NY Times: 1949 – When China lost that ‘elusive’ quality needed for Anglobalization
NY Times: 1949 – When China lost that ‘elusive’ quality needed for Anglobalization by Ramen Mazaheri – Greanville Post
So there I was again, flying from San Francisco to New York on the “job creators’ redeye” when I came across another great New York Times article. Long-time readers know that I prefer to only read about Russian meddling, but articles about Chinese meddling take a respectable second place.
The article reviews a history book describing the victory of communism in China in 1949, entitled “A Force So Swift”. Swift indeed…preceded by 20+ years of civil war, the Long March of 1934, allowing the Japanese to run free in Manchuria in order to focus on wiping out the commies – but still, Chinese communism really did come out of nowhere.
The book takes a dangerously novel approach: “Instead of putting readers ‘present at the creation’ of the postwar global architecture in Europe, Peraino’s narrative puts them present at the genesis of that storm system of ambiguities and contradictions that came to grip Asia once Mao defeated Chiang.”
This article’s author is right: everybody should be more interested in Europe, and at all points in history.
Not just in 1949, when the global architecture was created and for which, I note, we don’t get enough credit from the Third World for doing all the heavy lifting.
Come to think of it, why would anybody read a book which isn’t about Europe, much less this book review? But I guess we really do need to momentarily pull our attention away from Europe to clean up these “ambiguities and contradictions” that are gripping Asia and eating into my profits.
Obviously, we just need to restore Chiang, but he’s dead. Thankfully, we still have Taiwan.
But this article does a good job in restoring the name of Dean Acheson of the US, who from 1941 to 1953 was Assistant to, Undersecretary of, and Secretary of State.
A lot of people give Acheson a bad rap for doing things like: instituting the oil embargo against Japan in 1941 behind FDR’s back to push Japan into World War II, murderously repressing leftists in Greece and elsewhere to prevent them from coming to power democratically, helping draft the NSC-68 paper which created the postwar military industrial complex, being the main architect of the anti-Soviet “Cold War” that created immeasurable and unnecessary conflict and suffering, being the main designer of what would become NATO and for being a fanatically rabid anti-communist.
Clearly, Acheson was a man of peace and diplomacy. And, just as clearly, we desperately need a new Dean Acheson for Cold War 2.0 against Putin! I assume that one is being molded now in one of our nation’s many private fundamentalist Christian schools.
So why didn’t Acheson just bomb China back to the Stone Age in 1949? Were we saving our bombs until 1950 for North Korea?
“He refused to heed the pleas of Walter Judd, a Republican congressman from Minnesota and a former missionary in China.”
We all know that missionaries have nothing but the best interest of the natives in mind, so I can see why the extremely leftist New York Times would reference such an enlightened politician from that era.
However, back in 1949: “Because of wanton corruption, Chiang’s ‘house appeared to be falling down,’ leading Acheson to call for ‘strategic restraint,’ and for building ‘a great crescent’ of containment around China.”
I don’t understand how the US didn’t remedy this “wanton corruption” despite decades of collaborating with Chiang while he was in power? Curiously unexplained…but it seems that Washington DC should have been focusing on his better half.
“Being a devout Christian and a believer in freedom of the individual, Madame Chiang was appalled when Acheson came out with (the idea of containment)….For Madame Chiang, Acheson’s stand was an American betrayal not only of a loyal ally, but also of its own vaunted principles of freedom and democracy. She fled her Riverdale estate for Taiwan in pique…”
Clearly, being forced to flee your “estate” was reason enough to launch a humanitarian intervention against China! Frankly, just causing “pique” to such a leader may be cause enough! It’s amazing that the Chinese people found the Madame out of touch and somehow unfit to lead.
But the great peacemaker Acheson came around soon enough, and worked to subvert the Chinese People’s Revolution:
“Indeed, even though (influential US diplomat George F.) Kennan proclaimed that the United States was ‘not yet really ready to lead the world to salvation,’ China’s Marxist-Leninist, one-party system had values so antithetical to America’s that certain agencies in Washington had begun covert operations against Mao anyway. The United States soon found itself pursuing a hedging strategy that claimed neither to embrace nor to confront Chinese Communism, but nonetheless excited Mao’s paranoia.