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Wrong Horse


Reinforced by American military aid, the nationalist armies of Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek are currently grinding down the resistance of Chinese Communists in a grim civil war for the control of China. Ostensibly, Chiang will introduce a progressive, democratic government when China emerges from the maelstrom. Taken in by slick Chungking double-talk of a new freedom for China, the United States has actively supported the Kuomintang government not only in hopes of destroying feudalism in China, but also of checking the spread of Communist influence in Asia. In its zeal, however, to boost China into the twentieth century, the United States has mislaid the basic principles of democracy and stands open to the charge of using the Chinese people as pawns in a game of power politics.

There would be some justification for the use of American tanks and machine guns in the forty U. S. equipped divisions, if, by giving this materiel, America were helping a democratic government subdue a rebellious minority harmful to an enlightened program. But in spite of the tactful whitewash masking the Kuomintang government, the reports trickling out of China point to Chiang, not as a liberal ruler, but as a feudal baron eager for an absolute dictatorship. Returning G.I.'s, foreign correspondents, and Madame Sun Yat Sen question the pledges of Chiang, with tales of concentration camps, gruesome political murders, and widespread governmental corruption. The reports state that instead of the supposed progress in Nationalist controlled areas, China is still wallowing in the same old rut of poverty, famine, and ignorance, under the yoke of a regime unsupported by a great majority of the people. These generally obscured accounts seem to indicate that Chiang is in no sense of the word, a "democrat," but is instead, a totalitarian warlord. By feeding his war machine, the United States is injuring the Chinese people and is denying its own principles of government.

Recognizing the evil in a system that operates on fear and repression, the United States should apply pressure on the Kuomintang government to uphold its pledge for a democratic regime. Communists should be admitted to the government in direct proportion to their following, concentration camps must be abolished, and a definite program to educate the masses introduced before Americans can justify the use of their guns to kill Chinese people in the name of "democracy." Failing in that, it would be far better for the United States to redeem Roosevelt's pledge to get out of China than support a questionable government for suspiciously economic and political reasons.

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