Korea todays remains something of a mystery. How, when or where it begins to reach out to the larger world community (or not) may indeed be part of the history that you bear witness to.
A&B portray the events in Korea a wee bit different than Dr K. I don’t recall Kissinger painting Truman as needing this crisis in Asia in the same way that A&B insist on.
Also interesting for me here is this little voice going off in my head about the 1950s and “Leave it to Beaver”. The economic vitality of 1950s America that we can all picture with 3BR 2 Ba houses spreading into suburbia, tailfins on Cadillacs and TVs selling us soap… well A&B say it shouldn’t have happened or at least they say there were voices saying it wouldn’t happen, but the passage isn’t very clear
If permanent containment was to come, and it did, than America would have a “permanent postponement of the social and economic promises of the New Deal”. (124)
So what’s up? The economic promises of the New Deal, stability, low unemployment, rising GDP all happened. Why? We were spending all our money on defense. How did everything go so “well”?
As you might have guessed I sort of think the answer is in the question. We were spending all our money on defense. If you like things that fly or go fast or are secret or all three read this;
one of my favorite books about the era. The military industrial complex as it has come to be called includes Lockheed, Boeing, and our own General Atomics. These domestic industries get fed billions of government dollars and those employees go and buy Cadillacs and TV and soap. Its all connected.
“Why are things so bad today when we’re spending even more billions on defense? ”, you might ask. I don’t know. Ask Strebler. I think though, that the economic doldrums of the 1970s and the post 2007 era, haven’t stopped the ever banking up of the GDP. I frankly worry about the trillions in cuts known as the sequester, because those cuts mean cuts in contracts, cuts in jobs, and less people buying Cadillacs, TVs and Soap. From an environmentalist standpoint I praise less consumption, but from the desire for a stable economy I’m concerned.
As far as Korea is concerned and the portrayal of the war here the end of the chapter is a bit eerie. Truman took, or witnessed, a people in 1948 who wanted to return to pre-war normalcy, non-intervention, to a people in 1952 apparently wanting or tolerating a permanent American military presence around the globe.