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Many Rubicons by QuantumBranching Many Rubicons by QuantumBranching
Based on Michael Orgill’s “Many Rubicons”, collected in Sandra Ley’s “Beyond Time” alternate history collection:

It’s 1984, 33 years after Douglas MacArthur’s invasion of Manchuria, and free elections are finally being held again.

The Last War (1951-1960) chewed up the USSR and China pretty badly, but the US was ultimately unable to successfully occupy and pacify half of Eurasia. After the wreck of Europe, the rapid collapse of two Russian and three Chinese “democratic, popular governments” created by US forces, ten years and millions of deaths, (American, that is – Soviet and Chinese casualties were well over the 100 million mark by that time) hostility to the war at home exploded to the point that it made OTL’s Vietnam war protests look like an anti-Whaling sit-in by the Braintree Ladies Orchid Appreciation Society.

The establishment of martial law and the postponement of elections did not go over well, and the US was forced to withdraw it’s forces from abroad and spend the 60’s fighting what could be called a four-sided civil war. In the meantime, from the ruins of the old Communist regimes arose the Army of World Liberation, a new radical revolutionary movement that before long overran most of the old USSR and China and joined hands with the revolutionary movement in Indochina (the US, after France got nuked, moved forces into its former colonies to prevent Red takeovers.)

The New Menace does not have a national name: it is Chinese as much or more so than Slavic, and simply refers to its dominions as The Liberated Territories. The US refers to them as the “Sino-Soviet Union”, or, in the vulgar vernacular, the “SheenySov”. (Apologies to Charles Stross). Not so much a state as an army with a state, the LTs are backward (not that this whole world isn’t backward) but has nukes and ICMBs of their own. There was a brief window of opportunity to “make the rubble bounce” while the US would only “get it’s hair mussed”, but Arthur MacArthur nixed it: he wasn’t adding several hundred million more deaths to his family’s historical responsibilities.

Europe is a mess: the forces of neo-fascism have largely won out over Communist revolution, but this is not necessarily a reassuring thing. US forces returned to Europe after a certain amount of stability returned at home in the early 70’s, but most Europeans remember the US as the morons who kicked the Soviet bear in the nuts and lost maybe two cities to Soviet bombers while half of Europe died in the subsequent conflagration. Even the Eastern Europeans (who recall being nuked by US bombers during the war) only grudgingly accept US forces as a counterbalance to the “Liberated Territories” or Fascist France (expanding into devastated central Europe from the relatively lightly hit south of France, the French “Republic” has nukes and a huuuge chip on it’s shoulder re Americans). Neutrals Finland, Switzerland, and Spain have done alright for themselves: Spain took over Portugal in ’79 when it looked like a successful Red revolution was brewing: they have let most of the Portugese colonial empire go, holding onto, say, only the wealthier oil-rich bits of coastal Angola.

Japan, nuked several times during the US invasion of the USSR, after the last US forces left in ’63, said “NEVER AGAIN” and managed once again one of those remarkable feats of national mobilization, and have successfully rebuilt themselves as a formidable (if somewhat impoverished) military power, allying themselves with such right-wing Asian regimes as Very Hindu India, [1] fascistic Indonesia, and the rump remnant of the last US-backed Chinese regime in Taiwan and Hainan. (The term “Co-Prosperity Sphere” is carefully avoided). Korea was in the gang for a while, but had trouble stomaching an allying with Japan, and gladly switched to a US alliance when said country re-emerged on the international stage in the 70’s.

Both Iraq and Iran ended up with leftist regimes, (Iraq picking up Kuwait while the major powers were otherwise engaged), but cordially detest eachother, making Iraq the one left-wing one-party dictatorship to host US troops.(Which also ensures the oil supply). Israel, left without a superpower sponsor (OTOH, this was somewhat counterbalanced by the lack of a USSR on the other side of the scales) ended taking somewhat extreme steps to strengthen it’s position: there are rather few people of Arab extraction in Israel, while there are rather more people in Jordan than OTL. Syria has been bought off with the Islamic bits of Lebanon (which they’re still trying to digest) and the Egyptians….well, that’s why the Israelis got their own nuke. (The Japanese are quite reasonable about prices).

Africa is a mess – the US made a fairly cack-handed effort to prepare for independence colonies whose European Metropoles had been reduced to radioactive rubble, but after the US turned inward, the end of any support from abroad, plus the massive contraction of international trade, led a number of the more fragile African countries to collapse outright. Now, stability is being restored, by US and Canadian aid, by the more successful warlords, and by LT-backed communist regimes. S. Africa collapsed rather messily in the early 80’s, with successor states ranging from quite civilized (the Cape Republic) to rather ghastly (The Renewed Boerstaadt, or the Peoples Republic Of Azania).

Latin America is poorer and more screwed up than OTL, divided into various lefty regimes and right-wing dictatorships. Brazil promises to give back full self-government to the parts of Uruguay and Paraguy it occupied in its was with Argentina as soon as Argentina liberates it’s bits. Mexico is roughly as OTL in the 80’s: it sells a lot of oil, it’s run by the PRI – and has, unlike OTL, a large population of US expatriates.

Canada, although it lost a good-sized chunk of it’s population when Soviet bombers crossing the pole decided to drop their load and leave for home early, has recuperated and is a power of some importance: for one thing, like Mexico but more so, it got a lot of US refugees during the bad years (they now make up about a third of it’s population) and is currently helping the UK (which lost a _lot_ of people) get back on it’s feet. It also has it’s own nukes – just in case the US goes wacky again.

The US is less populous than OTL, and still a bit shaky politically: there are still Free Christian terrorist groups operating in the Appalachians, and some elements of the Liberty Collective have been accepted into the new governing coalition as a price for peace. Still, most people are sick of fighting, and hope that President-elect Dukakis will be able to heal some of the nation’s wounds – if nobody assassinates him first, anyway.

Bruce

[1] The last war with Pakistan did very little that was good for the tone of political debate.
:icontristem101:
tristem101 Featured By Owner May 11, 2013
And this is what would have happened if Truman hadn't fired MacArthur
Reply
:iconfiredragonlol:
firedragonLOL Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009
woah
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