JFK LISTENS TO MACARTHUR ON CHINA & USSR
"MacArthur believes it would be a mistake to fight in Laos.
It would suit the Chinese Communists
whom he feels we should have destroyed at the time of the Korean War....
He said that the 'chickens are coming home to roost' from Eisenhower's years
and I live in the chicken coup."
~ JFK, April 1961
To Orwell Today,
Hello Jackie Jura -
Hope you don't mind me calling you by your first name. My name is Mark Allen and I've been researching the JFK death for a while now. Just been reading your JFK PULLING OUT OF NAM about John Newman's book. Fascinating stuff you've written.
As I scrolled down I noticed a link to MACARTHUR, JFK, KOREA & VIETNAM where it says:
"General MacArthur was extremely critical of the military advice that President Kennedy was getting from the Pentagon, blaming it on the military leadership of the previous ten years which, he said, had advanced the wrong officers."
I also have an interest in Doug MacArthur and JFK's Joint Chiefs. Can you tell me more about MacArthur being critical of the wrong officers being advanced.
Thanks for providing some great reading and would you recommend reading John Newman's book?
Yes, I do recommend you read John Newman's book JFK & VIETNAM and also recommend you watch the 1977 movie MACARTHUR starring Gregory Peck.
General MacArthur, age 82, made those comments - about the military leadership advancing the wrong officers - during a two-hour visit to President Kennedy at the Oval Office on August 16, 1962 (two months before the October 16 Cuban Missile Crisis) which no doubt helped JFK reject pressure (again) from the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs, Secretary of Defense, State Department etc to send USA troops to war in Cuba, Laos and Vietnam.
It had been ten years since MacArthur had been fired as Commander of the United Nations army in the Korean War (not because he was losing, but because he was winning against communist Russia, China and North Korea). After MacArthur was replaced the war dragged on for two bloody years until a UN-negotiated cease-fire that continues to this day:
58th anniversary of President Truman firing General MacArthur. BBC, Apr 11, 1951 - 2009
MacArthur knew the same farce would be played out in Vietnam (because the same Communist fellow-travellers of Red China and Russia were infiltrated into the same high places in the United States) which is exactly what happened after JFK was assassinated and Johnson (more Eisenhower-administration friendly) replaced him - sending thousands of Americans to their deaths in a war that was run the same way as Korea, ie USA officers weren't allowed to enact strategies to win.
Orwellianly, the Korean War --the UN's first war since its creation in 1945 -- began on Orwell's birthday -- June 25, 1950 -- but Orwell had died five months previously on January 21, 1950 at age 46.
The United Nations itself has Orwellian connotations because it's the personfication of the organization Orwell described in "1984" as BIG BROTHER -- "a dedicated sect doing evil". The first Secretary General of the United Nations was Alger Hiss -- a Communist agent who'd infiltrated the USA State Department under Roosevelt (and Orwellianly went to jail on January 21, 1950 - the day Orwell died). See ORWELL & LENIN DIED & HISS JAILED and MCCARTHY'S UN THOUGHTS
MacArthur's visit to JFK at the White House was the second time they'd met. The first time was when JFK visited MacArthur at his Waldorf-Astoria apartment in New York City on April 18, 1961 - three months after JFK had succeeded Eisenhower as president and eleven days after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion (a planned fiasco set up by Eisenhower, the CIA, Joint Chiefs etc). MacArthur told JFK that he was lucky to have the mistake happen in a place like Cuba, where the strategic cost was not too great, and urged JFK not to listen too carefully to advisers who favored a military buildup in Vietnam. See JFK & BAY OF PIGS
After that visit JFK said that MacArthur turned out to be one of the most interesting men he had ever met, politically shrewd, intellectually sharp and a gifted conversationalist.
JFK wrote a memorandum about their meeting and a thank-you letter to MacArthur (donated to the National Archives by JFK's secretary Evelyn Lincoln who devoted her life to Camelot:
"MacArthur believes it would be a mistake to fight in Laos. It would suit the Chinese Communists whom he feels we should have destroyed at the time of the Korean War. He thinks we should fight a rear-guard action in the southeast of Asia. He does not feel we should interviene at this time in Cuba because it does not represent a military danger to us although the time may come when we may have to do so. He thinks our line should be Japan, Formosa, and the Phillipines. He feels it important that we take the initiative with regard to peace with the Russians as they always make us appear to be the aggressor. He said that the "chickens are coming home to roost" from Eisenhower's years and I live in the chicken coup....that Eisenhower should have done something about Cuba sooner."
A topic not mentioned anywhere, but which MacArthur and JFK probably also discussed in their meetings, was their mutual adventures on PT (patrol torpedo) boats in the Pacific during WWII. JFK, as everyone knows, was THE SKIPPER OF PT-109 in the Solomon Islands. And General MacArthur - when ordered by President Roosevelt to leave the Phillipines after it was surrounded and being attacked by the Japanese two months after Pearl Harbour - made his escape on a PT-boat - dodging land mines through the Japanese blockade. When he made it safely to Australia (where they were on the verge of losing to the Japanese until his arrival) MacArthur made his famous remark to his army holed up in the Phillipines: "I came through, and I shall return" (which he did, victoriosly re-taking the Phillipines from the Japanese in March 1945).
It's timely you're enquiring about JFK's Vietnam policy and about MacArthur as both - Vietnam and Korea - are in the news these days, ie news about a new movie proving that JFK was going to pull Americans out of Vietnam; and news about the war in Korea, ie North Korea - backed as usual by Red China and Russia - building-up forces at the South Korea border and firing a nuclear-capable missile over Japan (made possible by USA-supplied technology and fuel).
All the best,
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN F KENNEDY ON THE LOSS OF CHINA (speech on January 30, 1949)
...In 1944 Gen. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell presented a plan to arm 1,000,000 Chinese Communists, who had been carefully building their resources in preparation for a post-war seizure of power, and with them to capture Shanghai and clear the Yangtze. This plan was supported by some State Department officials, including Ambassador Clarence Gauss. Chiang Kai-shek refused to cooperate with this plan, which would have presented the Chinese Communists with an easy coup. Chiang requested that Stilwell be recalled, which caused such bitter comment in this country; and Gauss resigned. From this date our relations with the National Government declined. At the Yalta Conference in 1945 a sick Roosevelt, with the advice of General Marshall and other Chiefs of Staff, gave the Kurile Islands as well as the control of various strategic Chinese ports, such as Port Arthur and Dairen, to the Soviet Union....
China puts its naval might on display (show the world its latest warships). BBC, Apr 23, 2009 (...Joining President Hu on the destroyer were military officials from nearly 30 countries, including USA, France, and Russia - many of whom had the chance to tour a Chinese submarine, a destroyer and a hospital ship. Flag Lieutenant Ollie Hucker, of Britain's Royal Navy, said he was impressed with what he had seen. "In some ways we are jealous of their capabilities," he said, adding that it was clear that China wanted to become a major naval power. "The global high seas are somewhere they need to make sure they can protect. The sea is where most of the trade routes are," he said...)
N.Korea has world's largest artillery force. Breitbart, Apr 22, 2009 (...Sharp, commander of some 28,500 US troops in South Korea, said the North has "an old but very large military that is positioned in a very dangerous place, very close" to South Korea...)
58th anniversary of President Truman firing General MacArthur (Commander of UN forces in Korean War). BBC, April 11, 1951-2009
China defends North Koreas's illegal test of intercontinental ballistic missile. Breitbart, Apr 11, 2009
Virtual JFK: Vietnam if Kennedy had lived. Georgia Straight, Mar 19, 2009 (...new film makes the case that Kennedy’s 1,000 days in the White House strongly imply that he never would have taken the United States into full-scale conflict in Southeast Asia had he lived. The film is structured around the stunning set of crises faced in his first two years as president — in Laos, Berlin and, most crucially, in Cuba...)
The Real History of the Korean War. Seoul Times, Oct 18, 2005
...Gen. Douglas MacArthur deserves credit for the heroic counter-offensive that he organized. The landing of allied forces at Inchon in September 1950 saved South Korea from communist domination and it provided the resources for the society to defend itself against the invaders from the North....High-level government records from Russia and China, released in the 1990s, reveal three indisputable facts about the Korean War. First, the leaders of North Korea, the Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China coordinated their plans in 1950 to launch a surprise attack on South Korea. They aimed to spread communist influence, dominated by Moscow, throughout Northeast Asia. Kim Il-Sung, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong did not conceptualize the invasion of 25 June 1950 as a civil war for Korean liberation. In their discussions and planning meetings they spoke of communist expansion, regardless of what the Korean people desired. The communist powers fought a clear war of aggression. Second, Kim, Stalin, and Mao did not expect a strong American response. Following the U.S. military withdrawal from the peninsula and Secretary of State Dean Acheson's exclusion of South Korea from the American "defensive perimeter" in January 1950, the communist powers perceived weakness in their enemies. They saw an opportunity to seize territory at little cost. They were not deterred from attacking South Korea, as they were elsewhere. Washington failed to show enough force before 25 June 1950 to deter aggression. U.S. military weakness encouraged communist belligerence. As the first weeks of the war indicated, U.S. weakness also made a repulsion of communist advances almost impossible. The American military presence near the Korean peninsula was, in fact, very light and it was much too slow to react. Gen. Douglas MacArthur remains a controversial figure in South Korea and the United States, but he deserves credit for the heroic counter-offensive that he organized. The landing of allied forces at Inchon in September 1950 saved South Korea from communist domination and it provided the resources for the society to defend itself against the invaders from the North...[end quoting from Seoul Times]
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: 1880-1964 (...Rebuffed by the Communists, MacArthur called for an extension of the war into China that would pave the way to victory in Korea and an end to Communism in Asia. He advocated the bombing of bases in Manchuria, the blockading of the Chinese coast, and the introduction of Nationalist Chinese forces into the war. This plan was, of course, completely contrary to the policies of the Truman administration, and of the succeeding Eisenhower administration as well, for that matter. Neither, whatever their differing public expressions, had any desire to escalate the limited Korean conflict...)
MACARTHUR'S FAREWELL ADDRESS TO CONGRESS (...With this brief insight into the surrounding areas, I now turn to the Korean conflict. While I was not consulted prior to the President's decision to intervene in support of the Republic of Korea, that decision from a military standpoint, proved a sound one, as we -- as I said, proved a sound one, as we hurled back the invader and decimated his forces. Our victory was complete, and our objectives within reach, when Red China intervened with numerically superior ground forces. This created a new war and an entirely new situation, a situation not contemplated when our forces were committed against the North Korean invaders; a situation which called for new decisions in the diplomatic sphere to permit the realistic adjustment of military strategy.
Such decisions have not been forthcoming. While no man in his right mind would advocate sending our ground forces into continental China, and such was never given a thought, the new situation did urgently demand a drastic revision of strategic planning if our political aim was to defeat this new enemy as we had defeated the old. Apart from the military need, as I saw it, to neutralize the sanctuary protection given the enemy north of the Yalu, I felt that military necessity in the conduct of the war made necessary: first the intensification of our economic blockade against China; two the imposition of a naval blockade against the China coast; three removal of restrictions on air reconnaissance of China's coastal areas and of Manchuria; four removal of restrictions on the forces of the Republic of China on Formosa, with logistical support to contribute to their effective operations against the common enemy.
For entertaining these views, all professionally designed to support our forces committed to Korea and bring hostilities to an end with the least possible delay and at a saving of countless American and allied lives, I have been severely criticized in lay circles, principally abroad, despite my understanding that from a military standpoint the above views have been fully shared in the past by practically every military leader concerned with the Korean campaign, including our own Joint Chiefs of Staff. I called for reinforcements but was informed that reinforcements were not available. I made clear that if not permitted to destroy the enemy built-up bases north of the Yalu, if not permitted to utilize the friendly Chinese Force of some 600,000 men on Formosa, if not permitted to blockade the China coast to prevent the Chinese Reds from getting succor from without, and if there were to be no hope of major reinforcements, the position of the command from the military standpoint forbade victory.
We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential. I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution. Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes...)
MACARTHUR DISAGREED WITH ATOMIC BOMBING (MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary." ...Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.")
MacArthur's letter from Tokyo. Time Magazine, Apr 16, 1951
Each week the Korean war was costing the U.S. 1,300 casualties, and still there was no plan for victory. Cautiously keeping contact with the enemy, U.N. forces found indisputable evidence that he was readying an offensive, and did their best to disrupt it by air and commando assaults (see WAR IN ASIA). But the barriers reared by the United Nations and the U.S. State Department stood between the allied air and sea forces and the most vulnerable enemy areas; they were not permitted to strike across the Manchurian border at his bases, or to cut into his sea and rail supply lines in China.
In this perilous situation, a familiar voice sounded around the world last week with calculated bluntness. Said Douglas MacArthur: turn Chiang Kai-shek's forces on Formosa loose to open a second front on China's mainland. In a letter to Republican Minority Leader Joe Martin, MacArthur wrote bitterly: "My views and recommendations have been submitted to Washington in most complete detail. It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the Communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest... that here we fight Europe's war with arms while the diplomats there still fight it with words, that if we lose the war to Communism in Asia, the fall of Europe is inevitable, win it and Europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom."....
HARRY TRUMAN: 1884-1972 (...Relieving MacArthur of his command was among the least politically popular decisions in presidential history. Truman's approval ratings plummeted, and he faced calls for his impeachment from, among others, Senator Robert Taft. The Chicago Tribune called for immediate impeachment proceedings against Truman: President Truman must be impeached and convicted. His hasty and vindictive removal of Gen. MacArthur is the culmination of series of acts which have shown that he is unfit, morally and mentally, for his high office.... The American nation has never been in greater danger. It is led by a fool who is surrounded by knaves.... United States' involvement in Indochina widened during the Truman administration. On V-J Day 1945, Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France, but the U.S. announced its support of restoring French power. In 1950, Ho again declared Vietnamese independence, which was recognized by Communist China and the Soviet Union. Ho controlled a remote territory along the Chinese border, while France controlled the remainder. Truman's "containment policy" called for opposition to Communist expansion, and led the U.S. to continue to recognize French rule, support the French client government, and increase aid to Vietnam. However, a basic dispute emerged: the Americans wanted a strong and independent Vietnam, while the French cared little about containing China but instead wanted to suppress local nationalism and integrate Indochina into the French Union.... In 1953, Senator Joseph McCarthy and Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr. claimed that Truman had known Harry Dexter White was a Soviet spy when Truman appointed him to the International Monetary Fund...
President Truman Receives Jewish Menorah (for recognition of the State of Israel)
GEORGE MARSHALL: 1880-1959 (...Marshall's abilities to pick competent field commanders during the early part of the war was decidedly mixed....He had been instrumental in advancing the career of Dwight D. Eisenhower....
On June 15, 1951, as the war stalemated in heavy fighting between American and Chinese forces, Republican Senator Joe McCarthy attacked. He charged that Marshall was directly responsible for the "loss of China," as China turned from friend [under democratic Chiang Kai-Shek] to foe [under Communist Mao Zedong] . McCarthy said the only way to explain why the U.S. "fell from our position as the most powerful Nation on earth at the end of World War II to a position of declared weakness by our leadership" was because of "a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.". McCarthy said that "If Marshall were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that part of his decisions would serve this country's interest." McCarthy argued that General Albert Coady Wedemeyer had prepared a wise plan that would keep China a valued ally, but that it had been sabotaged; "only in treason can we find why evil genius thwarted and frustrated it." McCarthy suggested that Marshall was old and feeble and easily duped; he did not charge Marshall with treason. Specifically McCarthy alleged angrily at Marshall:
"When Marshall was sent to China with secret State Department orders, the Communists at that time were bottled up in two areas and were fighting a losing battle, but that because of those orders the situation was radically changed in favor of the Communists. Under those orders, as we know, Marshall embargoed all arms and ammunition to our allies in China. He forced the opening of the Nationalist-held Kalgan Mountain pass into Manchuria, to the end that the Chinese Communists gained access to the mountains of captured Japanese equipment. No need to tell the country about how Marshall tried to force Chiang Kai-shek to form a partnership government with the Communists."...
JAMES FORRESTAL: 1892-1949 (...He became Secretary of the Navy on May 19, 1944, after his immediate superior Secretary Frank Knox died from a heart attack. Forrestal led the Navy through the closing year of the war and the painful early years of demobilization that followed. As Secretary, Forrestal introduced a policy of racial integration in the Navy. Forrestal traveled to combat zones to see naval forces in action. He was in the South Pacific in 1942, present at the Battle of Kwajalein in 1944, and (as Secretary) witnessed the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. In 1947 President Harry S. Truman appointed him the first United States Secretary of Defense. Forrestal continued to advocate for complete racial integration of the services, a policy eventually implemented in 1949.
During private cabinet meetings with President Truman in 1946 and 1947, Forrestal had argued against partition of Palestine on the grounds it would infuriate Arab countries who supplied oil needed for the U.S. economy and national defense. Instead, Forrestal favored a federalization plan for Palestine. Outside the White House, response to Truman's continued silence on the issue was immediate. President Truman received threats to cut off campaign contributions from wealthy donors, as well as hate mail, including a letter accusing him of "preferring fascist and Arab elements to the democracy-loving Jewish people of Palestine." Appalled by the intensity and implied threats over the partition question, Forrestal appealed to Truman in two separate cabinet meetings not to base his decision on partition, whatever the outcome, on the basis of political pressure.
In his only known public comment on the issue, Forrestal stated to J. Howard McGrath, Senator from Rhode Island: "...no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point it could endanger our national security." Forrestal's statement soon earned him the active enmity of some congressmen and supporters of Israel. Forrestal was also an early target of the muckraking columnist and broadcaster Drew Pearson, an opponent of foreign policies hostile to the Soviet Union, who began to regularly call for Forrestal's removal after President Truman named him Secretary of Defense. Pearson told his own protege, Jack Anderson, that he believed Forrestal was "the most dangerous man in America" and claimed that if he was not removed from office, he would "cause another world war."
...Upon taking office as Secretary of Defense, Forrestal was surprised to learn that the administration did not budget for defense needs based on military threats posed by enemies of the United States and its interests.... By 1948, President Harry Truman had approved military budgets billions of dollars below what the services were requesting, putting Forrestal in the middle of a fierce tug-of-war between the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Forrestal was also becoming increasingly worried about the Soviet threat. His 18 months at Defense came at an exceptionally difficult time for the U.S. military establishment: Communist governments came to power in Czechoslovakia and China; the Soviets imposed a blockade on West Berlin prompting the U.S. Berlin Airlift to supply the city; the war between the Arab states and Israel after the establishment of Israel in Palestine; and negotiations were going on for the formation of NATO. Soviet-inspired Communist takeovers of much of Eastern Europe, Soviet-supported communist military and political campaigns against the governments of Greece, Italy, and France, the impending Communist victory in China, and the invasion of South Korea by communist North Korea would eventually demonstrate the legitimacy of Forrestal's concerns, but at the time these were not shared by the President or the rest of his cabinet.... Forrestal's greatest legacy may have been an unrealized one. Forrestal, along with Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Under Secretary of State Joseph Grew, in the early months of 1945, strongly advocated a softer policy toward Japan that would permit a negotiated armistice, a 'face-saving' surrender. Forrestal's primary concern was not the resurgence of a militarized Japan, but rather "the menace of Russian Communism and its attraction for decimated, destabilized societies in Europe and Asia," and, therefore, keeping the Soviet Union out of the war with Japan. Had his advice been followed, Japan might well have surrendered before August 1945, precluding the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So strongly did he feel about this matter that he cultivated negotiation efforts that some regarded as approaching insubordination....
JFK/RFK VIETNAM CASUALTIES
JFK, JACKIE & DEGAULLE
ON JFK'S DEATH, CHINA & UN
MACARTHUR, JFK, KOREA & VIETNAM (...In MacArthur's speech to Congress after Truman fired him as Commander of the Korean War he warned about the danger of Global Communism brought on by an empowered China. He stressed how important it was for the USA to keep control of the Pacific islands it had won during WWII because these, with Hawaii, formed a protective shield for America, and the ocean provided the distance. He said it was vital that Formosa (now Taiwan) never fall into Communist China's hands and he was admiring of Japan for ousting the Communists from its midst and thriving in its new democracy....)
LBJ'S PATH TO WAR, intro by Jackie Jura
INDIA, ORWELL, JFK & CHINA, a discussion between Nasir Abid & Jackie Jura
JFK PULLING OUT OF NAM, by Jackie Jura
JFK'S "STRATEGY OF PEACE" SPEECH, June 10, 1963 (announcing Nuclear Test Ban Treaty)
"THE MILITARY ARE MAD" (JFK comment to aide)
MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE MOVIES
VIETNAM, KOREA, IRAQ WARS
JFK PT-109 SURVIVAL STORY
6.Super-States & 7.Systems of Thought
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