What Time printed was not only true, but official

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

This Kind of War by T.R. FehrenbachSeventy years ago, the Americans reassured their South Korean allies that the North was settling down, as T. R. Fehrenbach explains in This Kind of War:

As Saturday waned, Major General Chae Byong Duk, Deputy Commander — under Syngman Rhee — of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, was not content. For “Fat” Chae, five foot five, two hundred and fifty pounds, darling of the Seoul cocktail set, was not completely a fool.

For years the Communists north of the parallel had been making trouble in the South. They made rice raids across the border; they fomented disorder and subversion in the cities. They incited and supplied the rebel guerrillas in the southern mountains, doing everything in their power to destroy the Republic of Korea. They kept a third of Fat Chae’s Army tied down on constabulary work.

March, particularly, had been a bad month. But then, unaccountably, all activity had ceased. Fat Chae was worried.

Chae had talked to the Americans about it, but the Korean Military Advisory Group was not concerned. One officer told Chae that the Communists were becoming more sophisticated, settling down at last. The Americans seemed to feel that when Communists left you alone, it was all to the good. But Chae worried. He might be handier with a whiskey and soda than with command of the Army, but he was not completely a fool.

Chae had read Time, which three weeks before had printed a splendid article on the Korean Military Advisory Group and its work with the Korean Armed Forces. Like most people outside the United States, Chae Byong Duk knew that what Time printed was not only true, but official.


  1. Faze says:

    I worked for Time Inc. back when it was the largest media company in the world. Coming into the Time-Life Building on Sixth Avenue every morning, felt like I was coming into the center of the world.

    Now, Time magazine is on something like its third owner after Time Warner spun off the magazine group, and those of its current writers whom I’ve met are like any random group of extremely young free lancers, with the same knuckle-head opinions as the rest of their generation.

    What a come down from Time‘s days as the cheeky voice of the establishment. But doggone if the name doesn’t still have some value. They’ll be able to sell the Time banner a few more times over the next decade or so — attached to who knows what crap content — before the last of us who remember what it had stood for, finally die off.

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