After much pondering, Dan R Allen favored us with:
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.
I don't know how to say this, but I'll try. In a fight, a combatant must not be allowed sanctuary. If he can attack from sanctuary, there is no way to defeat him. And he is free to kill at his convenience. In war, a general must be allowed to pursue those who retreat to keep them from regrouping. If he isn't allowed to do this, he is being forced to make targets of his men with no recourse. This is what Reagan did in Lebanon and why we lost 277 Marines there in that truck bombing. The factions fighting us could attack at will be we were effectually forbidden to return fire which would have entailed going and getting whoever was shooting at us. Instead our troops were confined to an indefensible position on an airport runway. This is little more than murder of ones own troops.

In any case, if Truman wasn't going to let MacArthur win the Korean War even if it meant following Chinese combatants across the Yalu, he should never have sent our troops over there. When China attacked us we were at war with China, weren't we? Well, if China wants to attack us, we must defeat them. What we did was dishonest and a betrayal of our fighting men in the field. Don't we owe something to our fighting men in time of war? Don't we owe them the support to let them win? The military should be subject to civilian leadership, but that leadership needs to be loyal to the troops. If it isn't, then it is a traitor and betrayer. Which just about sums up what I feel about Truman. He betrayed our armed forced, and deserves to be remembered as one of the blackest villains of our national history.

MacArthur shouldn't have disobeyed his civilian leaders. He should have resigned his commission. As it was, he humiliated himself and let Truman win the argument. Truman was scum. MacArthur should have quit and then taken his plea to the American people. Not that they would have paid any attention to him. The average voter in this country is a vile as Truman was. They don't care how dishonorably their government acts. They don't even seem to understand that in a democracy we are responsible for the actions of our government.

When you go in for a job interview, I think a good thing to
ask is if they ever press charges. --Jack Handy
All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR

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