Protest Style: Psy’s Anti-American Past?

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill is a former San Francisco-based journalist now residing in South Korea where he founded Busan Haps Magazine in 2009. He is also a doctoral candidate in international studies as well as professor of international relations. He can be reached through his site at


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Good summation.
    The problem is, THE POINT is, whether POTUS should be high-fiving the son of a bitch.
    The world, including the US, is full of people biting the hand that freed them, feeds them, protects them, and in the case of entertainers or whatever this guy is, getting a career boost from people who think playing this game in perfect safety is edgy and courageous.
    What’s one more?

  2. Should PSY Address the Issue?

    PSY’s political prose aside, suffice it to say that while the entertainment world has given us wonderful artistry and life-changing talent, it has also given us some serious cause for pause.

    Have other performers around the world, at some point, spewed harsh words in the name of protest? Yes. Have entertainers taken advantage of the moment, ignoring even principles that they themselves hold dear just to make a buck? Most definitely. Should we really even care?

    Uh…. he did. On December 7.

    “As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I was featured in — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” the statement read. “While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.”

    “I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months — including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them — and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology,” the statement concluded. “While it’s important we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that though music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.”

  3. For those (like the author) who have incredibly short memories. The country of South Korea owes its very existence to “Yankee Soldiers.” 36000 Americans were killed, 90000 were wounded and 4500 are still MIA. If you want to forget 128000+ casualties in order to enjoy a set of catchy lyrics- go for it.

    • Is there any point at all in going into to the whole “your country owes our country for something i wasn’t there for” (no disrespect for vets), seems short sighted

      • The sacrifice that American soldiers have made (and continue to make) for South Korea should entail at least a modicum of respect that goes beyond “kill yankee soldiers!.” If that makes me short sighted then so be it. Short sighted also insinuates I am missing some benefit. What possible benefit is there to overlook the inflamatory words of a freaking popstar?

        At the very least we should expect our president to remember. He’s the commander in chief of the armed forces. The majority of our guys don’t want to be there anyway. Talk to some of the folks who were stationed in Korea- its considered one of the worst postings you can get.

      • Hey Stanley….I dare you to go over to one of the Native American bitch-session articles and steak the same claim of “nothing owed” for previous generations’ actions.

    • Duckworthy says:

      The country of South Korea owes its very existence to “Yankee Soldiers.” 36000 Americans were killed, 90000 were wounded and 4500 are still MIA. If you want to forget 128000+ casualties in order to enjoy a set of catchy lyrics- go for it.

      Yeah, and approximately 1.5 million to 3 million Koreans died during the war.

      There’s also the matter of the No Gun Ri Massacre when the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment where it’s estimated 41% of the victims were children and 70% of the victims were women, children or men over age 61.

      An article about it by the BBC.

      • Duckworthy says:

        The article on the massacre’s horrific.

        Just wanted to add this part:

        “Since the original AP report, more documents detailing refugee ‘kill’ orders have been unearthed at the US national archives. They point to the widespread targeting of refugees by commanders well after No Gun Ri. In August 1950 there were orders detailing that refugees crossing the Naktong River be shot. Later in the same month, General Gay, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division (of which the 7th Cavalry Regiment involved at No Gun Ri was part), actually ordered artillery units to target civilians on the battlefield. And as late as January 1951, the US 8th Army was detailing all units in Korea that refugees be attacked with all available fire including bombing.”

        “New allegations have also emerged of the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Korea. In August 1950, 80 civilians are reported to have been killed while seeking sanctuary in a shrine by the village of Kokaan-Ri, near Masan in South Korea. Other survivors recall 400 civilians killed by US naval artillery on the beaches near the port of Pohang in September 1950, and dozens of villages across southern South Korea report the repeated low-level strafing by US planes of ‘people in white’ during July and August 1950. A total of 61 separate incidents involving the killing of civilians by US forces are now logged with the South Korean authorities.”

  4. Duckworthy says:

    Should PSY Address the Issue?

    He did. On December 7. He apologized for it. Link below.

  5. I have a nuclear-grade problem with the title. (feel free to read in “rage-mode”)

    One does not have an “Anti-American ‘Past.’” He painted himself as such and today he is stuck with that public proclamation. Why does this turkey have everyone falling all over themselves to shield him from disclosure of the truth? Why? Because he’s Anti-American, and “thats OK!”

    Had he espoused the same hatred and torture-calls for “women” or “gays,” there would be not one person rushing to protect his chubby arse!

    • Hmm, I don’t see any signs of anti-Americanism on PSY’s part anywhere in the article.

      He’s critical of the U.S. military, of course, but that’s obviously nowhere close to being anti-American. Funny how many people confuse the two.

      • Copy…then what did he apologize for?

        And BTW: Lyrics Dude!

        PSY Rap:
        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


        • Yup. I agree, anyone who participated in torture of Iraqis should be killed. Any decent American would agree.

          I’d draw the line at killing their families, but then I’m not a rapper.

          • Are you an American (USA) citizen Copyleft? Inquiring minds would like to know.

            BTW: There is not one case of torture of Iraqis. Only humiliation.

  6. Yeah but look at how not dissimilar attitudes worked out for NWA…..
    The guy is an entertainer, who really cares about his politics- or expects anything but trend following?
    I thought Ed Asner became a pain in the ass- but I still liked his acting….
    I thought Eastwood was disrespectful to the Office of POTUS- but I’ll watch the Unforgiven whenever I surf to it….

    • Eastwood and Asner are Americans.
      psy is NOT.

      psy Benefitted by the blood and money of the country he pisses-on and readily throws under the bus to appear chique for all the other fat fks who fashionably hate America. I now agree with some of the KW veterans I know: “not one of the bastards is worth a single American life.”

      • Actually it is silly for me to discuss Psy at all- 1 SNL skit & once one of my kids showed me the video…
        He means squat in my life.
        But nonetheless w/out the US Psy never would have studied in Boston or bought a bowtie…
        He’d be starving to death in the Orwellian hell that is North Korea.
        Which still leaves him an entertainer.
        And, my youngest informs me, some kind of poseur….

        • How do you figure? Psy was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea.

          • Kuz like there was like this thing called the Korean war? And like these icky people in the north would have taken the entire country, and like the entire country would be all like North Korea is today.

            • Richard Aubrey says:

              According to several histories of the Korean War, Norks drove masses of civilians against UN positions in the first months. There are tactical reasons for this which don’t need to be discussed, but they obviously worked in one way they were supposed to.

            • Richard Aubrey says:

              Further to No Gun Ri


              Couple of years ago, in Springfield, IL, my wife and I were looking at Lincoln’s home, and thence to his tomb. There was a Korean family at the first place. I presume it was a family with some extra aunts and uncles. Saw them at the tomb, too.
              One of them went to the nearby Korean War Memorial which had a slanted side about chest high. He clapped his hands over his head–supposedly the way some Buddhists get the attention of the gods–and leaned his body against the memorial. There was a walkway to the Memorial with purchased bricks in it. Korean veterans (Korean vets of the war), Korean corporations, Korean individuals, all represented in the bricks.
              Then there’s Psy.

            • Richard Aubrey says:

              Rob. It was a joke. Graven is parodying the results of teaching history in US schools.

Speak Your Mind