The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sorairo, Feb 20, 2019.

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  1. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Poland is toasted, they can resist and make the Soviet pay for every hinch...but the endgame is never in doubt, they are surrounded and any logistical help will be limited by the fact that both ETO and RA don't want to start a new general war in Europe; there is the strong possiblity that the Polish underground can start a guerrilla campaign against the soviet occupied...but we are talking about Stalin, he will probably order to 'Make a desert and call it peace', said that this will be another hit to the soviet economy.

    Regarding Wallace, well looking from his pow, on the other side there are a couple of old colonial empire (not very liked in USA in OTL) and litteraly the fascist; the Freedom Party are basically a bunch of racist that run 'one party state' with method not very democratic and the Union member are being hit by violence and strikebreaker; so is not that strange that he see himself in a crusade against evil.
    Frankly is strange that the union are not striking back, sure the FBI seem not really keen to obey Wallace...but i don't see the President (and the entourage) stay silent and doing nothing while some Pinkerton wannabe decide to crack some skull and many of that strikers will be veteran
     
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  2. XLII Oh joy...

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    The "odd couple" is probably is as close to an "ideal" formal or informal distribution of power/tasks you can get in a government. The "loud" public leader who has all the qualities to make people follow them and the "quiet" administrator who can make it work. The system in which a single person has to fulfill both roles only work well if you get one of the rare people who can be both to the top.
     
  3. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    The Unions are in a bad place precisely because Wallace is publicly backing them. He's so unpopular that the union bosses are privately cursing Wallace for sabotaging their support - after Pressman was arrested, the Union bosses are shitting themselves and are cracking down on industrial action among their guys hard. Union guys are swarming to Patton to try and put in a good word for them, because they know the next few years are going to be rough.
     
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  4. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Are economically progressive policies also completely sunk as well? Will TTL not see ANY Great Society programs, because any politician who dares question economic inequality will be labeled a "Wallace" by shrill reactionaries controlling public discourse?
     
  5. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    The problem is while the boss want that, people on the street that are having their skull crashed will have different opinion and historically in this situation the authority of the boss over the workers go down very quickly if they don't show to do something to protect them and keep saying keep quiet, keep your head down while people actively hurt you is a fire sure method to lose any influence over the worker as they will start attacking the strikebreakers for vengeance and self-defence.
    I'm not saying that the union boss are wrong in their way of thinking but that there is a limit at what people can take without strike back and as i said many of the workers will be veterans; it's a damned explosive situation and the risk of armed confrontation is very high...if they at least made an effort to protect the strikers or obtain some concession, the union boss power will be reduced at zero
     
  6. Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Those union workers don’t like Wallace either, especially if you’re a southerner and the unions are segregated. The economy is also in the toilet at this point, so people are more desperate to keep existing jobs. Yeah, you may have a fellow worker get beat up, but when you realise those Pinkerton guys have the support of everyone except the most hated man in America and you’re just worried about making ends meet, you keep your head down. Post Taft-Hawley, anything that smells combative in the union is being crushed by the union bosses, factory bosses and police. It’s not so much that there isn’t anger among union workers, it’s just that many are in jail or hospital.
     
  7. Arlos Sad monarchist Donor

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    I am waiting for that moment, where Wallace finally realizes that every accusations against his administration are true, and that there is no way he is going to convince anyone he isn’t a communist spy.
    Oh, and he gave the Atomic Key to an enemy of the Free world as well.
    A great moment of solitude I wager.
     
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  8. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

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    I am surprised we didn't get a Wallace quote reacting to Patton entering the race. Wallace probably figured he had ended Patton's relevance already. Patton certainly seemed to think that.

    Have to feel sorry for Wallace though. For all his flaws he's a man who truly wants a better life for his people, and a more peaceful and free world. But his timing is the worst ad he placed his trust in the worst peopel possible. As it stands I could see the man getting executed; or perhaps killing himself if he dos realize how Stalin played him.

    The war in Poland will be a blow to Wallace. Possibly shattering his rosy view of Soviet liberators. And if he still sticks to his guns, well I suppose he can't go much lower in the esteem of most.

    The American Left will need quite a batch of leaders to bounce back from the well intended disaster of President Wallace.

    And on another topic, Churchill needs to give up on India. Its far too late to hold that, they need to try and ensure India is either pro ETO or more likely neutral. I wonder how Goa and the other Portuguese holdings will progress with the RA in play?
     
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  9. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

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    The moment when 1840s klansmen make a decision which shows an understanding of what 'integrity' means (even if they are probably faking it to make the 'Freedom' party look legitimate, itself indicating an understanding of 'realpolitik'), far moreso than far too many politicians across the modern world who can't seem to think ahead more than a month. What's worse is that, given Thurmond's political career OTL, him being clever enough to think of this scheme and persuasive enough to convince others of his party to go with it is believable. I'm getting a slight taste of bile here.

    Certainly seems like this. The soviets are going to prepare a nuclear test and 'accidentally' set it off in a big city.

    Seems likely. In this timeline, 'being a Wallace' will definitely be an insult of some stripe, at least in the US.
     
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  10. traveller76 Member

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    I cannot see Stalin using a nuclear weapon so close to Russia for fear of fallout. However, he would probably order the MGB and Army to crush any insurgents with maximum force. 'They are no longer our brothers but closet-fascists, deal with them'.
     
  11. AJNolte Life keeps getting in the way of writing.

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    Not necessarily. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of poor southern whites, blue collar union households and especially Catholics supported the New Deal, and favored an expanded welfare state. That sentiment's not going to go away overnight because of Wallace, particularly given that IOTL groups like the AFL were just as interested in breaking communist heads as anybody else. [People who aren't familiar with American history tend to under-estimate just how sharp the communist/anti-communist divide was in the labor unions of the late-forties and early fifties, or how decisively the non-communists won].

    What I'd anticipate, in the long-run, is the emergence of some kind of fiscally left/populist but socially conservative political party/movement. Think about people like Matthews in Australia, various Catholic Worker Movements, or the populism of Aberhart in Alberta as possible precedents. [Heck, you might even get a genuine social credit or Christian democrat movement]. In this case, their religiosity will insulate them from the charge of communism, while they could argue for an expanded welfare state.

    What's definitely going to get stomped on hard is any kind of leftism in elite or academic circles. Nobody's going to be allowed to pretend Hiss wasn't guilty ITTL, or that the American establishment wasn't deeply penetrated by the communists. Hollywood and Harvard will, I think, end up a lot more restricted than the union hall.
     
  12. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

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    1840s?

    If Turkey does try and expand South as part of the crisis what would they want? I recall the Turkish government had a claim Kurds were just another group of Turks or something. So would they try and use that to grab the Rojava and install a proTurkey government in Syria?

    If the Turkish government does make big commitments in the Arab nations I could see them returning Crete to Greece to free up resources, probably retaining a base though. Maybe some Guantanamo style deal?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  13. Icedaemon Well-Known Member

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    Needless to say, that "8" was meant to be a "9".
     
  14. PatrickMtz Well-Known Member

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    I think I must ask this: Will Mussolini or Balbo will be awarded as Righteous among the Nations?
     
  15. akoslows Well-Known Member

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    I imagine they would be very controversial choices considering that Mussolini has pretty much annihilated Slovenia and I think Balbo is pretty complicit in quite a few of the horrible stuff that Italy has been doing.
     
  16. Threadmarks: Midnight

    Sorairo Well-Known Member

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    Hey all, sorry for the lateness. I've been pretty flat-out in a few other things. I hope this update can make up for the lateness somewhat.

    Midnight


    We Brave Few: Europe 1945-1949 by Abraham Ferguson

    Compared to the Polish, the preparations of the Soviet Union would seem almost insane to a modern historian. Firstly, Stalin’s purges (which began with Zhukov) had already hollowed the officer pool available. Perhaps most shockingly, Chuikov, who presided over the occupation of Germany with iron loyalty, was inexplicably arrested and shot by the NKVD one week prior to the invasion. Marshall Konstantin Rokossovsky (a Pole himself) was hurriedly instated by Stalin to ‘liberate’ their target. Rokossovsky faced a gigantic invasion of a hostile, sovereign country, with some of his best troops trapped and doomed to certain deaths in glorified pillboxes in Poland’s city centers. They had been placed there to strike fear into the locals but they only ended up dooming the occupiers. He faced even more startling issues. He discovered to his astonishment that East Germany barely had the troops needed to hold down a potential revolt – this was before a gigantic front opened up on the eastern border. As creating an army of German Communists was unacceptable to Stalin, there was little to do but launch diversionary attacks (which stopped fooling the Poles after a week). In Slovakia, with election polls predicting electoral annihilation for the Communists in the numerically superior Czechia, Stalin had ordered a unilateral declaration of independence of Slovakia, who signed the Stalingrad Pact on the first day of the slave state’s new existence (August 31st). In response, Czechia held snap elections, wiping out the Communists in the Parliament while still declaring sovereignty over her Slovakian neighbor. On September 11th, Czechia became the newest member of ETO, and the state began to militarize. With that, yet more troops were diverted that could have been used in Poland. This wasn’t even counting the troops needed to hold down resistance in North Iran.

    Coming to the actual invasion itself, it was a nightmare. Admiral Yamamoto’s prophecy of an invasion of the American mainland being like finding a gun behind every blade of grass became terribly true in Poland. One Soviet sergeant remembered, “I was a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, and had fought to liberate Gdansk from the Germans. When we came back to defeat the Polish Fascists, there were towns so small you could walk through them in less than an hour that gave more resistance than whole German armies. We hated every single day.” Stalin wanted to use chemical gas, but it had been agreed in the Potsdam Declaration (owing to its use by the Pact) that ‘Chemical and Biological weapons are hence and eternally outlawed’. No such declaration was made with respect to nuclear weapons as the weapons were not public knowledge. As the use of chemical weapons was considered the final depth to which the Nazis stooped, the practice was considered so loathsome that it was the one ‘Red-Line’ that ETO and the RA declared they would enforce if necessary. As none of the major powers wanted a war, Stalin reluctantly decided to (for now) follow a strictly conventional approach, certain that superior numbers would win the day. Instead, he found a population that rabidly opposed every action they took. The Poles fought with a religious intensity that terrified the Soviets – an intensity helped by the Pope’s declaration in his Christmas address in 1947 that ‘every Pole that dies to defend their land and faith shall be a martyr before Christ’. Despite overwhelming air superiority, the dogged determination of every town was something that bled the Soviets white as they crossed into the country. The Western press gave breathless coverage to ‘proud Poland’, locked in the face of the Communist onslaught and standing tall. Enraged, Stalin ordered Beria to unleash perhaps the harshest counter-partisan and repression operation the NKVD had ever unleashed (indeed, it highly resembled the astonishing brutally of the Nazi occupations of the Eastern Front). Eastern Poland would be in rubble by New Year’s, but it was as much of a disaster for Russians as well as Poles. One Russian soldier recalled, “To drive from any one village in Poland to another unescorted was certain death. Only the paranoid survived.” The anti-partisan sweeps of the NKVD would be notorious even to the Red Army, with some commanders ordering 100 dead Poles for every dead Commissar. Bialystock in particular would be renowned far and wide for the cruelty with which the Red Army acted. There were 60,000 people in the town before the war started, and after the handiwork of the NKVD, that figure was reduced to 20,000. The cruelty was so unrelenting that even most Polish Communists sided with the government against the Russians, who were rapidly running out of steam.

    By February 15th, the most advanced brigades of the Soviet army could make out Warsaw. They knew the finest fighters in Poland would defend it to the hilt. The Polish government had already gone into hiding and were out of reach. Stalin’s mind returned to 1920 and the campaign that had gone so disastrously wrong before. He remembered how at the gates of Warsaw, the Poles had repulsed the Soviets and managed to send them out of the country. To make things worse this time around, on February 3rd, the first reports of strikes in East Berlin were grabbing Soviet attention. The East German police had already been overwhelmed (or outright joined the protests) – with the Soviets themselves now providing the repressive boot, Stalin feared that one great victory for the Poles would convince the Germans to rise up too. Stalin told Molotov, “If the Soviet Union does not take Warsaw, there will not be a Soviet Union”. And then, Stalin made one of the most infamous decisions in history, the effects of which were felt around the world; none more acutely than in the Land of the Free.


    The Death Spiral: Stalin 1941-1953 by Alexi Ivanovitch

    Most historians believe that the transfer of American nuclear knowledge to the Soviet Union started at the infamous meeting Wallace had with Gorsky, though the rest is somewhat fuzzy. Gorksy (in what could only be described as darkly humorous when one has the full details of the case) tried to convince Wallace that Secretary of State Hiss could be relied upon to do the job. Hiss feigned reluctance when approached but was inwardly stunned nonetheless. It was the greatest possible outcome for the Soviets – Hiss reportedly mused if he would get an Order of Lenin for the accomplishment. From there, Hiss contacted his controllers and coordinated a plan to extract the mechanisms for nuclear weaponry in full. From that, Operation Lighthouse was born. Every Soviet spy in Moscow’s books in the American atomic program was given a specific assignment. With the White House itself giving out passes to the assailants like candy, it was no problem. While the chain had many links, it culminated primarily in a series of spies who existed right at the heart of the Manhattan Project. Heading the ground operation were the couple of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who enlisted Klaus Fuchs and Morris Cohen among others to gather the materials required. Given security passes straight from the top, the assignment proved to be, in the words of Cohen, ‘boring and easy’. By the middle of 1947 (precise dates are hard to quantify given the intensity with which the Soviets approached the secrecy of the operation), it was estimated by one historian that ‘more than 90% of the Manhattan Project’s notes could be recreated in Moscow’. MI6 had reported to Whitehall that there were serious movements in the Soviet atomic program, but they were dismissed given reports of how primitive their systems initially were. Indeed, the European powers (especially Britain and Italy) continued to pursue separate programs. As the head of the Italian Nuclear program (Enrico Fermi) would later recall ‘we worked lazily without knowing we had gun barrels pressed to our temples’.

    Ironically, it was Stalin’s surprise at how easy the operation was going that blunted Soviet attempts to create the A-bomb. Some have estimated that the Soviets could have had the bomb as early as the first day of the Second Polish-Soviet War if it was pursued whole-heartedly. Regardless, the word reached Stalin on December 15th 1948 that a Soviet device was ready. Stalin, however, had been disturbed by the stiff Polish resistance in the war, and wanted to shatter the morale of the Polish fighters. He believed that to maximise the psychological shock, the first demonstration of the device should be in combat, preferably on an important cultural centre that would arrest Polish attention. Stalin ordered the hasty construction of a deliverable nuclear device and ordered that the plane drop her deadly cargo on Warsaw. With that, the final Soviet offensive on the capitol would begin. The name of the operation would be Operation Midnight. The name of the device was ‘IS-01’, the ‘IS’ meaning Joseph Stalin in the original Russian.

    One day after Valentine’s Day 1948, Polish fighters in Warsaw saw a single Soviet plane fly overhead. As the Poles had little to reply with and it was only a single plane, they let it fly on, eyes firmly on the opposing force just beyond the city. At 09:14 that day, a nuclear bomb exploded in the heart of Warsaw. While it was not as destructive as Hiroshima due to the superior building quality, twenty thousand human lives were extinguished in an instant with the whole of Warsaw awash in nuclear flames. The chaos was so immense that even the plane that delivered the bomb failed to make it out in time and crashed into the Vistula, killing the crew. Though many of the casualties were soldiers, some fifty thousand Polish civilians were killed due to the device immediately or due to complications resulting from fallout (a large chunk of which went in the Vistula and polluted surrounding regions). Ironically, large amounts of Soviet troops became casualties, many being blinded due to their facing the blast when the bomb exploded. Ultimately, the troops were marched in nonetheless with no regards to the effects from radiation. The Polish lines had indeed collapsed and the Soviet troops marched into a poisoned, burning city without protection. Some studies suggest that nearly twenty thousand Soviet troops would die of complications from the radiation, leading to the refrain in Poland to this day that this was the ‘Curse of Warsaw’.

    For the time, however, the use of nuclear weapons had accomplished precisely what Stalin had wanted. Warsaw had fallen into Soviet hands at the end of the day. Krakow would fall by the end of the week after a mass exodus from the city from many expecting another nuclear attack. Thankfully there would be no more. The list of red lines for the RA and ETO was expanded to include nuclear weapons, though it was thought not to apply this retroactively. The main reason was, of course, panic had set off right across Europe. In the halls of power, frantic phone calls were sent out between De Gaulle, Mussolini and Churchill, resulting in a European-wide nuclear program between ETO and the RA. Investigations were held as to how the entirety of European intelligence had so totally underestimated the Soviet nuclear program. Riots broke out across London and Paris while being brutally suppressed in Italy. They were fought between anti-Communists, whose fear and shock at the realisation the Soviets held nuclear supremacy over their lives had driven them to attack visible left-wing targets. Harry Pollit, the head of the British Communist Party, would die on the same day as the nuking of Warsaw. He was trapped in the party headquarters while the building was set on fire. This would create a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, with the Soviets alleging assassination by the British government. Though many in Britain feared this would result in Stalin pushing his advantage and beginning a nuclear war, in reality, the Soviet nuclear arsenal was already depleted and her troops were much more tied up in Poland.


    The Dark Decade: America in the 40s by Wendy Walters

    The nuking of Warsaw would be the catalyst that ended the Second Polish-Soviet War. President Raszkiewicz and virtually every major Polish diplomat caught a plane to Sweden to set up another government in exile. The only major figure that stayed in Poland to fight to the end was Witold Pilecki, who had made the same decision to stay in 1939. With the remainder of Poland falling like dominoes in the aftermath of the nuclear attack, he would create the ‘Polish Liberation Army’, which was mainly centered in the Carpathian Mountains. These would provide the backbone of what would eventually become known in Polish history as ‘The War of Polish Liberation’ (which some historians call ‘The Third Polish-Soviet War’), but for now it was simply a battered, frightened husk. This isn’t to mention the crippling refugee crisis that came out of Poland, with Czechia taking the overwhelming brunt of it. This inflamed nationalist resentment in Czechia that it was taking the cost of the refugees, and the European democracies had no interest in the electorally suicidal position of importing tens of thousands of unskilled foreigners to their nations. In response, Czechia began receiving overtures from the far sides of the world, in particular: Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa.

    Most historians regard the fall of Gdansk on May 8th 1948 to be the end of the Second Polish-Soviet War. Amazingly, there were three events that would result from the bombing of Warsaw even bigger than the occupation of the Polish state:

    · On February 20th 1948, King Abdullah of Jordan, a state that was carved out of the Trans-Jordan mandate, was assassinated by Soviet agents with the help of Arab nationalists within the King’s bodyguards. Abdullah supported peace negotiations with Israel, but the Soviets wanted the nascent Jewish state obliterated. Adbullah’s son Talal was cowed by his military officers to face down the Israelis, with the support of the Soviets. Talal, terrified of the same fate befalling him as his father, agreed to suspend negotiations with Israel. The officers had been thrilled by the Soviet nuking of Warsaw, and saw the Soviets as the stronger party in the Cold War, especially given Western inaction – seen as weakness. On March 1st, after further threats from officers within the Jordanian army (now thoroughly penetrated by Soviet agents and sympathizers), the Arab League began military operations against the Jewish state. British troops were nowhere to be seen, having been moved to Europe in light of the slaughter in Poland. In those initial days of the conflict, it seemed certain that the Jews of Palestine were doomed.

    · In China, seeing the strength of his hand, Mao finally decided to begin the final operation to crush Chiang. Mao had thoroughly imposed his rule in the north of the country, while Chiang held together a loose alliance of interests in the south, and that only by the skin of his teeth. Despite Stalin’s initial protests, on February 27th 1948, Mao Zedong launched the ‘Red Sun Campaign’, the conquest of all China. By the end of March, the Communists had already seized Nanking, and were continuing southward. Chiang’s troops were not loyal to him and often surrendered at the first chance they got, seeing no hope. The success of the campaign convinced Stalin that he had perhaps been unfair to Mao, and began to take an active interest in ensuring his success. He began stepping up funding to Mao, just as his own war in Poland was winding down.

    · But it would be the third consequence that may have had the greatest effect still. The explosion of the nuclear bomb over Warsaw had awoken many people to the dangerous nature of the Soviet Union. Among those was President Wallace. Upon hearing the news, he reportedly stared blankly and holed himself up in the Oval Office for three hours by himself. By the time he had recomposed, he ordered that a message come out that the US ‘was deeply concerned’ by the attack. When pushed by some for an outright condemnation, Wallace reportedly said. “I can’t. If I say that it means I was wrong. If I was wrong about everything up to now … I could never live with myself.” While Wallace talked in hypotheticals, others couldn’t. Ethel Rosenberg, one of the heads of the Rosenberg Spy ring was devastated when she heard the news. She only wanted the Soviets to get it to even the score in the Cold War. Now, with the avowed Anti-Semitism becoming more and more obvious from Stalin, not to mention the news of the destruction of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, she couldn’t take it any longer. On March 4th 1948, after having a fight with her husband, Ethel Rosenberg walked into the FBI offices, offering – in return for saving her own and her husband’s life - the full story on the Soviet nuclear spy program, including the involvement of members of the Wallace Administration. When the news hit the FBI’s main office, Clyde Tolson reportedly had one word: ‘Bingo’.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  17. President Earl Warren Well-Known Member

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    Great display of Moral cowardice on Wallace’s part
     
  18. gheser123 Well-Known Member

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    The president giving the atom bomb secret to the commies is going to make the Red Scare in OTL look like a firecracker compared to a nuke.
     
  19. mrmandias Regent

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    The Rosenbergs rat! That whole post is a heckuva thing.
     
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  20. traveller76 Member

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    Now the ETO and RA would scream to the world 'we told you and warned you!'. I expect the ETO and RA would increase economic and military aid to anybody fighting the communists in the world. It looks like China is lost however.
     
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