Lattimore Story - John T. Flynn

6. Roosevelt Cedes Asia

Having reviewed the secretarial staff of the IPR, we must now see it at work and follow its members in their long, sustained and successful design of promoting inside our government and in our organs of opinion the policies of Russia in China and Asia generally. At the outset, we must be clear what these designs were. Russia did not declare war on Japan until five days before the American army and navy had brought about Japan's complete defeat, and only when Russia was already apprized by the Japanese government that she was ready to capitulate. By this last minute entry into the war, Stalin plotted to get as much out of our victory in Asia as possible. His aims in Asia, as we have already seen, were:

  1. To get control of Manchuria, Sinkiang and Outer Mongolia, and the rich Northern provinces of China, and to form them into Russian satellite states.
  2. To promote the cause of the Chinese revolutionary movement in China. Knowing she could not have the means of doing this by violent intervention, Russia adopted a policy which she labeled "Unity in China," which meant that Chiang Kai-shek should be induced by the United States to take the Chinese Communists into his government with their army intact, after which they might gradually overthrow the Nationalist regime.
  3. To secure the return to her of the Kurile Islands, Sakhalin and Northern Korea when the surrender of Japan became a fact.
  4. To ensure the achievement of this ambitious program, Russia sought to induce the United States to agree to her belated entry into the Pacific war and, to make this possible, induce the American government to provide the necessary arms for her army of 1,250,000 men on the Manchurian border.

Already, at Yalta, in early February 1945, Stalin had persuaded Roosevelt to agree that Russia (1) should enter the Japanese war at the precise moment she desired, (2) should recover Sakhalin, the Kuriles and a foothold in Manchuria, and (3) should have the right to occupy the northern half of Korea above the 38th Parallel. Roosevelt did this on the advice of General Marshall and against the protests of General MacArthur, Admiral Leahy and other military and naval leaders.

Every consideration of American security cried out against any such surrender to Stalin's plans. He had remained out of the Pacific war. He had continued in friendly relations with Japan throughout the war and had permitted the United States, at frightful cost, to carry the dreadful burden of defeating Japan. Now, as the defeat of Japan became imminent, he proposed to enter the contest and run off, if possible, with the spoils. It is difficult to believe that Stalin felt any great confidence in this scheme. He must have asked himself: "Could Roosevelt be so naive?" Yet the attempt, fantastic as it was, seemed worth trying.

Edward Stettinius, then Secretary of State, has written that he "knew the immense pressure put on Roosevelt by our military leaders to bring Russia into the Far Eastern War." Who were these leaders? Admiral Leahy, Roosevelt's personal professional war adviser, writes in his memoirs:

"I was of the firm opinion that our war against Japan had progressed to the point where I was convinced her defeat was only a matter of time. Therefore we did not need Stalin's help to defeat our enemy in the Pacific."

Then he added that "The army did not agree with me and therefore Roosevelt was prepared to bargain with Stalin." This was in July 1944, seven months before Stalin pressed for this concession. Leahy wrote:

"A large part of the Japanese Navy was already at the bottom of the sea. The same was true of Japanese merchant shipping. There was every indication that our Navy would soon have the rest of Tokyo's warships sunk or out of action. The combined Navy surface and air force action . . . had forced Japan into a position that made her early surrender inevitable."

And this even without the atomic bomb. It was not Admiral Leahy who urged Roosevelt to yield to Stalin—Leahy, who a year before the surrender saw the inevitable defeat of the Japanese.

Who in the army urged Roosevelt to comply with this demand of Stalin? Not MacArthur. Shortly after Roosevelt's nomination in 1944, General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz, at a conference with him in Hawaii, told the President that when the American forces succeeded in taking the Philippines and the Marianas, Japan would be hopelessly cut off from her supplies and that she would have to surrender. This had already been accomplished before Roosevelt agreed to Stalin's demand. It was not, therefore, Leahy, MacArthur nor Nimitz. Admiral King, in a letter to a Senate committee, said he believed Japan could and should have been defeated without an invasion of the home islands. He added: "When the President asked me about making concessions to Premier Stalin to get him to play ball, I replied that I would concede him half the Island of Sakhalin, and that as a sop." In the end, however, King agreed to the invasion by Russia, but he was induced to do so by General Marshall—Admiral Nimitz says that King did it against his better judgment merely to please Marshall.

Actually, two days before Roosevelt left for Yalta—and seven months before the final surrender of Japan—he received from General MacArthur a 40-page memorandum. It contained an unofficial but authoritative offer of peace from the Japanese on precisely the terms on which we finally settled the Pacific War. MacArthur urged that negotiations be opened on the basis of these overtures. Roosevelt did not take the memorandum to Yalta. It reposed in the files of the high command and became the basis of the final American demand for Japanese surrender 7 months later —after the holocausts of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the atom bomb. Roosevelt dismissed the report at the time with the remark that "MacArthur is our greatest general and our poorest politician."

Thus we see that MacArthur, Nimitz and King—the top military and naval commanders in the Pacific—and Leahy, the President's adviser, all opposed agreeing to let Stalin come into the Pacific war. Who, then, sold Roosevelt this bill of goods? The insistence on this fatal blunder came from General Marshall, who was the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. One of the mysteries of the war is the manner in which at every turn some influence could reach Marshall's mind to induce him to comply with the precise schemes being nurtured in the Institute of Pacific Relations. No one, of course, supposes that Marshall was moved by any trace of disloyalty. The only explanation is that he was a naive man, always eager to detect the wishes of the Big Boss and to comply with them.

But where did this dangerous policy originate? Edward Stettinius says that the pressure for it began as early as 1943, and that Harry Hopkins, who was certainly Roosevelt's evil genius, appeared at Cairo bringing a memorandum from "the military" urging that Russia be brought into the Pacific war. Every consideration of peace in the Pacific after the war required that Russia be kept out of the war. Some military support for the idea might have been reasonable in 1943. But by 1944 it was preposterous. By 1945, when Roosevelt made the agreement, it was sheer madness.

But, strangest of all, this agreement was made at Yalta by Roosevelt in a secret meeting with Stalin. Even Secretary of State Stettinius, who was at Yalta, was not permitted to be present, and later, when he asked Roosevelt what had been done there, Roosevelt put him off. Only the Communist Alger Hiss was permitted to attend Roosevelt—Hiss, the secret Soviet espionage agent and then high-ranking political adviser of the State Department and member of the IPR.

Roosevelt agreed not only to let Stalin send his army into the Asiatic war after Russia should defeat Germany, but also to provide arms for a Russian army of 1,250,000 men, then in Siberia on the Manchurian border, thus enabling them to enter the China war. Even James F. Byrnes, who was present at Yalta as Roosevelt's top adviser and who later became Secretary of State, was never told of these agreements, and President Truman did not know of them when he entered the White House. But Hiss, of the IPR—a Communist agent in the State Department—knew.

By this means Stalin was able to invade Manchuria, which Russia holds, the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin, which were conceded to him at Yalta by Roosevelt, and under this same agreement he moved into Northern Korea. He was also enabled to make contact with the Chinese Communist armies in North China and begin to arm them adequately, for the most part with the arms surrendered by the Japanese to the Russians.

It is at this point—after the war in the Pacific had ended as a result of our arms—that the real operation got under way in Washington to bring about the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek and to deliver China and Korea to the Communists. And it is at this point that we are now able to behold the Institute of Pacific Relations, aided by its agents and allies in the State Department, in its highly intelligent and successful conspiracy to bring about the complete victory of communism in China and lay the groundwork for the abandonment of Korea and the delivery of Asia, ultimately, to Josef Stalin. The sheer wickedness of this is so appalling that it is difficult to credit.