NOTE: All text below is copyright (C) offtopic/Anon.
Posted on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 09:10 am:
17th January 1946: Joseph Stalin dies of a massive heart attack.
18th Jan 1946: The shocked Politburo agrees to the creation of a Collective and the (temporary) sharing of powers between the main players. Molotov, as Foreign Secretary, Zhdanov as leader of the party apparatus, Beria with the NKVD and Malenkov who controls the economy. Other players to think of is Zhukov, not disgraced yet and enormously popular among the people who could become a major threat to the Big Four.
24th Jan 1946: The State Funeral of Stalin occurs and thousands die after trying to get to Stalin’s body. He is put in a mausoleum, next to Lenin. The Big Four make their speeches, with Beria talking about reform, reconciliation and normality as his aims. Molotov mainly talks about Stalin’s achievements, Malenkov talks about the need for economic reconstruction while Zhdanov the Russian party hawk emphasises the importance of ‘building socialism and defending the Soviet State’.
Early 1946: People dependent on Stalin like Abukumov and others are replaced or transfer their loyalties to the new Pretenders to the Throne. Zhdanov and Malenkov detested each other while Beria hated Zhdanov. Although he had a political alliance with Malenkov, he didn’t really trust him but manipulated him for his own ends. Molotov wasn’t really seen as a real threat but his prestige (considerable at the time) could swing it either way. Molotov was friendly with Beria but as a conservative he would probably agree more with Zhdanov.
Mid to late 1946: The first clash occurs on Poland where the communists there are increasingly dictatorial towards their London Poles who were allowed token representation in the government. Beria is against this as he wants a Social Democratic Poland based on a proper ‘peoples democracy’ where the communists are in coalition with other parties and the economy are basically capitalist rather than socialist. Of course the Red army would be allowed free passage and Poland would be economically aligned with the USSR but the USSR would avoid forcing upon the people a communist dictatorship which was stupid in Berias opinion. Zhdanov and Molotov are against this and a ruthless battle occurs throughout 1946 while both sides try to show the advantages of their point of view to the top soviet elite. Much of the army support Zhdanov but importantly Zhukov supported Beria, as he doesn’t want the party to be more important than it already was. Zhukov hated the party and because Zhdanov was the parties spokesperson than he would support Beria. This is crucial and swings the argument to Beria’s side. (The polish position is contradictory. They want absolute power but don’t want to be a Russian puppet state as this is Zhdanovs well-known plan. Because of this they are hopelessly confused and are of little importance anyway).
In a stormy politburo meeting Beria and his allies force Zhdanov, Molotov and the bulk of the land army to accept a non-communist Poland. The Army is furious and although most accept the position because of Zhukov’s charisma and authority a minority starts talking of action to get a ‘real’ Russian policy imposed on its satellites. In disgust Molotov resigns but Zhdanov stays on (Beria wants to sack him but he knows a minority of the army would do a coup if that happened). Feelings are running high although for the public they know little. Basically it’s the division of the russophiles who dominate the Army and the Party who want an ‘imperial’ solution and the nationals like Beria who detests attempts to recreate the Russian Empire. This is the root of the problem.
In the West the leaders wait and see but are hoping that reasonable elements in the USSR take power and it gradually becomes clear throughout 1946 that Beria is pro-western. At that time the USSR wasn’t hated, that would only occur after 1947 when the Czech coup showed to the world how the soviets had disregarded the old treaties of democracy and free elections.
Jan-Feb 1947: Beria strengthens his position in the NKVD and puts 24 hour surveillance of his political enemies while putting on elert his NKVD armed regiments which could battle it out with the Army if things come to worse. Zhdanov continues to build alliances with Army generals and fights against Malenkov who is aiming to reduce the power on the economy by the party cadres.
7th Feb 1947: Beria takes his argument straight to the people at the Party Congress, which is heard, on radio across the Soviet Union. He calls on an ending of the ‘evil’ collective system, the truth about the purges, the freeing up of the workers, a true soviet commonwealth in its allies in Europe and more rights for the republics. Most importantly he demands a return to normality and putting the peoples needs first, not the armies. It is revolutionary and the whole Congress stands up to applaud him and he becomes a hero among the people. The NKVD tells him from his informers across the nation that the people are saying the Beria is their only hope for a better future.
8th Feb 1947: Zhdanov makes his speech, calling for a proper defence of Soviet interests against the West, and makes an appeal to Mother Russia with Russian chauvinism at the heart of his message. It wasn’t a very good speech as Zhdanov was a terrible speaker and he looked small, sinister and shifty. Still the appeal to Russian nationalism is popular to the masses and anti-Semitism also grows.
26th Fed 1947: Finally Zhdanov moves and along with sections of the army attempts a coup. He convenes the Central Committee but Beria knew the plans (thanks to the NKVD) and had taken precautions. He had made sure that he was in Georgia rather than Moscow (Zhdanov is planing to arrest Beria) and all the military commanders supporting Zhdanov were arrested just after Zhdanov speech in Moscow on a State of Emergency. Of course Beria could have pre-empted Zhdanov and his allies but he wanted to be seen as the defender fighting for his own survival and than taking completely justified revenge on Zhdanov once he’s destroyed the coup.
27th Feb 1947: Zhdanovs State of Emergency and his army-supported coup in Moscow shocks the people and more importantly the soviet elite. Unfortunately for Malenkov he is captured trying to flee Moscow and is ordered to be shot by Zhdanov.
28th Fed 1947: now the counterattack occurs. Beria, from Georgia calls the nation to stop Zhdanov and these rebels to be crushed ruthlessly. NKVD forces surround Moscow and Beria loyal army units also plan for the counterattack. Zhdanov is terrified. The military supported expected has not materialised after the majority of his commanders were arrested and shot by Beria’s secret police. The remainder had decided – in time honoured Russian fashion – to remain neutral until the winner is clear. Apart from the forces in Moscow under his command he has little military support elsewhere in the USSR.
3rd March 1947: Berias forces around Moscow attack and force themselves against fanatical resistance to near the heart of Moscow where Zhdanov and his allies were based.
5th March 1947: Beria’s promise of clemency for all men fighting for Zhdanov is brilliantly effective. It is by now clear that Zhdanov is doomed. Nobody wants to dies and nobody wants Moscow to the bombed do most the army defect to Beria’s forces.
10th March 1947: Beria and his army/NKVD troops are near to the Party headquarters in Moscow. Zhdanov and his top allies kill themselves and there is a final resistance by die-hard forces. Sadly there is a final casualty, Zhukov is killed while helping Beria (also in Moscow) in the battle against Zhdanovs forces.
12th March 1947: Beria announces himself as the new Premier of the Soviet Union now that all his potential opponents are dead or fleeing. Molotov, captured is kept for the moment so that he can be forced (through torture if necessary) to tell the world about Stalin’s crimes.
13th March 1947: A new politburo of committed Beriaists is formed and the NKVD is renamed the MVD, or the Ministry of Internal Affairs where Beria has de facto control over. Beria soon announces plans to transform the Soviet Union…
Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 08:53 am:
The crisis over Poland had electrified the increasingly subject peoples of Eastern Europe. There were reports of spontaneous outbreaks of riots demanding free elections and democracy. The people of Eastern Europe were expecting much of Beria, who seemed to be promising a better future, of freedom, liberty and eventual prosperity. The ‘Little Stalin’s’ were realising that their position was insecure and the only thing keeping them in power was the Red Army that Beria was promising was going to be withdrawn from eastern Europe.
Truman was facing domestic difficulties with Republicans demanding a return to isolationism, as the USSR appeared to be not a threat. In Germany there was renewed hope. Germany hadn’t been partitioned yet and there was much hope of a new free democratic united Germany. The western allies also claimed to want this but privately distrusted so soon after the war a united Germany.
The Soviet Union’s power structure showed the MVD or the Secret Police clearly the senior partner now against the Party and the Army. This trend of a weakening Party and a small depoltical Army against the almighty MVD and its ally, the State apparatus and the economic ministries would only increase. Merkulov (one of ‘berias gang’) as head of MVD was already preparing think tanks over potential reforms across Soviet society, working with the necessary specialists and the intellectual elite who were reformist and progressive. In the ethic minority Republics of the USSR people were hopeful and whole regions were in rebellion against their Russian overlords.
15th March 1947: Beria announces formal contacts with the Vatican and the Orthodox Church to be opened and expanded. The first ever Concordat with the Pope will be signed soon, promising religious freedom for soviet Catholics. This first progressive action stuns the West and there is much talk of a new Détente with the liberal Beria.
17th March 1947: Beria announces that over a million GULAG prisoners will be released and others will soon apart from dangerous state criminals.
18th March 1947: Torture is from now banned apart from cases of traitory and special political crimes. This exception is not noticed by most and there is much celebration that the MVD will change its ways.
25th March 1947: From now on Beria says that party organs will be de-established from the Army, and the Party and the Central Committee will have no authority over the economy. This is a massive reduction of the party and angers the party cadres who already are being sacked by Beria.
April – June 1947: Beria promise reforms but calls for people to be patient, but announces a ‘special’ Party Conference to be formed in July to show the world what is going to be promised.
In the Politburo there is much discussion about how Stalin’s crimes will be show to the world. Already Molotov, Prisoner Number 1, is being interrogated over all the Show Trials of the thirties and his contribution with them. Everybody though will tell their crimes, including Beria and it will be shown that the system is evil, not the individuals. Beria is finally discussing about whether talking about Lenin and the crimes of the Bolshevik Revolution should be included. Already the ‘conservatives’ in Berias Politburo are saying that they should take it one thing at a time, firstly the 1930s, the Great Terror and Stalin, than possibly Lenin. For the moment Beria agrees and wants a fair and truthful show to the world.
JULY 1947: SPECIAL PARTY CONFERENCE
All leading politburo members meet at the vast Palace of Soviets to show the world (the proceedings have been televised so westerners as well as the soviet people can watch). Beria is excited; this is what he has been looking forward to all his life, reforming the USSR. Through speeches heard by radio across the USSR and the West (soviet workers stop working to listen to the expected reforms) the promised reforms are thus:
The Collective system will be abolished and the peasants – in the Ukraine, Baltic, Causasia and Siberia – and than eventually in Central Russia will be allowed to leave the Collective farms and farm their own private allotments. The state would only be responsible for maintaining regional agronomic institutes where the best species and seeds would be produced, for advising farmers and for setting up agricultural credit banks. The link where the farmer farms both the collective farm and his private plot would be extended in Central Russia where the peasants were much less individualised than in the non-Russian areas. Finally the peasants can travel where they want, one of the most hated infringements of the normal peasants freedom in the Soviet Union.
Beria called for the creation of an independent Germany, united and democratic. He scoffed the idea that Germany would become a renewed threat to Europe, claming that Germany would be de-nazified and America and the USSR would be the two pillars of stability in post-war Europe. Most importantly Germany will be capitalist and neutralist (like a bigger Austria OTL). The speech is revolutionary in Germany and the West where soon leading Germans are talking about an political and economic alliance with Berias USSR which will together push forward for unification. Truman is astonished and Beria is progressively destroying the remaining anti-USSR feeling in America and Western Europe.
The nations of Eastern Europe will become free again, Beria promises. The Red Army will leave and the plundering and pillaging will end. All nations will be allowed free elections and end of communist dictatorships will occur. In return they must accept a Warsaw Pact, which will safe guard the nations and will be a free trading economic zone, linked with the West.
THE NEW ECONOMIC PLAN
Beria in his speech says, “our economy is in shambles. Our people live on dirt. The military-industrial complex is all dominant”. Instead consumer goods will be produced thanking the soviet people for their heroic fighting during the war. He also calls for a Marshall Plan from America and promises that people will be allowed to trade again and that the Plan is an our of date. Fundamentally a NEP will be needed to bring back prosperity for all. Small traders and business will be liberated from the State and co-operatives will be encouraged. Of course the “commanding heights of the economy” will remain for the State.
For Beria the Russification of the non-Russian regions has been appalling and this will end. Firstly the Republics like Georgia will gain more power from the Centre/Moscow and party cadres there as well as regional heads will be expected to be natives, not Russians. Also the Russian settlers put in places like the Baltic will return as this is distorting the republics. Finally the republics will have more freer elections to bring in new blood and will gain a equal share of money, industry and other aspects which up to now has all been concentrated in Russia proper (Moscow, Leningrad and the Urals).
THE GREAT TERROR, PURGES AND STATE CRIMES
Beria in his most important speech tells the truth about how many were killed in the purges and in the civil war. He promises that “all that were part of this “system of evil” will tell their responsibility, including me for their crimes against the soviet people”. The widely expected ‘trial’ will occur sometime next year, once all the evidence has been formed, and star witness will be Stalin’s right hand man Molotov who had a part in every purge of the thirties. Beria’s ambition is show that it was Stalin who caused Kirovs death and directly ordered the great Terror. He wants to destroy Stalin’s reputation among the ordinary people and cautiously hint at the part of Lenin and his crimes against the people.
It is promised that banned books will be allowed to be published, including books by Trotsky, Bukarin, and even western ‘capitalist’ authors like Adam Smith etc. The intellectuals will be freed to talk about the system and how to improve it. Also history will be rewritten to tell the truth and finally the secret archives of the Kremlin would be gradually reopened to show the world about the Katyn Massacre of 300,000 polish officers (something Sergo Beria in his book ‘Beria My Father inside Stalin’s Kremlin’ claims that Beria refused to have anything to do with it).
These reforms, collectively called the Beria Programme were agreed to by the party conference. Many were impressed but a minority were horrified in the USSR. Either way, there was no turning back.
August 1947: in Italy the Popular Front with the Communists the main partner are elected and win decisively against the Christian Democrats. In France the French Communists are growing in strength but there is deep division between the orthodox communists and the Eurocommunists or reform communists who want to imitate Beria and have their own alternative route to Socialism.
The first major withdrawals of remaining Red Army units are occur in Eastern Europe. In all countries new elections are formed and in Poland the communists do terribly and the Farmers party and the socialists form a coalition.
October 1947: The Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Finland. This allows the Red Arm to travel between the countries and have military bases in the respective countries. Apart from this the nations will be sovereign and the USSR promises not to interfere in the countries. It also allows free trade.
In Germany the Council of Foreign Ministers (of the big four) agree to a united Germany. France is against but massive American pressure forces the French to agree as they threaten not to give France any of the soon to be expected Liberation Europe money, like the Marshall Plan. Except that all countries including the USSR agrees. The united Germany will be officially formed with its own currency, the Reichsmark, its capital Berlin next year, 1948.
October – December 1947
Within the Soviet Union vast changes are taking place. The laws to liberate the peasants are being drafted, and are expected to be taking out next year. Beria releases the remainders of the GULAG prisoners (apart from criminals) and major figures who were disgraced including Bukarin, Trotsky etc are rehabilitated. Censorship laws have been relaxed and the new books are flooding the market, eagerly being read by the educated across the Soviet Union. Discussion groups are being formed by intellectuals and although carefully watched by the MVD in case they dare go further than talk are not repressed. Many factories are changing from building tanks, aircraft’s to consumer goods like textiles, clothes and other goods needed by the people.
In the economy the NEP is being drafted and already thousands of enterprising people are created their own co-operatives to distribute goods between cities and the countryside. The Atom Bomb continues to be created but Beria discusses whether International agreements should be agreed with the United States on whether to limit atomic bombs or even to abolish them.
Across the apparatus natives who can speak Estonian etc replace Russians in the republics and powers are transferred to the republics. There is much local discussion about the purges and everybody is looking forward to the expected Show Trial where the truth will be unearthed. For the soviet elite Beria’s most tangible reform has been the sudden liberalisation of travel laws and many of the elite pour into the West and Germany desperate to see the rich West. A few get to America and are astonished by the riches there. Also many students in the USSR are being in the process of transferring to Germany to study there which Beria hopes will widen their experience and will make them commented liberalists and supporters of Beria reforms.
Jan 1948: Beria orders the Red Army to leave Austria and the State Treaty agreeing to a neutral Austria is signed with the other occupying powers.
The expected German Federal Democratic Republic constitution will be signed and the state officially agreed by the Big Four. There is much progress and it has already been agreed that all foreign troops will be withdrawn, that the new united Germany will be democratic, capitalist and will be able to rearm its Army to over 500,000 men. Beria also agrees to no reparations or forced disarmament. The French try to obstruct it every way which angers the German people and destroys any attempts for the foreseeable future of post-war Franco-German co-operation.
Millions of peasants in the Ukraine, Baltic, Causasia and Siberia leave their hated collectives and bring back their private allotments. Many people in the Party are shocked but most are frightened to say anything publicly after a ‘visit’ by the MVD. Already there is a sudden influx of food, as the astonishingly inefficient collective are disbanded, (most of the food was wasted in the collectives), to the cities and workers are happy about all the new food.
The new peasant law is brought in and millions of peasants in the Central Russia region expand their private plots although most don’t want to leave the collective for cultural and sound economic reasons. Finally the peasants are liberated and can now travel where they want throughout the USSR. Many start to pour into the big cities, hoping for a better life.
President Truman offers Premier Beria a summit meeting to discuss issues of interest between the two superpowers. Beria agrees but also invites the British Prime Minister Atlee as well. This will occur in May in Berlin, for symbolic reasons, as the New Germany will be officially proclaimed there.
Across Eastern Europe the hated soviet dictators are overthrown in free elections. Instead reformist communists take place and the new governments (mostly non-communist) start to overturn the damaging communist measures forced through by their predecessors. Marshal Tito, seeing how the wind is blowing agrees to democratic elections after widespread worker strikes and wins decisively. The attempt by Greek communists to overthrow the government that is supported by Great Britain is finished after Beria orders them to stop “or else”.
Feb 1948: in the factories ‘military discipline’ is ended on the soviet workers and the brutal criminal law are changed to ease the burden of the worker. The GULAG camps start to be bulldozed but some will remain open, for visitors to see how Stalin treated the soviet people.
The first western tourists visit the USSR and are appalled by the way the people live. Near Moscow the open GULAG camp is visited by tourists and former prisoners are paid to show the shocked westerners how they lived, or how they were expected to die.
The Republics gain more power and the territories are redrawn along ethic lines and new Republics created for example Tatarstan for the ethnic tatars who don’t have their own republic. The new men in these Republics are committed Beria supporters and energetically push forward reform.
There is a purge of the Red Army and generals known to be sympathetic to the ‘traitor’ Zhdanov are fired. There is a massive restructuring and the Red Army is planned by Beria to be reshaped and national republics will be allowed their own ‘small’ Army. The defence budget is massively reduced and the remainder will be spent on hi-tech technology using captured German scientists.
In China the Chinese communists led by Mao continue their invasion of Nationalist China. He distrusts Beria and dislikes his reforms, thinking that they are un-communist. Beria knows about this because he has spies riddled in the Chinese Communist Party.
April 1948: Hundreds of thousands of victims of the Great Terror are rehabilitated, after families send letters to Beria asking for their cases to be reconsidered.
In North Korea the dictator Kim Sung is increasingly threatened by Beria elements within the Communist party there. Beria hates Kim Sung and wants him killed. He is thinking of winding down North Korea and letting it be forcibly reunited with South Korea. Already he’s refused Kim Sungs request for military aid to modernise his Army.
Already the intellectuals are starting to become braver and many are publicly calling for new reforms. For example free elections in the USSR. Beria promise to consult the intellectuals but calls for people to be patient.
The economy is increasingly disorganised. With the party influence gone the managers can now run their own factories but since there still is only a nascent market for goods the Plan is still kept despite the fact it doesn’t reflect economic realties. Already Beria is focusing on the economy, saying that it’s his Number 1 priority and the Five Year Plan will be abolished soon. Instead the New Plan will no longer busy itself with macroeconomics and instead will focus on the economy on the whole. Small businesses are being set up and many, which used to be run by the state, are being privatised.
There is a new education programme teaching people basic concepts like profit, competition and private ownership. Many people, confused by the changes accuse Beria of being a capitalist. He claims he’s not, rather he is pushing forward Scientific Socialism. Of course few people are criticising him openly because of the continued fear of the MVD, which is the most powerful institution in the Soviet society.
May 1948: President Truman, Premier Beria and Prime Minister Atlee meet in Berlin. All the Great Powers sign the Basic Constitution for Germany (like in OTL) and a million German people cheer Beria when he stands to applaud the German people. The most popular man in Germany and the West is Lavrentii Beria and the western media start talking Beria mania (extremely similar to Gorby mania). Before his trip to Berlin he travelled through the Warsaw Pact capitals where everywhere people treated him like a Superstar. He was mobbed in Hungary where people were crying with happiness when they saw him. The poles called him the Liberator. In the West Socialism and Communism are popular again. The French Communists where the Eurocommunists have won are expected to win 40% of the popular vote in the general election. Many are talking in Italy of joining the Warsaw Pact and in Britain in the labour Party pro-sovietism are fashionable among the Left. Because of this the western leaders are under pressures from public opinion to agree to Berias proposals of massive economic aid to the Warsaw Pact to help rebuild their economies. (Although Truman agreed to the limited Liberation Europe programme Beria wants aid on the size of OTL’s Marshall plan).
Beria meets with Truman who congratulates him on freeing Eastern Europe from the soviet yoke. Beria thanks him but wants in return economic aid. Truman agrees – as he wants Beria to continue and billions of aid will help consolidate his economic reforms – and promises to try to push it through the Senate. The new German Chancellor Adenauer signs an Alliance with the Soviet Union and thanks him for his crucial help for reunifying Germany. Beria in a calculated move sends free grain to Italy where the economy is in shambles at the moment. There is much anger that the United States hasn’t done enough to revitalise Europe.
Mid to late 1948: The worldwide show trial, promising to tell all on Stalin’s crimes starts in Moscow. Beria’s crucial witness Molotov had refused to attack Stalin but a week of painful torture had forced him too and seeing he had no choice had participated energetically in explaining what Stalin had done throughout the Twenties and Thirties.
All the great Show Trials are talked of and Molotov tells the audience that “yes, Stalin did order the killing of Kirov”. The whole nation listens morbidly fascinated by what is being heard. In a twist of poetic justice Vyshinki is forced to apologise over his crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment. Beria himself admits his crimes, including his participating in the torturing and killing of thousands in Georgia and the forced resettlement of minorities in Causasia, (which have now been sent back to their homelands). Still Beria manages to show that he was in his own words a “unwilling scroundal, not a willing one who actively encouraged Stalin in his crimes”. Strangely the fact that the truth comes out and Berias own apology makes him more popular among the people who are avidly reading the new books on the GULAG which are flooding the market.
In the Communist Party of the USSR the recent spates of reforms have disorientated many and factions are starting to appear.
Radicals: These want a truly democratic, socialist market economy but there is a split between the ones who want a weak confederate/federal USSR and the other russophiles who desire a more or less centralised state with small concessions to the republics.
Reformists: This group is much larger than the small, rather intellectual based radicals are and completely support Beria. They know that you can’t have a complete change and the system will slowly adapt to the radical reforms being introduced by Beria. For them the reforms will need to be introduced slowly but the eventual goal, like the radicals they share (although the democracy bit is extremely controversial) is generally accepted.
Conservatives: Much of the party and army of this way inclined, agreeing that reforms are needed but want slow stable reforms which don’t rock the boat. Although they’re a few conservatives in the politburo there main strata of support come from the middle ranking nomenclature that attempted to obstruct Berias reforms.
Reactionaries: There was surprisingly large amount of people who wanted to return to the ‘good old days’ of Stalin. They objected to the whole process of destalinisation. Most of these blimps came from the Party functionaries but as the Party had little power they could do little damage to Beria. Many of the key leaders of this faction were being regularly arrested and shot by the MVD, determined to liquidate out-right opposition to Beria and the MVD.
These four factions would soon be going public in the next few years and almighty power struggle will occur as Beria pushes forward his radical reforms. The biggest arena will be the Economy, which will be going through an epoch making change, from the Plan to the Market.
Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 09:12 am:
Early-mid 1949: In China Chairman Mao continues to smash the nationalists and Chiang. Beria understands the importance of a Communist victory in Asia for the USSR. Firstly it will focus anti-communism completely away from the Soviet Union and onto China where Mao with his radical revolutionary Maoist ideology will be popular among the liberation groups in the European empires. Secondly Nationalist China would be a strategic threat as it will be pro-American. Of course Beria has no illusions about Mao but for the short term China desperately needs economic help and the only country to give that is the USSR, forcing Mao into Berias strategic orbit.
In America the elections are soon going to occur and Truman seems certain to lose to Republican Dewey a isolationist who wants to concentrate on the Pacific not on Europe. His message is popular with the people and it’s unanimous that Truman will lose (like in OTL). Beria hopes that Dewey wins because he will leave Europe with no choice but to align itself with the peace loving Soviet Union.
In the Red Army the Russian officer corps are seething. Although the MVD continues massive surveillance of all leading officers and knows different circles of nationalistic officers are planning a few coups Beria decides to keep quiet for the moment; let his enemies come to him. Meanwhile the MVD continues to develop. The MVD Armed Regiments greatly expand and are supplied with the latest technology. Beria claims that this is for internal use in crushing ethnic problems (Already Transcaucasus with its ethnic cauldron is starting to seethe with different republics demanding territorial changes). The military buy it for the moment but the real reason is that Beria wants a super-loyal Internal Army, which will be able to crush any potential Army coup. Most of the MVD regiments are secretly barracked around Moscow and Beria is planning to as a “temporary necessity” a MVD handler for every field officer.
In Feb 1949 Beria and his Politburo discuss China. Merkulov (head of MVD) shows a summary of what Mao thinks and warns that in the long term a Communist victory will split the Communist Bloc but a open split can be avoided if the Soviet Union ‘manages’ the Chinese. He suggests off-loading all the millions of spare ammunition, guns, tanks from WW2 which the Soviet Union has as this will create temporary goodwill between Beria and Mao; especially if recently sacked officers are “allowed” to leave the country in search of “further education and development opportunities”. Beria aims to keep his would be rivals busy momentarily and hopefully these anti-Beria officers will die helping Mao beat the Nationalists.
In Agriculture the far-reaching reforms continue and already Beria can proudly report substantial improvements in technique, and equipment will be forthcoming through the economic changeover from economically unproductive production of tanks to tractors (etc). Also the Agricultural Ministry is starting to develop the regional agronomic institutes and the creation of agricultural credit banks which will help struggling peasants in their private allotments.
Although in the economy Beria has axed much of the grandiose Stalinist projects, some have remained and many of the new peasant migrants have joined these State projects. Also Beria wants to develop Siberia and start developing railways, railways and settlements in the north where there is enormous mineral reserves including oil and gas which are just waiting to be mined. One project Beria is thinking of would be to construct an underground (and undersea) rail link to Sakhalin Island from the mainland along the narrowest bit of the Strait separating Sakhalin and the mainland. Of course American technological help will be needed but Beria is hoping ten years of massive state investment and population transfers to Siberia will make it a proper part of the Union. Over the next few years at least a million peasant-migrants will be transferred to the east to construct the Siberian Socialism Project, costing over 1 billion.
The transfer from a hyper-centralised Plan directed War Economy to a market economy with state direction focusing on consumer goods where profit, efficiency and competition are the fundamental economic principles would not be easy. Although there were people over the age of forty which were actively part of the NEP economy so the older soviet generation remembers basic capitalist values a whole generation had been brought up under Stalinist terror. This had a horrifying effect psychologically. The most damaging effect of Stalin on the Soviet psyche was the complete erosion of loyalty to anyone but oneself; when anyone could whisper in the NKVD's ear and get you shot, you trusted no one and helped no one without a short term payoff reasonably well guaranteed. This will take time, perhaps a generation, to cure. The immediate result is that factories are managed by people who are completely focused on pleasing their immediate superiors in the economic ministries; when those superiors aren't shooting the incompetent anymore, and no one feels loyalty to the state as a whole, incentive to perform has plummeted. Without the profit and loss incentive – which will only gradually seep into the moribund soviet economy – the ordinary factory worker will take time to be shown the benefits of becoming rich.
Beria knew what his fellow Caucasians were like and had during the war oppressed Mingrelian separatism because it will divide Georgia, which is against Georgia’s interests to collapse into provincial petty chauvinism. Beria had ordered the party republican leaders to start doing their own regional level reforms but he underestimated the ethnic hatred in Transcaucasus. In Nagarno-Karabakh (the ethnic Armenian area in Azerbaijan) there were reports of mob attacks against Azerbaijanis during January demanding the ethnic changing of the area to the Armenian Soviet Republic. The Azerbaijan communist party leadership was completely against this and insisted that Nagarno-Karabakh should not be transferred to Armenia. In March Beria decided that the whole area could be sparked into civil war if something is not done. He decides to make the republic an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and in case of ethnic violence pours into the whole region Red Army (non-Caucasus) troops to keep the ethnic people against each other. The second sensitive area needed clarification is Ossetians who have always wanted autonomy and preferably their own republic. Beria decided to reunify through an inter-Republic conglomeration of South Ossetia (in Georgia) and North Ossetia (in Russia) where the ASSR governments for both would be combined even though both would be in separate Republics. Through the bringing back of peasant private allotments and religious freedom Beria aims to pacify the Transcaucasus and keep them happy. Finally all the Russian migrants who are being transferred from the non-Russian areas will need to be sent somewhere. Beria is organised them to be set to Siberia where they can help settle on the Trans-Siberian Railroad to help populate Siberia.
In North Korea Beria finally decides what to do with the Kim Sung Question. In a ruthless operation on the 6th June Red Army troops in alliance with the minority of reformist Pro-Beria elements in the United Workers Party arrest and shoot all the top leaders of the communist party. Kim Sung is shot on the evening of the 7th and pleads Beria to save his life. But torture on some of Kim Sungs associates showed that they were planning a bloody purge of the reformist wing of the party and Beria has no feelings of regret or sympathy. The next day he orders the ambassador in Washington to tell President Truman that he’s offering to work with the Americans for a united, neutralistic and democratic Korea. President Truman is pleased and negotiations begin for a coalition government based around a democratic Republic. The expected Round Table Talks would end in August/November with a constitution ready for the Koreans to accept.
In Europe the French Communists win the election with their radical/socialist allies. Recently the western communist parties have been talking about “different routes to socialism” and how the Communists have accepted democracy and human rights. In effect the French Communists (there is a breakaway Stalinist party but it has little support among voters) have become radically Leftwing Social Democrats. The Right – led by Charles De Gaulle – is extremely disappointed and fear what the communists will do once in power. The fear is among European conservatives that Euro-Communists will hand Europe on the plate to Beria in Moscow without a fight. With the last American troops gone from Europe nothing can stop a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Beria is trusted by western public opinion and there has been massive disarmament by the West.
In the Western colonies liberation movements, including Dutch Indonesia and the Viet Kong (secretly supplied by the USSR) are becoming increasingly powerful and there is much willingness among the new Popular Front government in Paris to allow Ho Ching Ming to create his own state. This will anger the French Army and in particular Charles De Gaulle who has a very personal mystical relationship with the French Nation and its Empire. An almighty political row will occur in the beginning of 1950 and will divide the Republic between Right and Left and will become violent.
July-December 1949: July
President Truman loses in a massive landslide to the Republican isolationist President Dewey. During the election he called on America to return to the Pacific where a new Red menace has been created Communist China. “A whole hemisphere is up for grabs, will it be Red or Capitalist?”
In China Chairman Mao finishes of the Nationalists who flee to Taiwan. He announces in Peking that the Peoples Republic of China has been created. Beria immediately congratulates him and offers him a State visit to the Soviet Union.
The Italian Communists gain even greater public support after Beria’s free gift of grain feeds hungry mouths in North Italy where the revolutionary Left are most powerful in the cities. When the Italians offer the join the Warsaw pact on the 23rd July Beria agrees immediately. A Friendship Treaty is signed between the two nations and massive free food is poured by the USSR into Italy. The action sends shock waves throughout non-Warsaw Pact Europe and many in France start talking about doing the same. In Britain the Labour Party faces increasingly loud demands from its Hard Left for massive nationalisation of most of Britains industry. Prime Minister Atlee fights back but is exhausted. On the other hand Churchill and the Conservatives seem increasingly likely to win the General Election in 1950.
August 1949: Chancellor Adenauer’s Germany is already booming after gaining the lion share of the Liberation Europe programme. German Big Business is starting to invest into Eastern Europe and soon with the opening up of the Soviet Union’s economy will pour billions into the Soviet economy while the german government will in the next five years offer Beria – to help his reform programme - food, industrial equipment and so on. This will help Germany recover industrially make Beria political position more stable.
President Dewey offers Latin America a multi-billion package of economic aid, military modernisation and support for socio-economic measures to improve the standard of living in countries like Brazil, Argentina and Columbia. Dewey hopes that this will ovoid Latin America going into the Soviet Unions orbit.
September 1949: Charles De Gaulle expands his Gaullist Party to absorb most of the other rightwing parties in the National Assembly. In a speech he calls the communists “Beria’s Trojan horse coming to destroy France”. The speech is roundly criticised as inflammentary by other politicians and just increases the Communists popularity.
In Greece the government party is facing electoral meltdown in the coming December elections. The Greek Communists have modernised themselves and are increasingly popular among the people who have decided to forgive the Communists in their role in the Civil War. It is increasingly likely that the Communists in partnership with the socialists will win the elections on the promise of joining the Warsaw Pact and with the offer by Beria of massive economic aid if Greece decides (voluntarily) to do so.
Among the hard-line elements in Moscow they are astonished how Beria’s particular strategy of appealing to Progressive-Liberal-Left elements in Western Europe has paid of. What they disagree with Beria is his radial economic reforms which according to the hard-liners will “destroy” the Soviet economy. Most leaders of the ‘Reactionary’ and ‘Radical’ elements have been moderated by the MVD, which keeps a close watch on all Communist Party leaders. Many have become MVD compliance’s and work for the MVD while pretending to be against the MVD to their supporters. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has systematically destroyed most overt anti-Beria elements through either ‘taming’ the leaders or organising ‘car crashes’ through potentially charismatic opponents of Beria. By liquidating would-be opponents of Beria before they ‘go public’ and become known the MVD hopes to keep political opposition to an absolute minimum.
October 1949: With the Chinese Communists in control of continental China the Mongolians fell increasingly threatened and ask Beria if they can join the Warsaw Pact. Beria agrees, as he understands the strategic importance of having the Mongolian buffer state between Russia and China. Mao is furious when he finds out but as he has little choice but to accept the situation. With his State Visit in December where he hopes to gain economic aid from the Soviets to help rebuild the Chinese economy he wants (for the moment) friendly relations with Beria. Mao was also angry about Beria’s ‘appalling’ actions in North Korea and is dead set against a united ‘capitalist’ Korea. He had been hoping to develop closer ties with North Korea and gradually put them into the Chinese sphere of influence. Now though Beria has destroyed those hopes.
In Korea the Korean Constitution is finished by the 17th November and on the 18th is signed by all powers. The Treaty allocates the creation of an independent united Korean Republic, which has a democratic structure. Among Koreans of all political flavourings they very pleased that Beria through his brutal action against Kim Sung has managed to help unite Korea. The elections will start soon will probably end up with a coalition of capitalists/conservatives and socialists/communists. In the North are the industries while the South has the agriculture. It is hoped with western investment Korea will soon become prosperous and rich. (In OTL the Korean War helped to save the Japanese economy. In this TL the Japanese will take longer to become the economic superpower in OTL)
Korea has excellent relations with both the USSR and America. Both nations sign Friendship Treaties with the two superpowers offering extensive trade deals and mirror military deals with the Soviets being allowed to some of Korea's warm-water ports and the lease of a naval base or two as well as leased army and air base. A similar arrangement would occur with the Americans in south Korea and the soviet bases would most likely be in north Korea. The reason for these bases were – according to the news release to help protect Korea from any external (read: Chinese Communist) threat and to assist in maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula.“
November 1949: The Soviet Union successfully drops its Atom Bomb in Central Asia. The Soviet Union is now a nuclear Superpower. Beria orders a twin track policy of major production of nuclear weapons while at the same time secretly negotiating with Washington over a Nuclear Arms Treaty to limit the number of nuclear weapons among the Superpowers.
On the 8th November there was a heated argument in the Politburo between the conservative Beriaists and the reformist Beriaists. The Conservatives wanted to limit the conclusion of the Show Trials (which were still going on, just a new one on a more broad scale) so that the verdict is only against individuals like Molotov and not against the communist system as then that would inspire calls for communism's removal which the conservatives don’t want.
As for the trials verdict on Stalin, the conservatives suggest that the trials come to the verdict that Stalin's excesses and his evils are condemnable and should never have been committed but at the same time the trials should try to establish a sort of conciliatory approach where they recognise that the USSR needed a strongman like Stalin to survive the Nazis. The trials they suggest should establish a verdict where Stalin's paranoia is partly to blame for his evil acts. That way, they argue, it won't look like a full-blown denunciation of Stalin as many soviet public still admire Stalin. Also they don’t want an unnecessary backlash from the more hard-line elements in the USSR. Beria eventually agrees and the Show Trials follow the Conservative line of argument.
December 1949: Mao’s State Visit to the Soviet Union starts on the 3rd. He travels to Moscow and is met by thousands of cheering soviet people who all admire Mao. On the 4th he meets Beria at the Kremlin and they agree to an Alliance where the soviets send military and economic aid to China. In return there is an agreement (not spoken obviously) by Mao not to rock the Communist boat and criticise the Soviet Union.
Also the Indian leader Nehru signs an Alliance Treaty with the Soviet Union as Pakistan, India’s enemy is close to America.
Posted on Saturday, March 02, 2002 - 01:07 pm:
PART 5: THE GLOBAL SOVIET UNION
Early 1950: The French Civil War and Indochina
In France the Eurocommunist/Socialist Leftwing coalition propose to the National Assembly that France should join the Warsaw Pact. The Gaullist leader Charles De Gaulle is horrified and denounces it as the “slavery of France to the USSR”. The Rightwing French press are also aghast and organise a campaign among the public to force the Leftwing government to give in. Most importantly the French Army and its officer elite are very rightwing nationalists and start talking of “a temporary dictatorship to restore true patriots to Frances governing elite”. In effect France is in a Civil War situation. Mass demonstrations by students and workers clash with rightwing protesters. Frances society is polarised between the Right and the Left. In this Civil War like political situation the next month in March the government goes public about its plans for Indochina where the Viet Minh are a increasingly effective rebel force against the French military. The Eurocommunists call for a division of Indochina into Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The three countries will have free elections before new governments take over their newly independent countries.
The French Army are horror-struck and angry as they think that the can easily beat the Communists but the ‘traitor’ government has sold the Army in. De Gaulle is also angry as he has a mystical personal relationship between the great french Nation and its overseas Empire. Called on the Rightwing press the Army moves on the 12th March. Ultra-rightwing officers take Paris and De Gaulle declares himself Pro-Console of the Fifth French Republic. The French military split with the vast majority of the officer corps supporting De Gaulle while the ordinary soldiers split roughly evenly. Many who are left wing immediately flee to the south to fight De Gaulle while others who either admire to De Gaulle or follow orders support De Gaulle. The Eurocommunists and socialists flee to the south of France where they create their own Fifth Republic, the French Democratic Republic. Their French Army controls the south of France while De Gaulle controls the north of France. Most countries denounce De Gaulles dictatorship although Spain and Portugal support De Gaulle.
The French Democratic Republic officially joins the Warsaw Pact and Beria quickly takes advantage of the French crisis. By April after considerable consultation among Warsaw Pact allies and more importantly the United States, Britain and China there is a consensus that the Republican government should be actively and militarily supported by the West. Beria who has called up the Warsaw Pact and other non- Warsaw Pact nations like Britain pours troops into south France. At the same time Beria’s propaganda goes into full gear and across the world idealistic young progressives join the many volunteer forces to fight Fascism. It’s a brilliant success and by April the Alliance forces are ready. Thousands of poles, Italians, Russians as well as the Red Army and the British invade Gaullist France. After considerable fighting by June De Gaulle has retreated to Paris and northern stretches of land to Brittany. In July Paris is finally taken although the fight was much easier than expected for the Alliance and De Gaulle with his top supporters flees to Brittany. By now most of the ordinary soldiers wanted to defect and De Gaulle was fearful that he would be arrested and shot for being a traitor. Luck came though, from Caudillo Franco who sends the Spanish Airforce to Brittany and De Gaulle and his associates land a Madrid. After a brief discussion they agree to go to Algiers, the capital of Algeria where the French settlers, over a million will support De Gaulle. After landing at Algiers De Gaulle declares himself Pro-Console of the French Union.
In Indochina the Viet Minh the recent Chinese victory has enormously benefited the Vietnamese Communists. As well as Beria’s support the now have mountains of equipment to fight the French. When the French government offered Indochina independence the officer corps of the French Army in Indochina was horrified but the ordinary french soldier just wanted to go home. Most of these french men poured back home and the remaining mutinying French soldiers determined to crush the Communists were themselves crushed by a massive offensive by the Viet Minh. By June Vietnam has been liberated and Ho Chi Minh declares himself President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The other two nations in former Indochina, Laos and Cambodia were in anarchy and in July the Viet Minh invaded those countries. In Laos a bitter civil war between has just started but the Vietnamese easily destroys the anti-Communists and install the Pathet Lao (Communists) at Vientiane. In Cambodia a civil war between the rightwing Lon Nol, the communist Khmer Roughe and the neutralists led by King Sihanouk. Again in July the Vietnamese invade, crush the non-communists and install the satellite Pol Pot as leader of Communist Cambodia. Ho Chi Minh wins massively in the elections in Vietnam in August but the other two satellite nations the communists refuse elections and create communist dictatorships (So does the Viet Minh, just that they have electoral legitimacy). The three nations sign the Indochina Pact, which is dominated by Vietnam. Also the USSR signs a Treaty with Vietnam and its client states, which allows the soviet lease of a naval base and considerable soviet economic support and military help.
In Britain Winston Churchill decisively wins the General Elections and is in secret discussions with President Dewey on some form of an Atlantic Defence Pact. At the moment President Dewey is keeping his options open and is unwilling to agree to such a pact for it goes against Deweys strongly held isolationist principles.
The Peoples Liberation Army under Chairman Mao orders the invasion of independent Tibet. Their small army is crushed and Tibet is absorbed into Red China. Beria dislikes the actions, as aggressive but understands the positive implications for the USSR. Anti-Communists will focus on China rather than the USSR. Many of the first soviet advisors pour into China to help their “fraternal” neighbour modernise through Chinas first Five-Year Plan. Even so there are considerable tensions in the Soviet-Sino relationship, which are… at the moment papered over.
Mid 1950: The MVD continues to spy the main circles of nationalistic Russian officers planing a coup against Beria. A crackdown is being planned and Beria through Merkulov is planning to manipulate the coupster’s plots to finally purge the Party and Army of hard-line elements.
Germany, Austria, the Benelux nations, Greece (where the Euro-Communist have won the elections and become full members of the Warsaw Pact) Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos become “associated” members of the Warsaw Pact. Beria prepares to fund Spanish Republicans on the Pyranees border to invade Francos Spain. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark create the Nordic Customs Union. This is a free trade area and the four nations agree to co-operate with each other in certain areas. Norway wanted it to expand to a Defence Pact but Finland and Sweden rejects. Finland, as a member of the Warsaw Pact refuses to agree while Sweden wants to keep to its traditional neutrality. Norway’s leader hopes that the new British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who has just won the General Election to agree to some form of Defence pact before “the USSR gobbles up the rest of Europe”.
Late 1950: Germanys economy is reviving and German business invests in Eastern Europe and in the next few years also massively in the Soviet Union. Other Western nations also invest in the USSR including Dutch and Belgium trade. This is greatly helped by the free trade across the Warsaw Pact. In the USSR agriculture is booming and Beria is making a mint from the exporting of foodstuff overseas, as well as gaining political support. Most importantly though the money gained – as well as Liberation Europe money – is being invested in new technologies for the Soviet Unions industries. Beria has ordered through the New Plan that has just been completed that the steel and coal mining industries will be reformed and modernised. Although the next few years for soviet industry will be dark days with thousands of hopelessly inefficient and out-dated factories being closed and hundreds of thousands of workers (temporally) losing their jobs the “hard struggle” of reform will succeed in the end to create a modern soviet industry based around the fast growing soviet market.
Early 1951: Iranian nationalist Premier Mohammed Mossadeq takes over Iran. In May he nationalises the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, in a fit of nationalistic, anti-British rage. Unfortunately the British technicians leave and the Premier realises he needs foreign support. Throughout winter after the French Civil War the Spanish Republican émigrés have been building up their army in the south of France. Thousands of ex-fighters of the Republican Army rejoin and are trained and supplied by Red Army officers. Franco’s army is large but poorly led and had little modern equipment. Francos main advantage is firstly the ability to take advantage of the ferocious nationalistic traits in the Spanish people and secondly the rural, mountainous interior of Spain which have failed other foreign invaders before, most notably Napoleon. Even so Beria is superconfident (Perhaps too confident?) after his quick victory against the French Fascists and is determined to crush Franco and his ilk. The Republican Army, along with expected Warsaw Pact ally support will liberate Spain at the beginning of next year.
In the USSR Beria has, with the help of the MVD, snuffed out any remaining dissident opposition in intellectual and Party circles. With the end of the GULAG camps, mass terror is not a practicable or efficient option for Beria but selective terror against influential individuals is the new practise for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The usual practise is to visit the individuals house and ask him/her to work for the MVD. They have a day to consider. Normally this is preceded by the use of informers, surveillance and secret operations to find out the usually high ranking individuals political views. The majority are known Anti-Beria’s, either Conservative Hardliners or idealistic radical intellectuals. If they refuse they are given more time to “reconsider” and if they still refuse to become a puppet of the MVD they are either arrested and/or eliminated. The vast majority agrees to work for the MVD and are given orders not to tell anybody. By ‘taming’ these leaders who pretend to be against the MVD while working and informing for the MVD outright opposition is liquidated.
This though is different in the Red Army where there are two anti-Beria coupsters’ circles. The first – called by the MVD as the ‘Zhdanov Circle’ – are extreme nationalist Russian Hardliners who plan to eliminate Beria. The other more conservative circle called the ‘Russophile Circle’ also plan to assassinate Beria. Both are known to the MVD and are constantly watched twenty four hours a day. In April in a new development, the leaders of the two circles contacted each other and a joint plan to assassinate Beria and Merkulov is being discussed. Beria is waiting…
Mid 1951: The Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadeq agrees to a Soviet-Iranian Pact of Friendship, which allows thousands of soviet economic technicians to help administer and train the newly nationalised Anglo–Iranian Oil Company. Beria also sends valuable intelligence reports of British plots to overthrow him using pro-Shah and pro-British elements in the Iranian Army. These are purged and the Premier is more secure from British and possibly American attempts to unseat him. This friendly pro-soviet ally in the south also means that more trade between the Soviet Union and Iran occurs, particularly in oil.
After much protracted negotiations over the past year the Turks finally agree to Beria’s demands for slight readjustments to the Turkish-Soviet border and other privileges in return for soviet aid. In the Soviet-Turkish Treaty of Friendship the Kars region is returned to the Soviet Union and the Soviet Navy can freely access the Mediterranean. In return the Soviets promise more technical aid and trade between the two nations. The Turks will remain neutral.
Beria is extremely pleased about the geopolitical advantages of the Soviet Union. To the West till the Pyranees he has friendly pro-soviet allies. To the south is a pro-soviet Persia, Afghanistan is neutral but slightly pro-soviet and Turkey is mildly pro-soviet but again neutral. India is pro-soviet and although Pakistan is pro-American it is a small and divided. China, for the moment is pro-soviet and more importantly its isolated. To her south Vietnam and her allies are strongly pro-Soviet and anti-Chinese, Taiwan is a constant dangerous threat and a increasingly close American ally while Korea is a pro-soviet (and pro-American) state. Japan is about to regain independence next year and will be a capitalist, democratic and hopefully for Beria a mildly pro-soviet nation.
Late 1951: President Dewey successfully bans labour unions as treasonable through his new, more powerful and more militant FBI. The last two years for President Dewey has been a gradual accumulation of domestic allies for his ideal of a supremely isolationist, conservative America remaining vigilant on all potential or real seditious enemies. Liberation Europe is slowing down which is angering Beria and the rest of Europe including Churchill but Dewey had hoped to stop it all together but Congress was against. President Dewey is secretly sending supplies to Franco and Salazar, as he doesn’t want Beria controlling the straits to the Mediterranean. For Dewey, along with the more fanatical conservative anti-Communists Beria is a power mad megalomaniac. With this secret aid Franco is preparing his Army and constant propaganda calls on the Spanish people to “fight the Communist infidel, anywhere and anyplace”.
In France the Popular Front decisively wins the elections for the Fifth Republic and forms the new administration. In the French Empire it is divided between the Gaullists and the Metropolitans. The new Leftwing French government offers the French colonies self-government within the French Community. De Gaulle – through his French Union proposes considerable autonomy with him as Pro-Console. Tunisia, Morocco, French Congo and Madagascar immediately declare independence within the French Community. In the Ivory Coast and Gabon there is a brief struggle but join the French Union, along with Algeria. The French Caribbean also joins the French Union as well as the isolated French Pacific. The other west-central North African French colonies join De Gaulle although in certain parts, particularly in Chad, a bitter ‘war’ occurs before superior Gaullists troops defeat the Metropolitans. The remainder of French North Africa join De Gaulles French Union despite the fact that local military support is needed by De Gaulle. There is though a major headache for De Gaulle in the Arab-Berber rebels who want an independent Algeria. Also the Algerian Communists, despite the fact they are small and weak are committed to fighting a rural and urban guerrilla war against De Gaulle and the million French settlers in his powerbase in Algeria. Vulnerable flank states like Tunisia quickly plead and are given considerable French military support for their defence (Even so it is unlikely that De Gaulle will be planning any considerable fighting as he needs to rebuild his army and political base). The French Eurocommunists don’t mind too much that they have lost much of the French Empire and are committed to independence for the French colonies. In French Congo the local communists been handed over the local government and also the communist resistance groups in the Portuguese Empire are being supplied by the French government.
Posted on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 11:50 am:
Early 1952: MacArthur, the de facto Shogun of Occupied Japan gives up his job after Japan regains its independence after seven years of American occupation. Economically (without the Korean War) Japan is still a poor country but is starting to very slowly recover as economic competitors like Korea start to develop with American investment. After returning to America he is popularly put forward as the Democratic would-be President of America. Dewey, although popular among the more strident isolationists, conservatives and white supremacists in the South has turned of many people, most infamously after his banning of the labour unions, something that is being challenged in the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Many moderate conservatives, white liberals, progressives, socialists and leftists hate Dewey and he is regularly called a Fascist in Leftwing sophisticate papers of Washington. Not only that Deweys open support to the racist white supremacists in the South has caused an embryonic Civil Rights movement where leadership is starting to go to Dr Martin Luther King (Dewey has ordered Martin Luther Kings elimination as he thinks he’s the gravest threat to Conservative America). Other Leftwing organisations and leaders have been arrested under charges of treason and the Mafia has been particularly hit recently as Dewey hates the Mafia. Although the polls are close it seems likely that MacArthur will be the next President.
In Egypt Colonel Nasser takes over in a coup with other leading ‘Free Officer’ soldiers. The pro-British King is exiled and Nasser quickly consolidates his political power. Colonel Nasser is a man of great ambition who wants Egypt to be powerful and wants the creed of Arabism to unite the Arabs against the ‘decadent’ British and Americans. Most importantly Nasser wants to destroy Israeli and the continuing British presence on the Suez Canal.
At the same time as Nasser is making himself de facto dictator Beria is completing his final alternations to his detailed Middle East Peace Plan. When its shown to the world on the 4th February it sends shock waves across Europe and the Middle East.
There is much violent disagreement. Nasser against, so is Syria but Iraq, a pro-British ally supports the Peace Treaty after British pressure, This angers many of the Nasser sympathetic officer corps who create their own ‘Free Officer’ secret organisation in the Iraqi Army, which is prepared to overthrow the Iraqi King. In the West, most importantly Britain there is pleasant surprise in Beria’s action, which promises superpower co-operation to bring peace to one of the most volatile regions. The Israelis are divided, some are jubilant, others think it’s a Soviet plot to disarm Israel and than the Arabs will crush them. They argue Israel should try to break up the Peace Plan as its too dangerous for Israel in the long term. America, Britain and China (who need a lot of persuasion) all support Beria’s proposal as long as the Middle East doesn’t come a soviet playground. Beria is pro-Israel and believes a more peaceful Middle East will be in the Soviet Unions national interest, and Israel will turn pro-soviet in award of Beria’s efforts (A bit like German reunification). Whether the high expectations of hope and peace will be reached is another matter.
Mid 1952: On the 15th April the Red Army, the Spanish Republicans and Warsaw Pact allies invaded Franco Spain. After the brilliant success in France Beria was completely sure that he could pull of another victory, this time against another Fascist, Franco. In the Northeast in the Basque Provinces the people who have had their culture and language attacked for years by Franco treated the invaders as liberators. News reels across Western Europe showed thousands of Red Army attacks rumbling along the border while lots of pretty young Spanish girls threw flowers at the young soldiers from across Warsaw Europe.
Beria was super-confident. Everything was going according to plan. Also in other areas the reports were of jubilant celebrations. Than catastrophe hit the invaders. Reports came in of serious attacks on some Red Army troops in a rural area near where the people spoke the Castilian form of Spanish. It seems that along with Franco bandits, the local Republican troops had destroyed a number of churches in an anti-clerical frenzy. The Spanish peasant’s rebelled and over 47 Red Army soldiers died, causing the angry Red Army troops to destroy a Franco loyal village. The news spread like wild fire across northern rural Spain and Francos propaganda, using the Bloody Tuesday massacre, as it was called in Franco’s press committed many wavering Spanish to support Franco, as the “the lesser evil”. Facing a hostile traditional rural populace using simple but brilliantly effect guerrilla actions the progress of the invading armies slowed down considerably. The most frustrating aspect of the warfare was the ability of the rural guerrillas to return to the sea of people, making it impossible for the soldiers to find out who was responsible. By now thousands of Spanish refugees were fleeing occupied Spain while Franco, with his blood thirsty soldiers horribly killed Red Army troops in brilliant insurgency operations. Many of the Russian men had their skin cut off by sadistic Spanish troops, who were completely loyal to Franco and used to oppressing the workers. Beria, despite the “unexpected” losses and setbacks was confident of victory. When a MVD Intelligence Officer, back from Spain to report on progress told Beria that it is unlikely that there will be a quick victory for the Red Army and her allies Beria angrily told him that he was talking “nonsense” and shouted at him to “get out of my sight”. The officer was shot for “defeatism” two days later. Although Comrade Beria had generally been rational and realistic as leader, seven years of being treated as a God could not but fail but change his personality in a negative way. The weakest side of his personality, his Hubris, was starting to cost Beria.
Meanwhile in America in a bitter election, General MacArthur was elected with a comfortable lead against his Republican rival President Dewey. Dewey accepted the result amicably and the Democrats, after their brief turn out of office were back in the White House. Political observers in Washington forecasted a more active and positive foreign policy in the future, particularly in the Pacific where President MacArthur is worried about the spreading communist influence. At his first meeting with the Director of the CIA, MacArthur agreed to continue the secret policy started by his predecessor Dewey of supporting Franco economically and militarily. It was clear that Beria was in problems, even if he did not know it yet, with his invasion of Spain and MacArthur although not a rabid Anti-Beriaist had know desire to see the soviets controlling the Straits of Gibraltar. In Japan, the new conservative government agreed to American troops and bases to continue to remain in Japan “in defence of Japanese sovereignty”.
After tortuous negotiations, the secret discussions about a Soviet-American Atomic Treaty are finally completed. The final push needed, American approval occurred after the more pro-active President MacArthur came to power. Unveiled to the world with a lot of peace propaganda about a “more safer world for all out children” from both sides promised that both sides agree to a overall limit of 1000 thermonuclear weapons which in total power would be exactly equal would be made sure by the use of Inspection teams which would make sure that both sides would agree to the agreement. The Atom Treaty also forbade the use of Atoms in space, but it also allowed considerable flexibility for both sides. For example America could continue to start her build up of her fleet of nuclear-armed submarines which were more secure than sending them by air by B-52’s. Although Red Army hawks and on the American side hawkish American Generals intensely disliked the Treaty both leaders were horrified by the idea of a nuclear winter and Beria had no interest in an enormously expensive nuclear arms race which would cost a fortune, something he was not interested in. Finally any other later Nuclear powers (the secret clause agreed both nations would be to not give away nuclear weapons of technology or information to any other power) would be “invited” to join the Atomic Treaty. Although Britain was close to finishing her own atom bomb, the only other nations thinking for the moment to build one was China, and Mao hoped to gain a free Soviet bomb, something Beria is adamant he’s not doing.
Late 1952: The Soviet Union was still in industrial depression and there were reports in major cities of angry worker demonstrations demanding “bread and jobs”. Beria was worried and although he knew that the soviet people were patient and could tolerate massive deprivation, the soviet elite could only push the people so far. The good thing for Beria (despite the costly Spanish adventure) was that the economy was soon to start improving, thanks to increasingly investment from Wall Street while Germany was booming. For Petro Shevisky, a leading Red Army General, the recent disturbance’s in Kiev and other cities was the last straw. He was a member of the Zhdanov Circle’, a hard-line Red Army cell and they had everything ready. Using a spy from Berias many secretaries (Beria personally decided his secretaries on the basis of their beauty!) he knew Berias timetable of events. On August 24th 1952 Beria would be assassinated while visiting an ex-collective farm outside Moscow. At the same time the Red Army would storm the Kremlin, disarm the MVD troops and shoot before hand the MVD handlers who were Berias spies throughout the Red Army. A new provisional government would take place, Beria’s supporters would be eliminated and Socialism would return to Russia. That was the plan. Unfortunately for Petro Shevisky, the MVD spies had known from the beginning about the conspirators and had turned the informant of Beria’s day to day itinerary so that the conspirators got false information. Beria, closely watching every move of his enemy, got a double to play Beria on the 24th while the MVD secretly prepared for the Great Moment. Like with Zhdanov Beria aimed to use his opponents against them to crush finally any remaining opposition to his rule. It seemed to go all right. At 10:00 in the morning a gunman shot out at ‘Beria’ who pretended to die. The entourage, not knowing the truth panicked and as planned somebody else gave the clear to the nervous Red Army conspirators in Moscow. “Beria had been killed!!”
Suddenly, everything went wrong. MVD troops stormed in and arrested all the Red Army Generals. Their families had already been arrested and were now being interrogated in MVD cells. By now all the conspirators had been arrested. Panic occurred and the news flashed across the country that Beria had been assassinated. Than, just when the nation-wide panic was starting to increase Beria announced that “yes, I had survived and I would eliminate and destroy all opposition”. Thousands of Red Army Generals and officers were arrested and shot by MVD officers in prisons across the Soviet Union. Throughout the USSR hard-line Party men were arrested in their houses along with their families and taken to be shot for “special political crimes”. Hundreds of thousands more were stripped of their jobs and party membership. Much of the Red Army was purged, and many saw it along the lines of Stalin’s Great Purge (although much less bloody) in the Thirties. Most of the Red Army men sympathetic to the coupsters were not shot, but were secretly exiled along with their families to the East. By the beginning of September the Party and Red Army were finally purged of anti-Beria elements. More career minded ambitious young Soldiers replaced the either shot or exiled superiors and were (and had to be) more reformist and pro-Beria. Most importantly, it finally taught the Red Army not to fiddle with politics, you can get your hands very burnt. The Communist Party was also seriously purged and the remaining ideologists were finally kicked out of the Party. Most of the hard-liners were purged and the remainders of the Partymen were too scared to dare challenge Beria again. Beria was finally an absolute autocrat…
In Spain Madrid is taken by Red Army troops. Although the cities and towns generally supported the Republicans (the workers were very republican) the rural countryside was more or less Franco loyal. Massive amounts of troops had to be deployed in the countryside, usually next to markets and roads to keep order. Despite the public show of force Franco’s guerrillas killed just more Red Army soldiers. In November an even greater set back for the invaders occurred, the Commander in Chief of Warsaw forces Marshal Suslov, was assassinated by one of Francos supporters in Madrid. By now the other Warsaw Pact allies, including France wanted to withdraw from Spain, as it was very expensive and extremely unpopular by now among the people. It seemed that a long and seemingly futile war would occur between the great forces of the Red Army and the gun toting, Franco supporting simple Spanish peasant.
Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 12:57 pm:
In the darklands of the Soviet Union there was a slow economic recovery for the first time after over five years of economic depression. American multinationals like Ford have built enormous factories in the USSR and the Germans have also been investing. Many factories had been modernised and a whole generation of cadres had had a painful experience of market forces, silent but powerful. Enterprising young Russians had been building import-export businesses and a gigantic amount of peasants were in the process of literally bringing back the peasant civil society of private property, something once thought unthinkable in a land of Stalinism-Leninism. The Communist Party wasn’t respected anymore and no talented young person even considered trying a career in the Party. The Party was a meaningless anachronism, just the corporate front of the managerial Soviet elite. The most prestigious profession to join was the MVD, which had long since changed from its nasty old days of being a transmission belt of torture and killings. Now it focused around intelligence and counterintelligence, controlling soviet society and making sure the other soviet institutions were properly reforming the Soviet Union. It was also completely loyal to Beria and had millions of informers from the top to the bottom of soviet society. The intellectuals had turned of Beria after the early heady days of liberalism. Now they understood that Beria wanted to reform the Soviet Union, not to liberalise the Soviet Union. Many who had idolised him were now privately attacking the Leader, angry about the continued corruption, vice and hypocrisy. After over five years nothing had changed. Although Beria had promised to crack down on corruption it had been selective, any Party cadre who misused the States fund was smashed while a State Security General was let of lightly. Still the ordinary people – although less optimistic than at the beginning – respected Beria and even the many workers who had been let of work detested Beria couldn’t do anything about it. For the older generation there was much disappointment. The “good old days” of Stalin and Socialism were gone; Beria had brought back capitalism. What was even more astonishing for many was the fact that nobody cared anymore. The elite was now pouring into the new market, making millions and accepting the new money opportunities. Hundreds of thousands of state companies had been privatised and a middle class was booming, the new managers in the Soviet Unions new experiment. In the countryside the world had changed even more, most peasants owned their own property, farmed their lands and when they needed to got help from the state. Peasant co-operatives had been set up and the peasants had a better standard of living than the workers did. Moreover a whole peasant culture had emerged, glorifying the New Slavophile values and harking back to the Golden Age of the Czars when the majority of the people were peasants. In the non-Russian lands there was in the process a Cultural Revolution in the happening. The new Georgian, Muslim, tartarian, Armenian universities were teaching a nationalistic generation of their nations culture, history and the promised future. In the Ukraine a grass roots campaign had occurred which was reteaching Ukrainians their history and small secret cells of young Ukrainian nationalists were committed to the idea of a Free Ukraine. Although many Russian hard-liners had warned Beria that this was a potential timebomb, Beria ignored his reactionary critics. Too Beria the new more powerful republics had no need of independence they had considerable autonomy, in effect semi-independent states within the Soviet Union. Generally Beria was correct, but that didn’t stop some idealistic nationalists from dreaming.
The campaign in Spain just got from bad to terrible by the end of 1953. It appeared that the Red Army would be a long time before it beat the rebels. Beria took some consideration but the shock in February 1954 of a complete unilateral withdrawal from Spain by Warsaw Pact nations had forced Beria to get a grip of the situation. The War was massively unpopular in Western Europe and public pressure had forced the Euro-Communist/Social Democrat governments to leave the fighting to the Soviets. One of the first thing Beria did was pour even more Red Army troops into Spain and secondly order the Republican leadership to stop squabbling and stop attacking the churches. Reports of Republican soldiers destroying catholic churches had angered him and even more dangerously had sparked demonstrations by soviet Catholics. Under massive pressure the Spanish Republicans sent a message to its soldiers that any attacks on either priests or church property would mean court martial. By now the Americans and British were openly supplying Spain through Spanish and Portuguese ports. Some Red Army hawks called for war against the Americans to get them and their lackeys out of Spain. Beria completely reject this, and believed the present strategy of the occupation of towns and cities (which were Pro-Republican) while “flushing out” the rebels in the countryside through massive troop operations would defeat the Francoists, or so he thought.
A negative consequence of the Spanish invasion was the consolidation of Beria’s potential competitors, the United States and Great Britain Winston Churchill and President MacArthur into a formal alliance. On the 16th May 1954, America, Britain, Canada, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and Japan signed the Global Defence Pact. Potential future members included South Africa, Pakistan, Israel, Germany, Philippines, Taiwan and some of the South American Republics. The Global Defence Pact was base around the principle of collective security, an attack against one nation would be attack against all. In practise it was an organisation that encouraged free trade and most importantly a reaction to the Warsaw Pact, and a threat to Berias Soviet Union. Many CIA advisors had told President MacArthur that the global balance of power was to far Beria’s way, most of Europe was “controlled” by him, along with the southern tier states as well as allies such as Vietnam, India and the liberation movements in Africa. “This is a global power, the United States of America must fight back before the whole world becomes a soviet playground”.
In the Middle East the Soviet Peace Plan was eventually agreed to by the key powers, Israel (but only after massive US pressure), America, Britain and the Palestine leadership. Although Israel-Palestine was reasonable stable and increasingly prosperous the massively damaging effects of the Peace Treaty had reverberated across the Middle East. Colonel Nasser, against the Treaty became the darling of angry Arab people everywhere with his fiery attacks on American imperialism and Israeli “provocations”. In Iraq, a Nasser style coup overthrew the pro-British king soon afterwards by a Free Officer organisation among the middle ranks of the Iraqi Army. The shock of “losing” Iraq was particularly damaging for the British, but an even greater shock would occur for the western allies. In Saudi Arabia, the House of Sa'ud was threatened by revolutionary rumblings among the masses. The anger, gradually rising over decades of oppressive monarchical rule burst out among many disaffected unemployed Saudi young men. In middle 1954, mass demonstrations occurred among the radicalised workers across Saudi Arabia. The religious police fired on them and the spread of this caused a mass revolt by the people. The monarchy fled in panic from the palaces by American aircraft to Aircraft Carriers in the Persian Gulf. This fatally destroyed any remaining respect the House of Sa'ud had among the people and more importantly among the Muslim clerics. A damaging division between the secularists and fundamentalists now occurred, both appealing to the people. A Provisional government collapsed and both sides appealed to the Army. The Muslim clerics who now denounced the monarchy they once supported so much as degenerate and western were supported by the mass of the people, the simple and religious. In the few cities was the stronghold of the radical secularists who wanted to modernise the country. By now the more conservative Clerics were being replaced by younger more militant Muslim fundamentalists who called for Revolutionary Islam to recreate the Islamic Empire and paradise on earth. After a short but viscious Civil War the Islamic revolutionaries beat the secularists and the Revolutionary Islamic Council was formed at the birth of Islam. Soon the new Army of God invaded the small but vastly oil rich British protected states on the Persian Gulf, Trucial States (United Arab Emirates), Qatar and Bahrain. By now the Great Powers were terrified about this new malign cancer to the world and in October 1954 a joint note by the US and the Soviet Union forbade the new Saudi Islamic Republic to occupy any more land. After heated discussion the Revolutionary Islamic Council agreed and the new Islamic Republic consolidated its hold over the ancient land of Arabia. An Islamic Police was created and thousands were killed in a frenzy of revenge against the “enemies of Islam”. Nasser was the most horrified and a new division now split the Arab world, between secular nationalists and revolutionary Muslims. It also benefited Jordan where the weak new King gained an alliance with Egypt against the threat from Saudi Arabia. The new Muslim State was completely isolated but it had massive amounts of oil, which would be its great card against the “unbelievers “ of this world. The beginning of the masterplan for a Second Islamic Empire had occurred, in the homeland of the Prophet Muhammad.
Colonel Nasser was in a way pleased about the eruption from former Saudi Arabia, just when he seemed to be a pariah state in the eyes of the Americans and Soviets after rejecting the Soviet Peace Plan he was once again the arbiter of balancing and manipulating the Superpowers to his advantage. In return to the Egypt-American Alliance in 1955 he had demanded – and got – the guarantee that all British troops would leave Egypt and the Suez Canal by the of the year. The new British leader, Anthony Eden (Churchill resigned in late 1954) was forced to agree although it had humiliated him. Not only that the soviet leader Beria had also poured money and advisors into Egypt to build the Nasser Dam which would bring Egypt into the twentieth century according to the Egyptian government. The French leader De Gaulle, Proconsul of the French Union had also offered an alliance which had been agreed to. De Gaulle still believed that he could get back to France but his lieutenants were much more sceptical and defeatist. Many were wondering how long the Union could survive with millions of Muslims, some who were with help from the French Community setting up liberation forces to fight De Gaulle, most worrying in Algeria. The FLA had massive support from the native Algerian population and was supported by the Soviet Union and Metropolitan France as well as Tunisia and Morocco. The French government was also supporting liberation movements – mostly communist – in the Portuguese Empire, mainly Angola, and Mozambique. The Portuguese dictator Salazar had sent Portuguese troops from Africa as more are sent to the Portuguese-Spanish border in preparation for “any eventuality”. This was helping the Soviet supported independence groups in Portugal's African colonies.
In China Chairman Mao had for the last five to six years been rebuilding the economy with soviet help and had been forced to publicly accept a humiliating series of Soviet “appeasement’s” to the capitalists. “No more”, he told his inner circle, China will regain its independence. In the summer of 1955 The Soviet Union increasingly got the impression from a series of sources of aggressive Chinese moves against the USSR. A number of speeches by Mao had attacked “Communist deviation from the True Path of Socialism”, meaning he Soviet Union. Also some soviet advisors had been arrested and charged with spying, something that had angered Beria who demanded that Mao stop. Although Mao did give in and the advisors were sent back to Moscow, the Politburo greed that retaliation for the Chinese must occur. In late 1955 half of the soviet advisors and technicians were ordered to go back to the USSR, “for the foreseeable future”. It was the first action in an increasingly chilly Soviet-Chinese relationship. The implications for the global balance of power would be huge, and the first hot spot in the Battle of the Communist Titans would be Indonesia.
In Western Europe the economies of Britain, France and Germany were booming in the stable and seemingly safe post war New World Order. Even so the Euro-Communists were losing popularity in France where the socialisation of the French economy had gone to quickly for many in France. Most of the leading companies had been nationalised and there was massive red tape for private businesses. The Social Democrats had benefited but so had the recovering centre-right parties in the National Assembly. It seemed that in the new elections in 1956 the Centre-Rightists would defeat the Euro-Communists and form the new administration. The same trend was also occurring in Germany where there were increasing calls for Franco-German dialogue. Although many germans were still anti-french for their obstruction in the Unification process more conservative germans were worried about the power of the USSR, and believed that Western Europe should regain its position, which could only mean a Franco-German axis. The global balance of power was turning against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics…
Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 12:24 pm:
The Second Spanish Civil War despite the fresh troops and new injections of political will by the soviets were getting worse by the day. By 1956 the Franco rebels were highly sophisticated guerrilla fighters and their American supplied weapons were giving a devastatingly damaging affect on the Red Army. Already with low morale after two failed attempted coups against Beria, the humiliation at Spain just reduced further the respect Beria had among the remaining professional officer corps. The war was going nowhere and expending an enormous amount of money that could be better spent on other things. Even Beria’s closest allies were worried. Beria finally realised that he couldn’t win after his most trusted MVD advisor told them bluntly that the Soviet Union should “get out”. It was a turning point. In 1957 the Red Army started withdrawing from Spain and by mid 1957 the remainder of the soviet soldiers were back in the USSR. At the same time Beria decided to try to get something out of the situation. His grandiostic dreams of a pan European Warsaw Pact shattered; damage limitation was now the priority. Beria called in a speech for free elections in Spain and “a new govemment of national unity” formed to bring back stability in Spain. The Americans and British agreed because they also wanted a democratic Spain, just one which wasn’t pro-soviet. Franco was furious – just when he was poised to take back Spain and crush for a second time the Republicans – he now had to accept the humiliation of free elections. The Republicans were pleased and under UN direction in Oslo the sides agreed to a democratic Spain. Franco despite his dislike of democracy was confident of an outright win but others weren’t so sure. The final result was a surprise; Franco won and would be the new president but only slightly. In the National Assembly the political opposition were in majority and Franco would need to form a coalition which he did, with the democratic conservative allies. Spain and Portugal joined the Global Defence Pact and the unexpected soviet defeat would have serious consequences for soviet worldwide prestige.
In France the Centre-Rightist won the election and promised to wind back the government’s control over the economy. The new leadership wanted a rapprochement with Germany and the new elections there which sweeped the Social Democrats to power led by Briand would help the French with their desire to reunify Europe. Soon there was talk of a western European Trade Pact. The French Union, an unwieldy ‘empire’ was increasingly unstable. The muslim masses chaffed with French white rule and the increasing British concessions to their own colonies just made the strict centralised French settler rule even more intolerable for De Gaulles subjects. The recent modernisation of the Union and the expansion of education were generating increasingly powerful liberation movements and De Gaulles chief lieutenants were sceptical whether the Union could survive much longer. A Council meeting of De Gaulles most trusted subordinates soon after the election of the new government in Paris displayed a huge majority for talks for the reunification of the French Union with the French Democratic Republic. Many had personal reasons, family back at home and a nostalgic desire to step back to French soil and get away from the terrible heat of Algiers. Even De Gaulle couldn’t refuse and in 1957 negotiations began in Switzerland for unification and a pardon for De Gaulle and his supporters. The new govemment – despite massive Eurocommunist pressure – agreed in 1958 and the states were reunified under a now vastly expanded French Community. De Gaulle returned home amid cheering crowds and went back to his village in the Central Regions of France to retire gracefully. Even so the French Community would not last much longer. In the next few years the countries there would be given complete independence and the federalist/confederate elements of the Community shedded altogether. At most it would be a currency union and not much else. The same was occurring in the rest of the European empires and many of the new Liberation movements were communist in nature since many of the soon to be Presidents had visited Moscow to see Beria. He was very interested in the Afro-Caribbean-Asian leaders who could offer a new strategic relationship with Moscow to influence the world and improve the Soviet Unions world image as “progressive” and “modern”.
Another important ramification of the soviet withdrawal from Spain was the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact as it was originally envisaged. When Beria had created the Pact back in 1947 it was seem as a military organisation to mould the European nations into soviet allies. The economic free trade aspect was a subordinate pillar in the Pact. Now the situation had turned the other way. Celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Pact the Western leaders put pressure on Beria to disband the numerous military bases in their countries – since it was a “anachronism”. Beria saw the writing on the wall and agreed. In France, Italy and Germany and soon afterwards in Eastern Europe the Red Army bases were disbanded and the soldiers sent home. At the same time to placate the Soviets unease the European leaders agreed to expand the economic pillar of the Pact and in effect turned it into an economic organisation. At the same time Europe was improving its relationship with America who had a new desire to involve in Europe’s affairs since the economic boom in America demanded foreign markets and Europe’s booming consumer market was a ready invitation for American corporate predators.
In the unstable Middle East the Egyptian leader Colonel Nasser was worried. Despite the oil rich colossus to the south the Arabian nations hadn’t unified to meet the new threat from the Arabian Islamic Republic. This problem must be solved. So in 1957 the Egyptian President agreed with the Syrians to reunify their nations into the United Arab Republic (in OTL Nasser dominated the state – in this TL the other components had more power because of Nassers lesser regional influence). Despite the fact that the secular Arab states had far greater peoples and resources many were petrified about the Islamic fundamentalism and how it could influence the youth of the Middle East. The Iraqis also agreed to join the United Arab Republic along with the Lebanese. Now massive pressure was put on Israel-Palestine and they agreed in the first meeting with the leaders of the UAR that Kuwait, Jordan and Israel-Palestine could join as “associate” members in return for their armies being absorbed into the new Arab Army. This new regional Superpower – despite political differences – was reasonably successful in gaining the support of the populace and panarabism became ever more popular. On the other hand its regional enemy, the Arabian Islamic Republic was quickly consolidating its powerbase. The Islamic revolutionary leadership knew that on the basis of people the AIR was vastly inferior to the UAR. Clearly as many as possible of the young men in the AIR had to be conscripted into the Army of God. Also despite the vast oil reserves the ISR had no allies in the world. On the other hand they had enormous amounts of oil and any nation would be prepared to give away anything for cheap oil. The Islamic leadership in their first strategic memorandum quickly agreed to a masterplan, which will win the decisive military victory despite the stupendous odds against them. Firstly the AIR would send its enemies into a false sense of security. There will be no price hikes and the cheap oil which the Americans and their European allies have got used to will continue. There will also be a propaganda campaign to persuade the world that the AIR had peaceful intentions. The AIR will be a closed society where no westerners will go which will help with the massive but secret military build-up. Moreover regional allies such as India and China will be sought out for economic and military aid. This would soon occur. As well as regional allies Islamic terrorism will be used to destabilise the “degenerate” secular Arab states, including bombings and assassinations. Most importantly the new Islamic state must be patient and be prepared for a long struggle until the Second Islamic Empire will be created.
The Indian Premier Nehru hadn’t agreed to the secret military alliance with the Islamic fundamentalists in lightness. The 1958 Strategic Alliance between India and the AIR was signed at Delhi. Both nations agreed to help each other. The open agreement was an economic agreement. The Indians agreed that millions of Indian labourers would pour into the Arabian Islamic Republic over the next four years to help replace in effect the Arabian men who would all be conscripted into the Army of God. Although many Islamic militants were horrified by such a idea they were persuaded by the emergency need for as many young soldiers as possible. Also there was a semi-secret agreement that the Indians would supply the Islamic revolutionaries vast amounts of military equipment, plans and officers to train the Army of God in return for ultra cheap oil. Soon tankers and transport carriers were chugging between Bombay and the AIR port of Doha bringing men and oil between the new regional allies. Most secretly they agreed to help each other in the expected regional war which will soon occur. The Indians had no love of the Arabs and both the Americans and the soviets supported the UAR. Pakistan was a US client state and an Indian attack on their hated neighbour would spark the Americans and the Chinese in. If the AIR also sparked war the soviets and Americans attention would be in the Middle East and the seemingly separate Indian-Pakistan war would be ignored allowing the Indians to gain continued soviet aid and focus on throwing back the Chinese and defeating that artificial state, Pakistan. The Arabian Islamic Republic also offered a alliance with the Chinese but Mao was opposed since the AIR appeared to be friendly to India, Chinas regional ally.
In China in 1957 Chairman Mao announced the Great Leap Forward would start. It would be a “peoples” revolution to industrialise China without traitorous soviet technicians and their Four-Year Plans involved. In practise over the next two to three years it was a catastrophic economic and social disaster for China and Beria who had now withdrawn all advisors from China was contemptuous of Mao’s experiment. The relationship between the Soviet Union and China had now completely broken down. After 1955 the public denunciations against each other grew more intense and frequent and the two Communist giants competed across the Third World for allies among the Communist movements. Within the Soviet Union there was an economic boom and a whole new consumerist culture was developing among young soviets. The new TV’s, cars and countless other consumer goods were pouring into the Soviet Union and many were also being produced in the Soviet Union itself and the happy soviet public were buying up everything available. The economic prosperity – which was summed by the soviet propaganda slogan “you’ve never had it so good” – was regaining Beria’s popularity but there were also losers in the new market soviet economy. The unemployed, once an unthinkable idea during Stalin’s time now existed in most cities. The State projects like the construction an underground (and undersea) rail link to Sakhalin Island from the mainland along the narrowest bit of the Strait separating Sakhalin and the mainland was also nearing completion and the Siberian Socialism Project was also doing reasonably successful. Many of the peasant migrants and increasing the unemployed were pouring into the new cities in the East and there had been a population boom in Siberia. The Soviet Planners in GOSPLAN were now talking back a second phase of the Siberian Socialism Project to mine all the vast mineral reserves in Siberia. Although the infrastructure building over the past decade and the half had completely transformed the habitual land near the Trans-Siberian Railway; to the icy cold north were potential goldmines. The only problem was the money and Beria was although willing to invest more in Siberia wanted something in return. For the moment though the State continued to buildup Siberia and explore with the latest technology all the hidden riches beneath the Siberian steppes.
The American President MacArthur was relected in 1956 and with the new national-strategic threat of the AIR along with Red China had a lot of potential threats on his mind. Generally though the domestic situation was MacArthur was the main priority particularly the whole Civil Rights for black Americans issue. Moreover the labour unions were also re-established and the powerful FBI was reduced while many of its functions were taken to the CIA. Most of the regressive actions of the Dewey administration were rolled back to the instance of the more leftwing-liberal factions of the Democratic Party. In general America was a confident self-assured nation which was prosperous and much more isolationist nation since there wasn’t a Cold War. Although Taiwan (still the official China State in the UN) joined the Global Defence Pact there was little important shifts in American foreign policy in the later years of the fifties. Still America’s “arrogance” would be shattered in the soon-to-be sixties, which will be a violent and dangerous world to live…
Posted on Monday, April 01, 2002 - 02:47 am:
Despite the botched invasion by Cuban nationalist Fidel Castro a year ago (the soldiers were all killed), the Americans were still extremely worried about the stability of their Cuban ally and the leader Batista. Massive pressure by the new President Nixon forced the dictator to have elections where he was soundly beaten. A new democratic government (supported by US Marines) cautiously started the agrarian reforms and attacks on the Mafia at Havana demanded by the populace. The elections of 1960 brought Nixon to the office of Presidency. It was an extremely close race against Adlai Stevenson the Democratic candidate but the peoples will trumped and Nixon could now focus on delivering his agenda of “stability and reform”. Nixon was a pragmatic in international relations and was a master at playing one side against the other – something he learned in politics early on. Although he was a Anti-Communist and was worried at the political perplexion of the new liberation movements in Africa and Asia the main threat to America was the Arabian Islamic Republic which despite the cheap oil was a dangerous threat. Many foreign experts, particularly in the State department though that a bit of diplomacy and economic carrots could “moderate” the Islamic clerics and anyway “hadn’t the AIR kept oil prices low – actually making them lower?”. For many American experts the “threat” from the AIR was academic and an invention of warmongering Republicans. For the moment America would bask in economic prosperity and growth.
For the Islamic Revolutionary Council the preparation for the great Jihad against the “degenerate” Arabs to the north was continuing and the key part in the masterplan were the Muslim Brotherhoods in all the Arab nations. These secret societies would be used to cause great political instability in the Arab nations. The millions of Indian labourers continued to pour in while the Army of God trained in a vast network of training camps throughout the desert using bought Indian military technology. The State Propaganda Section was pouring out propaganda about the great Islamic warriors of the ancient years and the people were being whipped into a frenzy of religious hatred against the secular Arab states. Meanwhile in the United Arab Republic the three major states, Egypt, Iraq and Syria have in effect carved out their spheres of influence. Iraq has Kuwait; Egypt has Jordan while Syria has Lebanon. The UAR has consolidated its control over the northern tier of the Arab lands and the soviets and the Americans are massively funding its Arab Army. The Great Middle East War will be occurring soon.
Away to the East, in the Indian subcontinent in March 1961, an assassin assassinated Nehru, the leader of India, along with his son while walking in his palace. The assassin was a Sikh fundamentalist and it brought great shock to the Indian people. Interior Chief General Azaif took over after a brief power struggle in the Indian National Congress. The new Prime Minister of India was much more of a Indian nationalist and militarist than his predecessor and coming from the army desired to crush once and for all Pakistan, that artificial state which should be reunited into a Greater India. The Indian Army was prepared and the ultra cheap oil from India’s secret ally AIR was used to propel India into the industrial age. The year afterwards the brief conflict with China over the Himalayan Mountains occurs which heats up the nationalist rage in India. The brief but quick Indo-China War was a humiliation for India but (like in OTL) the Chinese agreed to a cease-fire. The Indian Premier promised revenge and there was an even quicker militarisation of the nation with National Conscription brought in to create a powerful professional army with a massive conscript reserve. Along the border with Pakistan also the Pakistan dictator was preparing for war. The Indian subcontinent would be swamped into a regional war in the coming two years, the referred to as the Great Indian Conflict.
Meanwhile in Europe the nations of Great Britain (now under PM Wilson), France, Italy, the Benelux nations and Germany sign the European Economic Community agreement. This far-reaching confederal alliance of the great European powers will be seen as a milestone in the dream of European unity. For the founders it will be an economic and political buffer and bridge between the other two great Superpowers, the Soviet Union and America. Although some Europeans believe that it will evolve into a Federal Superstate others most notably the British wish that it would be more of a memberstate, intergovernmental Europe de Nations. With many of the Central-European nations like Poland, Hungary and even Yugoslavia (still led by Marshal Tito) wanting to join, the likelihood of any federal solution to the ‘European Question’ is extremely unlikely. Even some soviet politicians have publicly thought that perhaps the Soviet Union should join. Although Beria himself is against the USSR joining the Community he does wish a friendly pro-soviet European flank to the west. Over the next two years other European nations will join, including Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Norway and Ireland.
Within the Soviet Union a whole new generation of soviet youngsters were pouring into the new network of universities across the USSR. These students, growing up during the years of liberalism and reformism were the children of that time and were idealistically frustrated by the slow progress by the ‘Great Old Man’ as Beria is benevolently referred to by the liberal minded students for a better USSR. A minority were Communists in the true sense of the word but most were against Communism, after the Show Trials of Beria and the swamp of anti-Stalin literature afterwards most people had ended their obsession over Stalin. Others were politically apathetic and more interested in the consumerist culture sweeping across the Soviet Union. For the first time the state broadcasting channels were allowing adverts in the American style on the television and many of the older generation were vigorously complaining of the popular consumerist and American culture dominating youth where the individualistic me, me, me culture controlled everything. Alongside this, in culture, with poets, films and music a new culture was developing in sixties USSR. Leningrad was a youth capital of Europe and millions of liberal, increasingly hippie like Westerners were visiting their comrades in the East. The Beatles were particularly popular in the USSR and their tour there was a massive success, alongside America. Even Beria met the Beatles and commented afterwards how “nice” they were. For the moment the MVD was keeping in check these liberal impulses in relatively harmless channels but the potential was there for a massive student protest uprising, something that terrified the increasing conservative Beriasts in the Politburo.
Indonesian Civil War
In Indonesia the President Sukarno was getting back into politics. During the fifties, the founder of Indonesia stayed in the background and was a ceremonial leader. By the late fifties Sukarno was making a spectacular comeback through the state sponsored Indonesian Communist Party. Sukarno was turning Indonesia increasingly Leftwing and Pro-Chinese and the Army was very worried. With an economic crisis and regional disturbances the post-imperial archipelago seemed to be teetering on the brink of collapses. In 1964 the PKI, the Communists successfully wiped out the leading Generals, including General Suharto, commander of the army's strategic reserve in Jakarta. Fanning from Jakarta the Communists took over the most heavily populated region of Java and its immediate islands by the end of 1964. The Indonesian Civil War had started. The remainder of the rightwing Army took ver the central regions of Indonesia, mostly local commanders although a provisional government was formed. Also the Muslim party of Masyumi (Masjumi) and the Muslim theologians' party, Nahdatul Ulama (NU) declared their own Indonesian Islamic State in western Sumatra and southwestern Celebes. In practise the new Islamic state took over Sumatra while the US supported rightwing factions consolidated their control over the rest of Indonesia. By the end of 1964 Indonesia looked like this. In Java and the small islands nearby the Communists –who called their state the Indonesian Communist Republic - had taken over and were in the process of eliminated leading non-communists with Sukarno as their ceremonial President. In the west in the large region of Sumatra the Muslims were doing the same. The rest of Indonesia – despite local communists and muslims – had been occupied by the by the Indonesian Junta which now controlled the military regime fighting at the moment the communists. The US President Nixon facing re-election had to look tough against Communism and the Indonesian military regime was gaining much US aid. The Chinese and also the Soviets to a lesser degree were supporting the Communists which were proChinese but some elements were pro-soviet, something that Beria wanted to encourage through aid to the Indonesian Communists. The Muslims had no backers apart from the AIR, which were sending a thousand advisors to the Muslims. The Indonesian Civil War would soon become after 1965 an international proxy war by the Great Powers for influence with devastating military results for America.
Meanwhile in China the country was still recovering from the shocking death of over 30 million peasants after the terrible consequences of the failed Great Leap Forwards. Communist moderates like Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi took over and managed to partially recover China from the revolutionary experiment and Chairman Mao had been shunted aside. The new leader of the PLA, Lin Bao was a key ally of Mao, and second on command. In the next few years the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution will occur and along with the international crisis will bring havoc to the politics of Communist China.
In the Third World the colonies of Britain, France and other colonial powers were given independence. The French Community lost its remaining confedural aspects and became a free association of ex-french colonies where a Franc currency union was formed. In the Portuguese Empire the Communist liberation fighters – supported by the Soviet Union and much of the West were fighting a desperate war against the Portuguese. Although Apartheid South Africa supported the Portuguese along with the newly “illegal” Rhodesian state led by Ian Smith the Portuguese were fighting a losing struggle against the guerrillas. Moreover the Portuguese dictator Salazar was facing considerable domestic problems and in 1964 there was an army coup. Salazar fled to Spain and under UN/US guidance the new government agreed to democratic elections. The stupendous costs of the colonial struggle also forced the government to give independence to the Portuguese colonies and the new communist states of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau quickly formed dictatorships in their new liberated nations. In Angola the South Africans supported a small anti-Communist faction but the rest of the African Portuguese Empire passed from colonial too communist rule. The small state of east Timor was also made independent but was quickly swallowed up by the Indonesia communists. South Africa with its puppet Nambia and its subordinate ally Rhodesia faced a fierce struggle against the Black freedom fighters where Nelson Mandela was the key leader, now in prison.
Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 01:25 pm:
President Nixon was reelected for a second term in 1964 with Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller an essential ally in regaining power against the Adlai Stevensson/JVK “dream ticket”. Despite this Nixon was being heavily criticised for his budget cuts after the massive increase of the military by President McArthur during the fifties. Also the Communists in Indonesia were a serious threat to American interests and the Democrats were hard on Nixon to start to show some commitment in Indonesia. This was why in early 1965 President Nixon announced to the House that he would commit American advisors and soldiers to “fight Communism, tyranny and Americas enemies”. The first American soldiers poured in to help the Republik Indonesia Junta Gov. at the main fighting area of Borneo/ Kalimatan.
Meanwhile in Europe many new nations joined the European Economic Community, including Iceland, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Norway and Ireland. By the late sixties there was much ambition among the Founding Fathers of European integration that rather than aiming for a federal Europe a confederal broad rather than deep Europe would be more likely and realistic. In 1969 the EEC was renamed the European Community and plans for a European Human Rights Bill and modernisation of Europe’s industries and agriculture would be co-ordinated on a European level based around the principle in the much expanding European Council of european nations of “flexible voting”, meaning that countries could pick and choose what directives they allowed as well as intraeuropean integration between groupings of European states.
Within the Soviet Union Premier Beria continued to manage the country and a new State Project – along with the continuing Siberian Socialism Project and the Oil Projects – would be the linking of the Korean Railway network with the Trans-Siberian (or Trans-Siberian) railway(s). the Project would enable the travel of goods and people (trade) from Korea to Europe over land rather than by the long sea routes (even though the Suez Canal shortens the route). It takes 7 days to go from Moscow to Vladivostock via the Trans-Siberian and so adding a few days for the connections in Korea and the various destinations in Europe then it takes 9 or 10 days to travel from Pusan, Korea to Paris, France. Japanese goods could be shipped to Pusan and travel via the shorter (and cheaper) land route to Europe. Beria and his ministers plan it would provide some more employment and allow for more revenue (transfer fees across borders and for use of the railway). It would also boost trade between the USSR and Europe (and Korea and Japan and later China) and provide for more economic integration between Europe and the USSR.
Indonesian Civil War.
1965: After the initial confusion when the three factions took power after the collapse of the Sukarno led government by the beginning of 1965 a broad strategic balance had occurred although the Civil War will go on for the foreseeable future. To the north is the Islamic State of Aceh which declared independence in January 1965. Although there was a brief conflict between the new fledging new state and the Islamist Indonesians the agreed to accept the friendly ally to the north; for the moment. The Islamic State of Indonesia consists of Western (or Northern depending on your point of view) Sumatra (minus Aceh) and southwest Celebes/Sulawesi. The Arabian Islamic Republic declared its support for the Islamists in Indonesia and advisors and “volunteers” as well as large amounts of military equipment were in the process of being sent to Islamists rebels. The south of Sumatra is fought between the Communists and the Muslims. The PKI has set up the Indonesian Communist Republic in Java, Eastern (or Southern depending on the point of view) Sumatra, Madura, Bali, Lombok, Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, Lomblen, Pantar, Alor, Wetar and western Timor (the last 8 islands can be grouped as the Lesser Sunda Islands). The Communists have also taken east Timor, where independence rebels are fighting a low key guerrilla campaign to defeat the Communists, supported by the Junta/RKI. The provisional military government of the Republic of Indonesia (Republik Indonesia) controls the rest of Celebes/Sulawesi and controls the Moluccas and the islands east of Timor and for the moment West Irian although the rebels, supported by the Australians and Dutch are fighting a guerrilla battle to gain independence. The Dutch, want to regain their control of the rich minerals by putting pressure the UN to put West Irian (former Netherlands New Guinea) back under Dutch administration out of concern of the safety of the citizens (but really to regain control of the minerals) as a Trusteeship until the “Indonesian situation” diffuses. West Irian declares independence in 1965 as Indonesia is carved up among different groups vying for power. In Borneo/Kalimatan the Junta Gov. controls the island but the Communists and Muslims are supplying guerrillas to fight the Junta.
1966–67: In 1966 due to Australia's (and New Zealand's) fear of Indonesia imploding the two nations of Australia and New Zealand intervened in Indonesia and in New Guinea where the Australians control the eastern half. An Australian-New Zealander (A-NZ) intervention in East Timor (where the Communists have taken over) where the A-NZ force invaded and occupied all of Timor and restored independence to E.Timor and give W.Timor to the Junta government by the beginning of 1967. The Americans were now pouring enormous amounts of troops – over 300,000 – into the Indonesian conflict and most were fighting the brilliant communist and Muslim guerrillas in Borneo/Kalimatan and Celebes/Sulawesi. There were many casualties and the landscape of tropical forests, small islands and mountains suited the guerrillas brilliantly. Not only that the American client/ally was led by military leaders who little understood the political and socio-economic aspects of fighting a civil war where the “hearts and minds” were as important as military hardware and number of soldiers. Despite Malaysian help to bolster the Junta as well as many American solders the military government found it incapable despite the bloody ethic cleansing of countless villages to destroy the guerrillas. In fact the ruthless counterinsurgency methods turned the local inhabitants against the American supported Junta government. Despite great losses the communists and Muslims – both well supplied with missiles, boats and ammunition from their foreign allies – fought on and a tactical alliance between was created in the harsh jungles of Borneo/Kalimatan and Celebes/Sulawesi. Meanwhile in Sumatra a bloody conflict between the Communists and the Muslims was occurring in the south of Sumatra. The strategic importance could not be over estimated for both sides. The Communists were greatly helped by the fraternal communist allies who aided them while fighting the Muslims. Ironically the Communists were the conventional forces fighting the Muslim guerrillas and they had great difficulty defeating the Muslim strongholds in many Muslim rural areas. Usually it was the Muslim clerics and imams who were advocated to the peasants to support the Islamist guerrillas against the “godless” communists.
1967–68: The military Junta was increasingly unstable and a series of military coups cautiously supported by the CIA, increasingly frustrated with the incompetent leadership of the Republik Indonesia, made the Junta government even less attractive to the people. There was much political infighting and political deaths in the political jungle of the Indonesian Junta. A series of military Generals supported by America was failing to deliver the knockout blow against the Communist and Muslim rebels. The total of American troops had by now risen to over 500,000 but the civil war continued. Morale within the Junta was low but its great strength was the fact that not many Indonesians wanted the Communist and although many Indonesians were Muslims not all supported the Islamic State of Indonesia in far Sumatra. Although much of Borneo/Kalimatan had been cleared of guerrillas of both factions by the end of 1968 through Operation Destroy in a joint co-ordinated mass operation using American, A-NZ, Malaysian and Indonesian troops a low key conflict continued by the Communist and Muslim guerrillas in remote areas. By 1968 the Americans were frustrated and realising that the Indonesian Communist State in Java were supplying the communist guerrillas decided to start doing blanket bombings on Communist cities. Domestically this was massively unpopular among many hippies and liberal/leftist students but supported by an increasingly sceptical American public. The bombings of communist cities destroyed much of the remaining infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of refugees poured out of the cities, sparking huge problems for the communist leadership. Despite the recent acquiring of Anti-aircraft missiles from the Soviet Union the bombings continued by the Americans from airbases in the Indonesian Junta. Ironically the attacks on the communist mainland hit the Communists at the time when the Muslims – with a massive arsenal of weapons from the AIR – were planning a combined conventional/guerrilla offensive called Operation Liberation against the Indonesian Communists. It was extremely successful and conventional communist divisions were defeated in there thousands while embarrassingly for the Chinese and Indochinese nations the Muslims captured their advisors. It was a propaganda coup for the Muslims and world coverage focussed around the international aspect of the Civil War. Most of southern Sumatra was “liberated” from the Communists and the Sumatra region was cleaned of communists by a brutal revenge operation by Muslim guerrillas. At least 200,000 died for being suspected Communist sympathises.
1969 – 1970: In Celebes/Sulawesi a renewed guerrillas campaign by the Muslims and more the Communists humiliated American might after American hostages were taken and heavily fortified American bases were taken over by Communist guerrillas. Although the Americans regained their American citizens after hard bargaining (and fraternal communist pressure) it was a bad day for America. The Americans were extremely against the war by now and the new American President Nelson Rockefeller was against continued American involvement in Indonesia. Despite the Indonesian Junta protests American troops were quickly scaled down between 1969-70 and by the end of 1970 most ordinary American troops had been shipped out of Indonesia. The Islamists consolidated their political control over southern Sumatra, which did much to gain the populace acceptance of Muslim rule through agrarian reform programmes. With the loss of great American support the Junta was increasingly open to attack in Borneo/Kalimatan and although Operation Destroy meant that the Communist and Muslim guerrillas were still recovering their losses the number of attacks against Indonesian Junta forces was multiplying fast. By the end of 1970 in Celebes/Sulawesi the loss of American support was catastrophic. The Communist guerrillas were by now the dominant anti-Junta force after a viscious campaign against the Muslims. Communist shadow governments or “free zones” now controlled much of the area where the Indonesian Junta didn’t dare for the moment attack. The Indonesian Civil War will continue into the seventies and many more people die before peace occurs.
Great Middle East War:
1965: The Arabian Islamic Republic had been preparing for the war for years and its terrorist operatives were all ready. All it needed was a spark and the deliberate shooting down of an Iraqi plane on the 5th September 1965 by the AIR caused the UAR and the AIR to declare war. The Islamic Revolutionary Council had prepared for that and its masterplan had already occurred in part. The use of biological weapons of mass destruction had been used in many times in world history and Alexander the Great had chucked diseased soldiers into fortified enemy cities. Using ultra committed Islamic fundamentalist terrorists trained at Secret Academy 21 in the AIR the terrorist operatives spread Anthrax throughout Egypt very shortly before the deliberate Iraqi Incident. Just as war was declared thousands of Egyptians (mainly in Cairo) went to the few hospitals and health clinics complaining of terrible attacks. An Epidemic had occurred. Soon tens of thousands were infected by anthrax and Colonel Nasser was in panic. The Egyptian component of the Arab Army was also quickly infected and terrified soldiers were disinfected. The other Arab component states quiranteed Egypt stopping an essential part of the Arab Army to fight the Arabian Islamic Republic. Worse was to occur.
The Muslim Brotherhood, a secret Muslim organisation organised by the AIR had successfully infiltrated President Nassers Presidential Guard. On the 10th September 1965 President Nasser was assassinated at his palace. He died immediately and the Assassin killed himself, screaming his love of Allah. In Jordan at the same day the associate member of the United Arab Republic, King Hussein was relaxing when one of his own guards shot at him – it was another of the Muslim Brotherhood sect. King Hussein just survived at hospital and had a full recovery. One part of the Masterplan had failed. In the rest of the United Arab Republic the shock and anger of Nassers assassination caused many Muslim Brotherhood operatives to be killed and tortured. Others were successful and following their orders and a series of bombings occurred in the regional states Syria and Iraq. Within Egypt the death total was now reaching over 500,000 people and the new President Sadat was facing the breakdown of society as terrified people locked themselves up in their houses while others fled to the deserts.
On the battlefield the AIR military forces pushed northwards into the Kingdom of Kuwait and defeated the Arab Army there. Although there was a sizeable force near Jordan which had been planning to invade Jordan after the successful assassination of the King the failure of that mission caused them to remain alert on the border. The AIR paused on the ex-Iraqi – Kuwait border while new supplies were shipped to them. The Masterplan also involved the economic sphere. The deliberate reduction of oil prices over the last few years hadn’t been out of kindness but rather an ulterior policy of creating a false sense of security among the infidels. Almost as soon as the war was declared and American and European support for the UAR made public the AIR decided in retaliation to increase (apart from free oil to India) the oil price by 300%. Now with Kuwait the AIR now controlled a majority of the oil supplies in the Middle East. The jacking up of the oil price pushed the American and European economies into Depression. Along with the West Japan was terribly hit along with the rest of Southeast Asia already hurt by the damaging Indonesian Civil War. The Soviet Union had already become oil self-sufficient so wasn’t too hit by the oil increase. The second stage occurred later with the massive AIR invasion of southern Iraq. The Islamic Revolutionary Council aimed to take control of the Iraqi oil reserves near Mosul and install the Grand Caliphate of Baghdad. It appeared to go well and there were a series of great wins by the AIR and the push northwards by the AIR reached Baghdad in the ultimate battle. The best of the Arab Army was in around Baghdad ready to defeat the Army of God. The brilliant Army of God General Ali Husaife successfully outmanoeuvred the Arab Army and seemed on the brink of a fantastic victory. The whole future of the Middle East and the world was at this point. If the Army of God won it would spread out south, east and west. The Second Islamic Empire would be born in Baghdad with a new Grand Caliphate in the capital of the new Muslim Superpower. Next, Syria, Lebanon, Israel-Palestine, Egypt, Turkey and Persia would be absorbed into the Empire. Ultimately to the leaders in the AIR the borders would reach to the ends of the earth. Their ambitions would be endless. Luckily it didn’t occur. A terrified United Arab Republic desperately asked for emergency American support. American fighter jets in an air war in the skies defeated the AIR Airforce and massive bombings managed to turn the tide against the Army of God. The Arabian Islamic Republic was decisively beaten at the gates of Baghdad and by the end of 1965 its forces had done a fighting retreat back to the Kuwait border.
1966: The death total in the component region of Egypt had reached over a million and a half. Luckily for President Sadat the “no contact” orders was working. After the massive increase in casualties the tide was slowing. Fewer people were getting anthrax but at the cost of a complete breakdown in Egyptian society and basic human contact. The Egyptian component of the Arab Army was still infected by solders gaining Anthrax and remained in Egypt. With the help of American troops the Arab Army invaded Kuwait in early 1966. The opposition was lighter than expected and although some of the oil fields were blow up by the retreating AIR the people cheered the American/Arab Army on as it marched through. The Kuwait Royal Family was reinstalled and the Coalition force continued near the border with the AIR. The Islamic Revolutionary Council was panicking now; their audacious masterplan had failed by a whisker. Many were preparing personal aircraft’s to if necessary flee to safety in Indonesia. None wanted to be hauled in front of The Hague for crimes against humanity. UAR forces marched down the coast from Iraq and Kuwait and captured Ad Dammam in March and continued to move on to the oil fields of the eastern AIR (and towards the AIR conquered areas of Qatar (and Bahrain off the coast) and the former UAE). Much of the AIR was now occupied and the end was near for the AIR. The Arab Army after reinstalling the exiled former Sheikhs and royal families on the Persian gulf now swung west and captured Riyadh (the AIR's capital). Finally the Arabian Islamic Republic collapsed with great revolts in the rear the Islamic Revolutionary Council flew in personal aircraft with their families to the Islamic State Indonesia where they were welcomed with open arms. A secular Saudi Republic was formed from the exiled secularists who had fled after the Civil War to the UAR. The Great Middle East War had ended.
Despite the success of the United Arab Republic it did not last. In 1967 it collapsed after political difficulties over the Presidency of the UAR. Also the UAR had been largely formed and supported because of the fear of the AIR, now with that enemy defeated there was no need for a UAR anymore, unless you were a pan-Arabist. The states broke up and in the middle of 1967 a Arab Community was formed by the Arab states.
Great Indian War:
Late 1965: The strategic alliance between India and the Arabian Islamic Republic was kept by the ambitious Indian Prime Minister Azaif who kept to his side of the bargain after the start of the Great Middle East War. The Pakistanis supported the Kashmir rebels and one extremist group blew up an Army guard station in Indian controlled Kashmir. The PM Azaif demanded Pakistani punishment of those responsible and reparations to India. Naturally the Pakistan President refused and India declared war on Pakistan. At the time the international community was focused on the Middle East not the Indian subcontinent. Firstly the Indians invaded the Pakistani controlled Kashmir and after viscious fighting defeated the Pakistanis. In East Pakistan where there were increasing tensions with the west the Indians supported a coup wanting an independent Bangladesh. It wasn’t very successful but the Indians saved the day by invading East Pakistan. Bangladesh declared independence and the Pakistani loyalist forces were defeated.
Early 1966: Faced with this double whammy the Pakistani government decided on foreign help. The Americans weren’t interested since they were already stretched in the Middle East, but the Chinese were. Unfortunately for the Chinese the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was at its height, causing havoc with students Red Guards causing anarchy throughout China. The only institution keeping control was the Peoples Liberation Army – led by Lin Bao. Chairman Mao ordered the PLA to invade India in support of their regional ally. The confidence that had occurred after the victory against India in 1962 had helped to make he Chinese over-confident. The Indians were prepared and faced with a frontal assault retreated in order. As planned this spurred the Chinese troops on and in a brilliant ambush in the Battle of the Valley the Indians wiped out the Chinese force. Chairman Mao panicked and Lin Bao was furious. The Army unprepared was forced into battle and humiliatingly defeated while Mao encouraged mass anarchy in the rear. Along with key Army supporters Lin Bao successfully poisoned Mao in Beijing and the PLA took over the streets. Moreover Mao supporters were arrested and the news was told to the Chinese public that Mao had died from “natural causes”. The PLA took over Chinese cities and the students were ordered to go back to university. For the Red Guards it was very confusing and many rebelled against the PLA order. In countless cities soldiers determined to bring back order shot students in bloodbaths. An insurrection almost occurred in China but the ruthless action worked. The students shocked went home while Mao opponents were brought back to the Chinese Politburo. A counter attack was organised while the Indians occupied greater Chinese lands.
Meanwhile in Pakistan the Chinese diversion had helped Pakistan to prepare its remaining army in defence of the capitol Islamabad. The Indians attempted their last great offensive against Pakistan and in a series of battle defeated the Pakistan Army. Factions of angry and disgruntled army officers overthrew the President in a series of coups and countercoups. The Indian occupation of Islamabad ended the war as the remaining Pakistani government agreed to a cease-fire. The truce demanded that Pakistan accept the absorption of the whole of Kashmir into India and the independence of Bangladesh. The agreed unwillingly and Prime Minister Azaif concentrated on defeating China to the far north. The new Chinese Chairman Bin Lao was also building up a powerful force to throw back to the Indians. The two sides clashed and sheer Chinese mass sent the Indians back. With the Chinese counteroffensive succeeding Prime Minister Azaif agreed to a truce with the Chinese. A slight readjustment of the borders occurred to India and the two regional giants regained peace.
The Great Indian War was over and a decisive victory for the Indians. The Pakistanis would become a poor rump state, which was increasingly economically dependent on the Indians.
In 1969 Premier Beria died in the Soviet Union. There was worldwide mourning of such a great Statesman. At the State Funeral speaker after speaker spoke of his historical achievements. Including liberating Eastern Europe from Communism, liberating his own people, bringing (sort off) peace to the Middle East, and his powerful post-war influence over Europe through the Warsaw Pact. Through death this great man was mourned as one of the greatest leaders the Soviet Union had ever had, and he was truly a Giant in relation to Joseph Stalin and the Founder Lenin. Even so Berias death was symbolic, the era of enlightened despotism had gone while a new generation in the Soviet Union wanted a freely elected, democratic Soviet union. The MVD Chief since the late fifties after Merkulov had retired was Andropov who was a pragmatic liberal and a very close supporter of Beria. The other key liberal in Berias Politburo was Kosygin who was the leader of the economic ministries, which under his leadership had been transferred into efficient ministries. The leader of the conservative hardliners was the less brilliant Brezhnev. Andropov key ally Kosygin became General Secretary (and thus Soviet Premier). Although it seemed the pragmatic, liberal and reformist faction was stronger the conservative hardliners were also influential within the Politburo. Still outside the Kremlin soviet society was changing. The rise of middle class and student as well as professional classes was a serious threat to the continuance of the soviet elitist dictatorship. In a developed prosperous country like the USSR with a new strong capitalist class and middle class there are increasing demands for political influence and freedom. Great changes are on the way in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics…
In America in 1968 President Nixon was assassinated in Chicago by a Black extremist while nearing the end of his presidency. It seemed the slow progress of the so-called ‘Great Society’ reforms had angered the Civil Rights Movements (much less powerful after the still secret FBI organised killing of Martin Luther King) and extremism was very popular after the failure of the moderate Civil Rights leaders. Also the domestic problems over Indonesia had literally destroyed the Nixon Presidency while the student revolution was occurring. The FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover was still in charge and still very much in the Dewey mindset. After the shocking killing of President Nixon Vice President Nelson Rockefeller took over but the Democrats defeated the Republicans under the Stevenson/JFK ticket. Adali Stevenson finally became President with the popular John F Kennedy the powerful Vice President. Finally the Great Society Reforms seemed on track again, or so it seemed.
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 12:35 pm:
In the Soviet Union the death of Premier Beria has opened the doors to widespread desire among the soviet populace for democracy and freedom. For many political analysts in Pravda, Lenin led the revolutionary dictatorship, Stalin the absolute dictatorship and Beria the enlightened dictatorship. According the headline, all three were needed in their time but the age of dictatorship has ended. Now is the time for social democracy. It seems that this widespread consensus by the summer of 1970 along civil society was sparking increasing frustration. Students in Leningrad from the radical liberal universities led the call in massive protests for “democracy and elections”. The protest soon spread to Moscow, another hub of student activism. Many other cities experienced the same although the authorities and MVD informers found that middle class educated professionals were leading the democracy protests there. The soviet organisations including the professional organisations like the doctors and teachers called for reform and democracy. Petitions poured in from across the Soviet Union to the Politburo for democracy. The Politburo met and Brezhev and his conservative allies demanded a crackdown against the protestors. The KGB Chief Andropov was horrified and warned that it would destroy the Soviet Unions progressive image, would spark anarchy and massive blood on the street. Moreover the Army might not support such an order. The soviet General Secretary Kosygin agreed and instead suggested that the country should start moving towards a more democratic state. The majority of the Politburo agreed and in a public announcement to the world the General Secretary Kosygin promised the people widespread reform and a start to democracy. The people celebrated but many were sceptical, ‘hadn’t the Czar Nicholas promised the same and tore it apart?’ For the liberal/leftie students it seemed they had won although they were sceptical. A Commission led by Andropov was set up and after preliminary discussions it was agreed to show the country that the leadership was true in the desire for democracy there would be a reform of the constitution. It was soon dubbed Stage One in the democracy process and amid much public debate it was agreed that the post of General Secretary should be abolished and a new simplified and strengthened constitutional post of Soviet Premier (President) and Soviet Prime Minister should go for union wide elections. The Second Stage would be more vague, and would involve the issues of one party state, multipartyism, federalism and the decommunisation of the whole ‘soviet’ institutions. These were enormously controversial and Andropov and Kosygin feared that the Politburo would refuse such radical reforms outright. Brezhev was against the idea of a democratically elected post of Soviet Premier and PM but the duo of Andropov and Kosygin pushed it through with their pragmatic liberal supporters. Since the Soviet Union had never had a free election for decades much preparation work needed to be done and it was planned that after a relatively long electoral campaign the elections will occur in early 1971. The people enthusiastically greeted the promise of elections but there was a minor conservative backlash. Many senior citizens disliked this new democracy and claimed that the “old ways” were better. Brezhev was pleased and rather wrongly thought that with him standing for the Prime Ministerialship (the Soviet Premier would be mainly foreign affairs – like the French system) he could win and strengthen the conservatives faction. Andropov and Kosygin agreed to a joint duo, with Andropov campaigning for the Prime Ministerialship while Kosygin would be the elder statesmen, campaigning for the Premiership. It was a brilliant success and Andropov/Kosygin wiped all opposition in early 1971. Brezhev gained a third of the electorate and was humiliated. Many voters disliked him and he was swimming against the liberal democratic tide within the Soviet Union. The radical democratic supporter of Andropov Yeltsin, a rising supporter became a key figure in the new Andropov/Kosygin Politburo. With the conservatives defeated the Soviet Union could focus around a new set of democratic reforms. A new division was occurring now in the reformism/liberal camp, between the moderates and the radicals. The soviet moderates wanted a reformed soviet democracy while the radicals (led by Yeltsin and supported by the students) wanted a non-Soviet democracy. Meanwhile throughout 1971-72 a national debate occurred over the depth and breath of democratic reform. A mass consultative campaign occurs across the Soviet Union. The whole nation participated in party organised discussions about the Future of Soviet Socialism and after exhausting arguments the democracy Commission finally agreed on a compromise. The new soviet constitution would be thus:
These reforms are agreed too by the Politburo and the State Duma is quickly elected with many new parties including the rightwing Russian nationalists, a new hard-line communist party, a radical democratic Democratic Choice party and even a religious Czarist party. By the middle of the 1970s these democratic reforms have appeared to work out and Prime Minister Andropov quickly becomes a popular reformist among the people. Yeltsin is his protégé and more of a radical but his support was essential for the package of reforms to be accepted by radical liberal opinion. Relations between the Soviet Union and Europe were transformed by the new democracy and in 1974 (along with a new groups of European nations) joined the European Community as an associate memberstate. Also the Warsaw Pact – European Community trade agreement of 1975 promoted greatly trade between Europe and the Soviet Union. Iran, now led by a pro-soviet nationalist elite in a semi-democratic nation was booming with vast pipelines shipping oil to the west through the USSR.
After the Bin Lao Coup of 1966 the Army general soon realised that there was considerable opposition to him. After the crackdown on militant Red Guards Bin Lao almost imminently decided – on the advice of Mao’s wife – that he should reorganise them to attack the “enemies of the revolution”, meaning the moderate Chinese leaders, Chen Yi, Zhu De and Zhao Enlai. Lin Baos chief opponent, the highly respected Zhao Enlai, opposed this and had always been against the Cultural Revolution. Bin Lao also wanted to be seen as Mao’s successor and the easiest way to do that was to continue the Cultural Revolution. Moreover he would use the Red Guards to discredit his opponents. The next few years were a vicious power struggle between the PLA - Bin Lao and the moderates. A revival of the Cultural Revolution was occurring and strictly controlled by Lin Bao targeted his opponents. Supporters of Zhao Enlai were attacked by Red Guard mobs while others were attacked for expressing opinion against Bin Lao leadership. In foreign affairs the Chinese increased support to the Indonesian Communists – causing American wrath – while clashes occurred on the vast Soviet-Chinese border. In 1968 at the 9th Congress of the PROC leading figures call for stability and normality. With the support of the Chinese security forces Zhao Enlai and his supporters successfully denounce Bin Lao at the Congress. Bin Lao himself calls for a continence of the Cultural Revolution and is roundly attacked. The triumvirate of moderates Chen Yi, Zhu De and Zhao Enlai destroy Bin Laos career. Bin Laos resolutions collapse and many PLA generals – furious with the increasing arrogance of the Red Guard – support the triumvirate in replacing Bin Lao shortly afterwards. Bin Lao keeps his ceremonial title and “resigns” shortly afterwards. The Cultural Revolution ended in 1969 and soon afterwards with Zhao becomes Chinese Premier, Chen Yi is foreign minister while Zhu De becomes head of the economic ministries in 1970 a Treaty of Friendship is signed with the Soviet Union. Premier Kosygin is pleased and a détente occurs between the Soviet Union and China after years of fighting since the late fifties. Domestically Zhu De leads a new economic reform plan on the soviet model and there are reforms in agriculture and industry. Internationally in 1972 China signs an another Treaty of Friendship with Japan, now a prosperous nation. President John F Kennedy faces domestic pressure from anti-Chinese republicans (led by Nixon) and Taiwan in the Global Defence Pact to resist Chinese overturns. JFK’s instincts are too start a dialogue with China – despite of Taiwan – and to accept China as the real china. Unfortunately in an election year this isn’t possible and a change of the China policy wouldn’t occur yet. Most Americans supported ‘Taiwan’ and there was much anger that Japan had officially recognised the Peoples Republic of China. In Japan itself anti-Americanism was popular particularly among the students and there was talk of creating an Asian Economic Sphere with the leading economic powers. Korea was also prosperous although because for historical reasons not very friendly with Japan. By the mid seventies Japan had returned to neutrality and the American bases were withdrawn. Because of the Indonesian Civil War the economic growth of other nations had been slower but Malaysia and Singapore were booming. China improved relations with the Soviet Union and Indochina led by Vietnam also slightly improved relations. President John F Kennedy, reelected on a second term despite the political costs of pushing through the Civil Rights Bill also wanted to improve relations. There was a strong movement in America, mainly from the Left/liberal that the Global Defence Pact was an anachronism and should be abolished. It had been set-up to deal with the supposed threat from the soviet dominated Warsaw Pact but for over ten years the Warsaw Pact had been turned into a economic bloc and the Red Army’s bases closed. For the increasingly powerful liberal faction within the Democratic Party which wanted America to focus on the Great Society reforms (which JFK showed a unwillingness to lose political support for socio-economic reforms) and the semi-isolationist Republican faction there was little desire to continue to defend nations which seemed either not useful to America or against Americas national interest. This view was becoming a ‘new consensus’ particularly within the State Department, which wanted to ignore Taiwan and focus on building links with the Third Superpower Communist China. Many on the New Left and Right were predicting that the GDP would collapse and America focus more on domestic policy. Other influential Americans disagreed, including the internationalist President John F Kennedy and warned that the recent Communist guerrilla movements within South America suggested that all was not well for America. A powerful America debate will occur in the next few years.
Indonesian Civil War continued…
Situation in late 1970: Aceh is a northern Islamic state for the moment allied to its southern Muslim neighbour. The Indonesian Communists de facto control Sulawesi/Celebes and the Java region. The Indonesian Junta now control with their Malaysian allies Borneo after almost exterminating the Islamic and Communist guerrillas, and Central-East Indonesia. West Irian is under the control of the Australians/New Zealand’s/Dutch while East Timor is a virtual Australian-New Zealand protectorate and West Timor is controlled the Indonesian Junta. The capitals of the different Indonesian states are; the capital of Communist Indonesia is Jakarta, The capital of E.Timor is Dili, the capital of Aceh is Banda Aceh, the capital of West Papua is Jayapura. The capital of Islamic Indonesia is Palembang on Sumatra and finally the Indonesian Junta capital is in Ambon.
1971: The Malaysian government decides that it should support the Indonesia Junta more and gain unofficial extra territory. To the Malaysians it looks like Borneo/Kalimatan is increasingly become anarchic with Junta control in doubt. Troops were sent in to establish control over a buffer area north of the Sungai Kayan and Sungai Kapaus rivers and just north of the Pegunungan Schwaner and Pegunungan Muller mountain ranges. The Malaysians also established control over the Natuna islands (those Indonesian islands between mainland Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo). Along with elite American troops a new offensive in the spring of 1971 finally exterminated the remaining communist and Islamic strongholds in the more remote areas of Borneo/Kalimatan. Many thousands are killed and whole villages known to support the Communists and Muslims are cleansed in a ruthless but effective mass operation. In practise Borneo became a semi-controlled Malaysian area but for the Junta defeating their internal enemies was very important, particularly because of the deteriorating situation in Sulawesi/Celebes. Meanwhile the theologian dominated government of Islamic Indonesia the success of liquidating the Communists in south Sumatra had fuelled their desire to strengthen the worlds remaining Islamic state after the defeat of the AIR in the late sixties. The leaders of the AIR were in Palembang and lived in luxury as celebrated guests in Islamic Indonesia. In contrary to their own failed masterplan in Arabia they were cautious in their advice to the Islamic leadership stressing the need to survive and dangerous adventures could threaten the Islamic fundamentalist situation. Of course the Indonesian Islamics weren’t as fundamentalist as their AIR friends and weren’t megalomaniac but to the north was an extremely tempting fellow Islamic State waiting to be absorbed into the rest of Islamic Sumatra. For the moment they prepared for absorb Aceh which had a surprisingly strong army well supplied by the Americans, Malaysians and other powers. This might seem strange that America was supporting Islamic Aceh but the leadership there were very successful in creating a democratic moderate regime, which had massive support from the people. Moreover strategically America believed that they could influence the new state on the sea and use it as a buffer against the more fundamentalist and to them dangerous southern neighbour.
The Communists in Java after their humiliating defeat in southern Sumatra now focused with foreign help - the remaining foreign elements in the Indonesian Civil War are the Chinese, a few Indochinese and fewer Soviet advisers, the Australians and New Zealanders in Timor and New Guinea along with elite Australian and New Zealander soldiers operating in other parts of Indonesia along with elite American forces – to gaining Celebes/Sulawesi. Unluckily for the Communists, the new dictator of the Indonesian Junta focuses primarily on the series of islands there which stops for the moment a outright win for the Communists. Even so the Communists control the countryside and the cities are infiltrated by the Communist elements where a dirty war is going on with special police forces battling Communist operatives. Meanwhile in the Indonesian Junta the recent series of unstable military coups finally end after a ruthless, ambitious but most importantly competent and efficient General comes to the centre stage. The CIA is impressed and supports his own coup. President General Asaio makes himself a presidential dictatorship after eliminating his real or potential opponents. Supported by an America National Guard and the ultra loyal Indonesian special police (trained by the FBI/CIA) the Indonesian Junta finally gets a strong leader. Within the Junta Army morale increases after new equipment and pay increases. President General Asaio is also an intelligent leader and forces through despite local landowner opposition land reform in areas affected by Communist or Islamic emergency. For the first time support for the military government actually starts to rise among the inhabitants.
At a meeting with the new Junta presidential dictator, the Australians, New Zealand’s, America and the president-elect of East Timor it is agreed that firstly East Timor will regain independence as a democratic republic. It will be protected by a small A – NZ force. In effect East Timor becomes a virtual Australian-New Zealand protectorate. West Timor becomes part of Junta Indonesia, West Papua (West Irian) becomes independent, (and in 1975 unites with East to become Papua New Guinea). Foreign observers start to talk of a potential peace conference soon, they are premature but the fighting will end soon.
1972: the Communists organise their last great offence against the Indonesian Junta in Celebes/Sulawesi and vast shipments of arms are sent to secret warehouses and stores across the numerous islands. Meanwhile to the north the Malaysians and Americans as well as Islamic Aceh are increasingly worried about Islamic Indonesian ambitions on it’s small northern neighbour. After an agreement with President John K Kennedy the Americans and Malaysians offer a Treaty of Protection with the Aceh state. The Acehians agree and mainly Malaysian troops pour across the straits of Malacca – and also troops from Borneo - which (along which most of the Pacific and East Asian sea trade passes on its way to places like India, Europe and sometimes America). Control of the straits would also give them some leverage over a weak and divided Indonesia and this is a major drive in the Malaysians strategic thinking. Despite exhortations by more militant elements among the Islamic leadership the conservatives (with the support of the AIR émigrés who are terrified of being captured) manage to persuade them that fighting Aceh will be a catastrophic disaster. Soon afterwards a US organised UN Security Council meeting agrees to a UN run referendum on independence and the ‘Yes’ vote win massively. Most nations recognise the new democratic Islamic Aceh republican state.
Meanwhile in Celebes/Sulawesi in a massive operation called Operation Victory by the Communist guerrillas and fighters (along with Chinese support) they smash the Junta controlled cities and military outposts throughout the region. The Communist leadership in Jakarta celebrates and declares Celebes/Sulawesi to be part of the Communist State of Indonesia. This was the last great operation in the Indonesian Civil War. The shocked Indonesian Junta President General Asaio is fearful that the military defeat will cause his dictatorship to collapse. Mass protests by angry pro-Junta supporters seem to bring the regime to the brink of disaster. In July 1972 President General Asaio suggests a cease-fire by all the sides in the Indonesian civil war and a Peace Conference in Japan. The other sides agree and in Tokyo (the Japanese want to start to raise their international profile as a new neutralist state) after some discussion the following is agreed to. Firstly Islamic Indonesia agrees to Islamic Aceh as its perpetual northern neighbour. Secondly the Indonesian Junta accepts communist Celebes/Sulawesi which formally becomes a province of the Indonesian Communist State. Thirdly the Malaysians (supported by the British and the Australians and New Zealanders and tacitly by the Americans) successfully argue for the area of Indonesian Borneo under their control to be placed under the rule of Junta Indonesia (though Malaysian troops will probably remain in that area to “ensure security”). The independent state of West Papua (under A-NZ protection) was affirmed by the peace conference due to Australian-New Zealand pressure (and some Dutch pressure) supported by the British and Malaysians. West Papua declared itself a part of Papua New Guinea in 1975 (When Papua New Guinea gains independence from Australia (and remains within the Commonwealth)). A-NZ forces will be scaled back or totally withdrawn by then (though a few may stay to help protect New Guinea from “any threat” (read Junta Indonesia)). The peace conference ratified E.Timor's independence and that a small A-NZ force would be stationed there to protect it from Communist and Junta Indonesia. Overall Islamic Indonesia is weakened by the independence of Aceh and gives Malaysia an “Islamic” ally. Islamic Indonesia is set to become rather aloof in world affairs as the only remaining state run by theologians (with the demise of the AIR and Aceh having a civilian republican govt.).
In the Middle East the new leader of Palestine, President Arafat and the dictator of Libya, Colonel Gaffadi together call for a stronger Arab world. They are realistic enough to understand that the United Arab Republic can’t come back but after gaining support from other Arab leaders in 1973 the Arab League and Arab Community are abolished and instead a new Arab Confederation is created from all the Arab states. This would be lose confederal alliance but would help to further cultural, economic and political links in the region. Many Arab University programmes are formed and a new generation of Arab people is brought up in a peaceful and prosperous world where harmony and co-operation is the key. After the horrific plague in Egypt a whole region had turned away from violence. In Egypt under President Sadat the country was still recovering from the shock of the horrific plague. Most of the dead had occurred in Cairo and strangely the deaths had one silver lining. Cairo was much less built up city and most of the slums with American aid had been demolished. In the Saudi Republic (actually called the Arabian Democratic Republic) there was a small but vocal monarchist movement but after the Aircraft Incident and the widespread tales of debauchery and decadence in the royal palaces had irretrievably destroyed any populist demand for the return of the monarchy.
After the Great Indian War India along with its strategic reserves of former AIR oil had boomed with an ambitious industrialisation campaign. India also become slightly more authoritarian and economically dominated the rump west Pakistan. Despite small Chinese and American aid Pakistan had a massive budget deficit and was more of less bankrupt. Forced to accept Indian handouts it became an unwilling semi-client of its bigger neighbour India. Bangladesh was much more friendly with India but remained a unstable and poor state economically dependent on Indian capital. In effect India was the dominant state in the Indian subcontinent. Finally in southern Africa South Africa and its Rhodesian ally were in deep trouble. The Portuguese independence of its colonies had made whole new lengths of the border of Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia guerrilla frontiers. The ZANU and ZAPU rebel groups were also fighting a ruthless battle with the Rhodesian army. Nambia was illegally under the control of South Africa while Angola was a minor civil war with the communist/leftist government fighting South African supported anti-government rebels. To the north in Ethiopia the new soviet leadership were much more encouraging to revolutionary Marxists than Beria and the ex emperor had been overthrown. Ethiopia was a pro-soviet ally and other states were also seemingly pro-soviet. The Americans fought back in Africa in this regional cold war but it wasn’t seen as the biggest priority for the American administration. The later part of the seventies will be a new worldwide depression and renewed economic, social and political tensions in the two Superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.
Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 08:40 am:
In the Soviet Union the effects of the democratic reforms were still reverberating within soviet society. The soviet Prime Minister Andropov was proving to be a popular reformer and the budget was slashed through cutting down on bureaucracy. After 1976 a worldwide economic depression hit the USSR and millions of soviet workers were made redundant. This also brought a new and unseen problem for Andropov and his MVD allies, the soviet Trade Unions. These had been run by the State for decades and even during the liberalising decades of Beria the Unions were strictly controlled. Now though union bosses were advocating the bringing back of powers and in certain local areas strikes had occurred. Not only that a key reason why the MVD agreed to democratic reforms were the need for restructuring of the Soviet Unions political economy in anticipation for the “new industries” which needed free knowledge and information in a general cultural of cultural freedom and diversity. Thanks to the democratic reforms the USSR economy would keep up with the West particularly in the new booming industry of Computers. The USSR introduced a package of strict “thatcherite” reforms and despite the economic depression certain area of the USSR were starting to be called the Soviet Unions Silicon Valley. In the more traditional industries like coal and steel were in depression and this was causing gains for the new hard-line communist Party. Politically the establishment Communist party continued to dominate the political landscape but there was a boom in new parties. On a local level many were elected into the local soviets while a large Russian nationalist movement was created, particularly in the student universities in Leningrad and Moscow, hotbeds of Russian nationalism. For the declining radical democratic movement, unofficially led by the young Yeltsin in the Politburo they were worried that there main mainstay of support the students were disappearing from beneath them. Although the intellectuals supported them the newer students were more attracted to nationalism than democracy, causing the wily Yeltsin to turn a Russian nationalist by the end of the seventies. Still Yeltsin had other rival contemporaries, including the Andropovite Gorbachev and his friendly rival Romanov. For the older generation of soviet leaders the end was coming. The soviet Premier, Kosygin died shortly before the presidential elections in 1979. It was expected that Kosygin to run for a third term but instead Andropov, an increasingly unpopular Prime Minister by the late seventies after wide spread worker strikes and an economic depression ran for soviet Premiership. For the younger soviet leadership the powerful post of Prime Ministership was up for grabs. Although many thought Yeltsin would run on a joint radical democratic/Russian nationalist ticket he didn’t and instead the more statesmanly duo of Gorbachov and Romanov ran against each other. It was a close race and there were few policy differences between them. Rather it was personality. Although “Gorby” was good in soviet television he made a number of mistakes and the more managerial looking Romanov squeaked home. Although it seemed so promising Prime Minister Romanov would have serious problems.
In the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MVD) there were grumble about the new reforms but most of the MVD officers supported it, whom were intelligent and pragmatic enough to realise through their widespread foreign contacts that the USSR needed to change. The Minister in charge was in practise a subordinate of Andropov who kept a close grip on MVD matter and during the late seventies transformed the MVD. The biggest problem was the enormous amount of informers. In any democratic country it’s impossible to have informers. The MVD realised this and most informers were “sacked” by 1977. Many in the soviet public wanted a serious reduction in MVD power and new cases of MVD acts of killings during the Beria period turned many of the public against the MVD. Not only that with the end of any remaining censorship the fear of the MVD had dissipated among some of the populace. Instead, orchestrated by the MVD leadership a new campaign using the new free media “spinned” the MVD as a effective crime fighting institution and the great rise since the late sixties and seventies of the Russian Mafia and crime lords were soon described as a massive threat to the Soviet unions citizens. It was very successful and MVD public reports using newer means like polls and focus groups rather than informers (many of the older MVD men joked that they were the same thing) showed that the MVD trust and respect ratings rose throughout the later seventies. A series of crime attacks and high profile arrests of leading crime lords and their barbarous crimes occurred and the MVD worked well with the American FBI to fight international organised crime. Also the MVD expanded in its fields of intelligence and counterintelligence as well as economic crimes like corruption.
Although on a union level the MVD changed there were challenges to the Moscow Centre MVD leadership. In the regional republics the regional leaders were very interested in controlling the regional MVD (in practise controlled through Moscow) so they could use old-fashioned means to keep “control” of their political opponents. In a dirty but generally unreported war during the seventies, particularly in the Caucasus many leading MVD officers (either Moscow loyalists or regionalists) were purged and in some cases liquidated in a ruthless war. In most cases Moscow Centre kept ultracentralised control over the MVD and kept the regional leaderships off the MVD. The only exception was the Caucasus where the regional leaders in alliance with their MVD allies purged Moscow loyalists from the regional headquarters. In practise the regional heads in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan used the MVD to eliminate and torture their opponents, in opposition to nation-wide regulations which made such actions illegal. It was a sign of the growing strength of the federal national republics.
In the Baltic States a secret independence movement had been in existence since the fifties but the pro-Baltic policies of Beria through economic development, the use of native languages and national-cultural autonomy had made any independence movement not popular. Moreover the MVD was successful in arresting such nationalists advocating independence. By the seventies, ironically from Beria’s policies, a new generation of Baltic people was starting to organise themselves for independence for Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. These were astonishingly successful and by 1978 the Baltic Question was becoming an international issue. More nationalistic elements within the Soviet Union called for repression but Prime Minister Andropov was intelligence and pragmatic enough to realise than repression was not a solution. Despite widespread Russian nationalistic anger the Baltic States were allowed their independence in late 1978 since the alternative was a bloodbath. There was no corresponding growth of other independence movements in the rest of the union despite Russian fears and the Baltic States joined the European Community in 1979.
In the United States a political crisis occurred in 1976, just after Dole/Reagon had become president. President Dole was a moderate isolationist and had come to power on the back of a widespread desire among the American people for “no more Indonesia’s”. In 1952 President Dewey ordered the elimination of Martin Luther King, who had started an early Civil Rights Movement. The FBI under Hoover carried out the killing and MLK became a martyr for blacks after his death. Although it seemed that a extreme White Supremacist had killed MLK a few cranky conspiratists had believed that there was something more sinister behind the killing because after MLK death the Civil Rights movement had collapsed into radial and moderate factions and Civil Rights was sent back at least ten years. They were proven right when in March 1976 a source in FBI leaked to a leftwing Washington national newspaper about the truth of the MLK killings. The next day the whole of America and the world was talking about it. The general opinion was widespread shock, anger and outrage and newly President Dole faced a political crisis. A problem for the new Senate enquiry was that Hoover had died in 1972, Dewey in 1971 and Nixon had died in 1968. The only remaining link to the Dewey administration was Nelson Rockefeller and he was hauled up too the Senate where he proclaimed his innocence but wasn’t believed. President Dole stayed sequestered in the White House and Teflon Ronnie handled the press. The Administration succeeded in laying all the blame for MLK on the deceased although Nelson Rockefeller was used as the witness/scapegoat. The whole debacle was a humiliation and an embarrassment for the Dole Administration and more damaging for America’s worldwide reputation. It made America seem an undemocratic almost totalitarian state and anti-Americans across the world had a field day. In Europe its most long lasting effect was the final extinguishing of any pro-Americanism or even neutral-Americanism among the Left and even among the conservative Right.
This would have a direct impact in Britain, which was still the most important member of the Global Defence Pact. The Labour government was filled with anti-Americans and most of the cabinets were opposed to continued membership of the GDP. Among the powerful Left it was a obsession but even in labour rank and file the GDP Issue was a test of your Labour beliefs. For Prime Minister Calingham there was little opposition. Even among Conservatives who were more pro-American the GDP was of little use anymore since the dismantling of the military Warsaw Pact in the early sixties. The MLK Scandal furthered such views. In 1977 Great Britain formally left the GDP and joined the Warsaw Pact. In America it was a shock and many commentators said it was the end of the special relationship. Among isolationists (who were much closer to American public opinion) they were less bothered. Even so it put a great question on the continued existence of the Global Defence Pact now that the Soviet Union wasn’t a threat anymore. The other members also took the opportunity to withdraw, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan as well as Social Democratic Spain and Portugal. The only remaining member by the end of 1977 was Taiwan or officially the Chinese Republic. In the Peoples Republic the old triumvirate of Chen Yi, Zhu De and Zhao Enlai were by now losing power and becoming unhealthy and Deng seemed the rising star in the Chinese Politburo. Deng very much like the moderates favoured continued economic reforms but wanted the present one-party state to continue. He continued to improve relations with the Soviet Union and there was widespread demobilisation on the soviet-Sino border. In contrast relations with America only marginally improved because of Taiwan. President Dole realised that he couldn’t continue supporting Taiwan’s official membership of the UN and despite much anger among more conservative anti-Chinese (even Vice President Reagon called China a “evil empire”) in 1978 after a joint USSR/Europe proposal within the UN Security Council meeting the Americans voted neutral over whether Taiwan should be stripped of its official China representation. The vote passed and Communist China finally joined the UN. Taiwan in anger left the GDP and it finally went out of existence. The last major foreign issue more of less ended for America, for the rest of the twentieth century America would return to its own hemisphere.
Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2002 - 01:24 pm:
In 1980 the Conservatives under Prime Minister Howe swept to power in a landslide election after a decade of soft Left Labour rule. Margaret Thatcher – the only woman minister in the cabinet – was the new Foreign Secretary and rightwing ministers, including Tebbit dominated it. Britain was in bad straits in the early eighties with powerful Trade Unions (not as powerful as in OTL but still strong) and a weak and inefficient economy. On the other hand the country was relatively prosperous despite the economic difficulties and the political Establishment was still (with no Suez Canal Crisis) relatively optimist about Great Britains world influence through the Commonwealth and the EC. The Tory government pushed through widespread reforms throughout the early to mid eighties but by the 1987 election Labour had modernised under Kinnock and they defeated the Conservatives with key lieutenants, Tony Blair, Peter Mandelsonn, Gordon Brown and the more traditional Roy Hattersley. Despite the “social justice revolution” rhetoric Kinnock didn’t repeal Tory trade union reforms but was strong in advocating new social awareness after the “greed” of the Tory years. Moreover the Labour Party was increasingly proeuropean and even federalist which had recently since the eighties regrown in popularity in European circles, after decades of the Europe de Nation ideology. This was most reflected in the ERM project, which Britain signed in 1990, by an enthusiastic Kinnock. In the 1991 General Election the unpopular Kinnock was defeated and the Conservatives returned to power under Prime Minister Clark, a popular leftwinger of the Party which had landed powerful punches against the hapless Kinnock. Clark had realigned the Tories in a moderate proeuropeanism with a radical reform of social issues and public services. Unfortunately the ERM disaster occurred and in a humiliating occasion Britain was forced of ERM. Despite the economic downturn the Conservatives survived the crisis but Clark never recovered his political momentum. Meanwhile Labour had elected Gordon Brown as leader (Smith had remained marginal) and pushed through new modernisation’s, particularly over tax and spend where Brown promised a more prudent management of economics. Clark faced increasing difficulties by the last period of his Tory administration by Anti-Euro Rightwing MPs and his libertarian principles that rebelled against key parts of new laws. For the public in 1996 it seemed that the Tories and been a disappointment and Labour returned with a majority of 59 with Prime Minister Brown. There were sweeping reforms in local government, the House of Lords, or the new Senate and limited devolution to Scotland and Northern Ireland (Wales voted against devolution). Unfortunately Gordon Brown was an austere figure and the more popular Foreign Secretary and de facto Deputy PM Tony Blair was an increasing thorn at his side by 2000. Overall Britain is surprisingly similar to OTL and there was no Falklands War since Argentina was a democracy. There was no corresponding Eurosceptic Movement in Britain until recently because of the intergovernmental nature of the European Community.
Throughout the eighties the EC ambitiously expanded to include the remains of Eastern Europe (the USSR remained a “associate” member) while other nations like Turkey and Maltas also joined in successive waves. By the late eighties the EC numbered over 30 nations in a flexible intergovernmental institution. The flexibility of the European Community, which allowed groups of memberstates to co-operate in different laws or projects, benefited the new rise of Eurofederalism. Until the eighties the federalists remained a uninfluential bunch of idealists but there dream of a Federal Europe was increasing attractive among a new generation of New Left (and to a much lesser degree New Right) politicians. Without the peace movements or the issues of nuclear weapons or defence in general (the defence Establishments were token thanks to no military threat to Europe) the New Left found their inspiration in Europeanism. This was particularly popular in France, the Benelux nations (which had already integrated closely) and Germany. A new drive pushed forward throughout the late eighties and nineties joint laws and other projects and other countries picked and mixed in this core Federalist grouping within the EC. Their greatest inspiration and success was the ERM which most European countries had joined. In 1994 a new project, a joint European monetary Currency, France and their federalist allies officially launched the Euro. At the European Council meeting at Luxembourg many countries leaders were sceptical but others were positively enthusiastic. In many countries the Euro project has courted huge controversy but there are plans among the nations already signed up (about ten – not the UK) and in 2004 the new Euro project is expected to be launched among the nations agreed to join. How the EC will evolve in future after 2000 is still impossible to say.
Within Europe as a whole there is a wide range of political systems but Europe – East and west – are fundamentally democratic and capitalist. In Eastern Europe the hard-line Communists and more the Eurocommunists are more powerful than in the west where Eurocommunism has declined since the fifties. Moreover nationalist parties have come to power in rightwing coalitions in Poland, Romania and Hungary, both countries with considerable socio-economic problems. The far right are in most nations is a small minority but many populist rightwing leaders have come to power in the back of attacks on gypsies, immigrants and other unpopular minorities. Yugoslavia is a fractured state and since Marshal Tito died in the eighties the “federal” republics are meaningless and nationalist politicians are in control over a now weak confederation. Although extremists call for war against the minority’s considerable EC influence has stopped this and the divided country has developed, despite its national tensions. Although northwest Europe is the most prosperous area Europe as a whole is prosperous with a strong consumer culture. With free trade there has been a boom over the last decades between goods and there are many European wide companies, particularly in the telecommunications sector and this trend has continued since the more globalisied nineties.
Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics (USSR)
After President Andropov died in 1983 the soviet Presidency became a purely ceremonial post and the Prime Minsterialship was the real focus of power. Another alternative post was the Russian national republic Presidency that in practise was a powerful position. The Russian republic president was Yeltsin and in 1985 a compromise occurred between the Soviet PM and President Yeltsin which strictly carved out the different areas of responsibility between the Federal and Russian greys areas. In practise the Russian national republic was an independent state and only defence, economics and union wide security remained in soviet hands. For the non-Russian republics there was quiet competition between Russia and the Soviet Federal over the different republics. Even so most Russians saw them as Russians and soviets and economic prosperity within a federal superpower with Russia a special position with the Soviet Union satisfied most Russo-soviets. Prime Minister Romanov was defeated by his archrival Gorbachev in the 1983 election after public dissatisfaction with his handling of the nation and Gorbachev carved a role out in international relations where he successfully pushed for international treaties over the environment and global warming. Domestically Prime Minister Gorbachev soon found that he had little power since the real power remained within the national republics. Even so “Gorby” as he was known in the booming soviet tabloid press remained popular and his peoples image was instrumental in being reelected for a second term. The Soviet Union culturally experienced a great age in the eighties when a new generation of artists, poets, and cinema producers situated in the liberal western Leningrad created whole new industries. A Soviet Hollywood boomed and cinema going became a national craze. In the rest of the Soviet Union, in the provinces there was a strong shift back to conservatism with the worrying rise of crime and youth unemployment and this benefited the rightwing politicians. Gorbachev was defeated in 1991 by a new more conservative premier and Leningrad started to decline as the cultural capital of the USSR. The Soviet Union had considerable income inequality and a new class benefited by liberal economic reforms pushed through by Andropov and Romanov. The losers were pensioners and the many unemployed who regularly voted for the Communists. By the nineties right extremism was in vogue again and there was a disturbing rise of extreme right politics in local soviets but since than the extreme right has declined. This is fundamentally because of the decline of the once all-powerful establishment Communist Party. The Patriotic Bloc, formed by conservatives gained many adherents and in the 1991 soviet general election swept away the establishment Communist Party. Since than the Communist party has become just one of many Left parties and the Soviet Union has become a true multiparty democracy.
United States of America
America after Indonesia became isolationist and since the seventies has avoided involving itself in the affairs outside of the Western Hemisphere of the Americas. Despite the nation being a economic superpower politically without any regional threats it has withdrawn back to domestic politics. During the eighties social issues and the economy rather the international affairs were the main issue for American politicians and the public. There were widespread reforms (on the Clinton OTL model) in education and Medicare. Crime also came a major issue and continues too and there is heated debate about drugs and other social issues, which divide American parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. For the American Presidents between 1980 and 2000:
80: Dole, Reagan re-elected was reelected after surviving the MLK Scandal. 84: Walter Mondale, Democrat; female VP (Ferraro) [Info: Bobby Kennedy's getting too old to run. He's stuck in the Senate while Ted goes into private business somewhere. Reagan will win the Republican nomination effortlessly, but he's looking old, creepy and then there's that MLK thing. Mondale's biggest issue was gender equality, he will definitely select a woman VP; I never understood his choice in OTL, Feinstein is nominated] 88: Mondale reelected 92: Feinstein The recession of 91 hurted, but the simple fact of a woman candidate with experience as the VP will pull in a lot of votes. 96: Unknown Republican After 12 years of Democrat rule the Republicans swept back to power under the slogan “compassionate conservatism”.
Under Dengs leadership the autocratic one party Chinese Communist Party pushed through economic reforms on the soviet model throughout the eighties. By 1990 China had become the third largest economy in the world with the US first, the USSR second and Japan fourth. The economic reforms had caused and continues to cause great socio-economic difficulties and in by the middle of the eighties the students were starting to attack the Communists and called for democratisation on the soviet model. After Andropov Sino-soviet relations became closer and culturally the USSR’s successful social democracy made a massive impact among the Chinese students who studied at the liberal hotbed of Leningrad and Moscow. Within the Communist establishment the Soviet Model was seen as a threat or an inspiration depending whether you were a conservative or a liberal. Deng was apart from the two factions although a reformist in economic issues politically he was more conservative. In the summer of 1986 the students started to spread democracy literature to the workers and many student leaders were arrested and sent to labour camps in the west. This only angered the increasingly radical students more and there were mass rallies and many ordinary citizens took place. Within the Chinese Politburo a power struggle was occurring between the political reformists and the conservatives. The liberals argued that concessions to the students would avoid a terrible repression while the conservatives played on the fear of student revolution and the subsequent anarchy. It seemed that the Red Guards nightmare was starting to reappear again and the Politburo was terrified. At Tiananmen Square over a million students had congregated to demand democracy and liberty. Deng was finally swayed after hearing of the students “demands” – wholesale democracy on the soviet model – and ordered the tanks in. Watched by the worlds press tanks by the PLA rolled in and killed thousands of demonstrating students in a bloodbath. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested by Chinese security services and the student leaders shot. For the Chinese conservatives it was a victory and there was a limited roll back of some of the more radical reforms in the economic sphere. Internationally it destroyed for years the image of liberal and reforming China and other countries denounced the Tiananmen Massacre. By the nineties the reformists were back in their influence and since than Chinas international image has improved. Trade has increased with Communist Indochina, Mongolia and the Soviet Union as well as America. China has also created along with other Asian nations an Asian Economic Free Trade Area (AEFTA) which has helped China economically. In 1996 there were a cautious reforms of local govemment after Deng died and the liberal reformers took over the leadership which encouraged democracy. China is still the hard-line Communist State in a world where the Communist states have turned social democracies. In the twenty first century China is expected to become a Third Superpower along with the USSR and America.
After the war in the sixties with India the remaining rump Pakistani state had a decade of weak military leaders who took over in many coups. Indians controlled economically most industries and after Americas withdrawal there was little economic aid by America. Although China gave a little to its ally it was nothing and Indian support (to keep Pakistan dependent on India) just kept Pakistan from going economically bankrupt. By the early eighties a new movement, the Islamic Pakistani Renewal Movement was gaining massive popularity in the slums and villages of Pakistan. Since healthcare and education was short and in any areas non-existent local Muslim elders at Mosques built up a nation wide network of Islamic services for the local people. The Islamabad government had to accept this but by the early eighties politically active elements had managed to create a populist movement which had massive support across the nation. The weak military general attempted to crush this dangerous movement which was increasingly been taken over by Islamic fundamentalist elements but this only brought massive political demonstrations. In 1985 Islamic influenced elements within the Pakistani Army did a coup and wiped out the secular generals and officers within the Army. With the IPRM civilian leaders an Islamic Council of State was formed and the Pakistani Islamic Party (as it was renamed) became a one-party state. There was soon a tension between the army faction, the moderate Islamists and the fundamentalist over how far Pakistan should be islamised. Tension reached a head and an Army/moderate coup assassinated the Islamic fundamentalists in a brutal but efficient act of terror. With the fundamentalists eliminated a consensus was reached a moderate Islamic way of life was forced onto Pakistani civilians although most were happy. Despite the continued tension with India (which faced a low-level guerrilla campaign in India controlled Kashmir) the Islamic Pakistani government seemed to be doing quite well and enjoyed high popular support. It made a alliance with Islamic Indonesia which was fruitful and was instrumental of installing the coup which brought the Islamic wing in Kabul too power in 1989. This started the Afghanistan Civil War and with discreet Pakistani support the mujadeen created an Islamic dictatorship, or the Taliban. Since than the Islamic Pakistani Party has gone into decline and in practise more pragmatic elements have taken over the leadership, despite the “Islamic” title. This change has been most marked with relation with India, which had remained frosty for decades after the war. Throughout the nineties economic links have increased between the two states and politically the two nations have got closer.
After the 1966 military victory India became the dominant state in the subcontinent but the victory also continued the belief in Congress circles that state directed industrialisation was a good thing and despite the strong military and bullish diplomacy economically India was sluggish while socially it was divided. This was apparent to a new generation of Indian politicians and strenuous efforts during the eighties attempted to boost the Indian economy. Agriculturally India boomed thanks to the Green Revolution but in industrial terms India didn’t keep with the booming China. Despite its elephant economic performance in 1985 India created the South Asia free-trade zone which in 1993 Pakistan joined. By the late eighties and nineties with Commonwealth help indo-Pakistan relations improved and since than the two nations have become economic and political partners. India continues to dominate the Indian subcontinent.
Indochina (communist Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia)
By the seventies the three Indochinese nations had increasing socio-economic problems after decades of inefficient one party state communist rule. After Uncle Ho died in Vietnam a new generation of communist politicians who were more pragmatic came to the fore and started the reforms, which would soon occur in China. The same broadly occurred in Laos and Cambodia although Cambodia was more hard-line thanks to the still small-scale anti-communist insurgency deep in the forests of Cambodia. Economics were liberalised and foreign investment started to pour in from overseas and tourism, particularly in Cambodia became a mass industry by the early eighties. Both three nations remained pro-soviet but lead by Vietnam trade with China grew and relations became warmer. Economic liberalisation continued into the nineties and trade has grown thanks to the Asian Economic Free Trade Area. Both three nations remain one-party communist states but in practise economically Indochina capitalism is booming. Moreover by the early nineties the final hardcore guerrillas were finally crushed by the Cambodian Army.
After Japan became neutral in the seventies it has boomed economically and despite the recent growth of China remains a powerful economic player. It has friendly relations with most Asian nations although its relationship with the Korean Republic is correct. It has also friendly relation with Taiwan witch remains an irritant for Communist China and Japan with its powerful navy (it had rearmed after the American withdrawal) continues to defend Taiwan from hypothetical Chinese aggression. Sino-Japanese relations are cool but economically there is wide spread trade although the Soviet Union is the biggest market for Japanese goods. In 1991 there was a strong depression in Japan and since than Japans economy has remained stubbornly in depression. Asia wide in 1994 there was an economic depression that hit all nations and many banks went bankrupt. Since than some have recovered while others like Japan remain in depression. In Japan the older cultural of mass conformism is starting to shatter and a more American, individualised culture is changing Japanese society which is becoming less traditional and more western. There is a fear that the Taiwan issue will start a war between Japan and China in the twenty first century although the consensus is that moderate elements in both countries would avoid such a catastrophe.
After WW2 South America generally developed as in OTL but by the seventies after the defeat of the urban/rural Maoist insurgencies a culture change in America and the return of America back to the Americas was influencing South American development. Economically the South America states gained vast American aid and this helped many fledging democracies during the seventies to solve or at least reduce socio-economic problems. On the other hand without the Communist threat there was little tolerance of military regimes in S. America along both Left and Right in Washington. Argentina remained a unstable democracy while Brazil successfully developed into a strong federal democracy with a booming economy. Other nations avoided and defeated attempted military coups and South America was a more democratic and lesser so a more equal prosperous nation. After 1980 to 2000 US interests in the Americas will increase (in this TL US interests overall are greater) and I there is a US-Cuban free trade agreement in 1984. In Cuba there was a strong union movement and a “special relationship developed between Cuba and America. Moreover America also signed free trade agreements with Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Mexico also developed into a democracy by the late early eighties after decades of PRI rule after American influence/pressure and signs a free trade agreement with the US. America also signed free trade agreements with the rest of Spanish speaking Central America. US-Canadian relations will be good as usual, along with a free-trade agreement. In Colombia the Socialists came to power and created a strong state, which during the eighties crushed much of the drug trade and the leading barons, with much semi-secret MVD support. The rebels also faced serious setbacks but still drugs and rebels remaining a problem for the socialist pro-soviet Columbia. Venezuala agreed in 1986 to export vast amount of oil to America in return for extensive economic aid. Brazil intensely disliked “Yankee” influence over South America and thought that the strongest democracy should lead the region. Partly because of this (and despite the rivalry with Argentina) in 1988 Brazil led the creation of Mercusor, or the South America Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). This expanded into Central America by the nineties with Mexico joining along with Colombia, Venezuala, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile along with the smaller Central America states. The English-speaking nations in Central America (Belize), the West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad, Bahamas, etc.) Surinam and South America (Guyana) formed the common market in 1991.
Australia and New Zealand and New Guinea integrated with a free-trade agreement during the eighties and by the mid nineties a currency union was also launched, called the Australasian Currency. Relations with Britain and the C'wealth are close. Australia and New Zealand also continued to take a close interest in Indonesia and in 1987 their military forces liberated East Timor from an attempted military coup. Both nations also joined the Asian Economic Free Trade Area. Overall Australia/New Zealand are very much like OTL.
After the terrible war during the mid sixties the Arab Confederation and the Middle East in general has remained peaceful since. Although democracy isn’t universal and others like Egypt at best semi-democracies the region has remained peaceful and the Arabs and Israelis have cautiously integrated over the past four decades and there are plans to change the Confederation into an Arab Union. Also a conglomeration of the oil states like OPEC was also created and has had mixed success (like in OTL). For Iran, it has gradually developed into a prosperous democracy since the eighties and is a major player in the Middle East. With Iran’s oil reserves it is also immensely rich and keeps its traditionally close relations with the Soviet Union. Recently there has been a renewed growth of Islamic Fundamentalism but this has been kept in check although there are fears in the future that a small but growing number of professional Islamic terrorists will attack America or its allies.
Apartheid Africa/southern Africa
Apartheid Africa faced stronger pressures than in OTL, thanks to the non-existent threat of Worldwide Communism which caused conservatives in America and the UK to impose sanctions on South Africa as well as moral criticism of the apartheid regime. Despite the arrest of the leader of the ANC, Nelson Mandela internal and external threats continued to threaten South Africa. After the peace agreement with former Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in 1976 when majority ruled returned South Africa was isolated with numerous frontline states opposed to South Africa. By 1980 a cautious reformer was elected premier of South Africa and he started to dismantle the strictest and most hated apartheid laws. This was designed to divide her internal enemies and cause America to become friendlier with South Africa. These reforms, in an increasingly explosive situation continued and in 1984 Nelson Mandela was sent out of prison and the Commonwealth (which SA had left in 1960) helped to establish an agreement to create a two part peace process which abolished apartheid and created a one man one vote democracy. This process was finished in 1987 and the African National Congress won by a landslide in the first genuine multiracial general elections. Moreover Nambia gained its independence, South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth and it also joined the Southern African Development Community in 1988. Africa in general remained poor, undeveloped and unstable.
Indonesia- Malaysia after the Civil War dominated the region and its military troops in Borneo crushed a rebellion against Junta rule during the seventies. Malaysia boomed as its economic miracle started. Meanwhile in Communist Indonesia the attempts at state nationalising of industry caused economic collapse by the eighties and the communist state seemed near to collapse after widespread worker strikes. In 1982 there was a shadowy coup d’tat by reformist communist elements within the Indonesian Communist Party and this group eliminated hundreds of opponents and crushed the worker strikes through oppression and promises of reforms. Communist Indonesia after 1982 pushed through radical economic reforms on the Chinese Model and along with Chinese economic help started to produce goods for the worldwide market. Living standards improved throughout the eighties and early nineties before the Asian Fall of 1994. The Communist State is a close Chinese ally and still keeps a close and brutal grip on power throughout the urban areas, particularly Jakarta where the workers are well known to be anti-communist. Meanwhile President General Asaio of Junta Indonesia survived the Civil War and throughout the seventies and eighties with American help ruthlessly pushed through economic reforms on his backward country. Along with ambitious and successful economic reforms which by the eighties had built up considerable industry and cities which were producing many goods for the world market the autocratic president was ruthless with political dissidence. Many thousands disappeared during the Asaio Regime before President Asaio died in 1993, just before the economic depression. Since than Junta Indonesia has been politically unstable and led by a group of generals who are attempting to keep to a lid on massive discontent with the brutal regime. Corruption is rife and the CIA are fearing that there will be a implosion in the next few years unless Junta Indonesia starts to economically grow again. In Islamic Indonesia the theologian regime instituted a strict Islamic regime on the people, which was unpopular. Similarly too the Communists, by the end of the seventies the regime was close to collapse. A cautious liberalisation campaign by more pragmatic elements saved the Islamic regime but since the eighties economic growth remained slow and there was much emigration to Junta Indonesia and the Communists. Although Pakistan is Islamic Indonesia’s only close ally in the world Islamic Indonesia has throughout the nineties been a pariah state within the New International Order. Since the recent increase in the popularity of Islamic Fundamentalism the more militant elements have grown in power and influence within Islamic Indonesia since the nineties and the Islamic State has been secretly funding fundamentalist groups throughout the Middle East. Most frightening, with the advice of the remaining AIR leaders a new campaign of terror is being planned, but this time against the Great Satan, the United States of America…