What if: Communist America

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thejester
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by thejester » 2008-12-01 04:04am

Stas Bush wrote:
thejester wrote:Huh?
Huge man-induced famines, repression massacres in the colonies? Check.
Was Joseph Stalin a fascist?
Militarism and expansionism? Check.
Ignoring that again, this is a trait that is hardly unique to fascism...Britain's expansionism was driven heavily by private enterprise, and even the collusion of state and private enterprise - the East India company, for example - weren't terribly fascist; if anything, they were a diffusion of authority.

As for militarism - to an extent, but Britain never got close to the likes of Prussia, let alone Nazi Germany.
Colonial exploit of both resources and manpower? Check.
Again, in what sense is this fascism? It's imperialism.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-01 04:26am

I merely noted that British colonial policy is not a far cry from the conduct of the fascists - having in mind Italy most of all. In no way I implied that Britain was a fully-fledged fascist state, in internal policy.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Darth Hoth » 2008-12-01 05:02am

Stas Bush wrote:
thejester wrote:Huh?
Huge man-induced famines, repression massacres in the colonies? Check. Militarism and expansionism? Check. Colonial exploit of both resources and manpower? Check. Nothing compared to Nazi Germany, of course, or the Kongo free state, but still pretty brutal policies.
I thought the famines in India were the result of communications breakdowns during wartime, not intentionally induced in the USSR/China fashion?
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by thejester » 2008-12-01 05:11am

Stas Bush wrote:I merely noted that British colonial policy is not a far cry from the conduct of the fascists - having in mind Italy most of all.
Except it's not. It'd be far more accurate to suggest that fascist Italy also was imperialist in its conduct; by the standards you used numerous communist government could be called 'fascists', which just demonstrates the absurdity of the comment.
In no way I implied that Britain was a fully-fledged fascist state, in internal policy.
And I didn't say you did.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-01 05:35am

thejester wrote:It'd be far more accurate to suggest that fascist Italy also was imperialist in its conduct
Yeah, I agree, my wrong. Fascism as a political order has nothing in common with the British Empire, but it is similar in it's imperialist policies to all empires.
Darth Hoth wrote:I thought the famines in India were the result of communications breakdowns during wartime, not intentionally induced in the USSR/China fashion?
Oh, if those famines are not intentionally induced, neither are the USSR and China ones, since they were also a result of horrendous overreporting by local leadership and disregard for famine reports, more than anything else.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Darth Hoth » 2008-12-01 01:46pm

I do not presume to know, in this case; I asked because I wondered. I have read only bare basics on that, so I shall concede the point, if I challenged any.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sidewinder » 2008-12-02 03:04pm

TC Pilot wrote:It is certainly not true that ideology did not represent a substantial factor. In many cases, communist or socialist politicians or power-holders sympathetic to the United States (Ho Chi Mihn, Japanese communists) were flatly rejected, much to the tangible detriment of American interests. Rather, there was a perception in the United States that communism by virtue of being communist was detrimental to American interests, whereas idealogically rightist individuals and governments (former Nazis, imperial Japanese, Iranian shahs, Latin American military juntas) were not. The same is applicable, in reverse, to the Soviet Union.
The "American-style democracy vs. Communist dictatorship" wasn't as much about ideology as it was about the economic, diplomatic, and military rivalry between the US and the USSR. Although Stalin dissolved the Comintern during WWII, the Communist Party of the USSR managed to retain a huge amount of influence over the Communist Parties of other nations. This sustained the illusion that Communism is a monolithic block with the USSR at the top, and the Domino Theory. When the Sino-Soviet Split split the "monolithic block," Nixon was willing to overlook the Chinese Communists' ideology so he could play China against the USSR for America's benefit.

As for the reasons, you have to look closer at history. When Mao Zedong took power, he was initially reliant upon Soviet aid, and was Stalin's yes-man (see Chinese involvement in the Korean War) because of this. When Krushchev took power, de-Stalinization became a blow to Mao, whose position was partially legitimized by Stalin's support. At the same time, Mao's position had become more secure than it was in 1950; that meant the Chinese Commies could tell the Soviets, "Go fuck yourself! We ain't your bitch!" without fear of Soviet reprisals. Eastern Europe's Commies didn't have that option, because their less-secure positions would become downright fragile without Soviet aid.
With both nations communist, or communist-sympathetic, there would be no confrontation on ideological grounds. The two might quarrel over world leadership, as was the case between the PRC and USSR, but that is a fundamentally different issue than in reality.
China and the USSR had an armed conflict that directly resulted in the loss of human lives (see the Sino-Soviet border conflict of 1969). Two superpowers quarreling over leadership of the Communist world? You can guarantee the rivalry will be bloody.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by TC Pilot » 2008-12-02 05:39pm

Sidewinder wrote:As for the reasons, you have to look closer at history. When Mao Zedong took power, he was initially reliant upon Soviet aid, and was Stalin's yes-man (see Chinese involvement in the Korean War) because of this. When Krushchev took power, de-Stalinization became a blow to Mao, whose position was partially legitimized by Stalin's support. At the same time, Mao's position had become more secure than it was in 1950; that meant the Chinese Commies could tell the Soviets, "Go fuck yourself! We ain't your bitch!" without fear of Soviet reprisals. Eastern Europe's Commies didn't have that option, because their less-secure positions would become downright fragile without Soviet aid.
Except none of that's true. Soviet aid to the communists (notably, Mao's leadership in Hunan province prior to the Long March was actually challenged by a group of Moscow-backed communists) was practically non-existent (before, during, and after WWII), and Mao merely accepted Stalin's seniority as leader of the communist world. The Sino-Soviet split began when Kruschev essentially abandoned Stalinist (note: ideological) doctrines, and insulted Mao, who expected to assume the mantle of communist leadership and disagreed with Soviet economic development policy.
China and the USSR had an armed conflict that directly resulted in the loss of human lives (see the Sino-Soviet border conflict of 1969). Two superpowers quarreling over leadership of the Communist world? You can guarantee the rivalry will be bloody.
Again, the Sino-Soviet dispute was grounded in ideology (as was the Cold War). I'm not saying that just because the United States is communist that the world's going to become some utopia of peace and understanding, but rather that you're not going to have a conflict of the same nature as the Cold War.

Hell, even if there is conflict, it will primarily be driven by ideological factors (let's say Trotskyism vs Stalinism) interlinked with the perception that either country's interests are at stake.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-02 10:24pm

I must agree with TC Pilot here. Even the conflict between Soviet Union and Maoist nations was not all that similar to the Cold War in most regards. Unless there is a very strong ideological rift, it's unlikely USA and USSR are going to find themselves fighting each other, instead of supplying each other. The 1960s border skirmish with China is really, really far from what the Cold War was.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Samuel » 2008-12-02 11:02pm

Stas Bush wrote:I must agree with TC Pilot here. Even the conflict between Soviet Union and Maoist nations was not all that similar to the Cold War in most regards. Unless there is a very strong ideological rift, it's unlikely USA and USSR are going to find themselves fighting each other, instead of supplying each other. The 1960s border skirmish with China is really, really far from what the Cold War was.
Not to mention the USSA and USSR's border is Alaska- I can hardly see them able to conduct a war with that connection.

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-02 11:40pm

Yeah, essentially when both nations are isolated but consider non-interfering territories their "sphere of influence" (E. Europe for the USSR, S. America for the USA) it's a different situation from when nations are actively interventionist like in teh Cold War.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sidewinder » 2008-12-04 02:47am

I doubt peace is possible if Joseph Stalin took power. The guy was too damn aggressive for anyone's good, and would likely try to interfere in what a USSA would consider America's sphere of influence, just because.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-04 02:58am

Sidewinder wrote:I doubt peace is possible if Joseph Stalin took power.
Ironically, the USSR did not have a conflict with China under Stalin. We had peace with China. Also, Stalin interfering in America's sphere of influence? The USSR in the 1930s RELIED on America to industrialize, in the 1940s it JOINED America in World War II, and in the early 1950s it still had almost no large Navy to speak of due to war ravage.

The USSR did not gain the capability to interfere in Latin America until the late 1950s when Stalin was already dead. Moreover, the need to interfere there rose due to the placement of strategic weapons.

So WHY interfere there? Cuba and most of LA would be turned communist or socialist by the 1950s likewise, by none other than the USA.

What does the USSR have to gain by interfering in Latin America? Nothing. It's economically prohibitive, militarily unfeasible. On the other hand, the USSR has a powerful ally in the other side of the globe and a free hand to fight the Empires of Europe - which aren't interesting to the USA.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Illuminatus Primus » 2008-12-09 12:35pm

Sidewinder wrote:I doubt peace is possible if Joseph Stalin took power. The guy was too damn aggressive for anyone's good, and would likely try to interfere in what a USSA would consider America's sphere of influence, just because.
Is every comment you make in this thread going to be a "Soviets were mustache-twirlers" and "Americans are he-men and virtuous republicans who'll bake cookies for capitalism" variety? This is a joke. In what case during Stalin's life did he interfere in the U.S.'s sphere of influence at all? He offered to allow German reunification in exchange for demilitarization and non-alignment. We rejected. Korea? August Storm reminds me that it was the Red Army that arrived in Pusan first, not the U.S. Army. Almost every comment you have made so far is wrong.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sidewinder » 2008-12-09 05:08pm

Illuminatus Primus wrote:In what case during Stalin's life did he interfere in the U.S.'s sphere of influence at all?
Soviet spies infiltrated the Manhattan Project and stole nuclear weapons technology from the US. Soviet forces blockaded Berlin to prevent the US, UK, and France from resupplying the American, British, and French sectors in a bid to take over all of Berlin Stalin encouraged Kim Il-Sung to invade South Korea. You don't think these count?
He offered to allow German reunification in exchange for demilitarization and non-alignment. We rejected.
Stalin asked his diplomats if they're certain the US would reject this plan before he proposed it to the US, so he could score a propaganda victory. He did not want a united Germany because he doubted a reunited Germany would not invade the USSR again.
Korea? August Storm reminds me that it was the Red Army that arrived in Pusan first, not the U.S. Army.
And who invaded who first during the Korean War?

Read a history book. When Truman learned MacArthur was secretly negotiating with Chiang Kai-Shek to have Nationalist forces attack Communist China and hinder Chinese Communist operations in Korea, the president fired the general. That's a strong sign the US, at least the US under Truman, was not as aggressive and expansionist as the USSR under Stalin.
Almost every comment you have made so far is wrong.
No, you're wrong for being gullible enough to believe Soviet-era propaganda, or being deluded enough to think Truman was a bigger warmonger than Stalin.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-09 10:58pm

Sidewinder wrote:Soviet spies infiltrated the Manhattan Project and stole nuclear weapons technology from the US.
Spying on major powers is some sort of extreme agressiveness... why?
Sidewinder wrote:Stalin encouraged Kim Il-Sung to invade South Korea.
I think you have your history a little messed up here. Stalin and Mao both tried to discourage Kim from doing it, but Kim was certain the USA will not intervene. In "Stalin, Mao and Kim: Uncertain Partners", this is pretty evident.
Sidewinder wrote:That's a strong sign the US, at least the US under Truman, was not as aggressive and expansionist as the USSR under Stalin.
Do you seriously think you can apply the same measurements to the USSR in the Cold War, and during pre-Cold War times?

Again, in case both USSR and USA are communist, not Cold War polar opponents, what grief is it to the USA if USSR takes Korea? European territories? Likewise, what grief is it to the USSR that the USA takes Latin American territories? You completely failed to adress that point, simply harping that "Stalin wah wah". Did Stalin try to interfere in Latin America? Did he even have the industrial resource to? :lol: In that case I'm afraid there's no possibility even for the USSR and US strategic turf to overlap, unless the USA is overtly intent on messing in the affairs of Eurasia which is a separate continent. Why would the US be eager to mess in these affairs in an alternative reality? You claimed the US will be isolationist.
Sidewinder wrote:Truman was a bigger warmonger than Stalin
You're putting words in his mouth, aren't you? No one here said anything like that :lol:
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sidewinder » 2008-12-10 02:33am

Stas Bush wrote:Spying on major powers is some sort of extreme agressiveness... why?
The US didn't even have an intelligence service until WWII (see the Office of Strategic Services). And don't ignore the significance of the goal of this intelligence: how to make weapons of mass destruction.

If you want to know why it seems so offensive to Americans, try looking at it from an American point of view: the US government hoped a technological advantage would deter further attacks, i.e., a repeat of Pearl Harbor. By infiltrating a US weapons development program, the Soviets greatly reduced this advantage, which made the Americans think, 'Is Stalin going to do to us what the Japs did at Pearl Harbor? How much time do we have left before the Soviets attack?'
Sidewinder wrote:Stalin encouraged Kim Il-Sung to invade South Korea.
I think you have your history a little messed up here. Stalin and Mao both tried to discourage Kim from doing it, but Kim was certain the USA will not intervene.
No, I don't.
Youngho Kim (Sungshin Women’s University) wrote:New Soviet documents show that the border conflicts on the Ongjin peninsula constituted the focal point around which the strategic calculations of Stalin and Kim revolved. This new evidence demonstrates that Cumings’s civil war theory is successful in identifying the permissive cause of the war. Yet this essay argues that the efficient cause is found in Stalin’s global strategy since Stalin put tight reins on the major border conflicts which might escalate into a general war between the North and South. When Stalin gave Kim the green light for the attack on South Korea, Stalin did not inform Mao about the fact during the Sino-Soviet Treaty meetings in Moscow.9 Thus I find the efficient cause of the Korean War in Stalin’s rollback strategy. This essay argues that the essence of Stalin’s rollback in Korea was to cross the US containment line and displace the territories under the US sphere of influence for the first time since the inception of the Cold War by using North Korean troops.

The second objective of this essay is to explain what effects Stalin anticipated with the success in his rollback in Korea. The second objective derives from the fact that the origins of the Korean War and Stalin’s objectives are interconnected. There is no doubt that Kim’s objective was to achieve reunification through force. Yet Kim did not have the means to achieve his goal without Stalin’s assistance. Thus Kim’s role as the efficient or immediate agent of causality with his irredentistic zeal is unsubstantiated despite the fact that his belligerent policies, including his Ongjin occupation plan and provocation of a series of border conflicts, provided a permissive environment for Stalin’s rollback in Korea. Stalin was the only one with enough power and prestige to either give Kim the go-ahead or to make him wait. When Kim visited Moscow to finalize the invasion plan with Stalin in April 1950, Mao was not consulted beforehand.10 New Soviet evidence shows that despite Kim’s repeated requests Stalin did not allow Kim to invade the South - by providing him the necessary hardware - until there emerged an advantageous strategic environment in the Far East. Thus it is our task to explain the specific contents of Stalin’s global strategy and to examine what effects Stalin expected to achieve as a result of the success of the rollback in Korea.
Shen Zhihua wrote:In 1949, Stalin insisted that the unification of the Korean peninsula had to be realized in a peaceful manner. In early 1950, however, he suddenly approved North Korean leader Kim Il Sung’s proposal for an invasion of South Korea. Until very recently, the only clue to the reason for this major policy shift was found in Stalin’s telegram to Mao Zedong on 14 May 1950, which was declassified in the early 1990s. In it Stalin simply stated that “in light of the altered international situation, we agree with the proposal of the Koreans to move toward reunification.”1 What Stalin meant by the phrase “altered international situation” has remained a mystery. Scholars have been unable to explain this sudden and dramatic transformation of the Soviet Union’s policy toward Korea in 1950.

In the mid-1990s, the Russian government declassified a number of crucial documents on the Korean War. In addition, many new memoirs and interviews on the subject have recently been published in China. These new sources have enabled scholars to reconsider many aspects of the Korean War and Soviet foreign policy.2 Much of the discussion has focused on Stalin’s shifting attitudes toward Korea in 1950 and the factors that may have motivated him: the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the victory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China, the development of Soviet nuclear capabilities, the determination that the United States would not intervene in Korea, and the desire to offset the U.S. presence in Japan with the establishment of a Communist state in Korea.3

In the book Uncertain Partners, Sergei Goncharov, John Lewis, and Xue Litai argue that Stalin’s main goal in Korea was to expand the Soviet Union’s buffer zone. Korea gave Stalin a springboard from which he could invade Japan in future conflicts. In addition, they contend that Stalin wanted to test U.S. will, aggravate the hostility between China and the United States, and divert American military attention away from Europe.4 John W. Garver places primary emphasis on Stalin’s attitude toward Japan, contending that Stalin hoped to prevent that country from becoming a U.S. military base.5 A.V. Torkunov, on the other hand, concludes that Stalin felt free to do as he wished in Korea, since he assumed that the United States was interested only in the fate of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kaishek) in Taiwan. Torkunov also argues that Stalin was influenced by Soviet inroads into the U.S. nuclear monopoly, a shift that, in his view, could deter U.S. intervention in the Far East.6

This essay analyzes the change in Stalin’s policy toward Korea on three different levels. First, it examines the historical and political context of Soviet policy toward Korea in the 1950s. Second, it provides an in-depth look at Stalin’s immediate incentives to give his approval for the war. Finally, it assesses Stalin’s calculations of the means necessary for the success of his new policy. At each level, issues such as the Sino-Soviet alliance, the growing Sino-American confrontation, the complicated U.S.-Soviet relationship, and the postwar context of East Asia are considered.

The Political Context in 1950

The strategic goals of Soviet foreign policy after World War II fell into three major categories: peaceful coexistence, world revolution, and national security. Among the three, priority was given to national security. Stalin alternately exploited peaceful coexistence for propagandistic purposes and promoted world revolution whenever expedient. Both of these strategic goals, however, were ultimately subordinate to his perception of what would best serve the Soviet Union’s national security interests. The three goals sometimes overlapped and reinforced one another, but at other times the first two were at odds with the third. When conflicts arose, the exigencies of national security won out.

Because of the frequent contradictions among the three goals, Stalin’s foreign policy was continually shifting in the postwar period. In the first years after the war, Stalin hoped to cooperate with Western allies and desired to consolidate and develop the benefits he gained through the Yalta and Potsdam conferences. At the same time, Stalin sought to expand into regions such as Turkey and Iran, which the Yalta conference did not cover. But Stalin initially did not let his desire to extend the Soviet sphere of influence undermine his policy of cooperation with the West. The Soviet Union adopted a policy of retreat and compromise when confronted with a firm position by the United States and Great Britain. The Soviet withdrawals from Iran, Manchuria, and North Korea revealed that Stalin’s expansionist objectives were limited. Whenever possible, he avoided direct conflict with the United States.7

The Marshall Plan of June 1947 changed Stalin’s attitude. He suspected that the Plan was designed to create an anti-Soviet bloc in Europe through the expansion of Western influence into Eastern Europe and the rearmament of western Germany, Russia’s historical enemy. Stalin’s reaction to the Marshall Plan pushed the United States and the Soviet Union more deeply into Cold War conflict. After 1947, Stalin’s policy toward the United States and the West became increasingly aggressive.8
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sidewinder » 2008-12-10 03:04am

And more.
Kathryn Weathersby (Spring 1995) wrote:Except for very limited trade with Hong Kong and two Manchurian ports, in the period prior to and during the Korean War the Soviet Union was the only source of supply and the only market for North Korean goods.

Furthermore, to an unusual degree, North Korea was dependent on the Soviet Union for technical expertise.5 Japanese colonial policy had permitted only a small number of Koreans to gain higher education or management experience, and the politics of the occupation from 1945-48 prompted most northerners who possessed such skills to flee to the South. With regard to questions of the origin of the Korean War, these economic and demographic circumstances meant that, for the most basic and profound reasons, in the years prior to and during the 1950-53 war, North Korea was simply unable to take any significant action without Soviet approval, regardless of the nationalist inclinations of the DPRK leadership.6

Document #1 also reveals that in March 1949 Stalin had a strong interest in the balance of military forces between North and South Korea, but was far from approving a military campaign against the South. The North Korean military was still quite undeveloped; the discussion was instead on basic questions of military formation and supply. From Kim’s statement in Document #6 presented below, recording a conversation in Pyongyang nine months later, it appears that during another conversation between Stalin and Kim in March 1949, which may have occurred during a dinner or reception, Kim asked Stalin about the possibility of attacking South Korea and was rebuffed. According to Kim’s account in January 1950, Stalin had said that it was “not necessary” to attack the South, that North Korean forces could cross the 38th parallel only as a counterattack to an assault by South Korean forces. In March 1949, American troops were still in South Korea and the Chinese civil war was still not resolved, which led Stalin to reject for the time being any military adventure on the Korean peninsula.

Document #3 (a ciphered telegram from then-Deputy Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to the Soviet embassy in Pyongyang on 11 September 1949) indicates that on 12 August 1949, Kim Il Sung again raised the question of a military campaign against South Korea, this time in conversation with a Soviet official in Pyongyang, most likely Ambassador Shtykov. Document #2 (a ciphered telegram of 3 September 1949 from the Soviet ambassador to North Korea to Soviet Foreign Minister A. Vyshinsky) reveals that on September 3 Kim again requested permission to attack, this time claiming that South Korea was preparing to attack DPRK territory. He requested permission to make a roughly equivalent counterattack and then added that “if the international situation permits,” which was no doubt a reference to possible American reactions, they could easily seize control of the remainder of the peninsula.

It is interesting that the Soviet ambassador confirms the interception of South Korean attack orders but notes that no attack occurred. Other documents in this collection show that through June 1950, North Korean leaders repeatedly claimed to have intercepted offensive orders from the South, even though the attacks did not materialize. Some of these interceptions could well have been genuine, since South Korean leaders in the months before the war often expressed their desire and intention to reunify the country through military means. However, if Stalin had made an attack from the South a necessary precondition for a North Korean military action, the steady stream of such reports is more easily understood.

Document #3 also suggests that by 11 September 1949, following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea in June, Stalin had warmed to the idea of a military campaign in Korea, at least on a limited scale. The Soviet leadership was now ready to entertain Kim’s request and asked him for specific military and political information with which to make a decision. Document #4 (a ciphered telegram to Moscow from the Soviet charge d’affaires in Pyongyang dated 14 September 1949) reports Kim Il Sung’s rather unconvincing response to the Kremlin’s questions. It also conveys the opinion of the USSR embassy in Pyongyang that the limited offensive operation outlined by Kim was inadvisable at that time. Since the DPRK army was not sufficiently strong, such an operation would probably turn into a prolonged civil war, which would be disadvantageous both militarily and politically. Moreover, as the embassy quite correctly forecast, a “drawn out civil war” initiated by an attack from the North would give the United States an opportunity to intervene effectively, “more decisively than they did in China,” and in general to agitate against the Soviet Union. Under existing conditions, the embassy concluded, an attack on the South would be “correct” only if the North Koreans could be certain that the war would end quickly.

Although the record of deliberations in April, May, and June 1950 is still quite fragmentary, it appears that the idea that the war must be won quickly became the basis for planning the eventual attack of June 25. It is tragically ironic that Soviet insistence on a quick victory led them to devise a strategy which, by giving the appearance of the kind of massive tank-led assault the Western allies so feared would happen in Europe, prompted the United States to respond with precisely the intervention in Korea that Moscow wanted above all to avoid.
Kathryn Weathersby wrote: The documents presented below begin where the records published in the previous Bulletin left off, with Stalin’s telegram to the Soviet ambassador in Pyongyang on 30 January 1950 informing Kim Il Sung that he would “assist” him in the matter of reunifying Korea by military means. Document #1 reveals that Kim Il Sung and Soviet Ambassador T.F. Shtykov interpreted Stalin’s message as approval to plan an offensive campaign against South Korea. The North Korean leader received Stalin’s telegram with “great satisfaction” and informed Shtykov that he would begin preparations for a meeting with Stalin at which the details of the campaign would be worked out. Shtykov’s telegram to Soviet Defense Minister A.M. Vasilevsky on February 23 (document #4) supports accounts given by former DPRK military officers that Stalin began taking steps to strengthen the North Korean military forces even before Kim Il Sung’s secret trip to Moscow in April, by appointing Major-General Vasiliev, a Hero of the Soviet Union and section chief for War Experience Analysis in the Soviet General Staff, to replace Shtykov as principal military adviser to the Korean People’s Army (KPA).3

From Shtykov’s telegram to Foreign Minister Andrei Vyshinsky on February 7 (document #2), we see how closely Stalin supervised events in North Korea, deciding whether the DPRK could issue a bond, form an additional three infantry divisions, convene the Supreme People’s Assembly, or send textile workers to the Soviet Union for training. Documents #5-9 indicate the reason why the highly nationalistic Korean communists allowed such interference in their country’s affairs. As I discussed in the previous Bulletin, prior to the Korean War, North Korea was dependent on the Soviet Union for the substantial quantities of goods and the broad range of expertise needed to construct a new socialist state out of an abruptly truncated portion of the former Japanese empire. From 1945-1950, the only place to which the DPRK could turn for this support was the Soviet Union. Though many North Korean communists had close ties to the Chinese communist party, the latter was not in a position to aid its Korean comrades. In early 1950, the new People’s Republic of China (PRC) government in Beijing led by Mao Zedong was itself forced to turn to Moscow for economic and military aid. As documents #11 and #13 indicate, in the spring of 1950 Mao Zedong and Kim Il Sung were both interested in the possibility of developing wider trade and closer communications between the PRC and the DPRK. Close economic and military ties between Pyongyang and Beijing developed after the Chinese entered the Korean War; they were not in place prior to October 1950.4

At Stalin’s insistence, after secretly receiving the Soviet leader’s conditional green light for an attack against South Korea during a secret summit in Moscow in April (for which records still, alas, remain unavailable), Kim Il Sung traveled to Beijing in May 1950 in order to secure Mao Zedong’s approval for the planned offensive. Documents #11 and #13 show that in his discussions with Kim Il Sung, Mao Zedong was considerably less worried about the possibility of military conflict with the United States than was the Soviet leadership, arguing that “the Americans will not enter a third world war for such a small territory.” It also appears that in May 1950 Kim Il Sung, perhaps to counter the oppressive Soviet influence in North Korea, took a tentative step toward the strategy he later used so extensively of playing China and the Soviet Union against one another.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-10 03:33am

You are speaking of Stalin's final approval of Kim's operation and the Soviet Union's military assistance to Korea. Fine, that is good enough an evidence to support your statement about "Stalin encouraging Kim".

However, I'd note that nothing here points conclusively to the fact that the USSR's leader was commanding Kim's decision to lauch a proxy war; no documentary evidence. It may be a matter of time to uncover it, but it also may be so that no such evidence exists in principle. Moreover, the documents you have shown clearly indicate it was Kim's initiative to risk a land war in Korea, and he went for approval of his operation, which in prior times has been looked coldly upon (the 1949 analysis of Kim's ambitions by Soviet officials).

Of course, the USSR was instrumental in giving Kim the means to execute it, and finally approving his operation, but it was Kim's initiative more than the USSR's I would believe.
Sidewinder wrote:And don't ignore the significance of the goal of this intelligence: how to make weapons of mass destruction.
Because allowing an ideological enemy having a monopoly on those weapons, and thus atomic blackmail by the overpowering nuclear capacity of the USA, is cool. Or not. Why should the USSR not have pursued these weapons by all means possibly after the USA wiped out two cities of an enemy nation with them? Because the USSR was supposed to behave in a Hello Kitty fashion?

How can spying on WMDs vital to maintaining a strategic balance versus an ideological foe, vital to the very survival of the nation from possible atomic wipe-out, be construed as a belligerent act on the same scale as say approval of the Korean war and allying with Kim?
Sidewinder wrote:The US didn't even have an intelligence service until WWII
Well, that's a US internal problem. Spying has been long running in Europe, on both newest industrial developments (three-way spying between Britain, Germany and USSR). The US was just feeling hurt because the spying helped USSR to break it's offensive atomic monopoly :lol: How belligerent, aquiring detereence weapons! :D
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sidewinder » 2008-12-10 11:32pm

Stas Bush wrote:How belligerent, aquiring detereence weapons!
In the time between the end of WWII and the beginning of the Korean War, the French Communist Party rioted and forced the prime minister to resign; Communist forces took over China, and attempted to take over Greece (see the Greek Civil War) and West Berlin (see the Berlin Blockade); and the USSR tried to force Turkey to surrender control of the Dardanelles Straits. Soviet nukes as deterence weapons? The West did not think so when the Communists were doing as the Nazis did before WWII.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-11 02:50am

Sidewinder wrote:French Communist Party rioted and forced the prime minister to resign
Yeah, a popular revolution means... what exactly? That the French commies were damn politically powerful in their nation? Well no shit.
Sidewinder wrote:Communist forces took over China
Chinese communists took over China. Wow. Clearly, a dastardly scheme of the USSR which didn't even care much one way or the other for Mao until it became clear he's popular enough to topple the Nationalists.
Sidewinder wrote:...attempted to take over Greece
Yeah, because the Greek Communist partisans, who fought to overthrow the Nazis, who were only supported by Josip Broz Tito, and fought by Allied forces at the end of World War II, thinking they were USSR-supported, when in reality they were generally abandoned by the Soviet Union to their fate - are somehow indicating the USSR's malice? Hell, the USSR explicitly ordered the Greek resistance movement to not fight the British-controlled government, and was instrumental in cutting it's support by Tito, and stayed true to the Yalta "influence zones", allowing Churchill to basically drown the rebellion in Greece.

If anything, this example has shown the USSR that the "Western Allies" were perfectly willing to supress any communists who are fighting against the Nazis in what they considered "their" sphere of influence, and behaved accordingly.
Sidewinder wrote:...and West Berlin (see the Berlin Blockade)
The preceding actions by the US-British side are of course not mentioned, eh?
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by PainRack » 2008-12-11 12:31pm

Darth Hoth wrote: I thought the famines in India were the result of communications breakdowns during wartime, not intentionally induced in the USSR/China fashion?
Partially. There is Indian propaganda contention that trains were still moving that carried war supplies as opposed to grain, but I'm not sure how such a claim would carry.

However, the claim that the famine was partially caused by the resulting peasant workforce diluation as the Indian Army sucked up manpower in terms of coolies and recruits is certainly true. Furthermore, the British were unable to devote any resources to solving the famine as they historically did.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2008-12-12 04:20am

A lot of factors worked together in the 1943 Bengal Famine, one of which was certainly British indifference, in particular the British civil service just didn’t give a shit, the British military commanders did everything they could since they saw what was happening firsthand… and didn’t want the population to support the Japanese. However nothing was the problem on its own, and it wasn’t the result of any new polices, really it was a failure to adapt new ones.

The cause of the famine got its start in a prewar arrangement which saw Bengal import a lot of rice from Burma, while much of its own rice went to other places. This was done, instead of shipping out the rich from Burma directly, because of various transportation limitations.

When Japan occupied Burma that source of supply was cutoff. Meanwhile Bengal had two bad growing seasons AND a major cyclone struck destroying even more crops and spreading crop diseases. To make it worse the British ordered no large stocks of rice be kept anywhere close to the Japanese held territory, least they feed a Japanese invasion. This was a serious concern, born out of direct experience in Malay and Luzon when captured stocks were a huge boost to the rapid Japanese advances.

This all drove up food prices in Bengal, and they were made much worse by heavy inflation, but in fact there was never that much of a direct shortage of food. Instead poor farmers who had there crops ruined simply could not buy food. In the end the famine was ended mainly by driving down prices through some fairly modest and very belated British ordered imports, combined with a new successful harvest being brought in. At least several million died, and it was not nearly the largest India suffered under British rule. IIRC the worst had over 10 million deaths in the 18th century, no idea what the cause was or if anything could have been done about it back then.

The Indian railroads were utter crap at the time and did haul a lot of war supplies, but that wasn’t a significant factor, it was just an easy thing to point fingers at while ignoring how absurdly more brutal a Japanese invasion would have been. Lack of manpower shouldn't have been any huge deal either, though diversion of food to feed the Indian military was.

As I recall though British rule saw at least a dozen famines killing at least 25 million people in total, and the centuries before that rule saw another dozen, and since independence they’ve had quite a few close calls, alleviated by government action and international aid. Still India records quite a lot of starvation deaths each year. This is what you get when you're population can't even begin to stabilize. Even 200 years ago in the west and Russia and well... most places didn’t have as huge of families as people still often have in India. I saw one program on a village in which the average number of children per family in 2007 was freaking 17, and aid workers were hoping to bring it down to 8!
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-12-12 05:31am

Sea Skimmer wrote:As I recall though British rule saw at least a dozen famines killing at least 25 million people in total, and the centuries before that rule saw another dozen
Wow. That's a lot, even spread over a long timespan.

India itself did not have a similar famine after independence (exports run steady, population can't buy and starve), but Bangladesh most certainly had an exactly such type of famine in 1974.
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Re: What if: Communist America

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-12-12 07:45am

Sidewinder wrote:If you want to know why it seems so offensive to Americans, try looking at it from an American point of view: the US government hoped a technological advantage would deter further attacks, i.e., a repeat of Pearl Harbor. By infiltrating a US weapons development program, the Soviets greatly reduced this advantage, which made the Americans think, 'Is Stalin going to do to us what the Japs did at Pearl Harbor? How much time do we have left before the Soviets attack?'
You should really try considering points of views that aren't American, because the American point of view is worth no different than the POVs of people from other nations. Yes, even the POVs of subhuman Slavic untermenschen and their outrageous facial hairs.

Try looking at it from everyone else's point of view. America, the victor of WWII, a nation entirely unscathed by the World War, now in possession of an unprecedented weapon that can wipe out entire cities and win entire wars - basically allowing it the means to dominate the world unopposed by anyone or anything. What do you think everyone else thought? Would they think that it was cheerio and perfectly agreeable?

Is Stalin going to do what the Japs did at Pearl Harbor? What the hell, man? The Soviet Union was utterly ravaged by the World War, while the USA was literally unscarred. The US had shitloads of troops overseas, in Europe and Asia, and basically it projected its force everywhere. It had an undamaged infrastructure, intact economy, it was in a position superior to everyone else's and it was (at that time) the sole possessor of an incomprehensibly dangerous weapon.

As hard as it is to believe, the Soviets had more to fear of America than America of them. Hell, everyone had more reason to fear America.

Of course, that's assuming that we regard Soviets as actual-factual human beings. But that's just an assumption.



By the way, I think that a world where America was the sole possessor of nuclear weaponry and a sole unopposed superpower, would be a very frightening place.
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