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This Week in History
August 30 - September 5, 2015

At End of World War II, General MacArthur Warned: Create New System, or Face Armageddon! (September 2, 1945)

By Gerald Belsky

Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito at their first meeting, at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, September 27, 1945.

In a radio address to the American people on September 2, 1945 on board the battleship Missouri after the Japanese surrender ceremony marking the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers,  stated that with the development of atomic weapons ( and the absolutely unnecessary dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan), it was now imperative to revise the “traditional concept of war”. [1]

Unlike the deranged, virtually Satanic British puppet Obama today,  MacArthur, echoing the earlier views of the deceased President Franklin Roosevelt, shared at the time by most veterans of World War II, such as Lyndon LaRouche and John F. Kennedy,  boldly called for  replacing the British imperial game of “balances of power” and “military alliances”, with a “new more equitable system”, or, he warned, we faced “Armageddon”.

Such a new system, he recognized, would require an “improvement in human character”, and “it must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”  Such is, of course, the promise of  the emerging economic development policies of the BRICS nations. Such a new policy is to be celebrated at the ceremonies in China on Sept 3 commemorating the end of World War II in the Pacific.

  But with the British imperial intention of destroying the BRICS, and their hysteria over the imminent  financial collapse of the City of London-Wall Street system, we have reached the very  point of  destruction of civilization, about which MacArthur warned, unless the British puppet Obama is removed very soon.

A Nobler Idea 

At the surrender ceremony itself on September 2, 1945, General MacArthur gave a short speech, which reflected the sentiments of his hero Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address [2] at the end of the Civil War, for “malice toward none, and charity for all”, in order to rise to a higher dignity, thus implicitly rejecting what MacArthur knew to be calls for harsh punishment of the Japanese because of wartime atrocities.  His speech included the following:

“We are gathered her, representatives of the major warring powers to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. The issues, involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate. Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the people of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred. But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the obligation they are here formally to assume.

“It is my earnest hope and  indeed the hope of all mankind that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past – a world founded upon faith and understanding- a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish- for freedom, tolerance and justice.”

MacArthur then gave his radio broadcast to the American people, which included the following prescient ideas of what must emerge in the new era  from the “blood and carnage of the past”, if we are to avoid Armageddon:

“Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death-the seas bear only commerce-men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace. The holy mission has been accomplished…

“A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concept of war.

“Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found insofar as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics found insofar as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international  scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.” 

A member of the Japanese surrender party, the American-educated Mr. Toshikazu Kase of the Japanese foreign office, who had been delegated the task of writing a report  to the Emperor of the surrender ceremony,  wrote a very eloquent statement on the dramatic effect which General MacArthur’s words had upon him, which  included the following:

“When the Supreme Commander finished, I wrote in my report the impression his words had made on me. He is a man of peace. Never has the truth of the line ‘peace has her victories no less renowned than war’ been more eloquently demonstrated. He is a man of light. Radiantly, the gathering rays of his magnanimous soul embrace the earth, his footsteps paving the world with light. Is it not a piece of rare good fortune, I asked myself, that a man of such caliber and character should have been designated as the Supreme Commander who will shape the destiny of Japan? In the dark hour of our despair and distress, a bright light is ushered in, in the very person of General MacArthur.”

  In his report to the Emperor which Kase  quickly wrote describing MacArthur’s address, which was taken immediately to the Emperor by the Foreign Minister, Shigemitsu, who had headed the surrender delegation and had signed the surrender document, Kase states the following:

“…I raised a question whether it would have been possible for us, had we been victorious, to embrace the vanquished with a similar magnanimity. Clearly it would have been different. Returning from the audience, Shigemitsu told me that the Emperor nodded with a sigh in agreement. Indeed, a distance inexpressible by numbers separates us  - America from Japan. After all, we were not beaten on the battlefield by dint of superior arms. We were defeated in the spiritual contest by virtue of a nobler idea. The real issue was moral-beyond all the powers of algebra to compute.

“The day will come when recorded time, age on age, will seem but a point in retrospect. However, happen what may in the future, this Big Day on the Missouri will stand out as one of the brightest dates in history, with General MacArthur as a shining obelisk in the desert of human endeavor that marks a timeless march onward toward an enduring peace.” [3]

If the U.S. were to be part of such a peace today, it would have to return to this moral principle, this  “nobler idea”.

In his autobiographical book, Reminiscences, written just before his death in 1964, General MacArthur reflects on the boundless optimism he felt at the end of World War II, of the uniqueness of the United States in carrying out this moral purpose, which is the same mission and view of man, as distinct from the animals, which American statesman and fellow World War II veteran Lyndon LaRouche most profoundly understands and is committed to revive today:

“I told myself, the tide of affairs may ebb and flow, old empires may die, new nations be born; alliances may arise, thrive, wither and vanish - but in its effort to build economic growth and prosperity, an atmosphere of hope and freedom, a community of strength and unity of purpose, a lasting peace of justice, my own beloved country now leads the world. It points the way to an age of evolution, in which the brain of man will abstract from the universe its fundamental secrets. Today’s wonders will become tomorrow’s obsolescence. We stand at the threshold of a new life. What vast panoramas will open before us none can say. They are there just over the horizon, just over there. And they are of a magnificence and a diversity far beyond the comprehension of anyone here today. This new world would have no boundaries - no lost horizons. Its limits would be as broad as the spirit and the imagination of man.”

The Occupation of Japan 

Shortly after General MacArthur assumed his duties as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP), he issued a public statement that “SCAP is not concerned with how to keep Japan down, but how to get her on her feet again.” In opposition to the British and their Wall Street allies in the State Department, such as then Undersecretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs Dean Acheson, MacArthur insisted on rebuilding Japan in the best tradition of the U.S. military, with a sincere concern for the general welfare of the country he occupied.  MacArthur was given the mission of destroying Japan’s ability to wage aggressive war, and to break up its feudal zaibatsu industrial combines, which had backed the imperial war effort. But MacArthur intended a much bigger social change in essentially applying the American System to Japan, which enraged both the British and their State department allies. MacArthur describes his thinking in his Reminiscences, which is the reflection of the American Military tradition, in direct opposition to the policy of British puppet Obama today :

“I underlined again and again that we had several missions. It was true that we intended to destroy Japan as a militarist power. It was true that we intended to impose penalties for past wrongs. These things had been set out in the surrender terms. But we also felt that we could best accomplish our purpose by building a new kind of Japan, one that would give the Japanese people freedom and justice, and some kind of security. I was determined that our principles during the occupation would be the same principles for which our soldiers had fought on the battlefield.”

As a result, MacArthur’s occupation of Japan has to rank as one of the best examples of  a successful military occupation ever to have occurred in history.  It was done in the true spirit of the Treaty of Westphalia, concern for the benefit of the other. To guide him in unchartered territory, knowing that most occupations had ended in failure, MacArthur drew on advice from the great republican thinker Plato from The Republic, which he would often quote to his staff, as well as from the thinking of Washington and Lincoln. From his study of Plato, General MacArthur must have known that his oligarchical enemies in Washington and London thought like the character Thrasymachus, who is portrayed in The Republic as defending the notion that “justice” is simply the right of the stronger over the weaker.

According to biographer William Manchester,  in Tokyo “MacArthur told a reporter, ‘My major advisors now have boiled down to almost two men - George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. One founded the United States, the other saved it. If you go back in their lives, you can find almost all the answers.’”  Throughout World War II, wherever MacArthur established his headquarters, he carried with him portraits of Washington and Lincoln. Manchester adds, “Certainly his philosophy of government belonged to an earlier time. In an age of pragmatic politicians, the General sought footholds on the bedrock of principles.” [4]

Rather than rule as a dictator, under martial law, General MacArthur operated through a reformed Japanese government, and he respected the position of the Emperor, whose role was changed from a god to a constitutional monarch, in a reform of the existing meiji constitution.  With the cooperation of the Emperor, General MacArthur implemented a series of far-reaching “American System” reforms of Japanese society,  in order that Japan could be freed from feudal relics of its past and achieve a position of dignity in the post war “community of nations”. He gave Japanese women the right to vote. He gave all Japanese workers the right to join unions and collectively bargain,  something that his Republican allies in the United States were not too happy about.

Most importantly, he carried out a revolutionary policy of land reform,  which he characterized as the most successful in history since the attempt by the Gracchi brothers to reform the Roman Republic‘s landholding policies,  ending serfdom and tenant farming, by forcing large landowners to divide their farms, so that with the aid of long term government low interest loans, the farmers could purchase the land and become independent farmers.

Perhaps the most radical of his reforms in Japan, which drove the cold warriors wild, esp. when they contemplated using Japan as a military base in the Cold War, was General MacArthur’s promotion of the clause in the Japanese constitution, Article 9, which outlawed war (although not self-defense), the very injunction which Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe want to abolish, against the wishes of the majority of the Japanese population!

MacArthur  wanted to demonstrate to the world that Japan was no longer a warrior nation, so that it could reestablish its trade relations with the rest of Asia, esp. since he knew that Japan’s former colonies harbored tremendous rage at the atrocities that Japan had committed during the war. Since Japan could not produce most of the raw materials needed for its existence, it would have to trade with the rest of Asia.; MacArthur wanted to make his reforms the basis for an American System reform throughout Asia, a “grand design” to raise living standards throughout Asia, which he saw as the “new frontier” of civilization. Furthermore, MacArthur, contrary to his critics who liked to portray him as a “war monger”, genuinely wished to outlaw war.

General MacArthur wanted to rebuild the Japanese economy in order to promote “the general welfare”, but, according to his aide General Whitney, “MacArthur’s original directive from Washington contained the specific injunction that he should not ’assume any responsibility for the economic rehabilitation or the strengthening of the Japanese economy’ “ As Whitney emphasizes, had MacArthur complied with the strict letter of this injunction, “Japan would have gone into economic oblivion. So, without assuming ’any responsibility’, he worked through the Japanese government, just as he did in reorienting the nation politically, to revive Japan’s economic life and restore to her a free and healthy economy.” [5] 

A Grand Design for Asia

General MacArthur saw his reforms in Japan as part of an effort to build a “grand design” for Asia, that would end colonialism and raise the living standards of Asia, in opposition to the Anglo-American geopoliticians, who wanted to keep the Asian masses enslaved to imperialism.

He never abandoned the cause of ending colonialism. In fact, when MacArthur was relieved by Truman of his commands in the Pacific because of his opposition to the Truman  administration policy, under British direction,  of prolonging the Korean War in order to build up NATO (more on this in a forthcoming future article) and addressed a joint session of Congress in April, 1951, before he even addressed the question of the Korean War,  he discussed the “revolutionary changes” in Asia and the model of the U.S. in the Philippines:

“…Long exploited by the so-called colonial powers, with little opportunity to achieve any degree of social justice, individual dignity, or a higher standard of life such as guided our own noble administration of the Philippines, the peoples of Asia found their opportunity in the war just past to throw off the shackles of colonialism and now see the dawn of a new opportunity, a heretofore unfelt dignity and the self-respect of political freedom.”

MacArthur pointed out, in opposition to the Truman Administration’s support for British and French colonialism that Asia constituted “half of the earth’s population and 60% of its natural resources”, and that Asians “are rapidly consolidating a new force, both moral and material, with which to raise the living standards and erect adaptations of the design of modern progress to their own distinct cultural environment. Whether one adheres to the concept of colonialism or not, this is the direction of Asian progress and it may not be stopped. It is a corollary to the shift of the world economic frontiers as the whole epicenter of world affairs rotates back to the area from which it started. In this situation it becomes vital that our country orient its policy in consonance with this basic revolutionary condition, rather than pursue a course blind to the reality that the colonial era is now passed and the Asian peoples covet the right to shape their own free destiny. What they seek now is friendly guidance, understanding and support, not imperialist direction; the dignity of equality, not the shame of subjugation.”

After MacArthur was relieved from his commands in 1951 and toured the nation  attacking the corrupt Truman administration, he had the following to say about his vision for Asia as the new center of world trade, in a speech before a large crowd in Seattle:

“…Our economic frontier now embraces the trade potentialities of  Asia itself; for with the gradual rotation of the epicenter of world trade back to the Far East whence it started many centuries ago, the next thousand years will find the main world problem the raising of sub-normal standards of life of its more than a billion people. The opportunities for international trade then, if pursued with the vision and courage of the early pioneer, will be limitless…”

Arguing against those in the eastern establishment who had supported a Marshall Plan for Western Europe in order to build up the Atlantic Alliance in the Cold War, but did not support for racist reasons any such plan to raise the living standards of Asia, MacArthur declared, “The living standards of the people of the Oriental East must and will be raised by a closer relativity with that of the Occidental West…There must be such a development of opportunity that the requirements for a better life in the Oriental East may be filled from the almost unlimited industrial potential of the Occidental West. The human and material resources of the East would be used in compensation for the manufactures of the West. Once this elementary logic is recognized, trade with the Far East may be expected rapidly to expand under the stimulus of American vision, American enterprise and American pioneering spirit.”

Of course, today, the industrial potential of the West has collapsed, while China has taken the leadership in promoting the industrial and scientific development of  this planet, and the universe beyond, with its work on its planned lunar missions.  All the more reason, for the U.S. to cooperate with China in reviving the MacArthur vision of raising the standard of living of Asia with a return to the commitment  of the U.S. to lead the world in creating economic growth and prosperity, based upon the MacArthur view that “this new world would have no boundaries - no lost horizons. Its limits would be as broad as the spirit and the imagination of man.”

Liberals during and after the Korean War attacked General MacArthur for trying to start World War III, because of his fanatical “anti-communism”. What is really going on here? We shall attempt to answer that question in a forthcoming article on MacArthur’s role in the Korean war, when his biggest enemy was actually the British Empire.


[1]. See EIR ,  William C. Jones, “Commanders Opposed Truman on Hiroshima”, EIR, Volume 29, Number 31, p. 26


[3]. Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964, p. 277. Most of the quotes from MacArthur about his ideas regarding the Occupation are from this book.

[4]. William Manchester, American Caesar, Dell Publishing Co., New York, 1978, p. 560

[5]. Maj. General Courtney Whitney, MacArthur: His Rendezvous With History, Alfred A Knopf, New York, 1956, p. 267