How is this timeline so far?

  • Great

    Votes: 39 47.0%
  • Good

    Votes: 32 38.6%
  • Okay

    Votes: 8 9.6%
  • Bad

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • Implausible

    Votes: 3 3.6%

  • Total voters
    83
Thoughts on the chapter? The next one will be about Africa. Any predictions?
A great, if horrifying update (a Third Intifada? Jesus!), but two things:
Would Shamir really go for all-out regime change? From what I know about him he was a hardliner, sure, but that was more he didn't want to make any concessions in negotiations with Sadat or the PLO, not that he would order the full-scale invasion of Egypt and overthrow of their government.
I'm also a bit surprised at how easily the Israelis overpowered the Egyptian army -- in the OTL Yom Kippur War, the Israeli advance to Suez City was bloody and took a week, and that was right next to the canal. Surely advancing 60 miles to Cairo would take a lot longer and be an absolutely brutal slog.
As for predictions, I definitely think Israel will become more and more insular and obsessed with self-sufficiency, now that the US wants nothing to do with them. Perhaps they form some sort of bloc with India.
 
A great, if horrifying update (a Third Intifada? Jesus!), but two things:
Would Shamir really go for all-out regime change? From what I know about him he was a hardliner, sure, but that was more he didn't want to make any concessions in negotiations with Sadat or the PLO, not that he would order the full-scale invasion of Egypt and overthrow of their government.
I'm also a bit surprised at how easily the Israelis overpowered the Egyptian army -- in the OTL Yom Kippur War, the Israeli advance to Suez City was bloody and took a week, and that was right next to the canal. Surely advancing 60 miles to Cairo would take a lot longer and be an absolutely brutal slog.
As for predictions, I definitely think Israel will become more and more insular and obsessed with self-sufficiency, now that the US wants nothing to do with them. Perhaps they form some sort of bloc with India.
The reason for Israel's quick advance on Cairo is due to Egypt not believing Israel would invade and luck. After Egypt suffers heavy losses when being pushed out of the Sinai they figure that the Israeli government would stop there, giving them a false sense of security. Furthermore, the UN was actively mediating meetings between Egypt and Israel so to them peace was in sight. When Israel attacks the mainland of Egypt the forces are caught off guard and a few lucky encirclements swiftly eliminate the well-trained units. After the opening battles were clear Israeli victories and with the force in Arish encircled the Egyptians lack the morale or numbers to defeat the IDF. But you're right on this one. I drastically underestimated how brutal the war was and how slow the advance would be. So thank you for pointing that out and I edited the chapter to drag out the war a couple of months.

Shamir's reasoning was that Egypt was never going to stop attacking Israel until he forced them to. They had attacked Israel three times between 1967 and 1983 and with peace talks considered ridiculous by both Egypt and Israel, it seemed if Egypt wasn't dealt with only more Israelis would die. So, he decides to take action and give Israel some more breathing room. With Syria in shambles due to the civil war, he knows Syria won't be able to do anything if he knocks out Egypt whether during or after the civil war. Any nation screwing with Israel now is suicide since the most powerful Arab power was just taken out which was Shamir's plan.

You're right that India will be a key Israeli ally, but there'll be another nation that supports Israel. They'll sympathize with their treatment of Muslims in Palestine, be quite powerful, and nationalist. India will be a key ally of Israel and both nations will work on military exercises and developing more powerful nuclear weapons. The US officially views Israel officially as a state that voluntarily worked with far-right elements and is only around due to its impressive military and ruthless actions at home and abroad. Amongst the American right and left, Israel is viewed as a rogue apartheid state that betrayed America and is committing genocide against Palestinians but the dominant center-left and center-right establishments keep the left and right in check.
Does this hint to a complete defeat of Israel? If it does, Cianci would surely get in on the refugees fleeing the second holocaust.
No. Israel is not defeated as a nation but diplomatically. The Western Bloc views Israel as an extremist state led by far-right nationalists (keep in mind we haven't even gotten to Israeli politics which I can assure you are worse than OTL and no Meir Kahane is not becoming PM). Israel's war crimes are more exposed to the West and both the left and the right have pro-Arab elements. The left out of a concern for the rights of Palestinians and the right out of a sort of solidarity with Islam, viewing the socially conservative beliefs as similar to their socially conservative beliefs. Plus, Israel is funding Saddam so that's bound to piss them off which will be instrumental in having the Republicans adopting a pro-Arab stance. The Democrats will be neutral and walking a tight rope in an effort not to piss off the left or the right of the party.

There'll also be no second Holocaust. Of course, unfortunately being Jewish in Iran or the Republic of Egypt is terrible. But there's no full-on genocide partly because the US won't allow it and because Israel is easily the greatest power in the Middle East that'll end that quickly. Syria though will be pretty bad, and Israel will get its fair share of airstrikes in and they're currently too busy killing each other or the Kurds who are rebelling.
 
PLO simps and Richard Spencer -esque weirdos may go and actually form a united front. For maximum cursedness.
Spencer joining the PLO, or some other group would be cursed. I definitely see someone like John Bolton or Sean Hannity advocating for arming the PLO to get back at Israel for sabotaging US allies in the region. I haven't mapped out any far-right figures besides Joseph Sobran who with Israel becoming a pariah state gains traction amongst the reactionaries of the party. The non-antisemitic pro-Arab wing I envision being led by Betsy DeVos or Bob Dornan (the former becoming a Bill O'Riley esque figure on some right-wing TV channel).

The left though I've mapped out who'll be the main critics of Israel. One being the husband of a prominent pro-Palestine journalist and the other being a liberation theology activist who IOTL was friends with Gore Vidal.
 
Chapter XXI: How Zimbabwe succeeds, and South Africa goes to hell.
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The father of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

Unlike the rest of the world Africa did not get worse in the 70s or 80s, minus South Africa, Sudan, and Egypt. In fact, in some ways, it turned some nations into powerhouses. The most notable and controversial was Zimbabwe-Rhodesia which was in the 70s under a racist apartheid government. But with the Rhodesian Bush War turning international opinion against Rhodesia. President Jackson during his administration was concerned the apartheid state could turn to communism if the tyranny of the Smith administration was continued and put the full diplomatic power of the US towards reforming Rhodesia. Smith was surprisingly willing to initiate some reform, not out of the goodness of his heart but to make sure the whites held some power and so he could still have some degree of control over the nation. If Jackson cut off ties his downfall would’ve been secured. Instead of stubbornly fighting a guerrilla war against the ZANU-ZAPU Smith talked with the moderate opposition to his regime, spearheaded by Methodist Bishop Abel Muzorewa who was considered the moderate option by the Smith administration. The talks dragged out for a couple of years due to Smith wanting to entrench white power and the anti-apartheid faction wanting to justifiably deal a death blow against the racist system.

The compromise they came up with at Victoria Falls wasn’t as progressive as the deal Prime Minister Georg Meiring, Chris Hani, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu but laid the groundwork for true democracy in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

The talks were overseen by Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance and UK Foreign Secretary Peter Carrington and both the US and UK offered financial aid to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia if a compromise was reached. After three weeks of negotiations, they came together with an agreement. Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Abel Muzorewa, and Ian Smith in a press conference each read out parts of the agreement to not only the nation but the world. The agreement promised land reform in ten years, a cease fire that took effect immediately, general amnesty for all soldiers who rebelled against Rhodesia, Salisbury would be the capital, Bulawayo would be the residence of the president and the Supreme Court, and a political system akin to what Lebanon decided on in 1990. There would be a total of 35 seats that would be voted on by white voters (de facto guaranteeing them to the Rhodesian Front) and the rest would be voted on by black voters. Whites were guaranteed 25% of cabinet rolls including the president and while the other 75% would be open for both black and white MPs. The agreement was far from perfect, undemocratic, and illiberal but for the short term it ended most of the fighting as the ZAPU and ZANU tried to contest the 1979 Parliamentary elections.

The parliament would have a total of 100 seats and due to the overwhelming majority of seats being voted on by black Zimbabweans the Rhodesian Front looked like it was guaranteed to never hold the prime ministership again.

Come the election ZAPU, led by Joshua Nkomo and the UANC (a liberal party) easily won a majority of seats. The RF, led by Smith to the shock of no one won all 35 seats voted on by the white minority. Meanwhile the UANC won a total of 56 seats while the ZAPU won an abysmal 9 seats. Despite Muzorewa winning an absolute majority of seats due to the Victoria Falls Agreement he was forced to give a degree of power to the RF, which saw Ian Smith becoming President (an office that held limited power but included the ability to break ties in the House and was required to approve foreign treaties and alliances). The US and the UK both heralded the elections as a momentous achievement that brought peace to the region. In fact, the massive influx of US and UK dollars from the Thatcher, Jenkins, Jackson, Laxalt, and Cianci governments is what arguably saved Zimbabwe-Rhodesia from failing. That money was used to circumvent the education requirements by using it to fund black schools, a fact that angered the white minority. The opposition to the bill was led by the far-right of the RF who were angry that white power had been decreased and they were no longer the sole leaders of the nation. President Smith was more pragmatically racist, as he attempted to water down the bill in the name of “national unity" by using his leverage as president.

The opposition though was not some titian who could water down or kill legislation at a whim.

In fact, the uprising by the far-right only made the RF look pathetic and divided, convincing the UANC that they did not need to be concerned about national unity when Smith’s own party could not form a united front against the bill. Nkomo on the other hand successfully lobbied for the bill to include provisions for the landless and to set aside $600 million in funding for schools specifically centered on teaching landless Zimbabweans.

The amendment was of course opposed by the RF but at the UANC-ZAPU Coalition had more than enough votes for the bill, which passed 68-32, with three RF members crossing over. The Education Act of 1980 would help raise black suffrage from 68% of the black population to 80% of the black population by 1990. But sadly, those other 20%, who were the poorest and most abused of society, being mainly sharecroppers were easy targets for large farms who exploited them ruthlessly. It wasn’t until a general strike in 1995 that the poorest received full political rights and Nkomo was elected Prime Minister, being the first who was not from either the RF or UANC.

It was these conditions that made the Victoria Falls Agreement so controversial. Smith today is viewed as a racist who only compromised to save his own skin from a revolution. Both the modern right and left has condemned the US and UK’s support for him, viewing him as just another dictator aided by the US like Pinochet or Durazo.

Abel Muzorewa on the other hand has a more complex legacy. The left views him as a sellout who sold out the poor to sip cocktails with President Smith and Foreign Minister P.K Van der Byl. On the right Muzorewa is viewed much kindlier, as a great compromiser who ended most of the bloodshed in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and prevented the socialist and communists from taking power. More akin to Henry Clay rather than Jefferson Davis.

The UN at the time wasn’t happy with the Muzorewa government, who they decried as undemocratic for the fact a large minority was excluded from voting based on blatantly illegal pretenses. The UN Security Council attempted to pass a resolution condemning the elections as a sham, but the US vetoed the resolution. With this Muzorewa had no pressure to reverse the Victoria Falls agreement and with Zimbabwe-Rhodesia receiving hundreds of millions in aid the economy increased dramatically. Despite this, much of the boom went to the white minority once again. With land reform being put off this allowed the large farms (all exclusively white) to rake in billions of dollars while the small black farmers struggled to compete. In the cities things where much better as black workers were able to form unions and education was significantly better. With the Manufactures Act passing Parliament 90-10 $100 million was invested into black owned manufactories.

But still, inequality was incredibly prevalent. 35% of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia’s citizens lived in poverty, almost 99% of those below the poverty line being black. Fortunately, by 1990 that number had been cut to 23%, which while abysmal at least put the nation on the right track.

Soon after the Manufactories Act passed Minister of Foreign Affairs P.K Van der Byl was tasked with establishing trade deals with various countries across the globe. Van der Byl can be best described as one of the weirdest politicians to ever inhabit Earth. He was married to the princess of Liechtenstein and is well known across Africa for his role in entrenching Zimbabwe-Rhodesia in the Western sphere of influence. The first trade deal was with the UK, the second with the US, and the third with France.

On July 8th, 1983, the second somewhat democratic elections were held in the scorching heat. The main issue was universal suffrage.

For the former the Nkomo advocated for the immediate implementation of universal suffrage while Van der Byl advocated for keeping the education and property requirements in place. Muzorewa on the other hand took a middle of the road approach that continued to fund education and industrial development in order to increase the number of blacks allowed to vote.

Come election day ZAPU increased their seat total to 19 seats while the UANC fell too 46. The RF, led by President Smith stayed the exact same at 35. Immediately after the results the UANC and ZAPU negotiated a coalition which saw Muzorewa promise the expansion of medical services and a neutral foreign policy. The system in place wasn't perfect or even democratic but the system survived so long not due to Muzorewa or Nkomo or Smith but South Africa, who did a great job at convincing everything the Victoria Falls Agreement wasn't that bad compared to South Africa.

Relations between the two nations were hateful. Muzorewa much to the dislike of Prime Minister P.W Botha joined the UN in condemning South Africa’s crimes against humanities against the black population. Botha in turn denounced Muzorewa as a “communist” and a “no good terrorist.” Meanwhile he called Smith a “traitor to the white race” and a “Maoist-Wangist sympathizer" (a comment that angered Smith to the point where he hung up on the South African ambassador and told him to piss off).

The UANC at that point cut off all relations with South Africa while the RF called for mediation led by Vice President Vander Jagt. The Botha regime though had a chance to save relations with the RF. But the more hardline elements, led by Defense Minister Magnus Malan and Minister of Education Andries Treurnicht made sure that didn’t happen. Malan declared Zimbabwe-Rhodesia a terror state for making peace with ZANU and ZAPU and in a speech to the parliament he called P.K Van der Byl a “a white who let the savages rape his children.” Or somehow worse, in an off the cuff remark to a fellow MP “a dominatrix for the communist savages.”

At that point even the ardent racists in the RF were disgusted. The final straw was when P.W Botha was killed. On June 29th, 1983, P.W Botha was flying to Brazil to meet with President Aureliano Chaves when his plane went missing over the Atlantic. No one knows for certain what happened, and only small pieces of the plane's wreckage has been found.

The hardline elements of the National Party immediately declared it a terrorist attack but most of the international community disagreed. In fact, many nations, including Italy, the UK, Canada, Mexico, China, the USSR, Germany, and Spain openly suggested that the hardliners had ordered the assassination in a coup d’état due to Botha’s very light reforms to apartheid. While we may never know it really doesn’t matter. Magnus Malan was made Prime Minister by the National majority and immediately did the best job at burning bridges with the rest of the world.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the self-declared "master race."

Malan’s brutality was apparent immediately. Within a year he announced a new crackdown on the ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP). The result was bloody. A state of emergency was declared, and tens of thousands of soldiers were sent to destroy the SACP and execute the leader of the uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC Chris Hani. Hani was meeting with Nkomo in Salisbury at the time when the attack on an apartment building in Boksburg was launched on February 20th, 1984. Soon enough, on national TV the raid went to shit. The military was met with heavy gunfire and in retaliation they massacred the apartment building. Civilians and members of the uMkhonto we Sizwe were killed indiscriminately. By the end of the raid over sixty were dead and two hundred injured.

This was far from the only atrocity by the Malan regime. Protestors were beaten, shot, illegally, detained, and tortured by security forces. Hundreds would be murdered in the streets, and it quickly became apparent to the international community what was happening was one of the worst crimes of the 20th century. Despite the sanctions things only got worse as the US refused to sanction South Africa. America’s ambassador, Bay Buchanan in fact only promised more aid to South Africa as the violence worsened. Buchanan praised Malan’s crackdown as a crackdown on “communist tyranny” and called Chris Hani a terrorist.

Buchanan’s complicity in supporting the Malan regime is not up for debate. The degree of punishment though is up for debate. After the fall of South African apartheid Malan and his fellow thugs were indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes. Buchanan was already a hated figure amongst the American public but the testimony of kids seeing their parents arrested and being pulled out of school to be informed they were found riddled with bullets in a ditch only made the American public angrier. In fact, when the right-wing Buckley Coors Channel polled their viewers on whether Buchanan should face criminal charges for her time as Ambassador to South Africa a resounding 58% said yes.

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Blacks fighting for human rights would often times put their lives in danger just for the dream of liberty.

One of the most notable examples of her aiding the Malan regime was when she secured aid from the CIA to the Inkatha Freedom Party, a right-wing Zulu nationalist party. While the IFP opposed apartheid they hated the ANC and SACP. Things only got worse when Malan covertly gave military aid to the IFP to “defend itself,” which while covert was a well-known rumor amongst the ANC and SACP. Tensions worsened considerably when Malan gave considerably more power to the KwaZulu Bantustan. The final spark for the First Internal War was when the South African military massacred another protest in Verulam that killed thirty people. The IFP stood by as their fellow ANC and SACP brothers and sisters were shot and reports that the IFP refused to let members of the SACP in caused the ANC and SACP snap. The reports were false. Spread by the Malan government to cause a civil war between the anti-apartheid organizations (in fact many members of the Zulu tribe tended to multiple wounded men and women who fled into KwaZulu). Soon enough uMkhonto we Sizwe members attacked IFP militias, and all hell broke loose. In what was described as a self-genocide by the UN and increasingly hostile US government IFP militias and uMkhonto we Sizwe units fought each other in Natal and KwaZulu, killing thousands by the time apartheid fell.

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South African soldiers preparing to destroy a nearby ANC hideout (1988).

The Malan government used the First Internal War as a proxy to literally kill the anti-apartheid. Security Forces escalated the situation by attacking mostly the ANC and SACP while leaving the IFP mostly alone which only made the IFP even more hated, therefore enraging the ANC and SACP which led to more brutality.

Cianci by this point was disgusted by the Malan regime. Not just for being a key ally of Israel and Iraq but for their crimes against humanity. He had viewed the intelligence reports and concluded much like the Nazi regime in the 30s and 40s the Malan regime was inhuman. Like most Americans he saw the regime as a threat to liberty and the US. The success of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia proved this to him, and he realized that Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and Botswana were not only more moral but more useful in the long run. When Buchanan tried to convince him, the ANC was a communist terrorist organization he pointed to the moderate Mandela as a response. Soon after Buchanan was fired and in the 90s Cianci joined millions of Americans in calling for her arrest. In an action that shocked the SACP, and ANC Cianci supported the proposal to sanction South Africa, pressuring Congress to pass the Gingrich-Dellums Act that would sanction most South African goods. Malan’s actions had reached a point where even Cianci, the man who killed hundreds if not thousands of Italians with P2 thought he had gone too far. Now of course South Africa’s relationship with Israel and Iraq had a decent part to do with this but nevertheless Cianci’s support for sanctions laid the gasoline for the end of apartheid and all it needed was a spark.

Whether Malan wanted to admit it he knew that the house of cards was on the brink of collapse, but he wasn’t going to go down without a fight. A decision that led to him being deposed. But before that time could come Malan's government would be responsible for the deaths of 13,000-25,000 people
 
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Wasn't Magnus Malan the guy who became dictator of South Africa in Rumsfeldia? Though I assume this will not end with South Africa collapsing into a nuclear civil war.
IIRC I think so. Malan’s not going to be starting a civil war or using WMDs. His regime will be known as one of the worst of the 20th century, mentioned in the same breath as fascist Italy. All I’ll say for certain is that TTL’s transition to a full democracy will be much bloodier.
 
I usually lurk and follow, but popping in here to say that I'm enjoying the heck out of this and excited for whatever's next (those hints laid down for what's to come are utterly compelling).
 
Chapter XXII: Business as Usual
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An unlikely problem.

Before the Cianci campaign could get off the ground some problems had to be taken care of. The first problem was Phil Crane. Unlike Pat Buchanan whose defense of the Malan regime had thoroughly discredited him as a politician Crane still had the political capital to oppose Cianci. Unfortunately, for Crane that would be his biggest mistake. Instead of being a good boy and lining up behind Cianci, he decided to demand deep welfare cuts and an amendment banning abortion in the RNC platform. Cianci flat out refused, viewing the latter as an extremist position that would give Harris leverage over him. When Cianci had an aide break the news to Crane that his demands would be rejected Crane refused to endorse the president for re-election.

Cianci decided that Crane was a liability. At best he could demand an audit of Cianci's bills that allowed him to embezzle money or take bribes, in fact, Crane had been a leading advocate for an audit of the federal government, which would cause a death blow to Cianci's career. Even worse was that some Democrats were getting in on the act, thinking the audit would harm Cianci's image as a conservative and therefore decrease turnout for Cianci. Little did they know that the audit would've certainly given them the election and disgrace Cianci, but not to the degree that he would be once the full extent of his crimes was revealed.

Two weeks before the RNC was going to be held in New Orleans Cianci and DiPrete decided that Crane had to go. First, Cianci decided to gather dirt on Crane like he did with his brother. Just like his brother he wasn't the moral man he claimed to be. In this case Crane was an alcoholic who was known to be drunk most of the time he was at home. With this Cianci's allies immediately leaked the allegations to the press, which were immediately denied by Crane. Of course, it didn't help Crane came into the press conference drunk which sealed his fate. Despite calls from both parties to resign, Crane refused but he did promise to seek help.

The plan by Cianci was for Crane to resign but with Crane deciding to stick it out and admitting he had a problem it looked like he was still a threat. In fact, Crane showed up on time nearly every day despite being in rehab, which shocked not only Cianci but Crane's colleagues. But Crane's recovery was cut quick. On June 24th, 1984, Crane's car was found crashed into a tree near Washington D.C. The windshield was shattered, and Crane's body was found twenty feet away from the car with an excessive amount of blood pouring out of it. Later it was determined by the FBI that Crane had driven without a seatbelt and drunk, causing him to crash into the tree and be thrown into another tree, killing him instantly. When Phil Crane's brother, Dan Crane found out almost immediately he didn't believe the official story. He knew what Cianci was capable of, and the death of his brother felt wrong. Yes, he did go to a bar to drink but who was he talking to? The bartender, Lewis Lowden testified years later to FBI Director Giuliani that the man was plain clothed and at the moment seemed kind. But he did note he convinced Crane to keep drinking. To this day Dan Crane and the Crane family believes that the man was a plant by Cianci sent to cause Crane's death, but the FBI would close the case in 1994, finding no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing by Cianci and ruling the death an accidental death.

The second problem was Gayle Redick[1]. In 1966, under the cover of night Cianci raped Redick at his house. Cianci knew damn well that Redick, besides Congress was the biggest threat to his empire. Redick's rape allegation was vivid and would strike a chord with anyone who heard it. Cianci figured that Redick with the election heating up would attempt to talk to the media. So, he dispatched a squad of goons in the Mafia to travel down to Milwaukee to pay her a visit. They knocked on her door which she opened, and four men came in and pulled out their guns once the door was closed.

The meeting went about as well as you'd expect. Redick had no husband and no kids, so the job was supposed to be easy. Wave a couple of guns in her face and threaten to kill her if she talked. Things went according to plan, with after one of the goons, Randal Jost threatening to bash Redick's face in with a log of firewood and successfully convinced her not to go to the authorities under the threat of her and her friends being executed. Then things took a turn for the worse. Redick went to her bedroom where she pulled out a gun and shot herself. The reasoning established by Congress was that Redick, with her family and friends at risk and feeling trapped by Cianci decided to save them the pain by giving Cianci a reason not to go after her friends or family. To her death was the only way to escape that night in Milwaukee in 1966. Either way that problem was solved, with Cianci saying to one of his friends in the CIA "you can threaten people all you want but if they're alive they can talk, if they're not then you can continue business as usual."

With no evidence of a break in the police three days later immediately ruled Redick's death a suicide and for a time only a couple men knew about Redick's secret that refused to die.

Despite Cianci's escalating crimes the results of the 1984 presidential election were never in doubt. Despite Harris’s populist rhetoric, most people rejected his attacks on the establishment due to the fact most people had nothing against the establishment. Unless you were a drug abuser, homosexual, or gang member life was good for most Americans. Money was in their pockets and the wars in Latin America were out of sight.

On the economy, Harris attempted to hit Cianci on income inequality which backfired when Cianci retorted with “how come Jackson didn’t do anything? Harris like Jackson is a typical politician, all talk and does nothing when actually in power. You had four years to dismantle income inequality but instead wasted time with fake peace talks with Israel and Egypt.”

Much to the frustration of his supporters and the Democratic Party Harris was incapable of countering these attacks. Every time Cianci brought up the failure of the Jackson administration to implement Harris’s preferred policies all Harris could muster was “this time I’ll make sure it will pass instead of getting involved in more wars.”

Even Harris supporters weren’t impressed and the only group of people that he managed to attract with his populism was small farmers and Democratic union members in the rustbelt. To put it simply Cianci talked about his solutions to problems he implemented, and Harris complained about problems Jackson could’ve solved.

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Fred Harris campaign ad: "The real welfare queens in this country aren't poor whites or blacks but billionaires like the Koch brother, Peter Coors, and Kenneth Lay. A vote for Cianci is a vote for welfare queens while a vote for Harris is a vote for democracy."

On the issue of foreign policy, there was one nation that dominated the debate: Israel.

The tiny nation was both an economic and military powerhouse that had quickly become the enemy of both the right and the left. The invasion of Egypt had nearly crashed the economy and fiscal conservatives and anti-war liberals decried the idea of giving billions in taxpayer money to a nation that refused to listen, make peace, or give a damn about the world economy. In Congress Dan Crane (under the orders of Cianci) and left-wing Congressman Ron Dellums brought a bill to the House floor that would cut aid for Israel by 20%.

At first, Harris took a pro-Israel position, in line with Wilsonian foreign policy that stressed self-determination (though that conveniently overlooked the Palestinians in the Levant) and self-defense from foreign aggression. In contrast to Cianci, he openly defended Israel and claimed the Israeli government was more stable and more moral than the Sadat regime.

At first, the American people were willing to hear him out. After all, socially Israel was significantly more liberal than a place such as Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

But then Israelgate burst onto the headlines. On September 15th, 1984, the Washington Post ran a story that claimed Israel was covertly funding Iraq. “Agent O” as he would be known leaked to the Post that Israel had been funding Hussein’s war against the Iranians even as hundreds of thousands were killed by Iraqi forces, numerous atrocities had been committed on the drive towards Qom, and most importantly to the American people they had prevented an Islamist victory against the socialists.

Israel attempted to deny the allegations, but it was clear to the whole world that Israeli weapons were flowing into Iraq. If the world wasn't angry before at Israel they were now.

Almost immediately the US condemned Israel. Politicians from the center, right, left and the extreme all condemned Israel as a rogue nation. This ranged from good-natured and very harsh criticisms of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian population to antisemitic rhetoric. For the former it can best be put by Representative Ron Dellums who responded by saying:

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“Israel has proved itself to be less a state that upholds human rights and more a rogue and colonialist like South Africa. Like Malan Shamir is concerned with ethnic cleansing and ruthlessly oppressing the original inhabitants out of a sense of ethnic superiority. The only way we can dismantle their imperialism is through sanctions and end the flow of American weapons that cost us billions each year that could be going into healthcare or peace in the Middle East.”

For the latter the best example is from antisemite and white supremacist Jesse Helms who said on the topic of Israelgate:

“The Israeli government is a front for communists and socialists to wipe the values of capitalism and Christianity off the face of the earth. Since its conception, Israel has been controlled by the communist Mapei, Likud[2], or Labor Parties that have purged the Arabs from their homeland after illegally invading in 1948. During this time the treacherous Israeli lobby has bribed the highest echelons of the government in order to loot the average patriotic and Christian American who stands with Jesus rather than land and the religion that murdered Jesus. America like Jesus gave the Jews everything they asked for and what did they do? The Jewish communists stabbed us in the back as Judas did to Jesus.”

Unsurprisingly, Helms was denounced by most politicians for his comments. Considering the Holocaust was in living memory and fortunately, his comments sparked a backlash amongst his fellow Americans. Combined with his connections with the Malan and D'Aubuisson regimes the people of North Carolina finally had enough. Come election night Jim Hunt easily defeated Helms by 7%[3], with his campaign ads attacking the Judas Speech and his association with two of the bloodiest fascist regimes in the third world managing to turn public opinion against Helms.

At this point, the Harris campaign went into damage control as they retracted their support for Israel and denounced Shamir and Begin for supporting Hussein’s invasion of Iran. But the damage had already been done. The Republicans ruthlessly attacked Harris as an unpatriotic stooge for Israel and the USSR due to his support for an end to the Latin American Wars and previous support for Israel.

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Harris in an interview with TBA reporter Al Gore: "Israel's right to exist is a no brainer, but just like Cianci I believe their right to domination isn't. Their imperialism towards the Muslims of the Middle East is no better than China's destruction of Tibetan culture and South Africa's ethnic cleansing of blacks. Not to mention their support for the madman of Baghdad."

While the Cianci campaign didn't publicly devolve into antisemitism behind the scenes Cianci did, mostly to embarrass Harris. In his home state of Oklahoma. Millions of dollars in posters flooded Oklahoma accusing Harris of being more loyal to Israel than the US. Harris denounced the posters as antisemitic, but it certainly helped to decrease his popularity in the state. Soon after his poll numbers collapsed in Oklahoma from an overwhelming lead to a dead heat. But Harris wouldn't stay down despite Cianci's hopes.

But for now, the results were never in doubt. To the surprise of no one, Harris, and Boggs would never go to the White House.

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Cianci/Vander Jagt 54% PV 476 EV
Harris/Boggs 46% PV 58 EV.

Cianci swept every state in New England, even Massachusetts went blue by 1% due to the controversy of desegregation bussing. In Rhode Island Cianci won 62% of the vote and only Massachusetts and New York were close. In the South, he was denied nearly every southern state, with West Virginia and Louisiana going to Harris due to his populism appealing to poor whites, African Americans, Catholics, and farmers who did not experience the brief prosperity of Cianci’s economy. Not to mention Lindy Boggs did a great job of translating her personal popularity into actual votes.

Minus traditionally Democratic states and Iowa, which was experiencing the harsh effects of the Farming Crisis no other states went to Harris, a fact he was frustrated with but took with grace. At 10:30 PM Harris and Boggs called Cianci and Vander Jagt respectively to congratulate them on their victory and wished them luck.

Cianci celebrated the night with a beer at the White House, not exactly the choice of a politician and when it broke out, he had gone to sleep drunk at 2:00 in the morning it did not harm him but only gave him a boost in popularity. Just like Andrew Jackson people saw a man of the people, not a drunkard who was disrespecting the presidency. The few Democrats who had the guts to whine about decorum were immediately ridiculed by Cianci on national television, saying in an interview with William Buckley:

“These Democrats like to whine about decorum or some other BS but when it comes to flag burnin, drugs, and standin up to Israel they’re silent. I stand up for the patriots, the workers, and the job creators. The Democrats stand for the Israeli lobby, the college students, and rich big city liberals who write crap all day instead of makin a real livin.”

But Cianci’s power was not as secured as it seemed. His crime ring was causing trouble in the United States and the damage would not go unnoticed. In fact, as he prepared to destroy more of his opponents a prosecutor in the Big Apple was about to light a spark that would destroy his life.

Three months before Israelgate on June 13th, 1984, a cease-fire was declared in Iran between the PRRI and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Two days later Hussein offered a deal to both nations that would end the Iraqi invasion. Both nations were exhausted. Since 1980 the constant state of war had taken an unimaginable toll on both the PRRI and Iran. An unprecedented humanitarian disaster had unfolded as 1,000,000 people were dead and 10,000,000 were displaced, whether internally or externally with 4,000,000 of those fleeing to Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq. Despite the wishes of both the USSR and the United States, who demanded a total victory over their opponents all three nations knew they could not go on. Chairman Rajavi had narrowly survived numerous attempts on his life and had only survived the onslaught of the Islamists due to the Iraqi invasion. Ayatollah Khamenei knew damn well that the Iraqis, in a war of attrition would win if the fighting between the PRRI and Iran continued. Finally, Hussein knew that if he did not make peace between the PRRI and Iran both nations would grind down his forces. They may not overthrow him, but they could potentially retake the Khuzestan region which he had fought so hard for.

The three nations met in the neutral nation of Austria, in Vienna to discuss a permanent solution to the conflict. The meeting was overseen by Prime Minister of Sweden Olaf Palme whose pro-Arab views were popular amongst the delegations. Originally Prime Minister of Greece Andreas Papandreou was asked to oversee the meeting but due to the disastrous treaty of Athens, he was viewed as untrustworthy by the PRRI and Iran.

After a month of negotiations, the three nations finally agreed on a peace treaty. The Treaty of Vienna was signed on December 20th, 1984, by Rajavi, Hussein, and Khamenei.

The terms were:

  1. The People’s Revolutionary Republic of Iran shall keep all current territory that is not a pocket of resistance.
  2. The Islamic Republic of Iran shall keep all current territory that is not a pocket of resistance.
  3. Iraq will receive half of the Khuzestan region up to the county of Bavi.
  4. The Islamic Republic of Iran shall receive all Iraqi occupied territory west of Bavi.

The Treaty of Vienna was almost immediately met with public praise from the citizens of the three nations. The war-torn nations could now rebuild and strengthen their positions. Now of course not everyone was happy with the Treaty of Vienna. For example, Hezbollah opposed the treaty in Iran and threatened war against the Khamenei if he signed the Treaty of Vienna, and in the PRRI hardline elements attempted to oust Rajavi in a coup. Both of these efforts, fortunately, failed, with Hezbollah members being arrested swiftly by Iranian commandos, though Mohammad-Javad Bahonar escaped continuing the fight in the Zagros Mountains, an insurgency that would continue into the early 2000s. The August Coup in the PRRI failed mainly due to a lack of support from the USSR, who believed that the situation would escalate into a civil war in the world’s newest nation. On August 3rd, 1984, 30 tanks and 30,000 soldiers and militiamen led by Ali Khavari attempted to storm the city of Tehran but were met by a tank division, 50,000 PRRI soldiers, and 30,000 militiamen. Rajavi gave Khavari a choice, surrender and he’d be put under house arrest or fight and face death. He instead retreated but was swiftly crushed forty miles north of Tehran by an additional 40,000 soldiers.

For the first time in a while the PRRI and Iran were quiet. As the Middle East was enjoying the sound of the silence all that was discarded when news from one of the largest nations on Earth: China. The Revolution had begun.

[1] Her real name is unknown, but this article uses Gayle Redick as a pseudonym.
[2] Considering Helms's lack of common sense IOTL I believe he would be dumb enough to refer to Likud, Mapei, and Labor as communists, mostly due to Israel's support for Iraq's invasion that saved the PRRI.
[3] Helms IOTL nearly lost the 1984 senate election to Governor Hunt. ITTL his antisemitism, the high unpopularity of the Malan regime, and lack of campaigning from Cianci due to his support for South Africa allowed Hunt to win by a decent margin.
 
Thoughts on the chapter?

I usually lurk and follow, but popping in here to say that I'm enjoying the heck out of this and excited for whatever's next (those hints laid down for what's to come are utterly compelling).
Thank you!
Eh pretty close considering the new chapter. Funnily enough I originally thought of having Dan Crane cheat on Cianci's wife, but I felt like that was too implausible. But considering I had Cianci go full mob boss in this chapter maybe not as implausible as I thought.
 
What is Mrs. Cianci doing ITTL?
Buddy Cianci is too busy with work to do much with his wife, leading to a strained marriage. Mrs. Cianci is trapped however as she knows cheating on Cianci would backfire amongst the press and turn Cianci's wrath onto her. She doesn't know about Cianci's crimes but figures something is up due to his long phone calls with "friends in high places."
 
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