Wednesday, May 16, 2018

While You Slept: Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It

While You Slept: Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It, a book by John T. Flynn

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I. While You Slept

As June 1950 drew near, America was giving little attention to a place called Korea. Secretary General Trygve Lie of the United Nations was urging that Chiang Kai-shek’s government be expelled from the United Nations to make room for the Chinese Communist government of Mao Tse-tung. The British delegation strongly urged that proposal. Secretary of State Acheson said he could not vote for it but that if the United Nations decided to admit Red China he would not use the veto—he did not think the veto applied in such a case.[1]

In Seoul, Korea’s first elected parliament was assembling. John Foster Dulles, representing the United States, was there and addressed the parliament. He hailed it as the product of a free election in which 80 per cent of the voters had participated. The British Minister said he had seen many new countries enter upon the adventure of representative government. But he knew of none “whose progress was so fast and so solid.”[2]

On Sunday morning, June 25th, as Americans were reading this in their papers, the Communist armies of North Korea had crossed the border in an invasion of the southern republic. Two days later President Truman announced: “I have ordered the United States air and sea forces to give the Korean government troops, cover and support.” In another day American ground and air forces were fully engaged in South Korea in what the President called “a police action.”

Thus we became enmeshed in an obscure tangle of circumstances, many of which belong to the as yet dimly perceived world of the East but which are related through more than one connection with the shattered and collapsing civilization of Europe.

The purpose of this book is not to record a history of the war. Its aim is to discover how our great, free nation, guarded against such a disaster by a Constitution and a long heritage of ideals, could be brought into such a struggle, involving objectives so dimly seen, stretching on to problems so insoluble, and promising stresses on our economic and political system that might well end in its utter deformity.

Consider what has happened. The President of the United States, in complete defiance of the Constitution, plunged us without consultation with Congress into a distant Oriental war in pursuit of ends no one understands and involving costs and consequences we cannot measure. The President would not do this—he would not dare—if by some obscure processes there had not been created in our minds a collection of assumptions and attitudes that had broken down completely the normal resistance which our people would raise against so strange and daring an enterprise.

Before this was possible, something, over a course of years, had to be done to the minds of the American people. The purpose of this book is to explore the techniques by which this job was done and to identify, if possible, the agencies and the men responsible for it. I am aware that the reader will find himself asked to believe statements which seem in themselves incredible. In these last 20 years this country has become a laboratory for the dark and insidious science of modern revolutionary propaganda. It is difficult for the American to realize that the ideas, the prejudices, the convictions he holds may have been deliberately—though slyly—planted in his mind by men who have a settled purpose in performing that operation, who possess the instruments of thought control and understand how to operate them. Miracles can be wrought by those who know this art.

Never has there been so large and so generally sophisticated a population so defenseless against such an enterprise as the people of America. Generous in their attitudes, disturbed by a long siege of war, exposed to the most powerful engines of propaganda the world has ever known, they have been a mark for the experts trained in their use.

Here we may recall the parable of Jesus in the early days of His mission—the parable of the man who sowed good seed in his field. But when the blade was sprung up and brought forth good fruit, there were tares also. And when his servants went to him and told him what they had found, he said—an enemy hath done this, while we slept.

When we had ended our great war, we found among the prizes of victory disasters we had not bargained for. It is the purpose of this book to attempt to describe how these disasters were planned—while we slept.

The shaded area represents the Russian-dominated portion of Europe and Asia. The white fringe represents what is left of the non-Communist world on these two continents.

[1] New York Times, June 8, 1950.

[2] Ibid., June 25, 1950.

II. The Red Deluge

Before we proceed further it will be well for us to form some notion of the enormity of the disaster which has overtaken Europe and Asia. The reader is therefore asked to look carefully at the map on the opposite page. It gives merely the black and white outlines of these two continents. The shaded portion marks the vast stretch of the continental land mass of Europe and Asia that has fallen under the dominion of the Communist world. What remains of Europe and Asia outside this great dark smudge represents that part of these old continents which have not yet fallen under the control of the Soviet world. This still unconquered part appears on the map as a sort of small fringe—all that remains of the non-Communist old world. It would of course be untrue to suppose that all of this still unconquered portion contains the elements essential to the free society. The map, therefore, underestimates rather than exaggerates the gravity of the fate which has overtaken Europe and Asia.

A few simple figures will illustrate this in another way. In Europe and Asia, Russia dominates an area of over 13 million square miles, while all the other countries cover only approximately seven million square miles.

All the countries of Europe and Asia outside the Russian-dominated areas have a population of a little over one billion people. Russia controls a population of 779 million.

However, there is this difference. Russia dominates her area and her peoples. The area and peoples outside are split into 38 separate and independent nations. And the end is not yet. The voracious appetite of the Communist world is still unsatisfied. If Russia succeeds in her immediate objectives in Asia she will add more than a hundred million more to her world of slaves.

III. China’s Two Wars

In order to understand that train of events which led us into Korea we must realize that they had their origin in the struggle in China which began over 40 years ago. During the Second World War we looked upon events in China as shaping themselves around a struggle between Japan and the Chinese government. But for many years China was engaged at the same time in two separate wars. One was her war with Japan. The other was her war with Russia. Nothing could obscure the real meaning of the whole story more than to suppose that China was at war with Japan and that Russia was her ally against Japan. There were two separate wars carried on remorselessly by China’s two historic enemies—Russia and Japan.

Japan fought China by invading her with an army, first in 1931 and again in 1937. Russia fought China with an army of Chinese revolutionaries, directed and armed by Russia. Russia’s war in China was precisely the same as Russia’s war in Korea. In China, Chiang Kai-shek was fighting communism with the aim of restoring peace and setting up a republic. To understand what we did in China, you might try to imagine our government doing in Korea what we did in China—calling on the Koreans to unite, demanding of Syngman Rhee that he form a coalition government with the North Koreans and threatening that if he refused we would cut off all arms and supplies. The only difference between Russia’s war on China and her war on Korea was that in Korea we aided and armed the South Koreans to fight communism, while in China, incredible as it may seem, we actually told the Chinese government to do what Russia wanted—unite with the Communists. When Chiang Kai-shek refused, we disarmed him.

What were Japan’s objectives in China? In 1931 she invaded Manchuria and swiftly conquered that rich province and set up a puppet government. Then in 1937 Japan invaded China again and in a long and bloody struggle conquered the whole coastal area of China as far south as Canton. In Nanking she set up another puppet government which she called the government of China. How much further she would have gone it is difficult to say. This enterprise was interrupted and finally frustrated by the Second World War, in which America appeared in the Pacific as Japan’s conqueror. The small map at the top of the next page will give you a picture of China and of those sections of China which Japan coveted and conquered and actually held in 1945, until her defeat by the American forces obliged her to evacuate them.

Now, what did Russia want in China? Her ambitions are quite old. But with the rise of the Communist Party in China they were somewhat altered. Russia, through her vast Siberian domain, runs straight across the entire northern border of China to the Pacific. Russia coveted the provinces of Manchuria, Outer Mongolia and Sinkiang, which stretch across the northern part of China along the Siberian border. The map on the opposite page will illustrate this.

Russia once held Outer Mongolia under a protectorate during the time of the Czars (1912–1913). She lost it during the Russian Revolution. When parts of the White Army fled into Mongolia, the Red Army was sent there and remained until 1925. Mongolia was transformed into a Russian dependency and was the first country outside of Russia to become an actual part of the Soviet zone. It remained a Chinese province but a Soviet dependency.

As for Sinkiang, Czarist Russia had for years been trying to annex it. Soviet Russia continued that policy. Czarist Russia had been driven out of Manchuria by the Japanese in 1905 and deprived of Port Arthur, Dairen and part of Sakhalin Island, which she had seized years before. But Soviet Russia had never relinquished any of her designs to recover the “lost” territories.

In addition to this the Soviet cherished the ambition to convert what was left of China into a Communist rampart in Asia. Thus Russia’s ambitions in China were to transform all northern China—Sinkiang, Mongolia and Manchuria—into outright Russian dependencies and to convert what remained of China into a Communist satellite.

The New York Times (April 22, 1940) printed a dispatch from China that Soviet truck drivers in Sinkiang distributed maps of China as the Soviet planned it. A dotted line showed the proposed borders between Siberia and China. On the Soviet side were most of Sinkiang, all of Mongolia and part of Inner Mongolia. Manchuria was not included because Russia was in an alliance with Japan and had already recognized Manchuria (Manchukuo) as Japanese. Frederick Vanderbilt Field, on Institute of Pacific Relations stationery, wrote a stinging letter to the Times branding the story as a “clumsy forgery” and the Communist New Masses added its denunciation. Yet so it has turned out.

It is interesting to note that many years before Japan struck at China, these Communist dreams were in process of being exploited. Mr. Owen Lattimore’s first book—Desert Road to Turkestan (1928)—and his second—Mongols of Manchuria (1934)—contained some interesting observations on these provinces. In these two volumes he insisted that the inhabitants were not Chinese at all, which fitted perfectly into Russia’s intentions to take them over. As for Russia, he wrote:

“In criticising a common type of Russian . . . to be found in Mongolia or Chinese Turkestan (Sinkiang) I do not wish to imply utter condemnation of Soviet influence in Outer Mongolia . . . if I were to judge as an outsider I should be inclined to say that a very strong case can be made out for the Soviet position.” (Italics added.)[3]

In a later book—Manchuria, Cradle of Conflict (1935)—Lattimore continually speaks with softness of Russia’s interest in and her ambitions toward Manchuria, while China actually is held up as an aggressor with no rights in Manchuria as a Chinese domain. He grows expansive about Russia:

“Russia appears to be the only nation of the modern world that is ‘young’ enough to have ‘men of destiny.’ It creates its Lenin and its Stalin. . . . Russia, more than China and more than any nation of the West, is launched upon a career of growth and grow it will, irrespective of the leader.”[4]

Lattimore was certainly correct in his prophecy. What is interesting is that one finds nowhere any very marked note of disapproval of Russia, while China, which is to become the victim of this “growth,” is characterized by such adjectives as “aggressive,” “expansionist” and “assertive.”

I have dwelt on all this in order to correct the impression in America that Japan was pressing her ambitions against Chinese territory but that, in some way, Russia was China’s friendly neighbor. Russia had aggressive ambitions older than those of Japan and as extensive, but our American radicals refused to admit it. What is of startling interest is that in the end Japan lost her war for possession of Eastern China, while Russia has almost completed her war for outright possession in the North. For this we have no less an authority than Secretary of State Dean Acheson. On January 12, 1950, in a National Press Club address, he said:

“What is happening in China is that the Soviet Union is detaching the northern provinces of China from China and is attaching them to the Soviet Union. This process is complete in Outer Mongolia. It is nearly complete in Manchuria and I am sure that in Inner Mongolia and Sinkiang there are very happy reports coming from Soviet agents to Moscow.”[5]

The immense significance of this he recognized by adding that “it is the single most significant, most important fact, in the relation of any foreign power with Asia.”

We can now perceive that when Japan invaded Manchuria she was striking not merely at China but at Russia, because she was planting herself directly in the way of proposed aggressions by Russia in Manchuria. Indeed, it is quite obvious that one of the reasons which impelled Japan to act was her knowledge that if she did not, Russia ultimately would. Russia, of course, was powerless to oppose Japan in 1931. She was never able to do anything until 1945 and then only after the United States had utterly wiped out Japan’s capacity to make war. And when Russia moved into Manchuria to complete her long-nourished plans, she did it with 1,250,000 Russian soldiers armed by the United States.

This, however, is not the whole story of Russia’s plans in China. The revolution in China against the Manchus had been launched by Sun Yat-sen long before the Communist revolution in Russia. It came to little more than the overthrow of the monarchy—and the rise of the War Lords. It returned to life around 1921 when Abram Joffe, Russian ambassador to Peking and a Communist agent, associated himself with Dr. Sun in the Kuomintang. Dr. Sun had been struggling for many years to find the right vehicle for a sound movement. In January 1922 Sun Yat-sen and Abram Joffe issued a joint statement. It declared that “Dr. Sun holds that the communistic order or even the Soviet system cannot actually be introduced into China” because conditions for it do not exist. The statement added that “this view is entirely shared by Mr. Joffe.”[6]

They agreed that China needed, above all, full national independence and unification. Joffe assured Sun he could offer Russia’s full support. Russia generously relinquished all claims on Manchuria and disclaimed any wish to separate Outer Mongolia from China. Communists were permitted to join the Kuomintang, but as individuals and not representatives of a party. However, within a few years the Communists had wrested control of the Kuomintang from the moderate groups. By this time the Red mentor in China was the famous Borodin. Chiang Kai-shek, who had visited Russia in 1923, was still a young man. After his return to China to head a military academy, he soon awoke to the dangers of the Communist design. He denounced the Red leaders, raised the alarm against them and moved to Nanking where he set up a new government based on Sun’s principles. Borodin fled in haste and with him his Communist partners. Chiang then set out to oust the military War Lords who were despoiling China.

About this time the Communist movement in China really got under way. Mao Tse-tung and Chu Teh, and later Chou En-lai, set up a Soviet government in two central provinces of China. This was followed in 1931 by a more ambitious and intelligent effort. That year the Executive Committee of the Communist International in Moscow directed Mao Tse-tung to organize a Soviet on the Russian model.[7] Nym Wales, wife of Edgar Snow and a rapturous admirer of the Red Army, refers to it as “The All-China Congress of Soviets.”[8] A cabinet was named, called the Soviet of Peoples Commissars, with power to rule.

In 1940 Mao wrote a book, which was sold in the Daily Worker bookshop in New York, entitled The New Democracy. It carried an introduction by Earl Browder. Here are a few quotes from it:

“The world now depends on Communism for its salvation and so does China.”

“We cannot separate ourselves from the assistance of the Soviet Union.”

“No matter whom you follow so long as you are anti-Communist you are traitors.”[9]

In 1933, the Comintern, official organization of the Red International, adopted this tribute to the fidelity of Mao and his colleagues:

“From the time of the twelfth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International to this day, there have been and there are no serious political deviations and anti-party factions and groups in the Chinese Communist Party.”[10]

In the same year the party in China sent a message to Stalin: “Lead us on, O our pilot, from victory to victory!”[11] In 1935, Mao and Chou En-lai were elected to the Executive Committee of the International in Moscow. They remained on this committee until it was dissolved in 1943.

I cite all this in order to show that the Chinese Communists were quite frank not only about calling themselves Communists and adhering to orthodox Communist doctrines but in their submission to the leadership of Stalin. Yet, as we shall see, U. S. State Department officials and a numerous clique of American newspaper and magazine correspondents were to impose upon the minds not only of the American people but of many of the highest government officials the incredible hoax that the Chinese Communists were really not Communists but “old-fashioned democrats” and “agrarian reformers.”

It was possible, of course, in 1943 and 1945 and even later for various journalists and politicians to assure us that Mao Tse-tung and his movement were not Communist. It was possible, despite the overwhelming evidence, for General George C. Marshall to ridicule an observer in Hong Kong in 1946 who referred to Mao and his followers as Communists. “Don’t be ridiculous,” said the General. “These fellows are just old-fashioned agrarian reformers.”[12] But no man in his senses can say that now. Now all the dark predictions of those who insisted on recognizing these Chinese revolutionists for what they were have been fulfilled to the letter. Now we know that those who denied that the uprising in China was a full-fledged Communist uprising and who insisted its leaders were not subject to Russia and that we could safely do business with them were, to say the least, hopelessly and tragically wrong.

It is necessary to have in mind this brief summary of this episode in order to understand the thesis which I propose to advance in this book, and for which all this is merely the groundwork. And to this end it is now necessary to add a few simple facts of history to complete the groundwork.

In 1934, Chiang Kai-shek succeeded in defeating the Communists in their main stronghold in the central province of Kiangsi. At this point, Mao Tse-tung and Chu Teh with about 20,000 troops broke through Chiang’s encirclement and began their so-called “Long March” to the provinces of Shensi and Kansu in the northwest, where they set up a new Soviet government with its capital at Yenan. Twenty thousand Communist troops began this “Long March” and 10,000 survived the year’s journey to Yenan. By 1936, the revolutionary government in the northwest was solidly established and the Communist Party there was the only armed Communist Party outside Russia.

Nevertheless, the Communists were severely weakened. In spite of the stories told by our correspondents, General Claire Chennault says that they were desperately pressed for the necessities of life.[13] Indeed, at this point Mao appealed to Chiang for an armistice—he was ready to join hands with the government. In 1937 Chiang agreed, provided the Reds placed their armies under command of the National government, dissolved the so-called Chinese Soviet, ended the class struggle and ceased their Communist propaganda. This was rejected.

Then came the second assault of the Japanese in 1937 at the Marco Polo Bridge. China was now in a desperate strait. Chiang called for help from the League of Nations. Chennault says that Russia alone responded—she sent two fighter squadrons to the central government and later gave China a credit of 22 million dollars and 400 combat planes, with some anti-aircraft artillery.[14] The second Japanese invasion had created a crisis for all parties—Russia, the Nationalist government and the Chinese Reds. The Chinese Communists were directed to cooperate with the Chinese government. And this they did, under pressure of the common crisis. But Mao prepared a secret directive which was given to his followers. He said:

“The Sino-Japanese war affords our party an excellent opportunity for expansion . . . the first stage is a compromising stage . . . but in reality this will serve as camouflage for the existence and development of our party. The second [stage] . . . should be spent in laying the foundation of our party’s political and military powers . . . until we can match and break the Kuomintang. The third is an offensive stage . . . in which our forces should penetrate into Central China . . . isolate and disperse [the Central government troops] until we are ready for the counteroffensive and wrest the leadership from the hands of the Kuomintang.”[15]

The “break” of the Nationalist government did not follow. It finally established itself in Chungking and survived the Second World War.

In 1939, the situation changed with the making of the Hitler-Stalin pact. Russia was at war on the side of Germany. The Chinese Communists for the most part stopped fighting the Japanese, disregarded the orders of the Nationalist government and attacked the government forces where they were weakest. In 1941, when Hitler turned on his so-called partner, communism became involved in a struggle for survival in Russia itself. The Chinese Communists had by then spread over many guerrilla areas of China where they were engaged in bitter warfare with Nationalist guerrillas. They took little or no part in fighting the Japanese. The tall stories to the contrary are pure inventions. They devoted their energies almost wholly to fighting the government for the portions of eastern China between the railroad lines, held by the Japanese.

Thus the situation drifted until 1943, when a wholly new set of conditions was created, and Russia and her Chinese satellites appeared with a new plan.

[3] Desert Road to Turkestan by Owen Lattimore (Boston, 1928), p. 247.

[4] Manchuria, Cradle of Conflict by Owen Lattimore (Rev. 1935), p. 293.

[5] New York Times, Jan. 13, 1950.

[6] Tinder Box of Asia by George Sokolsky (1932).

[7] Soviet Russia and the Far East by David J. Dallin (New Haven, 1948).

[8] Inside Red China by Nym Wales (N. Y., 1939).

[9] The New Democracy by Mao Tse-tung (1940).

[10] Quoted by Dallin from Kommunistichesky Internatsional (1933), No. 34, pp. 10–12.

[11] Quoted by Dallin from 17th Congress of Communist Party of Soviet Union, Stenog. Report, p. 1323.

[12] As reported to the author by the observer referred to.

[13] Way of a Fighter by Claire Lee Chennault (N. Y., 1949).

[14] Ibid.

[15] Documents on the Problem of the Chinese Communist Party (Chungking, 1944).

IV. Two Great Designs

From June 1941 to the end of 1942, the Russian armies had been subjected to the most massive onslaught in history. They suffered appalling disasters and losses, ending with the tremendous assault on Stalingrad. However, in mid-November of 1942 the Russians launched a counteroffensive from Stalingrad. By this time the great losses in men and equipment suffered by Hitler’s armies began to tell. Meanwhile the frantic and massive exertions of the United States were moving into what was called the “miracle of production.” A great army was piling up in England for a French invasion and soon the growing military and naval campaigns of MacArthur and Nimitz in the Pacific were destroying Japanese matériel faster than the Japanese could produce it.

In the first months of 1943, therefore, Stalin was able to disentangle his harassed mind from the horror of impending defeat and to direct his attention to the fruits of the coming victory. He could now return to the classic Soviet dream of a Red empire. And at this point Stalin began to reveal his plans for the postvictory world.

President Roosevelt, too, was now occupied with the shape of victory. The New York Times and Herald-Tribune—old League of Nations comrades—were printing long discussions of a world united under the reign of law. Then, in April 1943, the Saturday Evening Post printed an article by Forrest Davis[16] outlining Roosevelt’s dream of victory. It was an obviously White House inspired piece. Roosevelt, we were informed, had a Grand Design. It was a plan for the United Nations. But Roosevelt was convinced that this would not work unless Stalin would come in as a sincere and willing partner. He therefore decided to cultivate Stalin’s good will. He knew he would have to sell his Great Design to Stalin. And he would have to sell Stalin to the American people. In the 22 months during which Stalin was the ally of Hitler, Roosevelt had poured out a flood of invective upon the Russian dictator’s head. Of course, we had already shut off that flood of abuse when Hitler turned on Stalin. Overnight we began to transform the “bloodthirsty fellow-fiend of the Führer” into a freedom-loving leader of one of the great democracies. It was, of course, slow work. But now Roosevelt was confronted with the task of bringing Stalin in as a partner in a union of “freedom-loving peoples” and “peace-loving nations” and the job of selling Stalin and Russia to Americans in a big way.

As 1943 dawned, therefore, Roosevelt had determined to sit down face-to-face with Stalin. He had not the slightest doubt he could soften Stalin down and induce him to join a great institution of world government of which he, Roosevelt, would be the head—President of the World. This was Roosevelt’s great and fatal design and the most deadly ingredient in it was his decision to make every conceivable concession to Stalin to induce him to join.

But Stalin too had a Great Design—not some hasty improvisation, but a program of expansion of Soviet power in Europe and Asia. It was the well-matured Communist dream of a Red World. No man with even the slightest acquaintance with the ambitions of Russia—most of them boldly repeated many times—could possibly be in the dark about them. Stalin had revealed a small fraction of them when he struck his shameless bargain with Hitler. He had hurried his armies into any territory he dared invade without invoking Hitler’s veto. He had now lost the fruits of this aggression as a result of Hitler’s invasion of Russia, but was there anyone outside of Washington so naïve as to suppose that Stalin had abandoned these plans?

In any case, Stalin’s Great Design was obvious. First, if possible, he would use his war-created power to crush the two enemies he feared on either end of his vast empire—Germany and Japan. His inflexible purpose was to make a Carthaginian peace with these countries after they had been defeated—to wreck both of them militarily, industrially and politically by robbing them of their material resources, wrecking their productive plant, carting away what he could and destroying the rest.

Second, Russia was determined to bring under her wing, if possible, all of the countries of Eastern Europe on or near her borders. And Stalin was determined to do the same in Asia—beginning with China and Korea, which were essential to his ambitions with reference to Japan, which were eventually to disarm her, take Korea and deprive Japan of her Asiatic empire. It is entirely probable that Stalin hardly hoped to complete this vast conquest so easily. He must have supposed that there was some fraction of brains and some sense of security left in America that would throw up a barrier at some point. He could hardly have been so optimistic as to suppose he would enjoy such complete cooperation at the hands of his gullible ally in Washington.

Here then were the two Grand Designs—Roosevelt’s for a world federation, with himself sitting in majestic and historic eminence at the top; Stalin’s for a massive bite of the prostrate globe that would bring Eastern Europe and China into his orbit of power, with Germany and Japan helpless on the western and eastern boundaries of his empire.

Roosevelt was eager to get Stalin into a conference where he was sure he would be able to out-talk and out-maneuver his iron antagonist. But Stalin always had a reason to defer the meeting. His troubles were on the battlefield. He was a beggar for guns and munitions. This was no condition in which to sit down at the bargaining table. But as 1943 dawned, the aspect of the war had changed and by the summer of 1943 Hitler was in retreat. The allied invasion of the continent was set for June 1944. The tide had turned in the Pacific. The ultimate defeat of Japan was now a mere matter of time.

The moment was now at hand for Stalin to sit down with Roosevelt and Churchill. It would be a gigantic swap—Roosevelt’s Grand Design for Stalin’s Grand Design. And the swap would be made on Stalin’s terms. He would get an arrangement by which he would ultimately take over Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania and as much of Germany as possible and the destruction of Germany as a military and industrial agent for a century. In Asia he would get all that the Czars had lost to Japan and all that Japan had taken in Asia, including China and a foothold in Korea and the dismantling of the military potential of Japan forever. To get all this he would merely agree to join Roosevelt’s United Nations. In doing this he was, of course, making no concession whatever. This is all abundantly evident now—now that the purpose has been accomplished. His position in the United Nations with a veto would give him a weapon with which he could paralyze the action of the western world by a mere vote. In June 1951, at a critical moment, we had the perfect materialization of Roosevelt’s insane dream. We were at war with Russia, just as China was at war with Russia—Russia fighting with Chinese Communist armies. And at that moment, Malik, the Russian delegate, presided over the United Nations where he had the authority not merely to dominate the administration but the power to veto any action we might wish to take there.

The difference between Stalin and Roosevelt is now obvious. Stalin’s design was clear to him, definite in its details and, however fantastic it may seem to us, a practical one, for he had been working at it for many years. Roosevelt’s plan was a pet of his own, the details of which he had considered only vaguely. The structure of it was being worked over in a State Department heavily loaded with the friends and agents of Stalin. This would all be difficult to believe if it were not before us now as accomplished history.

It will not do now to fulminate at the morals of Stalin and his Soviet government. These are the morals of war. We practice them ourselves when we are at war. We employ spies, we bribe enemy officials where possible, we issue fake bulletins to deceive the enemy. The whole mistake of our leaders was their failure to realize that Russia was and continues to be at war with us here and in the world. We persisted in the illusion that we were at peace with her and that she was one of our allies. We treated her as an ally and friend and she dealt with us as an enemy. Throughout it all she had a settled purpose—to get possession of Northern China and to communize the rest of China and to bring all of Korea into the Communist orbit. She had and has a settled purpose to bring defenseless Japan into that orbit. And, unless we throw away as dangerous baggage all the childish superstitions our government nourished about Russia and begin to recognize her as an enemy, Stalin will accomplish every one of his objectives. A man might refuse to credit all this in 1945. Now that Russia has done this, it is no longer surmise. It is a fact before our eyes for all to see.

[16] “Roosevelt’s World Blueprint” by Forrest Davis, Saturday Evening Post, Apr. 10, 1943.

V. Architects of Disaster

When the generals would end their task in victory, the job would pass to the hands of the State Department. The President, of course, would make the final decisions. But he would rely upon the State Department in shaping the peace.

Until 1944, Cordell Hull was Secretary of State. But after his visit to Moscow in September 1943, he became wholly occupied with the formation of the United Nations. He was in fact a very sick man and in October 1944 he resigned to go into a hospital where he remained for seven months. Actually, Sumner Welles was Secretary in all but name. In 1939, when Jim Farley complained to Hull of his troubles with Roosevelt, Hull said: “God, Jim! You don’t know what troubles are. Roosevelt is going over my head to Welles and Berle . . . he’s going over my head to ambassadors. . . . He doesn’t consult me or confide in me and I have to feel my way in the dark.”[17] Hull confirms this in his memoirs.[18] But before he resigned he settled accounts with Welles. He forced Roosevelt to dismiss him in 1943.

When Welles was ousted, Edward Stettinius became Under-Secretary and when Hull resigned in 1944, Stettinius moved up as Secretary of State. Stettinius owed his elevation to the fact that he was a rich man’s son—his father was a Morgan partner—and to the fact that both Stettinius and the Morgan firm were wholeheartedly for Roosevelt’s foreign policies. He was a pleasant fellow, fond of night life and bright enough without overdoing it. He became a sort of protégé and financier of Harry Hopkins. He devoted his time almost wholly to the international conferences as a messenger boy for Roosevelt. When Stettinius became Secretary of State, Joseph C. Grew, who had been our ambassador in Japan for many years, was made Under-Secretary. He held that post for only nine months.

Dean Acheson was appointed an Assistant Secretary of State in 1941. When Grew resigned in 1945, he became Under-Secretary and remained in that post during the term as Secretary of James F. Byrnes and part of the term of George C. Marshall. In 1949, Acheson, around whose hapless head have whirled the winds of controversy for a good many years, became Secretary of State upon Marshall’s resignation. As soon as he entered the Department in 1941, Acheson began to make his presence felt. He concerned himself particularly with personnel in spreading his influence throughout the Department with growing energy. This he was able to do in a large way after Welles left.

That influence was on the side of a soft policy toward Russia. Adolph Berle, who had been an Assistant Secretary of State, testified:

“As I think many people know, in the fall of 1944, there was a difference of opinion in the State Department. I felt that the Russians were not going to be sympathetic and cooperative. Victory was then assured, but not complete, and the intelligence reports which were in my charge, among other things, indicated a very aggressive policy, not at all in line with the kind of cooperation everyone was hoping for, and I was pressing for a pretty clean-cut showdown then when our position was strongest.

“The opposite group in the State Department was largely the men—Mr. Acheson’s group, of course—with Mr. Hiss as a principal assistant in the matter.

“. . . I got trimmed in that fight and, as a result, went to Brazil and that ended my diplomatic career.”[19]

As we are here concerned with the events in the Far East, we must identify that organism inside the State Department that dealt with the Far East. Our State Department is an immense institution. It spends around 350 million dollars a year and engages the services of thousands of employees in Washington and all over the world.

We need not wander through the corridors of this vast establishment to find the officials in whom we are interested. One bent on shaping American policy in China, for instance, would not have to capture the personnel of the entire State Department. The Department is divided into numerous bureaus. One of these is the Far Eastern Division. If one school of thought on Far Eastern relations can lodge its man at the head of that department the job is well under way. Up to 1944, Joseph W. Ballantine was the head of it. In that department was a section concerned with China. John Carter Vincent was the head of that. There was another division concerned with political affairs. Alger Hiss was deputy director and later director of that.

Mr. Ballantine did not fall in with the peculiar ideas of the Achesons, the one-worlders and the pro-pinks. He was, therefore, removed to another post and John Carter Vincent put at the head of the whole Far Eastern Division in 1945. I need not say that Vincent fell in with Mr. Acheson’s ideas and, in fact, went much beyond them. He was completely anti-Chiang Kai-shek and pro-Mao Tse-tung. I do not say he was a Communist. I do say he favored the Communists in China over the Nationalist government and he threw all the power and influence and facilities of the Far Eastern Division into that struggle. Vincent was rewarded later with an important post as Minister to Switzerland. For reasons undisclosed, he was recently demoted to a consular office at a remote post in Tangiers at a time when a Senate committee was eager to question him.

Of course, the Division employed great numbers of people. We may be sure, however, that the staff was well instructed in its duties. In fact the State Department had become in some degree overrun with peculiar people. At one time—in 1947—following an investigation which the Department, under Congressional pressure, was forced to conduct into its own affairs, 203 of its staff were dismissed in one haul. Of these, some 91 were dismissed because they were homosexuals—a rather heavy contingent—and the balance, 112, because they were security risks.[20] They were so bad that a State Department that could tolerate a great number of Soviet and Chinese Red sympathizers nevertheless cleaned them out.

There was another division of first-rank importance—the Division of Political Affairs. Alger Hiss was at first deputy director and later director of this division. He was the closest man in the Department to Acheson, who leaned heavily on him. One must gasp as one beholds this seemingly mild, scholarly young man, who so boldly promoted at every turn the interests of his master, the Russian government. He drew up a plan for reorganizing the State Department. Another official of the Department drew up a protest against the plan in which he pointed out that it was cleverly designed to give Hiss and his group “astounding control of the Department.” This was in 1946, and even that early it was suggested that the matter be brought to the attention of the FBI.

The Department had a Coordinating Committee of which Dean Acheson was chairman. Hiss and John Carter Vincent were also members. Its powers were immense throughout the Department. As stated in the Congressional Directory, it had “responsibility for considering matters of policy or actions and questions of inter-office relations referred to it by the Secretary, Under Secretary and Secretary’s Staff Committee or initiated by the members” (of the Coordinating Committee). It is not too much to say that at this point Acheson was the most powerful man in the Department in his impact on policy and that Hiss was the most powerful next to him.

Whatever others might think of him, Acheson certainly won the esteem of the American Communists. The Daily Worker, June 7, 1945, said that Acheson was “one of the most forward looking men in the State Department.”

The State Department had its diplomatic agencies in China. Alongside the men in these consular posts was a collection of newspaper and magazine correspondents, some of whom were there because they had been born in China or gone there for some reason or other and become handy as correspondents, while there were others who were either students or flaming apostles of the great Communist revolution. One such person who exercised a profound influence on correspondents was Agnes Smedley, who was actually a Communist agent, though this was always denied. She was apparently a woman of warm and contagious zeal, profoundly convinced of the holy mission of the Reds. There were others, all of them aware in varying degrees of the sins of the Kuomintang and the virtues of the Communists.

As for our own agents in China, there is no doubt where they stood. In the Annex to the famous (or infamous) White Paper on China[21] issued by the State Department, appear excerpts of dispatches sent to Washington by its Foreign Service officers in China. One of the most important of these was John P. Davies. June 24, 1943, Davies wrote that the Chinese revolutionists were moving away from the concept of world revolution in the direction of nationalism. He sent various dispatches in 1944 and 1945 pointing out that the Nationalist government was decaying and falling apart. He constantly stressed the corruption in the central government. The Kuomintang, he reported, was losing the respect and support of the people by its selfish policies, while Chiang’s megalomania and his adoption of the pose of “sage” had forfeited for him the respect of many former admirers. There was an endless catalogue of faults and vices of the Kuomintang leaders—who wished to perpetuate themselves in power.

On the other hand, Davies piled on the good points of the Communists. He warned that Chiang would use every effort to “involve us in active support of the central government.”

November 15, 1944, he wrote the State Department: “We should not now abandon Chiang. To do so at this juncture would be to lose more than we could gain. . . . But we must be realistic. We must not indefinitely underwrite a politically bankrupt regime. . . . A coalition Chinese government in which the Communists find a satisfactory place is the solution of this impasse most desirable to us.”[22]

One wonders how men supposed to be versed in the drive and pull of the revolutionary movements of Europe and Asia could, for one moment, suppose that there was possible any kind of coalition of the Communists with anybody, save on terms that would permit them to wipe out their partners. These foolish men persisted in speaking of the Communists as if they were just a political party, rather than a revolutionary army. Chiang Kai-shek was always willing to take the Communists into the government in a united effort against the Japanese. But the Communists were never willing to do merely that. They wanted to come into the government with their army intact. And throughout all these sorry maneuverings of the State Department there was always a complete blindness to the harsh fact described in Chapter III of this book—namely that Chiang was fighting two wars, one against Japan and one against Russia—and that it was his business to win both wars. Chiang was being urged by our State Department dupes to abandon his war on the Communists in order to focus all his attention on the Japanese. After 1943, that was an insane proposal.

After all, Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese leader. It was quite all right for us to think of the war in terms of America’s interests and for Russia to think in terms of her interests. But it seems to have been a crime for Chiang to think in terms of China’s interest. Chiang’s country was invaded by the Japanese. He did, as Admiral Leahy pointed out, hold a huge army of two million Japanese soldiers in China while we fought in the Pacific.[23] That was a service. Chiang knew after 1943 what Russia knew, that the United States would defeat Japan in the Pacific, and that that defeat would result in the evacuation of the Japanese army from China. Russia proceeded on the same principle. But these curious State Department dupes did not seem to think there was anything wrong in Russia’s not only remaining out of the Japanese war in China but actually recognizing Manchukuo and living as a sort of semi-ally of Japan. Eugene Dennis, Communist leader in America, once actually denounced Sumner Welles “for attempting to impede friendly relations between the U.S.S.R. and Japan.”

John Stewart Service, another State Department official in China, continually exploited the Communist line. He reported to Washington that American officers, correspondents, all who visited the Communist region agreed that the Reds actively fought the Japanese, that their revolution had been moderate and democratic, that the common people, for the first time, had been given something by the Reds to fight for. On the other hand, he reported the Kuomintang on the verge of collapse in 1944, the government permeated from top to bottom by corruption on an unprecedented scale, and that all—peasants, salaried classes, professional groups—had lost respect for the Kuomintang. He too charged Chiang with megalomania. Service turned up in a curiously compromising position with reference to a pro-Communist publication called Amerasia, which we shall examine later.

These are merely samples of the reports that streamed from Messrs. Davies, Service and Raymond Ludden. February 14, 1944, Service and Ludden actually wired the Department that the time had come to abandon Chiang Kai-shek and to do in China what we had done for Tito in Yugoslavia.[24]

The great lesson of the war is that in its foreign affairs the government of the United States must have a State Department composed of men and women who think as Americans, who represent America, and who cannot be permitted to become infatuated with the dreams and ambitions and projects of other nations to the point where they become the agents of such nations.

The whole attitude of our government in the East was evidenced by such stratagems as sending Henry Wallace on a mission to Siberia and China in 1944. After a month in Siberia and a few days in China he was prepared to write a book on the subject glowing with praise of Soviet Siberia.[25]

The process by which minds like Acheson’s and his intellectual satellites’ in the Department and in China arrived at these pathetically twisted views about China and Russia is somewhat more obvious now than it was a few years ago. There is a thing we might call the cult of intellectualism, which includes a good many people who are not intellectuals. It embraces a number of top-lofty souls who imagine they swim in some more luminous ether than the harsh air near the ground of reality. In many it is little more than a pose. There were others who saw in Russia a mixture of good and bad elements and who imagined that, by some alchemy, the bad might one day be eliminated and the good assume the mastery. At the bottom of this notion was the conviction that society had gotten out of hand, that the modern society contains so many hostile elements that there is no way to order and peace and finally to the good life for all, save under the assumption of control by the “experts” to produce a planned society. These people had managed to dress up and perfume this notion in such a way that they could support it without even being called socialists. They saw in Russia a historic and dramatic experiment to produce the good life through a planned society. It was a first trial, full of missteps and pitfalls. They have been willing to excuse the mistakes and even the cruelties of the experimenters in Moscow, hoping that out of it might come something that the world could use.

They indignantly deny the imputation of communism. They do not even like to be called socialists. The term “planned society” appeals to them, expresses their philosophy without the ugly proletarian stain of the socialist or Communist labels. The remodeling of society is a job not for the ranting soapboxers of Union Square, but for the engineers, the scientists, the philosophers and the experts generally. It is in reality socialism in cap and gown or even in a high hat and frock coat. The truth is that in certain quarters it had simply become out of style to believe in the thing called capitalism. It is not the style to believe in communism. But it is a mark of the large mind not to be narrowly intolerant of communism, and among these gentry it had come to be a little vulgar to defend capitalism. When we add to this the fact that the organized Communists and near-Communists in America had something like a million votes to deliver in critical polling places in a few industrial states, we can begin to perceive how a mixture of lofty philosophy and low politics could produce their strange tolerance for Stalin and his gang.

This curious myopia ran like a plague across the Washington mind. Hopkins was hurried to Moscow the moment Hitler invaded Russia. When he returned, Roosevelt said: “Harry and Uncle Joe got on like a house afire. They have become buddies.” Hopkins said: “It is ridiculous to think of Stalin as a Communist. He is a Russian nationalist.” Harriman said the same—Stalin was not a revolutionary Communist, just a nationalist. Roosevelt assured visitors that Stalin was not a Communist at all, but just a “Russian patriot.” This became the established fine. As late as November 14, 1945, after there had appeared so many evidences of Stalin’s duplicity, Acheson went to a meeting in Madison Square Garden to honor the Red Dean of Canterbury. He was a speaker before a howling Red throng along with Paul Robeson, Corliss Lamont and others, while on the stage surrounding the haughty Acheson was a garland of Red conspirators most of whom are now in jail. He said: “There is the fact, for example, that never in the past has there been any place on the globe where the vital interests of the American and the Russian people have clashed or even been antagonistic . . . and there is no objective reason to suppose that there should be now or in the future ever such a place.”[26] Even as late as the Korean debate Acheson said before the United Nations, after the Soviet had piled up a mountain of evidence of its duplicity and ruthlessness:

“This perspective takes into account the possibility that the Soviet government may not be inherently and unalterably committed to standing in the way of peace, and that it may some day accept a live-and-let-live policy. The Soviet leaders are realists in some respects at least. As we succeed in building the necessary economic and defensive strength it will become clear to them that the non-Soviet world will neither collapse nor be dismembered piecemeal.

“Some modification of their aggressive policies may follow, if they then recognize that the best interests of the Soviet Union require a cooperative relationship with the world.

“Time may have its effect. It is but 33 years since the overthrow of the Czarist regime in Russia. This is a short time in history. Like many other social and political movements before it the Soviet revolution may change.”[27]

Could the stubborn mind go further than this in its stubbornness? However, one thing is clear and that is that Acheson had arrived at the conclusion that Russia must be appeased, and our whole foreign policy was built on that tragic blunder. There is no doubt that his deep interest in Britain’s fortunes became also enmeshed in this strange tangle of errors. The desire to save in Asia as much as possible of England’s crumbling imperialism beyond doubt led this man of so many contradictory loyalties into a foreign policy doomed from the start by its collection of mutually hostile interests.

It is difficult to believe that a man with intelligence enough to be a minor government clerk, with the immense resources for information which his department contained, could fail to become aware of the real aims of the Soviet and of its Chinese satellites. There was not anywhere in this world a situation so obvious as this. In any case, some peculiar and still not too obvious blind spot in his mind must account for his singular blindness to so many dangerous people in his Department. A two-to-one verdict by one jury and a unanimous verdict by another after the most direct and convincing evidence was not sufficient to reveal the guilt of Hiss to this curious mind—a strange mixture of astuteness and dumbness. At almost every point at which China policy was formed were men committed to the fatal decision that the Nationalist leader of China must be forced to take the Communists into his government and army and that the Communists were not Communists and that they were more democratic than the Nationalists and that they were not dominated by Moscow.

Incidentally, Mr. Acheson in his testimony before the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee investigating the MacArthur ouster swore that it was simply not true that any State Department employee ever wrote off the Chinese Communists as agrarian reformers. John C. Caldwell, who headed the Voice of America program in China during General Marshall’s mission, has replied to this:

“When Mr. Acheson says that no officers in the Department of State have ever written off the Chinese Communists as agrarian reformers he is simply not telling the truth. All through 1944 and 1945 every one of us in the Department of State was subjected to indoctrination as to the fact that the Chinese Communists were not real Communists and that if we were patient long enough we would find a modus vivendi with far eastern communism.”[28]

All of these men persistently promoted this line in Washington and China until it was brought to its final tragic end with the complete victory of the Communists in China, to be followed by the assault on Korea.

A revealing incident of the blindness of the time in the White House and the State Department was the mission of Henry Wallace to Siberia and China in 1944. Owen Lattimore and John Carter Vincent went along with Wallace. Wallace went expecting much. When he was about to leave Russia he informed the Russians that his “personal impressions [in Siberia] surpass all my expectations.” He wrote: “A brilliant new chapter in the historic struggle for the free world has been recorded through the great victories of the glorious Red Army.” He declared further that “while our approach to the satisfactions of the common man’s needs may differ, our ultimate objectives are identical.”[29] When Chiang told Wallace that while the Reds hoped for Japan’s defeat they also hoped for the collapse of the Kuomintang before Japan’s surrender, he was amazed. He could only refer to “the patriotic attitude of the Communists in the United States.”[30] This may be difficult to believe today, but it is true. Wallace also expressed his great satisfaction at being subjected to the educational processes of Owen Lattimore who, no doubt, made excellent use of the opportunity with his soft-headed scholar. It must be said that when Hull heard that Wallace was going on his mission he sent Joseph Ballantine to try to stop it, but Wallace had already got Roosevelt’s nod for the trip.[31]

However, the success of the Communist revolution in China was not the only revolutionary enterprise on the State Department’s agenda. It was plotting a revolution in Japan. The New York Times, September 20, 1945, printed this story:

“The State Department revealed today a decision for a social and economic revolution in Japan and emphasized that it would be carried out regardless of what might be said about slashing the American army of occupation.

“Secretary Acheson said that the United States government and not General MacArthur was determining American policy toward Japan.”

This was issued because of General MacArthur’s decision to begin the gradual military evacuation of Japan. And later, in 1946, when MacArthur issued a warning against Communist activity in Japan, John Carter Vincent took it upon himself to reprimand the General (September 19, 1946), charging that the General was instituting an anti-Soviet campaign in violation of the State Department’s directives to use Japan for “building a bridge of friendship to the Soviet Union.”[32]

I recall these bizarre proceedings now because in the atmosphere of today it is perhaps difficult for Americans to recapture a clear picture of the strange mania that took possession of Washington in those days. The pact between Hitler and Stalin had spread a black pall over the spirits of the aggressive pink salons, committees, councils and leagues of Washington and New York. When finally Hitler turned on his partner in crime of 1939, the effect upon the frustrated “liberals” in the capital was magical. Helen Lombard comments that “it was like a moral and intellectual explosion in Washington.”[33] The light pinks and the dark pinks and the deep Reds and the one-worlders opened their arms to the monster who had betrayed them by teaming up with Hitler. Stalin was now purged of his crime by the simple process of being attacked by his partner in sin.

The old Commies crawled out of their holes and came flooding into Washington. In their excess of liberation they actually began to howl for the heads of the old-fashioned conservatives who still believed that Hitler’s blow at Stalin had not reformed this old butcher. Soon Tito would be the Yugoslavian “Lincoln.” A great Russian War Relief concert was staged in Washington. The Evening Star described it as “spectacular, emotionally high pitched, the greatest union of music with patriotic feeling the DAR Hall has ever witnessed.”[34] And as the orchestra played the battle hymn of the Bolshevik Revolution, the whole audience rose. Almost at once there sprang into being a National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, bearing on its roster of sponsors such exalted personages as Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, Dr. Henry S. Coffin, Hon. Joseph E. Davies, Professor Albert Einstein, James W. Gerard, Thomas W. Lamont, Herbert H. Lehman, and Dr. Mary E. Woolley, as well as a dozen others. Thus in a frenzy of hoopla and patriotic excitement we launched the great enterprise of turning over more than half the world to the Communist tyranny.

[17] Jim Farley’s Story by James A. Farley (N. Y., 1948), p. 233.

[18] Memoirs of Cordell Hull (N. Y., 1948), p. 1227.

[19] Testimony before House Committee on Un-American Activities, Aug. 30, 1948.

[20] Testimony before Sub-Committee of Senate Appropriations Committee, Feb. 28, 1950.

[21] United States Relations with China (The White Paper), Department of State (Washington, 1949), pp. 564–576.

[22] Ibid., p. 574.

[23] I Was There by Admiral William D. Leahy (N. Y., 1950), p. 202.

[24] U. S. Relations with China, pp. 567–576.

[25] Soviet Asia Mission by Henry A. Wallace (N. Y., 1946).

[26] New York Times, Nov. 15, 1945.

[27] Ibid., Sept. 21, 1950.

[28] Address before Illinois Bankers Assn., St. Louis, Mo., June 13, 1951.

[29] Soviet Asia Mission, pp. 147–148.

[30] U. S. Relations with China, p. 553.

[31] Memoirs of Cordell Hull, pp. 1586–1587.

[32] Quoted by Senator Pat McCarran, Cong. Record, May 4, 1951, p. 4583.

[33] While They Fought by Helen Lombard (N. Y., 1947).

[34] Ibid., p. 247.

VI. The Road to Korea Opens

We have now had a look at the small number of men who comprised the State Department team under the leadership of Dean Acheson, who would ultimately fashion our postwar policies in the East. We have also seen what Stalin’s plans were for the postwar world. They can be briefly listed:

1. He was bent on destroying Germany utterly beyond hope of recovery.

2. He was bent on removing Japan as a potential enemy as far as he could see into the future—by stripping her of all her resources and breaking her under a weight of penalties.

3. He planned to wreck the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek and to deliver China to the Communists.

4. He planned to take Korea and Formosa from Japan and make them into Communist satellite states.

Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government was an ally in the war. It would not be possible to induce the United States to deliver China outright into the arms of the Communists. Stalin’s plan, therefore, was:

(a) To induce the United States to force Chiang to make a coalition with the rebellious Communists, realizing that the Reds would know how, once under the tent, to take it over;

(b) If Chiang refused to take the Communists in as partners, then the United States would be induced to disarm Chiang and expose him to the mercy of the Reds.

Certainly no proof of this plan is needed now. It has been carried out to the letter, save in one particular. MacArthur saved Japan from the evil fate Russia had prepared for her. This plan was carried out with the collaboration of Franklin D. Roosevelt before he died—at least Roosevelt had made all the commitments essential to it before his death. The final thrusts were delivered by President Truman. When Truman stepped into the scene, the men who guided his hand on China were Dean Acheson and General George Marshall. The proof of this is now complete.

The one big feature of this tragedy not yet fully explained is this: How could President Roosevelt and later Acheson and Marshall perform this appalling operation without a protest from the American people? The answer to that is that the American people had to be drugged—drugged by propaganda. They had to be lied to. How would it be possible for President Roosevelt to collaborate in delivering Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary and half of Germany in Europe and all of China and part of Korea in Asia to Moscow, only six years before reviled as the enemy of mankind, unless the American people could be induced to close their eyes to the monstrous performance? Their thinking had to be shaped in order to create in their minds images, impressions and assumptions that were not true. This could not be done by the government alone. It had to find other partners and instruments in the odious enterprise.

The chief aim of this book is to describe this strange experiment in mind control. The very brief accounts of the events preceding and following the war and of the performances of the political actors in the drama are given here merely to set the scene for the story which is the only purpose of this book—the story of an operation performed on the minds of a great, free but naïve people.


The first Roosevelt surrender was made at Cairo. The President had finally induced Stalin to meet him and Churchill in a conference at Teheran. On the way to Teheran he stopped at Cairo for a conference with Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek, November 22–26, 1943. Stalin was not there, because at the time Russia was an ally of Japan. Stalin could not meet with Chiang, who was at war with Japan.

We have already seen that, as 1943 dawned, the ultimate defeat of Germany was certain. Stalin was able to look into the future and prepare for the shape of the peace. One feature of this peace concerned China. The Communist army in China was utterly incapable of successfully contending with the Nationalist government. In 1937, when the Japanese invaded China, Stalin had ordered the Chinese Reds to cease their harassment of Chiang’s government and present a common front to the Japanese. This lasted until 1939, when the Chinese Reds began to harass the government again. Now, however, Stalin decided that he would execute in China the strategy so successfully employed in Yugoslavia.

Hitler invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941. A government-in-exile was set up. But within Yugoslavia, Colonel Draja Mikhailovitch, a Serb, organized a resistance army known in the press as the Chetniks. After Hitler attacked Stalin, a Communist Croat, Josef Broz, hurried back from Russia and organized what he called the Partisans—actually a Communist guerrilla army. He came to be known as Marshal Tito. In time a movement arose for “unity.”

In Yugoslavia the cry went up that Mikhailovitch was fighting not the Germans but the Partisans of Tito. The world knows the tragic end of that adventure. A campaign of incredible ferocity blazed up in our newspapers and magazines against Mikhailovitch. The Yugoslav government-in-exile supported Mikhailovitch. Tito was in Yugoslavia, an agent of Russia, carrying out an invasion of Yugoslavia in the interest of the Communist world. The Yugoslav government asked military aid for Mikhailovitch. But the White House, industriously prodded by Mrs. Roosevelt, threw itself on the side of Tito and “unity in Yugoslavia.” When Mikhailovitch refused to unite with Tito, we and our allies deserted him, withheld arms and aid and gave them to Tito and thus delivered Yugoslavia into the hands of communism.

Now at Cairo the same program was being launched against Chiang Kai-shek. We were calling the Chinese Communists “partisans.” The cue came from Russia. War and the Working Class, a Bolshevist organ, in March 1943 printed the following:

“The Eighth Route and the New Fourth Army in China consist of the most progressive, steadfast and self-sacrificing people of China. They are led by the Communist Party. . . . China has every possibility over the enemy.”

But, it added, “national unity is necessary.” The Bolshevist journals took up this cry and it began to appear in the United States. We began to hear the Chinese Reds referred to as “partisans,” and the cry was for unity in China.

At Cairo, Roosevelt demanded of Chiang Kai-shek that he take the Chinese Reds into his government and army, thus repeating the Yugoslavian story. To make this all clear, Edgar Snow explained in an article in the Saturday Evening Post that the situation in China was much like that in Yugoslavia, with the Chinese partisans led by General Chu Teh, and Mao Tse-tung corresponding to Marshal Tito and his following.[35] Chiang became the Chinese Mikhailovitch. In return for doing this, Roosevelt promised Chiang that when the war ended he would keep the British out of Hong Kong and other ports where they had settled.[36] This was done behind Churchill’s back.

At Cairo, Roosevelt announced that it was the intention of the allies to force Japan to unconditional surrender and to strip her of all her island possessions taken during all her wars. Thus another of Stalin’s aims—completely to destroy Japan as a strong power—was insured.

When Secretary Hull heard of this, he expressed some misgivings about it. He said that “Japan was about to disappear as a power in the Orient” and that “there would be nothing left in the Orient to resist an aggressor.”[37] It took no master mind to perceive this grave danger. What possible aggressor could appear in Asia but Russia? Russia’s territory extended clear across Asia to the Pacific to the roof of Japan. The Communist adventure in China was ample proof to anyone on what Russia’s ambitions were.

As for Chiang, Admiral Leahy, who accompanied Roosevelt, defended him. Chiang’s great problem was to get war materials. There was only one way to get them and that was through the Burma Road. Lord Mountbatten was directed to organize an expedition to open the Burma Road. Chiang was anxious for this but only on one condition—that it be accompanied by an amphibious expedition. Without that it could not succeed. Roosevelt and Churchill at Cairo made a clear commitment to Chiang to launch such an attack, with Great Britain providing the naval support for the amphibious part. The promise was given. But later Churchill objected, insisting his vessels were needed for an attack on Rhodes. At first Roosevelt protested that he had promised Chiang the Burma campaign. But he finally yielded to Churchill. Leahy says sharply that Roosevelt broke his word to Chiang.[38]

As to taking the Communists into his army, Chiang resisted this to the end. But to the end the pressure never ceased.


At Cairo, although Stalin was not present, Roosevelt had complied with one item in Stalin’s program, namely the liquidation of Japan as a power. At Quebec, Stalin, although again not present in person, was to get another similar part of his program agreed to—the liquidation of Germany. The simple facts about this, I am aware, beggar belief. But the facts can no longer be questioned.

In the fall of 1944, the war in Europe had reached a point where it had become necessary for our government to form some plan for dealing with Germany when her defeat was complete. President Roosevelt named a committee composed of Secretaries Hull (State), Stimson (War) and Morgenthau (Treasury) to prepare a postwar plan for Germany. Secretary Hull named H. Freeman Andrews and James W. Riddleberger to work on the State Department’s proposals. Another plan was being drawn up in the Treasury Department. On September 2, 1944, the representatives of State, War and Treasury met and discussed their respective proposals. Three days later the Cabinet committee—Hull, Stimson and Morgenthau—met to go over the proposals. No decision was ever reached, although Hull and Stimson formed a majority of two-to-one against Morgenthau. The story behind this enterprise and the ultimate result is one very difficult for the normal American to believe. However, now completely documented, here it is.

Every American knows about the American Communist Party as an absolute servant of Soviet Russia. What he does not know is that there is another batch of American Soviet agents who do not belong to the Communist Party and who keep carefully away from it. Their dealings are with the agents of Soviet Russia here directly. They work completely independently of the Communist Party.

These agents operate in small and different groups—often having no connection with each other. In 1943 and 1944—and later—there was a small set in Washington known as the Silvermaster group. Nathan Gregory Silvermaster had been with the Agricultural Department but became head of the Near East Division of the Board of Economic Warfare. However, at some point the FBI and the Intelligence Sections of both War and Navy reported that he was a dangerous Communist. But he had powerful friends. Lauchlin Currie, a Presidential assistant, and Harry Dexter White, Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury and later Assistant Secretary, vouched for him. He was permitted to resign quietly and return to his old job in Agriculture.

This group consisted of seven people, in addition to Silvermaster, all holding positions of high importance inside the government. One of them was Harry Dexter White, a member of what is called the Little Cabinet. He was, in fact, Secretary of the Treasury, Morgenthau himself being a person of very limited abilities and still less capacity for leadership.

White was a timid man and had to be handled by his Communist contacts with infinite delicacy. His access to the most secret information was almost unlimited. He not only had at hand the Secret Service, which is a Treasury agency, but could get the most secret documents from other government agencies. His secretary, Sonia Gold, was a Communist who was supplied to him by the Silvermasters. There were many other such personages in Washington.[39]

In the Spring of 1944, according to Elizabeth Bentley, instructions came to the Silvermaster group from a Moscow agent outlining Russia’s plans for Germany. They were simple enough—to wipe out utterly her capacity as an industrial nation, to reduce her to the condition of a mere agricultural country. Where possible, her industrial equipment was to be removed—preferably to Russia. And she was to be dismembered.

These instructions were passed on to White by Silvermaster and he was pressed to discharge the commission with dispatch. He was selected because of his confidential relationship to Morgenthau, who became a member of the Presidential committee of three and who was peculiarly susceptible to the proposals. White went to work assiduously on this job. By August, Morgenthau was in Germany talking with Eisenhower about a postwar plan. Eisenhower said he felt that the German people must not be permitted to escape a sense of guilt and offered several suggestions. The war-making power must be broken up and Germany must get no help from America. Also the guilty must be punished. But he believed that choking off all natural resources would be folly. And he energetically rejected one suggestion he had heard—namely, that the Ruhr mines should be flooded. “This,” he said, “seemed silly and criminal to me.”[40]

By the end of the summer of 1944 the plans of Secretary Hull and Henry Morgenthau were ready. Hopkins was added to the Presidential committee. On September 2nd, Hopkins called a meeting in his office of the men delegated to prepare the statement. Andrews and Riddleberger, for Hull, were present. Harry Dexter White was there for Morgenthau. Here White revealed his plan—later known as the Morgenthau Plan, but actually the Stalin Plan. It was a proposal literally to wipe Germany off the map save as a frail, hungry, broken people for generations. Part of Germany was to be handed over to Russia, parts to other countries. What remained was to be dismembered into a North Germany and a South Germany. What industrial equipment could be removed was to be taken away. The rest was to be demolished. The mines were to be destroyed by flooding them. The Ruhr was to be taken from Germany and its products made available to France, Poland and others but not to Germany.

On September 5th, Morgenthau and Stimson met in Hull’s office to discuss these proposals. Hull says that when he heard the Morgenthau-White Plan he believed it was a plan for “blind vengeance” and that the plan to flood the mines would be a crime against all Europe. Secretary Stimson was so outraged that he sent a strongly worded protest to the President.

This was on September 5th. Now behold what happened. The President had arranged to go to Quebec on September 11th for a conference with Churchill. Neither Hull nor Stimson heard any more of the Morgenthau-White Plan. It is clear, however, that Roosevelt planned to deal with it at Quebec, and it was necessary that neither Hull nor Stimson should be there or know about it. Roosevelt told Hull only military matters would be discussed. What he told Stimson I do not know. If military matters were the theme, should not the Secretary of War have been present? However, he did invite Morgenthau to Quebec without informing Hull or Stimson. And there, without the knowledge of either Stimson, Hull or Hopkins, Morgenthau presented the infamous White Plan to Churchill and Roosevelt. On hearing it Churchill was indignant. He evidently notified Eden, his Foreign Minister. The next day Eden arrived in Quebec. He too was indignant and told Churchill so in angry terms. But Churchill had already agreed to it. He got his price. Morgenthau, in a talk with Churchill, had proposed credits to Britain after the war of $6,500,000,000. In any event, Churchill withdrew his objections and the Plan was approved.

What is not generally known about this agreement is that its last paragraph provided that the United States should take its soldiers out of Germany as soon as possible after the surrender, leaving Germany to be policed by the Soviet Army with the aid of Russia’s neighbors—Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Greece, Belgium and France. Had this finally been adopted, all Germany would be today a Russian satellite behind the Iron Curtain.

When Roosevelt returned to Washington he made no announcement of the agreement. He told neither Stimson nor Hull. It was not until three days later when the papers came through in a routine manner that Hull saw with amazement that the Morgenthau Plan had been adopted. And he saw also that Churchill was to get $6,500,000,000. “This,” wrote Hull, “might suggest to some the quid pro quo with which the Secretary of the Treasury was able to get Mr. Churchill’s adherence to his cataclysmic plan.”[41] Hull said he “considered it a tragedy for all concerned.”

Stimson wrote Roosevelt in protest. He said he could not have kept his self-respect had he not done so. Hull went to Roosevelt and protested to him. He demanded that henceforth negotiations with other governments be conducted by the State Department. As for the President, Stimson wrote that Roosevelt himself seemed to have made no study whatever of the subject,[42] and the President, in reply to Hull’s protest, at first denied the agreement and then admitted it, saying he must have signed it without knowing what it was. It would all be incredible if it were not told in full detail by two members of Roosevelt’s cabinet. But the most incredible part of it all is the picture which opens before us of Roosevelt and Churchill meeting at Quebec while a so-called American plan to destroy Germany is presented to them prepared by a man who was the Assistant to the Secretary of the United States Treasury Department but actually a secret agent of Stalin.

[35] “Sixty Million Lost Allies” by Edgar Snow, Saturday Evening Post, June 10, 1944.

[36] As He Saw It by Elliott Roosevelt (N. Y., 1946), pp. 164–165.

[37] Memoirs of Cordell Hull, p. 1587.

[38] I Was There (Leahy), pp. 200–218.

[39] Out of Bondage by Elizabeth Bentley (N. Y., 1951).

[40] Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower (N. Y., 1948), p. 287.

[41] Memoirs of Cordell Hull, pp. 1613–1614.

[42] On Active Service by Henry L. Stimson (N. Y., 1947).

VII. The Great Whitewash

The final scenes in this sad history we shall see later. But we are arrived at the point now where we can begin to inquire how this job was done. The dark history of Communist Russia had been told to the American people before 1941 in scores of books, hundreds of magazine articles and countless columns of newspapers and editorials. If there was one idea that was thoroughly lodged in the minds of the American people it was that Communist Russia was the enemy of mankind—a dictatorship without morals and without pity. Then suddenly, black as was his name, Stalin at a critical moment in the history of Europe turned his back on the West and joined hands with the hated Hitler in 1939. Like a jackal, he marched into Poland to take what Hitler left and, to put the final touches on his infamy, he attacked little Finland, a country that had a specially warm spot in the hearts of Americans. Then one day in 1941, out of a clear sky, Hitler turned on his Red partner and sent his Nazi legions and tanks rolling over Russia. By the sheer force of Hitler’s act, Stalin became the ally of Britain and France and, by the same token, of that vague thing called “the free world.”

By this time the United States was an ally of Britain and France and China in all but name. Stalin now became our ally too. It was necessary that he become our “noble ally.” But it would take time. There was at first some cold reserve even in the White House and the State Department. Sumner Welles, Under-Secretary of State, said: “Between a Communist dictatorship and a Nazi dictatorship there is no choice as far as the people of this country are concerned.” Even though Stalin was now the actual ally of Welles’s beloved Britain, he said: “The principles and doctrines of Communist dictatorship are as intolerable and alien to our beliefs as are the principles and doctrines of the Nazi dictatorship.”[43]

Nevertheless, the seemingly impossible task of selling Communist Russia and Stalin to the American people began without delay. Norman Thomas, the American Socialist leader, said:

“Of course Socialist sympathy will always go with people attacked. But for Stalin we have no sympathy. His cruelty and duplicity have equaled Hitler’s. We shall watch with interest to see how fast American Communists and the organs they control or influence will become propagandists for American entry into the war on the side of those ‘great democracies’—Stalin’s dictatorship and the British Empire.”[44]

Senator Robert M. LaFollette said with prophetic insight that:

“The fighting interventionists will now put on the greatest whitewash in history. The American people will be told to forget the purges, the OGPU, the confiscation of property, the persecution of religion, the invasion of Finland, the seizing of half of Poland, and all of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. These will be made to seem the acts of a democracy fighting Hitler.”[45]

We were not kept long in suspense. The Communist Party sprang like an imprisoned animal out of the doghouse and began once more to mingle with the world—and full of impudence. However, this was not a job that could be done by Communists, though they might make a considerable contribution. The American people had to be told and convinced by someone they trusted that Stalin was not really a ruthless dictator, that the Soviet government had been maligned and that it was entitled to be known as a progressive democracy of a new order. This enterprise was aided by the spectacle of the Red armies, now known as the “heroic Red Armies”—and now become our “noble allies”—making stupendous sacrifices, fighting to save their Fatherland from the unspeakable Hitler. Daily the infamies, the savagery of the German armies were pictured while the magnificent bravery of the Russians was set off in contrast. Our farms and factories were pouring out food, planes, weapons for the Russians. And when the great battle of Stalingrad changed its course and Hitler was in retreat, a warm sympathy for the Russian people flowed over the generous minds of Americans. And into those generous minds the sly propaganda of the Russian and American Communists and their American dupes began first to trickle and then to pour in a torrent.

I repeat, this could not possibly be done by Communists. It could be done only by a massive and sustained propaganda offensive—a propaganda war upon the minds of our people.

Now how is the mind of a people reached? It can be reached only through those instruments by which ideas are transmitted. These are well known—books, magazines, newspapers, the moving pictures, the radio. If you can get possession of all of these or control or influence their use, you can sell almost any idea to the people. You can do this particularly if you can operate on their minds through their emotions in a period of excitement and more particularly when, in time of war, the idea of unity behind the national leader is poured out over them every hour of the day.

Who shaped, managed and directed this propaganda? The government. What did it consist in? It consisted in promoting, by endless repetition, a few very definite key ideas. Here they are:

  1. That Germany must be destroyed as a nation, dismembered and rendered helpless ever to repeat her war-making.
  2. That Japan must be disarmed, deprived of her colonies and rendered helpless for a generation.
  3. That Russia was not a ruthless dictatorship, but one of the “democracies,” one of the “peace-loving” nations, and was, with us, one of the “like-minded” peoples.
  4. That the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek was corrupt, futile, fascist-dominated by industrialists, bankers and landlords and that Chiang was their willing tool.
  5. That the so-called Chinese Communists were not really Communists, but agrarian reformers, like our old-fashioned progressives or farmer-laborites.
  6. That Chiang Kai-shek was refusing to fight the Japanese, that he must take the Communists into his army and government and permit them to fight the Japanese invaders.

Turn these upon the minds of the people out of the mouths of well-known people—preachers, actors, educators, politicians of all parties—and through the printed page in newspapers, books, magazines, and over the radio and in the movies; keep it up endlessly; dress it up in all sorts of interesting forms—in dramas, set to music—and soon it will more or less seep into the consciousness of people generally so that they take it as a matter of course. At the same time make it literally unhealthy and even impossible for anyone to challenge these clichés—and the job is done.

But how could the Communists get the use of all these instruments and organs of facts and opinions? They could not, save with the assistance of our government which provided the pressure and the authority.

How this was done is a subject which might well fill a volume. For one thing, we now know definitely that every one of these key propaganda ideas was utterly and shamefully false. However it was done, we now know that it was done. It is a little frightening to realize that in this free country the press, the publishing houses, the radio, the movies could have been used on so gigantic a scale—coercing a large section to repeat these villainous lies and, as to those who didn’t, at least making it unhealthy for them to object.

I know it is difficult for the American to believe that this job was done in this way. But we know that it was done and I propose to supply the proof here that it was done. And I assure you that nothing that was done to betray our interests in Europe or Asia was possible without this propaganda job on the minds of the American people—this extraordinary sale of a monstrous collection of lies about communism, Russia and China.

[43] New York Times, June 24, 1941.

[44] Ibid., June 23, 1941.

[45] Ibid.

VIII. The Pool of Poison

We will begin with the books on China. Books, of course, do not have the wide circulation of magazines. But they have an enormous propaganda power. They become the textbooks to which editors, writers, reporters, politicians, teachers, preachers, lecturers go for their materials. The editor in your town may read a book, become deeply impressed by it and thereafter pass along its truths or its falsehoods to you and thousands of readers who never heard of the book. If you can impress the mind of a lecturer with a book you may thus reach indirectly the tens of thousands who listen to him on the platform. If you can convert a minister of the gospel, you have made one convert, but he can pass along these ideas to the audience he reaches. I deal with the books first, therefore, not merely because of the great influence they had upon the minds of opinion molders, but because of their immense secondary and repercussive influence.

Let us have a look at such a book as an example—Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow. Mr. Snow is a journalist of long experience in Asia. He is a gifted writer. This book was written in 1937, but had other editions—and was finally included in the Modern Library where its sale was large and continuous. And because Mr. Snow became associate editor of the Saturday Evening Post, its readers were therefore completely disarmed. Japan had invaded China in 1931 and later in 1937. Japan was the visible devil on that stage. When the Chinese Communists were attacked and nearly destroyed in 1934 by Chiang Kai-shek, they retreated in a long, tedious and in some respects heroic trek into Northwest China where they set up their Soviet. Snow was the first American correspondent permitted to visit the Northwest hideout and its capital, Yenan. He was to introduce America to the immortal Red leaders—Mao Tse-tung, the philosopher; Chou En-lai, the statesman, and Chu Teh, the warrior. He gave brilliant and appealing sketches of these men, their lives and dreams. He pictured the wretched conditions of the people of China, their poverty and serfdom on the starved land dominated by feudal landlords.

The Chinese Red propaganda line had not yet been clearly fixed. Snow called them Communists—not agrarian reformers. He said “the political ideology, tactical line and theoretical leadership of the Chinese Communists have been under the close guidance, if not positive detailed direction, of the Communist International, which during the last decade has become virtually a bureau of the Russian Communist Party.” And he admitted that the Red leaders in China had to subordinate themselves to the “strategic requirements of Soviet Russia, under the leadership of Stalin.”[*][46] Snow left no doubt where his sympathies lay. The Red movement was a great and heroic adventure to liberate the plain people of China. Chiang Kai-shek was the defender of the landlords, the corrupt industrialists and the forces that made China poor.

The Communists here hailed the book. Victor A. Yakhontoff wrote in the New Masses (January 11, 1938): “I want to urge you with all my force to read this new book by Edgar Snow.” A few weeks later in the same Red organ, he added this revealing comment: “The value of this material can be judged by the fact that most of it was supplied by Mao Tse-tung, the head of the Soviet regime, and that some of it was checked by personal observation of the author” (January 25, 1938; italics added).

Snow repeated this dose again in 1941 in a second volume called Battle for Asia. And about the same time his wife, Nym Wales, after a sojourn with the Chinese Communist army, gave us a glittering story of the Red heroes of China in a book called Inside Red China. It went even further than her husband’s Red Star Over China. There is no point in trying to brand Mr. Snow and his wife as Communists. I am not interested in their own philosophies, but only in the testimony they have given about the Communist movement in China. I think it fair to say that Snow’s two books have had a more profound influence in forming the opinions of great numbers of literate people in the United States about the Chinese Communists than any other single document.

Next to Edgar Snow, I would say that the most effective propagandist in this field was Owen Lattimore. In the years between 1928 and 1945 he wrote eight books about Asia and China. Just as Snow was so effective because he was an editor of the Saturday Evening Post—and hence beyond suspicion—Lattimore was the head of the Walter Hines Page School of International Relations of Johns Hopkins University and therefore free of the taint of Communist connections here. I do not say that Lattimore was a Communist. I do not think that is important. The only thing that is important is what he wrote. And he most certainly wrote—and wrote extensively and effectively—in defense of the Communists in China. What I do say, moreover, is that he was utterly and shockingly wrong and that, by his books and his writings in various journals, like Snow he exercised a powerful influence in detouring this country down the road to the most terrible disaster in its history. I see no signs of either of these gentlemen admitting their costly errors or apologizing for the dark consequences.

Lattimore has taken refuge behind the charge that he is a Communist agent, which he has been able to deny in a dramatic and pyrotechnic display of innocence. But I make no such charge. I declare simply that in his books and other activities he championed the cause of the Chinese Communists. Let any reader who has the slightest doubt about this read Lattimore’s books and settle the matter for himself. They are:

  • Desert Road to Turkestan (1928)
  • Mongols of Manchuria (1934)
  • Manchuria: Cradle of Conflict (1935)
  • Mongol Journeys (1941)
  • Asia in a New World Order (Foreign Policy Report, 1942)
  • America and Asia (1943)
  • Making of Modern China (1944)
  • Solution in Asia (1945)
  • China, a Short History (1947)
  • Situation in Asia (1949)
  • Pivot of Asia (1950)

As you go through Lattimore’s books you come constantly upon accounts and views which reveal a very marked tolerance of Russian aims in Asia. For instance, before the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Russia’s ambition was to detach Manchuria, Mongolia and Sinkiang from China. Secretary Acheson now says that Russia is actually doing that. Her aims in that direction, however, were checked in the ’thirties when Japan invaded Manchuria. As I have noted in Chapter III, Lattimore wrote a book in 1928 called Desert Road to Turkestan in which he thought “a very strong case can be made out for the Soviet position” in Outer Mongolia. Coming again to the subject in 1934, in The Mongols of Manchuria, he again plays with the idea that Sinkiang, Mongolia and Manchuria might be made into a separate empire under Russian influence, and he emphasized the theory that these people are not Chinese at all but Mongolian, along with other racial strains. In 1935, in his Manchuria: Cradle of Conflict, he points out that Russia, China and Japan all have ambitions in Manchuria, but that Russia has more right there than the other two. It was in this book that he pictured China as an aggressor in Manchuria. All through these books runs a strain of apology and sometimes even admiration of Russia.

In 1942, Lattimore wrote a Foreign Policy Report (September 1, 1942) called Asia in a New World Order. By this time the United States was at war with Japan. Japan had taken Manchuria. Now the Russian propaganda line had changed. Japan was pictured as being the aggressor against the Chinese. To do this, Lattimore alters his picture of Manchuria. He abandons his old line that Manchuria is not Chinese but Mongolian and asserts it is “95 per cent Chinese” and points out that it is a mistake, merely because the country is called Manchuria, to think that the people are not Chinese.

In the succession of books listed above he emphasizes the following ideas:

That Americans are reluctant to admit that the Russians have any valid claim to be called a democracy “even when democratic procedures are as plainly stated as they are in the Stalin Constitution.”[47]

He brackets the three principles of Sun Yat-sen, Russian collectivism and the New Deal as all akin and aimed at lifting society forward as a whole and restoring to the common man the opportunity for growth.

As for Asia, he assures us we have nothing to fear from communism. All Asia is opposed to it. He calls on us to admit our mistakes and demands that we “admit that the blame for Manchuria, Ethiopia, Munich and Spain falls primarily on the Western democracies.”[48]

We must not blame Russia for the Hitler-Stalin pact. It was, however futile, an effort to restrain Hitler. It was like the Munich pact between Hitler and Chamberlain.

A more grotesque distortion of history cannot be imagined. However futile the Munich pact may have been, it was clearly an effort to restrain Hitler. The Hitler-Stalin pact was a criminal deal, not to restrain Hitler, but to give him the open road and join him in the carnival of aggression. It is not a simple matter to know what were the roots in Lattimore’s mind out of which these weedy growths sprang. There was certainly a curious streak of tolerance in his mind for the Soviets. In 1938, Mary Van Kleeck in Pacific Affairs was accepting the official Soviet version of the Moscow trials. William Henry Chamberlin protested this view and Lattimore wrote, in one of those curiously involved pieces of his in which he has a way of backing into his subjects, that the trials were “an evidence of democracy.”[49]

Lattimore loses no opportunity to point out that in 1943 he defended Chiang Kai-shek. He wrote a book that year—America and Asia—in which he calls Chiang a war hero and a farsighted statesman. But as I have pointed out, we now know that the Soviet line on China changed in 1943 when Stalin began to clamor for “unity in China.” Incidentally, in this book Lattimore denounces the United States—but not Russia—because it did not make war on Japan sooner, in spite of the fact that Russia all through the war, until six days before Japans surrender, had a treaty of friendship with Japan.

In enumerating the steps by which the world moved into the war he names the Italian-Ethiopian war, the rise of Hitler, the Spanish Civil War, Czechoslovakia, etc., but makes no mention of the Hitler-Stalin pact.[50] And he makes the prophecy that after the war the Communists will be a party of moderation.

It can be seen from all this why an observer not familiar with the strange lingo of the propagandist world might think Lattimore a Communist. Lattimore himself claims some kind of immunity by virtue of being a scholar. He is very sure about his being a scholar and there is an implication in his repetitious use of this high order which he has conferred on himself that he enjoys privileges which are not open to ordinary men. One of them is that nothing he says in one sentence can be held against him. His wife declares that scholars cannot say things in one sentence. “There are always qualifications such as if, but and on the other hand.”[51] I might pause here to say without any ifs and buts that I have read this book written in reply to McCarthy’s attack and that it is the most curious collection of ifs, buts and on the other hands embedded in the most astounding mess of meaningless drivel I have ever encountered. Moses said some extraordinary things that have lasted through the ages in the Ten Commandments in single sentences which Mr. Lattimore might do well to re-read. I do not say that Lattimore is or was a Communist. I think he has been a good deal more dangerous than if he was a Communist. For reasons of his own, guarded by ifs, buts and on the other hands, he was for Chiang Kai-shek in 1943 but in the crucial year of 1945 he was urging that America apply pressure to Chiang in behalf of the Communists. He said that basic conditions as to food and clothing were better in Communist China than in Nationalist China and that the political structure of the Communists was more democratic than that of the Kuomintang.

And in 1945, in a book called Solution in Asia, Lattimore pleads for a better understanding of Russia. He praises her firm handling of Japan, never mentioning that Russia recognized Manchukuo and sold Japan the Manchurian railroads. He admires Russia’s great success in what he calls “the politics of attraction” by which she has drawn to her the peoples of Asia by her fine social order, economic prosperity, technological progress, miraculous medicine, free education, equality of opportunity and democracy. He praises Russo-Mongolian relations in Asia and Russo-Czech relations in Europe as a model for us to shoot at.

He approved the Dumbarton Oaks United Nations plan in all but one respect—that we did not give Outer Mongolia an independent vote as Russia demanded. As for Korea, he insisted we should disregard the several groups of exiled leaders—they were reactionary. He was against American occupation of Japan—Japan’s relationships should be left-of-center and friendly to Russia.

I have dealt with the Snow and Lattimore books merely as examples. There were many more and some of them were far worse. I give below a list of some 30 books on the general political situation in China published between 1943 and 1949—the crucial years in the crucifixion of China. This list was made up from the United States Publishers Catalogue and checked against the Book Review Digest. There were many others dealing with travel, art, other cultural aspects of China and personal war experiences. We are concerned only with those that deal with the political aspects of China’s problems.

There were 30 such books. Of these, 23 were pro-Communist; only seven were anti-Communist books. By pro-Communist books I mean books which gave the weight of their evidence and special pleading to the Chinese Communists. I give here a list of the titles and authors, and a mere note to indicate the character of the book:

Two Years with the Chinese Communists by Claire and William Band—Two years among the Communists and the wonderful treatment accorded by them.

China Shakes the World by Jack Belden—A glorified account of Communist China and the achievements of the Reds.

China and America by Foster Rhea Dulles—Kuomintang has same reactionary forces we have always supported, while Communists represent forces of struggling democracy.

Unfinished Revolution in China by Israel Epstein—Violent and angry book heavily biased against Chiang Kai-shek.

United States and China by John K. Fairbank—Written with pose of objective professor, but severe on Chiang and sees much good in Communist regime.

Report from Red China by Harrison Forman—Says Chinese Communists are not Communists. He spent five months in Red China and saw not slightest connection with Russia.

Journey from the East by Mark Gayn—Author was born in China of Russian parents. Stresses close friendship between Russia and United States is possible because of their similar “pioneering” mentalities.

I See a New China by George A. Hogg—About cooperatives in China—a slick job, seemingly objective, the word “Communist” being omitted entirely.

New Frontiers in Asia by Philip J. Jaffe—Author convicted in notorious Amerasia Case in which his office was found filled with secret government documents. A brief for Chinese Communists and Russia.

Solution in Asia by Owen Lattimore—Already described—a plea for a better understanding of Russia in Asia.

Making of Modern China by Owen and Eleanor Lattimore—An account of modern China that pleased the Nation and the New Republic.

Situation in Asia by Owen Lattimore—A further analysis weighted in favor of Red domination in Asia.

China’s Wartime Politics by Lawrence K. Rosinger—Issued under the auspices of the Institute of Pacific Relations.

China’s Crisis by Lawrence K. Rosinger—This tells with approval of the revolutionary changes in China.

China Among the Powers by D. N. Rowe—Recognized that Chiang Kai-shek was the leader around whom all elements could be rallied, but all (including the Communists) must be included.

Battle Hymn of China by Agnes Smedley—A glowing paean of praise for the Communists in China.

People on Our Side by Edgar Snow—Of course “the people on our side” include the Chinese Communists who later were shooting our soldiers in Korea. As for Russia, he tells of her fine effort in the war and how she wants only peace and safe borders.

Challenge of Red China by Guenther Stein—A violently pro-Communist book. Stein was accused by MacArthur’s Intelligence service of being a Soviet agent. He describes the beautiful free air of the Red capital Yenan compared to the stagnant, corrupt capital of Chiang at Chungking.

The Stilwell Papers—Posthumous diaries of General Stilwell; a pathetic and shocking revelation of Stilwell’s almost insane hatred of Chiang.

Chinese Conquer China by Anna Louise Strong—An old hand at Red Chinese propaganda. Supports the thesis that the Chinese Communists are fundamentally Chinese and not followers of Moscow.

China Looks Forward by Sun Fo—So-called liberal foe of Chiang Kai-shek wants government like England’s Socialist regime in China.

The Phoenix and the Dwarfs—by George E. Taylor—A play, its conspicuous purpose to ridicule Nationalist China and the social ideals of vast majority of American people, by OWI’s deputy director of its Far Eastern Division.

Thunder Out of China by Theodore White and Annalee Jacoby—A Book-of-the-Month Club selection; an all-out attack on Nationalist government of China. White, in a radio interview, said Chinese Reds were controlled less by Moscow than the Kuomintang by Washington.

This was the brand of pro-Communist propaganda that was available to the American people during the war and especially in the following critical years of decision. On the other side were only seven books. This great disparity, however, hardly tells the story, as we shall see later. They were as follows:

Way of a Fighter by General Claire L. Chennault—Being an account of his command in China, of the famous air lift that brought supplies into China over the Hump. He was intimately associated with Chiang and General Stilwell. He speaks in the highest terms of Chiang, and of Stilwell too as a soldier, but laments Stilwell’s relationships in China.

China’s Destiny by Chiang Kai-shek—A volume outlining his philosophy.

Russia’s Race for Asia by George Creel, who was chief of the American propaganda bureau for President Wilson in World War I and a life-long Democrat. This is a defense of Chiang and the Nationalist government.

Vigil of a Nation by Lin Yutang, an eminent Chinese essayist and philosopher who has lived long in America.

Lost Peace in China by George Moorad, a war correspondent who was very critical of the Communists in the East.

My 25 Years in China by John B. Powell, one of the most eminent and beloved of China correspondents. Book contains a kindly defense of the Nationalist government.

Last Chance in China by Freda Utley, who spent many years in China and has written many books on China and communism—highly critical of the latter.

Thus we see there were three times as many pro-Communist books on China as those critical of that regime. Why was this? There is an answer to that as we shall see in a moment. I think it safe to say that the pro-Communist books on China sold probably twenty times as many as the pro-China books. As a matter of fact, it was these 23 pro-Communist China books—by which I mean books favorable to the Chinese Communists—which provided most of the so-called factual material upon which educated Americans were asked to form an opinion about that tragedy. Let us now see what happened to these books.

[*] I did not know until I learned in Freda Utley’s fine book The China Story (Chicago, 1951) that these paragraphs had been omitted in subsequent editions when the Communist line changed.

[46] Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow (N. Y., 1937).

[47] Asia in a New World Order by Owen Lattimore (Foreign Policy Report, Sept. 1, 1942).

[48] Ibid.

[49] Pacific Affairs, Sept. 1938.

[50] The Making of Modern China by Owen & Eleanor Lattimore (Boston, 1944).

[51] Ordeal by Slander by Owen Lattimore (Boston, 1950).

IX. The Hatchet Men

A book must pass through many stages before it reaches the reader—first the author, then the publisher, next the bookstore and finally the reader. In this march of the book from author to reader, there is another character involved. That is the critic. Because of the nature of the book trade the use of advertising is necessarily limited. The manufacturer (publisher) cannot spend on a book that has most of its sale in a year or two the huge sums spent continuously on a cereal or a cigarette. This puts the book and the publisher peculiarly at the mercy of this other character I mention—the critic. The critic is in reality the most potent advertiser of books.

However, he may also become a potent killer of books. He can ignore a book or he can give it a critical treatment that might quickly shorten its life. Of course a single critic cannot do this. But if, through any combination of circumstances, a large number of critics manage to agree either to ignore a book or to blast it, the book must have in it some very robust element of life to survive. The critics can ruin a book at birth. They can also give it such a boost at the beginning as to start it on its way to a wide circulation.

The bookstore owner, in his turn, will be very largely influenced by the critics. If they ignore a book the bookseller will be chary about stocking it. If they unite in glowing tributes to it the bookseller, who is a merchant, will be encouraged to put in a generous stock and give the book a prominent display in his windows or on his counters.

For these reasons, you might well assume that our pink and especially our Red friends will not overlook the possibilities in this set of circumstances. I can assure you that these busy “scholars” who burn so much incense before the altar of free speech have given themselves to the task of promoting the books they approve and of suppressing the books they do not approve on such a scale that the situation at one time approached the dimensions of a scandal. The book publisher himself who, after all, is a business man, cannot afford to ignore these factors in his business. Publication of a book is a gamble at best save where certain established writers in the field of fiction command a steady audience. A book publisher, weighing whether or not he will take the gamble as each manuscript is submitted to him, will, you may be assured, weigh the prospect his book will have of running the gauntlet of the pink and Red critics.

With this set of generalizations let us take a peep at this battle of the critics in action. Of course, many newspapers and magazines carry book reviews. But for good or bad reasons there are a few well-known journals which exercise an especially potent influence on the career of a book. The most important are the New York Times Weekly Book Review and the New York Herald-Tribune Books of the Week. The Chicago Tribune publishes a weekly literary review, but this is a newcomer in the field, which did not appear until toward the end of this period. I will unfold presently a little tale of a rather squalid enterprise launched by a group of left-wing worshipers of freedom of the press to destroy this publication by a boycott. Then there are the Nation and the New Republic and the Saturday Review of Literature. The reason these last three are important is because they have a large circulation in college and literary circles. The reviews in these publications are usually watched carefully by the booksellers. Now let us see how all this works out in action.

In the preceding chapter I have listed 30 books that dealt with China and its troubles. Twenty-three of these books were pro-Chinese Communist. Seven were anti-Communist. I should think we might well dismiss this whole subject with the following simple statement:

Every one of the 23 pro-Communist books, where reviewed, received glowing approval in the literary reviews I have named—that is, in the New York Times, the Herald-Tribune, the Nation, the New Republic and the Saturday Review of Literature. And every one of the anti-Communist books was either roundly condemned or ignored in these same reviews.

This simple statement, it seems to me, covers the subject. But the phenomenon is so important that I feel some of the details of this strange situation ought to be examined.

Edgar Snow wrote a book in 1944 called People on Our Side. Among the “people on our side,” of course, were the Russians and the Chinese Communists, though you might have some reservations about this in 1950 and 1951 as you read the daily casualty lists from Korea. This book was glowingly reviewed in the New York Times[52] by C. L. Sulzberger, who took occasion to get in a few licks for Snow’s Red Star Over China and his Battle for Asia. In the Herald-Tribune[53] it got a boosting review from Joseph Barnes, who was at one time Foreign Editor of this staid old “Republican” organ, which he left to become co-owner and editor of the now defunct New York Star—a pro-Communist champion.

In the Saturday Review of Literature[54] it was committed to the hands of Mark Gayn, born in China of Russian parents who had escaped from Czarist Russia. He went to school in Vladivostok and has consistently defended the Chinese Communists and, as we shall see, was involved in the famous Amerasia case. In the New Republic[55] an equally glowing review came from the late Agnes Smedley, a militant Communist. The Nation[56] came along with a review by Marcus Duffield, who saw in Snow’s People on Our Side a fine book “by a scrupulously accurate reporter.”

Then there is a volume by Owen Lattimore called Solution in Asia. This is a typical Lattimore book, from which we learn that Mao Tse-tung is interested in China, not in world revolution, just as Stalin is interested in Russia and not world revolution. The Red Terror in China, where the Communists massacred the landlords, is excused; everywhere the “White Terror” is worse than the Red Terror, as in Pilsudski’s Poland and Mannerheim’s Finland. Here he supports almost every position and demand made by the Communists in China. And he does not forget to point out, so far as Korea is concerned, that we should abandon the exiled Korean leaders who have been exiled so long that none of them would be accepted in Korea—although three years later Dr. Syngman Rhee in an absolutely free election in Southern Korea received an overwhelming majority.

Who do you suppose reviewed this book in the Times?[57] Edgar Snow, which was no more than decent, since another of Lattimore’s books had only a short time before gotten a sumptuous accolade from Nym Wales, Mr. Snow’s wife, in the Saturday Review of Literature.[58] In the Herald-Tribune[59] A. T. Steele said Lattimore’s book was one which “belongs in the brief case of every diplomat and general concerned with the reshaping of Asia.” I have no doubt it found its way automatically into those brief cases. “The breath of the future blows through . . . this stimulating review of Far Eastern issues,” said Mr. T. A. Bisson in the Saturday Review of Literature.[60] The New Republic[61] glowed over this volume in a review by Richard Watts, who did most of the reviewing for the New Republic of pro-Chinese Communist books. The Nation[62] committed the job to Maxwell S. Stewart, who has been mixed up in some 40 Communist-front activities. I might add that he was one of the editors of the Nation.

This is the way the pro-Communist books on China were dealt with. Now let us see what happened to a few books written from the anti-Communist point of view. One of these was My 25 Years in China by John B. Powell. Powell was one of the most beloved of the old China correspondents. He was a Missouri editor who went to China in 1917 to edit a newspaper there. He was a relentless enemy of the Japs, for which, after Pearl Harbor, he was thrown “into Shanghai’s notorious Bridge House prison,” starved and frozen “sitting cross-legged in Japanese fashion, until beri-beri gangrene began to eat away his feet.” After his release, his wretched physical condition “did not daunt him.” I am quoting a New York Times editorial. “He threw himself into the fight for a free China—free of the Communist threat as it was finally freed of the Japanese menace. It was with a plea for our strong and unrelaxing vigilance in the Far East still on his lips that his tired heart failed him at last.”[63] Thus said the New York Times in an editorial when he died.

But when his book appeared it was handed to Annalee Jacoby,[64] co-author with Theodore H. White of the leftist Thunder Out of China. She berated Powell, in the Times Weekly Book Review, as a reactionary. She was contemptuous of his suggestion that there was a Red menace in China and reproved him for calling the Communists bandits. This is the treatment accorded by the Times to a book by a man of whom the Times editorially said after his death: “No civilian in our history ever fought more stanchly for his country nor against greater odds. This nation can best honor his memory by holding steadfastly to its high principles as he did.”[65]

How differently Miss Jacoby’s own book was dealt with by the Times. She, with Theodore H. White, wrote Thunder Out of China denouncing the Kuomintang, extolling the Communists, demanding “unity in China” with the “democratic elements in control”—the democratic elements including the Communists. However, the White-Jacoby book was handed to John K. Fairbank in the Times,[66] a Harvard professor who peddled the Communist line on China, to Richard Watts in the Herald-Tribune,[67] Edgar Snow in the Saturday Review of Literature,[68] Lawrence K. Rosinger in the New Republic[69] and Agnes Smedley in the Nation.[70] All glowed with praise. But Powell’s book, which Miss Jacoby scored in the Times, was taken apart by Owen Lattimore in the Herald-Tribune,[71] by Agnes Smedley in the New Republic,[72] although she had the grace to recall Powell’s brave stand against the Japanese. The Saturday Review of Literature ignored it.

George Creel wrote Russia’s Race for Asia. It is an able defense of the Nationalists written by an American journalist of eminence. It was ignored by the Herald-Tribune, the Nation and the New Republic. The Times[73] had a review by the crafty Nathaniel Peffer, skilled in treading the safe path. He said it was painful to have to say that Creel had written a very foolish book. In the Saturday Review of Literature[74] the reviewer was Edgar Snow, who gave it “the works.”

Even New Frontiers in Asia by Philip Jaffe was showered with high praise. While these reviews were being written, Jaffe was under arrest for his connection with the notorious Amerasia case, in which Jaffe pleaded guilty and was fined $2500—a sort of slap on the wrist—for possession of almost a roomful of United States government secret documents.

The Herald-Tribune went further than the Times, for its chief literary critic, Lewis Gannett, in his daily book review, noticed a good batch of the books listed here. At first he seemed to be sympathetic toward Chiang Kai-shek, though this did not prevent him from speaking lyrically (September 7, 1943) of the Communist Agnes Smedley and her Battle Hymn of China. But after the official line on Chiang changed, Gannett was commending (January 28, 1947) as “essentially sound” the comments on Chiang’s speeches setting forth that his government was “one of the most corrupt governments of modern times” made by Philip Jaffe, the hero of the infamous Amerasia case. He spoke well of Powell’s book without entering deeply into its political aspects, but he poured out his praise on White and Jacoby’s Thunder Out of China, Fairbank’s The United States and China and, of course, the Lattimore and Snow books.

The extent to which the authors of the pro-Communist books engaged in puffing each other’s books and in blasting the works of the anti-Communist authors in these five journals is very revealing. Here is the number of reviews each wrote:

Lattimore and wife13
Snow and wife10
Jacoby and White4
Harrison Forman1
Foster Rhea Dulles1

In other words, these authors wrote 12 books out of the 23 pro-Communist volumes. Then they turned in 44 reviews of the books listed. Of the seven anti-Communist books, some of the writers of the pro-Communist books, by which I mean the Lattimores and the Snows and their like, got a crack at every one of them. That is, of the anti-Communist books, John K. Fairbank, Agnes Smedley and Harrison Forman got a shot at one book each, Edgar Snow at two, Annalee Jacoby at two and Owen Lattimore at three.

Some of these pink and Red propagandists were not content to usurp, by whatever strange means was at their disposal, the last inch of space in books and magazines. They were not content to promote with rosy reviews the books that sang the praises of the Chinese Reds and the crimes of their opponents. They lost no opportunity of making publication difficult for anti-Red books and of killing them when they were issued.

In 1946, the Chicago Tribune decided to issue a Weekly Magazine of Books. The Tribune had incurred the wrath of the friends of Red Russia by its long and incessant attacks upon their antics in this country. Whatever may be said about the Tribune, at least this much must be conceded now by any honest mind, and that is that so far as Russia and Red China were concerned the Tribune was right and its often hysterical enemies utterly wrong. That verdict is in, I should think, for history. It might be well to remember, incidentally, that the crime for which the Tribune was pilloried by these Soviet apologists was that (1) it told the truth about Russia, (2) it told the truth about China and (3) it told the truth about the Communist and Fair Deal Planners who, throughout the war, made one with Red Russia and Red China.

However, denunciation of the Tribune was not enough. A small group headed by Rex Stout set out, in the sacred cause of “free speech,” to kill the Tribune Magazine of Books in its infancy by a boycott. During the war, Rex Stout headed a thing called the War Writers’ Board. Its purpose ostensibly was to advance the cause of the allies. Rex Stout was one of the founders of the Communist New Masses and was one of its early contributing editors and a member of its first editorial board. He has probably receded from his earlier angry pro-Communist religion, but he never lost any of the bitterness which is at its center, plus a churlish and vituperative tone which is his own.

When the war ended, unwilling to relinquish so handy a tool as the War Writers’ Board, Stout reorganized it into a Writers’ Board, getting the consent of most of its board members, the majority of whom did not realize what they were doing. With this he proceeded to carry on after the war his standard techniques of intimidation and abuse which he had used during the war.

When the Chicago Tribune launched its book review section, Stout saw a chance to kill it in its birth. He wrote a letter to many leading writers suggesting that they instruct their publishers not to advertise in the Tribune Magazine of Books. An outraged member of the Writers’ Board sent me a copy of the letter. I promptly sent copies of it to many of Stout’s board members, comprising a very imposing list of widely known American authors. Sixteen of them replied expressing varying degrees of disgust at Stout and announcing they had resigned from the board—which was enough to break up the thing.

What is interesting, however, is that six of them wrote me approving what Stout had done. Four of these were: Lewis Gannett, the staff literary critic of the New York Herald-Tribune, Dr. Henry S. Canby and William Rose Benét, editors of the Saturday Review of Literature, and Walter Davenport, who had recently been made editor of Collier’s. Of course they didn’t like boycotts, but Mr. Stout’s letter suggesting that writers ask their publishers to boycott the Tribune Magazine of Books was not a boycott.

This chapter in book reviewing can, of course, be understood in the case of the New Republic, the Nation and the Saturday Review of Literature. But how will we explain it in the case of the New York Times? It can be understood even in the case of the Herald-Tribune, with its split personality and curious habit of worshiping at so many contradictory altars. For this once great newspaper can have as its editor the conservative and judicious Mr. Geoffrey Parsons while as its foreign editor it could have Mr. Joseph Barnes, an extreme pro-Communist on Chinese affairs who left the Herald-Tribune to become co-publisher of a lurid pro-Communist thing called the Star, which blew up after a brief career. But how will it be explained in the case of the New York Times? Here were 30 books. Its critical attitude in the case of these books never deviated once. It paralleled the performance of the Daily Worker, the Nation and the New Republic. It boosted the pro-Communist books in the list I have given and castigated the anti-Communist books—not one slip-up. This could not be the result of accident.

What, then, is the explanation? I make no charge that the Times employed Communists on its staff. The Times did not take this line in its news and editorial departments. That great newspaper has its own bias, to which it has a clear right—for, after all, it is human. And certainly this bias is neither Communist nor socialist. Of course all sorts of people fell under the spell of the official government attitude toward our “noble ally” Russia. We were fighting the same enemy. There could be no point in blackguarding the Russian leaders while the war lasted. But there was equally no point in creating an utterly false and even fatal portrait of Stalin and his Communist empire. We had ample warning and evidence. We had seen 25 years of Red history in Russia. We had seen Stalin’s rape of Poland and of the Baltic states and his shocking invasion of Finland when he became the “noble ally” of Hitler. And, by 1943, any student of Russian affairs could have read in the clear appraisal by David J. Dallin in his Russia and Postwar Europe a brilliant and prophetic outline of Russia’s postwar intentions. Russia’s history in Asia and her ambitions along the borders of China were well known to students of the East.

Under what spell did the publisher of the Times fall? Could it have been that he fell under the spell of the current official propaganda? There is no great evidence of that in the editorial section. Could he have been seduced by a mistaken notion of “freedom” for his literary editor? Did he really know precisely what was going on in these reviews? Was it the force of government pressures, backed by the immense powers of intimidation which the government possessed?

There was intimidation—plenty of it and on many fronts—even before the war began. I did not learn until a few days before this was being written of a curious instance of the attitude of the administration on this point. In 1939 Governor Wilbur Cross, following his defeat for reelection as governor of Connecticut, returned to his post as editor of the Yale Review. He wrote me suggesting that I write for the Review a piece on “The Strange Case of Harry Hopkins,” as he phrased it. I wrote the piece and the Review published it under the title of Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Roosevelt. President Franklin D. Roosevelt promptly wrote a letter to Governor Cross as editor of the Review making a personal protest against this piece. That, of course, was his right. He did not say it was scurrilous, for it was far from that. He did not complain that I attacked either him or Hopkins personally. He said he had been “watching John T. Flynn during these many years” and he found that this writer never proposed any solutions of any problems but always opposed any suggested solutions. This was an obviously untruthful comment, but it was his right to hold this view and to express it. It was the method of dealing with this problem in criticism which was, to put it mildly, shocking. He said: “Therefore, Q.E.D., John T. Flynn should be barred hereafter from the columns of any presentable daily paper, monthly magazine or national quarterly, such as the Yale Review.”[75] This for no other reason than that I disagreed with his schemes.

This was indeed a new conception of dealing with a criticism. Fortunately at that time he possessed no power to enforce this remedy. But when the war came, his hands were filled with weapons of intimidation and suppression. I would not have known of this precious evidence of the official attitude toward editorial suppression were it not that one of the minor scribblers of the now indignant Left in a recent book was foolish enough to bring this disgraceful incident to life and thus unwittingly exhibit his own odd complex on the great issue of freedom of the press.

[52] N. Y. Times Weekly Book Review, Sept. 10, 1944.

[53] N. Y. Herald-Tribune Books of the Week, Sept. 10, 1944.

[54] Saturday Review of Literature, Sept. 9, 1944.

[55] New Republic, Oct. 2, 1944.

[56] Nation, Sept. 23, 1944.

[57] N. Y. Times Weekly Book Review, Feb. 25, 1945.

[58] Saturday Review of Literature, Mar. 25, 1944.

[59] N. Y. Herald-Tribune Books of the Week, Feb. 25, 1945.

[60] Saturday Review of Literature, Mar. 10, 1945.

[61] New Republic, Feb. 26, 1945.

[62] Nation, Mar. 17, 1945.

[63] N. Y. Times (Editorial), Mar. 2, 1947.

[64] N. Y. Times Weekly Book Review, Dec. 16, 1945.

[65] N. Y. Times (Editorial), Mar. 2, 1947.

[66] N. Y. Times Weekly Book Review, Oct. 27, 1946.

[67] N. Y. Herald-Tribune Books of the Week, Oct. 27, 1946.

[68] Saturday Review of Literature, Oct. 26, 1946.

[69] New Republic, Nov. 18, 1946.

[70] Nation, Nov. 30, 1946.

[71] N. Y. Herald-Tribune Books of the Week, Nov. 11, 1945.

[72] New Republic, Nov. 26, 1945.

[73] N. Y. Times Weekly Book Review, Mar. 13, 1949.

[74] Saturday Review of Literature, Aug. 9, 1949.

[75] F.D.R., His Personal Letters, 1928–1945 (N. Y., 1950), p. 904.

X. Left Thunder on the Right

As one moves deeper into this strange jungle of alien propaganda the scene becomes more baffling. We have, of course, our Communist magazines and newspapers. One expects to find the Communist line faithfully defined and promoted in these. But few read them save party members, the FBI and a limited number of writers who keep an eye on the activities of the Reds. They have no propaganda value so far as the mass of American readers is concerned. One pro-Communist article in the Saturday Evening Post can do more damage than ten years of the New Masses or the Daily Worker.

Now the incredible reader will say with perhaps some impatience—are you seriously going to say that the Saturday Evening Post printed Communist propaganda on China? Yes, and not just one article, but many articles. From 1943 to 1947, the Post printed forty-five (45) articles by Edgar Snow about China, Russia, India, Yugoslavia, etc.—many of them about Asia. The reader will not have to be reminded that Edgar Snow was the author of two books—Red Star Over China and Battle for Asia—both of which became almost bibles of the pro-Russian and pro-Communist China claque.

There were a few articles about China written by others. We will have a look at these. But first let us take a peep at the propaganda line that Mr. Snow was handing out to the millions of readers of the Saturday Evening Post.

In 1937, Snow had written, in Red Star Over China:

“The political ideology, tactical line and theoretical leadership of the Chinese Communists have been under the close guidance, if not positive direction, of the Communist International, which during the last decade has become virtually a bureau of the Russian Communist Party. In the final analysis this means that for better or worse, the policies of the Chinese Communists, like the Communists in every other country, have had to fall in line with, and usually subordinate themselves to, the broad strategic requirements of Soviet Russia, under the dictatorship of Stalin.”[76]

But Snow got a new name for his heroes. In the Post they became the Partisans. By a mere trick of the typewriter Mao Tse-tung’s “former” Red Communist army was transformed into a Partisan army. Snow now went further and told us that “there has never been any communism in China.” Long before the old Communist army became defunct, he wrote in the Saturday Evening Post, it ceased to have any contact with Moscow[77]—a shocking misstatement, since we now know that Mao Tse-tung was a member of the Comintern until it was abolished.

Snow quoted Colonel Evans Carlson as describing Chu Teh as a man who had the “kindliness of Robert E. Lee, the tenacity of Grant and the humility of Lincoln.” All this in an article in the Saturday Evening Post about how we were losing “60 million allies.”

In another article in 1945, Snow managed in the Post’s pages to display the whole Chinese Communist propaganda line:

Among the 800,000 puppet troops working for Japan, nine tenths of them are former Kuomintang troops whose generals are now serving as “quislings.”

The Kuomintang is “diverting the best troops” to blockade the heroic and patriotic 8th Route and New 4th Route—Communist—troops in China rather than fight the Japanese.

By resisting coalition government in China, Kuomintang officials are sabotaging the war effort.

The Chinese Communists have won an astonishing increment of power and territory without any aid from any government, either Russia or the United States, and the Kuomintang power in those areas has been obliterated.[78]

Snow is extremely adroit. He has gone on record too completely in painting the Chinese revolutionists as Reds to be too forthright in acquitting them completely. In this article he refers to the Communists as agrarian reformers. He told us in the previous article there had never been any communism in China, even in Communist areas. It’s a Chinese offspring of Marxism and in practice “won its following chiefly among the peasants by working out a program of agrarian democracy with socialism as an ultimate but admittedly quite distant goal.” They should not be called Communists at all.[79] But in 1945 he tells us that it is a mistake to suppose that Communists do not aspire to power or that they would establish a liberal democracy like ours. It would be a kind of “democratic equalitarianism”[80]—whatever that is.

What Snow was everlastingly after was to force Chiang Kai-shek to take the Communists into his government because he must have known, as Russia knew and as every informed person knew, that there is no such thing as coalition with Communists. If the Chinese Communists were taken into Chiang’s government they would either dominate it or abandon it.

Why did the editors of the Saturday Evening Post print these articles? Edgar Snow, with his long record of Communist propaganda, not only was given free access to the columns of the Post, but was made an associate editor and thus enabled to exercise an influence on what would and would not go into the Post on the subject of China. Certainly no man in his senses would suppose for an instant that the editors of the Saturday Evening Post have the slightest sympathy with Communist Russia or a Communist China. The only reason that these articles went into the Post apparently is because the editors of the Post believed them. And this is the most terrifying aspect of the whole episode. Not only are these gentlemen not Communists or even leftists in their sympathies; they cannot by any stretch of the imagination be written down as simple-minded. They are men of large intelligence and wide experience as editors. The fact that they could be misled so grievously is an evidence of the extent to which the American mind was defenseless against this propaganda.

I could therefore find it in my mind to excuse the Post were it not for one thing. To print a few pieces by Edgar Snow would be completely defensible because he is an able writer who has had a wide experience in Asia. But what I cannot understand is that he should have been made an associate editor with at least some influence over what should be printed in the magazine affecting the Far East. Was there no one competent to give in the Post the other side of this subject? Snow wrote from July 1943 to December 1950, when his name disappeared as an editor from the Post masthead. From 1943 to April 1950, there were 61 articles in the Post by Snow about China, Asia, Russia and some about Europe. From 1943 to April 1945, the Post ran 24 articles by Edgar Snow. During this period every article about Russia was by Snow except one by Peter F. Drucker. On China, in addition to Snow’s articles, there were four by E. O. Hauser during 1943 and 1944, two by Samuel Lubell and one by D. Berrigan. Hauser was on the staff of the Institute of Pacific Relations and a contributor to Amerasia magazine, both of which we will describe later.

The Berrigan article[81] was a glorification of General Joe Stilwell, who was the most vitriolic and intolerant and profane enemy of Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist government. Three of the Hauser articles were without propaganda. One, however, in August 1944 had the pink line present—namely that the Kuomintang is wholly totalitarian in tone and may go Fascist or Communist unless the United States gives it a friendly nudge to give the “democratic” elements their chance. Of course he doesn’t mean necessarily the Communists but all the “liberals” outside the Kuomintang “clique.”[82]

As for the two articles by Samuel Lubell, one in February 1945 was about General Stilwell, who “stood for all our efforts to win the war in a hurry, while Chiang symbolized the obstructions and limitations frustrating us.”[83]

In March 1945, in the Post, Lubell takes the old line that China’s Number One political problem is agreement between Chungking and the Chinese Communists, that this is crucial for us, we should press for it, as it would release between 300,000 and 500,000 soldiers who have been immobilized blockading the Communists. And then follows this choice proposal—that such an agreement would permit us to “arm the Communist partisans.” He also points out that Ambassador Hurley was informed in Russia by Molotov that Russia does not regard China’s Reds as Communists but as akin to former laborites in the United States, that Russia has not been helping them nor does she want internal dissension in China.[84]

There was one article by Demaree Bess which was an outline of the whole situation in the Far East, and was straight reporting without bias.

Any reader of the Saturday Evening Post reading this group of articles over a period of four critical years when opinions were being formed, would have received precisely the collection of ideas which Stalin and the Communists in China wished to plant in his mind.

Once again, let no critic of these observations say that I am charging the Saturday Evening Post with being Communist. I am quite certain that articles of this kind would never get into the Post today because the American people, along with its editors, are a wiser and a sadder people. I go reluctantly into this subject because I believe it is necessary to arouse the American people to an understanding of the enormous aid that Soviet Russia got in her aims as a result of the innocence and the ingenuousness of even the most literate Americans in this whole field. We were babes in the woods. What I have been pointing to here are the articles in the Saturday Evening Post affecting China and Russia. I am not discussing the editorial columns of the Post, which have always followed a consistently American line.

I think I can say honestly that I have some understanding of the extent to which the American mind could be imposed on by virtue of this innocence to which I have referred. Our willingness to have all sorts of questions discussed was one of our virtues, and through the years I have seen the most conservative journals give space to a defense of Communists and Socialists and of their right to be heard.

What our educated Americans have not understood is that the Red revolutionist does not promote his cause with debate and discussion. He knows that ideas are planted in minds not by debates and discussions but by certain propaganda techniques. For one thing, neither socialism nor communism is to be successfully sold under these labels. They must be given other names. Second, the Communist product must be sold in pieces—not in one big package. Third, the sales job must be done by people who are not suspect—not by Communist orators and Socialist orators out on the soapbox as in the old days, but by people who deny they are Communists or socialists and who sell their product in our schools, our conservative newspapers, in our magazines, on our radios and in our moving pictures and by every means of propaganda that is known. And I repeat, it is not to be sold in one package. You buy one little idea today, another little idea tomorrow. Someone else buys a third idea the next day, and so on, until presently you are trapped in a Communist dilemma when you will be perhaps so far on the way to communism that turning back will be more difficult than going forward.

[76] Red Star Over China (Snow), p. 374.

[77] “Sixty Million Lost Allies,” Saturday Evening Post, June 10, 1944.

[78] “Must China Go Red?” by Edgar Snow, Saturday Evening Post, May 12, 1945.

[79] “Sixty Million Lost Allies.”

[80] “Must China Go Red?”

[81] “Uncle Joe Pays Off” by D. Berrigan, Saturday Evening Post, June 17, 1944.

[82] “China Needs a Friendly Nudge” by E. O. Hauser, Saturday Evening Post, Aug. 26, 1944.

[83] “Vinegar Joe and the Reluctant Dragon” by Samuel Lubell, Saturday Evening Post, Feb. 24, 1945.

[84] “Is China Washed Up?” by Samuel Lubell, Saturday Evening Post, Mar. 31, 1945.

XI. The Press and Pink Propaganda

Of course the Saturday Evening Post was not the only victim of this pro-Russian intrusion—although, because of its great influence and wide circulation and the free entry it gave to Edgar Snow, the effect of its articles on the public mind was greatest. However, Collier’s did its bit.

At a critical period—1944 and 1945—Collier’s opened its columns to Mark Gayn, one of that numerous tribe of Johnny-come-lately citizens who lectured us during these troubled times. He appeared also in the Saturday Evening Post. He was born in Manchuria and when his family moved to Siberia, he attended a Soviet school there. For the Soviet system of education he had nothing but praise. He went to China in 1927 and after an apprenticeship in left-wing movements he arrived in the United States in 1939. He became a citizen in 1944[85] and became too the instrument through which Collier’s was informing its readers about China. He wrote three articles in Collier’s promoting the Chinese Red line.

October 28, 1944, in an article “Crisis in China,” he peddles the standard line about the brave Chinese Red guerrillas. He ends, of course, with the usual line: the remedy for China’s woes is “immediate political reforms, including the democratization of the government, a clear and unequivocal understanding with the Communists and the end of the North China blockade.” To add emphasis to this piece, Collier’s gave it a big display on the front cover.

A few months later came another blast from the Left by Mark Gayn in “The Causes of China’s Tragedy.”[86] These are (1) influence of Chiang’s government is at lowest ebb in years, (2) national morale is at its lowest point and (3) disunity. The only cure is democratic reform, not just the addition of one or two Reds to the cabinet. The article is a scathing attack on Chiang Kai-shek. However, he admits Chiang is a strong man, but China’s only hope is that he will realize the gravity of the crisis and the need for desperate action—which, of course, is to stop fighting the Communists. This was the official Communist line at the time.

Again, on February 3, 1945, Mark Gayn was telling about the wonderful things the Communists were doing. He rhapsodized about Mao Tse-tung—“the tall, shaggy-haired Lenin of China.” We must cooperate with the Communists. We must give them arms and do everything in our power to bring about “if not a coalition, at least a truce between Chungking and the Communists.”[87]

This is what the readers of Collier’s were getting about China. But there was more. In the May 6, 1944 issue, Vera Inber, a “distinguished Russian poet” as Collier’s described her—a Communist trumpeter—wrote a piece called “The Ordeal of Leningrad” specially radioed to the magazine. There were other pieces rhapsodizing Communist heroes. Then in order came the following Red propaganda in Collier’s:

September 2, 1944—“Russia Beckons Big Business” by Harrison E. Salisbury (then UP correspondent in Moscow), a neat propaganda job written around Eric Johnston’s trip to Moscow and the bright prospect for future cooperation between American business and Soviet Russia—a tasty bait for business.

November 18, 1944—“Will Russia Fight Japan?” by Salisbury. Yes, she will—and all out—not just a token operation.

December 23, 1944—Harrison E. Salisbury again, with a piece about the miracles of the Red Army—its improvisation, persistence, finely trained officers. And then, in the next issue, Collier’s editorially expressed the hope that Russia would join in the war on Japan. “The future peace of the world will be materially bolstered if all the nations able to do so were to gang up on the Japanese and tear out their war-making power by the roots, once and for all.”[88] Thus we were asked to join Stalin in doing on Russia’s eastern borders what she was already planning on her western frontier—destroy Japan as she would destroy Germany.

Thus Collier’s, like so many other magazines, became the victim of the propaganda printed in its own pages. The utter childishness of this suggestion that Russia join in the war on Japan must now be apparent to all. Russia had not the slightest notion of staying out of that war. She knew that the United States at this point was dealing a series of death blows to Japan, that all the sources of her supplies were being taken away from her and that presently she would lie prostrate. There was no power on earth that could keep Russia out of this war and out of a position to step in and reap the lion’s share of the loot. And this is what she did.

Then came a series of panegyrics in Collier’s about Russia. March 10, 1945, Ella Winter, who was cited as having 25 associations with Red-front organizations in the United States, and who was a well-known apologist for Russia, wrote “Stalin’s Plans for Germany,” a preview of what actually happened. Later, on June 9, 1945, this same Ella Winter wrote “Russia’s New Distaff,” in which she conveyed to us the startling and reassuring information that something has changed Soviet ideas about women, schools, sex, children and religion and now “they’re not very far from those in Cincinnati,” said Collier’s in its introduction to the article. If we saw this in the Daily Worker we would laugh.

March 24, 1945, Collier’s thought the agreements and objectives of Yalta were excellent and promising—although neither Collier’s nor anyone else knew what all the secret agreements were which had been entered into there, though they did know how Poland and the Baltic countries had been betrayed by Roosevelt. March 31, 1945, Lillian Hellman, a well-known left-wing playwright, appeared with a piece called “I Met the Front Line Russians,” and of course they were just dandy.

Why did Collier’s print this dangerous nonsense?

We have been looking at magazines which could not be called radical. There remain two more in this group to be inspected. They are the Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Magazine. They exercise a very impressive influence in what I have called highly literate circles. One would not expect to find pink footprints in these ancient sands. There can be little doubt that pressure from some very high and powerful sources had much to do with the wartime content of these journals. But it did not take much pressure to give them a pinkish glow. Many of our magazines were heavily infested with various breeds of what might be called professional intellectuals and professional “liberals.” The fact is that the depression had wrought a great sea change in the editorial sanctums of America. Up to that point the editor had to sit very much under the bondage of the proprietor, the business manager and the advertiser. Now the world of these pragmatic fellows had gone to pieces, confirming some of the most beloved apprehensions of the editor. He began to enjoy a freedom in attack upon the leaders of the mighty world of wealth he had never had before. He did not become a Communist. But he did move out of what might be called the capitalist hemisphere into that other hemisphere of the mind where Communists and socialists and rebels of all sorts fraternized. He became, in most cases, a highly frustrated and unclassified citizen of the rebel world.

I am trying mercifully to find an explanation of the curious surrender of so many men I have known well to the cult of complacence about Russia. Now for just a peep at Harper’s and the Atlantic.

Of the two, I think Harper’s was the less culpable. It opened its columns in March 1943 to Karl Polanyi, the Hungarian “Liberal” leader, who himself left Hungary when the Reds took over. Yet in Harper’s he assured Americans that the theory “that Russia’s only course in the future is world revolution, is obviously untrue.” He thought our State Department was not sufficiently pro-Russian. “Russia seems anxious that America should understand. . . . She is keen to offer the United States what she so persistently but vainly offered Chamberlain’s Britain—her permanent collaboration.” And he complained that “not on a single postwar issue has cooperation with Russia apparently been sought.”[89] No one could have leaned over so far to collaborate with Russia as did Roosevelt and later Acheson. Collaboration with Russia became the keynote of our policy. We began by conceding to her the Baltic states, then Poland, then most of Eastern Europe, plus the right to occupy Berlin. Then we gave her China.

However, it must be said that when Brendan Bracken, British Minister of Information, declared that “Soviet Russia had never broken her word,” William Henry Chamberlin was permitted to write in Harper’s a refutation of this in which he listed five separate treaties which Russia had made with her western neighbors from 1926 to 1934, every one of which she broke.[90]

In August 1945, John Fischer, who was an associate editor of Harper’s and later editor-in-chief of Harper & Brothers’ general books department, pointed out that Russia would certainly move into Manchuria as soon as she joined in the war against Japan. “And if we have any hope,” he said, “of a durable peace, we must accept in good faith the Russian assurance that she has no intention of aggressive expansion outside her security zone.” If Russia moved into Manchuria and Korea to defeat Japan it would be ungracious to ask her to get out. He continued:

“As everybody knows, such a policy [non-recognition] has proved not only futile but also rather fussy and undignified. Next time it would be wiser simply to accept whatever regime the Soviets may install, realistically and without any pious uproar, in the interest of long-term Russo-American relations.”[91]

Harper’s thought so well of this piece that it advertised reprints at $4 per 100 for general distribution.

Mr. Bernard De Voto, who wrote a department for Harper’s every month, put in his two-cents’ worth, with the usual garnishment of scorn and infallibility. In November 1943 he said:

“Not all the anti-British, anti-Russian and anti-collaborationist groups in the country are Republicans, but the powerful ones are. . . .

“We hold to our overmastering belief [Mr. De Voto’s beliefs are usually overmastering] that the national interests of the United States, Great Britain, Russia and China do not fundamentally conflict. . . . No one supposes that the Russians will give up what they see as safeguards to their security merely because we believe in Democracy First.” (Italics added.)[92]

Then he asserted that while signing alliances we had not assured peace “but they are the first steps toward making other steps possible.” One might ask, could anyone make a more comprehensive collection of surrenders to Russia than Roosevelt made in Europe and, for that matter, in Asia—assuring her Manchuria and half of Korea? But this, we now see, was not nearly enough for Mr. De Voto at that time.

The staid old Atlantic Monthly was more generous to our great ally in Moscow. The magazine ran each month a department labeled “Atlantic Report,” which managed to stray over into the Pacific when there was a chance to put in a lick or two on the side of the Bright New World. In February 1945 the Report was troubled. “We shall fail in China,” it moaned, “if we do not aid the revolution which is going on in that country and so help to build a bridge between ourselves and the Soviet Union. This is the task of the highest statesmanship.” It was also quick to rush to the defense of Stalin’s slave battalions of German soldiers being used to work in Russia. This, we were told, was very different from Hitler’s slave battalions. Russia, of course, would work these hundreds of thousands of German prisoners in gangs and house them in barracks, but her program “envisages reasonable working and living conditions.”[93] Where the Report got that precious piece of information is not revealed.

In September 1945, the Report was defending with a surprising burst of eloquence Russia’s claim to Sakhalin Island and the Kuriles, which Roosevelt had surrendered to her at Yalta. A curious feature of this little incident in special pleading is that the then Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes, did not learn of this secret agreement until September 3rd. Yet the September issue of the Atlantic, which was off the presses in August, is found defending it.

And while the Report consistently preached the causes and claims of Russia, it as consistently defamed the regime of Chiang Kai-shek. There is no point in repeating endlessly the Atlantic’s championship of the Soviet’s program in Asia. It praised Secretary Marshall’s tough attitude toward Chiang; it denounced Hurley’s attitude. One must open one’s eyes at the length to which this Report went. In April 1946, it saw in the Communists in China a comparison with our own Constitution makers. It is they “who have taken up the stand . . . represented by states’ rights in America.”

All this was reinforced from time to time by stout blows for Soviet Russia from the pens of Vera Micheles Dean,[94] of the Foreign Policy Association and one of the slickest special pleaders for Russia in that costly game; of Anna Louise Strong,[95] an outspoken admirer of Russia, who saw the Soviet “building on the present . . . a future better than anything before.” There were others and, of course, the usual run of book reviews. One particularly worthy of mention is a review by the same critic of Edgar Snow’s The Pattern of Soviet Power and David J. Dallin’s The Big Three. Snow got the boost and Dallin the boot. Snow is just a good reporter; Dallin a critic trying to twist facts to support his theories about Russia. Finally, says this reviewer: “Whereas Mr. Dallin sees in Russian policy a sinister conspiracy against the world, Mr. Snow sees something more easily explained: a determination to safeguard Russia from any further invasion assaults over her borders.”[96] Here let me observe that of all the writers on this tangled and disordered world of Russia in Asia, no one approaches David J. Dallin in the extent of his researches or his fitness for the task.

What is the explanation of the red stain in these American journals? Are they Communist organs? Are their editors Communists? The editors were certainly not Communists. But what of that? What more could they have done to promote the tragedy which today racks the whole Far East? The fruit of their folly is now before them. The simple truth is that the deadly success of their tragic errors was made possible by the fact that they were not Communists, that they were pouring out all this false—stupidly false—propaganda in old and respected American journals.

Always we come up against the unanswered question—what made all this possible? How did they get that way? Where did the pressure come from? What created in the minds of these editors the condition which made it possible so easily and so completely to seduce them?

I have been dealing here with certain national magazines. And in a previous chapter we have examined the book reviews in the New York Times, the New York Herald-Tribune and other journals. It should be added that there was a section of the daily press which followed the same line. However, it is but fair to say that the daily press as a whole conducted itself in a trying situation with considerable decency and restraint. The press is in a difficult position during a war. In such a time the accent is on patriotism. There is a line which the press seems compelled to draw between reasonable criticism of the government and such attacks as tend to cool dangerously the popular support of the war.

As far as Russia was concerned, while papers refrained from attacks on and abuse of Russia, they did not necessarily feel called upon to fall in love with a set of democratic virtues in our so-called ally which it did not possess. However, the pressure put on papers by the government and the incessant drive of the war-time agency known as the OWI—Office of War Information—did tend to influence many papers to print things they would not have printed if left to their own decisions. That nasty personage—the loudmouthed, intemperate lover of our noble ally Russia—made things pretty hot for some papers that did have the hardihood to follow a temperate course in the war. There were also three or four smear societies which did their job on those who attempted to give the true picture. The OWI and the innumerable agencies of the Communist Party, then emancipated into a kind of savage liberty, plus certain extreme left-wing journals, did spend much of their energies during the war in the effort to destroy the reputations of good citizens who refused to fall in love with “Uncle Joe.”

Here let me repeat a comment already made. In what I have said about the literary reviews of the New York Times and Herald-Tribune, I have not the slightest intention of intimating that these papers are pro-Communist. As for the New York Times, it is one of the great papers of the world, and its splendid coverage of the news of the world is one of the immensely useful services which it performs for the community. Its opinions are to be found in its editorial columns, which is proper, while its news columns are as much free from bias as one has a right to expect in a newspaper run by human beings. It is this high quality in its news departments which baffles me when I read its weekly literary section. It looks as if, for some reason, the publisher of the Times had given the editor of the review complete carte blanche to run any sort of periodical he wished—not only in the review but in the weekly magazine—departing wholly and, it seems to me, disastrously from the standard which governs the rest of the paper.

In the discussion of the literary review I have pointed out the history of a group of 30 books dealing with China. Not one pro-Communist book escaped favorable criticism. Not one anti-Communist book escaped a sharp reproof. This could not happen by accident. It could happen only because whoever exercises the function of selecting its reviewers has seen to it that this will happen. As a matter of fact, what is true of these China books which I named is true in a general way of most that appears in that publication. The worst thing I can say of it is that it is unworthy of the Times.

[85] State Department Loyalty Investigation; Sub-Committee of Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (1950), Appendix, p. 230.

[86] Collier’s, Jan. 13, 1945.

[87] “Can China Unite?” by Mark Gayn, Collier’s, Feb. 3, 1945.

[88] Collier’s, Dec. 30, 1944.

[89] “Why Make Russia Run Amuck?” by Karl Polanyi, Harper’s, Mar. 1943.

[90] “Information Please About Russia” by William Henry Chamberlin, Harper’s, Apr. 1944.

[91] “Odds Against Another War” by John Fischer, Harper’s, Aug. 1945.

[92] “The Easy Chair” by Bernard De Voto, Harper’s, Nov. 1943.

[93] Atlantic Monthly, Mar. 1945.

[94] “Russia and Her Neighbors in Europe” by Vera Micheles Dean, Atlantic Monthly, Mar. 1946.

[95] “Russia Rebuilds” by Anna Louise Strong, Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 1944.

[96] Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1945.

XII. Red Propaganda in the Movies

It is entirely probable that millions of people have seen moving picture plays without ever suspecting that a picture was designed to plant some Communist idea in their minds. Of course, a bold, brazen screen glorification of Russia would get nowhere. Effective propaganda is not delivered that way. It must be slick, artful, aimed to enter the unsuspecting mind and leave its mark. Let us have a look at an actual case.

One of the popular pictures during the war was Song of Russia. When it appeared, the Russian armies were driving the hated Nazis back across the steppes. Russia was our ally—in fact she was our noble ally—and we had been softened down a good deal. The day of the peace treaties was coming and it was important that we should be further softened.

In this picture, Robert Taylor appeared as a young American music conductor who visited Russia during the war, traveling around as a guest conductor leading Russian symphony orchestras. As a matter of fact, despite the war Russia seemed to be crawling with symphony orchestras. Wherever the young conductor arrived, there was a beautiful orchestra, often of young people—the culture of Russia thus being deftly illustrated.

Now, one of the black marks against the Soviet regime was the persecution of religion. People believed this and of course it was and is true. It would be perfectly futile to write articles in the papers and magazines or books to deny this obvious fact. However, it was possible to insinuate a different version in the mind of an unsuspecting spectator in a moving-picture house. There he sits, wholly oblivious of propaganda, interested in the story, his heart stirred and warmed by the magnificent music. There is a happy scene on a Russian farm. There is the farmer with his family. It is a beautiful Hollywood farm such as does not exist in Russia. The farmer is entertaining all his neighbors and there is the village priest moving about happily amongst the guests. This gets over two ideas—that there are prosperous free farmers in Russia and that the priest is a natural part of the scenery. Suddenly there is an alarm, a warning siren sounds, the Nazi planes are heard overhead. The scene shifts to an open farm field some distance away. The bombers dive, release their bombs and an innocent boy is struck down in the field. Instantly, from out of the shrubbery, leaps a priest to rush to his side to give him the last rites of the church.

Later in the picture there is a beautiful marriage ceremony. The wedding is held in the old church and the altar is crawling with priests and altar boys. Now, nothing is said in this picture about religion. There is no discussion about it, but the innocent spectator who does not study Russia or the arts of propaganda goes out of the theatre thinking to himself, “What do they mean about having no priests and churches in Russia?” He now carries around in his mind this clear visual refutation of this “slander” of Russia.

This is just one illustration, of course, of how propaganda can be inserted into motion pictures. I might say that Robert Taylor had the courage to say publicly that he did not realize the use that was being made of him in this picture and that he profoundly regretted his part in it.

It is not possible to say how many of these pro-Russian propaganda pictures were produced. I have a list of about 30 such films. Some of them were sheer pro-Russian films, while others were films generally promoting Communist ideas in one way or another.

It must be understood that the Communist propagandist does not always preach communism. Indeed, he seldom does that. He will write novels or short stories or stage plays or film plays stressing some part of the whole Communist line. For instance, he will stress the villainy of the capitalist, the crimes of the bankers, the heroism of the seamen (who are not labeled so, but are obviously Communists), the evils of the well-to-do and of industry and so on, or he will level his attacks at those men or groups or organizations most active against communism.

In order that you will understand that I am not seeing things, let me quote to you from a lecture by Mr. John Howard Lawson, who recently emerged from jail as one of the famous “Hollywood Ten” who refused to tell a Congressional committee whether or not they were members of the Communist Party. Mr. Lawson is the writer of many propaganda films. The Committee on Un-American Activities discovered that, lecturing to a class of student actors in Hollywood, he said:

“Unless you portray any role given you in a manner to further the revolution and the class war you have no right to call yourself an artist or an actor. You must do this regardless of what the script says or what the director tells you. Even if you are nothing more than an extra you can portray a society woman in a manner to make her appear a villainness and a snob and you can portray a working girl in such a way so as to make her seem a sympathetic victim of the capitalist class.”

Mr. David Platt, in the People’s World, a Communist paper on the West Coast, on April 8, 1944, wrote:

“The ostrich age is over as far as the silver screen is concerned. The year 1943 will go down as the year of the greatest awakening in Hollywood. Never before in the history of the screen has there been such a vast succession of ‘pictures with a purpose.’”

The Communists literally ran wild in Hollywood. That story is too long to tell here. But now we know that they were not only writing a large number of screen plays but were able successfully to drive anti-Communist actors, directors and producers out of Hollywood. Ten Communists—known as the Hollywood Ten—later served jail terms for refusing to answer before a Congressional committee whether they were Communists or not. They were John Howard Lawson, Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Ring Lardner, Jr., Albert Maltz, all screen writers; together with Adrian Scott, a producer; Samuel Ornitz, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman and Edward Dmytryk, the latter two directors. There were, of course, many others who have confessed to having been Communists. We will probably never know the full extent of this invasion.

What about the men who owned the moving-picture-producing companies and those who owned the theatres? Were they in on this? I am quite sure they were not. They were just as stupid as the rest of us. Indeed they were even more stupid. The rest of us were merely asked to go to the theatres and look at the pictures. They were asked to spend millions on them and did—and lost great sums of money on some of them. Why did they not see this? Well, this is something that is foreign to our whole social environment.

To some extent the producers were at the mercy of the various moving-picture unions—the screen writers, the screen actors, some of the technicians’ unions and so on. And it is certain that a little pressure may have been applied from Washington itself. Indeed, the story of the ambitious attempt of the screen writers—or a handful of left-wingers in their union—to get the whole industry in their hands so far as the content of plays was concerned is so fantastic that if I were to tell it here no one would believe it. Actually, the most astounding feature of this entire episode is the power that can be got into the hands of a conscious, highly organized small group as against a large, unorganized and ignorant mass.

The pictures which I have in mind and which by no means complete the list may be divided into two groups. First were the strictly pro-Russian films, and second, certain war films and films relating largely to American subjects in which Communist propaganda was slyly inserted.

There were at least five or six pro-Russian films. One of these was the famous Mission to Moscow. I am indebted to the very penetrating and intelligent examination of this picture made at the time by Eugene Lyons, an expert in this whole field.[97] Ostensibly the picture was based on a book by Joseph E. Davies, who had been the American Ambassador to Moscow—a very foolish book, by the way, itself responsible for no end of misconceptions about Russia. It was made into a screen play in 1943 by Howard Koch and produced by Warner Brothers. I have not the slightest doubt that pressure from Washington encouraged the production of this outrageous and mendacious screen play.

A character in the picture, of course, was Ambassador Davies. As the Ambassador enters Russia, he and his family show extreme enthusiasm at the wonderful food they receive, and throughout the picture the abundance of food is stressed in various ways.

A great ball is given in Moscow in honor of Ambassador Davies. Present are Herr von Ribbentrop and also the famous old Bolshevik leader, Bukharin. There are two other persons present—Radek and Yagoda. Now, Mr. Davies got to Russia in January 1937. Actually, at that time Bukharin and Radek were under arrest and later disappeared. Bukharin was later executed by the GPU, but there is no reference to that, and Ribbentrop never visited Moscow until 1939, when he went there to sign the infamous ten-year friendship pact with Stalin. There is nothing in the picture about this either.

Davies was a heavy contributor to the Roosevelt campaign funds. He wanted to be Ambassador to London. He was sent to Russia, hoping to get the London assignment in return for doing the Moscow chore. This was a political pay-off and not a mission, but the picture makes it all into a one-man crusade to stop the looming war.

Then we get a look at one of the famous Russian trials and, oddly enough, one that never came off—the trial of Tukhachevsky, the most famous of the Russian marshals. He was never given a public trial but was convicted in star-chamber proceedings. He is shown in the picture confessing his guilt in open court. From beginning to end the facts of history and of life in Russia are distorted and falsified in the most outrageous manner. Actually, not only were the actions of the Russian leaders pictured in heroic mold but, as Eugene Lyons says: “The motives of Britain, France, Poland and America are lampooned and condemned.”[98] Russia’s aggressions against Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland are slurred over or defended.

The picture attempted to dispose of those frightful trials in which so many old Soviet leaders opposed to Stalin were made to confess to crimes against their country. The world has since learned how Communist governments can get confessions from anybody. Later they got them from Mikhailovitch, Stepinac, Mindszenty and more recently from Mr. Vogeler, whose story is still fresh in our minds. The convicted men were represented in the picture as a fifth column acting with Germany, Italy and Japan against the Fatherland.

The full scope of this bloody liquidation of hundreds of old Russian leaders is omitted in the picture. There is no evidence to indicate that this is only one episode in the Terror that had been moving over Russia for years. Even Davies, much as he labored to put the best possible interpretation on Russia’s actions, wrote in his book: “The Terror here is a horrifying fact. . . . No household, however humble, apparently but lives in constant fear of a nocturnal raid by the secret police. . . . Once the person is taken away nothing is known of him or her for months—many times never—thereafter.”[99] There was nothing about this in the picture. There is not one word or act of condemnation of these trials—only an attempt to justify them with the appearance of legality.

The picture was a succession of lies from beginning to end. It corresponds with the dictum of John Howard Lawson.

Song of Russia was written by screen writer Paul Jarrico, board member of the League of American Writers (a Communist front), one of the teachers at the Communist School for Writers in Hollywood. He endorsed the Communist Party candidate for state senator. He was assisted in his script-writing job by Richard Collins, who has admitted membership in the Communist Party.

Another picture was Three Russian Girls. It was the story of an American flyer in the war. He was taken to a Leningrad hospital and there cared for tenderly by a Russian nurse, where the sweetness and mercy of a Russian is emphasized to the great delight of the movie critic of the Communist New Masses.

In Days of Glory, a story about the Partisan armies of retribution, the heroine is a Russian ballerina who entertains the front-line troops and there falls in love with the Partisan (Communist) leader played by Gregory Peck. The New Masses thought it was as fine as Song of Russia or North Star. North Star was by Lillian Hellman, who had a long list of Communist-front affiliations and whom we have already met as one of Collier’s authors on Russia. It was about Russia’s war on the Germans, in which all the Russians are fine and noble people, and all the Germans villains.

Counter Attack was by John Howard Lawson, sentenced to jail as one of the Hollywood Ten. It was a story of the grandeur and heroism of the Soviet soldier. The New Masses said, “Its appearance now brings a sharp and timely reminder of Soviet character, of the resourcefulness, courage and sacrifice of the Red Army.”[100]

Another group of movies pictured the Germans as demons as contrasted with the Red heroes. Some of these were Watch on the Rhine, also by Lillian Hellman, who wrote North Star, and The Cross of Lorraine by Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr. In this latter picture, one of the villains is a Frenchman who became a Quisling and one of the heroes is another Frenchman who fought in the Loyalist (Communist) side in the Spanish Civil War and is the heroic anti-Fascist. The Communist People’s World hailed it as superb. Michael Kanin had several Communist-front affiliations and young Ring Lardner was convicted as one of the Hollywood Ten.

Another such picture was Hostages, which the San Francisco Examiner correctly branded as “plain communism masquerading under the guise of Czech patriotism.” It was praised, however, by the People’s World and the New Masses. The director, Edward Dmytryk, recently admitted he was a Communist and named others in Hollywood.[101]

Another picture was Passage to Marseilles. The action took place on a French freighter. On board were democrats and fascists. Humphrey Bogart was the anti-Fascist skipper and delivered himself of some stirring speeches on the subject.

Other such pictures were In Our Times by Howard Koch, who wrote the script for Mission to Moscow; Hangmen Also Die by John Wexley, named by Dmytryk as a Communist; None Shall Escape by Lester Cole, another of the Hollywood Ten. This latter glorifies the Nazi war trials to be held after the war. Another was The Hitler Gang and still another The Seventh Cross. All of these pictures were lavishly praised by the Communist New Masses.[102]

In another group of films there were about 14. John Howard Lawson was the author of two—Action in the North Atlantic and Sahara. Some of these films were very finely done. Whatever may be the frailties in the political philosophy of the writers, some of them were dramatists of the first order. Most of these pictures deal with subjects in or touching America. One of them was A Guy Named Joe, written by Dalton Trumbo, still another of the Hollywood Ten. This was a comedy, but comedy can have its propaganda and the New Masses wrote of this:

“There is a sufficiently sober core in the film—an awareness of the decisive issues of the day—to keep matters from flying into the realm of frivolity for frivolity’s sake.”[103]

Frivolity for propaganda’s sake is another matter.

Albert Maltz, another one of the Hollywood Ten, wrote Destination Tokyo, which is a story of a lost American flyer who participated in the Doolittle raid on Tokyo and which the New Masses liked because it was full of “admirable instruction” on the philosophy involved in all this.[104]

A perfect example of the propaganda use that can be made of a film is to be found in A Song to Remember, a picture based on the story of Chopin’s life. It was a fine picture and made a great deal of money—unlike some of the outright propaganda pictures. It pictures Chopin as a poor boy coming out of a humble cottage. He becomes a conscious proletarian, as yet unknown for his musical genius. He is invited to play for the “bourgeoisie owner” of a great castle nearby. The great musician and his mother are pushed around by footmen. The fat and unctuous landlord and his ignorant women sit around the table oblivious of the great music that is coming from the piano of the young proletarian artist. Chopin forsakes these surroundings and goes with his teacher to live in a Paris garret, his sister remaining in Poland to work for the revolution. He rises to fame, falls in love with George Sand and then leaves her to wear himself out on the concert stage to make money for his sister, who is in charge of the workers’ revolution in Poland. The picture ends with the heart-rending deathbed scene of the great patriot-musician.

This story is a tissue of lies from beginning to end and bears no resemblance whatever to the life of Chopin. Actually, he was the son of a Polish lady and a professor of French at the Polish Lyceum. He lived well in bourgeois society. He had a good general education and with his musical gifts he moved in the best circles of Polish society. At least this is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica says about him. He didn’t live in a garret in Paris—he was acclaimed when he went there. There is nothing in any of his biographies to indicate that he ever had the slightest interest in the proletariat or the toiling masses. However, the revolutionary motif and the grand piano in George Sand’s salon and on the various concert stages where he performed gave the screen writer an opportunity to produce love, drama, revolution and a lot of magnificent music. A Song to Remember was written by Sidney Buchman, a leftist screen writer with a number of Communist-front affiliations.

It must be remembered that here was propaganda addressed not to the handful of people who read books or to the few thousands who read the New Republic and the Nation or even to the readers of wide-circulation magazines, but to millions and millions of Americans utterly unconscious of the job that was being done on their minds. And it was being done under perfect circumstances. They were not expecting propaganda. They went to the movies to be entertained. They were in no mental state to oppose any resistance to it as it flowed over their minds accompanied by beautiful scenes and magnificent music. It is entirely possible that the moving pictures were more responsible than any other medium for putting the minds of the American people in a frame to look without criticism or fear upon the appalling surrenders and betrayals to Russia which were being carried out by our pathetically foolish leaders.

[97] N. Y. World-Telegram, May 11–14, 1943.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Mission to Moscow by Joseph E. Davies (N. Y., 1941).

[100] New Masses, May 29, 1945.

[101] Hearings before House Committee on Un-American Activities, Apr. 25, 1951.

[102] New Masses, Mar. 7 & 21, Apr. 25, May 23, Oct. 17, 1944.

[103] Ibid., Jan. 18, 1944.

[104] Ibid.

XIII. Poison in the Air

Let us now turn to the radio and the air. What follows here refers to radio in the years 1943 through 1945 and immediately thereafter. In the first place, while the listener owns his receiving set and a private corporation owns the broadcasting apparatus, the government owns the mysterious element over which the message is sent from the station to the home.

Congress has created a body—the Federal Communications Commission—with full power to decide who may use these wireless waves. A private company wishing to engage in broadcasting must get a license from the Federal Communications Commission. It is good for only two years. Every two years the company must come with its hat in its hand and beg for renewal of its license. The FCC may refuse it. It may give no reason save the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”

During the war, no station owner not completely out of his mind, and with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars invested in his station, would dare fly in the face of the government, which could put him out of business so easily. Radio deals in news and opinions and this is one spot where the federal government exercises complete power of life and death over men who broadcast the news and comment on it on the radio.

This resulted in a tacit intimidation of station owners. The truth is that the radio was crawling with newscasters and commentators agreeable to the government’s policies. And various radical groups, running wild in those days, made full use of these conditions.

We are not, of course, concerned with the fortunes of any individual commentator, but we are bound to be concerned about the fact that radical commentators dominated radio opinion during and immediately following the war. Radio is the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the propagandist. While the government owns the air waves and regulates radio traffic on them, it was supposed that it would have no right to interfere in the composition or content of programs. However, Mr. Justice Frankfurter, in a decision during the war, held that the power of the Federal Communications Commission extended to regulating “the composition of traffic.” Mr. William S. Paley, head of the Columbia Broadcasting System, said: “The government is moving in to render broadcasters more and more subservient. Soon they will not be able to call their souls their own.”[105]

The charge was freely made that Communists had made a heavy penetration of radio. I do not think this is wholly true. It is true, however, that left-wingers, socialists, socialist planners and internationalists had made an enormous penetration of radio. The leftist groups had a plan not merely to crowd the air with commentators on the government side, but to drive off the air all those whose criticisms seemed effective. The liberal or conservative commentator who dared to criticize the government or the Russian government was instantly the target of the radical agents. They and their radical sheets boasted at one time that they would force Boake Carter, Upton Close, Henry J. Taylor and Fulton Lewis, Jr., off the air. Carter solved the problem by dying, but he could never have survived the ferocity of the drive against him. Henry J. Taylor and Upton Close disappeared (though of course in the calmer atmosphere of the postwar years Henry Taylor is on the air again). Fulton Lewis survived only because he had worked out a method of multitudinous sponsors in many sections.

I am sure it is difficult for many Americans now to recapture the strange atmosphere of suppression and regimentation which existed during the Second World War. Here is a sample. The president of a national association for protecting the interests of small business tried to buy time on one of the large networks. He would be satisfied with any program but he merely wanted to be sure that three ideas would be stressed in every program—first, a favorable plug for the United States Constitution, second, an anecdote illustrating an article in our Bill of Rights, and third, a brief story pointing up the accomplishments of free enterprise.

The broadcasting company told him that such a program was impossible; it was too controversial to put on the air on paid time. When he asked why, the answer was that there were people in the United States who did not believe in these ideas. Yet that same network had on the air at the time Walter Winchell, Drew Pearson and numerous other programs bristling with controversy. It had one radical commentator weekly who began her career on radio as a spokesman for Mussolini’s Fascist party in Italy until kicked out and another commentator nightly who was a Communist and associated with an organization which specialized in hounding the Catholic Church, and who was besides a convicted automobile thief only recently released from probation. These latter two boosted weekly and daily, with unbridled freedom, the glories of Soviet Russia on that network, but an organization of small business men was not permitted to do the same for the American Constitution.

Critics of the government were excluded—national morale, we were told, would not be served by unfriendly commentators raking the government over the coals. Some case might be made for that—though I do not agree with it—during time of war. But what case can be made for using the air to promote radical and revolutionary ideas during that same war? As a matter of fact, the excuse was a mere sham, because while American liberals and conservatives were prevented from criticizing the government, you could hear a continuous flood of criticism not only of our government but of our conservative allies by these very radicals who stoutly denied the right to American liberals and conservatives.

They poured out their venom on Britain and especially on Winston Churchill, on China and Chiang Kai-shek, on France and Poland. They denounced our own government on the air for its blunders in Italy and Germany. They never ceased their abuse of the conservative elements in the State Department. They didn’t like Under-Secretary Grew and the anti-Communist James Dunne. They didn’t like James F. Byrnes and said so—they wanted Henry Wallace or Hugo Black in Byrnes’s job. They clamored that Eden and Stettinius should apologize to Russia for their “furious tirades” about the Poles and that Truman should pay a visit to Moscow. They accused Churchill of lying about Franco. During the British elections they said Churchill sank down into the slime, that he conducted a campaign of lies, that he was a hypocrite. All this was permitted on the air by a flock of extreme left-wing commentators while American business was being charged with being “afflicted with moral turpitude and leprous obstinacy bordering on insanity.”

The OWI literally took possession of the foreign-language broadcasting stations in America—of which there were about 125, serving our foreign-born citizens. It was, of course, proper to monitor them. But these stations swarmed with newcomers to this country—many of them noncitizen Communists.[106]

Back in 1945 I went to some trouble to discover just what was being pumped out on the air into the minds of the people of New York. The radio area of New York is enormous. The big networks, of course, blanketed the country, while smaller local stations covered the vast metropolitan area. Let’s take a sample day—July 2, 1945.

This survey covers the four big network stations—WEAF (now WNBC), WJZ, WABC (now WCBS) and WOR, respectively the National Broadcasting Company, the American Broadcasting Company, the Columbia Broadcasting Company and the Mutual Broadcasting Company. In addition, there were six of the more important local stations, such as WQXR, WHN, WLIB, WMCA, WNEW and WOV (WQXR, which is now owned and operated by the New York Times, was then in other hands).

Now let’s see what the population of the United States got from the national networks and what the City of New York got from the networks and locals on this day.

On WQXR, Lisa Sergio, a regular commentator, delivered a smear against American business men for doing business, as she said, “with the Nazis.” Also she demanded that Russia get a seat at the Tangier Conference because she would keep Franco out. WJZ had Raymond Gram Swing with a fulsome plug for President Truman, and William Gailmor demanding “unity in China” between Chiang Kai-shek and the Reds. WEAF had a plug by Leif Eid for the charter of the United Nations, and Don Goddard with a jibe at the State Department because of its position on Argentina and Spain. Byrnes was Secretary of State at the time and all the powers of the leftists were turned against him. WABC had Bill Costello going to work on the State Department demanding its reorganization, and Joseph B. Harsch with a fulsome panegyric for Truman and his handling of the United Nations charter. Of course, there is nothing subversive about praising the American President. It is included along with the rest as evidence of the complete one-sidedness of the propaganda barrage. WHN had Johannes Steel with a smear at business management in Detroit for fomenting racial and factional strife to break the power of the union. WLIB featured Clifford Evans in a plug for the UN charter and an attack on senators who had criticised OPA. On WMCA, Raymond Walsh cracked down on Byrnes’s appointment and said we should have a man like Henry Wallace. WOV had Hans Jacob, who spent much of his time defending Russia and the Russian government in Poland, and clamoring for black vengeance on Germany. This day he was demanding a hard peace for Japan. On WOR, Cecil Brown went in for an attack on the State Department. WNEW seemed to have nothing important on that day.

Now here is one day’s commentary broadcasting. Here on one day the nation and the City of New York were treated to one broadcast on “unity in China,” two attacks on American business, three demands for a reorganization of the State Department, two boosts for Truman, two for the United Nations charter, one attack on senators and one plug for a hard peace in Japan.

And who were these distinguished leaders of public thought from whom all this was coming? Lisa Sergio had once been a radio commentator for Mussolini, broke with him, got kicked out of Italy and came over here to plug the objectives of the Left. She has now disappeared from the scene. William Gailmor was a convicted auto thief and a Communist. Raymond Gram Swing was one of the extreme left-wing Fair Deal trumpeters, Johannes Steel an extreme left-winger constantly promoting the cause of Russia and her objectives. Raymond Walsh was a violent, uncompromising pro-Wallace supporter, to put it mildly.

Much of this was repeated again the next day, July 3—Gailmor and Lisa Sergio and Raymond Gram Swing again, plus John W. Vandercook on WEAF telling us that “Russia not only talks unity but acts for unity,” a plug on WABC for Harry Hopkins from Quincy Howe, an extreme left-winger, Johannes Steel again on WHN attacking American business and coupling American and German cartels and also defending the Communist government in Poland, Clifford Evans on WLIB with a plug for Russia—“she has backed down on many of her demands for the sake of unity.” On WMCA there was Raymond Walsh again with another attack on the State Department and Joseph Grew and a defense of the Russian government in Poland, and Hans Jacob on WOV calling on us to contribute to social revolution in Germany, to encourage revolution in Italy, Belgium, Spain and Argentina. On WNEW there was George Brooks fulminating against the Polish government-in-exile in London because it was “pouring out a flood of anti-Soviet propaganda here.”

This went on day after day, for the whole month of July 1945, which I used as a test. Here are some of the things we were getting about Russia and China:

Raymond Gram Swing told us the Chiang Kai-shek government was obstructing democracy in China; Russia cannot adjust herself to our helping such a government. Richard C. Hottelet said the Russians were not communizing Germany—the Germans were being shaped so that they can set up their own democratic regime. There was a denunciation of the British for imposing monarchists and Fascists on Greece against the wishes of Russia by William Gailmor, who also informed us that “the essence of pro-Americanism today is to work for good relations with the Soviet Union as the corner-stone of world peace and security.” Quincy Howe was telling us that Russia will supplant the West in Southeast Asia and he was also praising the Russian idea of federation of the Balkan countries and informing us that Britain’s “fear of Russia threatens the peace of the world.” Raymond Walsh was again telling us that the Russian Polish government was a free one, Gailmor again defending Russian policy in Asia and so on.

What I have given here is a brief survey of 30 days during a critical period when the leftists were promoting the objectives of Russia, seeking to drive Byrnes and Grew from the State Department, which they succeeded in doing, putting over the UN charter on Russia’s terms, promoting “unity in China,” supporting Russia’s actions in Poland and Eastern Europe. These were out-and-out news commentaries. But this does not include the endless promotion of these same ideas in radio dramas, debates that very often were fake debates, even in musical, symphony and operatic concerts, in soap operas and particularly in the comedy and variety programs in which all of these points were promoted with wisecracks and comic smears and equally fulsome boosts of their favorite public heroes.

Never in history has a nation of free people had brought to bear upon its mind so vast a war of propaganda by engines of propaganda so powerful as those which shaped the opinions of Americans toward supporting the program that has ended by delivering almost all of Europe and Asia into the hands of Russian communism.

[105] N. Y. Times, May 11, 1943.

[106] See The Roosevelt Myth by the author (N. Y., 1948), where this story is dealt with in detail.

XIV. The Institute of Pacific Relations

The men whose names have appeared here as writers and students of Chinese affairs did not content themselves with the ordinary instruments of print to advance their theories. They moved into many organizations which could be used powerfully to promote their aims. Probably the most important of these was the Institute of Pacific Relations. This “Institute” was almost overpowering in its façade of respectability. Its publications affected a tone of lofty, scholarly objectivity which gave them wide acceptance in academic circles. Its purpose was to cover the interests of all countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean. It was governed by an international body in which each nation interested in the Pacific was represented and had its own national council. The constituent nations were the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Russia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Netherland-Netherlands East Indies, Philippines and France. The overall international ruling body was called the Pacific Council. We are interested here in the Pacific Council and the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations.

The active head of the whole international institute was its Secretary General, Edward C. Carter, now retired. He was the guiding spirit and ex-officio member of each national council. The top officials and trustees of the American Council, as in all such groups, changed from time to time. But at any given moment it was made up of a cast of characters beyond criticism on the score of respectability and even conservatism. At one time, for instance, Robert Gordon Sproul, president of the University of California, was the chairman. And among the board members were a large number of eminent Americans from business, military and educational circles.

This American Council was directed by an executive committee of ten persons. It was this group which ran the show. And we will see how that collection of journalists and writers and propagandists interested in liquidating Nationalist China managed to install themselves behind this highly respectable front and use the instrumentalities of the Institute for their purposes. The people who really dominated the policies of the American Institute were Edward C. Carter, Frederick Vanderbilt Field, Harriet Lucy Moore, Owen Lattimore and a number of others intimately associated with them in the promotion of the plans of Mao Tse-tung in China. Lattimore’s advice was particularly powerful through his influence over the mind of Dr. Carter.

The IPR, as it was known, had two organs of expression. One was a quarterly journal called Pacific Affairs, under the auspices of the International or Pacific Council. The other was Far Eastern Survey, published by the American Council. It is sufficient to say that Owen Lattimore was the editor of Pacific Affairs for many years and that Lawrence E. Salisbury was the editor of Far Eastern Survey until recently. The executive secretary of the American Council was Frederick Vanderbilt Field, a notorious professional Communist. Thus while the trustees embraced an imposing collection of business and professional men and while the Council collected funds from a number of great banks and industrial corporations—as innocent as babes of this strange world into which they were foolish enough to venture—the real job was done by an executive secretary who was an active and militant Communist and through two periodicals edited by two well-known apologists for the Chinese Communist revolutionaries. As this impressive movement went into action we shall see here, too, almost the whole cast of characters who wrote the pro-Communist books, who operated as hatchet men on anti-Communist books and who turned up inevitably in all sorts of strategic positions where the cause of Communist China was to be advanced.

Now we can have a more intimate look at this organ of propaganda in action. It is abundantly clear that the most important figure in the American Council was Frederick Vanderbilt Field. Field was enlisted for the job by Dr. Edward C. Carter in 1928, when Field became assistant secretary and very soon after executive secretary. He remained a member of the governing executive committee until 1948 and executive secretary until 1940, when he resigned to go into a militant Communist enterprise. He was the top executive in charge of directing the affairs of the Council. Dr. Philip C. Jessup, also a member of the executive committee, referred to him as providing the Council with its leadership.

Not only was Field executive secretary and active leader of the Council; he was also its financial angel. Dr. Carter attempted to minimize Field’s financial contributions on the witness stand before the McCarran Committee, but the committee counsel produced a letter written by Carter in 1940 to W. L. Holland of the International Council in which he wrote: “It is impossible for Field to go on paying each years deficits. I think he now feels that contraction should have been effected two years ago.” Field admitted on the witness stand that his contributions to make up these deficits over a period of years amounted to $60,000.[107] Thus we see that Field, unlike the wealthy waxworks on the board, was not just a name on the letterhead. Does anyone in his senses at this day of bitter enlightenment suppose for a moment that Field was not using his position there to promote his Communist faith and the Communist aims in China?

Field is a scion of the Vanderbilt family, inheriting a part of its great wealth, and is popularly known as the “Millionaire Communist.” He has been for years an active contributor to all sorts of Communist activities both as writer and donor. He wrote a booklet entitled China’s Greatest Crisis. At its head appears a statement by Earl Browder in which appeared the following boost for a book by Mao Tse-tung:

China’s New Democracy by Mao Tse-tung . . . is a work of historical importance, one of the essential documents for evaluating the current Chinese crisis proclaiming the Chinese Communist long-time program and perspective for the reparation and development of that great nation.”[108]

Along with this appeared the following, signed by Frederick Vanderbilt Field:

China’s New Democracy reaches the English speaking public just as the Chinese nation faces the sharpest test in its history. If we thoroughly comprehend the reasons which Mao Tse-tung teaches, our effort to support those policies which will result in a regeneration of China will be immeasurably strengthened.”[109]

This is what the executive secretary and principal financial backer of the American Council of the IPR had to say about China in 1945. The pamphlet was careful to inform the reader that “The author of this pamphlet [Field] is a member of the executive committee, American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations . . . and a member of the editorial board of the New Masses[110] [Communist official publication]”—a very pretty combination.

Field has been for years a contributor to all sorts of Communist publications—37 articles in the New Masses up to 1947, 54 articles in the Daily Worker—and in Political Affairs (successor to The Communist) for January 1949 he wrote:

“A special responsibility devolves upon American Communists. The China issue presents a signal opportunity to deal a mighty blow at the fortress of world reaction. The opportunity and the power exists to smash American imperialist plans for China. Under the leadership of the great Communist Party of China and its renowned chairman Mao Tse-tung, the heroic Chinese people will discharge their duties with honor. The imperialists are being decisively beaten back in China.”[111]

Of course this “fortress of world reaction” at which he proposed to deal a mighty blow was America.

Field asked to be relieved of his duties as executive secretary in 1940, though he remained on the board. At that time there came into existence a notorious Communist front known as the American Peace Mobilization. It was organized on the day of the Hitler-Stalin Pact and dissolved when that pact ended. Its purpose was to keep America out of the war against Hitler and Stalin. A whole nest of notorious Communists such as Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes formed it. The House Committee on Un-American Activities described it as “one of the most notorious and blatant Communist fronts ever organized in America.” The Attorney General branded it as a Red front. In June 1941 it began to picket the White House with Field in the line. The day that Hitler struck at Stalin it called off its pickets and began to shout for war.[112]

It was to take the post as executive secretary of this organization that Field resigned as executive secretary of the American Council of the IPR, carrying with him the good wishes of Carter, Jessup and others on the IPR board. At that time Philip Jessup was acting as chairman of the executive committee. Field informed Jessup of his plan for the American Peace Mobilization. Despite these plans, Jessup and Dr. Carter urged Field to remain as executive secretary of the IPR Council. His duties could be lessened to enable him to carry both jobs. Jessup offered the following memorandum:

“At this time the staff wish to express their appreciation of the leadership which Mr. Field has given to the American Council in the past. We consider that it is in the best interest of the American Council that Mr. Field should remain as closely associated with it as possible. We therefore should like to see him remain as secretary of the Council, exercising a maximum amount of guidance and determination of policy consistent with his desire to be relieved of the burden of administrative work and financial promotion.”[113] (Italics added.)

However, Field was adamant about leaving. The minutes of the meeting at which this was carried out read as follows:

“Dr. Jessup explained that he had subsequently talked at length with Mr. Field who explained in detail the reasons which led him to accept the new position. Dr. Carter voiced the opinion of all present when he inquired whether Dr. Jessup felt that Mr. Field could be persuaded to resume the secretaryship of the American Council. . . . Under the circumstances it was moved that a minute be drafted indicating the acceptance of the resignation with regret. The minute should include an appropriate appreciation of the distinguished service which Mr. Field had rendered during eleven years of service to the American Council. The hope was expressed though, when his new task was completed, it would be possible for him to resume active leadership in the work of the American Council.”[114] (Italics added.)

The apologists for the IPR are deeply scandalized by the criticisms that have been made of its performances. But this is so much smoke screen. What I have just related are the indisputable facts. The criticism I make is that the American Council of the IPR, so handsomely costumed in big names, was used by a group of men in possession of its apparatus to promote the interests of the Chinese Communists. I say that the executive secretary was a Communist. I do not say that anybody else was a Communist, unless I specifically name him or her. I say that it is unbelievable that the secretary general, Dr. Carter, did not know what Field was doing or what was being done in the official publications of the Institute.

The American Council published a bi-monthly periodical called Far Eastern Survey. From 1944 until recently its editor was Lawrence E. Salisbury. He had been assistant to the head of the Far Eastern Division of the State Department. He may be judged wholly by the material which he printed in that organ of the IPR—the Far Eastern Survey. I have made a careful examination of the articles on China in it from 1944 to 1949. The Survey itself advised its readers what to read on China—namely, the books of Lattimore, Snow, Guenther Stein, Harrison Forman, Lawrence K. Rosinger, Sun Fo. Lin Yutang’s book is suggested, but with a warning that “on the political situation he presents only the official Kuomintang view.” There are no warnings about the pro-Communist books. On the contrary, they are boosted—particularly Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China. Here again we behold in full force the same old gang we saw in the literary reviews of the New York Times, the Herald-Tribune, the Nation, the New Republic and the Saturday Review of Literature. In issue after issue the whole Chinese Communist line was urged on readers. I note here only a few examples:

Owen Lattimore praised the fine policy of Russia toward minority peoples (August 23, 1944).

Eleanor Lattimore, his wife, tells what a wonderful job the government in Sinkiang is doing (April 11, 1945). She also defends Russia’s role in Manchuria and Sinkiang (May 3, 1944).

Eleanor Lattimore tells of the great achievements of the government of Outer Mongolia by the Mongolian People’s Republic (November 6, 1948).

Then we see the whole pack snarling at the heels of Chiang Kai-shek. Thus Guenther Stein says China must have the reforms demanded by all save the Kuomintang (March 12, 1947).

John K. Fairbank tells us “efforts to foster in China an illusory capitalist American way of life . . . will delay the creation of China’s own new way of life.” By which he makes clear that the trend in China is toward collectivism and that this is her only salvation (July 2, 1947).

Then, in an unsigned article, there is a scathing denunciation of William Bullitt’s proposal that we make a loan to the Nationalist government. To this there was a most exceptional instance of a reply by Paul M. A. Linebarger, who doubtless demanded it (November 5, 1947, and February 11, 1948).

These are just samples. But the editor himself was not idle. In an article “Report on China” (November 15, 1944), Salisbury fumes about the dismissal of Vinegar Joe Stilwell, whose disgraceful attacks on Chiang Kai-shek are now so well known. Then he explains that to speak of the “Communist” situation in China is misleading because “these areas are in fact primarily agrarian communities intent on driving the Japanese from China. In those areas private property is respected and private enterprise encouraged. Reports which have come out of China . . . [from] American correspondents indicate that a comparison of conditions in ‘Communist’ and in Kuomintang areas inclines heavily in favor of the former.” In another article (April 25, 1945) he complains that in Chiang’s China we are supporting a “repressive oligarchy.” He demands that we should tell Chiang we will give military aid to all groups fighting the Japanese and that there must be a reorganization of the government that will include “all elements in China as effective participants”—the old “unity in China” slogan. Again (October 24, 1945), he resents calling the Chinese Communists undemocratic—“first hand observers of conditions existing in the Communist areas find more evidence of democracy in the way people live there than in the Kuomintang areas.” Later (December 19, 1945) he appears taking a shot at Grew and another at MacArthur for not using the advisers sent him by the State Department.

Here we have the American Council with a lot of important conservatives as window dressing on the letterhead but, down in the basement where the work was done, Frederick Vanderbilt Field running the show, and Lawrence Salisbury plugging the Chinese Communist line in the official Far Eastern Survey, where he gathered around him all the same old hatchet men who wrote the books and the reviews and filled other magazines and newspapers with their promotion of the plans of the Chinese Communists. And, added to that, we have Harriet Lucy Moore as director of research, preparing lists of books for Americans to read on this subject—Harriet Moore who would later turn up as a member of the editorial board of the strangest and most disgraceful of all these pro-Red agencies—Amerasia. She was also a member of the board of a thing called Russian War Relief, staffed by numerous left-wingers. But even from that her name was withdrawn after a protest by David Dubinsky.[115]

The other publication of the Institute was Pacific Affairs. Here Owen Lattimore turned up as editor. There was no difference in the political tone of the contributions to Pacific Affairs from those in the Far Eastern Survey. And, without going into details, it may be said that Mr. Lattimore promoted the line on China which he supported in his books and his magazine articles—that is, the line which was favorable to the Mao Tse-tung Chinese Communist revolution and against Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist government.

This brings us to the man who was most prominent in guiding the Institute of Pacific Relations—Edward C. Carter. He testified at length before the McCarran Committee of the Senate. So far as I know, no one has charged that Carter is a Communist. But the record of the Senate hearings on the Institute which he ran for so many years reveals with startling clarity and definiteness that on every phase of the struggle in China the instrumentalities of the American Council were used to promote the interests of the Chinese Communists as against the Nationalist government.

It is inconceivable that Carter was not aware of this. And it is inconceivable that he disapproved of it. The evidence that he knew of it and approved it is overwhelming. This criticism cannot be dismissed by going into a fit of indignation about calling Dr. Carter a Communist. This writer certainly does not do so. But I do most emphatically say that he tolerated the pro-Chinese Communist line in the American Council of which he was vice-chairman. Why he should have preferred Mao Tse-tung and his armies to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, I do not know. I have read with the utmost care his testimony before the Senate Committee and I am convinced that he was very far removed from being a political philosopher or a scholar in the field of government, as he has been portrayed. In fact, in his testimony he disavowed any pretense to scholarship. He insisted that he was merely the manager who kept the show moving and brought people together for discussions and studies. He was primarily a promoter. He was a glad-hander and wisecracker. There is plenty of reason for believing that he was heavily under the influence of Owen Lattimore and some of the other “heavy thinkers” in his outfit. His disavowals of his pro-Communist leanings in so many places are, to say the least, pathetic.

First of all, he adopted whole the dose provided by Edgar Snow in Red Star Over China. He wrote of it:

“No one who knows intimately the reputation which the Reds still have in the Province of Kiangsi from which they were driven in 1934 will be able to challenge the assertion: ‘Millions of peasants have now seen the Red Army and heard it speak and are no longer afraid of it.’”[116]

At different times he defended the Moscow trials. He worked in Russian War Relief, in which Frederick Vanderbilt Field and Harriet Moore were leading officers, as well as leading figures in the IPR. He was a member of the board of directors of the American Russian Institute. He was a contributor to Soviet Russia Today and in that journal defended the infamous Moscow trials.[117] He makes a great point of the fact that such eminent persons as Joseph W. Ballantine, Ray Lyman Wilbur (at the time President of Stanford University) and General George Marshall were members of the Institute. They were members of a larger board—window dressing—in accordance with that incredible weakness of influential Americans, smart enough in other matters, for permitting the use of their names in connection with the weirdest social adventures. The Wilburs, the Marshalls and the Sprouls did not run the Institute. They did not write the literature or the magazines or books sponsored by it. They provided the decoration—the fringe on top. The real work was done by the Fields, the Harriet Moores, the Lattimores, the Salisburys and a score of similar minds. If there is anything needed in this country it is a kind of sociological Brad-street’s to which a corporation head, a bank president or university chairman can go to get a report on the precise character of the institute, foundation, league, council or other organization to which he is asked to lend the weight of his name.

Certainly Dr. Carter must have read Pacific Affairs and Far Eastern Survey. Was it possible for him to do that and not know what his subordinates were doing in these journals? Senator Eastland asked him: “Did you not know that Field was a Communist?” He replied: “My testimony is that he was aiding the Communist cause.” He admitted that he “assumed he was someone to be watched.” But that did not prevent Carter from urging Field to remain as secretary after he had joined the notorious Peace Mobilization which aroused the ire even of Mrs. Roosevelt. He knew Field was on the editorial board of the Daily Worker and the New Masses and was a secretary of the American Peace Mobilization and he “knew that the American Peace Mobilization had been definitely cited as a Communist-controlled organization.” He said: “I came to the conclusion that the Commies took it over.” Carter reluctantly admitted that “I knew Field was behaving like a Communist” and that he “was playing the Communist line.” Yet this seemed to make no difference in their relations.[118]

Today, in the dark aftermath of this disastrous era, Americans are shocked at the discovery of Reds in various sensitive departments of the government. How did this come about? Our self-righteous Dr. Carter, despite Field’s notorious Communist associations—then known to him—tried to get Field a commission in, of all places, the Intelligence Service of the Army. He wrote to Field: “I want your unusual gifts utilized to the fullest extent during the emergency.” What gifts? He had revealed an extraordinary gift for dangerous associations, of which we shall see more. Admitting to the Senate Committee that he knew there “were questionable circumstances in Field’s career,” Dr. Carter yet acknowledged that he tried to get him into the Intelligence unit of the Army. At first he conceded shyly that he had merely written a letter. But when confronted with the evidence, he had to admit he had gone much further—even after he was told there were serious questions about Field’s admission to such a place. Field himself testified he had been endorsed for that service by Carter, Lattimore and William T. Stone, who was on the board of the Communist journalistic front Amerasia and who had been in the State Department.[119]

In 1938, Mr. Brooke Claxton of Montreal wrote to Carter asking him to suggest speakers for a meeting in Canada of the Canadian Club. Carter wrote suggesting, among others, Earl Browder, then general secretary of the American Communist Party. He wrote that Browder “would give you an extraordinarily interesting and pleasantly provocative but really important statement on the Roosevelt administration either from the point of view of its internal or foreign policies. He is really very well informed and, contrary to public view, a one hundred per cent American.”[120] (Italics added.)

Here is further evidence of the bent of Carter’s mind, which helps us to understand how the American Council fell into the hands of the Reds and pinks and became an instrument of Chinese Red propaganda. In June 1945 Max Eastman collaborated with J. B. Powell in an article in the Reader’s Digest in defense of the Kuomintang in China. Powell was a peculiarly appealing figure, universally respected, who died a heroic death as a result of his treatment at the hands of the Japanese. But he committed the crime of opposing the Chinese Communists. The Eastman-Powell article did not please the ceaselessly industrious Owen Lattimore. This gentleman wrote a letter in reply to the article. In pursuance of that devious course which characterizes the whole group, Lattimore suggested to Carter that he get the late Thomas Lamont, of the House of Morgan, to sign it and send it to the New York Times. Here was a pro-Red project to be served up under a conservative Wall Street imprimatur.

Carter obediently took the letter to Lamont’s pro-Communist son, Corliss Lamont, at Columbia University, to enlist his aid in getting his father’s signature. Thus the voice in the protest would be Lamont’s but the words would be Lattimore’s. Corliss, however, suggested that Carter approach his Dad directly. Carter sent the draft to Lamont père. But that worthy refused to sign it. Lamont told Carter he had examined the piece in the Reader’s Digest and that in effect Carter wanted him to urge the President to second a plan “to make arms available to the so-called Communists in China.” This was in the early summer of 1945, a critical pass in the Chinese revolution. Here we have Carter, at the instance of Lattimore, seeking to use the head of a great conservative banking house to put weapons in the hands of the Chinese Communists to destroy the Nationalist armies. Lamont actually took Carter to task. He wrote that “Chiang Kai-shek is perhaps justified in feeling that the meager supplies furnished for China should be for his army and not for the other boys. In your memorandum you point out that Russia has been scrupulous to send supplies to Chiang alone. If that is true, why is that not an additional reason for us to do the same?”[121] Of course, at that moment Russia was sending no supplies to Chiang.

But Carter did not stop. To T. A. Bisson he suggested “one of us writing to the Times some such letter as the enclosed draft.” He insisted to the Senate Committee that Bisson was no more a Communist than his (Carter’s) wife. But he knew Bisson was one of the editors of the pro-Communist China Today. He was asked if he knew that Bisson had once written in the Institute’s Far Eastern Survey that there were two Chinas—a feudal and a democratic China, that Chiang’s was the feudal China and that Communist China was democratic. To this question Carter returned a lot of very silly answers.[122]

Dr. Carter was endlessly zealous. In 1947, Israel Epstein wrote a book called Unfinished Revolution in China, a bitter, violent book broadly biased on the side of Communist China. When Carter read it he was delighted. He wrote to the publisher that “it was of the utmost importance that [he] get it read . . . by Secretary of State George Marshall, Senators Vandenberg, Morse and Ives, John Foster Dulles and John Carter Vincent. . . . The book is so full of . . . admiration for the Chinese people [it was the Red Chinese]. . . . Of course many will say Epstein is a special pleader. . . . I think this is probably true but I think he is pleading for a more sound analysis of the world than many of the current special pleaders.” He added: “I hear the New York Times has asked Owen Lattimore to review the book. I hope other publications will make as wise a choice.”[123] The New York Times did ask Lattimore. He did not disappoint. He was delighted with the book. The Herald-Tribune followed with a similar accolade.[124] Lattimore wrote that Epstein had established a place for himself in the distinguished company of Edgar Snow and Theodore White.[125] The Daily Worker and New Masses agreed with the Times and Herald-Tribune.

To cap all this, there turned up a letter of surprising interest. In July 1938 Lattimore had a most interesting suggestion which he fed to the pliable Carter. At the moment the Institute had a grant of $90,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation to make a study. Carter was managing this. And the ever-alert Lattimore wrote to Carter about it:

“I think you were pretty cagey to turn over so much of the China section of the inquiry to Asiaticus, Han-seng and Chi. They will bring out the essential radical aspects, but can be depended upon to do it with the right touch.”[126] (Italics added.)

What did Lattimore mean by that? Why did he want the “essential radical aspects” brought out at all? And why did he want to be sure they would be brought out “with the right touch”? What could he mean but that the radical elements would be sure to get a strong play but that it would be done subtly, slyly, effectively? Also Lattimore was expressing his admiration of Carter for being so “cagey.” What did that mean? That Carter, by putting these three Reds in the proper position, would be sure that the radical side would get a strong play without being himself responsible for it directly. This was slick—“cagey,” Lattimore called it. Carter denied he was cagey or that he put the three suggested in that place for this purpose. But for what other purpose did he cast them? Carter admitted on the stand that by this letter Lattimore was asking him to emphasize the Communist line. He insisted he had no such intention, but he did not exculpate Lattimore. And we may be sure Lattimore knew perfectly well to whom he was writing.

Lattimore’s letter went on to say that because of the different countries involved in the study the “good scoring position differed with the different countries” but “my hunch is that it will pay to keep behind the official Chinese Communist position.”[127] (Italics added.)

Could anything be plainer than that? Little did Mr. Lattimore or Dr. Carter imagine that this letter, stored away by the doctor in a barn on his country place, would ever find its way into the hands of a Senate committee. Lattimore in this letter warned that in keeping “behind the official Chinese Communist position” it should be done smoothly, that it should be “far enough behind not to be covered by the same label—but enough ahead of the active Chinese liberals to be noticeable.” He also wanted the British Liberals scared—why, is not clear—but “as for the USSR—back their international policy in general, but without using their slogans, and above all without giving them or anybody else the impression of subservience.”[128] (Italics added.) What more does anyone want for establishing the use that was being made of the IPR?

Senator McCarthy charged in his first attack on Lattimore that, among other things, he was a top Communist espionage agent. Lattimore has been living more or less upon that rash charge. No one calls attention to the fact that almost immediately McCarthy withdrew that charge—said he feared he had gone too far. Thereafter he charged Lattimore with playing the Russian Communist line. I do not here or anywhere charge Lattimore with being a Communist espionage agent. But I do say he was all along supporting the Communist line in Asia and here we have him writing to Dr. Carter and urging him in unmistakable language to do that very thing.

Carter’s defense was, to put it mildly, pathetic. First he denied he took Lattimore’s advice. But he did put the three gentlemen named by Lattimore on the study commission. Besides, he explained in relation to the employment of still another Communist, why should he not employ a Soviet scholar when the Russians were our allies? It had to be pointed out to him that this particular case occurred in 1940, when Russia was not our ally, but Hitler’s.[129]

Senator Ferguson asked Dr. Carter if in that letter Lattimore was not asking him to follow the Communist line. Carter replied: “It seems to me he was assuming I was.” He insisted, however, he rejected Lattimore’s proposals.[130]

Whether Lattimore was a Communist Party member or a Communist is not important. The only point to be settled is whether or not he supported the aims of the Chinese Communists. It is a fact that five persons have testified under oath that Lattimore had been identified to them inside the Party as a Communist. Alexander Barmine, former Red general, swore that in Paris he was told to regard Lattimore as “one of our men.” Elizabeth Bentley says that Golos, head of Red espionage in this country, instructed her that Lattimore was a Communist. Whittaker Chambers has said that he, too, was informed in the Party that Lattimore was a Communist. Louis Budenz swore that when he was editor of the Communist Daily Worker he was told to regard Lattimore as a Communist. Dr. Karl A. Wittfogel, once a Communist who quit years ago, expressed doubt that Lattimore was a Party member but swore he persistently followed the Communist line.[131] This is impressive evidence. To disregard it, all these people must be branded as perjurers. Or perhaps we may conclude that Communist leaders who classified Lattimore as a Communist did it on a mere surmise based on his general agreement with their objectives. We must, however, always come back to the theory I have insisted on, namely that whether or not Lattimore was a Communist is not the vital point. The issue is: Did he promote the Communist line in China? And the evidence that he did is overwhelming. He devoted all his energies to advancing the ultimate success of the Chinese Reds over Chiang.

We see him at work on this in his books. His two volumes in the crucial years—Making of Modern China and Solution in Asia—were hailed by all the pro-Communist reviewers. Maxwell Stewart glowed with praise of the former in the Nation, and Edgar Snow, A. T. Steele, T. A. Bisson, Richard Watts and Maxwell Stewart trumpeted their praises of the latter in, respectively, the Times, Herald-Tribune, Saturday Review of Literature, New Republic and Nation.

Lattimore himself was an industrious reviewer. He hailed China’s Wartime Politics by the pro-Communist Lawrence K. Rosinger and he said of another book by the same author that it was “ideal for the reader who wants the opinion of an expert.” He recommended highly Challenge of Red China, written by a notorious Red spy who was part of the Sorge ring in Japan—Guenther Stein. Of Israel Epstein’s Unfinished Revolution in China he said: “When he pleads his case the arguments pile up like a wedge.” Jack Belden wrote China Shakes the World and Lattimore said that it proved “that the liberation that came of the Red revolt was real.”[132] In all honesty, are not these sufficient to justify the belief that Lattimore was convinced of the justice of the Red cause in China?

He was editor of Pacific Affairs and shaped its policy. There he favored writers promoting the Communist line. When he resigned he was succeeded, with his consent, by Michael Greenberg, a Communist Party member. As a sample of Pacific Affairs’ contents, the Russian spy Guenther Stein wrote six articles for it.[133] And Lattimore himself became a member of the editorial board of the notorious Amerasia magazine. This Amerasia operation is so curious a one that it deserves special attention.

[107] Hearings before Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security (hereafter referred to as McCarran Committee), July 25, 26, 1951.

[108] Ibid.

[109] Ibid.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Ibid.

[112] House Committee on Un-American Activities, Appendix IX, p. 43.

[113] McCarran Committee Hearings, July 26, 1951.

[114] Ibid.

[115] House Committee on Un-American Activities, Appendix IX, p. 470.

[116] McCarran Committee Hearings, July 25, 1951.

[117] Soviet Russia Today, May 1938.

[118] McCarran Committee Hearings, July 25, 1951.

[119] Ibid.

[120] Ibid., July 26, 1951.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Ibid.

[123] Ibid., Aug. 14, 1951.

[124] N. Y. Herald-Tribune, June 29, 1947.

[125] N. Y. Times, June 22, 1947.

[126] McCarran Committee Hearings, July 25, 1951.

[127] Ibid.

[128] Ibid.

[129] Ibid.

[130] Ibid.

[131] Ibid., July 31, Aug. 7, 14, 16, 22, 23, 1951.

[132] N. Y. Herald Tribune Books of the Week, Dec. 17, 1944; July 15, Oct. 14, 1945; Oct. 23, 1949; N. Y. Times Book Review, June 22, 1947.

[133] McCarran Committee Hearings, Aug. 9, 1951.

XV. The Amerasia Case

This history reaches a point of absurdity in an episode known as the Amerasia case. We are already familiar with the names of Philip Jaffe, author of a pro-Communist book boosted by the New York Times, the Herald-Tribune, the Nation, the New Republic and Saturday Review of Literature reviewers. Mr. Jaffe was an old Communist apologist, an executive in the greeting-card business and the editor of the magazine called Amerasia. He had been intimate with Earl Browder, who had singled him out to influence American public opinion on the side of Red China. He can hardly be said to have been secret about his loyalties. He began his mission in 1934 with a magazine called China Today, with a letter on its inside front cover signed “Yours for a Soviet China” by Malcolm Cowley, then pro-Communist literary reviewer of the New Republic.

In 1937, Jaffe appeared prominently in a periodical publication called Amerasia. It continued in existence until 1945 with a small circulation insufficient to pay the cost of printing. In that year it became involved in an incident which almost defies belief. There appeared in Amerasia a long account which was recognized in General William Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services (the OSS) as an almost word-for-word reproduction from a government document of top secrecy. How did this get out? The problem was turned over to Frank B. Bielaski, head of the OSS investigating service. With a group of OSS agents he entered, by picking the lock, the offices of Amerasia magazine. There he found on the desks and in the files an alarming array of documents still bearing the top-secret mark of the State and other departments. They were from Military Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Bureau of Censorship, British Intelligence, Office of Strategic Services and the State Department. The case was turned over to the FBI. Its agents, after working on the case for three months, swooped down on the Amerasia offices on June 6, 1945.

They recovered 1800 government documents. These were stolen from the secret files of many war agencies of the government. Had they been so much blank typewriting paper, it would have been a crime. But these were not blank sheets. They were highly secret documents bearing the warning mark of the government. As a result the FBI arrested Philip Jaffe, Kate Louise Mitchell, Mark Gayn, John Stewart Service and Emanuel Larsen, the latter two of the State Department. Also arrested was Andrew Roth, who had been chief researcher for Amerasia. When this chap Roth entered the Navy, some question had been raised because he was reported to be a Communist. But Naval Intelligence held that “the fact that a man was a Communist was not a bar since we were at peace with Russia.” However, the naval officer in charge directed that he be sent where he would do the least damage. He was given a lieutenant’s commission and sent, of all places, to Naval Intelligence as a liaison officer between the Navy and the State Department, where he could, if he saw fit, do the most damage.

Mark Gayn was one of those journalists who wrote so much about Asia for Collier’s. Kate Louise Mitchell had been with the IPR from 1933 to 1940 as Carter’s secretary and thereafter did research for the Institute. She was a lecturer at a Communist school in New York.[134] John Stewart Service was a State Department official in China. All these facts were given to a grand jury which on August 10th brought in an indictment against Jaffe, Larsen and Roth. Service, Mitchell and Gayn were not indicted.

How could the government have a clearer case than this? By this time the honeymoon between the United States and Russia was at an end. Yet here was an officer in Naval Intelligence (Roth), a research agent in the State Department (Larsen) and an important State Department officer (Service) involved at least suspiciously with two outright Communists who were running a pro-Communist magazine with their offices stuffed with stolen secret documents from the State and other departments, including Naval and Military Intelligence. The most loyal American citizen found in such a situation ought to have been and doubtless would have been prosecuted. Among these documents were military reports giving secret information on the position and disposition of Chinese Nationalist armies—a subject of the greatest importance to the Communist military leaders in China.

This was not a case of a single secret document gone astray. It was a whole officeful from many departments—a job which could have been carried on only through a long period of thefts by many hands.

Now, the most startling feature of this case was its climax. The original indictments were quashed. Instead of charges of espionage, the charge of “conspiracy to embezzle” was substituted against Jaffe, Larsen and Roth. Then Jaffe’s attorney and the government’s attorney got together and agreed on a swift court procedure. The government attorney said little. The case was explained to the court by Jaffe’s counsel. The defendants meant no harm; there was no disloyalty; they were editors—perhaps too zealous in their eagerness to get the facts but also eager that they should make no errors—it was all a case of excessive journalistic zeal. Imagine an ordinary loyal newspaper reporter stealing 1800 secret government documents just to check on the accuracy of his story! The government attorney agreed to this. The judge was told nothing about Jaffe’s career, his Communist connections, the nature of his companions. The judge actually heard almost nothing about the case. He fined Jaffe $2500. Larsen got off with a $500 fine. The case against Roth was dismissed. When the court went through the routine of referring the case to the probation officer—which would have quickly brought all the facts to light—the government expressed the hope that the matter might be wound up without further delay, which was done. Of course, all this fantastic procedure took place on orders from Washington.[135]

Now, what was the truth about Amerasia? The facts here will throw a very brilliant light upon the pretentious Institute of Pacific Relations. Actually, this thing called Amerasia was projected and organized in the Institute of Pacific Relations, a fact which has only recently come to light.

On the witness stand before the McCarran Committee, Frederick Vanderbilt Field testified that he had discussed with associates in the IPR the project of starting Amerasia in 1937. He said: “My argument for starting the magazine was one which I think did carry considerable weight at the time (that is, with the IPR) and was that a number of us in our several years of work in the Institute had developed certain ideas. We were interested in conclusions to be drawn from research as well as research itself. One of the best ways to insure that the Institute itself would remain in the research field and avoid becoming political, was to establish an organization where we could blow our steam off outside the organization. This was one of the prevailing arguments which I think persuaded somewhat doubtful people in the Institute about the advisability of undertaking this.”[136]

In other words, the Institute’s professional leaders agreed with the Communist Field that while the Institute had to maintain a pretension of objective research, it would be a good idea to set up another organization ostensibly separate from the Institute, one in which the full force of their propaganda could be exploited. Does anyone suppose that the members were in the slightest doubt about the kind of steam Field would blow off in the Amerasia magazine?

Amerasia was established, then, with the full approval of the Institute leaders. This property belonged, not just to Jaffe, but to the Communist Field and Jaffe, with Field holding the controlling interest. Field testified that he owned 50 per cent of the stock, while Jaffe owned 49 per cent. Field was asked by the McCarran Committee counsel: “A good many of your associates in IPR were on the editorial board of Amerasia, were they not?” Field answered “yes,” and he named Owen Lattimore, Kate Mitchell, Harriet Moore, T. A. Bisson, Benjamin Kizer, a trustee of the Institute, and Philip Jaffe, who also was a member of the Institute and a contributor to its periodical. When Field made his effort to get into Army Intelligence, he made an appeal to Carter to help. Carter did try to help him—knowing all this. And when he made this appeal it was in writing on the letterhead of Amerasia, showing Field as chairman of the editorial board with Owen Lattimore and William T. Stone as members of the board. There was no change in ownership of this magazine from 1937 to 1943, when Field resigned and Jaffe took over.[137]

Just think this over. Here was the executive secretary of the IPR, with the knowledge of the top active professional figures of the IPR—meaning Carter and Jessup et al.—setting up an organization ostensibly to use the material garnered by IPR in a way not properly open to IPR itself. But this was not quite the case. Amerasia had a small and insignificant circulation. It was hardly a magazine at all. It was a front posing as a magazine which could be used as a safe cache for secret government documents and as a clearing house for secret government information. Field, secretary of the IPR American Council, was owner and chairman of the editorial board. Owen Lattimore was a member of the editorial board. Dr. Carter, who knew all this, tried to get Field into Army Intelligence while he was head of Amerasia, which would become an agency for getting possession of secret documents stolen from the government. As we survey the IPR record no one can doubt that it played a powerful role in our State Department. And it is not out of place at this point to note that Alger Hiss became a member of the board of the IPR.

We have now seen the Communist Field as the actual leader and financial angel of the American Council of the IPR and the founder of Amerasia. This is sufficiently startling. But what happened in Japan actually defies belief. Major General Charles A. Willoughby, chief of Army Intelligence in Japan, testified under oath that the IPR Council in Japan was used as a spy ring by the Russians.

This brings us to two strange characters—Hozumi Ozaki and Kimikazu Saionji. They turned up at the 1936 conference of the IPR at Yosemite, one as secretary and the other as an officer of the IPR in Japan. Ozaki was a journalist of top standing, who enjoyed the closest relations to Japanese cabinet officials. His most intimate associate was Saionji, secretary of the Japanese Council of the IPR. This young man was the adopted son of a famous Japanese general, Prince Saionji. The son became a consultant of the Japanese Foreign Minister. He had free access to the highest social and official circles and enjoyed a special intimacy with the Prime Minister, Prince Konoye. He introduced Ozaki into these circles, and both men—Ozaki and Saionji—became members of what was known as Konoye’s “breakfast group,” which was a sort of Japanese Brain Trust. Both of these men—Ozaki and Saionji—were secret Russian agents and members of the famous Sorge spy ring, Saionji being a sort of Japanese Alger Hiss. Closely associated with them was Ushiba, Saionji’s predecessor as secretary of the Japanese IPR. With this description of these three men we can now perceive the significance of the following note from Dr. E. C. Carter to Frederick Vanderbilt Field:

“Dear Fred: As you know, we began early last autumn trying to get a man of the rank of Ushiba, Matsukata and Saionji to join the International Secretariat [of the IPR].”[138]

I do not say that Dr. Carter knew of Ushiba’s and Saionji’s treacherous activities in Japan. I merely cite this as an evidence of the inevitability with which Carter moved into the company of and sought the comradeship of people like Ushiba, Saionji, Hiss, Field, Harriet L. Moore and numerous others.

Agnes Smedley, author of Battle Hymn of China, was a member of this Sorge spy ring, as was Guenther Stein, who was a constant contributor to IPR publications. He wrote some 21 articles for Pacific Affairs and Far Eastern Survey, the official journals of the IPR.

Richard Sorge was a German journalist who became a Communist and later head of a Russian spy ring in Japan. Germany was Japan’s ally and Sorge went to Japan officially attached to the German Embassy. He was also an accredited correspondent of a leading German journal. Thus he had the free run of government and journalistic circles. His exploits as a spy have become famous, though he was ultimately detected, arrested and sent to the gallows. A number of his associates were arrested with him, among them Ozaki and Saionji. Ozaki, who was actually Number Two man next to Sorge, died on the gallows too. Saionji was convicted and sentenced to three years, but because of his powerful family connections got a suspended sentence. The full story of this adventure is contained in the confession made by Sorge while he was a prisoner shortly before his execution. General Willoughby got possession of this confession and has told in detail and under oath the whole story to the McCarran Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security. It was confirmed by the testimony of Mitsusada Yoshikawa, official prosecutor who conducted the trial of Sorge, Ozaki and Saionji.[139]

The central design of this ring has a special interest for us. In 1941, Russia was reeling under the blows of Hitler’s Nazi legions. Stalin needed all the troops he could collect and this presented him with a dilemma in Siberia. He had a number of divisions in Eastern Siberia. But he knew that Japan had collected an army of 1,300,000 men which was being trained and equipped for some purpose. He knew that Japan’s chief objective was to get additional resources. These she could get by driving north into Siberia or by driving to the south—that is, to the Philippines and the islands of the Pacific—which would mean war with the United States. Stalin had to know in what direction Japan would make her next move. If Japan moved north he would have to keep his divisions there. But if she went south then he would feel free to move them to Russia’s western border against Germany. Sorge’s mission was to discover in what direction Japan would move. General Willoughby testified: “It might be said that predicated on the information furnished by this superbly competent agent, the Russian situation on the west front depended on a life and death question. Sorge gave them the answer.” He got his answer through Ozaki and Saionji. Japan would move south. This meant the Philippines and the involvement of the United States. With this, Sorge’s task was completed and he wrote Moscow asking to be recalled. His radio operator persuaded him to defer the message. That was fatal. Three days later he was arrested and ultimately was executed.

At every turn some of these writers and State Department officials we have been examining turned up where they could be most effective, pressing advice that corresponded with Russian aims. We know Russia wanted to liquidate the Emperor in Japan and make Korea a Communist satellite. In 1944, Dr. Karl Wittfogel, who had abandoned the Communist Party some years before, talked with Lattimore, and Lattimore told him that the Mikado should be removed and that as far as Korea was concerned “the best solution would be to let Russia take it over.” But three years later, Lattimore wrote Wittfogel denying he had made these statements. Wittfogel wrote him: “As to abandoning Korea, it is your word against mine. But as to dethroning the Mikado you actually advocate that in your book Solution in Asia.” Wittfogel apparently did not know that Lattimore later, with cold cynicism, had also urged that we let Korea fall without giving the impression that we pushed her. Lattimore’s hand was visible everywhere. At a State Department conference later he submitted a ten-point program which included recognizing the Chinese Communist government, turning over Formosa and Hong Kong to them and stating that no aid should be sent Chiang’s forces. Governor Harold Stassen, who was present at the conference, has testified to all this under oath.[140]

It is difficult to believe that so few people, so little known, without political influence on the nation as a whole, could accomplish so much. The trick lies in getting into positions where information can be controlled, where policies can be formed—getting into strategic spots where the switches which govern information, opinion and policy can be controlled. Take the case of Alger Hiss in the State Department and Harry Dexter White in the Treasury Department. There was Hiss at Yalta, White at Quebec, where world-shaking decisions were made to conform to Russian plans. All of these people comprised not more than 35 or 40 men and women—most of them writers and journalists, some of them Communist Party members or agents of some Communist apparatus, many of them mere dupes. They managed to write most of the books and most of the book reviews, while taking their places in positions of the greatest strategic importance in departments of the government—State and War and Navy and OWI and other sensitive agencies. Think of the power of Lauchlin Currie in the President’s own executive department as his adviser on Far Eastern affairs—Currie, who was in the IPR and was identified by Elizabeth Bentley as a member of the Communist Silvermaster group in Washington. Think of Hiss, top-ranking man in the Policy Committee of the State Department. Think of Lattimore, adviser to Chiang Kai-shek—on Currie’s recommendation—at a critical moment, adviser to the State Department, adviser to Wallace on his visit to Siberia and China. Think of Frederick Vanderbilt Field as executive secretary of the IPR, of John Carter Vincent as head of the Far Eastern Division of the State Department, and a score of others we could name. These are the men and women who were able to change the course of history and embroil us in the fantastic snarl in which we find ourselves in the Far East.

It makes no difference how many people testify to these facts, how much evidence is produced to support that testimony, or how respectable the witness. There is always the inevitable answer—the man or woman is a liar. Budenz, Wittfogel, Bentley, Chambers—all are liars. Stassen—who tells of the State Department conference where Lattimore repeated his pet plans for Asia—is branded a liar. Vandenberg, who heard Acheson and Jessup urge the abandonment of Chiang on the President and who threatened to denounce it in the Senate if they went through with it, must also be branded as a liar. Every man or woman who has dared to offer a scrap of evidence of this drive by those I have named to install a Communist government in China is deluged with abuse. It takes a great deal of courage to lift a voice against them. You will be damned not only by these architects of disaster themselves but by many of the newspapers and magazines which opened their pages to them when they were carrying out their costly designs.

But fortunately the game is almost played out. The vast disasters in Europe and Asia and more particularly in Korea, and the appalling budgets for defense against the monster these men helped to build up, bring to our people an interval of sobriety, of questioning and of reconsideration.

[134] State Department Loyalty Investigation by Sub-Committee of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1950; p. 232 of Report.

[135] For a very full report on the Amerasia case, see the excellent series by Frederick Woltman in the New York World-Telegram (published in pamphlet form by N. Y. World-Telegram, 1950).

[136] McCarran Committee Hearings, July 26, 1951.

[137] Ibid., July 25 and 26, 1951.

[138] Ibid., Aug. 9, 1951.

[139] Ibid., Aug. 20, 1951.

[140] Ibid., Aug. 7 and Oct. 1, 1951.

XVI. The Great Swap

Up to this point we have seen how the public mind was molded with the aid of the government. It would be more accurate to say that it was drugged. As the war rolled on to its climax, movie audiences were cheering the heroic pictures of Stalin on the screen. Already much had been accomplished by the agents of Stalin in America. At Quebec, the Morgenthau Plan to ruin Germany after the war, which had been prepared by a Communist agent in our government, was forced on Churchill with a bribe of six and a half billion dollars of postwar aid to England. The Soviet agent who did this was almost immediately rewarded with the high post of Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, thus becoming a member of what is called the Little Cabinet. Roosevelt at Teheran had already agreed to Stalin’s grab for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and Poland up to the Curzon line.

Now, three days after his inauguration for his fourth term, Roosevelt left for Yalta in the Crimea for his last conference with Stalin. By this time Hitler had been driven out of Russia, all of Rumania, Bulgaria and Greece, France and Belgium, all of the Baltic states, Albania and most of Hungary and a large part of Yugoslavia and almost all of Italy. The Germans held only Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia and small parts of Yugoslavia and Northern Italy.

Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met at Yalta, beginning February 4, 1945. Their purpose was to (1) determine the conditions of the German surrender, (2) settle the fate of the liberated countries, (3) agree on the conditions of victory in Asia and (4) agree on the form of the United Nations.

The Great Swap would now be consummated. Roosevelt wanted only two important concessions from Stalin. He wanted Stalin in a United Nations. This was Roosevelt’s Great Design. He also wanted Stalin to come into the war as an ally against Japan. Stalin’s Great Design is now apparent. He wanted Germany dismembered and permanently paralyzed. He wanted to cart away as much of her industrial equipment as could be moved and he wanted to recruit a huge army of German slaves to work in Russia after peace. And at Quebec, this plan, written by an American Communist agent, was put in shape. He wanted to get possession of as much of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and all the Baltic and Balkan states as the gullible Roosevelt would give him. In Asia he wanted Korea and he wanted a Communist China where he could work out his further schemes of aggression when the war ended. And he wanted for Japan the same fate he planned for Germany. This was a malevolent design—a grab far more comprehensive than Hitler’s. And the plan included, among other things, a provision that America, which wanted nothing for herself, would be asked to collaborate in the betrayal of so many countries we had set out to save, including our own allies.

At Yalta, Stalin got all he asked for. Roosevelt, too, got all he asked for—the United Nations with Stalin in the middle of it with a veto to paralyze action by the West; he also got Stalin in the war against Japan—which, as is now abundantly obvious, was the source of most of our present woes in Asia. Look again at the map of Europe and Asia at page 12 and see what Stalin got. And remember as you look at that great shaded smear over two whole continents that it was United States power that made that possible and Franklin D. Roosevelt and our State Department that consented to it. Is there anyone so blinded by political prejudice that he can deny that now?

What can we now think of the men in America who made this possible? How will we explain the curious obfuscation about Russia which was at the bottom of this? Can it be that these men had become the victims of the false propaganda they had poured over the minds of our people? Roosevelt told William C. Bullitt “that Stalin . . . doesn’t want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world democracy and peace.”[141] Can you name any dupe of the false propaganda about Russia unloosed here who could have been more utterly taken in by it than the man who authorized the propaganda and protected the men who brewed and distributed it? This appalling mistake of Roosevelt’s was at the bottom of it all.

Behold the setting at Yalta. There was Mr. Roosevelt, broken in health, exhausted, actually already upon the last faltering steps that would bring him to the tomb within a few months. He had explained his surrender to the Morgenthau Plan at Quebec more than a year before on the ground that he was so tired he did not realize what he was doing. On his way to Yalta he was so weary and weak that he spent most of his time in his cabin. Indeed, his physical and mental condition was desperate at this time. The hand of death was upon him. His faculties dimmed, his energies ebbing away, he made a shocking spectacle as he sat opposite the iron-willed Stalin. His closest and most trusted adviser, Harry Hopkins, was with him, but in a state so feeble that he spent most of his time in bed. But, alas, far more terrifying than all this, just as at Quebec (where the fate of Germany was settled) his chief adviser was Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury Harry Dexter White, a member of a Russian espionage apparatus in Washington, so now at Yalta, at his side throughout and especially during his secret meetings with Stalin, was Alger Hiss, today in prison for perjury for denying his Red espionage work. Ponder this perplexing fact. The Yalta agreement which has brought so much woe was drafted by Sir Gladwyn Jebb, representing England, Andrei Gromyko, representing Russia and Alger Hiss, representing the United States. I know of no incident in American history that can parallel this.

However, it is in order here to remind the reader that just as Stalin was erected into a great and heroic and humane figure by our propaganda, so Roosevelt himself was built into a superman by the same process. Yet it must always be kept in mind that the historic blunders by which we lost a war that had been won by our soldiers and our magnificent industrial system were the blunders of Franklin D. Roosevelt and that strange collection of advisers he gathered about him. President Truman has his own collection of mistakes, for which I certainly make no apology. But it is only fair to him to say that all of the shocking surrenders were made by Roosevelt before Truman came into office. The effort of Sumner Welles to support the proposition that, up to Yalta, all had been well, but that thereafter the whole splendid edifice of peace erected by Roosevelt was wrecked by James F. Byrnes and Harry Truman is an outrageous invention.[142] When Mr. Truman came into office and Mr. Byrnes became Secretary of State, the damage was done. Neither he nor Secretary Byrnes knew anything of a list of secret agreements Roosevelt had made, particularly his surrenders to Russia in Asia which were never made public until Russia began to reveal them.

I do not mean to exculpate President Truman from the burden of his own blunders thereafter, the most serious of which has been his reliance on General George Marshall and Dean Acheson as his advisers. As for Secretary Byrnes, he was soon acutely conscious of the extent and complexity of the secret arrangements Roosevelt had made and of the curious set of advisers and comrades who were arranging themselves around Truman—and he resigned and moved quietly into private life. The same Red chorus that had badgered Grew had now turned their poison guns on Byrnes.

When Roosevelt left Yalta he felt he had achieved a great victory. He got Russia into the United Nations and into the war in Asia. Stalin got into his hands territories with a population twice the size of Russia’s and the assurance that we would obliterate permanently both Germany and Japan. Now behold the result!

Roosevelt gave Russia Poland up to the Curzon line and agreed to the incorporation of the three Baltic countries. As for the rest, he agreed to permit Stalin to hold elections in the remainder of Poland, in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania and Bulgaria. Stalin held the elections. They were, of course, precisely the kind of elections any man in his senses would know that Stalin would hold. Catholic Hungary, Catholic Poland and Catholic Czechoslovakia by some spiritual alchemy voted overwhelmingly for Russian puppet rulers. So everywhere else. All these nations whose invasion by Hitler filled us with horror have disappeared behind that black curtain which conceals the dark procedures of the tyranny into which Roosevelt surrendered them.

And what of the Pacific? Stalin agreed to enter the Pacific war within three months after Germany should surrender. But he had a price, as always. The United States would have to provide fuel, transport and equipment for 1,250,000 men, 3000 tanks, 5000 planes, and various other requirements. This would give Stalin an army of 1,250,000 Russian soldiers on the borders of Manchuria. Why any American, knowing Russian and Communist history, and familiar with the struggle in China, would want to introduce a million and a quarter Russian soldiers into the complex problem of China as the war drew to an end, I do not know. One explanation is that at that moment Roosevelt was far from being in possession of his senses. Was there no one present who understood this problem? Yes, there was one—Alger Hiss—who was at Roosevelt’s side and was with him when he held his secret meetings with Stalin. It is a little hard to digest, but it is true.

There were other things Stalin wanted. He wanted certain political aspects of Russia’s participation in the Pacific war settled. He demanded the Kurile Islands, internationalization of the Port of Dairen, Sakhalin Island, and a lease of Port Arthur as a naval base. And he wanted joint ownership with the Chinese of the Manchurian railroads, with full recognition of Russia’s paramount interest in these. He wanted the ports of Manchuria. He wanted the railroads. If Roosevelt had ever read anything of Russian-Asiatic history, he would know that Russia wanted Manchuria and a good deal more. Stalin wanted the right to seize Germans and put them to work as slaves. All this was agreed to in secret and not made public until long after, when Russia began to press for compliance. Russia wanted four votes in the UN Assembly. She got three. We got one. These agreements, said Sir William Beveridge, were made “in a black moment of anger and confusion.”[143] Then, having made all these surrenders, Roosevelt returned home to celebrate in Washington a fraudulent triumph. In two months Roosevelt was dead and a month later the German army surrendered.[*]

[141] “How We Won the War and Lost the Peace” by William C. Bullitt, Life, Aug. 30, 1948.

[142] Seven Decisions That Shaped History by Sumner Welles (N. Y., 1951).

[143] Quoted by William Henry Chamberlin in The European Cockpit (N. Y., 1947), p. 144.

[*] The reader interested in a full account of the conferences briefly sketched here, will find the whole subject dealt with in detail, together with a careful study of Roosevelt’s illness and death and their relation to these tragic consequences, in The Roosevelt Myth by the author (New York, 1948).

XVII. The China War

Germany surrendered on May 6, 1945. On August 14th following, Japan surrendered. Our war in Asia had ended. For China, her war against the Japanese invader had ended. But her war against Russia continued.

It will be recalled that at the outset I stressed the importance in this story of recognizing the fact that China was engaged in two wars. Now this second war—against Russia—would proceed with increased violence. And this war, to our everlasting shame, China would lose. The United States, practically alone, would deliver China from the Japanese invader. Now the United States would deliver China into the hands of the Russian invader. China is under the dark cloud of the Communist world, and as a result of our blindness and folly, we went back to Asia with an army and engaged in a war with that same Russia to whom we abandoned the Chinese.

We have seen the massive propaganda campaign by which the minds of the American people were drugged in order to make this surrender possible. However, it is now necessary to witness the series of historic blunders by which the drive begun on the minds of Americans was completed in the field upon our unfortunate allies, the Chinese people.

However, before we can understand the final phase of this tragedy, it is necessary to use just a few pages to describe the course of the war which now sprang into furious action between the government of China and the Communist revolutionists.

Let me remind you again that the technique of this plan was simple. Obviously we could not be induced to declare war on Chiang Kai-shek and become Russia’s open ally in this infamy. The strategy, therefore, was to compel Chiang Kai-shek to take the Communists into his government. Russia knew that if she could succeed in this it would not be long before, working within the government, the Chinese Communists would take it over.

The devilish subtlety of this “unity in China” drive can now be appreciated by all. To our people this seemed like a reasonable proposal—that all Chinese should get together against a common enemy: the Japanese. Here were two political parties fighting each other instead of Japan. And it was made to appear that the Communists wanted unity to fight Japan but that Chiang Kai-shek was only interested in fighting his own people.

When the Japanese were defeated, there was no longer a “common enemy” visible to the American people. All talk about “unity in China” to fight that enemy was meaningless. But there was another enemy—Russia. Unity in China after 1945 meant that the Chinese government would unite with the agents of the enemy. It meant China must stop fighting her enemy, surrender to him and share with his Chinese satellite agents the control of China.

It was not a case of two political parties uniting. The party of Mao Tse-tung was not a political party. Chiang was not unwilling for unity against the Japanese. He made offer after offer to the Communists to unite. But he insisted that they must come into his government not as a separate government but as loyal Chinese until the war was won. They insisted that they would come in only as a separate government and would march into Chiang’s government with their own revolutionary armies intact. When Chiang effected a coalition in 1937, this is exactly what they did. When the Japanese invaded in 1937, the Communist armies utilized the Japanese invasion to infiltrate whatever parts of China were most exposed.

The plan was simplicity itself. If Russia could put over the fraudulent “unity” plan, what would happen when Japan was driven from China? Then Manchuria would be cleared and Russian Siberia would be on the Chinese borders with swift access to Manchuria and other parts of China. At this point, the Communists would have little trouble. They would have a foothold inside the government which they would be interested in disrupting and paralyzing and they would have an army intact, with Russia just across the border capable of reinforcing them with leadership and ammunition. They could then do in China what they did in Yugoslavia, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania and other places.

With this brief view of the plan let us see, very swiftly, what happened. There is no point in attempting to describe the military operations in the war between the Chinese government and the revolutionists. A mere sketch is sufficient as a background for the political maneuvers by which the Chinese government was wrecked.

As of 1943, the government’s position was difficult. Japan occupied Manchuria at the extreme North and the entire coast line from there down as far as Canton. The most productive parts of China were held by the enemy. The Chinese Communists held a small group of provinces at the North. The government occupied the rest of China. Russia could send in no help from the North because she was completely occupied with her own war against Germany. We could send in very little because the whole seacoast of China was held by the Japs. The Japanese had closed the road through Burma. Thus Chiang Kai-shek was cut off almost completely from outside supplies, save what could be flown by General Chennault in his famous lift over the Hump.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt had sent General Joseph W. Stilwell to Chiang as a military adviser. Stilwell committed himself to opening the Burma Road, a logical thing to do. However, he was caught in a most deplorable defeat in that operation, for which he need not be criticized. But the defeat consumed his mind and emotions. Thereafter he had but one thought, to reopen the Burma Road and retrieve the defeat he had suffered. Opening the Burma Road became a consuming objective in itself which blotted out the larger problem of China.

In China at Chungking was a little junta of State Department officials and correspondents—almost all passionately committed to the cause of the Communists, though these officials and correspondents were not all Communists. Some were; most of the others were just shallow scribblers and bureaucrats captivated by the vision of that vague thing—the Brave New World. The feud between Stilwell and Chiang, centering on the Burma enterprise, raged with shocking violence on Stilwell’s part, and his headquarters became the meeting place of all the disruptive State Department and journalistic elements. Stilwell’s disgraceful behavior led ultimately to his withdrawal in October 1944.

General Albert C. Wedemeyer replaced him. Wedemeyer was the precise opposite of Stilwell, a trained strategist who had specialized in military planning, an urbane and considerate gentleman and one of the ablest soldiers in the army, who quickly won the complete confidence of the Generalissimo. Wedemeyer’s strategy was the precise opposite of Stilwell’s. His purpose was to reorganize the armies on a more efficient basis and to attempt to clear as much of the Japanese armies as possible from the seacoast to open a port into China. One Canton, he said, was worth a dozen Burma Roads. General Chennault agreed on this.

Chiang Kai-shek insisted on holding the Communist armies in as small a space as possible. Unlike our correspondents and State Department strategists, Chiang took the view that he was fighting two wars—that the Communists were not and could not be made into allies; they were enemies as implacable as the Japanese. All during the war the Communists were using whatever energy and power they had to infiltrate into whatever areas of China were most weakly held by the Japanese. They did much of this because while the Japanese armies held the whole coastline of China—a vast stretch of territory—the most the Japanese could police were the railroad lines together with the big towns and cities. In between the railroad lines the Communists were able to penetrate a little at a time, settling in the villages and farm lands. Chiang, after Wedemeyer’s arrival, used what military resources he possessed to deal with both his enemies—the Japanese and the Communists. In the case of the Japanese, he was struggling to retake territory. In the case of the Communists he sought to bottle them up where they were—a perfectly logical course, provided you recognize what these Communists were. They were enemies of the government of China, just as the Japanese were.

Thus matters stood in China when the war ended in 1945. The end of the war gave the Communists their opportunity. At that point the Japs left China. The Communists at the North were now in easy contact with their sponsors, the Russian Communist government and its armies in Manchuria just over the border. From here the story is simple. Russia actively advised and supplied the Chinese Communist armies. The United States abandoned the Chinese Republican army. The end we know.

From the Japanese surrender to the downfall of the republic—that is, from August 1945 to December 1949—the war raged between the armies of Chiang Kai-shek and those of Mao Tse-tung. What we are interested in are the political causes behind that disaster to us.

These political causes consisted in a series of appalling blunders by our government. These blunders were the joint product, chiefly, of two men—General George C. Marshall and Secretary of State Dean Acheson. It is, however, fair to say that their blunders were paralleled by that other series which must be traced to the White House while Franklin D. Roosevelt was President. There is no doubt that the State Department had a hand in these too.

What was at the bottom of this singular behavior of our government is not too clear. It is certain that our State Department had made up its mind that we could get along with Communist Russia when the war ended, and that we could trust her as a sincere partner in peace. We now know that this was a tragic mistake. However, the men who made this mistake are almost all still there in the State Department.

In the interest of brevity I forbear to attempt any account of the military struggle between the Chinese Republican government and the Communist armies. It is sufficient to note that when the Japanese withdrew from China, Chiang Kai-shek’s army was far more numerous and occupied a far larger part of China than the Communists. Yet, by December 1949, after four years of war upon Chiang by the Communists, supported by Russia and our State Department, Chiang and his government were driven out of the Chinese mainland into Formosa, and communism swallowed the whole mainland of China and half of Korea.

This tragedy, as I have said, was the fruit of a series of historic blunders which can be attributed to General Marshall and Secretary Acheson. What was at the bottom of their singular behavior is not too clear. And in what proportion they were each responsible in this blundering partnership is also not too clear. However, the story of these mistakes is the story of communism’s great triumph in Asia, perhaps even greater than its triumph in Europe.

We can now bring this melancholy tale to an end with a brief description of these mistakes.

XVIII. The Blunders That Lost a Continent

As the war neared its end, it was clear that the “greatest whitewash in history” predicted by Senator LaFollette had been completed. We may assume that a few root facts are established by the evidence produced in the preceding pages. One is that our government had convinced itself that Russia and its Chinese dupes could be trusted as sincere partners in a peaceful world. The other is that our government, through a powerful propaganda drive in the press, books, the radio, movies and through government agencies had set out to sell this idea to the American people.

As a result of these two basic errors, a series of blunders were committed by our government which have resulted in the loss of China, in the possible loss of Japan and other Asiatic countries and in a war in Korea.

Where these fatal notions originated is difficult to say with certainty. But a few things are now clear. One is that Roosevelt adopted these ideas almost the moment they were presented to him. The other is that they were swallowed completely by General George Marshall and Secretary Dean Acheson. There is no doubt that these three men were willing and eager partners in the appeasement of Russia and the sacrifice of China, Korea and, in the end, perhaps all Asia.

Blunder Number One

At the root of so many of the worst blunders in China was the decision of our government to force what it called “unity in China.” We have already seen that this slogan was invented by the Soviet leaders in 1943 when they saw that German defeat was inevitable and they turned their attention to their suspended plans in Asia.

The Japanese occupied Manchuria and the entire Chinese coast. Chiang Kai-shek had a very large army, though poorly equipped. The Chinese Communists occupied just a few provinces at the North. Russia was then interested in checking further Japanese seizures in China. She was also interested in inserting her Communist leaders and armies into the Nationalist government. This she called unity. It was a plausible slogan while Japan was in China. But in August 1945, when Japan surrendered and proceeded to evacuate China, it lost its relevancy. As a matter of fact, the Chinese Communists and Russia, once Japan surrendered, were no longer interested in “unity in China” save on terms that would enable the Red politicians and Red soldiers to move into the government to disrupt it and, ultimately, take it over.

Those who are familiar with the history of Communist strategy and tactics know that the Communists have developed a highly effective method by which small, compact minorities can disrupt majority action. Chiang Kai-shek had been in this struggle against the Communists for years. He knew what we in America now know. We suffered a brief period of unity with a very small number of Communists in this country during the war. There is no one now—apparently not even Henry Wallace, their prize dupe—who has any illusions on that score any more. We who wanted Chiang Kai-shek to put the Communists in his government are now putting our American Communists in jail.

In spite of all this, Chiang Kai-shek was at all times willing, under the pressure we applied, to permit the Chinese Communists to come into the government as a political party, enjoying such influence as their numbers entitled them to have. But the Chinese Communists were never willing to come in as a political party, standing on their numerical strength. They wanted to march in intact and with their army intact. They did not want to unite with the government. They wanted to invade it.

Dr. Walter Judd, once a medical missionary in China and now a member of Congress, stated the proposal of a rational unity method in a Town Meeting of the Air Debate, December 27, 1945. He said that “if the Communists will agree to become a political party without an autonomous army and Chiang refuses to establish a democratic government with legal and equal status for all parties” then Chiang should be condemned. But “if he is willing to establish such a government and the Communists are unwilling to give up their separate army and administration and become a loyal opposition instead of an armed rebellion then their pretense is exposed.”[144]

Chiang did actually call a National Assembly which set in motion machinery to prepare and set up a constitution for a free republic in which all parties would be represented. The Communists made a show for a while of collaboration. But they were never serious in it and ultimately denounced the whole plan and refused to participate in the elections.

As a part of the whole Red program the most unrestrained abuse was hurled at Chiang Kai-shek in our newspapers, in our magazines, in those books and radio programs to which we referred in an earlier part of this book. Of course the Nationalist government had its defects. China is an old country, with no experience in representative government. It was painfully and disastrously emerging from its old feudal ways. There were selfish interests and extreme reactionary interests as well as extremely radical and visionary interests. Chiang sat at the center of all these contending elements seeking with an almost incredible patience to establish order in a republican government while all the time he was being opposed by a military force.

This was civil war, of course. General Marshall and our State Department demanded that Chiang end the civil war by surrendering to the rebels and bringing their army intact into his government. As we look at it now, that was the most monstrously crazy idea that ever entered the mind of a sane statesman. How does a government end a civil war? It can be done only by abdicating or by crushing the rebels. But Chiang was forbidden to attempt to crush the rebels by force on pain of being disarmed. General Marshall insisted that Chiang could trust the Communists. He now says he knew all along they were Communists. But he stated more than once to Americans in China that the charge was ridiculous—they were only “agrarian reformers.” But Chiang knew, as everyone knows who was familiar with the strange, twisted morals of Communist associations, that they could not be trusted. Our State Department was to learn that late in the day. In 1950, after our policies had forced the defeat of Chiang and the establishment of the Chinese Soviet, the State Department wrote to Senator Knowland of California in answer to an inquiry, in which it repudiated every stupid claim it made for the Reds when it was coercing Chiang. It said:

“The Chinese leaders have betrayed their longstanding pledge of demobilization; instead are increasing manpower. Peiping has also broken its promises of social and economic improvement. In the great cities dependent on imported materials unemployment increases. The regime has not lightened the burdens of the people. They have increased them.”[145]

Yet, during the struggle we found our Communist sympathizers—writers, journalists, and some statesmen and State Department officials—regaling us with stories of the wonderful things the Communists were doing while calling on Chiang to do the same and, above all, to lower taxes, while we threatened that if the government dared to oppose the rebels with arms we would cut off their aid.

After the Chinese Republican government had been defeated—thanks to the State Department and General Marshall—and driven out of China, our State Department began to see some light. The so-called “agrarian reformers” had now become real Communists and, according to Secretary Acheson, “the Soviet government’s largest and most important satellite.”[146]

Most impressive, Mr. Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State in charge of the Far Eastern Division, said in a speech on May 18, 1951, what the government’s critics had been saying all the time and for which they were denounced as “Fascists.” Here we need quote only some sections of that speech:

“The independence of China is gravely threatened. In the Communist world there is room for only one master. . . . How many Chinese in one community after another are being destroyed because they love China more than they love Soviet Russia? The freedoms of the Chinese people are disappearing. Trial by mob, mass slaughter, banishment to forced labor in Manchuria and Siberia. . . . The peace and security of China are being sacrificed by the ambitions of the Chinese conspiracy. China has been driven by foreign masters into an adventure in foreign aggression.”

Then comes this amazing statement:

“But one thing we can say: If the Chinese move to assert their freedom to work out their destiny in accordance with their own historical purposes, they can count on tremendous support from free peoples in other parts of the world.”

This is indeed a nice time to talk of “support.” When the Chinese tried to work out that destiny under Chiang Kai-shek they were told they would not get aid from us unless they took into their government the same collection of Communist assassins and tyrants who now govern China and who have shot down American boys in Korea. Mr. Rusk then makes this almost ridiculous statement: “We can tell our friends in China that the United States will not acquiesce in what is being forced on them.” There is grim comedy for you—a very sour and bitter kind of comedy, however. And finally Assistant Secretary Rusk says:

“We do not recognize the authorities in Peiping for what they pretend to be. It is not the government of China. It does not pass the first test. It is not Chinese. . . . We recognize the Nationalist government of the Republic of China even though the territory under its control is severely restricted.”[147]

Restricted is hardly the word. It was driven out of China while we badgered, reviled and refused to aid it and has taken refuge in the small island of Formosa off the coast. Now, says Mr. Rusk, “we believe it more authoritatively represents the views of the great body of the people of China, particularly their demand for independence from foreign control.” And then he concludes: “That government will continue to receive important aid and assistance from the United States.” (Italics added.)

Confronted with this at the MacArthur hearings, Mr. Acheson said: “Mr. Rusk did not think he was stating any change in any policy established by the President and followed by the Department.”[148] For sheer, unadulterated gall, that is entitled to a prize.

Blunder Number Two

Even before his major intrusion into Chinese affairs, General Marshall made a grave mistake when he sent General Joseph W. Stilwell to China as military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek. Stilwell was an old soldier with many human and soldierly qualities. He knew something of China, where he had served for a spell. But he was utterly unconscious of its strange world of Communist dialectics and strategy. He was pathetically lacking in tact. He was, in fact, an irascible, intolerant and vitriolic partner. There was a gulf between this self-opinionated old warrior and the grave and reserved Oriental Generalissimo.

When Stilwell got to China in 1942, he flung himself into the struggle for the Burma Road then raging. In this he suffered a disastrous and, as he called it, “humiliating defeat.” The China war, after that, for him was lost in the immensity of his own war against the Japs—to wipe out this stain on the fame of Joe Stilwell.

When he reached China he fell—as did everyone—into that busy, virulent cabal of State Department officials and news correspondents, almost all of whom had become the feverish protagonists of the “agrarian reformers” headed by Mao Tse-tung, and the bitter, busy critics of General Chiang Kai-shek. One of these China officials—John P. Davies, whom we have already met—was assigned to him as his adviser. Freda Utley, who was there, says that Agnes Smedley, an old and lyrical champion of the Chinese Red leaders, fascinated Stilwell.[149] He and Chiang could agree on nothing. The Generalissimo resolutely refused to authorize another Burma expedition because he believed it hopeless unless he could get amphibious reinforcements. This ripened into a bitter feud on Stilwell’s part. He poured out his scorn on the Generalissimo to the correspondents and State Department philosophers at his headquarters, who served as an admiring audience. Reports of Stilwell’s unhappy relationships in China reached Roosevelt’s ears. Harry Hopkins made a note at the time:

“The President indicated his strong dissatisfaction with the way the whole show was running in China. He stated that Stilwell obviously hated the Chinese and that his cablegrams are sarcastic about the Chinese and this feeling is undoubtedly known to the Generalissimo.”[150]

Roosevelt decided to bring Stilwell home, but Marshall defended him. Sherwood, Hopkins’s biographer, wrote that Marshall had told him that his only serious disagreement with Hopkins was on the issue of Stilwell. Sherwood adds that “he was unquestionably a serious nuisance to Roosevelt and there were many times when he was on the verge of recalling him.”[151]

However, in spite of all this, Stilwell finally persuaded Chiang to launch another expedition into Burma. In addition, he persisted in his demand that he be made commander-in-chief of all Chiang’s armies. In the midst of this situation, General Patrick J. Hurley arrived from Washington with a demand from the President, instigated by Marshall, that Stilwell be made commander-in-chief. Stilwell was an inveterate diarist and on September 12, 1944, he wrote triumphantly: “Chiang Kai-shek agrees to appoint Joseph W. Stilwell [as commander-in-chief] and give him his full confidence.”[152] But there was some delay and a few days later he confided to his diary: “We are in a battle with the Peanut.”[153] This was his name for Chiang. Finally, Stilwell received a cable from Roosevelt to Chiang to be delivered by Stilwell personally. Its contents have never been revealed. Hurley saw it and tried to dissuade Stilwell from delivering it. But Stilwell handed it to Chiang personally. He records the event in his diary:

“At long last . . . FDR has spoken plain words . . . with a firecracker in every sentence . . . ‘Get busy or else!’ . . . I handed this bundle of paprika to the Peanut and then sank back with a sigh. The harpoon hit the little bugger right in the solar plexus and went right through him. It was a clear hit. But beyond turning green and losing the power of speech, he did not bat an eye.”[154]

Then he wrote a poem about it in his diary:

“I’ve waited long for vengeance—

At last I’ve had my chance.

I’ve looked the Peanut in the eye

And kicked him in the pants . . .

“The little bastard shivered

And lost the power of speech.

His face turned green and quivered

And he struggled not to screech . . .

“For all my weary battles

For all my hours of woe

At last I’ve had my innings

And laid the Peanut low.”[155]

But Stilwell reckoned without his host. A few weeks later he had to write in his diary: “The ax falls. Radio from George Marshall . . . I am recalled . . . so FDR has quit. Everybody at headquarters horrified.”[156] This meant the State Department and newspaper claque. But in Washington Marshall did not quit so easily. Admiral Leahy records what happened. The Generalissimo wrote Roosevelt that he “was willing and anxious to meet Roosevelt’s wishes” that an American officer command all Chinese forces. But he insisted that “it must be one in whom I can repose confidence. . . . The officer must be capable of frank and sincere cooperation, and General Stilwell has shown himself conspicuously lacking in these indispensable qualifications.”[157] Admiral Leahy writes that Marshall even after this made an effort to dissuade Roosevelt but without success. Stilwell himself committed his sentiments to another poem about his downfall in unprintable English (though it appears in his posthumous papers) and disappeared from the scene.

Blunder Number Three

Probably the greatest blunder of all in Asia was Roosevelt’s decision to get Stalin into the war against Japan. Had he known anything of Russian history he would have known that nothing could have kept Stalin out of that war if he could get the door opened. Actually, Stalin had expressed his intention of coming in a number of times. In 1943, he told Hull in Moscow that he would join in defeating Japan. He made the promise “without any strings to it” and without being asked and he told Hull he might inform Roosevelt.[158] On another occasion he told our Ambassador to Russia, Averell Harriman, that “Japan was the historic enemy of Russia and her eventual defeat was essential to Russian interests” and that “eventually she would come in.”[159] On another occasion the Marshal told General Hurley that he would assist America against Japan,[160] and in 1944 he again told Harriman he would come in “provided the United States would assist in building up the reserves for 60 divisions in Siberia” and, of course “provided the political aspects of Russia’s participation had been clarified.”[161] Indeed, Secretary Acheson, testifying during the MacArthur inquiry, admitted that “Russian participation or intervention in Manchuria was something that nobody had any power to prevent.”[162]

Had Roosevelt known as much as his shirt-stuffers have ascribed to him, he would have known that above all things he must keep Stalin out of the Asiatic war. Stalin would wish to be in it if for no other reason than to collect his share of the victory. There were scores of men in America who knew this subject who could have told Roosevelt precisely what Russia wanted. However, if such men opened their mouths, as some did, they were promptly set upon as “Fascists.”

So intent was Stalin on insulating Roosevelt from adverse advice that he managed to get him into a secret meeting at which Russia agreed to enter the war. Roosevelt, sick, weary, ignorant of Soviet history, was an easy mark. Stalin, on his side, knew precisely what Roosevelt wanted. There was the Silvermaster group in Washington which used Harry Dexter White, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, as one of its most important agents. There was Alger Hiss, high in the Division of Political Affairs of the State Department. They knew all that was in Roosevelt’s mind. And what they knew Stalin knew. I know it is difficult for Americans to believe such things, but this is no longer a matter of mere surmise. The proof is all in.

The normal American does not understand the ceaseless energy that drove the Russian leaders and their dupes in this country. Someone has said that the strength of communism lies in its relentless activity. There is an overpowering element of drama in its dreams, its burning passion for pushing those dreams, its relentless cruelty in method—murder, blood, violence, conspiracy, vengeance—all exalted from the level of evil into a lofty plane of flaming righteousness by the splendor of the great dream. It is precisely the same evil human disorder which has sent religious fanatics out with flame and sword and the rack to punish and exterminate heretics. It is a kind of malignant idealism ablaze with glorified mischief which goads the minds of its devotees into restless and hot activity. Thus, while the evil saints in the Kremlin and in Yenan, with their agents in Washington at the highest levels, plotted and contrived, our President, aflame with pure vanity, and the more or less normal and uninformed men around him were so many jumping jacks in Stalin’s hands. Meantime, our native contemptuous know-it-alls, either through sheer ignorance or something worse, assured us that “the Communists have become a peasant party . . . The Soviet Union stands for democracy” (Owen Lattimore in Solution in Asia, p. 108) and “The Soviet Union cannot have any expansionist tendencies” (Edgar Snow in Battle for Asia, p. 300). And our rather foolish agents in Washington swallowed it all.

In an earlier chapter we outlined the history of Russia’s long-time aims in Manchuria, Mongolia and Sinkiang. The game in Asia was a struggle between Japan and Russia for the Kwantung Peninsula and Manchuria. Russia had stolen these things from China and Japan stole them from Russia. Stalin’s plan was to come into the war as close to the moment of Japan’s exhaustion as possible, walk into Manchuria, and steal back as much of it as he could get. Roosevelt agreed he should have Port Arthur, Dairen, the Kurile Islands, Sakhalin and control of the Manchurian Railroads. But Stalin had not the slightest intention of permitting the Chinese Nationalist government to recover Manchuria. So he arranged that, with Roosevelt’s consent, he would have an army of 1,250,000 Soviet troops fully equipped by the United States and perched on the Manchurian border when the Japanese surrendered, ready to walk in, and take as much as they could. Did not Roosevelt realize that he would turn the rest over to the Chinese Communists? This he could do only if he could get into the Japanese war. And this, of course, he did.

At Yalta, Stalin knew precisely the condition of Japan. He was at peace with her. He had a huge embassy in Tokyo and consuls all over Japan. And we may be sure that he had plenty of secret agents there. He knew Japan was exhausted. He knew the day of reckoning was not far off. Actually on the eve of Yalta the Japanese Foreign Minister had suggested to the Russian Ambassador in Tokyo the possibility of arranging for a settlement. Stalin did not communicate this to his allies.

George Marshall, for some reason which leads him astray whenever he moves away from the field of military organization, convinced himself that Japan would fight to the last Jap—something no nation has ever done, though many have threatened. He insisted on preparing for a land invasion of Japan with an army of 2,000,000 men and with an appalling number of estimated casualties. And he insisted we had to have Russia in the war to win—to fight the immense Kwantung army which Japan had in Manchuria. He apparently did not know what he should have known and what others knew—that this army was sadly deteriorated by levies for use in other parts of the vast Pacific battleground. Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur had assured Roosevelt at Hawaii just after Roosevelt’s nomination for his fourth term that as soon as they took the Philippines and the Marianas, Japan would be hopelessly cut off from supplies and that she would have to surrender.[163] But Marshall was adamant.

Admiral Leahy says that Marshall didn’t seem to realize that the Navy had beaten Japan.[164] Edward Stettinius said that he knew of the “immense pressure put on the President by our military leaders to bring Russia into the Far Eastern war.” He said that, as early as 1943 at Cairo, Harry Hopkins appeared with a document from the military, urging that Russia be brought in because “with Russia as an ally against Japan the war can be terminated in less time and at less expense in life and resources.” From a political view of the matter there could be no possible argument for letting Russia in. However, from a military viewpoint this was more reasonable in 1943. At Yalta, in 1945, it was preposterous. Yet Stettinius says that as soon as Roosevelt reached Yalta, General Marshall went into a secret session with him. No delegates knew anything of this. The actual agreement about Russia’s entry was made later in a secret session between Stalin and Roosevelt only. When later Secretary Stettinius asked Roosevelt about this secret meeting, Roosevelt put him off with the statement that it was a military matter and had better remain on that level.[165] Thus even the Secretary of State was not let into the secret. So far as I know, only Hiss knew of it. The agreements made at Yalta were drawn up by a committee representing Britain, Russia and the United States. It was composed of Sir Gladwyn Jebb, Andrei Gromyko and Alger Hiss. Who represented us?

Admiral Leahy wrote in his memoirs:

“I was of the firm opinion that our war against Japan had progressed to the point where I was convinced that her defeat was only a matter of time and attrition. Therefore we did not need Stalin’s help to defeat our enemy in the Pacific. The Army did not agree with me, and Roosevelt was prepared to bargain with Stalin.”[166]

Admiral King, in a letter to a Senate Committee, said he “believed” Japan could and should have been defeated without an invasion of the home islands. He said, “When the President asked me about making concessions to Premier Stalin in order to get him to play ball, I replied that I would concede him only half of the island of Sakhalin, and that as a sop.” In addition, General H. H. Arnold, head of the Air Force, said in his memoirs that he sent one of his officers to Yalta to inform Roosevelt that the Japs had already been brought to their knees and that no Russian aid was needed.

A point stressed by the Marshall apologists is that at the time of Yalta no one knew whether or not the atomic bomb would work. However, General Leslie R. Groves, who was head of the atomic bomb project, informed Senator Hickenlooper (New York Times, June 28, 1951) that before the Yalta conference Roosevelt had been told that the atomic bomb was a 99-per-cent certainty and that the first bomb would be ready in August 1945 and that it would be extremely powerful.

Marshall was Chief of Staff of the Army. Of course, as we now know, and shall see fully, it was the huge Communist army on the Siberian border, equipped by us at an enormous outlay, which marched into Manchuria five days before the Japanese surrendered, took Manchuria, enabled the Japanese to deliver their arms to the Chinese Communists and for the first time set them up in business as a powerful war machine. At the root of all this was the fact that in the State Department there were no political experts on Russo-Asiatic and Communist history and techniques to guide the generals. Marshall was getting his briefing on that from our Red and pink-infested State Department.

Secretary Acheson denied on the witness stand that there were any men in the State Department who favored the Communists. Yet we know that up to 1947 there were over a hundred in the Department who were so bad that a loyalty board after investigating them forced them out as bad security risks. This, however, did not eliminate all of those who favored the Communists in China as against the Nationalist government. We have seen the evidence of that, and many of these men remained in the Department. On the witness stand following Acheson, General Hurley, who had been sent to China as the personal envoy of President Roosevelt, was asked about this. He answered by producing a letter he wrote to President Truman in November 1945:

“It is no secret that the American policy in China did not have the support of all the career men in the Department. The professional foreign service men sided with the Chinese Communists’ armed party and the imperialist bloc of nations whose policy it was to keep China divided against herself. Our professional diplomats continuously advised the Communists that my efforts in preventing the collapse of the Nationalist government did not represent the policy of the United States. These same professionals openly advised the Communist armed party to decline unification of the Chinese Communist Army with the Nationalist Army unless the Chinese Communists were given control.”

Hurley added: “I requested the relief of the career men who were opposing the American policy in the Chinese theatre of war. These professional diplomats were returned to Washington and placed in the Far Eastern and Chinese divisions of the State Department as my supervisors. Some of these same career men whom I relieved have been assigned as advisers to the Supreme Commander in Asia.”[167]

The men named by Hurley for return to America were George Atcheson, Jr., Chargé d’Affaires of the American Embassy, John P. Davies, Jr., consul and later second secretary, Fulton Freeman and Arthur Ringwalt, secretaries, John Stewart Service, Raymond P. Ludden, Hungerford B. Howard, Edward E. Rice and Philip D. Sprouse. In proof of Hurley’s statement that when they got back to Washington some of them became his supervisors, John Carter Vincent made Ringwalt chief of the China Division, with Edward E. Rice and Fulton Freeman as assistant chiefs. John Stewart Service was made head of the promotions and placement section of the Department. Atcheson was sent as an adviser to General MacArthur. Ludden, Howard and Sprouse were returned to China in the consular service.

Blunder Number Four

We must now look at General Marshall’s final crushing blow to the Chinese republic. Prior to the Japanese surrender General Hurley went to China as the President’s envoy. He induced Chiang Kai-shek to invite the Communists to enter discussions looking toward an end of the civil war. A Political and Consultative Conference was arranged to which the Communists sent a large delegation. General Hurley then left China and General Marshall was sent as President Truman’s envoy at the end of 1945.

Almost the first thing General Marshall did was to inform both parties that if they would work out a plan of unity the United States would aid with material and credits. Here was the clearly implied threat that if they did not the government of China would get no help from us. Under this pressure a joint statement was issued by Nationalist and Communist leaders providing for an end of all military action pending the negotiations. A representative of each side, with General Marshall as chairman, sat down to discuss the plan. But the truce did not last long. Of course the blame was put upon the Nationalist government. Nathaniel Peffer in the New York Times weekly magazine section said that the “Nationalists had scuttled the truce.”[168] This was untrue. When the truce was ordered the Communists held 57 counties. A year later they had 310—indicating that they had taken advantage of the truce to expand, which was a violation of the truce. The Bolton Congressional report has made up an impressive catalogue of the bridges, railway stations and other installations destroyed by the Communists during this time.[169]

General Marshall, in pursuance of his threat to cut off all supplies to the government if they did not make terms with the Communists, now promptly imposed an embargo—and he himself later labeled it as such. All aid of all sorts to China was discontinued until the summer of 1947. The war ended August 14, 1945. In December 1946, President Truman admitted we had given no military aid since V-J Day. And now Marshall had cut it off until August 1947. Thus for two years China got no real aid from us.

John Carter Vincent, then head of the Far Eastern Division of the State Department, stated its philosophy thus:

“I believe it is unsound to invest private or public capital in countries where a government is wasting its substance on excessive armaments, where the factor of civil war exists, where tendencies toward government monopolization exclude American business or where undemocratic concepts of government are controlling.”[170]

Analyze this specious plea. This did not involve a question of investment. It was a question of whether we would aid the Chinese government to arm itself to fight a Communist rebellion. This was a question to be resolved on principles wholly unconnected with business investment. China was in a civil war, in which a movement guided, financed and armed by Communist Russia was undertaking by force to overthrow the government of China and to bring that immense country into the Communist world. The State Department now admits that Russia was trying to do this. The question arose—was it a wise course to enable the Chinese Nationalist government to crush the Chinese Red rebellion or should we permit that rebellion to succeed? The issues here would rest on certain great principles unconnected with any immediate investment considerations.

As for China wasting her substance on armaments, she had no armaments and depended on us to get them and we refused to give them to her. The point raised was that where a country is attacked by revolutionists it must “waste its substance on armaments.” The alternative, of course, in that case is that it must surrender to the revolutionists. This was a dishonest statement. In 1950, the North Koreans attacked the South Koreans. The South Koreans resisted. Were they not then wasting their substance on armament? Should we aid a country like that? That statement was so patently a piece of special pleading for the Communists that this alone marks the spot where our State Department stood.

China having got no aid since V-J Day (August 14, 1945), we have General Marshalls testimony that from then on she got no further aid until 1947, when the embargo was lifted. Then, he said, until 1948 there was only one important commercial contract made by the Chinese government. As for arms and ammunition only one important purchase was made—130 million rounds of rifle ammunition. The Chinese government got also 150 C-46s. In 1948 they sought to buy additional surplus ammunition from the Marianas, but Mr. Acheson, in his testimony during the MacArthur inquiry, did not say it was ever delivered. Others, however, have pointed out that it was practically worthless.[171]

Then, in April 1948, Congress passed the China Aid Act providing $125,000,000 as a grant for military assistance. Acheson said all of this was delivered by the end of 1949. He refers to the White Paper for proof. But that lists only $60,000,000 of shipments to March 1949. Acheson attempted to pull the wool over the eyes of the Senate Committee with the bald statement that we had given China $2,000,000,000 since V-J Day. But that did not stand up under cross examination. He had to admit that we had actually sent $747,000,000 and that $335,000,000 of that was for transporting troops to accept the Japanese surrender. The most he could scratch up as aid by his statistics was $430,000,000. And he admits that after 1948 all shipments went to Formosa, to which the government was preparing to flee.[172] It is patently ridiculous to have Acheson on one hand attempting to exaggerate the aid given to China, while one of his high-ranking subordinates offers a set of excuses in defense of our failure to send adequate aid.

When Secretary Acheson was testifying in the famous Mac-Arthur hearings, Senator Owen Brewster of Maine produced the report of Colonel L. B. Moody, U. S. Army Ordnance Corps officer, who had made a study of China’s military needs and supplies with one of our missions. Excerpts from this report speak for themselves. He stated:

1. The inevitable defeat of the Nationalist army was due to their deficit in items of infantry weapons and especially ammunition, and the Communist superiority in these items.

2. Military aid to the Chinese means infantry weapons and ammunition above all else and it is “precisely these items which the United States has consistently denied, delayed or limited. Only passing reference will be made to the billions of mouldy cigarettes, blown-up guns, and junk bombs and disabled vehicles from the Pacific Islands which have been totalled up with other real or alleged aid in various State Department, Communist and leftist statements to create the impression that we have furnished the Nationalist government with hundreds of millions or billions of useful fighting equipment.”[173]

Secretary Acheson had testified as to the ammunition left by the Marines when they debarked from China. Colonel Moody said that when they left, the items referred to gave them a six-day supply for their 30-calibre weapons. Colonel Moody’s study estimated that of the total brought in from various Pacific bases, only three per cent was of required ground-force types and only two per cent of the useful airforce types and that not all of this was serviceable. He estimated that the total Chinese and American rifle and machine-gun ammunition produced in 1948 amounted to only some 63 days’ supply in active operations.[174]

Of course, the pretense that our government was supplying the Nationalists with ammunition while at the same time they were giving out publicly their reasons for not doing it exposes the whole mendacious argument. The simple truth, as we have seen, is that when the Japanese surrendered, the Chinese Nationalist army far outnumbered the Red revolutionary army. Then appeared Stalin’s army of 1,250,000 men armed with American guns, planes, tanks and munitions and other supplies and the balance began to alter. Now the Chinese Communists had in their hands the immense quantities of munitions laid down by the Japanese in the North. After that the Russian army was on their northern border and able to provide them not merely with arms and munitions but with military advice.

That was the situation in 1945. Then in 1946 General Marshall cut off the arms and supplies to the Nationalist army. Supplies were not resumed again for nearly two years, by which time the balance had wholly shifted. Even then what we sent was a mere niggardly hand-out. The end of it was that the Communists captured one province after another and ultimately drove the Nationalist government out of China to the island of Formosa.

During this time—that is, from 1945 to 1946—General Marshall was Chief of Staff and from 1946 to 1947 the President’s special envoy in China and after that Secretary of State. He, more than any other man, was responsible for this policy. Was it because he was a Communist? There is probably no one in the country further removed from that stain than General Marshall. Was it because he was stupid or ignorant? Of course, he is neither. But he was certainly ignorant—shockingly and pathetically ignorant—of the dark, subtle, amoral and shameless techniques of Communist revolutionary strategy. Floundering around in a world as strange to him as military strategy would be to me, he inevitably fell into the hands of the State Department men in Washington and in China.

Senator Walter George, of Georgia, a patient and considerate man, said to Acheson when he was a witness before the MacArthur hearings that in 1946, when Marshall came back from China, he (Senator George) asked Marshall if he did not conclude that the only way to bring about any stability in government in China was through a coalition or integration of the forces. Said Senator George: “General Marshall’s reply to me based upon his testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee after he had been named Secretary of State, when he finally came back, was that he hardly knew what he thought at that time, that there was so much confusion in his own mind as to what he thought could be done or could not be done.” Acheson answered that this accorded with his own recollection of what Marshall’s attitude was.[175]

I think we may say with safety that there was no such confusion in Stalin’s mind. The simple truth—and Americans, particularly American public men, will do well to heed this—is that there is a highly developed, comprehensive and intricate political technology which has been developed by the Communist technicians for dealing with political pressures of every description. They are unknown to Americans, including most public men. They are so devious, so malignant, yet so intelligent, and so utterly foreign to the processes of the ordinary American mentality, that Americans generally refuse to believe them. There are men in this country who know of this dark art. They attempted to put up the warning signals during the war and after. But they were silenced with the cry of “Fascist.” It was difficult for them to be heard—however well known they were. The magazines, the radio and even the book publishers closed their doors on them. It was a high crime and a form of treason to the Brave New World to tell the truths which I have outlined here and which now, when the hour is late, our people are beginning at least dimly to see.

[144] Hearings before the Senate Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Relations (hereafter referred to as the MacArthur Inquiry), June 7, 1951.

[145] Ibid., June 2, 1951.

[146] Ibid.

[147] Ibid.

[148] Ibid.

[149] The China Story by Freda Utley (Chicago, 1951), p. 106.

[150] Roosevelt and Hopkins by Robert E. Sherwood (N. Y., 1948), p. 739.

[151] Ibid., p. 740.

[152] The Stilwell Papers (N. Y., 1948), p. 328.

[153] Ibid., p. 330.

[154] Ibid., p. 333.

[155] Ibid., p. 334.

[156] Ibid., p. 345.

[157] I Was There (Leahy), p. 271.

[158] Memoirs of Cordell Hull, p. 1309.

[159] The Strange Alliance by John R. Deane (N. Y., 1947), p. 226.

[160] I Was There, p. 147.

[161] The Strange Alliance, p. 247.

[162] MacArthur Inquiry, June 4, 1951.

[163] I Was There, pp. 245–259.

[164] Ibid.

[165] Roosevelt and the Russians by Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (N. Y., 1949), p. 90.

[166] I Was There, p. 293.

[167] MacArthur Inquiry, June 4, 1951.

[168] N. Y. Times Sunday Magazine, May 1, 1949.

[169] Bolton Report, House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Sub-Committee No. 5) on Communism in China (1948).

[170] Address before Foreign Trade Council, Nov. 12, 1946.

[171] MacArthur Inquiry, June 5, 1951.

[172] Ibid.

[173] Ibid.

[174] Ibid.

[175] Ibid., June 6, 1951.

XIX. America’s Two Wars

It was a long and winding road to Korea. The road led through Europe, into the Pacific, through the islands of the Pacific, into China and then Korea. But we must not suppose this was the end of the line. The surrender of China to Soviet Russia was merely the closing of one great act. Korea was the door which leads to the next.

When China disappeared behind the Iron Curtain, Russia was in possession of the entire northern strip of Asia, which is larger than all the rest of Asia combined. She was also in possession of the entire Pacific coast of Asia from the Pole down to the Indo-Chinese border. At a point toward the north of China the Japanese home islands rest—a meagre little scrap of land containing the most energetic and highly civilized population in Asia—yet it could be tucked away in any one of a half dozen provinces of China without being noticed.

Because the Japanese are the most vigorous people in the Pacific, Russia will never stop until she has conquered Japan and brought her within the Communist orbit. Deprived of her means of living, it is difficult to see how Japan can resist too long the wiles of her Communist tormentors to bring her down. Now, if you will look at a map of Asia, you will see that the entire ocean coast is in the hands of Russia. Somewhere near the northern border of China, a hundred miles off the coast, are the small Japanese islands. And just opposite them, and just under Manchuria, and sticking out, as Japan said, like a dagger pointed at her, is the tongue of land called Korea.

If Korea had had no history these last 20 years, a man familiar with Soviet philosophy and intentions would know without being told that Russia would want Korea. When the war ended, Russia walked with our connivance into Manchuria. Now, as Mr. Acheson himself had to admit, Russia is detaching Manchuria, Outer Mongolia and Sinkiang—the entire northern part of China—from China. To suppose she would not want Korea to complete and round out that steal would be sheer simplicity. Was there no one in the State Department who knew the history of Korea, China and Russia? Where were all those wizards—the Hulls, the Stettiniuses, the Harrimans, the Hopkinses, the Achesons, these extraordinary men who knew so much—yet who didn’t know what any number of American journalists could have told them: that Russia had plans already in blueprint form for Korea?

When Russia declared war on Japan on August 8th, her armies made a beeline into Manchuria and through the Kwantung Peninsula right into Korea. They were in Korea in five days. Our troops did not get there until a month later. We have been told that Korea had been divided at the 38th Parallel into a northern and southern sector—the Russians to occupy the northern sector above the 38th Parallel and the Americans the southern sector below the 38th. How this was done and why has never been revealed. A cock-and-bull story about a military agreement for mere convenience in accepting the surrender of the Japanese has been given out. This is not true and the proof is available. This division had been agreed on long before, because, as in the case of so many other agreements, Russia knew what she was doing and our agents did not.

From the moment the Russians entered Korea, their intentions were obvious. They sent in an army of from 200,000 to 250,000. As soon as they entered they set about arming the Communist Koreans. There had been a Korean Communist movement for years. As in Manchuria, young Korean radicals were armed with the weapons which had been taken from the Japanese. A strong, well-disciplined and completely armed militia of 150,000 men was quickly organized. It was trained and disciplined and instructed to provide a powerful native force if and when the Soviet armies withdrew.[176]

Dr. Syngman Rhee, who had served as head of the Korean Provisional Government-in-Exile for many years, returned and set out to organize a republic in South Korea. He wanted the country united. And he wanted a constitution and elections. But there was no wish for election or unity in North Korea on these terms. There was, in fact, nothing but the omens of trouble. But somehow our State Department had become so drugged by the opiates it had brewed for the people that it perceived none of these.

As early as August 31, 1946, Harold J. Noble in the Saturday Evening Post pointed to all the elements of trouble in Korea. He wrote:

“With Korea in Russian hands and with Russians infiltrating into North and Central China with a strong Communist fifth column we could hardly expect a long delay in the creation of a powerful, if shadowy, Russian empire which would stretch from the Northern coasts of Siberia at least to the Yangtse River.”

That article bore an ominous name—Our Most Dangerous Boundary. The author pointed out that the Russians had garrisoned Northern Korea with a larger force than the Americans possessed in Japan and Manchuria. The American soldiers in South Korea were disposed for police duties. The Russians were disposed to invade at a moment’s notice. Where we had a squad near the border commanded by a corporal, the Russians had a battalion commanded by an officer of long experience. They were equipped with motor transport, ninety per cent of which came from America, but which they believed was made in Russia. The Russians established a police state in Northern Korea and they suppressed every political organization but the Communist Party. Of course this was true also in the Communist sections of China. Yet we had a chorus of strange voices in the State Department denouncing Chiang Kai-shek because he had a “one party state.”

The author then pointed out that with their large and well-equipped Korean Communist army, “at a suitable time in terms of this program the Russians are expected to make proposals for the joint withdrawal of American and Russian troops from Korean territory. After the Americans are gone the Korean Communists will dominate through holding key posts and through the Russian-trained gendarmery. At the proper time riots will be precipitated, the Communist-trained troops will seize strategical positions and institutions and within 48 hours the Communists will be in complete control of the . . . Korean peninsula.”

A year later, in 1947, General Albert Wedemeyer made his famous report on China and Korea. The Korean part was suppressed and was made public only recently. In this report General Wedemeyer said:

“American and Soviet forces . . . are approximately equal, less than 50,000 troops each, [but] the Soviet-equipped and trained North Korean People’s (Communist) Army of approximately 125,000 is vastly superior to the United States-organized constabulary of 16,000 Koreans equipped with Japanese small arms. The North Korean People’s Army constitutes a potential military threat to South Korea, since there is strong possibility that the Soviets will withdraw their occupation forces and thus induce our own withdrawal.”[177]

Wedemeyer then warned that this will take place as soon as “they can be sure that the North Korean puppet government and its armed forces . . . are strong enough . . . to be relied upon to carry out Soviet objectives without the actual presence of Soviet troops.” He then recommended that we organize, equip and train a South Korean Scout force similar to the former Philippine Scouts, under a United States military commander and officered throughout by Americans with a program of replacement by Korean officers. This would counteract the North Korean People’s Army when American and Soviet forces withdrew and “possibly preclude the forcible establishment of a Communist government.”[178]

This was a solemn warning from an American officer of high rank who enjoyed an exceptional opportunity for studying this problem and who had been sent to the Far East as Chiang’s military adviser and later by President Truman to resurvey the situation. When Acheson was asked about this report during the MacArthur hearings, he looked at the Senators coldly and without batting an eye said: “Some of the predictions in the report did not turn out the way he [Wedemeyer] expected” and “all the recommendations were carried out . . . with the exception of one.”[179] This referred to the proposal to create a South Korean army such as was formed in the Philippines, that is, an army capable of matching the North Korean Scout force. This was the one recommendation to which the others were ancillary. To say all were carried out but that one was a piece of cold and impudent assurance worth a prize. But Acheson knew well that the other recommendations had not been carried out. Little or no arms had been sent. General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, charged with the task, said that before June 1950, when the attack occurred, nothing had been sent but a few hundred dollars’ worth of bailing wire.[180]

But there was advice of a different brand coming from quarters whose counsel had always been potent and even determining. The character of that service can be gauged in the shameful suggestion of Owen Lattimore (in the leftist New York Compass) that we should give Korea a “parting grant” of $150,000,000 and “let South Korea fall but not to let it look as though we pushed it.”[181]

Richard H. Johnston, in the New York Times (July 3, 1947) pointed out that the military in Korea believe “that the American delegation has been ordered to accept any kind of provisional government for Korea in preparation for an early withdrawal.” He added that American prestige “has not been lower at any time” and that most Koreans, except the Communists, fear they “are facing a sell-out.” This was all in conformity with the Communist line following the Japanese surrender. November 18, 1945, William Z. Foster told delegates to the National Convention of the Communist Party that “on the international scale the key task is to stop American intervention in China.” December 4, 1945, the Communists staged a “Get Out of China Rally,” while Red-dominated unions put on work stoppages with the same slogan.

Already conditions inviting the attack had been created by the United Nations which had by resolution ordered the withdrawal of both the Russian and the American troops. The troops began withdrawing September 15, 1948, leaving only about 7500 Americans lightly armed. This left in South Korea 16,000 Koreans and 7500 Americans, both groups lightly armed, against 150,000 fully armed North Korean Communists. The South Koreans were not permitted to arm adequately, said General Roberts, head of the U. S. Military Mission to Korea, “because America feared they would attack the North Koreans.”[182] Acheson said the withdrawal was at the order of the United Nations. But he also admitted he did not protest. Here, now, was the very condition that both General Wedemeyer and Harold J. Noble had predicted.

After this came the warnings of General MacArthur foreshadowing imminent trouble. Meantime, some curious negotiations were going on in the United Nations to expel Nationalist China from that body and seat the Chinese communists. Led by Great Britain, every country in Europe save Belgium, Greece and Luxemburg voted for it. The United States voted against it. It was defeated by the votes of the South American republics and the Arab countries. But the United States delegates made no real fight and Acheson announced that if it were carried the United States would not veto it. It did not come under the veto clause, he said. Now he admits that it does.

Louis Johnson, who was Secretary of Defense in President Truman’s cabinet at the time, testified before the MacArthur hearings that while the State Department “recognized” the Chiang Kai-shek regime in a formal sense, it wished to give him no support. He declared that all along Acheson had taken the position that he did not want to be associated with the regime in Formosa. And he consistently took a line hostile to saving Formosa.[183]

Thus in a moment in our history when we needed above all things an informed and resolute leadership, closely identified with the spiritual life of America, we were leaderless. Worse, we were at the mercy of men who had become enamoured of values and forms of life alien to our nature. The key to this whole cruel misadventure lies in two fatal conditions. One was Roosevelt’s preoccupation with his glory as the creator of a world order of which he would be the founder and head. The other was his rapidly deteriorating physical and mental faculties, which made him at once no match for his resolute and ruthless antagonist in the Kremlin and a prey to the swarm of reds and pinks and shallow self-seekers and their curious companions in the State Department.

Now we may look back to the baffling dilemma of Chiang Kai-shek in China. He was caught between two wars—a war on China by Japan and a war on China by Russia. Our blind leaders refused to see this and insisted on acting in the illusion that China was fighting the Japanese only and that Russia was an ally. Then comes upon us the startling realization that we, too, like China, were engaged in two wars in Asia. One was against our common enemy Japan; the other against our common enemy Russia. We, with our ally China, fought the Japanese. But all the time, Russia, with her satellite Red army in China, was fighting both China and the United States. China, alas, has fallen. The dark curtain that, with our consent, was rung down over our luckless allies in Europe—Poland and Czechoslovakia and other little countries—has now fallen on China. And this was made possible wholly because of Russia’s allies—conscious and unconscious—in America, in our government and even in our State Department.

There were traitors in the State Department and in posts of power in many departments of the government. Many of the men who are now being hustled off to jail were exercising a controlling influence at those key positions where decisions are made. It is not easy to uncover the real moral and intellectual disease which took possession of the minds of so many men in places of power. It is easy enough to diagnose the case of those men who were outright Communists or half-convinced fellow travelers. They knew what they believed and what they were aiming at. The trouble lies in tracing the illness which possessed the minds of men who were neither Communists nor Socialists, yet who could be afflicted with some disorder that brought them down to a point where they saw our problems almost precisely as the Reds saw them, and led them to become, in some cases the deluded, and in some cases the completely blind partners of the enemy.

These aberrations led to a shockingly false conception of the war and its objectives and its meanings. In turn, by the most gigantic propaganda assault in history, they set out to fool the American people about the war and its purposes.

The result is that the war is not yet over for us. Indeed, the war in its most dangerous aspects has really only begun. Germany, Japan and their several allies have been defeated. But the real enemy remains, his strength enormously increased by our aid and his power sprawling all over Europe and Asia.

That enemy is communism. Stalin is merely its high priest and Russia is merely its GHQ. The war was and is upon our concept of life, and the Communist generals know that there is only one stronghold to be stormed and taken. That is the United States of America. They know, too, that this is not to be accomplished just by war against our armies and upon the seas. They know it is to be achieved by war upon our system of life—our system of government and of economic organization. And they know that already there is here among us an army of foolish men—some of them instructed—who have come amongst us to teach us the great lesson of the “Good Life.” But many more—far more—are those deluded Americans who agree with this diseased philosophy and who have learned from Europe, from its Red and its Black dictators—the Stalins and the Hitlers and the Mussolinis—that there are numerous groups who can be incorporated in their social armies of discontent—all sorts of people, good and bad, mostly deluded, who can be captured by appeals to their hatreds and their appetites.

While we arm against Russia, we remain defenseless against the enemies within the walls. It is they, not Stalin’s flyers or soldiers or atomic bombers, who will destroy us. One of the greatest of all Americans once made a speech on the “Perpetuation of our Political Institutions.” It is these institutions from which we draw our great strength and promise of survival. It was Abraham Lincoln who said:

“Shall we expect a transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. . . . At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all times or die by suicide.”[184]

[176] Korea Today, by George M. McCune (Cambridge, 1950), pp. 178–179.

[177] MacArthur Inquiry, June 6, 1951.

[178] Ibid.

[179] Ibid.

[180] Ibid.

[181] New York Compass, Jan. 17, 1949.

[182] MacArthur Inquiry, June 6, 1951.

[183] Ibid., June 14, 1951.

[184] Speech before Young Men’s Lyceum, Springfield, Ill., Jan., 1837.

  • John T. Flynn was a journalist, author, and prominent critic of the New Deal and foreign wars.