Obama Snatches 'Psy' Op Defeat from the Jaws of Specop Victory

by LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET) December 20, 2012

For those who have served in uniform, there is a feeling of family those who haven't cannot appreciate. The family is generational, creating a bond among all who serve -- whether past, present or future. The bond is such that any loss on today's battlefields is felt by survivors of past ones -- for it is still a family member lost.

There is irony in two events that took place, half a world apart, on Dec. 10.

In Washington, an annual charity concert known as "Christmas in Washington" was held. For 30 years the event has been attended by the first family. The main performer was South Korean rap star Park Jae-sang, known as "Psy."

The 34-year old artist emerged out of nowhere July 15 when his YouTube video "Gangham Style" went viral, capturing close to 1 billion views. A somewhat addictive video shows Psy rapping in Korean, performing the "horse dance" as he gallops in place and twirls an imaginary lasso.

But Psy came to the concert with some anti-American "psychological baggage" not made public until two days before the Washington event.

Psy, who attended college in the United States began a 2002 performance in South Korea by smashing a large model of a U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicle on stage, feeding into public anger over the accidental deaths of two teenage Korean girls run over by a U.S. military vehicle.

Psy claims he was caught up in the emotion of the moment. That incident could be excused -- had it stopped there.

But a far more outrageous demonstration of Psy's anti-Americanism occurred two years later. He performed a song, written by a popular Korean metal band, entitled "Dear Americans." Referencing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the lyrics clearly left little room for misinterpretation:

"Kill those f____ Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f____ Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully."

When these two performances were reported prior to his Washington gig, Psy immediately apologized, saying he fully regretted "using those kinds of words."

Meanwhile, within hours of Psy's Washington performance, Navy SEAL Team 6 was risking life and limb to rescue of American doctor Dilip Joseph, kidnapped Dec. 5 by the Taliban in Kabul province, Afghanistan. As intelligence found the doctor's location and reported he was in imminent danger of execution, a special operation was undertaken to rescue him. The raid was successful and the doctor rescued -- but at the cost of the life of a SEAL team member.

The White House issued a statement praising the mission as being characteristic of U.S. troops' "extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism." Of the lost team member, U.S. President Barack Obama said, "He gave his life for his fellow Americans, and he and his teammates remind us once more of the selfless service that allows our nation to stay strong, safe and free."

Psy tried to justify his 2004 singing of anti-American lyrics by being caught up in his generation's political culture of the day. He was 26 at the time -- older than most SEAL Team 6 warriors involved in Sunday's raid; warriors caught up in the far different and selfless culture of preserving the lives and freedoms of others.

Everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance. That argument could justify Psy's 2002 performance but in no way can it justify 2004 -- there is a big jump between exercising poor judgment and wishing death upon the U.S. military and their families. Claiming he is "deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted" suggests there is room for misinterpretation when there isn't.

More bothersome, however, is what happened after Psy's performance. A newspaper photograph showed Obama with daughter Sasha on stage shaking hands with a smiling Psy.

While attending the program was a presidential responsibility, embracing Psy was not. To an awe-struck Sasha, as well as any other young viewers watching, it gave credibility to a man who maliciously and irresponsibly attacked -- way beyond the realm of what is socially acceptable -- the U.S. our military.

Yet, ironically, as Psy finished his performance, met the president and regained his breath, a Navy SEAL had drawn his last.

It is doubtful Obama will reach out to the family of the fallen SEAL as he did to Psy.

Psychological operations or "psyops" are undertaken against foreign targets for the purpose of inducing or reinforcing behavior favorable to U.S. objectives. Although a different kind of "Psy"op, Obama's conduct on stage was a failure by doing just the reverse -- i.e., leaving a negative domestic impact on youthful minds.

There is another performance on YouTube which, unfortunately, will never tally the hits Psy has. It is a song written and sung by Purple Heart recipient U.S. Marine Capt. Mark Trouerbach, who goes by "Markus 'T'." As the title, "Not Everyone Comes Home," suggests, it is a tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. He donates all sales proceeds to "Homes for Wounded Warriors Program."

 



Trouerbach's concern and charity gets back to the family bond mentioned earlier among warriors who, better than anyone, understand the sacrifices made, feeling an obligation to care for those who left a part of themselves on the battlefield.

Tragically, Psy -- as part of a generation never required to fight for freedom won with the blood of their grandparents' generation and the Americans who fought alongside them -- will never understand that.

With the Dec. 10 death of a courageous Navy SEAL, the first line of Markus "T"'s song is sadly appropriate for yet another member of the military family: "Not everyone comes home for Christmas."


© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Trump explains what he was really doing on the golf course in Hillary's new attack ad

June 26, 2016  01:35 PM

Hillary, Trump and golf. What more do we need?

The post Trump explains what he was really doing on the golf course in Hillary’s new attack ad appeared first on twitchy.com.

Ghouls. Democratic Platform looks to fund abortion with your tax dollars

June 26, 2016  11:29 AM

The Hyde Amendment keeps tax dollars from being used to pay for abortion – Democrats want to repeal it. For the first time, #DemPlatform explicitly calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts women's access to reproductive rights. — Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) June 26, 2016 So basically according to their platform, Democrats want YOUR tax […]

The post Ghouls. Democratic Platform looks to fund abortion with your tax dollars appeared first on twitchy.com.

WARNING: Reading Alan Grayson's Twitter feed may be hazardous to your IQ

June 26, 2016  08:26 AM

Oh brother. We shall overcome. — Rep. Alan Grayson (@AlanGrayson) June 23, 2016 @AlanGrayson The Bill of Rights? — takashi yamamoto (@drunkenalpaca) June 24, 2016 Ever since Rubio announced he isn’t retiring from politics (and looks to be leading in the polls), Representative Alan Grayson has been doing his best impression of a teary, dramatic, […]

The post WARNING: Reading Alan Grayson’s Twitter feed may be hazardous to your IQ appeared first on twitchy.com.

SHOCKER: 'Hamilton' star who rapped about Obamacare will fundraise for Hillary

June 25, 2016  11:15 PM

The cast of "Hamilton" will add an extra performance to help "dead broke" grandmother of two Hillary Clinton.

The post SHOCKER: ‘Hamilton’ star who rapped about Obamacare will fundraise for Hillary appeared first on twitchy.com.

Is Mia Love really snubbing Donald Trump by skipping the GOP convention?

June 25, 2016  10:08 PM

Mia Love's status as "rumored" VP pick came from a former Donald Trump staffer who admitted he wasn't part of any VP conversations.

The post Is Mia Love really snubbing Donald Trump by skipping the GOP convention? appeared first on twitchy.com.

FSM Archives

10 year FSM Anniversary

More in PUBLICATIONS ( 1 OF 25 ARTICLES )