Notes


19500901 0000 390r0

 

390 * REMINISCENCES

biography biography and biography

My (MacArthur) opinion of the strategic importance of Formosa was shared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On September 1st, they officially recommended that the island and its disposition be kept out of any political bargaining at a forth-coming meeting of the foreign ministers. "The strategic consequences of a Communist-dominated Formosa," the Joint Chiefs advised, "would be so seriously detrimental to United States security that in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States should not permit the disposition of Formosa to be recommended in the first instance or decided by any commission or agency of the United Nations."

Def  

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 Formosa by strengthening the alliance between Nationalist and United States military forces.

 

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.