The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Don't forget, Rhodesia and South Africa's White populations are already significantly larger due to Polish exiles and the realization with the successful Libyan integration (compared to more disastrous decolonizations) that there is a wisdom in opening your borders to settlers.
bear in mind apartheid only got introduced in its pure form in 1948 and only because the constituency boundaries favoured the rural voter, the United Party OTL still won more actual votes. It remains possible to avoid formal apartheid in SA and I still think the UK can absent an Apartheid Afrikaner government in SA prevent it quite easily in Rhodesia especially if Portugal has somewhat reassessed its own approach to colonial populations, which I think was suggested. Another thing India wont like the continuation of anti Indian discrimination in SA, so if Italy is seen as a big supporter of that it does not win any points.
Coming to the End
Hey all, it's sort of mind-blowing how wide the story has become now, so my apologies for not releasing this earlier. My plan is to get the whole thing done by the end of April to focus on other writing projects - but rest assured, you've given me support to write this, so I will endevour to ensure I give you an ending no matter how long it ends up taking.

Coming to the End

Extract from ‘The War that Ended a World’, by Francis Gautman

In the aftermath of the Second Arabian War, and the massive upheaval of populations that followed, fortunes would always differ. For Israel, their only problem was how to digest the astonishing victory they had received. They had accomplished everything they ever wanted, with borders that made the ancient kingdom of the Israelites look puny in comparison. They had no regional foes (and were content to leave it so), with only the Soviets as the last of their great enemies. The main question now was how to fill in the gigantic blank canvas of its desert acquisitions. To that end, a nationwide campaign began to colonize the country up to the Euphrates. To secular, worldly types, there was nothing there a man could want, but to the most nationalistic and militant, it was a chance to stamp down their mark on the world. In the coming years, the more religious, nationalistic and adventurous Jews (some long-time Israelis and others simply new-comers) made their way ‘Out East’. The social distance between West and East Israel was quite like in Australia between the Coast and the outback. Those who went to colonize the Israeli interior were generally seen as too tough and masculine for their own good at best and clueless primitives at worst by many of the Tel Aviv elite. To those in the Eastern provinces, the ‘West Jews’ were a bunch of pansies and ungrateful to the state that bore them. The Eastern provinces would quickly become politically dominated by the Lehi, who organized militias to guard the borders from refugees and immigrants coming in from all sides of the shattered Middle East. No refugees ever came from the Black Hole that was the Islamic State of Arabia, however, as the desert distances were insurmountable for the residents and the control of the Mufti was absolute. In general, the refugee count remained low, as there were still people who continued against all reason to fight the Israelis. Occasionally, a mortar was fired from Iraq or Syria by a youth who stole it from an occupational soldier. If mortar fire killed five people in a whole year, it was considered a national scandal – a long way away from the brutal border clashes of the Mandate days. The coastal regions, completely safe in all directions, would experience a phenomenal economic boom from the sudden opening of almost the entire Arab market, the loss of fear of Arab boycott and many funds that used go to the army now being diverted to tax cuts for small businesses under Begin’s plan for the economic revitalization of Israel. One term of the Budapest Treaty was that Israeli companies were set up in the Arab nations with the help of the Arab government, thus making the remaining Arab governments not only militarily puny by comparison but economically dependent on Tel Aviv. Israel’s military focus was shifted entirely to the Soviets, with the existing domestic defence arrangements now eschewing the preparations for conventional warfare and moving entirely to fear of a nuclear one. Massive tunnels were dug in the mountains of former Jordan and the Sinai to give shelter to the population in the eventuality of WW3. By 1965, it was announced that the project to erect Nuclear-safe tunnels in Israel had created so much room that 120% of the population could be given shelter, thus making Israel by far and away the most prepared country for Nuclear War in the world. Israeli’s spy service, the Mossad, became more of an enemy to the Soviets than even the CIA, with the closed country’s nuclear, space and economic reports on the Israeli Prime Minister’s desk often long before the American or sometimes even Soviet leader. Israel also became one of the premier tourist destinations on Earth for travellers, be they pilgrims, history-buffs or revelers. It declared neutrality in the Cool War and kept the good favour of both the Italians and Americans. The Right, with Begin’s Herut the most popular, dominated her politics. Attempts by the Homeland Party (Lehi) to become the biggest in the Knesset were halted by the global backlash against Fascism after the Second Arabian War. At the same time, the Mapai Party had been reduced to the third-largest in the Knesset in the 1957 elections, a disaster that was undone in the subsequent 1961 elections, where they once more became the second largest. This was the election where Anne Frank first became an MK.

Israel’s dominance stood out compared to every other region in the Middle East. Among the few nations having a relatively good time elsewise were the Druze Republic, whose unassuming quietness would make them ‘the Switzerland of the Middle East’. South Iran, whose economy was growing leaps and bounds with a modernizing and ‘progressive’ dictator, had become regional juggernaut, especially with her domination of two oil-rich Arab states. The Kingdom of Saba, where the pious population accepted the hedonism of its ruling class due to their being part of the recreation of a mighty Kingdom, went from being a regional backwater to the trusted friend of the third greatest power on Earth. The Alawite state struggled under Assad's leadership, but through wise diplomacy and ingratiating, life in the Alawite Republic had begun to improve to 1940s-levels by the early 1960s.

The Phalangists, whose attempts to turn Lebanon into a Christian state were making significant progress, were also experiencing a honeymoon period. Lebanon had extended her definition of persecuted Christians to include the entire world instead of just the Middle East, leading to the first influx of refugees from the outside. Korean Christians who escaped their homeland, Indian Christians who were looked upon unkindly under the Hindutva and Christians from Africa being attacked by Islamists became the first wave of foreign settlers. As the Maronites would hold power anyway, the Phalangists were content to start moving in Christians who were not native to the Middle East. Despite the reputation of her country as one that accepted all believers in Christ, many of these arrivals suffered societal hatred and exclusion. Partly for that reason, foreign refugees were often put beside the Muslim areas of Lebanon, Muslims having been reduced to about 20% of Lebanon by the early 1960s. The Muslims, feeling left out of government and power, reacted with hostility to the Christian arrivals while refugees were often encouraged by the government to ‘prove their loyalty’ and retaliate against the Muslim residents. Divide and Conquer worked once again, with many Muslims continuing to immigrate to other countries as life in Lebanon had become so unwelcoming. In order to underline its new status as a home of Christian refugees from around the world, the official seal of Lebanon became the words of St. Paul in the Bible (in Aramaic) that, “We are all one in Jesus Christ”. Lebanon also began to court US Christians such as Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and Harold Camping, who would often perform sermons in Beirut to rapturous ovation. This would prove to be one of the wisest investments Gemayel ever made, as they had instilled a sense of deep unity with a community (the Christian Evangelicals) with a demographic group whose political power was only destined to rise. Lebanese representatives, offering paid trips to Lebanon for ‘cross-cultural exchanges’, approached Christian summer camps in America to let American children come and experience Lebanon. Lebanon went from being an irrelevant speck on the map to being one of the most loved countries of the whole United States. The ‘Lebanon Lobby’ would be a force to be reckoned with in American politics, almost as much as the China Lobby in its day. While Lebanon may have certainly taken the gowns of Christianity as its guiding principle, that wasn’t to say the country was a Puritan Theocracy. Beirut had a massive nightlife, perhaps the best in the Middle East outside of Tel Aviv. American films continued to roll in, French and Italian fashion lit up the streets and almost all Christian sects were tolerated as long as they didn’t oppose the Phalangists. Its economy was also booming, with the first stages of the Rome-Jerusalem Railway under construction and running through the small Mediterranean nation, thus intimately connecting itself with the Roman Alliance trade network. Gemayel could content himself that Lebanon was looking to a brighter, holier future.

However, for the rest of the Middle East, the bitter fruits of the harvest were coming to pass. The main fruit was, of course, violent Islamism, with atheistic Communism seen as an anachronistic belief when people needed God more than ever to get through their lives. Already recognizing the issue, Italy spent a fortune creating schools in Libya for Imams to attend and to spread a version of Islam the Italians found acceptable. This would primarily be a more pacifistic, Sufi version of Islam with a high emphasis on tolerance and acceptance of a secular state. An Imam needed a license from a Roman Alliance approved Islamic school to be allowed to preach, the practice soon being extended to Syria, Iraq and Hejaz. But at the same time, an incensed, broken population was not in the mood for love or forgiveness, and was thus drawn to those that preached vengeance and death. In the Kingdom of Hejaz, local business leader, Mohammed bin Laden, had made a fortune during the Second Arabian War, but had been distraught by the fall of the Saudi Kingdom and creation of western puppet states. Bin Laden was noted for being unusually pious for the modern equivalent of a billionaire; indeed he was the richest man in Saudi Arabia without being a Royal. Many thought he would flee the country to wherever he pleased, but instead, he stayed behind while inwardly distraught at what had befallen his country. He rejected the Saudi Grand Mufti’s call for an isolated Salafist state, though like many others in the Post-Second Arabian War world, he was drawn to Islamism. With all his billions, he was able to create a network of men loyal to him and dedicated to ‘Liberating Mecca’. He certainly had no trouble in finding recruits. The population of Hejaz was roughly five million in 1960 and the whole of Saudi Arabia was four million in 1956 with the entire infrastructure still intact. To the shattered Middle East, however, Hejaz was one of the few places with a Sunni ruler, a leader who didn’t condemn Arab-ness and was relatively stable. Hejaz’s population was overcrowding, particularly around the capital of Jeddah. Bin Laden’s group was called ‘The Ikhwan’, after the name of the first Saudi army, who wished to unify the Islamic world and cast out infidels influence from Arabia. They would prove vicious against their enemies, who were typically Italian-taught Imams, Western tourists, Turkish troops or regime officials. They were also wildly popular among the starving, enraged refugees. Naturally, the Turks overrode King Hussein’s pleas to be ingratiating to the Islamists and began a merciless campaign against the Ikhwan. Refugee camps that sheltered the Ikhwan were shelled or even bombed by planes. Eventually, the Turks were content merely to put the refugees in a network of monitored concentration camps. Not only did this barely help the original problem, but it spread the Ikhwan’s forces ever further. This would come to a head on the date of June 15th 1960, the Islamic New Year, when the Ikhwan seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, calling upon all Muslims to throw out the Turks. It took eight days for the Mosque to once more fall under Turkish control, and that with elite Libyan troops being sent by the Italians. Plans were made to find Bin Laden as soon as possible and bring him down – but the millionaire had erected a shadowy network to keep him undercover as he went from place to place in Hejaz, sometimes finding safety among allies in Saba, whose officials became well known for their propensity to bribes. The story of the Ikhwan was only beginning as the 1960s dawned, and Turkish troops rolled into Hejaz.

In Kurdistan, the enmity was racial more so than religious. The young state was some 30% Arab in 1960, with the Turkish Kurds not moving in high enough numbers to squash the demographic presence of Arabs escaping Syria and Iraq. Mosul was some 50% Arab and 50% Kurd and would become synonymous with the Arab-Kurdish conflict. While many of the ‘Kurdbutzim’ that sprang up in the country were broadly tolerant, Mosul was a hotbed of tensions. Kurdistan was one of the few places in the Middle East where the idea of Pan-Arabism remained a somewhat relevant force as the divisions were on racial lines. While Kurdistan attempted to promote a vision of racial harmony, the divisions present on every street in Mosul greatly undermined the image. At the same time, Arab uprisings were quickly suppressed, as the Peshmerga was eternally on alert. Attempts in February 1960 to start an Arab insurgency in Mosul by a young Neo-Ba’athist called Saddam Hussein were met with Kurdish militia and crushed in less than a week despite Hussein’s great boasting of a resurrection of Arabism and that the next century would be ‘An Arab Century’ - President Barzani subsequently called it ‘The Six-Day War’ to deliberately mock Hussein’s boast. Hussein was caught attempting to flee to Syria, dragged into the streets of Mosul and shot dead. His corpse was then hung upside down from a lamppost to be pelted by rotting tomatoes by Kurdish residents – an action that Mussolini called ‘As amusing as it is righteous’ in a telephone call with Barzani. Kurdistan would continue to play off all sides in both the Cold War and Cool. Despite her Socialism, she never sided with the USSR, and despite her enmity with Turkey, she was cordial with both Italy and Israel. Though Kurdistan did not achieve the economic supremacy of the likes of Israel or even Lebanon, her northern areas especially became renowned for being a quiet, safe place in a region full of madness. Kurds had enough to eat, a country to be proud of and a sense of community, none of which was true for many Arab countries.

Egypt was another fish altogether. Many in the West thought Mussolini was bluffing when he stated he wanted to fill the Qattara Depression. They were astonished to find he was not. It was somewhat due to his wanting to further boost immigration to Libya to solidify Italy’s hold in the region, but a large number of North Egyptians would likewise be employed. Alexandrians were given work permits and were bussed to work communities close to El Alamein where the Canal was to be dug. Among them was a significant Greek Orthodox Community who had returned following expulsion by Nasser. The El Alamein Canal would quickly become the largest single employer for North Egyptians, which greatly helped in reducing social unrest within the country. As the Qattara Depression was still partly within North Egypt, she was promised that the power would be shared by Italy and North Egypt alike (though there was no doubt who was controlling the shots). Pope Cyril was much relieved at this, given he was completely unprepared for any role of state. At first, he pledged to do his utmost to protect Muslims within the country, preserving respect for their traditions and holidays. He spoke in ‘Egyptian’ to crowds when Italians requested he speak Coptic and Muslim charities continued to receive state funding. This is what happened initially. Unfortunately, the carrot and stick of Egyptian politics would prove overwhelming. Faced with the real prospect of resurrecting their language that many thought was dead, Coptic slowly went from being optional to mandatory for any men of influence. Money was disproportionately sent to rebuild churches rather than mosques and the Israeli and Italian economies soon became a far greater portion of North Egypt’s trade than with her southern neighbor. It was ultimately events within South Egypt that made North Egypt adopt a far more stridently Coptic tone.

With the expulsion of so many Muslim inhabitants to the south, an area with nowhere near the industrial or agricultural potential as the north, millions of shattered survivors now found themselves with no future in any direction. Famine was inevitable, as was another round of immigration. It was in this environment that the Muslim Brotherhood, suppressed by Nasser, would find its voice. Its leader, Sayyid Qutd, proclaimed the Sadat government to be ‘a Government of Infidels’. Proclaiming an alliance with the Ikhwan, Qutd created his own terror network in South Egypt with the explicit purpose of overthrowing Sadat and Assad to create an Islamic State. Quickly the rural areas of South Egypt were declared ‘No-Go’ areas by the regional government, where the Brotherhood had almost total control. The British could not spare enough troops to crush the Brotherhood, especially given no administration was willing to sacrifice British lives for people who fought them in the Second Arabian War. Thus, Britain’s involvement in South Egypt was limited to occasional airstrikes, her soldiers mostly guarding the main cultural treasures of Egypt from Islamist destruction, such as Abu Simbel and the Temple of Luxor. Though initially small, the Brotherhood would only continue to grow. Their growth could also be felt in Cairo, the once place in Egypt where Christians and Muslims intermingled. While this had been a non-event prior to the war, the shattering of the city seemed to have severed its social bonds as well. The Muslims felt that the Christians were slavishly subservient to Italy and getting advantage from it, while the Christians were disgusted at the growth of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, who treated the Christians civilians unlucky enough to fall into their hands in South Egypt as worthless at best and as enemy combatants at worst. The few Christians who remained in South Egypt were ruthlessly targeted by the Brotherhood to create a ‘pure, Islamic State’. Given the deteriorating relations, it’s not hard to see why, on February 2nd 1961, riots shook Cairo to its foundation. Though it remains unclear what specifically happened, the most often repeated account is that a fire was started (probably by accident) in a Muslim housing estate, but its blaze quickly grew overwhelming. A neighboring Christian estate was accused of having started the fire, leading to a Muslim mob to enter the Christian estate. Upon news that a sectarian riot had broken out, the Italians and British did not know how to effectively communicate with each other to put down the violence as it crossed in and out of all occupation zones – recent tensions having made co-operation almost useless. It took nearly a week for the riots to be put down, and that was with air support. By the end, nearly 800 people were dead and Cairo had become not merely gone into total lockdown but became a name synonymous with sectarian violence. Roughly 450 were Coptic Christians, with roughly 300 Muslims and the rest being military personnel. However, it was rioters that were overwhelmingly the reason for Coptic casualties while the Muslim casualties were mostly from brutal Italian repression (including spraying machine gun fire into crowds from a helicopter). This dynamic further reinforced mutual community claims of Christian complicity with the Italians and Muslim savagery. Much of the rebuilding that had taken place after the Yom Kippur Nuclear Strike was obliterated – bringing the tortured city back to zero. Many historians believe the idea of a re-united Egypt died in February 1961, replaced with two camps that overwhelmingly wanted nothing to do with each other. In that end, the Second Arabian War had certainly done what it had wanted – the Arabs were certainly in no mood to unite again.

Putting together a history of the Islamic State of Arabia is extremely difficult, as one mainly has to depend on aerial surveillance or the words of the survivors, but the young nation quickly proved itself as awful as many in the West suspected and indeed a few hoped. Under the condition that missionaries, traders and all other forms of visits to the state were banned, the country was allowed to progress as it would while being monitored from the air to ensure there was no build up of arms or weapons. Those plane flyovers quickly decreased as it became clear that the Mufti was entirely serious in his commandments. All roads leading in and out of the ISA were destroyed, and the population was ordered to move further inwards, away from the border to get as large a distance between them and the West as possible. At the beginning of the state’s existence, there were roughly 750,000 people. Roughly 30,000 would escape in the coming months (generally non-fundamentalist Sunni), mostly to Hejaz or Saba. After 1958, escapees fell to a trickle and by 1960 they were practically nonexistent. The reason was simply that already the population was thinned considerably. The total loss of fuel, food and water trade with the outside world was utterly devastating, combined with the mass movements of hundreds of thousands of people to the dead (physical and metaphorical) centre of the country. By 1960, it is estimated that 25% of the population that hadn’t escaped were already dead, mostly the very old and very young – leaving roughly 500,000 left. When they had congregated in the centre of Arabia (mostly around Buraydah, Al Kharj and Hail as Riyadh was considered cursed), the full insanity of the Mufti’s ideology was allowed to take force. By the Mufti’s decree, the Earth was flat, the sun span around it and slavery was moral. Many willing put themselves into slavery since it was the best way to ensure a meal – almost 33% of the ISA’s population were slaves by the time the state was finally put out of its misery. Any questioning of the Mufti’s rulings was taken as evidence of heresy or apostasy, with the accused being either decapitated or stoned. Girls were ordered to wear the Burka at all times outdoors, even those as young as nine years old since that was the age of consent. In the Arabian heat, with little water, many girls died from heat exhaustion, walking around in Burkas almost as heavy as them. Women who sold themselves into slavery to survive were almost invariably the victims of serial abuse and rape by their masters, eager to vent their frustrations about the misery of the situation onto their ‘property’. Girls were also forbidden from receiving all forms of education, even reading the Koran. Boys barely got much better, with education limited to the bare essentials of survival and endless study of Islamic text. Those who could speak a foreign language or wore spectacles were also executed for having been tainted with Un-Islamic ideas. The prohibition on modern technology was also upheld, with all ‘Non-Islamic Books’ (including books from Muslim scholars who disagreed with the Mufti), being banned. That did not mean books with messages considered contrary to Islam were banned, but that any book or novel not explicitly in support of Salafist Islam were banned. However, for having a book that was Non-Islamic, one only got the lash. Having a Bible got you the death penalty, but owning ‘Arabian Nights’ only gave you a few lashes. Modern agricultural practices were banned, as were any form of non-camel or horse driven transport. One woman was executed for refusing to give up a photo of her son who had died in the bombing of Riyadh, the picture being a piece of wicked Western technology that proved her unworthiness to the society. To have owned a car or a radio, even if you had lost it long ago, was more than enough reason for the religious authorities to come after you as well. Buildings were torn down that were made by modern construction methods with concrete - ironically, the buildings were often so strong that there was no way for the Luddite militias to actually bring them down, leading to darkly amusing incidences of legions of horses trying to tear down a concrete building before deciding it wasn't worth it. Others hacked away at the building with hammers until it collapsed, the buildings fallen on top of them and the local Imams blessing their 'martyrdom' in destroying a 'Non-Islamic' structure for God's glory. Yet the population still more or less willingly went along with the insanity, as if driven mad by the grief and chaos that had befallen them. The Mufti’s cult was convinced that they were purifying themselves and society by casting out all Western influence. Regardless of what they wanted, the death toll in the ISA began to grow, with whole villages being wiped out due to plagues and leprosy. All the while, the West did nothing, not wanting to absorb a brainwashed, fanatical population, especially when their own concerns about more aggressive forms of Islamism were becoming more pronounced. For all its faults, the ISA was content to leave the West alone. Of course, some in the West did not want to leave the ISA alone. There were brave journalists who managed to sneak in after having deployed helicopters to just outside an encampment and pretending to be from another village when they walked in. The stories, under the bias of Anti-Arab opinion, were cruelly turned into comedic fodder to mock Arab backwardness in Western public opinion. (“Hey, how many Arabs does it take to screw a lightbulb? Well, they had a guy – but they cut his head off.” – Bob Hope.) In Israel and Italy, the news was considered a positive relief in that there was no new threat to worry about. They had their own Islamists to deal with, and the ISA could wait. Thus, the population of the ISA was doomed to continue to suffer, their only escape being death.

Extract from ‘The Screams of a Continent: Africa after WW2’ by Ayaan Ferguson

The BUF had been rendered political deadweights following their massive losses in the 1957 elections, but that was only the beginning. In 1960, one of their remaining MPs, Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis (a former boxer) not only broke with the party, but disclosed countless secrets about the inner workings of the organisation. Most notable of all was the level of cooperation that existed between Mosley and the OVRA, and how Mosley went as far as changing policy in order to appease the Italians. The ‘Lewis Affair’ was reported wildly in the newspapers, with Mosley decrying them as inventions of Labour and the Tories to undermine his party. Gaitskell, holding nothing but contempt for Mosley, went straight for the throat, ordering official investigations into the BUF to determine to what extent it was a front for the Italian government – the Tories watched and did nothing, amusing themselves with Mosley’s suffering. Mosley by now realised that regardless of any official result, his life in Britain was over. On December 6th 1960, Mosley disappeared from his house, his work and indeed everywhere. A national manhunt began with claims flying back and forth of escapes, abductions and assassinations. It would not be for another week until he was found – in Salisbury … Rhodesia. Based on de-classified documents that came out in the 1990s, we now know what happened. After successfully evading detection and meeting with OVRA agents, they took a boat to France, a car to Spain and then a flight to Rhodesia. He drove through Salisbury to a rapturous ovation by local residents, who loved the Roman Alliance far more than they loved Gaitskell, who had condemned White Rule as unfit for the 20th Century. Mosley’s arrival immediately sparked an international crisis, with the Rhodesians refusing to return Mosley to Britain, arguing Gaitskell had proven Britain was unwilling to give him a fair hearing. Mosley was supported by the Rhodesian Front, a Far-Right organisation led by Italian sympathizer Ian Smith, and was given honorary Vice-Presidency of the Party, a move that made Smith the most popular native-born in the whole of White Rhodesia. His experience working with the Italians in Libya during the war convinced him that a White majority was absolutely necessary for Rhodesia’s survival, and that the old Anglo-elite could still be preserved through implementing a Fascist system of government much like the Maronites in Lebanon. He would send crowds into raptures with his speeches, saying ‘The Zambezi River shall run dry before a Rhodesian will betray a friend!’, running a campaign based heavily on Edward Carson’s Ulster movement against Home Rule in Ireland. Prime Minister Whitehead of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation offered to try Mosley in Rhodesia, but Gaitskell would not hear of this. Then, Gaitskell made an infamous mistake in April when he made a national address on the ‘Rhodesia Crisis’, calling the Rhodesian Front, ‘A collection of sponging bigots’. [1] However, he forgot to clarify that he was talking about the Front, thus making listeners assume he called the Rhodesians as a whole ‘sponging bigots’. In the next meeting of the Rhodesian Parliament, the Parliamentarians wore sponges on their jackets and shirts to emphasize their disgust. In London, the Tories slammed Gaitskell for intensifying the crisis while the South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd issued a stinging note saying ‘We’d sooner die for Rhodesia a hundred times than waste our poorest pauper’s fingernail on the arrogant self-righteousness of this Labour government’. That May, a referendum was to be held in South Africa on whether to be an independent republic and pursue her own policies, particularly Apartheid, the totalitarian division of races that would blight the continent for millions – to say the least, many South Africans felt more in common with Fascist Italy than England. The Italians, Portuguese and Spanish publicly condemned Britain’s handling of the situation and offered to recognise the Rhodesians and South Africans if they so wished. Prime Minister Whitehead, now despised by many Rhodesians for not being assertive enough with Britain, was forced into elections by strikes and dissatisfaction in his own party. In March 1961, elections were held in Rhodesia with Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front winning in a landslide. Mosley became a senior member of Smith’s cabinet, thus further inflaming tensions between Salisbury and London. A referendum was called on the same day as South Africa, offering the creation of a ‘Rhodesian Republic’ to its citizens, which would be a unilateral declaration of independence. In both states, a more Presidential system was quickly established with strong executive powers. Gaitskell slammed the move, saying Britain would never recognise a referendum from a state that denied its black majority the vote, which was true in practice though Apartheid levels of explicit bigotry were avoided in text and it was theoretically possible to advance in Rhodesian society as a black person though exceedingly and deliberately difficult. Ciano quickly followed up to confirm Italy would stand by Rhodesia and ‘not allow civilization to be extinguished in the name of ‘fairness’.’

On May 31st 1961, both Rhodesia and South Africa voted to become Republics. On June 1st 1961, both Rhodesia and South Africa became full members of the Roman Alliance. Smith and Verwoerd both became Presidents and ruled their respective nations with far more executive power than any American presidency. Though not explicitly Fascist, they were no democracies anymore. The move was met with disgust by the democratic world – even Israel refused to publicly acknowledge Rhodesia for years though working with them beneath the table. However, due to OPEP economic threats, few countries were willing to do much other than enforce weak, uncoordinated sanctions against the Rhodesian and South African regimes. As Rhodesia and South Africa continued trading through the Roman Alliance and Katanga (whose indifference to any and all trade would be their economic blessing as well as their reputational curse), the sanctions were barely noticed in Salisbury and Pretoria. Attempts to launch international sanctions against Rhodesia and South Africa in the UN were met with Italian and Turkish vetoes. Threats to expel South Africa from FIFA were stopped once Italy, Argentina and Spain threatened to pull the whole Roman Alliance out of FIFA and create their own football organisation (as well as threatening OPEP retaliation on states who stepped out of line). Though they couldn’t save South Africa from getting banned from the Olympics (with Rhodesia unrecognized), they at least avoided the gruesome fate of the Soviets, who had been banned from all international sports competitions from chess to football. The reason for Roman Alliance support of the two pariah nations was due to what had been agreed at the Salisbury Conference on August 9th 1961 (the last foreign visit Mussolini would attend personally due to declining health). After an introduction from the new Rhodesian Foreign Minister Oswald Mosley, whose appointment was made to spite the British, Smith, Mussolini, Verwoerd, Franco and Salazar planned out the coming decades in Africa. They believed that if Africa’s resources could be combined with Middle Eastern Oil, the Fascist Bloc would be economically invincible and dictate the economic direction of the world. The democracies would be cowed into submission and Communism would be at their mercy. To control Africa, they would need a series of outposts in the continent that would be so economically powerful that the surrounding African nations would have no choice but seek accommodation with them. To have those outposts, it was generally agreed that enough land was already controlled on the continent and in diverse enough areas enough to hold Africa by the throat. Therefore control had to be more fully established in those regions to make that hold absolute - to do that, more settlers were needed. Spain would ensure the colonization of the Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea, Portugal for Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, Italy for Libya and the AOI, along with Rhodesia and South Africa for their own respective states (including Namibia in the case of South Africa). All parties were convinced that with enough European settlers, they could turn Africa into their playground much as the Roman Alliance had already made playgrounds of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Rhodesia focussed on Whites from America and the Commonwealth, South Africa from Central Europe, Spain from her own country and Latin America, Portugal from Brazil, and Italy from both herself and the Balkans. By now, they knew that the West was beginning to arm African resistance movements in the Fascist states, so they knew it was a race against time to bring in as many Whites as possible before the settler states would be overwhelmed by military pressure. All present nations agreed to set a target for all their countries becoming White majority by 1990. The race was on, but there would be many strange diversions on the continent in the coming decades, such as Biafra.

But for the British, now faced with a continent seemingly moving further and further into Mussolini’s hands, they decided that their old idea of an East African Federation (based on the French West Africa Federation) had to be resurrected, with Kenya, Taganyika, Zanzibar and Uganda united to form a single state. To her north was Italian East Africa, to her West the chaos in the Congo and in her South the Portuguese quasi-theocracy of Mozambique. Nevertheless, blessed with Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria, the Serengeti and a host of other natural wonders, the East Africa Federation was destined to become something of a vanguard state for Africans, a state that embodied a whole continent’s natural beauty, virility and desire to stand on their own two feet again. At the same time, Somaliland, considered too politically unacceptable to directly integrate into the UK for ‘obvious reasons’ according to one Home Office report, became a protectorate. In 1964, all the other remaining colonies on the African continent would be given protectorate status – Mauritius would gain independence in 1968 and the Seychelles would be annexed into the UK in 1976. Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, surrounded on all sides by the Settler states, were particularly grateful for this state of affairs. Sudan was finally given independence as state based on the Pre-1953 Lebanon model – a power-sharing commitment was made between the Black, Christian South and the Arab, Muslim North, with one of each community being given the role of Prime Minister and the other given a majority of cabinet positions, thus ensuring both groups had to work together, in theory. With that British Colonialism came to an end in Africa after more than a hundred years – now was the time to work with Africans against the forces of Fascism, even if it meant aligning with Fascists themselves …

Extract from ‘Cowboys and Indians: A History of American-Indian Relations’ by Mitrra Rahul

India and South China’s economic growth would be the fire that ignited an international boom period in the late fifties and early sixties across much of the world. Prime Minister Rajaji had seen double-digit growth rates every year since the Indian Civil War and was seen as a great model of development. He was extremely popular, but a rapid succession of scandals in the Indian government to do with misallocation proved his country was very much not. As a consequence, Veer Savarkar’s Mahasabha Party became the primary opposition. This terrified western observers. OPEP’s economic clout had ensured Japan, South China and the Philippines were extremely wary of challenging the Roman Alliance as the vast majority of Asia’s oil came from the Middle East. If India became an outright supporter of the Roman Alliance as was assumed in Western capitals, it was argued that the Fascists would be the strongest of the three ideological blocs on Earth. This was considered unthinkable in Downing Street and the White House, as they raced to prop up Rajaji’s government in any way they could. Though the Mahasabha did not explicitly renounce democracy, they wished to do it in a way that would bear the full might of the Hindu majority onto the Muslim minority, until the latter either broke or fled. More extremist members of the Mahasabha even argued for the complete expulsion of the Muslim population, regardless of the inevitable humanitarian disaster. Such statements usually brought riots in former Pakistan that were quickly flattened by security forces and seized upon by the inciters as evidence the Muslims had to be sent away. Though it was never the official policy of the Mahasabha Party, the images that came from the late fifties and early sixties would be their initial and ergo defining image for Western audiences. When the Mahasabha won the 1961 elections in August 1961 with Savarkar becoming Prime Minister, Time Magazine even ran the headline ‘Has Democracy Lost?’ The Roman Alliance, who knew full well that they had funded Savarkar during the Indian Civil War, rejoiced to the heavens.

Little did anyone in the Roman Alliance realise what was happening, and indeed what would continue to happen in the coming years. Fascism would prove a victim of her own success, with its inverse image coming back to haunt them. Independence movements around the world had flirted with Socialism in their earlier years, but that mood had been destroyed by the Soviet suicide of both her moral and military reputation. With that, independence movements around the world were left in a daze. Then they looked around for the most successful ideologies they could find that could bring structure to their ideals. Malcolm Little in America would prove priceless to men all around the world suffering under Fascist rule – why not fight back against your oppressors using their tools? If Fascism works well for them, why not us? As Little once opined on the morality of replicating Fascism, “If they have guns, should we fight back with knives?” Little’s repurposing of Fascism, in particular for Africans to cherish their cultural heritage while advocating for a new world with higher ideals than democratic liberalism, would perhaps be the most important ideological invention since Fascism itself. It was equally priceless as a way to rebut charges of Communism that had traditionally been the excuse of suppressing independence movements. At the same time, they still got significant amount of aid from Western countries, especially at the dawn of the 1960s, since they remained vigorously opposed to the Roman Alliance and were content to at least ally with ITO to improve their lot. In the Congo, this would result in the Simba Rebellion successfully seizing every province of the Congo east of Bandundu by May 3rd 1962. The new state would quickly become a dictatorship under Pierre Mulele, who declared the first ‘Afro-Fascist’ state, known as ‘Zaire’, with Stanleyville as the capital and renamed as ‘Overtureville’ after the Haitian resistance leader. In a bold move, he even gave asylum to Malcolm Little, who had fled the US and hid within Haiti. In return for guarantees that Zaire would not undermine ITO, Mulele was given a free hand to incite against the Roman Alliance, in particular Portugal, the only Roman Alliance state he bordered. Little was soon put to work writing propaganda tracts denouncing the Roman Alliance and Colonialism, calling on the Black diaspora worldwide to ‘Take Back Africa!’ As alliance with such a state was PR poison to American voters, these agreements were firmly under the table – with America denouncing Little’s escape while doing little about it. A resolutely black-nationalist state, non-blacks were forbidden from owning property, voting or anything else that could affect civil life. It quickly made an intractable enemy of the Roman Alliance, who promised total obliteration if they attacked the Luba Kingdom, Katanga, or any of their colonies. As predicted due to the total embargo on Zaire, its economy collapsed and starvation reigned – that Katanga continued to trade with South Africa while not trading with Zaire made them almost as hated as the Apartheid Regime itself across much of Africa. Rwanda and Burundi, which had installed weak Pro-Belgian governments that were quickly toppled, both joined Zaire in January 1963. Though they joined an undemocratic, economically destitute state, they joined one they felt proud of. The same could not be said of the Republic of the Congo, reduced to a minor coastal enclave under constant threat of coups. After consultation with France, French Congo would annex the Republic of Congo in February 1963 – while the latter would be the name of the successor state, the capital moved to Brazzaville, and the French would call the shots within the country to ensure Zaire did not play any games – France being significantly less ingratiating of Afro-Fascism than the Anglo-Americans, who saw it as a tool to overthrow the Roman Alliance while France worried about how their own domains would fair. Kasa-Vubu slinked into retirement, his name synonymous with failure and mismanagement in the Congo region. Meanwhile in Liberia, President William Tubman began to make overtures to Zaire – though Zaire thought the Liberians too weak and capitalistic. Nevertheless, Tubman’s blistering denunciations of the Roman Alliance sent his stock soaring in Overtureville. All across Africa, and indeed the world, the oppressed were beginning to utiliise the same ideals of the oppressors – the ironic foe that European Fascism now had to contend with.

Savarkar was the first to make the Roman Alliance truly realize what they had done. Savarkar, far from announcing friendship with Rome, declared in his inaugural speech that ‘Defiance to Europe is loyalty to India!’ After much pleading from ITO, he reluctantly remained in the Commonwealth, but that didn’t stop him from removing British Air Force bases from the country. He removed any plaque or statue commemorating a European, with the exception of General Wingate for the Indian Airlift. But Savarkar’s most astonishing move came on October 21st 1962, when his forces blockaded Portuguese India, demanding the Portuguese leave India. An international crisis was sparked, with the Iranian-Indian border becoming intensely militarized. OPEP suspended all trade with India, but the population bore it with pride. Even the Muslims of India backed Savarkar, which was unusual enough. Mussolini threatened to use missiles against India, but ITO shot right back that nuclear strikes against India would be considered an act of war against the whole bloc. This was the closest the Cool War ever came to a direct military confrontation. It was ended on Halloween 1962 when Thailand helped negotiate a payout for India to purchase Portuguese India, thus saving everyone the bother, especially Portugal who didn’t care about their Indian possessions to begin with. The action would make Savarkar a hero among many Africans, Latin Americans and Asians for his standing up against the Roman Alliance, which was considered the beating heart of all the history of colonial evils poured into one monstrous organism. For the first time, a non-white nation had stood in defiance of the whole Fascist Bloc and won. For the people of Ethiopia especially, it would prove inspiring. But the most important effect of the war would take a few months to realise. For Mussolini, the effect of the Goa Crisis had been to harm his already declining health. As time wore on, he realized that he was reaching his twilight.

He was coming to his end.

[1] - OTL, Harold Wilson made the mistake of calling the 1974 Anti-Sunningdale protestors in Ulster 'spongers', which went equally as well.
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Also can we appreciate the fact Afghanistan is probably going to be the most peaceful and functional muslim country in world of this TL?
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Also can we appreciate the fact Afghanistan is probably going to be the most peaceful and functional muslim country in world ov this TL?

Ironic, isn't it...

I am honestly surprised it managed to last so long honestly. I was expecting it would have started cracking immediately after WW2 honestly

All things considered, I'm more surprised Mussolini didn't just end up trying to go full-on "I'm restoring the Roman Empire" mode...probably because I shouldn't look at this TL through the visage of Hearts of Iron IV...
And likely the beginning of the end for the Roman Alliance.

Actually I do not think that will be the case yet. In fact the RA as a group may get better organized and more effective medium term. With Mussolini gone we may get a less eccentric Duce at the helm who won't have the same New Roman Empire fixation. Also with decolonization in full swing, with Britain having transitioned to Commonwealth and protectorates, the colonizer members need the RA more than ever. The minority rule states are engaged in a struggle to retain white rule. And the West is ever more distrustful of autocrats it seems.

If India starts it own equivalent of the RA, well that would be interesting an quite tempting to some.

I am wondering now if Indochina will break from the French with India's help? if that happens and works, I doubt it will be the last.

Interesting times for Portugal. In the span of a few years they have gained all of Timor and then lost Goa and their other holdings. What policy will the current Indian government have to the Christian population of Goa?

And I do wonder at India's direction. On the one hand it turning against the RA that had supported the party's rise has turned a major victory for the Fascists into a huge defeat without a shot fired. And it truly spells the beginning of the end of the European/Descended Powers global dominance with India as a great power making its own way and siunding the horn as it were for others. But like Zaire this progress does not include embracing democracy or equality; tyranny continues its march even if Anti Colonial Fascist are at the throats with the Old Guard Fascists.

Did Gambia go independent?
Hussein was caught attempting to flee to Syria, dragged into the streets of Mosul and shot dead. His corpse was then hung upside down from a lamppost to be pelted by rotting tomatoes by Kurdish residents – an action that Mussolini called ‘As amusing as it is righteous’ in a telephone call with Barzani.

LOL I got that reference :p

Well, looks like the Islamic State of Arabia is what happens when you put Daesh, Taliban North Korean and Khmer Rouge leaders in a room.
And so, the fundamental problem with fascism, the reason it cannot work as a global system, begin to truly show themselves. Meanwhile, the harbinger of the whole thing is on his death bed.

Also can we appreciate the fact Afghanistan is probably going to be the most peaceful and functional muslim country in world of this TL?
IIRC, in OTL Afganistan was actually pretty stable until Zahir Shah's overthrow in '73. Hopefully it will last longer here. What are Afghanistan's foreign relations like.
It would appear that the old saying "you create your own worst enemies" seem to apply now to the RA when it comes to Africa and the new Afro-fascists. I'm getting flashbacks of Pablo Escobar and the reactionary group he inadvertently created called "Los Pepes" that dedicated their lives to killing both him and his cartel. And while this is going on, India (a growing power) basically tells the RA to go screw themselves while Mussolini realizes he's dying. The golden age of fascism is truly ending and now its only a matter of time before the entire structure begins to collapse on itself at a steady rate.

My guess? Portugal is going to clock out first. They're one of the weaker powers and their grasp over their African territories, which is already tenuous at best, will only become weaker with time even with heavy immigration from Brazil. Portugal also has a very old alliance with the UK. If Portugal loses Africa and its pathetic economy goes haywire, a serious offer of help from Britain in exchange for leaving the RA would probably be taken seriously - this possibility becomes even more real if the Estado Novo leadership is disposed off or exiled via a Carnation Revolution. I could see political cartoons spinning it as Britannia dragging their old friend Portugal, visibly drunk on fascism, to a rehab center called the ITO.

So South Africa and Rhodesia drunk the fascist kool-aid? I think they're going to regret that decision in a few years time...

I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but at least this world's US won't have to suffer through an Iraqi war in this universe since Hussein was taken out early?

Also, I noticed a small issue. Chiang himself was a christian (albeit one that also obeyed most of the tenets of Confucius). Now granted, I could see him being pragmatic enough to encourage Chinese Christians to emigrate out of China if it meant securing his hold on power, but this should still be noted.
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I’m still boggling over the sheer mess that the Middle East is in. While there are some bright spots, such as Lebanon and Druze, Egypt is still an unholy mess, and Arabia makes the Taliban look like Ned Flanders.
Now that was a good chapter @Sorairo, so much going on!

It does indeed seem the FA is going to fall apart once Mussolini himself is gone. I suspect his legacy will be a long one though.

I hope the East African Federation is stable and well protected- given it's size I imagine its vulnerable to problems from across the borders.

India looks like a whole different ballgame for the West- glad they stayed in the Commonwealth, but I suspect they are not getting a Royal visit for a while...

Looking forward to more!
How exactly is North Egypt organized as a government?

The EFA will be very important going forward, surrounded as they are they can also be the push outward for democracy.

Semitheocratic in Mozambique eh? Wonder how that works, and how it will be affected if we see a Vatican 2 or equivalent in the near future.