June 25, 2010

Sixty Years On

The Korean War began sixty years ago today.

Sixty years on, the Korean War is almost completely forgotten, we're still fighting a land war in Asia, and the President is firing his General, 
 

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's another land war in Asia you forgot to mention: We're still fighting the Korean War!

Anonymous said...

Well, it turned out that Gen. MacArthur, jerk that he was, was 100% right about the conduct of the Korean war.

The history of the world would be far better and particularly better for Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese people if we'd continued the war straight up into China. Of course the greatest benefit would have accrued to thirty million Koreans who lived for sixty years so far in a prison camp.

And it would have done us a lot of good in Cuba, Vietnam, and the Middle East if we hadn't gotten a reputation by giving up half of Korea.

I don't think McChrstal's tongue wagging will stand the test of time so well.

Anonymous said...

There was an editorial a year or two ago in the magazine/journal Military History about the frequency and intensity of war. Its major point was that armed conflict diminished over the course of the twentieth century. They noted that there were more conflicts and casualties in the first half of the century than in the second half. They interpreted that as a trend.

It might be a trend. Certainly from the longer perspective we know that in Republican Rome they had a war every year when the "campaigning season" began. The doors on the Temple of Mars were only closed when Rome was at peace. By the end of the Republic no one had ever seen those closed. Augustus' Pax Romana has to be understood in this light.

But ancient war was in many ways not conflict so much as an economic activity. Almost all great wealth then was acquired in war. But economics has changed. Nations don't finance their activities nowadays with continuous conquest. Japan and Nazi Germany were the last to try this tactic. We bombed them to their senses and today they are more prosperous than they were in their warlike phases.

Similarly in more modern times Europe had the War of the Spanish Succession and The War of the Austrian Succession. Elections and republican institutions have perhaps made these kind of wars obsolete too.

The atomic age started at Hiroshima but it seems to have ended soon thereafter at Nagasaki. After a succession of terror weapons (eg. crossbow, Gatling Gun, etc..) that were supposed to stop war by making it too horrible to contemplate but did not, we may have finally developed weapons that really are too terrible to use.

Anti-war commenters remark on how lengthy our war in Iraq has been but tend to ignore that we had very few casualties. There was never anything like the first day of The Battle of the Somme. In France and England the Great War depopulated whole towns and regions. Nothing like that has been seen in our Middle East conflicts. And now we are going to fight in Afghanistan with robots.

So there is some reason to believe that the human race has indeed outgrown the need for war.

Or maybe not.

The violence curve has been downward for the last few decades but we can't see the whole times series. We may be experiencing a secular trend or we may only be observing a segment of a longer term sine wave.

There are still plenty of causes for conflict. Some are traditional like religion. We speak of the seventeenth century as the time of the Wars of Religion but that was only Catholics and Protestants. The greater religious split between Christians and Muslims has yet to be resolved.

We may indeed have a true race war in our future. We had one before - The American Civil War. Since that terrible conflict we have been trying to paper over race differences but so far there has been little real progress.

Finally we may see nuclear weapons used again perhaps as a continuing weapons system not as a concluding weapon. India and Pakistan came close, some people think just a few years ago. The two least stable governments on earth - North Korea and Iran - are both very close to being able to mount and sustain a nuclear campaign or to provision jihadists.

So fifty years hence our next conflict is likely to be better remembered than the Korean War is today.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

If we even managed to wipe out the waves of Chinese troops in Korea using tactical nukes, as MacArthur wanted, we still probably would have been fighting an insurgency until 1970.

At that point we'd have been bled dry.

The South Korean government had already been fighting a surprisingly intense anti-guerrilla war since 1945.

The good thing about the Korean War was that those guys almost all went up North during the fighting.

Whiskey said...

North Korea still exists, and we still have about 15K troops in South Korea as a "trip wire" to drag the US into war should North Korea invade as it periodically promises.

Albertosaurus is correct, war has not been "outlawed" because of a treaty to "abolish war" (like the League of Nations). In the Congo, over 7 million people have been killed in War since 2000. It is still going on.

Moreover, a nation like Pakistan can and has made over 100 nukes. It can officially or otherwise, or maybe only partly (standard fare for a factionalized, tribalized, ethnic-linguistic-sectarian ridden nation of tribes with a flag) hand off a nuke or three to be used against London. Or New York City. Or Copenhagen. Because of a cartoon. Or a play. Or a book. That was never published, shown, or broadcast in any other place but the West.

Seriously, if a Jihad got a nuke (and the money to ship it out of Pakistan and into LA) he could blow up downtown Los Angeles over a South Park cartoon ... that didn't even show Mohammed. Angry over the cartoon showing Muslims as violent ... or something.

Technology has pushed down to local African levels an AK-47, a marvel of engineering in firearms deadliness. To the ME, nukes. Its folly to think they won't be used.

Anonymous said...

A tactical insurgency? What support did the Kim dynasty have among the people? None. Conducting the war as MacArthur wanted -- declaring war on a Chinese government that made an unprovoked attack on us and using overwhelming force to destroy it --would have won Korea within months, probably toppled the communist dynasty in China (remember there was a ready government in exile in Taiwan) and done more good for more people than all the charitable efforts of all time. I can understand why Truman acted as he did -- I'm not sure I'd have had the strength of character to use nukes in one war let alone two -- but it was one of the worst decisions in history.

Truth said...

"Sixty years on, the Korean War is almost completely forgotten, we're still fighting a land war in Asia, and the President is firing his General,"

25 words total; best post you've ever written, hands down.

Anonymous said...

"What support did the Kim dynasty have among the people? None."

That's just not true.

The South Korean government spent a decade weeding out guerrillas all over the country, but especially in the Jeolla provinces and on Jeju Island.

Those guys saw the Lee Seung-man government as traitorous and corrupt.

When American forces left South Korea in 1948, the communists seized on that opportunity to create havoc.

It was lucky that they were mostly gone by the end of the Korean War.

We would've been dealing with them for a long time if we'd taken over the entire country.

Dugout Doug said...

Albertosaurus/ Anoynmous #3, thanks. That was a thoughtful and serious comment, and its too bad its going to get lost amid a deluge of "we should have let MacArthur nuke China (and let MacArthey clean out the domestic Commies while we were at it)" posts.

It could be that at least conventional, WWII/ Korean style war will be something civilization just grows out of, like it grew out of human sacrifice and slavery.

Or we could wind up with a nuclear war that kills off most of contemporary civilization. World War II really was a surprise to everyone but Churchill and Hitler, and historians are still puzzled about how World War I got going.

So who knows?

jody said...

"Its major point was that armed conflict diminished over the course of the twentieth century. They noted that there were more conflicts and casualties in the first half of the century than in the second half. They interpreted that as a trend."

it's not a trend. it's just the result of continuously improving technology. the same as declining birth rates. declining birth rates are due to good birth control technology and nothing else.

first world nations can't fight each other anymore because aircraft and missiles are too good now.

"Anti-war commenters remark on how lengthy our war in Iraq has been but tend to ignore that we had very few casualties."

that's a combination of not going up against a real opponent, plus year 2010 medicine. less men die now when shot or blown up.

"So there is some reason to believe that the human race has indeed outgrown the need for war."

nah. without good aircraft or good missiles, first world nations would be still killing each other more quickly today than they ever did in 1940. they can't fight each other in 2010 because aircraft and missiles are too good.

second and third world nations without good missiles still fight each other in conflicts where the best weapon is artillery.

if somebody figures out how to reliably intercept dozens of the new, good missiles all at the same time though, then we might see a big conventional conflict between first world militaries. the nation with the missile interception ability could invade another first world nation without worrying much about big missiles flying to their homeland in retaliation for landing troops, and the invaded nation won't use their own missiles on their own land, so it would become a "red dawn" situation.

missiles are so good now that even the US navy's surface fleet is probably not that important anymore when going up against a good opponent. volleys of hundreds of missiles are probably going to sink most US surface vessels. the aircraft carriers will be sunk by these new, big missiles specifically designed to sink US carriers from 1500 miles away.

Anonymous said...

I am really appalled at the ignorance of the comments on this blog. In any case it is long since time for America to leave South Korea and bring those troops home.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, some Koreans have put up an ad in times square to show they haven't forgotten.

http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com/2010/06/korea-will-forever-be-grateful-says.html

spaceanus said...

"What support did the Kim dynasty have among the people?"

It probably had more support than the Rhee government in the South. Rhee had packed his cabinet with Japanese collaborators, whereas the Communists actively rooted them out. When the United States landed in southern Korea, there was already something of a de facto government in charge: the People's Republic of Korea, which had negotiated a peace deal with the Japanese and was supposed to have ruled the entire peninsula, drawing its support from local "people's committees." When the United States landed, we regarded the PRK and the people's committees as communist (which was partially, but not entirely true. Communists were involved in the PRK, but so were non- and anti-communists. Syngman Rhee was invited to be its President) and suppressed them with force. In fact, Gen. John Hodge used Japanese police to keep order.
http://books.google.com/books?id=v8N6mmsaAvMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=korean+war&hl=en&ei=EYolTIT6IsionQf--83hBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false

We shouldn't underestimate the bitter feelings this was likely to have evoked in Koreans. Then Truman flew Rhee in from the United States, where he was living, and he became president. Strikes and riots broke out in 1946, and U.S., South Korean and Japanese military police put them down pretty brutally. Things came to a head in Cheju, an island off the southern coast of South Korea, in 1948. Cheju was one of the places where the people's commitees weren't crushed. In '48, the islanders revolted against the Rhee government. The military crushed the revolt, committing some pretty appalling atrocities in the process, while American military advisors looked on, and provided assistance to the counterinsurgency. It wasn't an isolated phenomenon either. There had been mass strikes and violence in 1946 all across the country, though not on this scale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autumn_Uprising_of_1946
And there's evidence that Koreans in many parts of the southern half of the peninsula sympathized with the rebellion. In the ports of Yosu and Sunchon, when two constabulary units were ordered to go to Cheju, there was a military mutiny.
http://books.google.com/books?id=XMJpnYmKNQsC&pg=PA56&dq=11th+Constabulary+Regiment+mutiny&hl=en&ei=MpUlTOzOIYj_nAfJu4y9Bg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=yosu&f=false
All in all, about 60,000 people were killed on Cheju, or a fifth of the population.
http://www.newsweek.com/2000/06/18/ghosts-of-cheju.html
About 100,000 people were killed in all from 1945-50. However, even though Kim il-Sung's Communist regime in the North suppressed dissent, there was no insurgency movement of any kind. You shouldn't take your justified feelings of revulsion toward the current regime in North Korea and project them back into 1945-50, when trying to determine what the attitudes of Koreans were toward their respective regimes.

Edward said...

Albertosaurus -
The violence curve has been downward for the last few decades


World-wide, measured warfare has been on the increase.

1970 - 2006 (36 years): 161 wars
1940 - 1970 (29 years): 81 wars

Source: Correlates of War database. It's available online.

High casualty figures are still common. Between 1998-2003 about 3m died in the Congo war. Million also died in Rwanda and the Iran-Iraq war.

Even so, while death tolls from war might be on the decrease it's surely not true political violence is. I mean, there are so many more political actors today than there were 100 years ago, why would you think anything otherwise?

There was an editorial a year or two ago in the magazine/journal Military History about the frequency and intensity of war. Its major point was that armed conflict diminished over the course of the twentieth century. They noted that there were more conflicts and casualties in the first half of the century than in the second half. They interpreted that as a trend.

Medical advances have vastly reduced death tolls from modern conflicts so using raw casualties as a proxy for armed conflict is not sensible, especially when there is a database available which lists historical conflicts.

The 100,000 or so deaths from the 2003 Iraq war may have been much much higher.

Anonymous said...

According to Lynn & Vanderhof, South Korea is the nation with the highest average IQ in the world. So yes, they were definitely worth saving.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but the Arizona governor is now getting a lot of heat for saying most illegal immigrants are drug smugglers. This reminds me of how when Lou Dobbs once claimed immigrants were bringing leprosy, it started being mentioned near the front of every story about him. One mistake by an immigration patriot will reverberate very far throughout the elite echo chamber.

MQ said...

MacArthur got his butt kicked by the Chinese and was threatening to use nuclear weapons *on his own authority*. So he was showing both incompetence and dangerous insubordination. Not a good combination.

Anonymous said...

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/06/24/why-i-hate-harry-truman/

Anonymous said...

If we even managed to wipe out the waves of Chinese troops in Korea using tactical nukes, as MacArthur wanted, we still probably would have been fighting an insurgency until 1970.

At that point we'd have been bled dry.
---

That comment makes no sense at all.

Anonymous said...

"missiles are so good now that even the US navy's surface fleet is probably not that important anymore when going up against a good opponent. volleys of hundreds of missiles are probably going to sink most US surface vessels. the aircraft carriers will be sunk by these new, big missiles specifically designed to sink US carriers from 1500 miles away."


Missiles were good back in the little squabble over the Falkland Islands. Besides, you don't need missiles these days, just some devoted muslims, high explosive and a speedboat.

David Davenport said...

Here's an under-publicized item of the Korean War: many of the enemy Mikoyan-Gurevich-15 fighter planes pilots wre Russians -- and maybe also a few experienced few Deustchland Democratic Republic volunteers.

The Soviet Air Force's involvement in the war of 1950-53 has only come to light in the past few years. During the Korean War and for a half century or so after, allegations that Rooskies were piloting aircraft over Korea were denounced as hysterical figments of the delerious McCarthyite far-right imagination.

But it turns out that there were round-eyed Reds in the sky if not under the beds in the Korean war.


Soviet MiG-15 Aces of the Korean War (Aircraft of the Aces) [Paperback]
Leonid Krylov (Author), Yuriy Tepsurkaev (Illustrator)
4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


Product Description

The Soviet Union began assisting the People's Republic of China in its establishment of a modern air force in 1950, when Soviet Air Force regiments were sent to train local pilots. China's involvement in the Korean War in late October 1950 inevitably drew Soviet pilots into the war. A total of 52 Soviet pilots [claim to have --DD] scored five or more victories in the Korean War. The history of these covert actions has been a long-buried secret and this book will be the first English publication to detail the only instance when the Cold War between Russia and the US became "hot." This book uncovers Soviet combat experiences during the Korean War from detailed unit histories and rare first-hand accounts. With access to extensive Russian archives, the authors offer an enthralling insight into an air war that has been largely covered up and neglected, illustrated with previously unpublished photographs and detailed full-color profiles.

...

"Leonid Krylov and Yuriy Tepsurkaev's Soviet MiG-15 Aces of the Korean War joins others in [ British publishing house] Osprey's 'Aircraft of the Aces' series, providing a comprehensive survey of how the USSR's top plane performed and made a big difference in Korea, surveying the first generatio of jet fighters in Korea. Pilot exploits are covered in black and white and color here." -The Bookwatch (September 2008)

"...it seems astonishing that now Osprey is able to publish a complete-very complete- book on the subject. Remarkable pilot accounts provide an inside look beyond anything that I thought I would ever be ale to read, allied with a detailed history of the units, aircraft and men involved." Scale Aircraft Modelling (August 2008).

Soviet MiG-15 Aces of the Korean War is well-written and organized very nicely. It is extremely well researched and documented, and provides an insight into the Soviets previously well-hidden involvement during the Korean War. This book could be a valuable historical reference for anyone who chooses to model aircraft from this historical period, and I recommend it highly to anyone interested in the air war in Korea."- Keith Pruitt, International Plastic Modellers' Society (July 2008).

...

http://www.amazon.com/Soviet-MiG-15-Aces-Korean-Aircraft/dp/1846032997/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1277571041&sr=1-1-fkmr0

David Davenport said...

Another source:

http://www.acepilots.com/russian/rus_aces.html

Russian Aces over Korea

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot pilots

...

Yevgeni Pepelyayev

Nikolai Sutyagin

Lev Shchukin

Sergei Kramarenko

Nikolai Ivanov

Semen Fedorets

...

bjdoble said...

I visited Inchon once, there's a statue of MacArthur overlooking the port and the city. Nobody up at that park except me and some pigeons stooling on the General. Without that war, Korea would today be just another Vietnam or China.

Anonymous said...

God, I knew that a Korean thread would bring out all the revisionists from beneath their rocks to diss poor Douglas MacArthur.

Maybe I should just leave it at that - but it's amazing how much nihilism the HBD crowd brings with them when they attempt to infiltrate & infest a paleo board like iSteve.

asdfsadfasdf said...

"If we even managed to wipe out the waves of Chinese troops in Korea using tactical nukes, as MacArthur wanted, we still probably would have been fighting an insurgency until 1970."

Yes, it would have been a huge propaganda coup for the communist side. Big bad US using nukes against non-whites for the second time. Even Eisenhower didn't want to go there.

Cold War was a moral war for both sides, unlike WWII where the Axis hardly used any moral rationale for their aggression--especially the Nazis.
Cold War was essentially for the hearts and minds of the Third World, and it would have been bad press for the US to nuke China, a nation that hadn't directly attacked the US.

Yes, it would have been better in and for Korea if US had gone all the way... but it would have been bad for US in the eyes of rest of the world.

We can win in Afghanistan by using a few nukes too... but US will lose all respect in the world.

Anonymous said...

One mistake by an immigration patriot will reverberate very far throughout the elite echo chamber.

----------------
Good thing she said nothing about blacks being the most criminal!

Anonymous said...

"We can win in Afghanistan by using a few nukes too... but US will lose all respect in the world."

Yeah, the US is so respected now, who'd want to trash that?!

jody said...

how can the US "win" in afghanistan by using any nuclear devices? if there has ever been a conflict where small nuclear detonations have zero application, it's in afghanistan. thermobaric bombs are far more applicable in the mountains over there.

this is aside from the idea that the US military can "win" afghanistan. it can't. the US military has no victory condition in afghanistan. you don't win an occupation.

it's nearly certain the US military will be in iraq forever. at least, for as long as the united states exists. the US military has definitely not "won" iraq. no US president will remove troops from iraq. those iraqi bases might as well be permanent. indeed, they were constructed as if they are permanent. positively enormous, super overbuilt bases intended for a 20 year stay.

Anonymous said...

I respect General MacArthur very much. But if Truman had allowed MacArthur to drop a few nukes on China, wouldn't the result have been a generally increased willingness of the Soviets to use Nukes as well?

Let's say that an all black african country invaded South Africa, and the soviets wanted to intervene on the side of the all black invader. Why shouldn't the soviets drop a nuke or two on to Cape Town? Cape Town had a mostly white population, so by dropping a nuke on Cape Town the soviets would have earned massive praise from all the blacks in the world.

So in my view, Truman's decision to not nuke China led to the soviet decision to not drop any nukes over the entire course of the cold war.

But if anyone else sees it differently, I want to hear the other side

Fred said...

OT Steve, but you might be interested in this NYT story if you haven't seen it already: "Success and Scrutiny at Hebrew Charter School". Jewish hedge fund guy finances a charter school where Hebrew and Israeli culture are taught, and a third of the kids there are black, including a couple profiled in the article who are black Muslims.

rob said...

but it's amazing how much nihilism the HBD crowd brings with them when they attempt to infiltrate & infest a paleo board like iSteve.

Lucius, disagreeing with you is not nihilism. Second, Sailer coined "hbd." He's the blogfather of hbd, and this is an hbd blog, not a paleo blog.

We can win in Afghanistan by using a few nukes too...

Left hand spasm, what would you nuke to win? This goatherd, that poppy field, Kabul?

l said...

Russian Aces over Korea

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot pilots


That should read "MiG-15 Gay pilots."

David Davenport said...

Competing claims:

North American F-86 Sabre
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



... By the end of hostilities, F-86 pilots were credited with shooting down 792 MiGs for a loss of only 78 Sabres, a victory ratio of 10:1.[22] More recent research by Dorr, Lake and Thompson has claimed the actual ratio is closer to 2:1.[23]
The Soviets claimed to have downed over 600 Sabres,[24][unreliable source?] together with the Chinese claims.[25]


A recent RAND report[26] made reference to "recent scholarship" of F-86 vs. MiG-15 combat over Korea and concluded that the actual kill:loss ratio for the F-86 was 1.8:1 overall, and likely 1.3:1 against MiGs flown by Soviet pilots; however, the report has been under fire for various misrepresentations.[27]


Of the 41 American pilots who earned the designation of ace during the Korean war, all but one flew the F-86 Sabre, the exception being a Navy [ radar-equipped, piston engine] F4U Corsair night fighter pilot ( who hunted similarly powered Communist aircraft in the dark. The Navy had no F-86's. --DD). ...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_F-86_Sabre#cite_note-26

Fred said...

Jody,

You're 1-for-3 on your military observations in this thread. U.S. Navy surface ships are well defended against missiles.

Most U.S. troops are on their way out of Iraq. We'll have some presence there for a long time (as we still have some troops in Germany and Japan today), but that war is essentially won. There is still some violence there, but there is no serious insurgent threat to the survival of the Iraqi government anymore.

You do have a point on Afghanistan though. Counterinsurgency doesn't work well there because the Taliban isn't some minority faction but one well supported by the largest ethno-tribal group in the country. It's not like Iraq at all in that respect.

Anonymous said...

Without that war, Korea would today be just another Vietnam or China.

Racially homogeneous, intact folks who have resisted subversion for the past century and are now making some decent economic progress? Sounds pretty good to me.

David Daevnport said...

So in my view, Truman's decision to not nuke China led to the soviet decision to not drop any nukes over the entire course of the cold war.

Well in my view, which is the correct view, the Soviets decided not to drop any nukes over the entire course of the cold war because the Kremlin new that the USA would massively retaliate with many, many nukes if the Soviets nuked first.

So now you know.

///////////////////////////////

Dropping atomic bombs on Manchuria was not the USA's only option in the Korean war.

There were big plans drawn up in 1952-53 to push the foe back from the 38th parallel without using nu-ku-lar weapons. The plan was for another amphibious landing in North Korea combined with a big parachute assault deep inside NK, and with non-atomic bombing on targets in China.

Also, the USAF wanted permission to interdict the flow of supplies on the Trans-Siberian railway -- knock out Russian trains in Siberia.

The CCCP supplied all the artillery, tanks, and maybe all larger caliber ammunition the Chinese and North Koreans had, as well as much of the infantry weapons and ammunition.

The war stuff was brought from Russia to Manchuria and North Korea via the two tracks of the Trans-Siberian railway.

Dwight Eisenhower put a stop to these plans to re-take North Korea and settled for a tie in the Korea War.

Did Eisenhower make the right decision or the wrong decision?

stari_momak said...

My Dad spent the Kilo Whiskey in a gun turret on BB63-- the mighty Mo.

"the exception being a Navy [ radar-equipped, piston engine] F4U Corsair night fighter pilot ( who hunted similarly powered Communist aircraft in the dark. The Navy had no F-86's. --DD)"

That sounds like it would make a heck of a film.

Anonymous said...

David Daevnport,

I agree with you that had the soviets dropped a nuke or two on the USA or on Europe there would have been retaliation.

But come on, if the soviets had dropped a nuke on Cape Town, do you seriously think that the US would have nuked Moscow in retaliation?

adsfasfasdf said...

"I respect General MacArthur very much. But if Truman had allowed MacArthur to drop a few nukes on China, wouldn't the result have been a generally increased willingness of the Soviets to use Nukes as well?"

Mac was a major jerk for two reasons. Not because he wanted to escalate the war with China but because he refused to listen that the SHIT WAS ABOUT TO HIT THE FAN when US was moving up to the Chinese border. There were many intelligence reports that China would fight and, even more gravely, that there were lots of Chinese already hiding behind bushes in North Korea. Mac, so full of himself, refused to listen. (Just like Stalin refused to listen to warnings about Hitler's imminent attack).
Mac thought the US, as led by him, was soooooo great that China wouldn't dare to face him. BIG MISTAKE. Masses of Chinese suckerpunched him, US was pushed back down, and it was deeply humiliating. Did Mac blame himself for the mess? NO, not one bit. Instead, he made noises about using nukes to cover himself. He made ridiculous demands that he very well knew Truman would not accept. He dumped all the blame on Truman.

Initially, US plan was to drive North Koreans back over the 38th parallel. It was more Mac than Truman's idea to liberate all of North Korea. Truman gave Mac full command to do as he pleased. And boy, did Mac do everything as he pleased.

Had Mac asked for more men, more tanks, and moved up with caution, his forces would not have been taken by surprise by the Chinese.
Also, Mac should have advanced while sending CLEAR SIGNALS to the Chinese that US has NO intentions of threatening China. This was only one yr after the Chinese communists came to power and they were very nervous about US forces approaching their border. Mac, full of himself after the Inchon victory, made hints that the Korean War was merely a dress rehearsal for 'liberating' all of China. He made the Chinese shit bricks and get involved for their own survival.

What Mac did in Korea was like what Bush did in Iraq. Bush saw Iraqi soldier melt away and thought, 'look at them chicken. they are too scared to fight me!!' So, he declared victory. But just like Chinese troops in North Korea, Iraqi soldiers decided to hide and fight a long guerilla war, a protracted war. But, did Bush and Cheney ever blame themselves? No, they tried to tag the blame on Democrats.

On a 'war crimes' issue, Mac's ordering the US air force to bomb every North Korea city to smithereens was a form of genocide, all the more shocking since N. Korea had never attacked US or posed a great world wide threat. Bombing of German cities was in retaliation for German atrocities on other nations. And Japan attacked the US, so murderous rage for vengeance was understanding among Americans. North Korean communist leaders were evil, but most North Koreans back then were not brainwashed commies that they later became but poor people living under repressino. North Korea never attacked US or a foreign country. But Mac called for all-out indiscriminate bombing. It made Dresden look like a picnic. Bombings alone is estimated to have killed 10% of the population.

More than Truman, the real culprit was Roosevelt, who asked Stalin to send men into the Asian arena in the final state of WWII. That led to Soviets aiding Chinese communists and occupying half of Korea. If not for Roosevelt's callous request, communists might not have come to power China(and Soviets would not have occupied any part of Korea).
And as China came to serve as the primary supplier of North Vietnam, there might have been no Vietnam War either.

jody said...

"Navy surface ships are well defended against missiles."

they're sunk against a volley of missiles. you need to read up on this stuff. you're probably the kind of guy who thinks a phalanx can stop incoming missiles. in reality, the only two times a ship equipped with a phalanx was attacked by missiles, the ships were hit. the phalanx did not stop the missiles. not one time in history has a phalanx stopped a live, incoming missile in a real shooting conflict. and that's just small volleys of 1 or 2 missiles. a good opponent will send 20 at the same time. CIWS systems like the phalanx and netherlands made goalkeeper will not stop a volley of year 2000 missiles coming in at very high speed with cheap, accurate GPS and 200 kilogram warheads. the US navy probably cannot even stop it's own harpoon missile and the harpoon is from 1970.

the US navy definitely cannot stop the big new chinese missile explicitly designed to sink US aircraft carriers. in fact, the US navy has openly admitted that they can't stop it.

"Most U.S. troops are on their way out of Iraq."

what bullshit. there are tens of thousands of troops in iraq today, right now, right this second. 20 years from now, there will still be thousands and thousands of US troops in iraq staying in huge, multimillion dollar permanent bases. no US president will remove more than a few thousand troops from iraq. iraq will go into civil war if the people there do not always have an american rifle pointed right in their face, encouraging them to not do anything crazy, to not go into civil war mode. the US military in iraq is performing the same function as the local police force in a US city which is majority africans. they keep things from turning into chaos. remove their presence, and the locals get out of control.

if the US military "won" iraq, how are iraqis still blowing up about 100 other iraqis per month, every month, like clockwork? why are iraqi oil fields under constant threat of sabotage and cannot produce more than 2 million barrels of oil per day? why do kurds and turks kill each other routinely in a border war?

the simple fact of vast iraqi oil fields precludes the removal of a massive US troop presence in iraq. US troops have to stay there forever in numbers, to protect oil company contractors and ensure oil production. what does the iraqi economy operate on, if US troops leave, oil production is disrupted by iraqis randomly killing foreign oil contractors, and iraq has no exports to make money? iraqis are dumb. they don't have industry. they don't produce anything. america's vision for a 21st century iraq is nothing but a muslim version of modern mexico. a country with sharp ethnic divisions, built on a single industry: exporting oil.

"as we still have some troops in Germany and Japan today"

some troops? there are SEVENTY THOUSAND troops in germany RIGHT NOW, RIGHT THIS SECOND. moron.

"there is no serious insurgent threat to the survival of the Iraqi government anymore."

total and utter bullshit. we know this is total and utter bullshit, because the US maintains thousands and thousands of troops in iraq right now, today, right this very second, despite having already "won". reality is, the US military knows that if it leaves, iraq goes into civil war. it can never leave. and indeed, it does not plan to leave. it plans to keep thousands and thousands of troops in iraq forever.

Fred said...

"CIWS systems like the phalanx and netherlands made goalkeeper will not stop a volley of year 2000 missiles coming in at very high speed with cheap, accurate GPS and 200 kilogram warheads."

CIWS are the last lines of defense, not the first, or the only.

"the US navy definitely cannot stop the big new chinese missile explicitly designed to sink US aircraft carriers. in fact, the US navy has openly admitted that they can't stop it."

Cite?

"some troops? there are SEVENTY THOUSAND troops in germany RIGHT NOW, RIGHT THIS SECOND. moron."

and,

"total and utter bullshit. we know this is total and utter bullshit, because the US maintains thousands and thousands of troops in iraq right now, today, right this very second, despite having already "won". reality is, the US military knows that if it leaves, iraq goes into civil war."

By your same "logic", we "know" Germany would collapse into civil war today if we pulled out our troops there. Moron.

spaceanus said...

adsfasfasdf said,
"There were many intelligence reports that China would fight and, even more gravely, that there were lots of Chinese already hiding behind bushes in North Korea."

There wasn't just intelligence. The Chinese publicly said they were going to attack. On October 1, 1950, Chou En-Lai warned the UN forces that China "will not tolerate foreign aggression and will not stand aside should the imperialists wantonly invade the territory of [our] neighbor." Chou then communicated to the Indian ambassador, Sardar Panikkar, that China would intervene if the UN crossed the 38th parallel, and Panikkar informed Washington. But the Truman administration thought Chou was bluffing. Dean Acheson thought Panikkar was lying: "He was not a good reporter," he said. It wasn't just MacArthur's fault.

http://books.google.com/books?id=42PIlTecHq0C&pg=PA235&lpg=PA235&dq=chou+en+lai+panikkar&source=bl&ots=zQxSI6JbsK&sig=tRjW5K_YkOpumHRURiBSqE0lqss&hl=en&ei=2QInTNjTFs6InAe0sKS8Bg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=chou%20en%20lai%20panikkar&f=false

headache said...

jody sez:some troops? there are SEVENTY THOUSAND troops in germany RIGHT NOW, RIGHT THIS SECOND. moron.

Yeah, to enforce the armistice. It’s amazing that to this day Germany does not have a peace contract with the US, but is de facto occupied territory. The allies are still technically at war with Germany. Surely they must fear something in order to continue with this bizarre behaviour?

David Davenport said...

MiG-15 and British Labour:

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15

Claims of Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich (lead designers of the "MiG" bureau) being heavily influenced by the Focke-Wulf Ta 183, however, have been discredited. Although the abortive late-war German jet had swept wings and bore a superficial resemblance to the later MiG-15, the two aircraft are very different in structure and general design. ( I'm not sure they were that different -- DD. ) The Soviets did seize plans and prototypes for the Ta-183, but the majority of Focke-Wulf engineers were captured by Western armies; therefore, it could be argued that the MiG-15 design team drew some limited inspiration from the Ta-183, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest it was heavily influenced. Currently, most sources acknowledge that the MiG-15 is an original design benefiting from German research, but conceived, designed, engineered, and produced by the Soviets.[6]

...

By 1946, Soviet designers were finding it impossible to perfect the German-designed HeS-011 axial-flow jet engine, and new airframe designs from Mikoyan were threatening to outstrip development of the engines to power them. Soviet aviation minister Mikhail Khrunichev and aircraft designer A. S. Yakovlev suggested to Premier Joseph Stalin the USSR buy advanced jet engines from the British. Stalin is said to have replied, "What fool will sell us his secrets?"[6]

However, he gave his consent to the proposal and Mikoyan, engine designer Vladimir Klimov, and others travelled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin's amazement, the British Labour government and its pro-Soviet Minister of Trade, Sir Stafford Cripps, were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. This engine was reverse-engineered and produced as the Klimov RD-45, subsequently incorporated into the MiG-15.[6] Rolls-Royce later attempted to claim £207 million in license fees, without success.[citation needed] ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-15

Chicago resident said...

The USA travelled thousands of miles to keep Koreans from invading Korea. Later we went to Vietnam to prevent Vietnamese from invading Vietnam. Seems to be a pattern here. Our local allies in these wars lacked the commitment the opposition had and were mostly bought and paid for stooges of the USA with no patriotic credentials. They want a certain type of government, let them have it.

Mr. Anon said...

"Fred said...

Jody,

You're 1-for-3 on your military observations in this thread. U.S. Navy surface ships are well defended against missiles."

Not against nuclear tipped ICBMs. One MIRV'd missle cancels out an entire carrier group. Aside from blowing up brown people, aircraft carriers are about as relevant as ships of the line. The Navy doesn't seem to have realized this. They need to hire an accountant who can tell them this.

"There is still some violence there, but there is no serious insurgent threat to the survival of the Iraqi government anymore."

How could you possibly know such a thing? Did Thomas Friedman tell you that? It seems equally likely to me that some kind of civil war or coup would take place the moment we leave. Not that I care - we should leave, and it doesn't matter who runs Iraq. I hope our massive new embassy complex in Baghdad (the largest US embassy in the world, I understand) and our embassy in Kabul have good heliport facilities on the roof - at least as good as the one in Saigon had. Cause, we're liable to need them someday.

"By your same "logic", we "know" Germany would collapse into civil war today if we pulled out our troops there. Moron."

Yeah. Cause Germany and Iraq are nearly identical. Now, who is it that's a moron, again?

asdfasdfadsf said...

"The USA travelled thousands of miles to keep Koreans from invading Korea. Later we went to Vietnam to prevent Vietnamese from invading Vietnam. Seems to be a pattern here. Our local allies in these wars lacked the commitment the opposition had and were mostly bought and paid for stooges of the USA with no patriotic credentials. They want a certain type of government, let them have it."

Vietnam was not a mess created by Americans but one inherited by them. But given the nature of the Cold War--winning hearts and minds of the Third World--, US felt obligated to support South Vietnamese against communism.
French imperialism vs British imperialism had been a clash for domination. US vs USSR in the Cold War was a clash in the name of world liberation. Both sides tried to convince the Third World that its formula--capitalist democracy vs communist revolution--was the best one for freedom and justice.

As for Korea, US created that mess because Roosevelt invited Soviets into the East Asian sphere. Had Roosevelt insisted that since Japan attacked the US, Americans would deal with the Japanese in China, Stalin would have agreed. Besdies, after losing 20 million lives in the European conflict, Stalin wasn't too excited about fighting the Japanese. As it turned out, the Japanese were so weakened, outstretched, and demoralized in North China that Soviets cut through them like knife through butter.
Americans made big noises about saving Asia from evil Japanese imperialism but, by inviting the Soviets, gave Northern China to the Chinese communists and northern Korea to Soviets(who handed the reins of power to Stalin's mini-me, Kim Il Sung).

US did almost nothing as Chinese communists took all of China. This convinced Kim that US would do nothing for South Korea, and indeed Truman and Acheson left S. Korea out of the line of defense, which was like a green light for the North to attack. Some radical historians think this was deliberate, in order to ingnite a war for the military-industrial complex. After all, just about all the left-over bombs from WWII were dropped on Korea, and industry began humming again during the war yrs.
I think it is a stretch, but the whole thing could have been avoided if American leaders didn't think only in the short term.

In Europe, there was precious little Americans could do since Soviets did most of the fighting and occupied Eastern Europe before Americans got there. Germany tragically lost much territory and was divided in half, but one can argue Germans were the main culprit in WWII.
But, some nations and peoples got punished AFTER WWII for no fault of their own. Poles, though liberated from Nazis, ended up under Soviets. Koreans, no fault of their own, got divided in half by Superpower gameplaying. Palestinians got evicted off their ancestral land because Europeans felt sorry for what they themselves did to Jews.
Lesson: small guys get crushed by big guys.

Anonymous said...

OT but an important message for those that think we need more high iq immigrants:

http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2010/06/22/something-deeply-wrong-with-chemistry/

Anonymous said...

pretty amazing story regarding the rolls royce tech transfer - although we are currently in the ongoing process of transferring all our technology to China and India

Anonymous said...

Chiang Kai-Shek would have done what Deng Xiaoping did 30 years before. With the benefit that the Nationalists were a bunch of fellows much nicer than the communists

So the stage China reached today would have been reached in 1980. By now China´s GDP could be twice as big as the GDP of vibrant USA


Communism is the best thing t happen to the West. It kept the three most powerful Asiatic powers (Russia, China and India) into the Middle Ages right to the end of the XXth century.

David said...

George Washington gave us the best advice.

Stay out of foreign wars.

That wasn't some out-of-date expression of emotionalism. Instead it was the conclusion of the most successful and intelligent men in these colonies after having studying hundreds of years of conflicts in Europe. A country is better off remaining neutral unless its own soil is directly attacked. If a country lowers itself to participate in endless intrigues and aggressions, it becomes just another thug living by the sword.

[See esp. 31-42:]

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Washington%27s_Farewell_Address#1

Imagine if all the American men slaughtered in the World Wars had lived. As the old song has it, "War kills the best and leaves the rest."

asdfasdfasdf said...

"George Washington gave us the best advice.
Stay out of foreign wars."

On the other hand, without foreign help, Americans would not have won. So, there is some who argue that just as we were helped, we should help others fighting for freedom.

HOWEVER, as with French and Prussian aiding the Americans against the Brits, the motivation for Americans in intervention in foreign wars has been less idealistic than realpoliticky.

French and Prussia aided Americans to counter the British Empire(than to help noble Americans), and US intervened in other countries to fight proxy wars against the bigger enemy, such as the USSR.

But recently, it seems like AIPAC is calling most of our shots in foreign policy. Imagine the Roman Empire being led and guided by its Jewish community. It's freaking surreal.

America is physically the most powerful national body, but its brain center is controlled mostly by Jews.
Mind controls body, not the other way around... though, to be sure, the body will disobey the mind when the pain is unbearable. The mind can tell the body to touch fire but body will pull back instinctively.

Tea Party thus far has been an instinctive than intellectual reaction to the Jewish elite brain telling us to worship Obama, embrace open borders, fight more wars for Israel. The pain is too unbearable for more and more people.

kudzu bob said...

>asdfasdfasdf said...

"George Washington gave us the best advice.
Stay out of foreign wars."

On the other hand, without foreign help, Americans would not have won.<

Say, how'd that work out for the French, anyhow?

David Davenport said...

But come on, if the soviets had dropped a nuke on Cape Town, do you seriously think that the US would have nuked Moscow in retaliation?

OK, supposing the Commies had nuked Cape Town: South Africa was too out-of-the-way to provoke immediate American nu-klear retaliation.

But Soviet destruction of Cape Town would have put American warhawks on top in US politics, quite possibly resulting to an exchange of nukes in some subsequent confrontation.

So I'll stick to my point that fission and fusion bombs have prevented direct, overt war between prudent, somewhat civilized nu-klar powers.

Iran, Pakistan, or North Korea may not be so prudent.

David Davenport said...

A country is better off remaining neutral unless its own soil is directly attacked. If a country lowers itself to participate in endless intrigues and aggressions, it becomes just another thug living by the sword.

What's your attitude to the USA-Mexican War of 1846-48?

Would you have been for or against that war?

Anonymous said...

The USA is a republic, not an Empire. Most of the troops were draftees. Truman couldn't simply order 20 more divisions to be called up for Mac to attack China with. The American people were sick to death of the Korean War. They had just finished a major war only 5 years before. "Why do we have to go do this again ?" they thought in anguish. Truman's polling numbers were in the toilet. He didn't want or need a general war in Asia. The USA wanted its resources to go for holding Western Europe. The best Truman could do with this situation was hold to the line in Korea at the 38th parallel. That he did.

Fred said...

"Not against nuclear tipped ICBMs. One MIRV'd missle cancels out an entire carrier group."

Sure, and that would be an effective declaration of nuclear war against us, which would lead to a nuclear response from us, which is why it will never happen.

"How could you possibly know such a thing?"

Because unlike you I am aware of current events there. It's not 2005 anymore in Iraq.

"Yeah. Cause Germany and Iraq are nearly identical. Now, who is it that's a moron, again?"

That would be Jody, and now you too, apparently. Jody is the one who claimed that our continued presence of troops in Iraq is proof that Iraq would collapse into civil war if we were to leave. But the example of our continued presence of troops in Germany and elsewhere demonstrates that this proves nothing of the sort. There are other reasons why we would want to maintain a troop presence in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Obama often seems to think of himself, and to be portrayed, in comparison to historic figures. When he was running for President, the comparison was drawn to another inexperienced politician from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln. His economic 'stimulus' and health care bills led him to be compared to Franklin Roosevelt and the legislation to the New Deal. Now the comparison is to Truman in his firing of MacArthur.

Anyone with a knowledge of history might be tempted to borrow a phrase from Lloyd Bentsen, and to say to the vain and venal Obama "I knew Harry Truman... and you're no Harry Truman."

Nor, for that matter, is McChrystal comparable to MacArthur. McChrystal deserved to be cashiered, not because he expressed disrespect for Obama, but because he was so lacking in judgment as to have allowed a reporter for a far-left sheet like Rolling Stone to more than a very few minutes of highly controlled access to him and his staff. Had be been prudent, he'd have turned the man away, or would have consented at most to a quarter-hour's interview, with all questions to be submitted in advance - the reporter then to be hustled out of country on the next available flight.

Mr. Anon said...

"Fred said...

Sure, and that would be an effective declaration of nuclear war against us, which would lead to a nuclear response from us, which is why it will never happen."

Never? I don't see how anyone could object to the use of nuclear weapons if used against purely military targets. I cannot imagine anything more military, and with less prospect for collateral damage, than warships in the middle of the sea. And the economics of it will be very tempting to a potential agressor - a $50 million missile vs. a $20 billion carrier task force. Don't expect that chinese generals would see things the same way you do.

"Fred said...

Because unlike you I am aware of current events there. It's not 2005 anymore in Iraq."

Unlike you, I'm sick and tired of our involvement there - I just want out. Why should I even know much about Iraq - I preferred the time when I did not have to. If it's so f**king important to you, then you go fight, chickens**t.

Anonymous said...

"But recently, it seems like AIPAC is calling most of our shots in foreign policy."

If only that were so...

spaceanus said...

asdfasasdf said,

Germany tragically lost much territory and was divided in half, but one can argue Germans were the main culprit in WWII.

Why yes, I suppose one could argue that. The Germans the main culprit in WWII! What a novel idea!

Tea Party thus far has been an instinctive than intellectual reaction to the Jewish elite brain telling us to... fight more wars for Israel.

I don't agree that Israel is the reason why the U.S. has been fighting wars in the Middle East lately, but if the Tea Partiers could have their pick, they would make Sarah Palin president. Palin has an even more hawkish foreign policy than Obama, including on the Israel/Palestine issue.

You paleos crack me up.

spaceanus said...

David Davenport:

What's your attitude to the USA-Mexican War of 1846-48?

Whatever your feelings about the immigration issue today, that war is pretty damn hard to justify. The Mexican War was about as naked a war of aggression as you can find in world history. Ulysses S. Grant, who served as a lieutenant in the war, summed it up pretty nicely:

I was bitterly opposed to the measure [to annex Texas], and to this day regard the war [with Mexico] which resulted as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.

The very fact that you brought the war up in response to a statement expressing disgust for wars of aggression is telling.

Paul Mendez said...

As to the debate about whether USN surface ships are vulnerable to missile attack: they are.

http://www.defensereview.com/chinese-anti-ship-ballistic-missile-asbm-kill-weapon-flummoxes-us-navy/

asdfasdfasfd said...

"Germany tragically lost much territory and was divided in half, but one can argue Germans were the main culprit in WWII."

"Why yes, I suppose one could argue that. The Germans the main culprit in WWII! What a novel idea!"

Listen dumbass. I know and you know, but there are people like Buchanan and Hoste who seem to think the German tragedy was morally equal to that of Poles, Jews, etc. This is a lingering sickness on the Old Right, what I call Germanocentrism.

sdfasdfadf said...

"I don't agree that Israel is the reason why the U.S. has been fighting wars in the Middle East lately, but if the Tea Partiers could have their pick, they would make Sarah Palin president. Palin has an even more hawkish foreign policy than Obama, including on the Israel/Palestine issue."

Palin is a temple whore of neocons, just like Obama is temple gigolo of lib Zionists.

helene edwards said...

re McChrystal's interview: around 1989, a Berkeley alternative rag called the East Bay Express sent a woman to interview Edward Teller about SDI. As she reported it, after a few minutes Teller said something like, "you do not know the basics sufficient to even begin to interview me about this subject."

Trent Telenko said...

Whiskey,

Given the example of Iranian nuclear break out with North Korean nukes, we are now going to see a Cuban missile crisis a month from the Norks selling turn key nuclear missile complexes to irrational regimes — primarily Muslim — until the resulting nuclear chaos so infuriates the American people that we establish an American imperium in self-defense.

As for what the world will look like during catalytic nuclear proliferation, think of how the Indonesian Tsunami was handled.

Wall to wall coverage because of the visuals, US Military aide, Lots of relief agency appeals, Joint Ex-President relief funds, then a slow headline fade as other events wash over it.

The recent Haitian earth quake certainly followed that script.

Horror, then the slow ‘life goes on’ fade from sight.

There are something like 2.5 million cities, towns, villages,and hamlets in the world. Over 3,000 have populations of over 100,000, and at least several hundred with populations over one million.

If we figure the centers of the last are the most likely targets, then, at five nukes per decade, it’ll take at least 400 years to destroy them all.

We’ll react to them as we do to really big natural disasters.

We’ll pray for the victims and the survivors, give a sigh of relief that neither we nor any of our families were there at the time, and maybe send a check to the Red Cross.

We will, in a sense, become numb to them.

Governments won’t, of course. We can expect a lot more surveillance, a lot more wire-tapping, and a lot more “clandestine activity” intelligence agencies and special forces.

The Islamic terror problem is only the crack in the bottle that the genie is most likely to come out through. Once the genie is all the way out, you won’t be able to get it back in just by patching the big crack.

_Until America gets hit a home by a terrorist nuke._

Then the American public’s response will be with full-bore threat elimination, starting with the elimination of American politicians who get in the way of full-bore, immediate, aka nuclear, threat elimination via reducing terrorist supporting states to subsistance agriculture.

Then followed up by 2-5 nukes a year in what had been Arab countries plus Pakistan and Turkey, which would be subsequent pest control.

Not a cheery future.

Which I strongly suspect will start after the Nov 2010 elections, when Israel hits Iran's nuclear facilities.

Höllenhund said...

One Korean historian believes Stalin deliberately provoked the Korean War as means of dragging the US and China into conflict and drawing American attention away from Western Europe:

http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2891537

David Davenport said...

Whatever your feelings about the immigration issue today, that war is pretty damn hard to justify.

Why is the Mexican War hard to justify?

North America was not unpopulated when white folk started arriving. Uncooperative Mexicans and Native Americans had to be removed or relocated to build the American nation.

spaceanus said...

David Davenport:

North America was not unpopulated when white folk started arriving. Uncooperative Mexicans and Native Americans had to be removed or relocated to build the American nation.

Replace "North America" with "Eastern Europe," "white folk" with "Aryans," "Mexicans and Native Americans" with "Slavs and Jews," and "American" with "German," and see how palatable that sounds.

The Mexican War and the annexation of Texas were, as Grant and Lincoln believed, a land and power grab by the Southern aristocratic elite, intent on maintaining and expanding its cheap labor force. If Congress had refused to authorize the annexation of Texas, it would have dealt a severe political blow to the cheap labor lobby of the 1830's. If Texas had never been annexed, Polk's war would have never happened. The U.S. would have stopped expanding, the Civil War would never have occured, and slavery would have died out on its own. Maybe we would have eventually acquired Texas and California peacefully; maybe we wouldn't have. If we didn't, I'd be fine with that. Other countries seem to do all right without vast swathes of territory.

If the Mexican War had been avoided, it would have almost certainly reversed the trajectory of American history. No annexation of Hawaii, no Spanish-American War, which means no entanglement in Latin America and the Caribbean, no acquisition of the Phillipines or involvement in China and the rest of Asia and the Pacific, which means no conflict with Japan, which means no WWII, which means no Cold War, which means no American Empire, no entanglement in the Middle East, no hundreds of bases in dozens of countries, no bankrupting ourselves with war and "defense" spending. We would be a happy, prosperous country at peace, if with slightly less territory. But if you think lots of territory is necessary for peace and prosperity, tell that to Switzerland.

Hereward said...

David Davenport:
Uncooperative Mexicans and Native Americans had to be removed or relocated to build the American nation. The Mexicans in the territory the US acquired from Mexico weren't removed or relocated; they became citizens.
Spaceanus:
The "Southern aristocratic elite" was willing to wage a civil war to defend what it saw as its interests. Do you really think they would have simply sat back and withered away if Texas had not been annexed? If they thought that the acquisition of territory was key to the health and survival of their economic system (and you're right, many did), and could not so expand as part of the Union, they would have attemped to expand on their own. Any serious frustration of their perceived interests and rights would have precipitated the Civil War in the 40's or 50's, not prevented it from occuring at all. And the power disparity between the Northern and Southern states was much less in the 40's. The peaceful Arcadia you imagine would not exist; instead, we'd have two hostile states who would no doubt be going at it over everything from border conflicts to runaway slaves to the Southern aristocracy taking a whole hell of a lot more of Mexico than the sparsely-populated Spanish West. And what makes you think that "the trajectory of American history" would be reversed by no Mexican War? Anglo-America had been expanding since 1607, Northerners just as enthusiastically as Southerners. The settlement of Kansas - not acquired in the Mexican War - was one of the factors that precipitated the Civil War. We would have had a presence on the Pacific thanks to the Oregon Teritory, also acquired by the Louisiana Purchase rather than the Mexican War. And the pioneers of Hawaiin annexation were Yankee missionaries, not Southern slavers.

David Davenport said...

From Wikipedia:

The Mexican Constitution of 1824 liberalized the country's immigration policies, allowing foreigners to settle in border regions such as Mexican Texas. People flocked to the area; an 1834 census estimated the Texas population at 7,800 Mexicans and 30,000 English-speaking people primarily from the United States.[3][Note 1]

Meaning that Texas was more Anglo than Mexican before the Mexican War. Demography is destiny. This is an excellent historical example of the folly of unrestricted immigration. -- DD )

Among the immigrants was William Barret Travis, an Alabama native who had variously worked as a teacher, a newspaper publisher, and a lawyer.[4] ...

Texians became increasingly discontented with the government as Santa Anna positioned himself as a dictator. In October, the Texas Revolution began and delegates appointed a provisional government. Travis was commissioned lieutenant colonel in the new regular army and asked to raise a cavalry company.[10] He participated in the Siege of Béxar, where he proved to be "an impulsive, occasionally insubordinate, officer".[11]
By the end of 1835, Texians had expelled all Mexican troops from Texas. ...


Composition of the letter

Travis assumed command of the Alamo garrison on February 11, when Neill was granted a furlough.[19][Note 2] On February 23, Santa Anna arrived in Béxar at the head of approximately 1500 Mexican troops.[20] The 150 Texian soldiers were unprepared for this development.[18][21] As they rushed to the Alamo, Texians quickly herded cattle into the complex and scrounged for food in nearby houses.[22][Note 3] The Mexican army initiated a siege of the Alamo and raised a blood-red flag signalling no quarter. Travis responded with a blast from the Alamo's largest cannon.[20]

The first night of the siege was largely quiet. The following afternoon, Mexican artillery began firing on the Alamo. Mexican Colonel Juan Almonte wrote in his diary that the bombardment dismounted two of the Alamo's guns, including the massive 18-pounder cannon. The Texians quickly returned both weapons to service.[23] Shortly after, Travis wrote an open letter pleading for reinforcements from "the people of Texas & All Americans in the World".

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World:

Fellow citizens & compatriots—


I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch—The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. comdt


P.S. The Lord is on our side—When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn—We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.
Travis[1][Note 4]

Anonymous said...

Communism is the best thing t happen to the West. It kept the three most powerful Asiatic powers (Russia, China and India) into the Middle Ages right to the end of the XXth century.

India? How exactly?

asdfadfasdf said...

"Communism is the best thing t happen to the West. It kept the three most powerful Asiatic powers (Russia, China and India) into the Middle Ages right to the end of the XXth century."

Russia an Asiatic power?

And communism was bad for it forced the West, especially the US, to fight to win the hearts and minds of non-whites. Since the West was accused of 'racism' and 'imperialism' by the communists, the West had to prove otherwise by undermining white power and interests.

asdfasdfasdf said...

"Communism is the best thing t happen to the West. It kept the three most powerful Asiatic powers (Russia, China and India) into the Middle Ages right to the end of the XXth century."

Also, if china hadn't turned communist, it would have gradually risen as a friendly ally of the US. Today, it is rising as a suspicious and hostile competitor.
Chiang had liked and admired Americans and wanted good relations.
Chinese communists never trusted Americans and are only using the NWO for aggressive Chinese power.