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Korea: Macarthur's War With Truman

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Korea: MacArthur's war with Truman


The movie starts out with a pretty good background on the whole Korean War. It tells of how after WW II, Korea, at that time was ruled as a colony of Japan, was split along the 38th parallel. With the Russians controlling North Korea, and the U.S. backing South Korea. Both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. chose leaders from the countries to be more of a governor than a president for the two nations.

MacArthur, though in many ways was a failed general in that he lost many troops and strategic strong holds, was still a very popular "hero" from WW II. Although it depends on who you talk to. My great-grand father was U.S.S. Colorado and everyone in the Pacific during the was thought MacArthur was a horrible leader, and commander. MacArthur tended to make his own choices on U.S. foreign policy. MacArthur wanted to take troops all the way up to the Yule River on the border of Korea and China. Truman hated MacArthur for this, absolutely hated him. Truman felt that MacArthur's daring had unduly escalated the war. China was now involved, and Truman feared Russia was to follow. Even though at that time Russia was considered a friend, Truman knew it was only one major conflict away from another world war. MacArthur wanted to bring in Chinese nationalist from Thailand into the war and attack Mainland China. MacArthur even went as far as to fly to Thailand and meet with nationalist leaders to discuss doing so. MacArthur even suggested using up to 20 atomic bombs on strategic Chinese locations. He did not want his soldiers to die for a stalemate, he wanted total victory.

Both Truman, and the U.S. Joint Chief's of Staff (a collection of high ranking officers from all of the armed forces) disapproved of MacArthur's actions, but were reluctant to do anything about it because of his tremendous popularity. In Tokyo, MacArthur met with diplomats from Spain and Portugal, and made it clear he wanted war with China. The diplomats related this to their home governments in telegrams that were intercepted by the NSA (National Security Agency). This was reported to Truman and he knew that MacArthur needed to be fired. The problem was that Truman could not report that the US had been listening in on other countries secret communications. So Truman was forced to wait until there was another reason to let MacArthur go, one that could be published and not embarrass the US. Ironically he got such a reason from Joseph W. Martin, in several speeches stated that the US should help S. Korea establish a second front in China. Senator Martin then asked MacArthur was he thought of the idea and MacArthur supported it in a letter that Martin then made public. The letter went against Truman's official policy on Korea,



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