Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
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FTR#1202 The Narco-Fascism of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang, Part 9

Con­tin­u­ing our series on the regime of Chi­ang Kai-shek–all but beat­i­fied dur­ing the Cold War–we draw still more on a mag­nif­i­cent book–The Soong Dynasty by Ster­ling Sea­grave. Although sad­ly out of print, the book is still avail­able through used book ser­vices, and we emphat­i­cal­ly encour­age lis­ten­ers to take advan­tage of those and obtain it.

(Mr. Emory gets no mon­ey from said pur­chas­es of the book.)

Tack­ling Amer­i­can ide­o­log­i­cal delu­sion vis a vis Chi­ang Kai-shek and the Kuom­intang, the broad­cast resumes analy­sis of the embrace of Chi­ang by the State Depart­ment and the allied U.S. press and the schism with the War Depart­ment (lat­er the Depart­ment of Defense.)

Chi­ang’s anti-Com­mu­nism endeared him to ele­ments of State, even–as we have seen–his obses­sion with fight­ing the CCP instead of the invad­ing Japan­ese was cor­rect­ly fore­cast by T.V. Soong, among oth­ers as dri­ving the Chi­nese peo­ple into the arms of the invaders.

” . . . . Washington–not as rep­re­sent­ed by Chief-of-Staff George C. Mar­shall but as typ­i­fied by FDR’s advi­sor Har­ry Hopkins–increasingly shared Chi­ang’s fix­a­tion with the post­war threat of Com­mu­nism. To please the Gen­er­alis­si­mo and his sup­port­ers in Amer­i­ca, the Wash­ing­ton of Hop­kins and the Depart­ment of State was pre­pared to sac­ri­fice any num­ber of its own peo­ple. . . .”

Fur­ther devel­op­ing the cir­cum­stances lead­ing to the replace­ment of the skilled, hero­ic Amer­i­can Gen­er­al Joseph Stil­well and the polit­i­cal defen­es­tra­tion of the State Depart­men­t’s best “Chi­na Watch­ers,” we note the role of the con­sum­mate­ly pow­er­ful Soong fam­i­ly in shap­ing U.S. ide­o­log­i­cal delu­sion con­cern­ing Chi­ang Kai-shek.

It is a con­sum­mate irony that the dog­mat­ic anti-Com­mu­nists allied with Chi­ang and the Soongs were the ones who “Lost Chi­na,” as the McCarthyites and the Chi­na Lob­by put it. (Of course Chi­ang and the KMT them­selves were the prin­ci­pal agen­cies involved in said loss.)

The War Depart­ment as embod­ied by Chief-of-Staff Gen­er­al George C. Mar­shall did not share the infat­u­a­tion with Chi­ang, and sided with Chi­ang’s neme­sis, Gen­er­al Joseph Stilwell–the top U.S. mil­i­tary offi­cer in the China/Burma the­ater.

” . . . . Amer­i­ca failed to under­stand the trap it was falling into because the State Depart­ment was not lis­ten­ing to its Chi­na Watch­ers. Very few of their secret reports actu­al­ly reached the Sec­re­tary of State, because the rest were being inter­cept­ed by par­ti­sans inside the depart­ment hier­ar­chy. . . . Accord­ing to infor­ma­tion gath­ered by the FBI at the time, some­one high in the depart­ment was pass­ing this secret infor­ma­tion straight over to Chi­na Defense Sup­plies, to be read by T V. Soong and to be act­ed upon as he saw fit. So the Amer­i­cans sent to Chi­na to watch Chi­ang’s regime were report­ing to the Soong fam­i­ly, not to Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt. . . . At the War Depart­ment, the sit­u­a­tion was quite dif­fer­ent. Gen­er­al Mar­shall was sus­pi­cious of Chi­ang, and lis­tened to Stil­well’s warn­ings. . . .” 

Key ele­ments of analy­sis and dis­cus­sion include: Joseph Alsop’s role as a Chiang/Soong par­ti­san; Alsop’s World War II role as the Chungk­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Lend-Lease pro­gram; Intro­duc­to­ry dis­cus­sion of T.L. Soong (younger broth­er of T.V.) and his role as first, admin­is­tra­tor of U.S. Lend-Lease in Chi­na and, lat­er, admin­is­tra­tor of Lend-Lease in the U.S. (this will be dealt with at greater length lat­er in the series); Alsop’s post­war career as a not­ed jour­nal­ist, close­ly linked to the CIA; Gen­er­al Claire Chen­nault’s hatred of Stil­well; review of Chen­nault’s role as leader of the Fly­ing Tigers (the Amer­i­can Vol­un­teer Group); Chennault’s asser­tion to FDR that his Four­teenth Air Force could use for­ward bases to dec­i­mate Japan­ese ship­ping; Stilwell’s cor­rect counter-asser­tion that the Japan­ese would sim­ply destroy the for­ward air bases upon which Chen­nault based his asser­tions; the 1944 Japan­ese offen­sive known as Oper­a­tion Ichi­go; the resound­ing suc­cess of the Japan­ese offen­sive; review (from our pre­vi­ous pro­gram) of KMT Gen­er­al T’ang En-po’s dis­as­trous com­mand of the Chi­nese forces oppos­ing the Japan­ese Ichi­go offen­sive; the view of the State Department’s Chi­na watch­ers and Vice-Pres­i­dent Hen­ry Wal­lace that Chi­ang Kai-shek could not suc­cess­ful­ly rule post­war Chi­na; the War Department’s tem­po­rary ele­va­tion of Gen­er­al Stil­well to com­mand the KMT armies in Chi­na; Chiang’s fierce and suc­cess­ful resis­tance of Chi­ang to Stilwell’s ele­va­tion; Chiang’s insis­tence on a quid-pro-quo for agree­ing to allow U.S. observers into the Com­mu­nist-con­trolled areas of China—an agree­ment that fea­tured the replace­ment of Stil­well with Major Gen­er­al Albert C. Wede­mey­er; Chiang’s insis­tence on the replace­ment of Ambas­sador Clarence Gauss; the deci­sive appoint­ment of Major Gen­er­al Patrick J. Hur­ley as Roosevelt’s per­son­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Chiang—an appoint­ment which led to Stilwell’s replace­ment with Wede­mey­er.

Stilwell’s replace­ment by Gen­er­al Wede­mey­er was noteworthy—particularly in light of the back­ground and behav­ior of Wede­mey­er.

The pro­gram recaps infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in AFA#11.

In addi­tion to being part of a polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary milieu that infused iso­la­tion­ist ori­en­ta­tion toward involve­ment in World War II with pro-fas­cist sen­ti­ment, Wede­mey­er was a chief sus­pect in an act of con­sum­mate treason—the leak of the Rain­bow Five Amer­i­can mobi­liza­tion plan for World War II to anti-FDR pub­lish­er Robert J. McCormick (of the Chica­go Tri­bune.) (As cel­e­brat­ed anti-fas­cist jour­nal­ist and researcher George Seldes has doc­u­ment­ed, the “iso­la­tion­ist” Amer­i­ca First orga­ni­za­tion received financ­ing from the Abwehr [Ger­man intel­li­gence dur­ing the Third Reich.])

Key points of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis include:

1.–Wedemeyer’s back­ground: “ . . . . he him­self had been edu­cat­ed in part at the Ger­man War Col­lege, in Berlin. He rent­ed his apart­ment from a mem­ber of the Nazi Par­ty, Ger­hard Ross­bach, and dur­ing his sojourn became a great friend of Gen­er­al Lud­wig Beck, chief of the Ger­man Gen­er­al Staff. . . . (Ross­bach was, in fact, the num­ber two man in the SA behind Ernst Rolm. As dis­cussed in AFA#11, Ross­bach went to work for the CIA after the war.–D.E.) . . . .Right­ly or wrong­ly, he was regard­ed by the Ger­man embasssy in Wash­ing­ton as part of the pro-Ger­man mil­i­tary clique in teh War Depart­ment. . . .”
2.–Wedemeyer’s asso­ci­a­tion with key per­son­nel on the Ger­man Gen­er­al staff: ” . . . . His intro­duc­tions to Beck were arranged by Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Friedrich von Boet­tich­er, Ger­man mil­i­tary attache in Wash­ing­ton. He cor­re­spond­ed reg­u­lar­ly withy his Ger­man con­tacts until the advent of World War II in Europe. . . .” 
3.–The Third Reich’s devel­op­ment of a Fifth Col­umn with­in its Amer­i­can coun­ter­part: ” . . . . The numer­ous mem­o­ran­da of Hans Thom­sen and Boet­tich­er to Berlin at the time indi­cate that a series of con­tacts had been estab­lished in this group held meet­ings at the home of for­mer Amer­i­can mil­i­tary attache in Berlin Colonel Tru­man Smith. Although pro-Ger­man and a sym­pa­thiz­er of Amer­i­ca First, Smith had the ear of Gen­er­al Mar­shall. . . .”
4.–The theft of the Rain­bow Five man­u­script by a U.S. mil­i­tary offi­cer. ” . . . . On the night of Decem­ber 3, 1941, an office attached to the War Plans Divi­sion decid­ed on his own account to con­sult some of the doc­u­ments at home. It was a sim­ple mat­ter to unlock the steel cab­i­net and remove the large expand­ing fold­er of sev­er­al hun­dred pages. That he was not autho­rized to do so is indi­cat­ed by the fact that he found it nec­es­sary to wrap the file in heavy brown paper, to make it look like a par­cel for mail­ing. . . .”
5.–The fact that Wede­mey­er under­lined the same pas­sages in his copy of the man­u­script as even­tu­al­ly found their way into the Chica­go Tri­bune piece: ” . . . . . Back in his office, Wede­mey­er faced a very unpleas­ant sit­u­a­tion. [J. Edgar] Hoover had dis­patched his num­ber-one man, Edward Tamm, to the office, and Tamm was stand­ing by an open fil­ing cab­i­net while Wede­mey­er’s sec­re­tary was sob­bing into her hands. One of Tam­m’s men was hold­ing a copy of the Vic­to­ry Pro­gram. The same pas­sages were under­lined in red by Wede­mey­er as appeared in the news­pa­pers . . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the fate of the Third Force or Third Option formed by Mme. Sun Yat-sen (nee Ching-ling Soong) and Teng Yen-ta, a per­sis­tent crit­ic of Chi­ang Kai-shek.

Dis­il­lu­sioned with Com­mu­nism after a sojourn in Moscow, Mme. Sun Yat-sen part­nered with Teng Yen-ta, who rec­og­nized Chi­ang’s fas­cism and, yet, felt that the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty (at that point in time) was over­ly loy­al to Moscow and was­n’t doing enough for the Chi­nese peas­antry.

Both Ching-ling and Teng Yen-ta sought an alter­na­tive to both Kuom­intang fas­cism and the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty.

Find­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic social­ism pro­posed by Ching-ling and Teng Yen-ta unac­cept­able, Chi­ang had the British and Amer­i­can police author­i­ties arrest him in the Inter­na­tion­al Con­ces­sion in Shang­hai, after which he was tor­tured for many months.

Ching-ling was report­ed to have vis­it­ed Chi­ang to plead for Teng Yen-ta’s release. Chi­ang had  already dealt with him in char­ac­ter­is­tic fash­ion: “ . . . . Days ear­li­er, on Novem­ber 29, 1931, near­ly a year after his arrest, Ten Yen-ta had been tak­en from his cell at Chiang’s com­mand and was slow­ly stran­gled with a wire. The exe­cu­tion­er was said to be famous for keep­ing vic­tims alive for half an hour while he tight­ened his grip. In his office, Chi­ang had remained silent while Ching-ling plead­ed for a man already dead, enjoy­ing the spec­ta­cle of her momen­tary vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. . . .”