goods.
Introduced AIDS to Korea? Where the hell did that come from? Some links? Some evidence to back that up? Anything? No?
I'll tell you where the real danger of AIDS in Korea is from; it's those many "business trips" Korean ajushi's are taking to Thailand.
And how about them "recreational drugs?" How many soldiers bring them to Korea? How many drug-related arrests per year? Do they sell them to Koreans? If so, why isn’t it all over the news?
And what's the big problem anyway? Did you think "Korean drugs" (alcohol and tobacco) are any less harmful? Trust me (and my Canadian English teacher friends will back me up on this one), Korea wouldn't have HALF of its current social ills if they would just put down their soju bottles and pick up a joint.
US soldiers started the black market? That comes as quite a shock. I've been to several "black markets" in Korea and it’s funny how all those “black marketers” look exactly like Korean ajoshis and ajummas. And how is this exactly a crime against Korea again? I just don't get it, but maybe I'm just not viewing this whole think "emotionally" enough.
Confiscated booze stolen from the Yongsan US base by Korean employees.
Damn you American GIs!!!
There is also the issue of Korean-American (Amerasian) children abandoned by their U.S.GI fathers and the problems related to the stunted development of the "Keejichon" ("military base towns")surrounding the U.S. bases. These problems are a direct result of the unequal Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which has affected our society severely. As a result of the lack of discipline those affiliated with the U.S. army act arrogantly towards Koreans.
True, GI fathers abandoning children is an awful thing. But how widespread is it in this day and age? What percentages of GIs leave behind pregnant Korean women? Since you guys seem a little too busy to research these issues, is it ok if I just assume it is something less than .05%? I know that estimate is probably too high, but I just want to be on the safe side.
As for the Keejichon, it was always my understanding that those towns get a lot of money pumped into them (among other things...) from the soldiers. I mean, they sure do bitch and moan whenever word gets out that the bases might move.
As for "stunted growth," can you compare those towns to other Korean towns without military bases that have experienced "non-stunted" growth? The entire population of Korea has been flocking to the big cities for the past 30+ years for economic opportunities, so I don't think you'll have much luck proving this. Ooops, I forgot! You apparently have no intention of proving anything.
Thus, we are not only referring to the victims of crimes by U.S. troops against Koreans, but we are also talking about the human rights of all Korean citizens and our autonomy as a nation. This is a national issue that can no longer be pushed aside. In order to regain our genuine independence, after over 50 years of enduring damage and injury directly inflicted by the
U.S. military, we are taking a small first step. This very step is "The National Campaign for Eradication of Crime by U.S. Troops in Korea."
After reflecting on the above, may I suggest a slightly different approach to regaining your "genuine independence?" Increase your military spending to the level of other developed countries and take care of yourself!!! You'll be surprised how just little resistance you get from Americans on this one. Don't worry, you'll still have Japan around to direct your racism and hate towards.
Anyway, check out the site. I especially recommend the "Data" link. One might think it would be chock-full of statistics, surveys, government reports, etc., but I guess they didn't need any of that (good luck finding any links that work).
So I'd like to finish by saying, "Good work NGO guys!!!! Sure, everyone looked down on you for not being able to get a real job in a company or even as a middle-school teacher after you graduated with a 2.1 GPA (hey, it's hard to study when there is so much noble protesting to do), but now you've shown them all the true extent of your intellectual abilities. Be proud!