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 40 Minutes 30 Sep 2018

Truman serves up MacArthur, and contrary to popular imagination, it was not the General, but the President, who schemed in the background - at least at this stage...Episode 38: The Perfect Scapegoat introduces one of the most infamous aspects of the Korean War narrative to you guys – that insufferable tension between President and General which would eventually lead to the dismissal of the latter and harsh criticism of the former. It was a difficult relationship long before this plug was pulled though, and while we’ve seen disagreements and MacArthur’s reaction to the Truman administration’s policies vary, we take some time here to properly root a portion of our narrative in this perspective. More specifically, here we return to that meeting on Wake Island on 15th October between Truman and MacArthur, and we examine what I believe is the real reason why the President began to increasingly present himself alongside everyone’s favourite triumphant General. It wasn’t because he was in search of some of the glory for himself, instead it was because Truman was already thinking of the post-war situation, and of his own legacy.While he would accept, as President, a portion of the blame for allowing the war in Korea to escalate into the massively expensive but still limited war with the Chinese, he was not willing to accept all of this blame. Indeed, he was determined now to leave behind the crumbs of evidence which would later enable critics to note that MacArthur’s considerable and well known hubris was just as much to blame for the intervention of the Chinese as was the official line from Washington which continued to underestimate the Chinese stance and capabilities. When MacArthur assured his President that the Chinese would not intervene, Truman likely already knew thanks to the codebreaking that Mao had announced his intention to intervene in a cable to Kim Il-sung. In this respect then, General Douglas MacArthur was the perfect scapegoat – he was as belligerent and vain as he was totally out of the loop of what Washington was aiming for, and he would help take much of the focus from the President once the Chinese did, contrary to MacArthur’s claims but in line with Truman’s information, invade.********Music used:“My Sweetie Went Away” by Bessie Smith, released in Nov 1923. Bessie Smith was an American blues singer. Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Available: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Bessie_Smith/Antique_Phonograph_Music_Program_02172015/My_Sweetie_Went_Away_-_Bessie_SmithSPONSORS1) 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 See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.. . .