Notes from American Caesar

Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964
by William Manchester

For The U.S. War Against Asia
by William P. Meyers

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History notes

All [page numbers] reference Amerian Caesar, Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester. Published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1978, ISBN 0-316-54498-1.

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MacArthur wrote the Japanese constitution himself. Its liberal features were designed to weaken the Japanese as a military power. [498-499].

The semblance of freedom MacArthur created in Japan was spoiled by his reaction to a planned general strike on February 1, 1947. He ordered the strike cancelled, and imposed censorship on communist newspapers. However, MacArthur promoted non-communist labor unions to weaken the Japanese capitalists.  [505]

A great deal of post-war aid went to Germany, only $2 billion to Japan [507].

Taxes in Japan had risen during the war, leading to a peasant tax revolt in its last year. [507]

MacArthur redistributed farm land to small holders. The man who did this on Doug’s instructions, Wolf Ladejinsky, was later blacklisted, but no one called MacArthur a communist. [507-508]

Japanese newspapers were not allowed to run stories of allied atrocities committed in the war. “Nothing should be printed which might, directly or indirectly, distub the public tranquility … There shall be no destructive criticism of the Allied Forces of Occupation.” (order by MacArthur) [510].

Manuel Roxas was elected President of the Republic of the Philippines, defeating Osmena. He gave a blanket amnesty to those who had served in the Philippine Republic, allied with the Japanese. The Huks had supported Osmena, wanted the collaborators punished, and now started an insurgency that would last seven years. [525-526]

Although granted independence, “the Manila-Washington pact provided for ninety-nine-year American leases on military bases in the archipelago, part of a global net designed to contain, or encircle, Communism.” [526]

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