Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sorairo, Feb 20, 2019.
Damn, just when I thought a politician cannot become any more incompetent, Wallace outdoes himself!
I can already see North Iran becoming the USSR’s ITTL Afghanistan. Hell it’d be funny if an ETO/RA-aligned/leaning Afghanistan became a hotbed for covert support of anti-Soviet/Tudeh partisans in North Iran.
OTL, post-war Afghanistan was ruled by Mohammed Zahir Shah, wich was quite an able politician, promoting modernization of his reign while staying neutral between USA and USSR, asking and receiving financial aid from both. He stated that he was not capitalist, nor socialist, aiming at the independence from Russian and Chinese influence.
Before the war, he was quite close with the Axis, but he was wise enough to keep Afghanistan out of the conflict, being one of the few countries doing so in WWII.
His major problem was that his modernization caused factionalism and gained him political opposition, which will lead to the coup of 1973.
ITTL, Mussolini has a strange hand of option for the Middle East. Italy is hosting quite a few royal heads in exile. We have Amanullah Khan from Afghanistan, ousted by Inayatullah Khan in 1929 (wich was removed the same year by Habibullah Kalakani, also died in 1929). Amanullah was know for his strong reformism, together with his wife, the queen Soraya. She was the first woman in Afghanistan who tore off her hijab publicly. Her father was Mamhud Tarzi, the influencer of Amanullah in women's rights.
Untill Stalin lives, Mussolini could do nothing. But once he die, his grandeur could get the better of his and lead him to try something reckless in this few years window.
Italy also hosted Mohammed Hassan Mirza, brother of Amhad Shah Qajar, the indolent last iranian shah of the Qajar Dyansty, ousted by Reza Khan, the Reza Shah Pahlavi. Ahmad Shah had a son, but Mohammed Hassan was quite dinamic. Reza Khan instead, was really dinamic, aiming to military strengthening Iran and to finally end foreign influence over the country. Post-war, we could easily see him attempting to remove british influence over south Iran.
Maybe, Mussolini and Churchill (or whoever will succeeded him) will try to put on the throne someone more malleable. Reza Shah had strong enemies in the Majlis (the iranian parliament) were his party only had an artifical majority through wide electoral fraud.
On the other side, Reza Shah could be too convenient to remove, if Europe could aim Reza's nationalist ambitions against the soviets. Also, he was the first iranian sovereign to allow freedom to the jews after 1400 years; in this ITTL, this has become quite the strong point at international levels. This was a mere political move, as he previously orchestrated the Tehran's anti-jew incidents in september 1922.
In short, Mussolini could play a wild card in both countries, with unpredictable effects. The only true limit is the distance.
If Sorairo want to spice things up, here the suggestions. Although, things are already indian level spicy.
P.S.: sorry for the meme, couldn't resist.
Please, just tell my if I have to remove it.
With the addition of the Alliance, a savvy country could balance the US, the European and the Alliance against the Russians.
The problem with playing a game of crowns in Southern Iran is that the shah has been reduced to a figure seemingly like the British Crown. It may be wiser to try and influence the party leaders than involving an exiled dynasty.
The democratization of the South and Occupation of the North means OTL politics are out completely in Iran I expect.
Also I wanted to throw out some thoughts on the seeming fall of the Soviet regime in the 70s. It may not be a breakup like OTL. The Union may stay together and be reformed. Or it could break up but not to the extent of OTL. Or perhaps it divides even further?
Maybe there are a series of power struggles after Stalin’s death that severely weaken the USSR as ethnic tensions flare up and the country goes full-on Yugoslavia?
Just no nuclear Soviet Civil War, I’m getting a little tired of seeing those.
Well, there is a reason why that would occur: simply put, the Soviet system was one that had little hesitation in shedding the blood of millions of people.
So the people in charge of it wouldn't hesitate to drop a few nukes in the name of that sweet God called Revolution.
I know that. I’m tired of seeing it over and over again. Maybe it’s my fault for reading TLs involving the USSR collapsing into an utter mess.
The OTL collapse of Soviet Russia, while not paradise for anybody (except the Baltics), was a miracle in off itself in that aside from Chechnya, there wasn't brutal violence on the part of Russia.
That is very true. So anyways, how do you think the USSR will fall ITTL?
Considering most people predict it to happen in the 70s. Probably messily.
Coupled with American botching their rise due to Wallace, it would essentially be a return to Great Power Politics as usual.
Much more fun than the boring UN shouting matches
Then things shall get interesting!
Again, the people of Eurasia were lucky that it was the milquetoast Gorbachev that served during that tumultuous time and whose family had been victims of repression, not the ideologues born before 1917 who could justify horrible shit like ethnic cleansing.
With the ideologues still in power, it is going to be a bedlam.
Hopefully nothing on the scale of the Red Tsar.
In order to quell some concerns, I can report that the ultimate fate of the USSR will be ... unique, in that I've never seen a TL take the same path.
The next update will be coming soon and will focus entirely on the mid-terms and the chaos not only in the Democrat ranks (believe me, there's a lot) but the Republicans too.
Unique eh? You sir have peaked my interest to new heights.
Fun times ahead for the good ol' USA!
Thank you very much. I really love your work. Am hoping to enjoy the rest of it.
The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
The Dark Decade: America in the 40s by Wendy Walters
As October dawned, the mood in the Democratic Party’s backrooms had gotten far lighter, though only due to the acceptance that the midterms were destined to be an utter annihilation. “It was all very ‘Last Days of Rome’ as October began,” Truman recalled in his later years. Not only were the Republicans surging in every swing-seat, the Freedom Party had only become more popular in the south and were destined to make major gains throughout the south. Indeed, in some parts of the south, the Klan had taken to become the Freedom Party’s unofficial paramilitary wing and literally chased Wallace loyalists out of town. It had gotten so bad that the Secret Service would tell Wallace that it would be difficult to go much farther south than Virginia. Wallace’s approval rating had solidified to the mid-20s, though Wallace felt following his conscience was more important and blamed his ratings on the American Business establishment. By now, Wallace’s approval ratings had even fallen beneath 50% with American blacks (not that most American blacks were allowed to vote at the time) despite his progressivism on Civil Rights. As one NAACP official would recall, “You don’t get from A to B with a dead horse”. Then, something happened that sent the entire country into an uproar.
J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI had been watching the proceedings in the White House with disgust and, as one colleague later said, “Only had the thought of personally strangling Wallace to death to sustain him”. In mid-1946, his mind focusing on almost nothing but uncovering Communists agents working in America after Dickstein, he was given material from men claiming to be from MI6. They claimed they had uncovered information from Soviet agents in America that there were spies in the highest reaches of power in the United States. The information was quickly concealed, as Hoover feared (literally) for his life if this became well known. He was especially convinced of the information because he had been given information from Elizabeth Bentley (a defecting Soviet espionage courier) in 1945 that Harry Dexter White was indeed a Communist agent. While the information had been sent to the Wallace White House, it was concealed before the Senate confirmation hearings. With this in mind, the agents directed Hoover to a man who had been dismissed by the FBI before (due to World War Two alliance concerns). His name was Whittaker Chambers, and was a former Soviet agent and Communist himself, breaking with the party after the First Terror.
But this interview shocked even Hoover. Whittaker, fearing for his life more than ever, told the whole story of who he knew in the Ware Group (a Communist cell) and how many of them had climbed right to the top of the country. If what Whittaker was saying were correct, it would be the biggest political uproar and societal catastrophe for America since the Civil War. The Secretary of State? The Chief of Staff? The Secretary for Agriculture? The Deputy Head of the Treasury? All Soviet agents? Hoover pressed Whittaker for information on Wallace and whether even the President could be an agent. Whittaker responded that he was unaware of Wallace being an agent but that it was entirely possible. Hoover was stunned, but knew there was only one thing for it: Wallace had to go. Even in the unlikely event (as Hoover saw it) that Wallace was not an agent, there was no way Wallace would fix the mess America now found itself. Hoover, with only one co-conspirator in Clyde Tolson (his eternal protégé), actively planned to sabotage Wallace to get the country back on her feet. While both agreed of the necessity of getting the information It was felt that they had to maximise the level of shock that the country felt and at that they certainly held nothing back.
Under an army of protection, Whittaker made a public statement to the US Senate on October 15th 1946, with Hoover sitting right in the crowd. Whittaker relayed the whole tale about how prominent members of the Wallace administration were not mere dupes but active Soviet agents. To add fuel to the fire, Hoover later held a press conference where he stated, “We do not know the highest location where Communists agents have reached, but it could very well be the top”. This veiled accusation against Wallace shocked the country that was by now used to hearing about Communist agents … but never that high up. The Republicans (once they recovered from the initial shock) saw their poll ratings reach astronomical highs. The Freedom Party saw similar movements in the South. In the words of Harry Truman, “It was like someone stabbed me in the gut with a cold knife”. Democrats had initially planned for a brutal but ultimately survivable election campaign. Whittaker’s declarations (with deliberately inserted partisan condemnations of the Democrats at Hoover’s request) sent the Democratic Establishment into bedlam. The Left of the party believed this was a gigantic conspiracy by Capital to drag America into an alliance with the Fascists while many on the right were now starting to believe there leader was something other than a fool – or left altogether, as did the Kennedy family to the Republicans. All across the south, career politician Democrats likewise escaped into the welcoming arms of the Freedom Party. At the news of Whittaker’s announcement, Gallup recorded another opinion poll on Wallace. He had fallen to a 15% approval rating, but Wallace was about to do one more thing to make the situation incalculably worse. On October 23rd, Wallace announced to the nation’s press that J. Edgar Hoover had been fired.
Extract from ‘The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy’ Speech, October 23rd 1946 by Henry Wallace
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are indeed faced with an appalling enemy. They are the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, who only thirteen years ago were caught trying to extinguish the light of American freedom. They are the fat-cats, the exploiters, the bigots, the warmongers – all the people that defined who we fought against in the War. Their talons stretch into every sinew of American life – business, banking and indeed the FBI. Mr. Hoover, likewise, could not keep his political beliefs out of his search for justice. Indeed, what he has done ranks as among the greatest injustices in FBI history. To accuse these men, my friends, who I have known for years as agents of a foreign power is beyond laughable. And to insinuate that I have betrayed the American people is so reprehensible it staggers human understanding. No Mr. Hoover, the only person who has betrayed America is you.”
The History of the FBI by Frank Jefferson
Wallace publicly condemned Hoover shortly after his firing, saying that Hoover had betrayed America. Wallace, outraged by Hoover’s obvious ploy and insinuations, had described him as ‘A Gestapo in American rags’ to the Cabinet and wanted nothing to do with him. The reaction of the public on the other hand was outrage, though not at Hoover. Wallace’s firing Hoover was seen as confirmation of a cover-up, though Wallace was convinced that the same forces behind the Business Plot were converging on American liberty and that it was necessary. By this time, Wallace’s approval rating was so low that much further loss was impossible. What was beginning to happen, however, was that the pre-existing hatred against Wallace in broad parts of society was metastasizing into a wrath unseen since Lincoln’s hatred in the South during the Civil War. Exit polls on the day of the Midterms confirmed the shocking statistics.
· 86% of voters felt Wallace was too soft on the Soviets.
· 46% were convinced that Wallace was an outright Soviet agent.
· 60% agreed with the statement: ‘The Democrats are infested with Communists.'
· In a hypothetical 1vs1 match-up with Thomas Dewey, Dewey would win more than 75% of the vote (with Wallace’s margins falling if Strom Thurmond ran).
· 88% agreed that the Soviets were America’s biggest foreign policy rival.
· 35% openly stated they would support a military coup against Wallace (those opposed at 32%).
To make matters worse for Wallace, he had failed to purge the FBI of Hoover’s allies (half due to the fact that most people in the Democrat Party now also wanted his head). Tolson (often literally taking orders from Hoover over the phone) had organised the FBI into a political weapon with the sole purpose of taking down Wallace. Thus, Whittaker’s accusations were continuously investigated day and night, looking for further confirmation of their merit, the press greedily reporting on every update to the case they could find. The resulting madness that swept over the American population was prime territory for demagoguery. Of course, one of the most adept at the practice was Joseph McCarthy.
McCarthy had generated massive coverage for himself in the middle of 1946 for calling Wallace a traitor for Potsdam. He relayed graphic stories of German women being raped on the graves of American soldiers who died in Berlin, Slovakian churches burned to the ground and shootings day and night from the Baltic to Pacific. Initially, many Republicans were relieved as they assumed he had shot himself in the foot with his graphic assertions. To their horror and astonishment, McCarthy only continued to grow in popularity and his name began to ring through the country, even though he wasn’t even elected to any office yet. His accusations only escalated, going as far as to accuse the Democrats of being a party, ‘Run by Traitors trying to sell us into slavery. They are perhaps even more evil than the Communists themselves’. Though his rhetoric was considered too extreme to win office in Wisconsin, the revelations at the end of October catapulted his claims back to prominence. Many of his supporters had taken to calling him ‘the prophet’ for his claims of Soviet influence in the Wallace Administration before confirmation. His success was causing concern not just in Democrat circles, but Republicans too.
The Red and the Dead: How the Wallace Presidency Changed America by Ben Rushmore
Observers expected the Democrats to have a bad night – no one expected just how bad a night it would be. Though rumours that Democrat fixers attempted suicide on the night have never been confirmed, there would hardly have been a better occasion. The Republicans had more control of government than even the heights of their 1920s domination. The Republicans had managed an astonishing 62% of the House of Representatives vote, winning 298 seats (compared to less than 200 before). In the Senate, the vote was just as bad. Republicans added fourteen seats in the Senate, taking their total to 54. The Republicans also added another six governorships nationwide, taking their total to 28 of 48. Some of the main movements to the Republicans came from New York, especially the Italian-American community, who felt that Wallace was hostile to Italians owing to his constant condemnation of Fascism and quiet towards Communism. Though the Republicans were already empowered exponentially by the elections, it was even better beneath the surface.
The Freedom Party had likewise performed incredibly well on the night, with observers noting that it performed much like the Democrat Party used to do in the South. By now, owing to defections as much as elections, 19 Senators now resided in the Freedom Party, bringing the Democrat’s total in the senate down to 23. In the House, the figures were just as alarming, with 51 members of the new Freedom Party now taking their seat (not to mention a handful of loyalists who refused to leave the Democrats even if it meant going down with the ship). This left the once powerful Democrat Party with some 70 seats left in the House of Representatives. The gubernatorial elections were just as brutal. Owing, again, to defections from Southern governors, the Freedom Party now had eight governorships, as compared to twelve for the Democrats. That said, voter intimidation in the South was immense, even putting aside the usual discrimination against black voters. It was not an uncommon sight for Klan members to patrol the outside of voting venues (sometimes in full view of the police) to ‘defend against Communist attacks’. In many parts of the South, the Democrat Party wasn’t even allowed on the ballot and was a write-in option only, despite being the Party in control of the White House.
The Democrats had an even more terrifying fact to consider. Though some in the party wanted to use these results to push against Wallace (particularly the fading Dixiecrats), the number of Anti-Wallace members in the Democrats had been obliterated as they were disproportionately the ones who lost their seats in the Landslide of 1946 (a term used in American politics to this day to denote a catastrophic electoral loss). By contrast, the Party was actually gaining new members from the American Labor and Progressive Party, who were turning the rank and file of the Party religiously in favour of Wallace even as the country as a whole wanted his head. Thus, when Wallace refused to resign, as some Democrats had demanded following the Hoover Scandal and subsequent elections, they knew they were trapped in an extreme uphill battle. There was only one hope, as insane as it was when they stopped to think about it – they could wait for the Freedom Party and Republicans to impeach Wallace. The fact that wishing the President of their own Party was impeached had become their best option was not a fact they took pleasure in, but it seemed the only way. The only problem was that the rank and file Republicans and Freedom Party officials, for the moment, had no interest: Firstly, they knew that Wallace staying in charge of the Democrats would eventually lead to the Party’s extinction, which would electorally benefit them both. Secondly, many Traditionalist Republicans (most notably Robert Taft) expressed reluctance to impeach Wallace on the grounds that he had not done anything expressly criminal. With that, there wasn’t enough manpower to guarantee a successful impeachment in the Senate, which would be seen as a wasted effort. However, the Republicans would certainly launch investigations into the Wallace White House – if they found anything there, they would be sure to let the world know. Indeed, for Republicans, the only worry was of a rather different kind.
Extract from victory speech by Joseph McCarthy, November 5th 1946
“Some people ask me if I am in favour of impeachment. And though I would certainly take it over the current nightmare we find ourselves in, it is not my preferred option. My preferred option would be to run that jackal of a so-called President out of Washington on a rail. And if he’s done what we suspect him of doing, of selling our country, our people, our children into Communist bondage … tell me why he doesn’t deserve the death penalty, when he would inflict a crueler fate on us?”
‘Patton: The Man’ by George Wallaby
McCarthy’s speeches were growing intensely in popularity across the country, capturing the intensity of the Anti-Wallace phenomenon, which had still not hit a peak. The Republican hierarchy had precisely one concern for the next election. They feared that Wallace would be dumped, the Democrats would have an untainted candidate … and if the Republican candidate was as off the track as Joseph McCarthy, then who was to say they would win in 1948? Ultimately, they feared a character like McCarthy winning, or at least by playing up to his base. They wanted someone who would have enough credibility to not need to play up to McCarthy and his like-minded demagogues. Ultimately, there was just one option presented that everyone agreed on.
On February 9th 1947 in San Marino California, Patton was sitting at home, wistfully staring at pictures of American soldiers in Berlin before the city was given away. He heard a knock at the door and was surprised to see recently elected Californian Congressman Richard Nixon making a visit. When he asked what the matter was, he quickly sighed as he realised this was another attempt to recruit him for higher office. He had seen many of these letters in the mail from the Republicans (and indeed the Freedom Party) asking him to be their candidate for the next Presidential Election. Patton didn’t see it. He couldn’t see a life for himself outside the military, felt his story had been told and that it was someone’s else’s job to fix the bedlam in Washington, which was still only escalating daily. Nixon did his best to convince Patton he had what it took, talking about how the whole Republican Party would back him, how the military would be made strong again and how Communism could be fought. But Patton once again shook his head, telling Nixon that he’d gladly vote for the Republicans in 1948 but that he couldn’t imagine himself on the ticket.
Patton thanked him and turned away. Then Nixon thought for a moment, and said the words that would change history: “Well, old Wallace just gave the biggest sigh of relief he’s ever made”. At that, according to Nixon, “Patton stopped. He was so tired and quiet for the whole conversation and then all of a sudden I just saw him burning with anger. He started to shake and his skin went a shade more befitting blood. ‘Oh, he does? Does he?’ Patton said. ‘If that son of a bitch thinks he’s got the last laugh on me, I will make damned sure I punch him so hard in the goddammned face that he’ll be shitting teeth!’ I asked him once more, whether he would agree to run for President for the Republican Party. He looked around, as if looking for some way out of the situation he found himself, before yelling, ‘Goddamnit! I guess I will!’” With that, so began the Presidential Campaign of George S. Patton.
Separate names with a comma.