Getting Down to Business
Getting Down to Business
‘The War of Dragons: China 1948-1953’ by Wu Long
‘The War of Dragons: China 1948-1953’ by Wu Long
By the time serious help was on the horizon, Chiang’s Republic of China had been reduced to a toehold at the far south of the Middle Kingdom. Chiang’s troops had no aid, little discipline and no hope. The Wallace Impeachment changed all this, with the dormant China Lobby now fully reawakened. An aid package was immediately rushed to Chiang’s forces (with help from Italy, who was at the early stage of the fighting the only European country directly helping the KMT). This was enough to stop the Communist advance in the Battle of Nanning in the far south of China, but everyone knew there was no way, robbed of so many resources, that Chiang had a chance of fighting the Communists in the long run. President Martin contacted De Gaulle, Mussolini and Churchill and attempted to direct the Western response to the Chinese situation. The Americans were by far the most animated about the project, wanting to get back against the Soviets for their infiltration of the government – indeed, a march of some 500,000 New Yorkers filled the streets soon after the expulsion of Soviet diplomats, saying that America hadn’t gone far enough. Virtually the only way of sating Americas rage without starting a war with the Soviets outright was to fight the Communists in China. This was an easy sell, as America was generally Pro-China (Chiang) even before Mao’s attacks. American troops were rushed from Japan to bolster Chiang, the Draft was reinstated and some of the wartime controls returned. Dwight D. Eisenhower was placed in command of the rapidly expanding American presence. This annoyed MacArthur, who wanted the role for himself, but it was believed that Eisenhower’s prior relationship with the Europeans would be helpful to America’s reputation in the Post-Wallace world. The once peace-loving American people roared with near unanimous approval of the new conflict.
A question arose as to how the Chinese War would be conducted. Some wanted it conducted much like World War Two, with an Allied High Command. However, it was argued – ultimately successfully – that the best thing to do would be to use the United Nations as a tool to send in the forces of the world to try and deal with the Communists. Under usual circumstances, this would have been impossible due to the veto power the Soviets possessed. However, Martin’s expulsion of the Soviet diplomatic team meant that there was no one sitting at the desk in New York. This absurd loophole, rammed through by sympathetic judges as legitimate, ensured that the Soviets could not veto the UN’s vote to send in ‘Peace-keepers’ to China to fight the Communists on June 4th 1948. Declaring the proceedings a farce, Stalin officially renounced all claim to the United Nations a week later. His Soviet slave states (with the exception of Poland, whose United Nations seat still had representatives of the Government in Exile) quickly pulled out as well, followed by several of the Arab states. On October 30th, the Comintern was re-established as the Soviet answer to the United Nations, with only Communist and Republican Arab states to count among her number. They publicly approved aid to the Communists (though they secretly provided men too, mostly in the Red Air Force). In addition, Korea and the newly declared People’s Republic of Ezo (formerly The People’s Republic of Hokkaido) sent in swathes of ‘volunteers’ – the UN deciding against sending in avowedly Japanese troops due to fears of revulsion from the Chinese populace. The vacant Soviet seat at the United Nations was the subject of much debate as to what would become of it. Ultimately, as a World War Two ally, loyally Anti-Communist partner and - while not being democratic - at least being significantly better than the Soviets, Turkey was gifted the seat. This was also done as a method to try and exert influence on the Islamic world and stop it falling into the Soviet sphere.
The United Nations forces were placed under Eisenhower, though they were already overwhelmingly American. The next largest detachments of men (naturally excluding the KMT) were Italy, Britain and France. At the same time, there were men from all corners of the world congregating in the South Pacific. Australian, Turk, Canadian, Israeli, Swedish, Brazilian and South African – no corner of the world was unrepresented in China. At the same time, despite this overwhelming coalition, the Allies had two severe constraints. Firstly, Chiang was adamant that no nuclear, chemical or biological weapon could be used in China as he feared this would turn the population against him, not to mention not wanting to deal with the carnage. Coincidentally, incoming President Patton was also against nuclear weapons being used, though for the bizarre belief that it would rob soldiers of valor. Regardless, nuclear weapons were not put front and centre by the Allied forces. The second was that Chiang now created the same situation that the White forces in the Russian Civil War had – they had allowed the Communists to play the nationalism card. Mao effortlessly whipped up resentment against Chiang by saying he was trying to reintroduce Colonialism to China by bringing in Western armies. Even to Anti-Communist Chinamen, the arrival of so many foreigners was not a cause for joy. Mao may have killed far more people than Chiang (and not due to the latter having a gentle complexion), but he was also significantly more popular, at least for now. By late 1948, the only locations the KMT still had control over were Taiwan, Hainan and portions of Guangxi and Guangdong. Eisenhower wracked his brains over how he was supposed to salvage the situation as hundreds of thousands of soldiers from the Philippines to Philadelphia swarmed into China. What awaited them was one of the most diabolical wars of the Twentieth Century, with only World War Two in the same region of casualties.
'The Red and the Dead: How the Wallace Presidency Changed America' by Ben Rushmore
Martin’s Presidency had already decidedly shifted the United States rightward, going as far as to outright expel all Soviet diplomats (a move not even the Roman Alliance entertained until it felt it had to catch up with the United States and do so too a few days later). Patton’s inauguration would promise only escalation. Against the advice of almost all of his staff, his inauguration was performed wearing his old military uniform – the crowds roared with delight, not recognizing the precedent that had been set, or rather broken. He promised what would become known as ‘The Patton Doctrine’: “The United States will not rest until there isn’t one rock on Earth under a Communist heel.” The moral simplicity of the statement would delight the American public, though there were private regrets in the Pentagon at the lack of freedom it granted them. The so-called ‘Rollback’ strategy was chosen over the more moderate proposal of George Kennan, who advocated ‘Containment’, which meant simply stopping Communist aggression where it arose. Patton had no such patience, angrily saying, “We’re supposed to just sit there and keep letting these Red sons of bitches give us a kick in the ass whenever they want?!” That settled the debate, at least as far as American planners were concerned. Thankfully, with the American economy roaring once again after the Post-War recession, a tax windfall ensured there was more than enough funding to pay for the military expansion that was about to ensue.
Patton’s primary diplomatic mission was to restore ties to Europe and regain trust with his old allies. This delighted the Roman Alliance especially, owing to the poor terms they had experiencd under Wallace. Mussolini and Balbo came to New York and Washington as part of their World Tour on July 26th. They had flown directly from Rome – by Balbo’s hand – and the greeting they received ‘was something akin to the arrival of Christ’ according to the New York Times. The streets were rapturous, as Italian and Jewish communities especially came out to show their love. Mussolini would deliver a speech in Madison Square Garden that night, declaring what would become ‘The Mussolini Doctrine’: ‘No Fascist state is an enemy of Democracy, no Fascist state is a friend of Communism.’ The essential meaning was that Mussolini publicly announced his total non-interference in the Democratic world, which put him in stark contrast to International Communism, or at least gave a good justification to diplomats in the West for a reason not to interfere in Italy’s domestic affairs. In English, he praised the United States, George Washington, the Italian-American (and Jewish-American) communities, leaving New York in such a wave of excitement that, so said Ernest Hemmingway (in New York at the time), “laws permitting, he would be voted President for life in this country.” He would travel to Washington to meet with Patton, the two respecting each other’s ego. The extent of Patton’s Anti-Communism even took Mussolini by surprise, especially when he learned that the Communist Party was imminently to be banned (even against the recommendations of Hoover) – which it soon was. The two hashed out an informal agreement that America would not diplomatically pressure the Roman Alliance for changes in their political policies, while favourable arrangements were made with American oil titans with respect to the growing Libyan supply.
Patton’s inauguration was praised in France and Britain as well, as they believed that the United States had returned to reason. Unfortunately, it had done anything but. Patton, with McCarthy overjoyed at the extent of his growing power, was determined to smash not just Communism, but any threat to the new Republican Congress. While McCarthy saw no threat either on the electoral or social level with the Freedom Party, he looked upon the Democrats and Progressive Democrats as bastions of Satanism. For the former, almost every notable figure was dragged before the House and Senate Investigations, relentlessly photographed by the press. Harry Truman’s was a particularly brutal session, which was so damaging that he temporarily went into hiding. The investigated were badgered about their connections to Wallace, the Soviets and so forth. Some outright broke into tears before the proceedings – the heart of the average American had been hardened by events, and there would be no remorse. While few cases were ultimately pursued, the events were so exhausting and damaging to the reputations of almost everyone in the Democrat Party that no donor would ever associate with them again. Starved of any institutional support, or opportunistic donors, the Democrats continued to decline. Unions flocked to the Republicans, pleading for partnership (when in reality it was a plea of mercy). In the South, the unions were ironically at their most powerful and Socialistic, though this was only due to their endorsement of segregation sparing them from law-enforcement (black unions were treated lower than any group in the Union).
The Progressive Democrats fared even worse – the League of Columbus in the north and Klan in the South, often in full view of law enforcement, regularly attacked the party. There was no infraction so small that a meeting wouldn’t be told to disassemble, no jaywalking that wouldn’t invite a pistol-whipping and no unkind word that wouldn’t be met with a fist. The party was bankrupted in 1951 – laws had been put in the books to illegalize the party and would have passed if it had somehow lived. Marcantonio and Taylor, along with Paul Robeson would all escape to asylum in the Soviet Union in 1950 by means of Canada. They would all live out the rest of their lives in the Soviet Union. Marcantonio would die in 1954 of natural causes (supposedly). Glen Taylor and Robeson would live long enough to regret their decision, being imprisoned in 1957 into the Gulag system. It was later confirmed in documents recovered in the 1970s that the pair had been killed almost immediately after their arrival at the camps.
Ironically, it was incredibly easy to evade detection with a quick political change. Former Democrat and head of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan, was saved from brutal questioning by having changed his political affiliation to Republican. Others, like Henry Fonda, were not so lucky and found themselves out of work in America. Soon Fonda, along with other big name stars like James Cagney, Judy Garland, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly and Orson Welles would find themselves on boats to England to continue working. All would go on to have impressive careers, though none in their homeland. By contrast, ideologically ‘safe’ members of the Motion Picture Industry found themselves in high demand. This included but was not limited to: John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, James Stewart, Cecil B. DeMille, Gary Cooper, Walt Disney, Barbara Stanwyck, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra and Ayn Rand. All in all, Hollywood had become a top-to-bottom Right-wing institution, leading to a slew of Anti-Communist epics being released in the ensuing years. These included:
· We The Living (1949): Ayn Rand’s semi-autobiography, portraying her early life in Russia. The last film directed by Viktor Fleming (who died only days after filming concluded) and starring Barbara Stanwyck, the ending was changed to have it conform to the Hays Code (in that the protagonist had a happy ending). Rand would renounce the film for this reason, but it became one of the first major films to address the atrocities committed under Communism. It would prove quite popular in Italy, though it was banned when the authorities realised that people interpreted the story as equally applicable to Fascism as Communism.
· Right Hand Man (1949): Humphrey Bogart made a villainous turn as a common Russian thug recruited by the NKVD after they take a liking to his brutality. Bogart’s character quickly rises through the ranks and becomes a respected man in town, terrorizing his old enemies with his fellow NKVD bullies. He takes a liking for a certain religious, Jewish girl (Lauren Bacall) after she has been arrested for trying to save her Rabbi father from being rounded up and begins making overt moves upon her. At the moment he is about to violate her, he is arrested by his fellow NKVD members for ‘plotting against Comrade Stalin’ (in reality a cooked-up charge by an ambitious underling). He is soon treated as badly by his old comrades as the helpless victims they tortured. Broken by the torture, he ends up in the same labour camp as the girl and her father. Shocked that they forgive him, he ends up sacrificing his life that they can escape to Isreal.
· Know Your Enemy (1950-1953): Frank Capra would be re-comissioned to make a series of documentary films on the subject of Communism, much like his Why We Fight series during WW2 against the Pact. The films would detail various Communist crimes, from the Paris Commune to the nuclear destruction of Warsaw.
· A Tale of Two Cities (1951): Directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Cary Grant (with cutting edge split screen techniques), tells of the famous Dickens novel. For propagandistic reasons, the evils of the aristocrats in the novel are underplayed while the evils of the revolutionaries are shown in explicit, unyielding detail. Gloria Swanson would win an Oscar for her immortal portrayal of Madame DeFarge.
· The Other Great Dictator (1952): Charlie Chaplin’s sequel to The Great Dictator (1940) has all the emotional power of the original, mixed with a tragic horror of the acts man would commit upon his brothers. Made when news of the crimes against Jews had leaked, this film packed a poignant punch. It detailed the Barber being released from jail (once the party leaders realised he wasn’t Heinkel) as the Russians – under Joey Salami – liberate a Tomania that has fallen into chaos without the leader. Initially overjoyed, freedom is slowly and brutally eroded further still. Finally, the film ends with the Barber (and most of the cast from the first movie) escaping to Israel.
· Warsaw (1952): This would be the film that ensured John Wayne received his Oscar, as well as another for John Ford. Beginning with an old man searching through the ruins of Warsaw, he flashes back to his younger self (Wayne) in 1919 and the fight against the Soviets way back then. The film ends with the old man deciding that even though Warsaw has been destroyed for now, the spirit of the city lives on, and he decides to join the resistance. A critical and box office success, it made the Duke a figure of reverence in Poland – giving him a State tour just before his death when Poland became a free country.
Of course, the societal effects of the Wallace/Ware Group Trial deserve a chapter to themselves ...
The Rise, Fall and Rise of Japan by Mariya Takeuchi
Following the War, Japan’s military forces were almost entirely dissolved with little mind to rebuild them. The beginning of heavy Western involvement in the Chinese War changed everything. Suddenly, there were not nearly enough Western troops in the region. MacArthur would bluntly tell Patton there were enough troops to hold Japan and fight in China, but not both. As a result, the Treaty of Osaka was signed on July 4th 1949 between America and Japan. It called for the rebuilding of the Japanese Armed Forces (excluding the Navy) to serve as ‘an agent of Democracy’ as stated by MacArthur. Likewise, any notion of a WMD program was removed outright. Japan would be strong enough to defend itself with no issue, but it would have no means to attack anything without the support of the United States. That said, it would certainly have enough firepower to flatten Ezo. There is strong evidence that Ezo's Anti-Japanese streak would only be enlarged by Japan's newfound military power.
The mood in Japan was more than ready for the occasion. Nationalist sentiment had been stirring for a while, with the Japanese administration attempting to ensure all the bile fell on Ezo, rather than the Americans. This was accomplished rather well, with refugees coming across the sea at regular intervals to warn of the harsh treatment Japanese nationalists received on Hokkaido. The outrage was so intense that even relatively apolitical filmakers like Akira Kurosawa would make films detailing the more famous escape stories from the land that was once Japan's. By contrast, Yasujiro Ozu would create more moving films talking about the fate of refugees in Japan and their struggle to start over. But the most famous cultural artifact of the time is perhaps Yukio Mishima's 1953 classic 'Mizu no Oto' (The Sound of Water) - which details a young Japanese boy and his Bildungsroman. After trying and failing to find meaning in life, he finally finds it in dying for his country by refusing to surrender the Japanese resistance network in Hokkaido (even though they abused him). The book struck an emotional chord in Japan, making Mishima perhaps the most famous Asian writer of the Twentieth Century. Mishima's regular denunciation of Communism and the state of Ezo made him quite popular in Western circuits as well. No matter how tough Japan was at the time, the country never wavered in its public support of the Hokkaidan resistance. Regent Yasuhito even went as far as to publicly declare the Treaty of Osaka, ‘the first step to re-uniting Japan’. Such saber-rattling statements may have infuriated the Soviets but delighted the new mood in the White House. While Japanese troops would not be called into the hellfire that engulfed China during the War, they would certainly provide a useful base for the US Air Force.
Japan’s military would give the United States much needed breathing room. Indeed, it proved even more advantageous than originally expected. As 1949 went on, and America attempted with all its diplomatic might to ingratiate itself with the European powers, it was decided that there would be less pressure on the European powers to accept America into ETO if they were part of a group. Japan’s ascension to military strength would finally convince ETO of the wisdom of expanding its modus operandi. For that reason, on September 20th 1949, in the Treaty of Stockholm, ETO was officially expanded into ITO (pronounced ‘Ai-toe’), and given the same worldwide extension as the Stalingrad Pact already enjoyed. The same restrictions (the necessity of strong, democratic institutions) kept Chiang’s Republic of China out of the expansion, but America, Japan, Brazil, South Iran and the Philippines soon enjoyed full membership in the supreme alliance structure on Earth. Of course, having seen such an expansion, the Roman Alliance began to get ambitious too ...