We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, May 2. 2010
A small island group near the coast of mainland
Few remember the history shaping role in the 1950s of
The defense of Quemoy by Nationalist forces against an invasion from newly Communist China in 1949 effectively stymied mainland
The same mistaken line drawn by the Truman Administration placed
In 1953, President Eisenhower, though believing Quemoy to be indefensible and believing the French position in IndoChina would not hold, allowed
In 1954, however, the Chinese, not to appear deterred, unleashed thousands of artillery strikes upon Quemoy, took another small island over 200 miles north of
In 1955, the US Senate ratified a mutual defense treaty with
In 1960’s presidential campaign, Richard Nixon hammered John Kennedy for being weak on the defense of Quemoy, leading Kennedy in reaction to be more hawkish toward the closer communist threat from
However, the two presidencies after Eisenhower’s acted contrary to the lessons they should have gained from his successes in holding the line.
Kennedy’s restrictions on the
The lessons of
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RE: " This encouraged the Soviet and Chinese support of North Korea’s invasion of the South in 1950."
The Chinese did not want the North Koreans to invade the south. My foreign service officer father, who was held in Beijing for a year under house arrest when the Chinese Communists took over, was returned to the US after being explicitly told by the new regime that the North Koreans were planning an invasion. And yes, he did tell his debriefers this when he returned but they didn't believe him.
Unfortunately, when the US began advancing into the North, the Chinese felt threatened enough to enter the war on the behalf of the Norks. But I can assure you that no Chinese was happy bout the idea of spilling Middle Kingdom blood over a vassal state.
You're correct insofar as the North Korean invasion was primarily a Soviet backed operation, for Soviet reasons (trying to recover from some setbacks in Europe-- like the establishment of NATO and successes of the Marshall Plan), and Stalin in 1950 being able to enrol the victorious Chinese communists. Prior to that Stalin did not support a North Korean invasion.
In April 1950, Stalin agreed to the North's invasion IF China agreed to support it. Mao, to get Soviet aid he needed to consolidate, agreed and released over 60-thousand combat-experienced Koreans from his PLA to serve with the North Korean army.
And, both Moscow and Peking were encouraged by the US drawing the containment line to the east of the Korean Peninsula.
I understand your point. But let me be the devil's advocate. I believe it is well past the time to revisit our "collective security" structure formulated many decades ago to deter communism. Guess what? Communism is no longer the existential threat we faced then. Ergo, the strategy - in its entirety - must be examined from root to branch and modified to reflect real U.S. national defense needs and economic capacity. In particular, I have little or no interest in continuing to subsidize the Europeans - a geographic entity with a population and economy comparable to our own - so that they can offload their legitimate defense needs on to the U.S. taxpayer. We no longer live in the 1950s. The Asian periphery, an area once as poor as any in Africa and Latin America - is also probably suffering a touch of "free rider-itis" a la the Europeans. Sorry, but the times they are a changin'.
Not the devils advicate. You're correct.
And, our dilemma is this: do we not try to stop a fire in a neighbor's house, who has let their weeds and limbs grow and then gone on vacation? Further, the fire affects our house.
Yes, we need to reappraise, but we can't move our house to another planet.
Regardless, the post is about learning lessons from Quemoy in the 1950s, not about going to war now for Quemoy.