When Diplomacy Fails

By Zack Twamley

On Going since May 2012 • Updated weekly

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

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  Direct Link   Download 42 Minutes 23 Sep 2018

Episode 37: Burning Chinese takes our story back a bit to late September, in roughly the same timeframe we covered in the last episode, to examine how the American policy was developed as the Chinese became ever more pressed to involve themselves. The official picture in Washington and among the UN allies, and of course in General MacArthur’s mind, was that no matter what they publicly said, the Chinese would not, could not intervene, and that thus, all evidence to the contrary was bluff or the intrigue of some communist agent. America’s leaders worked hard to reinforce this message, and it certainly likely that some heartily believed that there was no sense in stopping at the 38th parallel now that the North Koreans – the aggressors – were clearly in flight.Yet, it is inconceivable, as we’ve learned, that the Truman administration did not plan or think to plan for what may have occurred if Mao Zedong did decide to send his forces over the Yalu River. Indeed, if you believe my research, we have seen that this intervention was what the President wanted, but that to prevent the allies from being spooked, a more conservative presentation of foreign affairs was necessary for the public consumption. Fortunately for Truman, he was helped by the British who in this episode put forward their proposal to the UN General Assembly to cross the 38th parallel and continue the advance up North.This wasn’t because the British wanted the conflict that Truman did; instead it was because, after several pressure campaigns, it had been made clear to Atlee’s administration that support for the American policy in Korea would be taken as a litmus test of loyalty. With such a compelling reason to support the Americans, many UN allies would be taken, often against their will, across the 38th parallel, as MacArthur enthusiastically led the charge to wipe out the last vestiges of Kim’s regime. As we’ll see in this episode, even now, as October progressed, warning signs were becoming difficult to ignore.*********Music used: “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”, by Billy Murray and the Hadyn Quartet, available: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Billy_Murray_and_Haydn_Quartet/Antique_Phonograph_Music_Program_03032015/By_The_Light_of_The_Silvry_Moon_-_Billy_Murray_and_Haydn_QuartetSPONSORS1) Use the code WDF15 to get 15% off your stylish new pair of headphones/earphones/listening things2) To access some fascinating books, nerd out with like minded enthusiasts, further your knowledge of some classical works, get 25% off your first three months AND help the show, head on over to onlinegreatbooks.com!Remember to BEFIT!B is for blogE is for email wdfpodcast@hotmail.comF is for Facebook, the Page and the GroupI is for iTunes, please rate, review and subscribeT is for TELL ANYONE!1) Pre-order our book on the Thirty Years War 2)... 
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