America's Retreat from Victory - Joseph McCarthy

Marshall and Stilwell

Before we plunge into the Chinese situation as it developed, with Japan defeated but Russia replacing her in Manchuria, let us have a brief look at what had been happening in China that bears on the career of General Marshall. We come at once to the contentious figure of General Joseph W. Stilwell, known as "Vinegar Joe." Stilwell was Marshall's protégé. Marshall had him appointed American military representative and chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek in 1942.

I shall not elaborate upon "Vinegar Joe's" personal eccentricities, his self-assurance verging on arrant egotism, his contempt for Chiang Kai-shek, who was to him always "The Peanut," and for all the Chinese leaders except the Reds of Yenan. The dismaying chronicle of Stilwell is known. It was this twisted but courageous soldier who was set up by Marshall as our supreme military representative among the 450 million Chinese, who had for years been bearing the brunt of Japanese power, retreating and fighting, moving ever inland, but refusing with honor and dignity to make peace with the invader.

The greatest barrier to cooperation between Chiang Kai-shek and Stilwell was not the American's own unaccommodating spirit. Stilwell was surrounded in China by a clique of young Foreign Service officers supplied by the State Department, headed by John Paton Davies as his political adviser. Stilwell and Davies had been friends since 1938, when both were in Hankow—Stilwell as American military attaché, Davies as consul general. Those were trying days in the war between Japan and China. They were days also of the common front, when the Communists were nominally fighting alongside the Nationalists and ranks presumably were closed. The American colony at Hankow likewise included Captain Evans Carlson, later a brigadier general in the Pacific.

I would remind the reader that Stilwell and Carlson are the Communist heroes of our war in the Far East, that both were and are honored in the Daily Worker and throughout the Communist movement in this country.

Dominating the intellectual life of the American colony in Hankow, according to Freda Utley, who was also there, was that effective agent of Russian imperialism, Agnes Smedley. That Miss Smedley, a recreant American, was a Russian spy throughout her long career in China, is doubted by no instructed American. I quote from Miss Utley's new book, The China Story, a scholarly and temperate account of how the Hiss-Acheson-Lattimore-Marshall group and their accomplices converted the Chinese civil war of 1945-49 into a Chinese-American war. I quote from pages 106 and 107:

"Agnes (Smedley) . . . captivated "Vinegar Joe". . . . Davies was also a great admirer of Agnes Smedley, whom he called one of the pure in heart. He used to invite us to excellent dinners at the American consulate, at which he expressed both his admiration and affection for Agnes. . . . He (Davies) became one of the most potent influences in the Department [of State] furthering the cause of the Chinese Communists."

Davies, as Stilwell's political adviser, surrounded himself with young men of his choice and ilk—John Stewart Service, Raymond P. Ludden, and John Emerson. We have heard of Service before. I do not ask you to believe upon the sole authority of my word that the full weight of Stilwell, of Davies, and these young men was thrown in the balance of the conspiratorial, subversive Chinese Reds and against our ally, the Government of China. The reader may have read the State Department's insincere and dissembling White Paper on the China question. I bid him read again, study, and mark the reports sent back to Washington by Stilwell's clique; read them with this in mind, that except for the reports of the naval attaché in China, these were the only advices the administration had to go on regarding the situation in that huge and distressed land.

The Army and the State Department were suffused with pro-Red propaganda emanating from Stilwell's circle. It is one of the few benevolent dispensations of fate in this situation that Admiral Leahy had a clear stream of information. Apart from his influence, and the word of honest travelers and finally the blunt advices of General Pat Hurley, I honestly believe that Stilwell would have been kept in China and the Reds have been able to conquer that land several years before they finally accomplished it.

Davies was suitably rewarded by Dean Acheson for his sellout of an ally, serving as a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Committee, where he is strategically placed to help further the betrayal he began in Chungking.

It was the constant endeavor of the Davies people in China to assure the Departments of War and State that the Chinese Communists were moderate reformers, simple agrarians in the style of Thomas Jefferson, with no subservience to Moscow.

We find an excellent example in this in report No. 34. document No. 109A7, dated September 28, 1944, a document signed by John Stewart Service and sent to the State Department:

"Politically, any orientation which the Chinese Communists may once have had toward the Soviet Union seems to be a thing of the past. The Communists have worked to make their thinking and program realistically Chinese, and they are carrying out democratic policies which they expect the United States to approve and sympathetically support."

We find the following in report No. 10, dated March 13, 1945, again signed by John Stewart Service:

"The Chinese Communist Party, on the other hand, is the party of the Chinese peasant, Its program—reduction of rent and interest, progressive taxation, assistance to production, promotion of cooperatives, institution of democracy from the very bottom—is designed to bring about a democratic solution of the peasant's problems. On this basis, and with its realization of the necessity of free capitalistic enterprise based on the unity, not conflict, of all groups of the people, the Communist Party will be the means of bringing democracy and sound industrialization to China. These are the only possible guaranties of peace and stability."

This friendliness toward the Communists in Asia extended also toward the Japanese Communists. Luckily, General MacArthur was in Japan. The State Department's advice was not followed there. But let me quote again from a John Service document, 5 18/7, with "Q" number 524:

"The Japanese Communist Party is still small (Mr. Okano himself does not claim more than a few thousand members), but it has the advantages of strong organization and loyal, politically experienced membership. If its policies, as claimed, seek to achieve our own hopes of a democratic, non-militaristic Japan, we may wish to consider the adoption toward it of an attitude of sympathetic support."

The Stilwell-Davies group took over in China in 1942. Soon thereafter Lauchlin Currie, at the White House, and John Carter Vincent and subsequently Alger Hiss, at the State Department, were exercising their influence at the Washington end of the transmission belt conveying misinformation from Chungking. The full outlines of Currie's part in the great betrayal have yet to be traced. That it was an important and essential part, I have no doubt.

What bearing did Stilwell's assumption of command in China in 1942 have on the acknowledgement made by Earl Browder before the unlamented Tydings subcommittee that our China policy from 1942 to 1946 undeviatingly followed the Communist line?

Is this mere coincidence? I do not think so.

Before coming to the denouement of this sorry state of affairs, I give you another view of the activities of Stilwell and Davies in Chungking. This testimony comes from an eyewitness, a valorous retired major general of the United States Army Air Forces, Claire Lee Chennault, who won undying fame with his Flying Tigers. I am referring to Chennault's recorded experiences in China, Way of a Fighter, where he reviews Stilwell's behavior in unsparing detail. Chennault describes how Stilwell in the spring of 1944 sent a mission to his friends in Yenan. I quote from page 317 of Way of a Fighter:

"The American mission to Yenan was hardly established before Stilwell's Chungking staff began to proclaim loudly the superiority of the Communist regime over the Chungking Government. Contents of secret reports from the Yenan mission were freely discussed over Chungking dinner tables by Stilwell's staff. No secret was made of their admiration for the Communists, who, they said, were really only "agrarian reformers" and more like New Dealers than Communists. The hue and cry charging the Generalissimo with "hoarding lend-lease arms" to fight the Communists was raised with renewed vigor along with the claim that China's best troops were being used to blockade the Communists instead of fighting the Japanese."

The American propagandists for Red China—men paid by all taxpayers—were mendacious as well as disloyal to our alliance and to American interest. I quote further:

"After Stilwell was removed, Wedemeyer conducted an exhaustive survey of all Chinese Army equipment and reported that nor a single American gun or bullet had gone to Chinese armies east of Yunnan with the exception of 500 tons belatedly delivered to Kweilin and Liuchow. The generalissimo did keep a sizable army at Sian, the gateway to Communist territory, and they did maintain a patrol on the main communication lines to Yenan. That they were also defending the Tungkwan Pass, one of the three vital gateways to west China, was conveniently ignored by Stilwell's staff. Late in 1944 many of these troops were withdrawn to bolster the sagging Salween offensive, and the Japanese promptly began an offensive aimed at Sian. Only a sudden and cold winter halted the Japanese offensive short of its goal."

I have quoted General Chennault at this length because these passages go to the heart of the means by which the American people were misled and Government policy distorted during World War II to bring about our present disasters, I continue to quote Chennault:

"The Yenan Communists shrewdly tickled Stilwell's vanity with many flattering appreciations of his military prowess and clinched him as an ally by shrewdly letting it be known that they would be delighted to have him command their armies. Stilwell never gave up his hopes of commanding the Chinese Red armies, . . . Since it was still official American policy in the summer of 1944 to support the Chungking government, it was a common joke (in Chungking) that Stilwell's headquarters were developing a private foreign policy with John Davies as secretary of state.

"During this period there was a strong group of left wingers in the Far Eastern Division of the State Department who used Stilwell's sympathy for the Chinese Communists and his violent antipathy to the generalissimo as a lever to shift American policy in favor of the Communists. Had Stilwell been retained in his China-Burma-India command their chances for success would have been brightened. The situation was so bad that when Wedemeyer arrived he found it necessary to make all American officers in China sign a formal statement saying they understood clearly their duty in China was to execute official American policy, not to make it."

Where does General Marshall stand in all this? After all, we are reviewing his career, not Stilwell's. Stilwell was his friend. He had nominated him for this job. What did Marshall do about this field commander who was, as we have seen, so disloyal to American policy, so flagrantly perverting our purpose in China, so grievously failing both as a soldier and a diplomat, and who, in the end, would avow his desire to take up arms with the Communists against America's ally?

Demands for Stilwell's removal from his disastrous command reached such a pitch in June of 1943 that President Roosevelt directed Marshall to recall him. Stilwell and Chennault, at loggerheads over the land-air strategy in China, had been brought back to Washington just previously, where they appeared before the Combined Chiefs and advanced their respective positions, Chennault won the decision. Thereafter, Stilwell's strategy, his disposition, and his good faith were under constant and steady suspicion in the minds of all the American leaders save only those of Marshall and the old gentleman who had been captivated by him, Secretary Stimson.

Did Marshall yield to the President's wishes that Stilwell, who was proved to be supporting the Chinese Reds, be recalled? He did not. I quote from Mr. Sherwood's book Roosevelt and Hopkins, on page 739, where he recalls that incident, declaring George Marshall said that:

"He realized that Stilwell was indiscreet but that he is the only high-ranking officer we have that can speak Chinese and that, while obviously he does not like Chinese officialdom, he has a great regard for the Chinese people."

I believe that we have in the clause I have just quoted a clue to Marshall's regard for Stilwell and to his obstinate determination to keep him and his bevy of Communist propagandists at Chungking. If Marshall had been entirely candid, I believe the words would have been, "He has a great regard for the Chinese Reds." As we all know, "people" in Communist parlance has a special meaning. It does not mean all the people in our sense. It is a catchword, an occult word, clear to the initiates, meaning Communists. They use it in a special sense to designate all their political organs. We all recall the various people's fronts organized to promote the Communist cause throughout the world. More specifically the Chinese Communist army was referred to in Communist parlance as the people's army. We shall find, as we pursue this subject, further evidences of General Marshall's affinity for the Chinese Reds.

Not only did Marshall brook the President's will in this instance; he risked a quarrel with Hopkins, the man who, as Sherwood elsewhere reports, had been his principal supporter for chief of staff when Marshall was unexpectedly jumped over many more highly qualified and experienced major generals and brigadier generals to that past in 1939. Sherwood is recording a conversation with Marshall, also on page 739, when he says:

"Marshall has told me that his only serious difference of opinion with Hopkins in the entire war was over this issue between Stilwell and Chennault . . . Hopkins was on the side of Chennault, who was close to the Fascist-tinted Kuomintang."

I beg you to note the use of the Communist term "Fascist-tinted" to describe the Kuomintang. It is significant. The false and meaningless epithet "Fascist" was on the lips of every apologist and propagandist of Russian imperial designs in those days from Smedley to Alger Hiss and their journalistic echoes in the United States. One might also check the accuracy of Marshall's views regarding the superior fighting value of the Chinese Reds with Chennault's plain, unvarnished opinions, with those of General Wedemeyer, and with a host of other loyal Americans who know whereof they speak. The legend that the Reds were genuinely fighting the Japanese was another of the big lies with which American opinion and judgment were corrupted and subverted at that time.

Roosevelt did not press for Stilwell's recall. Sherwood gives a partial explanation of why he did not do so in a continuation of the foregoing passage:

"Roosevelt had high regard for both Stilwell and Chennault, as fighting men, but his overriding concern was to keep China in the war and to hold the friendship of the Chinese people for the United States, and he had those objectives in mind in every decision he made."

I think it is evident that Roosevelt did not know what we know. A great deal of water has gone over the dam; we are better informed and more vigilant now. We know that Stilwell and his gang were a nest of anti-American activity at the Chinese capital, that they did us unmeasured harm both in injuring the faith and credit of Chiang Kai-shek in America and in deceiving us concerning the minions of the Kremlin at Yenan. Chennault supplies us with other insights into Roosevelt's attitudes toward China at this time. During his visit to Washington in the spring of 1943, Chennault saw the President three times. It was evident that the President had a due appreciation of Chennault's gallant services in China, that he respected and liked him. On page 225 of his book, Chennault reports Roosevelt assuring him that:

"His policy was aimed at creating a strong pro-American China to emerge from the war as a great stabilizer among the oppressed peoples of the Orient. I have a deep conviction that had he lived and maintained the faculties which he had at his prime, the debacle of our postwar floundering in China and the incredible folly of the Marshall mission would never have occurred."

However that may be—and I sometimes feel that some have too indiscriminately charged Roosevelt with the blame for what has happened in China—Marshall remained ar the President's elbow, a trusted adviser able to overshadow the loyal and foresighted counsel of Admiral Leahy; as we have seen, the tide of reports from the field, serving the great conspiracy, still flowed into Washington.

The impatience of Leahy with Stilwell and all he stood for breathes through a brief entry in his book, page 172, where he notes that "the problem [of the China command] was not to be solved for more than a year, however, when Stilwell was finally relieved of his command in October 1944."

And, on page 271, Leahy observes that even after Stilwell's insults had moved Chiang Kai-shek to demand Stilwell's head as the price of remaining in cooperative wartime relations with America, "Marshall made repeated efforts to induce the President to retain "Vinegar Joe" regardless of Chiang's objections." Leahy observes drily that the President had to give "direct and positive orders" to Marshall before Stilwell was at long last called home.

How does that compare with Marshall's attitude toward the great proconsul of Japan? What accounts for the difference? Stilwell played with the Reds in China; MacArthur, on the other hand, made no secret of his wish to break their power over Asia. In whose cause was Marshall enlisted when he fought with such bitter obduracy to retain at Chungking the friend of the stooges of Moscow?

Before I leave the subject of Stilwell, I want to refer to a photo-static copy of a page from the New York Daily Worker of January 26, 1947. Represented on this page is a handwritten letter of the general's to a friend. The letter appears under the letterhead of the Commanding General, Headquarters Sixth Army. Stilwell was then commanding the Sixth United States Army. The letter was addressed to a friend whose identity the Daily Worker did not see fit to disclose. Stilwell wrote, and I quote:

"Isn't Manchuria a spectacle? But what did they expect? George Marshall can't walk on water. It makes me itch to throw down my shovel and get over there and shoulder a rifle with Chu Teh."

At that moment the forces of the Republic of China were successful in Manchuria. They had reached the peak of their efforts at pacification. This was, of course, displeasing to Stilwell.

What Stilwell is saying is that even Marshall, unable to perform miracles, had not yet been able to deliver Manchuria to Chu Teh. This passage will grow clearer as we proceed with this narrative. Stilwell wanted also to give his assistance to the man who had carried support of him almost to the point of defying President Roosevelt. Need I remind the reader that Chu Teh, the heir of Agnes Smedley, was then, and is now, the Commander in Chief of the Chinese Red Armies warring with us in Korea?

And so Stilwell finally came home to be succeeded by that great American soldier, Albert Wedemeyer. Wedemeyer has not enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the powerful Marshall since the day he brought home his wise and effective report on China in 1947 and since the further day when he refused, putting his career in peril, to sign a doctored version of his report which Marshall, by then Secretary of Stare, wished to issue in further delusion of the American people.

Wedemeyer does deserve the fullest confidence and esteem of the American people and I look forward to the day when, please God, this country may again have the full use of his talents, his judgment and his unalloyed devotion to his country and her interests. Wedemeyer redeemed our situation in China, he forged a fighting instrument out of Chinese conscripts, he reestablished good relations with our long suffering and loyal ally, Chiang Kai-shek, and he conducted the affairs of America in the interests of America.

The war came to an end with the Russian armies firmly entrenched in Manchuria and the northern provinces of China, thanks to Marshall's endeavors at Yalta, but with Wedemeyer at Chungking still able, if left alone, to salvage something out of the situation.

The Chinese people might at last have hoped to be free from the great troubles which had torn and vexed their land since the last days of the old Empress Dowager. But no. The Reds at Yenan, determined as always on acquiring all China in the service of the Kremlin, launched into guerrilla warfare. By October the conflict had assumed the scope of a civil war. Chiang Kai-shek was in a position to deal with the situation. He had thirty-nine American-trained divisions, he had equipment, he had a high morale among his troops, although he lacked the air forces that had been promised him and withheld by the War Department. The situation was not too difficult. Back in March Pat Hurley and General Wedemeyer, with Commodore Miles, of the Navy, had assured the Joint Chiefs, in expectation of the trouble that would ensue upon the end of the war, that the "rebellion in China could be put down by a comparatively small assistance to Chiang's central government." I have quoted from Admiral Leahy's veracious record, on page 337.

The government at Chungking was our ally. We had come through a long, hard war together. It was we who had encouraged Chiang to resist, to treat with scorn the entreaties of the Japanese that China fall out of the war so that the combined forces of Asia could fall upon the Americans in the Pacific and the Far East. We owed much to Chiang.

Roosevelt was dead. Up to a point he had been swayed by Marshall. We now had Truman, who, in these matters, was to become the pliant tool and instrument of Marshall and Acheson. In explaining to the new President how the Russians had got into Manchuria, Leahy gave Truman his "jaundiced view" of the situation, adding, and I quote from page 385, that the Army, meaning Marshall, had won the argument, and the "decision had been ratified at Yalta." The exposition of the admiral fell upon uncomprehending ears. From that day forward Truman never wavered in support of the forces that were intent upon delivering China to the Kremlin.