My (MacArthur) opinion of the strategic importance of
But the pressure against our
Nationalist Chinese ally of
World War II did not cease. It had started immediately after the war's end,
with the argument, mentioned before, that the
Chinese Communists were really
only "agrarian reformers"
— a claim that has become one of modern
history's bitterest jests. It was, of course, given its greatest impetus when
General Marshall made the tragic mistake of using American prestige as a lever
for attempting to force a coalition government on
Chiang Kai-shek. And it
manifested itself most vocally when I tried to implement the President's
directive to defend
The arguments took many forms. At first, the claim was that Chiang's government was corrupt. Somehow, the reasoning ran, rule by the Kuomintang was even worse than a Communist police state, and, therefore, any change would be for the better. Why they would ally with the same Chiang against the Japanese, but not against the Communists, was never clear. But it was perfectly clear to me now that it was only a question of time when my head would roll.