Who cares? At the time, Red China didn't have any power. They couldn't
have fought us without losing gazillions of people. They were fighting
with clubs and pitchforks. We would have toppled Mao's regime, and the
genocide of the Cultural Revolution would never have taken place. By some
estimates, Mao was responsible for the deaths of up to 75 million of his
own people as he systematically went about consolidating his power
according to Marxist doctrine.
What kind of power are we talking about here? The CCF kicked us backwards
twice before the negotiators started talking about splitting Korea. We
_might_ have been able to topple Mao, but the cost would have been
horrendous. Not as high as the people of China paid, but much higher than
we could have afforded. MacArthur recognized their power, and even told the
Joint Chiefs that the Chinese could drive them out of Korea if they wanted
to. If they did this with only clubs and pitchforks, I would have hated to
see what they could have done with MIG's, and Artillery.
Some things are unforgivable. And the orders given MacArthur were
treasonable. He was ordered to stand down while the enemy was still
attacking him and killing his men. No wonder he took his appeal to the
American people. He foolishly imagined that they would be too honorable to
let such a travesty occur.
No, he _wasn't_ ordered to "stand down". He was ordered to stand his
ground, and retreat only if necessary.
MacArthur's problem was that he wanted to invade China - regardless of the
cost, and challenged the orders of the Joint Chiefs publicly. The military
doesn't look kindly on that kind of activity - it suggests a lack of unity
and control. The American People are not part of the chain of command.
The problem with MacArthur's plan was that it would all but require the use
of Nukes once we made into China proper. Truman didn't want to be backed
into that corner, so he moved MacArthur out of the way.
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