The North Star is Red: a Wallace Presidency, KMT Victory, Alternate Cold War TL

Chapter 195 - The Resistance
The Resistance
The mood in Washington D.C. was that of a funeral. Cold warriors dashed between buildings, discussing how they would resist this new President. The generals, intelligence agencies, and foreign policy experts loathed the new President-elect, who was not behaving in their minds as a responsible commander-in-chief. The Washington Post called upon Congress to impeach President Siler before he even was inaugurated, alleging that he broke the Logan Act by sending his expected Secretary of State nominee, Eugene McCarthy, to negotiate for peace in several conflicts that they did not want peace at. While a significant share of Democrats signed on, no Republicans were willing to impeach a President who hadn't even taken office yet. In a distinct breach of diplomatic protocols, McCarthy was present the Paris Peace Summit, which would eventually bring Soviet intervention in Indonesia to an end. Senator McCarthy promised an end to all US support to NILF - and conditioning all foreign aid to West Indonesia on also ending support to NILF, a key concession that allowed the summit to continue.

Worse of all, President-elect Siler also called to an end to the War in the Congo. In many ways, the Congo Winter Offensive probably broke the back of the Kennedy Administration. Although the offensive had fully pushed the Red Congolese out of Katanga, seized Leopoldville, and even began breaching their bases in the East, it failed in the goal of comprehensively destroying the guerillas, who merely dispersed into the massive Congolese heartland. American forces took more losses from improved explosives, traps, disease, and wildlife than they actually suffered from Red Congolese forces, which devastated morale and seriously weakened American excitement for the war even as they dealt the Congolese Reds a serious blow. President-elect Siler sent another one of his political allies, Senator Wayne Morse to the Congo on a "fact-finding mission" to see essentially if there was a deal that could mollify both the Congolais Rouge and the Dominionists. The report produced by Morse, hotly contested by the CIA which produced its own competing report, said that peace was probably not as hard to achieve as expected. For one, the Congolese Reds were in hiding in the West, wiped out in Katanga, and more or less stable only in the East. Judging that the Belgians were most interested in retaining Katanga (the homeland of Dominion leader Tshome himself) and Kasai, the Dominion was most popular and stable (or more accurately, least hated) in Katanga, and it was the region that the Reds were least interested in (due to its relatively low population), the Morse Report concluded that the most natural peace deal was for the Loyalists to withdraw to Kasai and Katanga provinces, which held most of the copper, gold, and other mining resources of the Congo, but only around 15-20% of the population. The Belgians would get most of the resources, the Reds would get most of the population, and oddly both of them might be satisfied enough to stick to an armistice and rebuild.

Notably, the CIA report produced did not actually contradict this. They merely asserted that an American-brokered peace in Congo would create a "domino effect" in the rest of Africa, especially in nearby Angola and Rwanda-Burundi. Moreover, they feared that a partial Red Congolese victory in the Congo War would provide a huge morale boost to the "socialistic" Tanganyikan forces resisting Idi Amin. However, with both Belgian and Communist diplomats responding relatively positively to the Morse Report, members of America's foreign policy establishment began to lose hope. Although the CIA began putting in place many measures to secretly support anti-Communist movements without the knowledge of the White House, one figure stood out as primus inter pares - the long-time director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, John Edgar Hoover. Viewing the new American President as a theocrat, crypto-communist surrounded with figures he lambasted as "negro Communists", Hoover saw Siler's dovishness on the Congo War as a sign of ideological corruption. Prominent antiwar and socialist activist Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, although not having endorsed Siler, described him as distinctly the "lesser evil" and quietly relished in his victory, which further darkened the opinion of American government officials towards the new President.

Hoover personally signed off on suggestions by CIA partners to enact a "strategy of tension" at home at the United States. Knowing that Siler's largest support base was in the U.S. South, Hoover decided to strike him where it hurt. Whereas as the FBI tried to keep the KKK, which had explosively grown after both major parties in American politics more or less abandoned the cause of segregationism, but had more or less been kept in check by the FBI infiltrating the KKK sufficiently to keep it simmering in low-level brawls and mostly non-fatal shoot-outs with socialists and African-American activists. Hoover judged that the coalition of Southern rural evangelicals and disproportionately African-American left-wing trade unionists that propelled Siler to victory in the South was an inherently fragile one. Unlike the second KKK, which was a nationwide movement, the third KKK was primarily based in the South and emerged from those furious at the rapid success of integration. Instead of holding back the KKK, FBI agents were either pulled out of KKK branches or even told to encourage more violence to "entrap" its members. In reality, FBI staffing was intentionally rendered inconsistent and "poorly managed" to ensure prosecutors wouldn't be able to build strong cases against violent KKK members even as hapless agents believed they were helping fight the KKK. The Siler Administration would be doomed to become attacked for presiding over the "Years of Lead", where KKK members and black radicals would mount violent bombings and assassinations against each other and civilians in the crossfire. In practice, with their massively superior resources and covert FBI encouragement (coincidentally, prosecutors would find that evidential records against black radicals tended to be much more robust even when they desired to prosecute both sides equally), the KKK would mount a widespread bombing campaign against black organizers and churches in the US South, which came under universal condemnation by all sides of American politics. However, Democrats had a very simple message to American blacks - "Republicans can't protect you", while simultaneously trying to tie the Republicans to black radicals. Almost none of these politicians had any idea of what was actually going on, but they were happy to take advantage of the situation

Siler came to power preaching peace abroad, racial equality at home, and balanced budgets, but his inauguration would marred by a string of bombings of black churches across the South, a tragedy that would set the stage of the rest of his administration. Although he put forward the argument to Americans that Siler, a devout, moderately pro-civil rights Southerner was the perfect candidate to mend America's racial wounds, events seemed to intervene to sabotage him. This was worsened by a rather inexperienced and ideologically fractitious cabinet. A mixture of leftists and conservative Christians, the presidential transition was largely a catastrophe, with the Democratic Senate simply refusing to confirm nominees, and the staffing extremely fractional. This comforted many of America's bureaucrats, who were disturbed that Siler's foreign policy was widely popular, but took solace that many Americans saw his administration as starting off on a chaotic and amateurish domestic policy.
 
Chapter 196 - The End of the Iraq War
The End of the Iraq War
Wherever Britain could retreat - it would. The new Liberal government promised an end to all of the wars, but not necessarily a pretty one. The first domino to fall was Jordan. With the British Army defeated by a sneak Israeli attack in the West Bank of Palestine, the remaining army units in Jordan proper could only desperately retreat to avoid the Syrian onslaught. Although the Syrian Army was not necessarily that strong - and in fact, the logistical collapse of the British Army combined with orders from London to simply give up on Jordan turned a retreat into a rout. Where British units could hold up and fight - they did quite respectably. For example, in the Battle of Qasr al-Abd, fewer than a hundred British paratroopers managed to hold off two Syrian divisions for nine hours, sufficient time to give enough time for Jordanian government officials and their families time to escape, before being overrun. However, the overall situation was seen as a total collapse of the Jordanian front, with desperate airlifts from Amman (a sea route was implausible, as Saudi forces had seized Jordan's only ports). Syrian anti-air, which had notably supplied by both Israel and the United States even as the Syrians claimed to be enemies of the West, raked evacuating British helicopters on their way out of Amman. President Tlass declared victory over the British forces, declaring the annexation of "South Syria". For what it was worth, the Syrian Army had been absolutely shredded in the war by superior British munitions - and was in far worse shape than most international observers understood.

Many international observers wondered why the Syrians would simply not turn on the Israelis, unaware of the secret Begin-Tlass agreement. However, even without such an agreement, Syria was in no shape to tackle Israel. Syrian troops had taken almost all of the losses in fighting the United Kingdom - and as the Warsaw Pact had actually cut off free military aid, Syrian troops were scraping the bottom of the barrel. In contrast, the Israelis received extremely generous arms shipments from the Kennedy Administration - and moreover, had captured a huge treasure trove of British equipment in the West Bank (where they were ironically stored to prevent the Syrians on getting a hold of them). Israeli military officers actually considered launching a pre-emptive strike on Syria - but it was agreed against because it was understood that there was no way for the Israelis to administer that much territory even if they won. Instead, the decision was made to construct a massive wall between Jordan and the West Bank. Instead, Syrian interests turned towards cleaning up the crisis in Iraq. The Iraqi Royalists, without their patron in Amman, also collapsed overnight, with most of their troops simply defecting to the pro-Syrian Nationalists. The Iraqi branch of the Ba'aath Party happily announced a total "merger" into the Syrian branch, one of the political parties in the Syrian ruling coalition, which had already been largely defanged in the same way that Francisco Franco had sought to defang the Falange. The Iraqi situation alarmed the West, which saw one of the few sources of oil for Europe endangered, starting a free for all as the Iraqi Civil War came to an end.

The collapse of the Royalists spelled doom for the American-backed Islamists, who quickly saw American interest in their cause dramatically after the election of President Siler. Immediately, a new patron had to be found. Luckily, a new patron was actually waiting in the wings quite happily. The French, eager to secure more oil resources for the European Economic Community, quickly moved in. Although initially pro-Syrian, the French immediately were shocked by the pace of Syrian success. Fearing for Lebanon, French troops quickly moved into the Islamic Republic of Qatif and the Basrah Province of Iraq. Meanwhile, the Iranians, who were opposed to the Islamists (due to the hostility of the Islamic ulema to the Iranian government), encouraged their closest ally in Europe to safeguard Kuwait. An agreement was quickly signed between Italy and Kuwait to protect the small state, which ironically as a conservative Sunni monarchy found common cause with the progressive Shia de-facto-republic of Iran. Unwilling to provoke a full-fledged war against the French (who they viewed as a serious military threat from two sides), the Syrians opted to stop their line of advance short of the French line of control after indicating to the French that they would not contest French control. The division of lines gave each Syria, France, and North China access to roughly 1/3rd of Iraq's oil fields, even as the Syrians were able to gain control over the overwhelming majority of the population. A cease-fire was soon signed, even as no peace agreement was ever agreed to. The Nationalists, although in theory representing an independent Iraq, were essentially coerced into signing a "Treaty of Union" with the Syrians. Oddly, there would be two Iraqi states, one in Kurdistan and one in Basrah, but neither would actually border each other.

In practice, it was impossible for the Iranians and Islamists to cooperate, even as they shared borders and a common enemy. After the Soviet-Iranian rapprochement, Iran buckled under a crushing embargo by most of the West, which caused the Iranians to generally support both the Nationalists and Communists in the Iraqi Civil War. Although Islamist militias backed up by the Islamic ulema were mostly disarmed, the war in Baluchistan continued to rage, with constant attacks on Iranian police and soldiers. Moreover, even as most of rural Iran ceased violent revolt against the Iranian government, it was never a particularly popular state. In many cases, secular reforms would be proclaimed in Tehran and simply ignored in the countryside. Prime Minister Mossadegh had neither the will nor interest in forcibly imposing such orders, feeling his position already threatened. The Beria government also pressured him to fill the empty throne with a member of the Tudeh Party, which after another disappointing economic report (which implied a need to export more goods to the USSR), Mossadegh crumbled and had his parliamentary majority enthrone a rather enthusiastic candidate (one pushed by Beria, not the candidate himself), the moderate Tudeh Party leader, Iraj Eskandari, the son of a former Qajar prince. Although welcomed by liberals and socialists, the selection was loathed by Islamists. Ironically, had fair elections been held, Mossadegh would have almost certainly lost, as his government had grown increasingly unpopular among the rural masses of Iran.

The Syrians and North Chinese-backed Kurds in theory were on the same side - but both loathed each other. And the Italo-Iranian-Kuwaitis and the Franco-Islamists were in theory on the same sides - but both groupings also generally disliked each other. The disunity in both coalitions would ironically be one of the causes of peace breaking out in Iraq - and the end of a war that to most Iraqis had simply lasted too long. Not to mention that the most aggressive party, the Syrians, were more focused on crushing widespread dissent and resistance in their newly annexed territories than making any additional gains.
 
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Meanwhile, the Iranians, who were opposed to the Islamists (due to the hostility of the Islamic ulema to the Iranian government), encouraged their closest ally in Europe to safeguard Italy. An agreement was quickly signed between Kuwait and Italy to protect the small province, which ironically as a conservative Sunni monarchy found common cause with the progressive Shia de-facto-republic of Iran.​

I think you mean Kuwait here, unless the Islamist Iraqi state has some really funky borders. :winkytongue:

By the way, using this map of modern Iraqi administrative divisions, could you give us a rundown of which parts of the country each faction controls after the armistice?

800px-Iraq%2C_administrative_divisions_-_Nmbrs_-_colored.svg.png
 
So basically the only thing these people agree on is "Fuck the British empire", otherwise they would gladly stab each other in an heartbeat.

Also Italy is basically going around collecting random allies. I love it.
 
I think you mean Kuwait here, unless the Islamist Iraqi state has some really funky borders. :winkytongue:

By the way, using this map of modern Iraqi administrative divisions, could you give us a rundown of which parts of the country each faction controls after the armistice?

800px-Iraq%2C_administrative_divisions_-_Nmbrs_-_colored.svg.png

Probably the Communists in 1, 4, 5, and 6? Not exactly sure - I remember having them mostly dig down in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Islamists should basically just be #18, maybe a tiny bit of 17. Truly just the Basrah area

So basically the only thing these people agree on is "Fuck the British empire", otherwise they would gladly stab each other in an heartbeat.

Also Italy is basically going around collecting random allies. I love it.

Italy's closest partners abroad are what? Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Brazil, and South Mainland Greece? I wonder if I'm forgetting anything, but I think that's it.
 
Treating the survival of European Empires, with all the brutality and exploitation that comes with them, as good things sounds pretty horrible.

Hello, I'm the writer of the TL you speak of.

I usually avoid commenting but I feel that since this is a fairly serious allegation that I'm an apologist for colonialism, occupation or anything of the sort, I thought I should set the record straight.

In the timeline, the following events are committed by the various European regimes on the African continent alone:

1) The use of nuclear weapons and WMDs which kill hundreds of thousands and leave countries in ruins even decades later.
2) Forced expulsions based on ethnic and religious grounds.
3) The creation of a sadistic and hopelessly evil South African pariah, so evil that it's barred from most international organisations.
4) The support of maniacal kleptocrats in the remains of the Congo.
5) The cultural genocide of Arab culture in at least five countries.
6) Blockades and boycotts against any country trying to stop their reigns.
7) The explicit acknowledgement from their leaderships that their presence is for no other purpose than their own benefit and not of the native populations.

Meanwhile:

1) There are multiple successful first world nations in Africa that definitively prove Anti-Black racists wrong when they say a Black country is doomed to fail. In fact, it is precisely this fact that makes Ian Smith realise the folly of his politics and move to moderate.

2) Multiple African states have consolidated into serious geopolitical players and played the overwhelming role in ending certain colonial presences in Africa by their hands alone.

And that's just Africa - in Asia, Vietnam has effectively taken over the Francophonie, much to Paris's outrage. Meanwhile, a longer Dutch colonial presence in Indonesia doomed the country to implosion.

As for my portrayal of certain colonial leaders as being too positive, I would point out I made a Stalinist who was implicated in most of Stalin's crimes a literal saint. I made a Polish Communist dictator who killed thousands a man who defied Stalin to save his country's Jews. Not to mention that practically all the shining moral examples of the timeline (mainly Berlinguer and Anne Frank) - were decisively on the Left, both of whom were bitterly opposed to the colonial wars in Africa.

I don't like to be 100% open online, but I feel I can give context this way that can explain the way I wrote the timeline: the story is highly influenced by my growing up in Northern Ireland, specifically the Irish quarter of Belfast. I was raised in the aftermath of a 30 year conflict where I can't name a single heroic deed in the entire span of the war. I grew up with my MP being a man who murdered a widowed mother and disappeared the body. The First Minister was a man who called my people 'vermin' and the number two (who was trying to kill the man who became First Minister a while back) forcibly turned innocent people into human suicide bombs. And the police all this time had been effectively sanctioning hits on people like my family by handing their info and locations over to genocidal terrorist groups whose dream was that my parents would either be expelled from the land they were born in or in a grave - there is still a sitting MP who endorsed their plan of genocide.

There were many ways I could have processed this information, especially given the Famine, Cromwell and all the individual stories of bigotry and terror my parents and grandparents faced, including a visit by Lenny Murphy. I've had to walk passed UVF memorials to people who only killed Catholic civilians, passed Combat 18 and Kill all Taigs graffiti and knew there were simply certain areas in your city you didn't go into.

Here's how I've come to accept it: wars of land and identity are fought between shades of grey justifying their moral darkness with visions of light that never come, and that ultimately the politics of revenge and grudge, no matter how much right you have to it, is forsaking your responsibility to future generations. And ultimately, in Northern Ireland, we generally accepted that after 30 years of death and horror - we accepted terrorists in government, murderers walking free, injustices never to be righted because my parents wanted me to have the life they never had. I can fully acknowledge how despicably the British state acted in Northern Ireland (collusion, MRF etc) while also acknowledging that things would have been vastly worse had they left - like Bosnia levels of bad. I can support and understand the necessity of Irish independence while firmly believing Ireland would have been better off economically if it stayed in the UK - it doesn't mean I'm Pro British colonialism in Ireland, it just means I acknowledge a godless world of people with having multiple different moral standards that are often in conflict with no easy ways to resolve them.

If you want full honesty, I based Ian Smith on OTL's Ian Paisley - even the final settlement in Rhodesia is essentially a copy of the Good Friday Agreement. I am honestly fascinated by the man, even though he would say my grandparents are all in hell and that I'm going there too. His journey from attacking Civil Rights marchers which perhaps caused the Troubles in the first place to becoming best friends with an IRA commander and agreeing to St Andrews when he finally acknowledged his responsibility to the people of Northern Ireland struck me deeply. One could see in his final interview the sense of regret that had followed him in his later years - it was haunting but it honestly inspired me to think even someone as bigoted as Paisley once was could be. Paisley's story has frankly made me steer clear of 'bad guy/good guy dichotomies' unless it can't be helped - genocide obviously being one.

I don't know if this convinced anyone of the sincerity of my anti-colonialism (always unjustified no matter the economic benefits), anti-Fascism (dear God I'd be executed a thousand times by now if I lived under one) and anti-bigotry (I saw it in all its disgusting self-righteousness and destructiveness practically from my doorstep - bigotry - Right-wing bigotry at that - ruined my parents and grandparents' lives.) I just wanted to write a story that challenged readers by making them look at people and things in a new light - that they could become better or worse people when thrust into entirely different circumstances, that there are world out there where only a few changes could make a Satan of a saint and vice versa. Basically, I wanted to turn darkness into grey, because if something is grey, you can understand it better and prevent it from happening again. In short, I wanted people to feel about these fictional representations of real life characters like I feel about Paisley.
 
Hello, I'm the writer of the TL you speak of.

I usually avoid commenting but I feel that since this is a fairly serious allegation that I'm an apologist for colonialism, occupation or anything of the sort, I thought I should set the record straight.

In the timeline, the following events are committed by the various European regimes on the African continent alone:

1) The use of nuclear weapons and WMDs which kill hundreds of thousands and leave countries in ruins even decades later.
2) Forced expulsions based on ethnic and religious grounds.
3) The creation of a sadistic and hopelessly evil South African pariah, so evil that it's barred from most international organisations.
4) The support of maniacal kleptocrats in the remains of the Congo.
5) The cultural genocide of Arab culture in at least five countries.
6) Blockades and boycotts against any country trying to stop their reigns.
7) The explicit acknowledgement from their leaderships that their presence is for no other purpose than their own benefit and not of the native populations.

Meanwhile:

1) There are multiple successful first world nations in Africa that definitively prove Anti-Black racists wrong when they say a Black country is doomed to fail. In fact, it is precisely this fact that makes Ian Smith realise the folly of his politics and move to moderate.

2) Multiple African states have consolidated into serious geopolitical players and played the overwhelming role in ending certain colonial presences in Africa by their hands alone.

And that's just Africa - in Asia, Vietnam has effectively taken over the Francophonie, much to Paris's outrage. Meanwhile, a longer Dutch colonial presence in Indonesia doomed the country to implosion.

As for my portrayal of certain colonial leaders as being too positive, I would point out I made a Stalinist who was implicated in most of Stalin's crimes a literal saint. I made a Polish Communist dictator who killed thousands a man who defied Stalin to save his country's Jews. Not to mention that practically all the shining moral examples of the timeline (mainly Berlinguer and Anne Frank) - were decisively on the Left, both of whom were bitterly opposed to the colonial wars in Africa.

I don't like to be 100% open online, but I feel I can give context this way that can explain the way I wrote the timeline: the story is highly influenced by my growing up in Northern Ireland, specifically the Irish quarter of Belfast. I was raised in the aftermath of a 30 year conflict where I can't name a single heroic deed in the entire span of the war. I grew up with my MP being a man who murdered a widowed mother and disappeared the body. The First Minister was a man who called my people 'vermin' and the number two (who was trying to kill the man who became First Minister a while back) forcibly turned innocent people into human suicide bombs. And the police all this time had been effectively sanctioning hits on people like my family by handing their info and locations over to genocidal terrorist groups whose dream was that my parents would either be expelled from the land they were born in or in a grave - there is still a sitting MP who endorsed their plan of genocide.

There were many ways I could have processed this information, especially given the Famine, Cromwell and all the individual stories of bigotry and terror my parents and grandparents faced, including a visit by Lenny Murphy. I've had to walk passed UVF memorials to people who only killed Catholic civilians, passed Combat 18 and Kill all Taigs graffiti and knew there were simply certain areas in your city you didn't go into.

Here's how I've come to accept it: wars of land and identity are fought between shades of grey justifying their moral darkness with visions of light that never come, and that ultimately the politics of revenge and grudge, no matter how much right you have to it, is forsaking your responsibility to future generations. And ultimately, in Northern Ireland, we generally accepted that after 30 years of death and horror - we accepted terrorists in government, murderers walking free, injustices never to be righted because my parents wanted me to have the life they never had. I can fully acknowledge how despicably the British state acted in Northern Ireland (collusion, MRF etc) while also acknowledging that things would have been vastly worse had they left - like Bosnia levels of bad. I can support and understand the necessity of Irish independence while firmly believing Ireland would have been better off economically if it stayed in the UK - it doesn't mean I'm Pro British colonialism in Ireland, it just means I acknowledge a godless world of people with having multiple different moral standards that are often in conflict with no easy ways to resolve them.

If you want full honesty, I based Ian Smith on OTL's Ian Paisley - even the final settlement in Rhodesia is essentially a copy of the Good Friday Agreement. I am honestly fascinated by the man, even though he would say my grandparents are all in hell and that I'm going there too. His journey from attacking Civil Rights marchers which perhaps caused the Troubles in the first place to becoming best friends with an IRA commander and agreeing to St Andrews when he finally acknowledged his responsibility to the people of Northern Ireland struck me deeply. One could see in his final interview the sense of regret that had followed him in his later years - it was haunting but it honestly inspired me to think even someone as bigoted as Paisley once was could be. Paisley's story has frankly made me steer clear of 'bad guy/good guy dichotomies' unless it can't be helped - genocide obviously being one.

I don't know if this convinced anyone of the sincerity of my anti-colonialism (always unjustified no matter the economic benefits), anti-Fascism (dear God I'd be executed a thousand times by now if I lived under one) and anti-bigotry (I saw it in all its disgusting self-righteousness and destructiveness practically from my doorstep - bigotry - Right-wing bigotry at that - ruined my parents and grandparents' lives.) I just wanted to write a story that challenged readers by making them look at people and things in a new light - that they could become better or worse people when thrust into entirely different circumstances, that there are world out there where only a few changes could make a Satan of a saint and vice versa. Basically, I wanted to turn darkness into grey, because if something is grey, you can understand it better and prevent it from happening again. In short, I wanted people to feel about these fictional representations of real life characters like I feel about Paisley.
I have not read your TL, but due to this very thoughtful, honest and raw post, I intend to. Well said.
 
Hello, I'm the writer of the TL you speak of.

I usually avoid commenting but I feel that since this is a fairly serious allegation that I'm an apologist for colonialism, occupation or anything of the sort, I thought I should set the record straight.

In the timeline, the following events are committed by the various European regimes on the African continent alone:

1) The use of nuclear weapons and WMDs which kill hundreds of thousands and leave countries in ruins even decades later.
2) Forced expulsions based on ethnic and religious grounds.
3) The creation of a sadistic and hopelessly evil South African pariah, so evil that it's barred from most international organisations.
4) The support of maniacal kleptocrats in the remains of the Congo.
5) The cultural genocide of Arab culture in at least five countries.
6) Blockades and boycotts against any country trying to stop their reigns.
7) The explicit acknowledgement from their leaderships that their presence is for no other purpose than their own benefit and not of the native populations.

Meanwhile:

1) There are multiple successful first world nations in Africa that definitively prove Anti-Black racists wrong when they say a Black country is doomed to fail. In fact, it is precisely this fact that makes Ian Smith realise the folly of his politics and move to moderate.

2) Multiple African states have consolidated into serious geopolitical players and played the overwhelming role in ending certain colonial presences in Africa by their hands alone.

And that's just Africa - in Asia, Vietnam has effectively taken over the Francophonie, much to Paris's outrage. Meanwhile, a longer Dutch colonial presence in Indonesia doomed the country to implosion.

As for my portrayal of certain colonial leaders as being too positive, I would point out I made a Stalinist who was implicated in most of Stalin's crimes a literal saint. I made a Polish Communist dictator who killed thousands a man who defied Stalin to save his country's Jews. Not to mention that practically all the shining moral examples of the timeline (mainly Berlinguer and Anne Frank) - were decisively on the Left, both of whom were bitterly opposed to the colonial wars in Africa.

I don't like to be 100% open online, but I feel I can give context this way that can explain the way I wrote the timeline: the story is highly influenced by my growing up in Northern Ireland, specifically the Irish quarter of Belfast. I was raised in the aftermath of a 30 year conflict where I can't name a single heroic deed in the entire span of the war. I grew up with my MP being a man who murdered a widowed mother and disappeared the body. The First Minister was a man who called my people 'vermin' and the number two (who was trying to kill the man who became First Minister a while back) forcibly turned innocent people into human suicide bombs. And the police all this time had been effectively sanctioning hits on people like my family by handing their info and locations over to genocidal terrorist groups whose dream was that my parents would either be expelled from the land they were born in or in a grave - there is still a sitting MP who endorsed their plan of genocide.

There were many ways I could have processed this information, especially given the Famine, Cromwell and all the individual stories of bigotry and terror my parents and grandparents faced, including a visit by Lenny Murphy. I've had to walk passed UVF memorials to people who only killed Catholic civilians, passed Combat 18 and Kill all Taigs graffiti and knew there were simply certain areas in your city you didn't go into.

Here's how I've come to accept it: wars of land and identity are fought between shades of grey justifying their moral darkness with visions of light that never come, and that ultimately the politics of revenge and grudge, no matter how much right you have to it, is forsaking your responsibility to future generations. And ultimately, in Northern Ireland, we generally accepted that after 30 years of death and horror - we accepted terrorists in government, murderers walking free, injustices never to be righted because my parents wanted me to have the life they never had. I can fully acknowledge how despicably the British state acted in Northern Ireland (collusion, MRF etc) while also acknowledging that things would have been vastly worse had they left - like Bosnia levels of bad. I can support and understand the necessity of Irish independence while firmly believing Ireland would have been better off economically if it stayed in the UK - it doesn't mean I'm Pro British colonialism in Ireland, it just means I acknowledge a godless world of people with having multiple different moral standards that are often in conflict with no easy ways to resolve them.

If you want full honesty, I based Ian Smith on OTL's Ian Paisley - even the final settlement in Rhodesia is essentially a copy of the Good Friday Agreement. I am honestly fascinated by the man, even though he would say my grandparents are all in hell and that I'm going there too. His journey from attacking Civil Rights marchers which perhaps caused the Troubles in the first place to becoming best friends with an IRA commander and agreeing to St Andrews when he finally acknowledged his responsibility to the people of Northern Ireland struck me deeply. One could see in his final interview the sense of regret that had followed him in his later years - it was haunting but it honestly inspired me to think even someone as bigoted as Paisley once was could be. Paisley's story has frankly made me steer clear of 'bad guy/good guy dichotomies' unless it can't be helped - genocide obviously being one.

I don't know if this convinced anyone of the sincerity of my anti-colonialism (always unjustified no matter the economic benefits), anti-Fascism (dear God I'd be executed a thousand times by now if I lived under one) and anti-bigotry (I saw it in all its disgusting self-righteousness and destructiveness practically from my doorstep - bigotry - Right-wing bigotry at that - ruined my parents and grandparents' lives.) I just wanted to write a story that challenged readers by making them look at people and things in a new light - that they could become better or worse people when thrust into entirely different circumstances, that there are world out there where only a few changes could make a Satan of a saint and vice versa. Basically, I wanted to turn darkness into grey, because if something is grey, you can understand it better and prevent it from happening again. In short, I wanted people to feel about these fictional representations of real life characters like I feel about Paisley.
Thanks for the long and well put together reply. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

So since it's often brought up in comparison between your TL and this one, what's your thoughts on North Star's portrayal of Henry Wallace?

Wallace is often depicted as a disaster president in AH, including yours but here alongside other standard AH tropes that are subverted or deconstructed, President Wallace is depicted as flawed but ultimately not a cartoonish and unreasonable parody of himself.
 
Thanks for the long and well put together reply. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

So since it's often brought up in comparison between your TL and this one, what's your thoughts on North Star's portrayal of Henry Wallace?

Wallace is often depicted as a disaster president in AH, including yours but here alongside other standard AH tropes that are subverted or deconstructed, President Wallace is depicted as flawed but ultimately not a cartoonish and unreasonable parody of himself.


Everything I wrote about Wallace in my TL (offering nuclear secrets to Stalin, staffing his operation with literal Soviet spies and apologism for blatant imperialism) all had a real life equivalent, and this in a world where there wasn't an active Fascist Bloc left standing, thriving and expanding after WW2. He would have had even more reason to be lenient on the USSR in my timeline.

He literally offered nuclear secrets to Joseph Stalin in real life - I didn't even know that before I began writing him in my timeline and would never have dreamed to do it because I would have thought it a credibility breaker.

Ultimately, of course Wallace could have been different from how I wrote him. A moving testimony, the joint chiefs lobbying, a conflict of interests, anything. So I really don't mind how any TL depicts Wallace as long as he's basically on the Left and has some rationalisation for his actions. You want to write Wallace standing up for Czechoslovakia? Fine, as long as you can write about how he comes to the conclusion.

I find the disbelief that my own portrayal of Wallace gets, despite the fact it nearly perfectly mirrors what he actually did and said during the time period, as something of a Tiffany in Medieval Europe conundrum (it was a real name at the time but no writer would inset it as people would think it anachronistic).
 
I feel like the Iraqi Civil War wiki box really captures the spirit of this TL (in particular, looking at how Iran, France, and Syria are both supporting 2/4 sides, the US and UK are on different sides, and Israel is allegedly supporting everyone).
 

CalBear

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Also again i apologise to those (especially the author) who have to deal with me diverging the attention from a beautiful timeline like The North Star just to deal with something i should have done a long time ago.
If you knew that you were out of line posting this particular Text Wall in this thread, why in the Name of the Great Spaghetti Monster did you do it?

Do not repeat.

Ever.
 
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