Lattimore Story - John T. Flynn

19. The Betrayal of Korea

Almost any reader will ask how so few Red tools could do so much damage to so many Americans. This, at least, we now know—THEY DID. But it was not so difficult as one might suppose. For one thing, they had to capture the mind of Roosevelt. This we know they did. He could say, "Stalin is just an old-fashioned Democrat who wanted to save his country." They captured Truman's mind at first—until the damage was done—so that he could say after Potsdam, "Old Joe is a good fellow."

But, after all, these Communists and Communist stooges in America were very few. How could so few do so much damage to so many people? Well, that was not so difficult either. We must remember that war—even a little war—is a vast and complicated undertaking. And this was a World War. There were a score of separate operations, each so vast—even appalling—in their complexity as to tax the ablest minds. There were problems of home government, raising armies, building navies, tanks, airplanes, transporting armies, moving supplies, planning battles on land, in the air, on the sea, dealing with allies. The magnitude of each of these formidable enterprises, as well as the many divisions in each one, was enough to absorb the attention of the ablest administrators. Of all these areas of trouble, China was the one that was strangest. Few Americans knew much about this land or about the struggle that had been going on there. There was one spot in America which was crawling with specialists on China and Asia—men and women of education, writers, journalists. What could be simpler than for the members of this organization to move without the slightest resistance into this vacuum? This aggregation of specialists I speak of was in the Institute of Pacific Relations. And obviously the place for them to move into was the State Department, where American policy about China would be formed.

They were almost all Americans, many from old and wealthy families. In the State Department they moved into the proper spot with the ease of water finding an opening. The State Department was bedeviled with problems in every place on the earth. Its relations with China and Japan and Korea were handled by a division called the Far Eastern Division. All that these people had to do was to get into that division and into the agencies of the State Department in China. There were plenty of openings which they filled. Not only that, but gradually they managed even to force loyal Americans out.

At the crucial moment of definitive decisions, they had the Department sewed up. John Carter Vincent, recently suspended as a security risk, was head of the Far Eastern Division. (Mr. Dulles later reversed Board on security charge but held Vincent's conduct fell short of requirements and permitted him to retire.) Julian Friedman, a pro-Communist, was head of the Research division. There were others in lesser positions. The actual master mind in the Office of Political Affairs of the Department was Alger Hiss. The liaison in the White House on Far Eastern Affairs was Lauchlin Currie. All of these men were either outright Communists or pro-Communists, and all were members of the IPR.

Then there was the mind of the great, amorphous mass of citizens, who must be reached through books, magazines, newspapers, radio and movies. I have already shown how the IPR agents, and in some cases Communists who were not IPR members, and in other cases people who were pro-Communists, wrote the books and reviewed the books in the leading review journals and managed to get their articles on China into leading magazines and newspapers. Joseph Barnes of the IPR was foreign editor of the New York Herald Tribune. Mark Gayn was the chief writer on China for Colliers and Edgar Snow for the Saturday Evening Post. It was all comparatively easy, because the American mind was as innocent as a babe's of this European art of revolutionary intrigue.

All this, of course, cost a great deal of money. Who supplied it? The Laura Spellman Foundation—a Rockefeller institution—contributed $165,000 to the IPR. The Rockefeller Foundation itself contributed $1,721,546. The Carnegie Endowment gave $724,000. Altogether they gave the IPR $2,600,000. These foundations, so far as their boards as a whole are concerned, might perhaps be excused on the ground that they were as ignorant as the rest of the country and relied on their professional managers. But the active managers knew what they were doing. These foundations enjoy tax exemption as educational and charitable institutions. But it seems appropriate to suggest that Congress consider seriously whether this government is going to give tax freedom to institutions which knowingly or unknowingly dedicate their funds to subversive purposes. Not only did they contribute these great sums but by the very act of financial aid they put the seal of their approval on enterprises which were directed at the peace, the security and the foundations of American social philosophy.

The Institute of Pacific Relations carried its infamous project into China itself. Its staff members managed to turn up, more often than not, as agents of the American State Department in China. There, close to the American Embassy and Chiang Kai-shek's headquarters, they were able to promote their pet schemes for China.

General Patrick Hurley, who was sent to China as the personal envoy of President Roosevelt, directed his efforts toward preventing the collapse of the Chinese government. This was in 1945, and he wrote President Truman, after Roosevelt's death, that it was no secret that the policy he was sent to promote in China:

". . . did not have the support of all the career men in the Department. The professional foreign service men sided with the Chinese Communists' armed party and the imperialist block of nations whose policy it was to keep China divided against herself. Our professional diplomats continuously advised the Communists that my efforts in preventing the collapse of the Nationalist government did not represent the policy of the United States. These same professionals openly advised the Communist armed party to decline unification of the Chinese Communist army with the Nationalist army unless the Chinese Communists were given control."

Hurley then requested the withdrawal of these career men. The men named by Hurley for return to America were George Acheson, Jr., Charge d'Affaires of the American Embassy, John P. Davies, consul and later second secretary, Fulton Freeman and Arthur Ringwalt, secretaries, John Stewart Service, Raymond P. Ludden, Hungerford B. Howard and Philip D. Sprouse. Hurley said when they got back to Washington some of them became his supervisors and others were given promotions.

Pro-Red American journalists swarmed into China and returned to write articles in leading journals blasting Chiang and praising the Reds. The most disgraceful mission, however, was that of Henry Wallace, with Owen Lattimore and John Carter Vincent going along as his advisers. Wallace was the most pathetic dupe and was an easy mark for the shrewd and resolute Lattimore and Vincent. When he left Russia and China he wrote that "a brilliant new chapter in the historic struggle for the free world has been recorded through the great victories of the glorious Red Army." Wallace told Chiang of "the patriotic attitude of the Communists in the United States," and he expressed great satisfaction at being exposed to the educational processes of Owen Lattimore.

There is no doubt that the State Department was plotting for a revolution in Japan similar to the one in China. The New York Times reported September 20, 1945, that Secretary Acheson revealed a "decision for a social and economic revolution in Japan" and insisted it would be carried out, and John Carter Vincent, as head of the Far Eastern Division, reprimanded General MacArthur and charged he was anti-Soviet, in defiance of the State Departments directives to use Japan for "building a bridge of friendship to the Soviet Union."

The steps by which China was betrayed into the hands of the Reds are too complicated to recount here. Briefly, when the Japanese armies withdrew from China, a military struggle began between the Chinese government and the Red revolutionists. At the outset, Chiang Kai-shek's army was far more numerous and occupied the greater part of China. In four years, from 1945 to December 1949, Chiang's government was driven out of China by the Reds.

The one central cause of this defeat was General George Marshalls demand that Chiang take the Reds into his government. When Chiang refused. General Marshall cut off all arms and supplies for Chiang. What shaped Marshall's fatal intrusion? That is a dark chapter which must yet be told. Marshall was a purely military man. In statecraft he was as pathetically helpless as a child. He was used. But the full story is yet to be unfolded. Yet Marshall himself declared that when Chiang refused to yield to the demands of the Communists he—Marshall—disarmed Chiang's government with a stroke of the pen.

But having abandoned China, our IPR operatives set about the task of surrendering Korea into the hands of the Soviet. This story we know in full. It can be sketched in a few words. When Japan surrendered, Russia marched into Northern Korea and our army into Southern Korea. Russia immediately organized a Soviet government in North Korea and created a North Korean Communist army of 150,000 men fully armed. In Southern Korea we prepared to erect a free republic. But we formed no South Korean army—only a military police force of about 15,000 men lightly armed.

Russia kept her own army in the North and we kept ours in the South. Then, in 1947, General Albert Wedemeyer warned in an official report (which was kept secret until several years later) that "American and Soviet forces are approximately equal" in Korea—less than 50,000 men each. But he warned that the Reds had trained and armed a North Korean army of 125,000 men, while we had trained a South Korean constabulary of only 16,000 men. He then predicted that the Soviets would probably withdraw their Russian troops and ask us to withdraw our American troops, and when that happened the North Koreans would successfully invade South Korea. He urged the organization of a powerful South Korean army.

As early as August 31, 1946, Henry J. Noble, in the Saturday Evening Post, sounded a similar warning. After the attack on South Korea, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer testified that by June 1950, when the attack occurred, nothing had been sent to Korea but a few dollars' worth of baling wire.

The signal for withdrawing the Russian and American troops came with an order from the United Nations to both countries to get out. Acheson excused the withdrawal on the ground that it was an order from the United Nations. But he did not even protest it. Owen Lattimore earlier had urged that we "give Korea a parting grant" of $150,000,000 and then "let South Korea fall but not to let it look as though we pushed it."

The betrayal of China and Korea is the most immoral —perhaps the blackest—story in our history. By methods wholly new and strange to the American mind, a collection of some sixty or seventy persons—all men and women of education—banded together in an organization financed by American businessmen and rich foundations, and directed a conspiracy to turn victories of American arms in the Pacific into a Soviet triumph.

They had similar plans for Japan and South Korea. In Japan they were frustrated by the fortunate presence of MacArthur. In Korea they brought their plan almost to the verge of success—checked only by a war involving our own country. The ringleaders in this job were Owen Lattimore, Edward C. Carter and Frederick V. Field, and in its final stages chiefly Lattimore.

What is the explanation of Lattimore? It is not simple. There is a philosophy with some vogue now that patriotism is no longer a virtue but some sort of social vice. Man must love not his country, but the world. The social philosopher who adopts this doctrine in his decisions about human events must emancipate himself from those seemingly normal human currents which produce in the heart a love of ones own land. His country is the great round globe. This became a pose with persons of the kind that were drawn naturally toward the IPR. It is strange indeed, however, that in withdrawing their affections from their own country they managed to transfer them not so much to the world as to another country—and that country Russia. It may be that in their folly they imagined that Russia—Russia the heartless and Stalin the assassin—had evolved a philosophy of human society which could unite the world in a humane, beautiful and abundant brotherhood.

It may well be there were among the Russians—as among ourselves—that breed of planetary dreamers—vague souls soaring in space far removed from the realities of human existence who nursed this hazy vision. But consider the man of our own breed, the product of our own history, who has some awareness of arithmetic and the laws of gravity, of the frailties of men and the corrosive effect of power, and who has some trace of human sympathy in his heart. How could such a man suppose that the gang in the Kremlin, who had bathed their own land in blood, murdered their own comrades, sacrificed whole hordes of poor peasants to starvation, banishment or the executioner, could by any chance be accepted as the apostles of some new, moral and merciful world order?

Men and women like Owen Lattimore had got caught up in what seemed to them a great and dramatic enterprise, which satisfied their personal appetite for drama and provided them with all the thrills the criminal enjoys, without feeling that they were in any degree surrendering to the criminal impulse. They got the kind of thrill the bank robber enjoys in a highly intelligent, well-planned and well-managed enterprise, while at the same time remaining out in the open currents of social intercourse and, perhaps, in varying degrees, giving to their audacious and dangerous enterprises the appearance of high moral adventure, as it were—enlivening their morals with the excitement of sin.

Here in the IPR were conspiracy, secret missions, intrigue, power on an intercontinental scale and, I must add in all truth, on good pay. There is nothing new about this breed. But there is one thin g about them they do not themselves understand. They are not revolutionists. They are counter-revolutionists. They scheme and fight to turn back the clock of history to the age of the all-powerful State—the oldest villain in history.