How Democrats Turned China Red and Egypt Green

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The People’s Republic of China, emerging superpower and fierce red dragon of the Pacific, may well be the rival empire that we will one day have to face down across the ocean. But how did a former ally of the United States turn into a Communist superpower?

The answer, as it so often is, is democracy. Not genuine democracy, but our commitment to the principle of political representation as the way to iron out all our foreign policy problems.

The story that most people are familiar with is that the United States backed the Chinese Nationalists and the Soviet Union backed the Chinese Communists. The truth is that the Soviet Union backed the Chinese Communists and the United States backed an enforced settlement between the Nationalists and the Communists.

The Yalta Conference briefing book stated that the United States did not favor any Chinese political faction, but only “a broadly representative government which will bring about internal unity, including reconcilement of Kuomintang-Communist differences.”

In an echo familiar from countless modern-day speeches about American allies in the Middle East, political reform was touted as the best defense against Communism. And by political reform, Truman meant bringing the Communists into the government for a peaceful and unified China. American aid to the Nationalists was explicitly conditioned on their acceptance of that form of peace and unity.

As Arab leaders were forced into accommodating Islamist political ambitions through political reforms, Chiang Kai-shek was pressured into the appeasement game even while the Communists, like the Islamists, were playing the long game. A coalition with Communists or Islamists can only end one way, and defeating the Communists by bringing them into the political process made no more sense than the Arab Spring prescription for doing the same thing with the Islamists.

Political leaders, diplomats and reporters tell us that we should not fear the Muslim Brotherhood, that it is a moderate organization, and that like other political Islamists, it can be our ally in the war against the real extremists. The American people were similarly told that the Chinese Communists were not the bad extreme kind in Moscow. They weren’t even real Communists at all, only “red on the outside, white on the inside” types. And then having learned nothing from the fall of China, the same propagandists then began assuring us that the Viet Cong were not true Communists either.

Over the years, new gradations of moderate Communists were being discovered almost as often as we have been discovering moderate Islamists. And the prescribed solution each time was to come over to their side early enough that they would come over to our side. It never actually worked, but by the time Jimmy Carter was in the White House, we had gotten horribly good at breaking early for the enemy’s side and at helping him take over in the interests of peace and unity.

The refusal of the Chinese Nationalists to roll over and die at the command of the State Department led Truman to impose an arms embargo on China, as he did on Israel. The Israelis managed to win their War of Independence and defeat multiple Arab armies, but they were struggling to equip a much smaller force. The Chinese Nationalists needed far more weapons and had no place to get them. Like Israel, they ended up caught between their enemies and an alliance with an America mediated by a diplomatic establishment that made arms contingent on destructive concessions to their enemies.

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  • Lady_Dr.

    Leave it to the Democrats. Not content with ruining just America, they are determined to ruin the rest of the world as well. Thanks for a great article.

  • http://frontpage richard sherman

    Let us always remember that it was great liberal hero, Communist and Traitor …ALGER HISS …who was advising FDR about China.

    • Larry

      It wasn't just Hiss, it was the entire China desk at Foggy Bottom and all their "experts". Every single one of them was a communist agent or fellow traveller. In cahoots with White they set up the ridiculous situation that US aid to the KMT was cut off if there were ANY incidents – not KMT attacking the commies, but the commies attacking the KMT triggered a cut off of US aid.
      That was after they talked Marshall into heavying Chiang into stopping when he was about to destroy the PLA completely in Manchuria in 1946.

  • Bartimaeus

    It would be nice if we could learn something from history, at least occasionally. The liberal mindset is less likely to learn the needed lessons as they think they can change human nature which always remains the same. Anyway, interesting article!

  • Toecutter

    I believe it was George Santanaya who said; “Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

    And the mill grinds on… slowly…

  • Tom Sullivan

    This is a naive column. In the 1940s the state department had lots of genuine Soviet agents working as diplomats who were working to give away much of Europe, China and the Pacific rim to communists. They succeeded. Read the history of Sen. Joseph McCarthy to see the evil nature of Democrats when protecting those communist agents. To write off the history of that era as mere bungling is just completely wrong. In the case of Jimmy Carter, take the evaluation of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a liberal Democrat "Unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies, Carter has adopted our enemies' view of the world."


      God Bless Daniel Patrick Moynihan forever!

  • Brujo Blanco

    It is good to learn from your own mistakes. It is also good to learn from the mistakes of others. It is tragic to learn nothing at all. I fear there are too many who learn nothing from past communist regimes. Of course the left will claim that leftist refines failed because the right people were not in charge. Not paying attention to the past can be literally fatal

  • Dead space

    So USA thwarted the chance of the good guys in China to defeat the Commies. :'(

  • SuicidePrevention

    Wasn't it George W. Bush who prescribed democracy for the Middle East and then imposed it by military force on Iraq. He hoped to inspire democracy in other Middle East countries by the example of a democratic Iraq. Or maybe he just wanted to invade Iraq and democracy was a fig leaf. In any case, if we knew then what we know now…

    • johnnywoods

      I supported G.W. Bush for Governor of Texas and for POTUS. He would not have made such a mess if he had simply went into Afghanastan and Iraq, cleaned out the "bad guys" and then left. What a stupid idea it was to practice "nation building" among tribalist mooslim idiots. Kick their arses and leave, I say.

    • Rob

      The Nation building crap came right out of the State Department. Now Bush didn't stop them and a good argument can be made that we owed the Iraqi's a stabilized situation once Saddam was dethroned. The devil is in the details. The state dept screwed up everything they tried. Franks should not have been allowed to retire. Him leaving so soon left a power vacuum that was filled by lesser men.

      IMO, I would have told Turkey to bite it and invaded with the 4th from the north as planned. Most of the issues that prolonged the war were because the north was left open to too long. Also, the ROE that for too long allowed Syria and Iran to send fighters across and to aid the insurgency. Fighting with modern sensibilities for too long a time, but Bush didn't have the political support to do what actually needed to be done. He was undercut and crucified by the democrats and anti-war crowd and press corps at every turn.

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,Dead space,it was more like there were people who thought that the Communists were popular when the truth was they weren't. They bought the lies and now we have to live with the consequences.

  • Ron Lewenberg

    Libya was a bipartisan fiasco with McCain and Lindsay Graham supporting it. In fact, most of the neoconserative talking heads also supported the Jihad for "Democracy" and the Islamist Spring.

  • Marvin Fox

    I remember the destruction of China's one hope for freedom after WW2. I, in fact, argued against the broken headed process being used against China when I was in Junior high school. The Democrats convinced enough Americans that Chang Kai-shek's was corrupt that they were able to withhold necessary aid for his government as it was being attacked by Mao's communists, who were financed by the USSR. It was obvious that without American support China would become a communist nation. The uh, cough democracy had struck again to support tyranny. Communist China is a product of America's ersatz democracy. The same Party is now doing the same thing to our Republic that they did to China; the same lies are being told told by the same Party.
    Marvin Fox

  • Suzanne

    This was a very interesting article. Problem is – very few people today are aware of this history. The reason for this is that our educational institutions, both at the high school and college levels, are not really teaching our kids about the great political movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. The reasons for this are varied but they include poorly educated and leftist indoctrinated teachers, leftist oriented text books, PC relativism as well as not really allotting enough class time for these subjects to sink in. The kids might be getting "A's" but they are really clueless about real (and recent) history and where it has led us. Sadly, this is true even in the private schools where parents are paying big bucks to have their kids educated decently. What to do? Parents are going to have to teach these subjects to their children themselves.

  • Gerald Robinette

    It was not as simple as this article supposes it to be. Those of us who lived through it have a much better view of things and a different view as well.

    • Rob

      It never is Gerald, but the meat of the argument has basis, no?

  • jiang

    The Chinese sure got hope and change in 1949. Worked out for them alright…