How is this timeline so far?

  • Great

    Votes: 42 47.2%
  • Good

    Votes: 34 38.2%
  • Okay

    Votes: 8 9.0%
  • Bad

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Implausible

    Votes: 4 4.5%

  • Total voters
Chapter I: For the want of a Guardian Angel
  • Gerald Ford was in Sacramento California, greeting his supporters when the history of America changed forever. Little did he know, this beautiful, warm day, was the day that set America up for the 1980s. A time of systematic corruption that made Italians blush, malice, and one crisis after another that piled onto make the 1980s an unforgettably if not terrible decade for not only America but Italy, Iran, and Panama. If only his guardian angel was there that faithful day otherwise America may have remembered the 80s differently. One of peace and prosperity if they had been lucky. Unfortunately, his guardian angel presumably took the day off on the worst possible day. A women named Squeaky Fromme approached him and unholstered a gun. More than an entire lifetime happened in three seconds.


    Gerald Ford seconds before being shot.

    In three seconds, American history was forever changed. In three seconds, millions of lives would be altered all over the world. In three seconds, four bangs pierced the air and Gerald Ford collapsed onto the ground, clutching his suit. Two of the bullets hit him in the chest near his heart, one missed entirely, and one pierced his lung. Massive bleeding from his chest started just as blood began to fill up his lungs. The secret service rushed him to the hospital but unfortunately his injuries were more serious than originally thought. On the ambulance ride to the hospital, he coughed up blood and went into a coma. The damage caused by the bullets required emergency surgery to give him a chance at survival and as soon as he arrived at the hospital he was put under surgery. The doctors tried their best to save their president, but it was all in vain. Gerald Ford officially died two hours later from his injuries.


    Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme's mug shot shortly after her arrest.

    Many had hoped Watergate had been the end of America’s woes. But with the murder of Gerald Ford just a little over a decade after the murder of John F. Kennedy it reignited the feelings fear, and uncertainty not seen since the Great Depression. When Betty Ford was informed of the murder of her husband her faced turned pale and she collapsed into tears on the White House sofa. Secret Service members attempted to console her but to no avail. The death of her beloved husband sent her understandably into a spiraling depression for the next couple of years. This was unfortunately a precursor to what would be seen in America. In less than two decades three presidents would leave office in body bags. In sixteen years, one president would resign in disgrace, and one would appear in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs in court. If only Ford’s murder was avoided then maybe the 80s, or as they’re better known as the Decade of Malice would’ve been avoided. To quote the great Chief Justice Buckley as he would say in 1986 on the steps of Congress “there’s one man who could’ve brought stability and trust back into our society and that man was Gerald Ford. But instead that bastard Lynette Fromme wanted him dead so she could send a message. Well, I hope she’s happy in hell! Now he had our first impeached president and malice we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.”
    Chapter II: Morning in America
  • Nelson Rockefeller hadn’t expected to become president and like most Americans figured he would never be. Ford was healthy and had no known skeletons in the closet. Most of the politicians in Washington despite their ideological disagreements felt he was a moral and honest man who upheld the legacy of the presidency. Unfortunately, that didn’t prevent his murder and his honesty and morality died with him. Compared to his predecessor and especially Buddy Cianci he was a man who tried to do the right thing and tried to bring honesty and trust back into the government. Now Rockefeller had to try and uphold his legacy. When he heard the news of Ford’s murder he just wept. What else was his reaction supposed to be? Just like tens of millions of Americans that’s all he could do. But he didn’t have the luxury of doing just that. His main and by far most important task during his short tenure was to honor Ford and his legacy. He would start with his speech to the American public at noon about the assassination. With tears visible and a lump in his throat he delivered his most memorable moment of his presidency.

    “Hello my fellow Americans. This is not the speech I ever thought about giving nor wanted to give. As many of you have seen and heard our dear president, Gerald Ford was murdered in Sacramento California four hours ago in cold blood. In accordance with the law, I have been sworn in as president of the United States one hour ago. In this time, I want to say that Ford’s murderer has been arrested and will face justice soon for her crimes. Unlike Oswald or Booth, I promise that Ford’s murderer won’t get the luxury of not facing justice. In the meantime, between her trial all I ask of my fellow Americans is unity in the face of this great tragedy. Today we’re not conservatives or liberals but Americans, just as we were when another great president, John F. Kennedy was murdered. Now is the time for unity and understanding with our fellow American and that’s all we can do right now.”

    Nelson Rockefeller in the White House, 1976

    Rockefeller’s speech was well received and would be remembered fondly amongst Americans. It became a symbol of what it meant to have a stable and caring president in the White House and a great time of unity in a time of great tragedy. The day was a somber one and the atmosphere was a dark one. In D.C it was pouring outside, and the clouds were nearly black it seemed from the White House windows. It was as if the weather knew the mood and adjusted accordingly to the perception of Rockefeller and the White House. Either way life had to go on. Rockefeller first needed to find a vice president. He needed someone who could take over in case he died and could give confidence to the American people. His staff gave him a short list that included Donald Rumsfeld, Bob Dole, Howard Baker, George H.W Bush, and John Connally. Rockefeller wanted someone who had enough experience in government so if they took over, they’d be able to quickly and effectively take over from Rockefeller. He also wanted someone respected by conservatives to bring unity to the Republican Party. Bush was chosen as vice president due to his experience as a representative, UN Ambassador, and diplomat which would allow him to know the ins and outs of the foreign situation in case of Rockefeller’s demise. In addition to his experience in government he was also a southerner, an area where Rockefeller needed to appeal to ASAP if he wanted any chance of winning re-election. With little to criticize or attack Bush for the senate easily confirmed him 98-0. After the confirmation of Bush, it was time to go to Ford’s funeral. His body was laid in the United States Capitol, and he was to be buried in Arlington Cemetery, one of the highest possible honors given by the federal government. At the funeral several world leaders, including UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, French president Valerie Giscard d'Estaing, Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau attended the funeral. The funeral lasted five hours and when the funeral processions were done it was time to get to work.

    The first major challenge Rockefeller faced was the New York City Fiscal Crisis. New York City was billions in debt and the city government was on the brink of collapse as banks refused to give more loans to the city. Rockefeller, wanting to avoid a major crisis and save such a crucial part of his home state from ruin, immediately poured billions into New York City to save it from economic collapse, on the condition that they’d institute austerity measures to save money and decrease the deficit they built. While popular to those who lived in New York the conservatives in the Republican Party balked at the measure. Why should Americans pay for the troubles of New York City? Hadn’t they shown they weren’t responsible with spending money? Why did they have to give them more? This was the first major act that burnt the short-term goodwill between the conservatives and the liberals in the Republican Party. Rockefeller’s administration was quickly despised by the conservative Republicans who wanted a strong conservative president. They didn’t like Ford when he was alive and kicking but they hated Rockefeller. Ford was a moderate but at least had conservative views. Rockefeller was the embodiment of the liberal faction of the Republican Party that had slowly dwindled since the Eisenhower years.

    Soon enough conservatives and even moderates in the Republican party started to pressure Rockefeller to not run for president in 1976. A big blow to President Rockefeller was when Rumsfeld, a conservative ideologue left a month after the assassination of Ford. Next was Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger who was planning to leave but was accelerated by the untimely death of Ford. Schlesinger left on good terms, but conservatives used this to question the functionality of the Rockefeller administration. Schlesinger’s replacement was Bill Clement, the assistant secretary of defense as he was considered a capable replacement.

    Come November the conservatives in the Republican Party, just after Thanksgiving prepared to challenge President Rockefeller. Ronald Reagan had planned to challenge Ford in the primaries, but his plan was thwarted when Ford was assassinated. Still, despite Rockefeller’s high approval rating of 64% Jesse Helms, the far-right senator from North Carolina pressured Reagan to instigate a primary challenge. Reagan was hesitant but Helms and was adamant and threatened to run third party or find a different primary challenger, whether that’d be Senator James Buckley, Jack Kemp, or himself was unknown but Reagan figured it was worth a shot. The bailout of New York City particularly made him worried about four years of Rockefeller. Still Reagan wanted to wait until December to let Rockefeller’s approval ratings drop a little, but Rockefeller found out about Reagan’s plans and went on the offensive. He attacked Reagan and Helms for planning a primary challenge right after the death of Ford and for trying to push the Republican Party farther to the right than what Ford intended.


    Architect of the Reagan campaign, senator, and white supremacist Jesse Helms.


    Ronald Reagan announcing his run for president in Concord.

    The second attack backfired and damaged Rockefeller’s standing in the Republican Party. Reagan retaliated to these attacks by saying “Rockefeller, a man not elected by Republican voters let alone the American people shouldn’t be telling Republicans what they want. The Republican Party is the party of the rational right, not big city liberals like himself who the Republican Party rejected in 1964 and 1968.” With that the campaign was on. Rockefeller expected to do well in the first caucus in Iowa, so he didn’t spend as much money as he should’ve and decided to focus more on New Hampshire and delegate rich primaries like Illinois. This was a grave mistake. Reagan and his campaign seeing an opportunity hit Iowa hard. New Hampshire was important but if they could win Iowa, they would build momentum and deliver a knockout blow to Rockefeller. Come January 19th, Iowa narrowly went to Rockefeller by one delegate. But the popular vote was a different story. Rockefeller’s overconfident campaign allowed Reagan to close the gap to 1.5% and thoroughly embarrass Rockefeller. The shocking blow caused Reagan to spike in popularity as Rockefeller went into damage control as Republicans and the Rockefeller campaign realized Reagan could actually win this despite Rockefeller’s high approval rating. The Rockefeller campaign decided to try and deal a death blow to Reagan by challenging him to a debate. This was built as the debate of the primary season and Rockefeller sealed his fate there. Reagan came off as an optimistic and grandpa like figure while Rockefeller came off as more intellectual, but one issue reigned supreme in the debate. Abortion. Reagan ruthlessly attacked Rockefeller’s pro-choice views in the debate and Rockefeller refused to yield. If there’s one group that decided the New Hampshire primary it was pro-life Republicans. They were politically active and always showed to vote and they voted en mass for Reagan. Reagan the next day watched the results closely and by a narrow 700 vote margin. The Rockefeller campaign was crushed by the shocking lost and the campaign started to spiral.

    Rockefeller easily swept the states of Massachusetts and Vermont while Reagan dominated the Florida primary, with southern conservatives despising Rockefeller. Next the Wisconsin primary was up and was considered the one primary that could turn the campaign around for Rockefeller. Rockefeller flooded the airwaves with ads calling Reagan a radical and invoked Ford’s legacy as a moderate to boost his campaign. Reagan fired back by calling Rockefeller a liberal in a conservative party and the candidate of abortion. The race was turning ugly, and it benefited Reagan as Rockefeller lost moderate conservatives. Reagan promised tax cuts, a decrease in the deficit, and to appoint pro-life judges while Rockefeller defended his pro-choice stances and highlighted his tough on crime record. Reagan shot back by pointing out how he had kept guns out of the hands of the Black Panthers while Rockefeller pointed to his crackdown on drugs in New York. Come election day news reporters swarmed polling stations and interviewed Rockefeller and Reagan supporters duke it out in tense arguments and in some cases with their fists. No matter who won the Republican primary the party was going to look like a bunch of squabbling children by the end of it. When the polls closed Reagan won Wisconsin by 1.2% of the vote. With this the comeback Rockefeller had hoped for collapsed. The rest of the primary went as expected. Rockefeller dominated the North while Reagan dominated the South and secured the more libertarian western states such as Montana, Oregon, and the Dakotas, allowing him to rack up a massive delegate lead by the time the RNC rolled around. Reagan had done what he set out to do. Unseat the liberal president and cement conservative dominance over the Republican Party. Finally, the public would have a viable conservative choice for president. This time, someone with enough PR skills to not be branded as a psychopath who would start nuclear war.

    Unfortunately, for Reagan he would still be viewed as a radical. The man was easily the most conservative man to run for president since Goldwater. Furthermore, his brazen economic conservatism became prime cannon fodder for the Democrats who ran a less economically moderate campaign. Moderate economic policies where already failing the country as the economic crisis deepened, why would the American people want to go further right?

    Come the Republican National Convention the moderates sat and waited patiently. Things where calm. To calm for comfort.

    Reagan’s negotiations with Rockefeller were stalling. In an attempt to bring party unity Reagan and Rockefeller negotiated. Much to the anger of the conservatives Rockefeller flat out refused to endorse Reagan if a anti-abortion amendment was added to the official platform. Reagan, despite Helms’s wishes obeyed. One issue they particularly agreed on was tough on crime measures, with Reagan promising to support the death penalty and tougher punishments for drug use and trafficking.

    Come the vice-presidential selection Reagan ran into some problems. His original choice of Rich Schweiker flat out refused to be on the ticket, having no interest in the vice presidency. Then Reagan got a seemingly genius idea. Why not re-nominate George H.W Bush? He was a moderate and from the south, a seemingly perfect choice. If the moderates wanted someone from the Rockefeller wing then picking someone appointed by Rockefeller that’s one heart beat from the presidency seemed like the best way to please them. So, history was made in 1976 with the Reagan/Bush ticket being nominated by the RNC.

    But Reagan’s nomination in hindsight wasn’t the biggest story out of the 1976 RNC, however. That would be the Mayor of Province, Buddy Cianci’s role. He was considered a rising star in the Republican Party due to his time as mayor of Province Rhode Island. Running on an anti-corruption campaign he was able to end 150 years of Democratic rule. His fiery campaign style was perfect for higher office and both Reagan and Rockefeller were impressed with his oratory skills. By the end of the first day, he was discussing a potential seat in the Reagan administration if he won. On the second day he was given a offer. He was offered by Rockefeller to give the keynote address to the RNC. Cianci was shocked. When he came down to Kansas City, he was expecting to be promised a minor position in Reagan’s justice department, maybe attorney general if he was lucky. But now he was headlining the RNC. His speech would be the catalyst for the rest of his political career.

    On the third day it was his time. His staff finished the final edit of his speech after thirteen straight hours of work. Reagan shook his hand as Vice President George H.W Bush finished his speech. The crowd roared in approval and Cianci’s turn was up. He walked up to the podium and grabbed onto it. His sweaty hands struggled to grab the podium, so he let go and began his speech


    “The Democratic Party likes to pretend its policies are not only wanted by the American people but a group that’s close to me, immigrants. They have a monopoly on immigrants despite the fact when they come over the government bureaucracy grinds the process of citizenship to halt from those brave men and women fleeing communism. Furthermore, they want to claim that they’re programs will provide an opportunity for all Americans but when they get here are they met with the conditions to make an honest living? No! They’re taxed like all regular citizens into oblivion and have their hard-earned wage stolen, so corrupt government bureaucrats can give themselves an unearned wage. Make no mistake, the Republicans are the party of the people. I would know as I was elected as a man of the people, as a crusader against corruption who wouldn’t serve government bureaucrats nor be bound by members of my own party and that’s the path the Republican Party is going down. One which we‘ll focus on pragmatic solutions that benefit hard working Americans. For example, Ronald Reagan over here recognizes social security as a right to all Americans and understands we need to work with both ends of the Republican Party to bring economic prosperity and peace to the world.”

    The crowd erupted in cheers from both conservative and liberal Republicans. Cianci’s speech was all Reagan had wished for. Passionate, appealing to middle class voters, and uniting. Cianci’s speech quickly united the factions of the Republican Party behind him and put a rocket on the back of his increasingly successful political career. It was truly the perfect speech and it would be remembered as such. In recent years it has taken a sinister tone. As Cianci was released from prison people looked back at his speech and realized it was what started the Decade of Malice and allowed him to become the most corrupt president in American history. It was the speech that nearly brought down the government.

    The same couldn’t be said for Reagan. Reagan by the end of the RNC was losing 36-57 against the Jackson/Harris ticket, with moderates fleeing the Republican Party and the economic crisis in full swing. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise though. At least he didn’t have half the legacy of Cianci’s. Though that isn’t an accomplishment as it requires a basic moral compass politicians that to the average working class American, seemingly ditched after their election.
    Chapter III: The New Deal Forever
  • The 1976 Democratic presidential primaries weren’t nearly as eventful as the Republican primaries. The first major announcement after the assassination of Gerald Ford was that Humphrey was explicitly not running for president. Seeing the death of Ford made him believe that he had no chance at the presidency and made him grapple with his nearing death as his stomach cancer worsened.

    With his clear decision to not run the unions did their magic and got behind Jackson, lock step. Jackson’s campaign got off to an abysmal start when the relatively unknown Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter came second in Iowa. He came in third with 6%. Luckily for Jackson he quickly took note of the Reagan campaign and hit New Hampshire hard. With support from the unions his campaign managed to knock on thousands of doors each day. This critical decision saved him. Come election night as Reagan defeated Rockefeller Jackson defeated Carter by 1%, winning with 19% of the vote in New Hampshire. After New Hampshire Carter’s insurgent campaign lost ground in polling as Jackson became the front runner. His law-and-order campaign skyrocketed in popularity after the murder of Gerald Ford and Jackson’s attacks on Carter’s opposition to the death penalty helped him considerably. His next major win was in Florida where once again he beat out Carter, but just barely.


    Jackson after winning the Florida primary

    This gave him just enough momentum to ride to victory in Illinois. Again, another close victory but a victory, nonetheless. Jackson by May had enough delegates to secure the nomination. Carter and more liberal members of the Democratic Party weren’t happy at the fact Jackson was nominated. The man was a neoconservative who staunchly supported the Vietnam War and opposed busing. This put him in a weird position as he needed to appeal to both the South who wanted the anti-establishment Carter and the liberals who wanted an anti-war liberal as the nominee.

    Jackson tried his best to fulfill both of the groups wishes but neither seemed to want to negotiate with the “establishment.” Still, he was pragmatic and didn’t want to lose to a right-wing radical who would plunge the country into economic ruin. His choice for vice president came down to two men. Dolph Briscoe of Texas who was a moderate southerner and Fred Harris who was a populist liberal who managed to win in a very conservative state. He weighed his choices and decided on Harris who appealed to the South and liberals. Jackson figured his law-and-order positions and his opposition to busing would appeal to social conservatives and Briscoe wasn’t needed.

    Come the DNC Jimmy Carter was given the keynote speaker slot due to him being the runner up. Carter took the defeat with grace and would retire until he was elected once again as Georgia’s governor in 1982. His speech was not very notable compared to Cianci’s, but he still gave a rousing speech that fired up the crowd.


    Carter giving his 1976 DNC speech

    Coming out of the convention there were still issues faced by Jackson. The anti-war liberals weren’t exactly impressed with his choice of Harris and demanded the pardon of Vietnam War draft dodgers. Jackson flat out refused which caused an uptick in support for more liberal candidates in Democratic primaries. Particularly in New York where Patrick Moynihan was defeated by Bella Upzug. Still polls had Jackson winning by 10-20% after the convention. Watching the RNC he felt confident but there was one nagging problem: Buddy Cianci.

    Cianci gave Jackson a bad feeling. He had everything of a presidential candidate. Youth, charisma, and PR skills. He wasn’t a threat now, but he knew he would be down the road. To Jackson he looked like a Republican JFK.

    Luckily, he wasn’t a threat now. Now it was Reagan who needed to be defeated by Jackson, a task that looked increasingly easy. Rockefeller had been show leading him 51-47% but now Reagan presented an opportunity not seen since Goldwater. An opportunity to crush the GOP and complete the New Deal. That would be his main priority when he was elected. Passing universal healthcare and welfare programs to lift his fellow citizens out of poverty was the corner stone of the Democratic platform. While Reagan desperately tried to compromise Jackson’s team of political operatives mercilessly attacked him as a radical who wanted to defund welfare and destroy the New Deal. Reagan’s opposition to the New Deal in a time of an economic crisis further crippled his polling numbers and it looked like Reagan was screwed this election.

    Reagan in the opening days of the campaign attacked Jackson’s pro-choice stances and his position on taxes. Reagan promised to cut taxes for all Americans while he sent out Bush to appeal to moderate voters. But people couldn’t get over his attacks on the civil rights act and the voting rights act or his past attacks on the new deal.

    That alone would have destroyed the Reagan campaign, but one issue truly prevented him from winning. That was the moderate Republicans. The moderate Republicans who supported Rockefeller where unforgiving of challenging Rockefeller. They viewed him and Helms as traitors to the party who took down a popular incumbent and replaced his platform with the radicalism of Goldwater. Jackson, they felt was more representative of them despite his support for economic liberalism. He was a moderate on social issues and at least unlike Reagan had a brain when it came to economics. The crucial need for these moderate Republicans who Reagan thoroughly pissed off sabotaged his chances at becoming president.

    Reagan drew crowds with his charisma, sure but Jackson thwarted just about every attack Reagan could muster. Weak on crime? Jackson’s whole campaign was based on being tough on crime. Corrupt? Did you see who resigned? Radical? The American public disagreed. Weak on communism? Oh, come on.

    Jackson sharply criticized Reagan for his economic policy, pointing out the Republicans had run the economy into the ground and Reagan wished for an even more radical economic agenda while Jackson supported the tried and tested New Deal methods. The vague promise of a return to the tried and tested normalcy of moderate social views and New Deal style social democracy caused voters to abandon Reagan. The media didn’t help either as Reagan’s speech at the 1964 RNC was blasted by guests. Former presidential candidate Jimmy Carter responded to the speech by saying “like 1964 it’s a time for choosing whether we embrace radicalism or common-sense policies.”

    Reagan’s campaign soon enough hit an all-time low of losing 32-56%. It wasn’t until the economy started to pick up steam Reagan’s polling numbers increased. If it wasn’t for the economy Reagan would’ve been decimated in a 1964 style landslide. Once the economy experienced an uptick his numbers shot up to 44-53%. Still a lost but one significantly less embarrassing than previously thought. Once the debates came around the public was shocked. Reagan managed to make himself look like America’s grandpa, with his folksy demeanor mesmerizing Americans. But when it came to the actual policies he struggled. He couldn’t attack Jackson on social issues or foreign policy, so he attempted to defend his economic conservatism. It backfired as Jackson brought up his past opposition to the New Deal and promised Americans that he’d expand healthcare, infrastructure, and education. Reagan’s rebuttal of “new spending in a recession” was quickly demolished by Jackson who replied, “explain how doing nothing worked out for Hoover?” With that Jackson won the debate.
    Reagan’s policies were just not and would never be popular in America. Come the next debate, the last chance he had to win the presidency as the economy started to look like it was going to recover, he switched from economics to social issues. He came out hard against the Equal Rights Amendment and tried to appeal to southern conservatives with his opposition to abortion. No one knows what the hell Reagan was thinking by coming out against the ERA as moderates fled his campaign. While he did gain conservative southerners moderates on the west coast, Dakotas, and rust belt flat out rejected his opposition to the ERA. Come the final debate Jackson once again clearly won with fast and sharp rebuttals. The debate over the ERA dominated the debate and Jackson used this to appeal to liberals who were riding the fence on whether to vote for him. He came out strongly for it and called for it to be ratified. To the question on whether there’d be a draft he replied “no” and said women would be exempt from the draft. Coming out of the debate Jackson hadn’t man handled Reagan like many expected or wished for but secured his lead over Reagan.

    In the final days of the campaign there was no doubt that Jackson was going to win. Him and Harris crossed the country with huge rallies that even Reagan couldn’t match. Reagan begged Rockefeller to campaign with him, but Rockefeller refused. He hadn’t forgotten the sin Reagan committed when he primaried him. Reagan’s campaign went to hell in those final days as people realized that Jackson had the election in the bag. Both despite this hit the South hard with Jackson seeking to keep the New Deal Coalition alive with a dominant win in both the South and North while Reagan saw the South as the key to victory. Reagan would crack a smile when news broke that he won South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri but that smile wouldn’t last


    Jackson/Harris 371 EV, 50% PV
    Reagan/Bush 167 EV, 44% PV

    Reagan by the end of the night was not in good shape. When state after state was called for Jackson Reagan slumped down in his chair as he realized that his brand of conservatism was dead. It lost two elections now and despite making gains in the South him and Goldwater didn’t come close to winning. However, it could’ve been worse. California only went to Reagan by 22,000 votes and North Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico, Virginia, and Nevada were decided by less than 2%. If Jackson had demolished Reagan in the final debate things would’ve been far worse. He would’ve become another Goldwater. Jackson managed to pull together the New Deal coalition for one last ride. This allowed him to hold both the south and north and allowed one last New Deal president to fight for the working class.


    Reagan giving his concession speech.

    Rockefeller had a different reaction than most Americans. To him the election was bittersweet. He wished he would’ve won the Republican Primary and served another four years as president but unfortunately for him and America things were different. But at least like Goldwater, Reagan had been defeated by a reasonable candidate. America to him would have a guiding hand until a reasonable centrist became the nominee in 1980. Rockefeller looked forward to seeing the moderates win out. Whether it was Mathias or Cianci he didn’t care. Now he was not happy about Jackson becoming president per say but Reagan and the conservative wing being hopefully discredited. Being a humble man however, he wished silently Reagan and Helms had as much enjoyment as he did from Reagan’s lost. Rockefeller would be the luckiest Republican president for thirty years as he was the only one to not be murdered, be the most hated man in America, or removed.

    Unfortunately, Rockefeller’s remaining time on Earth were not what he expected. Jackson’s administration caused more unintended problems than he thought and all he could think about was who could fix the problems? Before his death from a heart attack in 1979 he met with Buddy Cianci and from one New Englander to another he gave him advice on a presidential run. Unbeknown to him this would be the greatest mistake of his life.

    Down ballot the Democrats won as big as in the presidential election. They held California and Utah where future secretary of state John V. Tunney defeated Alphonzo E. Bell Jr and Frank Moss defeated future Attorney General Orrin Hatch 49-47, attributed to moderate dissatisfaction within the Republican Party who either voted Libertarian or stayed home. Furthermore, Congressman Jerry Litton defeated John Danforth and Bill Green flipped Pennsylvania. Still, the Republicans had some successes. Harry F. Byrd, a conservative independent defeated Elmo Zumwalt 54-40, Bill Brock retained his senate seat, and Wyoming and New Mexico flipped to the Republicans.
    Last edited:
    Chapter IV: Jacksonian Democracy
  • The Jackson administration is remembered as a mix bag amongst the American people. If you walk around a Catholic neighborhood, you hear a fiery hatred of the man and immediate accusations of mass murder for the sake of US interests in the region. A definite example of a man betraying Christian values for the sake of anti-communist paranoia to Catholics who's been dubbed him the real killer of Saint Oscar Romero by Dorothy Day and the second coming of Judas by Alex Jones. You also hear from those in the pro-life movement of a man whose support for Roe v. Wade, neoconservative foreign policy, and arming of far-right death squads in El Salvador and Nicaragua directly led to millions of deaths, including millions of babies. On the other hand, if you talk to liberals, he's a hero to the working class for being the man who revitalized the New Deal in America and crippled the conservatism of Goldwater and Reagan once and for all. Furthermore, amongst war hawks he's an undisputed legend who principally opposed communism wherever he saw it, whether in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, or Latin America, whether standing with anti-communist parties or sending a vast array of weapons to anti-communist organizations. What is undebatable is that Jackson's legacy won't be truthfully examined anytime soon. So, it's up to Americans to make their own decision on his presidency which for a one termer is certainly complicated.


    President Henry M. Jackson. Hero or thug?

    Jackson’s inauguration speech was a full-throated attack on the economic crisis that America faced at that present time. With him proclaiming “there’ll be a fair society for all of God’s children.” When he got into the White House, he and Harris got to work on fixing the US economy. First, they passed the Hawking-Humphrey Act in February, a bill aimed at providing full employment to Americans. It was passed in the House overwhelmingly 270-165 and the senate 73-20. The bill itself called for a balanced budget, a balanced trade, and the government to restrict employment to 3%. This boosted the Jackson administration’s popularity amongst the poor and middle class despite conservative attacks on it being a pipe dream, a fact that was unfortunately true. The Hawking-Humphrey Act did little to curb the economic crisis faced by the US at the time as it didn’t have any binding policies in it.

    Off the success of passing, it though Jackson worked to complete the greatest dream of the New Deal Democrats. One that every Democrat from Roosevelt to Johnson wished they could achieve. Universal Healthcare. To Democrats this was the magma opus of the New Deal. A program that was tested in Europe and considered a resounding success by every country who implemented it. Yet despite its clear benefits America hadn’t. Healthcare reform hadn’t even succeeded since Medicare and Medicaid were passed despite the best efforts of ironically the most hated president since Hoover, Richard M. Nixon. But Watergate got in his way, and he would be consumed by that scandal. Now it was Jackson’s turn to try. Him, Harris, and Ted Kennedy met in the White House to hash out the plan. They came up with three plans. The first one was the complete nationalization of healthcare, or as it was known as the “Radical Plan.” It was the least popular as conservatives and moderates would surely call it communism and attack it for expanding the government drastically. The second was the “Jackson Plan” which called for a system that simply set up a state ran healthcare system that would negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies like in Germany. This system didn’t nationalize healthcare but would certainly run private healthcare providers out of business and make the government ran healthcare system more advance and cheaper with no copays or deductibles via massive government spending. The third was the “Compromise Plan” which set up a public option rather than a universal healthcare system. This moderate plan gave millions of uninsured American's healthcare but allowed big pharma wiggle room to price gouge and cut out a decent chunk of the pie in the healthcare market and would make uninsured folks have more affordable healthcare.

    Needless to say, Kennedy and Jackson quickly decided on the Jackson Plan as they believed it would have a better chance of passing. Conservative backlash was obvious from the start as they decried the plan as “socialistic” despite it being proposed by the notoriously anti-communist Jackson. Folks like Paul Laxalt and Jesse Helms compared it to the Soviet healthcare system for a quick and easy political point with conservatives and moderates. Supporters of the Jackson Plan quickly pointed out how countries like Sweden and the UK, who were notably far from communist or socialist had a similar system. Despite universal healthcare being less socialist than just a corner stone of healthy social democracies the attack stuck as conservative southern senators such as James Eastland, John C. Stennis, Fritz Hollings, and Walter D. Huddleston came out against the proposal.

    Jackson wasn’t too happy but was reminded about the conservative opposition to the New Deal and refused to panic like Hubert Humphrey. Instead, he sat down with the senators who either publicly or secretly opposed the Jackson Plan to try and convince them of how it would actually benefit them politically. Of course, senators Eastland and Stennis were unworkable as their concerns over “lazy welfare abusers” (a dog whistle for blacks) was a nonstarter as Jackson supported the rights of African Americans. Hollings and Huddleston were easier to understand as they mainly were concerned with their political careers and had ideological objections to universal healthcare. Jackson promised that they’d be rewarded handsomely amongst the working class who would support the plan as they saved money on healthcare and had no fear of medical bankruptcy. Still Hollings was hesitant as Thurmond and the South Carolina Republicans came out strongly against the bill, calling it socialized medicine.

    At the end of the day Jackson was far from the 60 necessary votes needed for universal healthcare despite his attempts. Vice President Harris took a different approach. He visited the office of any Democrat who opposed the Jackson Plan and had a little chat about it. A little chat about how they had government provided healthcare while their constituents were left out to dry during a recession and struggled to put food on the table while paying for healthcare. To Harris this wasn’t merely completing the ultimate goal of turning America into a full-fledged social democracy but a matter of life and death. People to him should have their basic human rights such as healthcare taken care of and not have to ration medicine or worry about the bill they paid for at the doctor's office.


    Vice President Fred Harris, the father of American social democracy.

    The chats where often tough as he debated for sometimes hours at a time with his fellow Democrats who failed to see the hypocrisy of taking government provided healthcare while the poor struggled financially whenever they got sick or broke a leg. Often times Harris went to bed angrier than when he woke up. In the House the Jackson Plan was introduced by Congressman Rick Nolan of Minnesota and in the senate by Ted Kennedy. The Nolan-Kennedy bill started to make its way through committee.

    Meanwhile in Washington Paul Laxalt distinguished himself as the most popular and vocal critic besides Jesse Helms of the Nolan-Kennedy Bill. His attacks resonated more with moderates and conservatives for the sheer fact they weren’t focused on race baiting like Helms was. Laxalt gave a calm response to the healthcare debate by attacking universal healthcare as “putting an essential industry in the hands of corrupt, untrustworthy, government officials.” This easily resonated with voters as hatred of the government had grown in the aftermath of Watergate and Vietnam. If the people didn’t trust the government to be transparent or wage war, then why would they trust them to run healthcare? Conservatives rallied against the proposal of universal healthcare with the belief if the government put its hands on healthcare, it would be riddled with corruption, inefficiency, and unaccountable to the people. As winter turned into spring and spring into summer Jackson’s healthcare plan failed to get the 60 votes necessary to pass it in the senate. They had the votes in the House where Tip O'Neill managed to bully more than enough representatives into supporting the Nolan-Kennedy Bill. If it was voted on it would’ve passed 240-195 but Jackson wanted to save himself an embarrassing political defeat.

    Negotiations were restarted by Jackson and moderate senators. The negotiations took place as the Supreme Court re-instituted the death penalty and Jackson announced the federal government would resume executions of federal prisoners. This gave him a small boost in the polls which gave him more leverage.

    He’d get distracted however with his first major foreign policy crisis. In Iraq Ruhollah Khomeini lived in exile and was walking to his house when a car’s windows opened. Fifteen shots were fired, and Khomeini was pronounced dead at the scene and Persia was set alight. The murder of Khomeini had obviously been a hit job by the Shah, which was supported by Iraq and the US. Khomeini had long been viewed as a man who destabilized Persia and a threat to peace but things drastically backfired. Immediately Muslims gathered in mosques to pray for Khomeini’s soul and preachers gave fiery sermons calling for the end to the Shahdom. The first protests were started by the People Mujahideen and Islamist students in Tehran. The military was quickly sent in to crush the massive protests and this nearly ended the Persia. The violent repression caused Persians everywhere to riot against the Shah in a grassroots attempt to cast the Shahdom into the dustbin of history. For two weeks Persia was consumed by rioting and terrorism as the military failed to control the situation. At one point Jackson believed the Shah would’ve been overthrown and was seemingly proven right on September 11th, 1977.


    Shah Mohommed Reza of Persia.

    On September 11th, fifteen rogue members of the Persian army abandoned their posts and attacked the home of the Shah. For three hours the fifteen Islamists battled with the military in an attempt to kill the Shah. Fortunately for the Shah and his family this failed as his bodyguards managed to hold off the attack before two hundred soldiers arrived and pinned down the attackers. In the end all fifteen of the attackers were killed along with twenty soldiers, three maids, and seven bodyguards.

    Soon after the Persian military, aided by advisors from the US Marines and CIA crushed the rioting in Tehran. The beating heart of the riots was ripped out and the rioting decreased. The 1977 Persian riots weren’t the last of Persia’s violence as Massoud Rajav and Ali Khameni went into hiding as they attempted to rebuild their respective movements. Rajav would be the most successful as the People Mujahedin had an increase in recruitment due to its anti-imperialist positions fitting well with the opposition, who saw the Shah as a US puppet.
    Furthermore, the 70s would provide the conditions needed for discontent with liberal capitalism. Social democratic and liberal countries all over the world faced horrible economic conditions that allowed the rise of groups such as the People Mujahedin and various Islamic socialist movements in the Middle East, defined by their opposition to monarchy, the United States, imperialism, capitalism, and Israel. But more on that in the future.

    The rioting in Persia, which killed around four hundred people according to international estimates caused the economy to take a small dip as worries of a violent revolution spooked the market. But the market recovered thankfully to the Jackson administration. Jackson’s greatest mistake though was nearing as he planned a visit to Panama in February 1978. Right now, though he put that on the back burner despite Omar Torrijos’s protests. Jackson wasn’t worried though as he believed that Torrijos wouldn’t be able to cause any problems. He was the dictator of a small country after all, and the US had the greatest military on earth.


    President Jackson campaigning for universal healthcare in Louisiana

    Before the trip to Panama Jackson desperately wanted to pass healthcare reform. He needed this big win for his administration before the midterms. The problem was he couldn’t get the moderates on board with the Nolan-Kennedy Bill due to the conservative campaign against government healthcare. Soon Jackson recognized only a compromise was going to pass anything much to his dislike. So, he approached Kennedy on compromising on healthcare with a public option. It took a lot of convincing, but Kennedy did come around, seeing how America was unfortunately not ready for universal healthcare. The bill would be called the American Health and Security Act (AHSA) and expanded Medicaid and Medicare while providing a public option. The House passed it overwhelmingly 253-182 even as conservatives such as Larry McDonald and Phil Crane blasted it as a step towards socialism. In the senate after a month of debate and an attempted filibuster by Bill Brock the bill came up for a vote. The sixty votes needed to pass the bill were guaranteed it was believed and the attempt to pass it succeeded. The AHSA was passed on January 20th, 1978 and signed into law that day. A resounding victory for Jackson who went on a victory lap. He proclaimed at the signing that “the New Deal has been completed” though in reality people weren’t too happy. The liberals wanted a full-fledged universal healthcare system while the conservatives were frothing at the mouths for such a brazen and large expansion of the government.

    But to Jackson his happiness couldn’t be understated. Despite him having to compromise he still expanded healthcare to cover most Americans and passed something that would surely help the average worker. He had expanded the dream of the New Deal and for a little bit it looked like he was unstoppable. Jackson was two years away from re-election, but he felt like he already had it in the bag.

    Now it was time to meet with Omar Torrijos whose calls had been ignored by Jackson for better part of a year. Jackson arrived in Panama City on February 8th to discuss the issue of the Panama Canal. Torrijos wanted the canal for Panama but was willing to wait a couple of years to get it. He came in with a compromise proposal of gradually giving Panama the canal over to Panama over a ten-year period. Jackson and Secretary of State flat out refused to give up the Panama Canal, believing it was too important to American interests. The meeting quickly and abruptly ended as Jackson and Torrijos believed there was no further room for discussion.

    Jackson left happily, viewing Torrijos as a minor nuance that had been delt with. Now he could get to protecting the environment and expanding education access with Secretary of the Treasury Edmund Muskie. Until he was rushed from a meeting with Pennsylvania governor Milton Shapp. The TV was turned on and Jackson couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The Panama Canal had been attacked with explosives and smoke was now billowing out of the canal. Reports from Panama indicated numerous US soldiers were dead and had engaged in several skirmishes with Panamanian scouts. Panamanian soldiers blitzed US soldiers who managed to repel the attack but suffered heavy casualties and were only saved by well-timed airstrikes from the USAAF. Jackson angrily told the American people on national television about the situation and that the embassy had been evacuated. His speech ended with an angry denouncement of Torrijos and announcement of war between Panama and the United States. America only five years after Vietnam was back to war.


    US soldiers during the invasion of Panama (1978)

    Soldier near the Panama Canal shortly before being ambushed and killed (1979)
    Chapter V: Things Fall Apart
  • The American people were exhausted. In five years, they saw the Vietnam War end in an American defeat, a president resigns, one murdered, and the worst recession since the Great Depression. Things weren’t going to well and Americans wanted stability. So, you can imagine how pissed people were when Jackson declared war on Panama. A majority went into patriotic mode and supported the war but that was quickly going to change. Tens of thousands of Americans protested the war as another quagmire like Vietnam. Originally Jackson and Kirkpatrick just laughed in the faces of the anti-war protesters. Panama was smaller than most US states and they firmly believed it be a short war.

    They were wrong. When the first American troops attacked Panama City, the battle was relatively easy. American marines quickly made a push to capture the port and quickly did. The Panamanian positions were poorly enforced and made prime targets for the USAAF who’s bombings were followed up with a ground attack by the marines. After two days the marines established control of 25% of Panama City and the first American tanks rolled into Panama. The American tanks cut through the Panamanian Army like a hot knife through butter, securing the city completely in a week. In total one hundred Americans were killed compared to 2,500 Panamanians. A relatively bloodless affair compared to Vietnam, but things weren’t going to stay that way. Torrijos and the military dug into the thick rainforests. As American soldiers made their way down the Panama Canal they were attacked from the forest and soon enough the fighting became bloody. The soldiers weren’t trained to fight in thick rainforest but to fight in Poland or Germany in case of a war with the Warsaw Pact. This made them unable to effectively counter the attacks and cost them hundreds of lives. When Americans troops attempted to crush the Panamanian soldiers, they would be ambushed more often than not and lose scores of men each time.

    Even worse was that the Panamanians had learned a thing or two about the Vietnam War and promptly started to set up booby traps for unsuspecting Americans. The only saving grace of the Panama War was that the country was small and allowed the USAAF to bomb the country into the stone age, crippling the Panamanian Army’s ability to wage war but understandably angering the people of Panama. In addition to that there was no Ho Chi Minh Trail that America couldn’t destroy. Soon enough the Panamanian Army suffered a serious blow when Marcos Justine, an opportunistic general who craved power and wealth uncovered Torrijos position in exchange for becoming dictator of Panama. His position was promptly bombed and Torrijos was killed in a massive airstrike in the village of Xiomara, killing along with Torrijos thirty civilians and three soldiers. Jackson proclaimed victory prematurely as Torrijos became a martyr for Panamanians. Despite Torrijos’s death the resistance movement had just only begun. Left wing militias under the banner of the Pan Resistance Front (FRS) which called for the overthrow of the Justine's government. Justine could’ve pacified the FRS if he had any care for the people of Panama. Instead, he used the position as president to launder money to himself and live in luxury in his country and get rich as Panamanians suffered from fighting between US soldiers and FRS rebels.


    Dictator of Panama Marcos Justine (2004)

    This was only the beginning of South America’s woes as Nicaragua descended further into civil war. The Somoza regime had become increasingly unpopular with their draconian rule destroying most of its support. The Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) attempted an offensive into the capital of Managua and was met with initial success. That was until the US poured hundreds of millions in aid towards the Somoza regime. With the help of numerous militia groups backed by the CIA began a campaign of resistance against the FSLN in the territory they controlled. This allowed the Somoza regime to stabilize the situation and set up a defensive line outside of Managua. Of course, the militias soon enough committed numerous human rights violations with them committing such war crimes as massacring and burning down villages and torturing those who opposed them. At that point the situation worsened to a bloody stalemate with atrocities being committed by right wing militias and being retaliated against with more war crimes by the FSLN. The situation spiraled out of control in South America and things were only getting worse as more US backed militias sprung up to oppose socialism.

    The Somoza regime in an attempt to regain some popularity announced elections in 1982. Though, it was recognized by most as an attempt to gain more foreign aid which succeeded. Things weren’t getting better though as nations started to choose sides in the conflict. Honduras supported the Somoza Regime and the Justine Regime followed suit while Costa Rica and Mexico supported the FSLN. Now many thought that things couldn’t get worse, but things did. In order to prevent a civil war Carlos Romero, dictator of El Salvador attempted to negotiate some reforms with pro-democracy and socialist groups. The socialists and pro-democracy groups saw this as a chance to strike a blow against dictatorship and began a series of massive protests and strikes. Romero soon enough began to lose control of the capital when soldiers opened fire with live ammunition, killing upwards of one hundred people. Romero’s actions caused the socialist and communists founded the National Democratic Front (FDN) which began a campaign of violent resistance against the Romero regime. With the outbreak of violence, a coup was attempted by moderate generals in the El Salvadorian Army. Led by Adolfo Arnoldo Majano the coup went off on May 2nd, 1978. The coup took a turn for the worst however when Romero was accidentally killed in a shootout between his bodyguards and pro-coup soldiers. After the murder of Romero, the coup collapsed but so did the current government. This led to leader of the opposition Guillermo Ungo seizing power on a platform of stability and reform.

    He was backed by moderates in the military and considered a reformist and a social democrat. His attempts to reform the nation faced internal opposition from the military and the left and right for his moderate stances. During his short three-month term, he attempted to set up fair elections and come to peace with the FDN. To prevent more violence agrarian reforms were implemented much to the hatred of American interests and right-wing members of the government. Due to these attempts to cater to the left Ungo’s right wing cabinet members resigned. The fraught political situation took a deadly turn when members of the far-right murdered Ungo while he was on a morning walk. The left saw this as an attempted coup and a renewed offensive by the FDN was initiated after the “National Peace Junta” (JNP) was set up by Jose G. Garcia, the minister of national defense. In reality the assassination of Gullermo Ungo was not a coup but an assassination by supporters a man who would notoriety for his crimes against humanity. The man dubbed the “Hitler of the Americas” Roberto D’Aubuisson was a leader of the fascist National Patriotic Organization (OPN). He denounced the Garcia government as a communist dictatorship and set up death squads to fight against socialism and communism. As the FDN began attacking government forces and tried to overthrow the government the OPN joined the fight against the FDN. This led to the OPN committing numerous crimes against humanity, with them murdering scores of suspected socialists, indigenous people, and priests who opposed the violence.


    Roberto D'Aubuisson. One of the most hated men in Latin America before his execution.

    By August El Salvador was in a full-fledged civil war between the center right JNP, a coalition of socialists and communists in the FDN, and the fascist OPN. Seeing this the US naturally began to support the OPN and JNP with guns and advisors. To Americans it was amazing how anyone thought this was a good idea. The OPN began a campaign of terror against priests and nuns who dared to oppose the OPN’s reign of terror against the poor and anyone remotely sane enough to oppose them. Archbishop Oscar Romero was the most vocal critic of the OPN and the violence that consumed the country, in which he denounced torture and mass murder. His fiery radio sermons against US violence in Panama and Nicaragua, poverty, violence, and death squads were incredibly brave. He stood as an example of a man who faced death and fought against injustice wherever he saw it. Unfortunately, this earned him a spot on the OPN’s kill list. Shortly after Sergio Pignedoli became pope in August, taking the name of Pope Clement XV he visited Romero in San Salvador to discuss the violence. Shortly after he left, fifteen members of the OPN entered Romero’s church during one of his sermons and went up to him with AK-47s. He was shot dead, and the murderers fled the city. Clement XV was shocked by this brazen murder and denounced the far-right violence in Latin America. At his funeral Clement XV was planning to attend when the JNP declared it under threat of communist infiltration. Clement XV was warned by the JNP of a possible assassination attempt by the FDN, but he knew who was really out to get him. He decided against it and sure enough JNP soldiers opened fire on the funeral after a riot was declared. Thirty people were killed, and hundreds injured.


    Oscar Romero, the Martyr of San Salvador

    The Catholic Church denounced both the JNP and OPN as authoritarians and mass murders. Clement XV gave a tearful denunciation of Jose Garcia and Roberto D’Aubuisson in a sermon in Brazil saying “any good Catholic would oppose the pro-death nature of the JNP and OPN. These thugs who attack priests for peace and funerals are no better than Benito Mussolini and his black shirts, who I saw with my own eyes and their destructive actions being replicated in El Salvador.” By the end of the year Jose Garcia was officially excommunicated for ordering the massacre at Romero’s funeral, his ties to death squads who murdered priests, and various human rights abuses on December 29th, 1978.

    The FDN experienced a surge in support amid the murder of Oscar Romero, who was upheld as the Martyr of San Salvador. FDN forces tried to move into the outskirts of San Salvador, spooking the JNP and OPN into a temporary truce. The following month saw the FDN fight from village to village in an attempt to overthrow the JNP. Despite their numbers the FDN’s offensive stalled out when the USAAF was ordered to bomb FDN forces to provide cover for the JNP. The FDN was caught off guard by this and was unprepared for the airstrikes, causing heavy losses and the ability of the OPN and JNP to regain ground. The OPN during this time began its campaign of antisemitism. D’Aubuisson had long viewed Jews as purveyors of communism and blamed them for the rise of the FDN. He used antisemitism to provide a scapegoat for the OPN and blame El Salvador’s woes on. Come November members of a OPN allied militia started a campaign of terror against the few synagogues in San Salvador. During service a synagogue in San Salvador was bombed, killing fifteen people. The next day the militia attacked three more, killing a combined fifty people and burned all three of them down. The Green Terror had begun. The men who attacked the synagogues were wearing green shirts when they attacked, and it became a symbol of antisemitism. The small Jewish community in El Salvador, which had around 300 members quickly fled with Israel funding the evacuation. The Green Shirts rejoiced but Israel wasn’t so much done. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin fiercely denounced the OPN and despite being opposed the USSR joined in economically supporting the FDN due to their opposition to the OPN and Green Shirts. The Green Shirts weren’t done though with them attacking churches and suspected criminals. Anyone suspected of advocating peace or suspected of any crime (provided it wasn’t one of the OPN or Green Shirts crimes against humanity), no matter how small was shot on the spot. By the end of the year over 500 people were murdered by the Green Shirts despite JNP soldiers retaliating with attacks on the Green Shirts. Despite numbering only five hundred people they struck terror into Salvadorians for nearly three years. By the time their reign of terror was ended 5,000-8,000 people were butchered and scores of churches were burned to the ground.

    Seeing the violence in El Salvador the FSLN in Nicaragua began plans to intervene. The three reasons for this were:

    1. They were disgusted by the particularly brazen and brutal human rights violations by the JNP and OPN.
    2. They viewed the FDN as a sister revolution that needed to be supported.
    3. They saw the potential in having another partner in the military conflict. If they could secure the military support of El Salvador this could break the stalemate. A risky gamble but with neither side being able to launch an effective offensive it was the best option in the mind of the FSLN.

    With several justifications Joaquin Cuadra commanded an FSLN force of 1,000 experienced soldiers flew into FND territory under the disguise of being cargo planes filled with medical supplies over two months. The FSLN was welcomed into El Salvador and were sent to the outskirts of San Salvador where they would be able to effectively break the JNP-OPN forces.


    FSLN soldiers near Managua (1979)

    In Panama the FRS continued its resistance against the Justine regime and the US with guerrilla warfare that killed thousands. The defining moment of the war was when on Christmas eve five FRS soldiers attempted an assault on the presidential palace. Security was relaxed for Christmas at the palace and armed with AK-47s and an RPG the FRS soldiers would be able to make a pretty good attempt at Justine's life. The Christmas Eve raid began at seven in the morning with a soldier opening fire on the soldiers protecting the palace. Another one pulled out the RPG and fired it at the palace. The explosion threw Justine to the ground and started a fire. Next the soldiers blitzed the presidential palace and tried to dislodge the bodyguards who fired back. Within three minutes two of the soldiers were killed after getting shot in the head but the three trudged on with shocking speed. They made it into the palace before being pinned down by guards in the entrance. Either way Justine had already been evacuated but his wife was less lucky. She was shot in the chest by a stray bullet and subsequently died from her wounds.

    The Christmas Eve Raid was a failure for the FRS as they failed to kill Justine, but it showed how little control the US and Justine had. Americans saw it as another quagmire and come January despite the freezing cold fifty thousand Americans protested the war in Panama in DC. Despite this the FRS still faced a steep hill to overthrow Justine as more bombs were dropped on Panama each day.

    With the first year of the Latin American Crisis covered now onto how it affected America.

    For starters with the Panama War, it was initially popular until the brutality showed itself. It took around three months for the initial popularity of the war to ward off and soon enough protests on campuses were started. As more Americans came home in body bags the more unpopular the war became and the economy was still in shambles with the Panama Canal being severely damaged, with constant attacks by FRS forces. Jackson’s popularity soon decreased as Americans realized the war was going to be prolonged and the Jackson administration revised its estimate from the war lasting six months to two years. Even worse for Jackson Congress attempted to ban the government from funding the Somoza's and right-wing death squads in Central America which Jackson still continued to do after it passed. But luckily for him Americans didn’t pay attention to Nicaragua or El Salvador at first. Americans only started to pay attention when the JNP murdered a group of nuns in San Salvador for alleged communist activity. This caused the American news to pick up the story and investigate Jackson’s support for the JNP, including sending advisors to support the JNP and even the OPN. The bloody El Salvador Civil War was soon a major focal point in America as the FDN made gains and started to try to capture San Salvador. Catholics paid attention due to the mass murder of priests and nun and others as they feared a socialist El Salvador. Jackson’s popularity went down as the FSLN and FDN made gains and as priests were found full of bullets and tortured.


    Anti-war protestors in Lansing Michigan (1978)

    Even worse for Jackson was the refugee crisis created by the Latin American Emergency as people fled to America to escape the violence. Jackson came down against illegal immigration hard, but Americans blamed Jackson for the quagmire in Latin America. Voters on the border states voted primarily Republican in the 1978 midterms and their political beliefs were cemented by thousands of refugees arriving on the border.

    Governor Bob Clement of Texas attacked Jackson’s inability to destroy the socialist movements in Latin America and handle the refugee crisis. His tough on illegal immigration rhetoric captivated the Republican Party and became a major talking point for the party. The worst part for Jackson was come 1979 there was no sign of the Latin American Emergency getting any better. In fact, it wouldn’t until the end of the Mexican Revolution of 1991 when President Arturo Durazo Moreno was deposed by the socialist Cuauthemoc Cardenas in a bloodless revolution that seemed to end the violence in Latin America as the socialists were allowed to win finally.
    Last edited:
    Chapter VI: A Tale of Three Mayors
  • Buddy Cianci after delivering the keynote speech at the 1976 RNC realized he was destined for greater things. He knew at that moment he wanted to be bigger than just another mayor of Providence Rhode Island. Come the inauguration of Jackson he knew he wanted to become president. The power a single man had appealed to him, and he firmly believed he could be one of the elite men to become president. After the inauguration he visited the Rockefeller residence at 810th avenue in New York City. There he asked him some questions on getting elected in a traditionally democratic state. Rockefeller, who despite adultery and the Attica Prison Uprising won every election in New York he ran in and was an expert at getting elected. Rockefeller told him to target moderate Democrats, appeal to African Americans, and emphasize law and order. With this Cianci took this advice to heart and when he was leaving to return to Providence Rockefeller promised to campaign for him if he ran for higher office.

    Come the 1978 midterms Cianci had decided to run for the governorship of Rhode Island which was held by J. Joseph Garrahy who was originally popular as governor of Rhode Island. Unfortunately, for him and America he didn’t stay that popular. First of all, Rhode Island was struggling economically as mill closures damaged the working class and were ramping up. But the nail in the coffin for his governorship was not his fault but an ill-timed travel to Washington to discuss arms control with Vice President Harris. Garrahy was a staunch advocate for arm controls in order to lessen the risk of a nuclear holocaust and when Harris asked for someone to discuss about a potential treaty with the USSR over the matter (that would later be signed during Cianci's term in 1983) Garrahy was the first suggested by representative Edward Beard. Garrahy, two days before the Blizzard of 1978 headed down to Washington to discuss the matter with Harris when the blizzard hit.


    J. Joseph Garrahy poster for his 1976 bid for the governorship.

    When the people of Rhode Island needed their governor most he was not there. This understandably did not bode well for Rhode Island who looked to see acting governor Thomas R. DiLuglio visibly distressed on their TVs instead of the calm Garrahy. The whole situation made the governorship look like a joke as Rhode Islanders panicked and their governor wasn’t even in the state. When he got the news, he tried to go back to Rhode Island by car, but it took a week to get there safely. By the end of the crisis DiLuglio had an approval rating of 30% and Garrahy looked careless and incompetent to a decent chunk of Rhode Islanders. Cianci’s reaction was calm and orderly as he ordered the police to help clear roads and direct traffic all while visiting concerned citizens at soup kitchens and at the police station. The media ate up Cianci’s reaction to the Blizzard of 1978 and portrayed him as a caring mayor, ironic considering his presidency. The man looked like a savior as he prayed in church and greeted people on the doorsteps of the police station. Compared to Garrahy and DiLuglio Cianci was a calm hero and a man who proved how much he really cared about the people.


    A scene of the Great Blizard of 1978 that could be seen in most of New England in 1978

    To make matters even worse for Garrahy the Panama War sparked just as the campaign began. While originally producing a rally around the flag effect that had him leading by 20% the unpopularity of the war led to him being negatively affected as a casualty of Jackson’s neoconservatism. The closing of the Panama Canal caused Rhode Island’s economy to suffer heavily from the recession or as Cianci called them the “Jackson Shocks.” The Jackson Shocks made people, especially the progressives and libertarians of Rhode Island view the Democratic Party as the party of sending Americans to die in useless and idiotic foreign wars. This made the campaign an absolutely brutal affair for the Democrats as former mayor of Providence Joseph A. Doorley Jr ran as an independent for the governorship that year. Running as the anti-war candidate in the election he managed to pick up around 10% of the vote as progressives flocked to any vaguely anti-war candidate in the election. Doorley certainly would’ve took more of the vote if he was not known for his incompetent and corrupt tenure as mayor of Providence.

    Cianci hit the campaign trail hard, using his notoriety to bring in a massive war chest and high-profile politicians like Nelson Rockefeller to campaign for him. He positioned himself as a moderate who would end Democratic hegemony in Rhode Island just like he did in Providence. Cianci’s campaigned in traditionally democratic areas where his charisma enamored voters. Whatever he talked about on the campaign trail, whether baseball, corruption, or his time as mayor the people listened. He stopped at churches, restaurants, and banks almost daily as he attacked the Democrats for their poor handling of the economy and the incompetent handling of the Panama War. The voters who were sick of war yet sick of Nixonian and Reaganite Republicans found their match in Buddy Cianci. The man viscously attacked corruption and crime in his campaign ads. He campaigned with allies such as James Buckley, Nelson Rockefeller, and Lowell Weicker against Garrahy and the Democrats. Come election day Cianci easily won with 46% of the vote to Garrahy’s 42%. Cianci was now the governor of Rhode Island and was immediately given front runner status for the 1980 Republican nomination. At his inauguration he gave a fiery speech that called for the dismantling of corruption, prosecuting the Patriarca crime family, and cutting taxes.


    Buddy Cianci celebrating his election as governor of Rhode Island

    In his first year as governor, he would hound the Patriarca crime family with the help of the Justice Department and cut taxes by 10%. The man portrayed himself as a crusader against corruption and the absurdly powerful federal government. Comparisons have been made to at the time fellow mayor Dennis Kucinich, a man known for revolutionizing American socialism in his later years. But Kucinich would disagree despite him winning his first term as mayor in 1979 due to his populist rhetoric against the pro-war and pro-business Ed Feighan. Kucinich like Cianci benefited from the general dislike of Jackson’s neoconservative agenda and alienation of liberals, blacks, and Catholics. During his tenure from 1979-1986 when he resigned to become governor of Ohio Kucinich quickly made allies in the local Catholic churches and labor movements. His tenure was a golden age for labor unions as whenever they had disputes Kucinich was always one of the firsts to call up and put his full political capital behind them. Kucinich has been viewed by many as like Cianci a menace but one who was effective in higher office and an actual anti-corruption crusader and man of the people. Despised by conservatives for his economic policies like Cianci he remains despised by Republicans but unlike Cianci beloved by the poor and progressive Democrats.

    Cianci though in the meantime was the more notable of the two as in 1979 he began to position himself for a possible run for president, one that was cheered on by conservatives and moderates alike in the Republican Party. But he would find out swiftly the campaign trail wouldn’t be as easy as he thought. Not everything could be earned with charisma and pseudo-populism and somethings were too big to cover up.

    In San Francisco George Moscone was finishing his term as mayor of San Francisco with decent popularity. During his time the gay rights movement flourished and Moscone supported the rights of the downtrodden, whether disabled or gay he was a key ally who fought for what he believed was right. That was before he was murdered by Dan White in 1978. While meeting with city supervisor Harvey Milk. The meeting ended and Milk went out to his car when he heard five shots from the building. City councilor Dan White murdered Moscone in cold blood. The following day despite Dianne Feinstein, a centrist Democrat within the San Francisco City Council succeeded Moscone as mayor after she ran the main opposition to his tenure as mayor. In between 1978 and 1979 she was considered a lame duck as the progressives led by Milk planned a comeback in the wake of the assassination of George Moscone. Milk like Kucinich and Cianci was an incredibly charismatic figure and one the three mayors in recent American history to make a splash far beyond local politics. Milk’s ability to organize voters and volunteers was unparalleled by any person or organization since. Even Jim Hightower and Charlotte Pritt have admitted they wish they had the skills of Milk. Come the 1979 San Francisco mayoral election it was a no brainer on who was going to win. Feinstein was a boring centrist who was watering down progressive legislation. Milk was beloved on the either hand by both the LGBTQ+ community, blacks, organized labor, and progressives in San Francisco who saw him as an underdog who fought against justice and would always have your back no matter what. In a time of unparalleled crisis Feinstein's centrist approach just wasn't popular. People were hungry for a left-wing populist candidate and one who stood for justice rather than bland centrism.


    Harvey Milk campaigning for mayor of San Francisco (1979)

    Milk managed to brush the centrist Feinstein aside due to his grassroots network pulling votes from every neighborhood and spreading the Milk campaign to even conservative and homophobic parts of the city. One of the ways Milk set himself apart was his open opposition to death squads in Latin America, attacking the OPN for its war crimes and welcoming Salvadorians who were victims of the violence. This made him a surprising ally of the Catholic Worker Movement, who while small appreciated his solidarity with the murdered priests of El Salvador and returned the favor by campaigning for him vigorously due to his pro-labor and anti-war positions. Milk was opposed by social conservatives and business interests alike but the coalition of organized labor, anti-war folks organized by the Catholic Worker Movement, blacks, LGBTQ+ folks, and progressives gave him a resounding victory in the second round with 52% to Feinstein’s 48%. The legacy of George Moscone would not be forgotten, and Milk would chart San Francisco on a voyage of progressivism that would collimate in the election of Matt Gonzalez in 2003, who was endorsed by Milk and his coalition against the moderate prosecutor Kamala Harris. Milk’s term as mayor would be a conservative nightmare come true as despite fierce opposition from state politicians such as Bob Dornan and Bobby Fischer and even national politicians such as Jesse Helms. Milk would get the last laugh. As Helms was on his death bed gay marriage was legalized and Milk was on the steps of the supreme court crying tears of joy as he could finally marry his longtime boyfriend. In fact, Milk may have been the most successful of the three. He's well-liked by both Republicans and Democrats today as gay marriage becomes less of a political issue and more of a human right. Now he still has critics like former vice president Jim Duggar, who has gone after him for his relentlessly pro-labor and pro-trans rights activism, but like gay marriage, Milk only seems to be winning, even after he retired from Congress.
    Chapter VII: Death by a Thousand Cuts
  • To truly understand why the Republicans won in 1980 we must understand the backlash against Jackson. Jackson with the Panama War had burnt the goodwill of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party quite quickly. They had been willing to deal with his opposition to busing and hawkish rhetoric due to him expanding healthcare and implementing a public option, but they couldn’t tolerate another Vietnam. Senators such as Mike Gravel and George McGovern protested the Panama War and called its end while conservatives attacked the Jackson administration's handling of the war. Once again Paul Laxalt became one of the most vocal critics of the Jackson administration and called for an investigation of the handling of the Panama War. As more coffins draped in American flags arrived in DC and the economy faltered the popularity of an investigation grew.

    The Jackson administration faced challenges in breaking inflation as the Panama Canal still being damaged and under attack by the FRS spiked the prices of products all over America. But the most unexpected dip in popularity came when he met with Pope Clement XV in Rome. The meeting was infamous due to the public disagreement over the issue of Latin America. Clement XV asked Jackson to stop funding the JNP, Somozas, and OPN due to their war crimes and crimes against humanity. Jackson refused believing the far-right regimes were the lesser of two evils flat out refused. Clement XV fiercely argued with him, and Jackson stormed out of the meeting.

    A week later Clement XV had a stroke in his sleep on March 15th and was found dead in the morning. The stress of the papacy killed him as he had put everything, he had into being Pope and fighting for the third world. The 1979 papal conclave was one watched by all living in Latin America. They had an ally in Clement XV and were hoping to have another one. On March 14th, a company of the Nicaraguan army destroyed a church in FSLN territory and murdered the priest who presided over it. On the 15th three churches were fired bombed by unknown assailants (presumed to be supporters of the Somoza regime). With anti-Catholic violence spreading the papacy was rocked. Originally the conclave was expected to pick Franz Konig due to his moderate stances, but they realized they needed someone more forceful. One who had experienced this kind of repression firsthand. On the second ballot of the conclave cardinal Aloisio Lorscheider was chosen as the next pope. Lorscheider’s feelings on the far-right could best be described as unsympathetic at best and pure hatred at worst. He had seen the tyranny of right-wing dictatorship in his home country of Brazil and wasn’t going to let the JNP, Justine, OPN, or Somoza's get a free pass. He took the name Pope Nicholas VI after Pope Nicholas I who was notable for his crusade against poverty and charity to the poor.


    Pope Nicholas VI.

    When Kirkpatrick turned on the TV to see Nicholas VI elected as Pope she allegedly remarked “you’ve got to be fucking joking.” Jackson’s nightmare with the Catholic Church was about to get much worse.

    Right in time with Nicholas VI ascending to pope the FDN resumed their offensive with the help of 200 Cuban volunteers and 2,000 FSLN soldiers who joined the offensive. This time the experienced FSLN and Cuban soldiers, who had been smuggled in as either tourists or aid workers broke the JNP-OPN defenses. Combined with the election of Nicholas VI boosting morale they were able to first get into artillery distance of San Salvador. After two days of bombarding the city, they pressed onwards despite mounting losses and US and Honduras bombing FDN positions. Still, they pressed on as FDN sympathizers in San Salvador joined the fight by sabotaging the JNP and OPN forces with barricades, bombings, and declaring a general strike. This cost the JNP valuable resources to crush the saboteurs allowing the FDN to enter the city. At this point it looked like the JNP was going to collapse Juan Alberto Castro made a fateful decision that would change the history of the Latin American Emergency. On May 1st, the May Day offensive was launched by the Honduras Army. Honduras fighter jets entered into FDN airspace and per usual bombed the positions of the FDN but also factories in FDN territory. Twenty minutes later Honduras soldiers crossed the El Salvador-Honduras border. The Honduras soldiers were met with a scene straight out of hell. In the sweltering jungles FDN soldiers fought tooth and nail against the Honduras soldiers, inflicting heavy casualties. The decision to invade El Salvador did do what it was intended though. Save the JNP. The FDN was forced to pull out of the house to house fighting that consumed parts of San Salvador to mount a defense against Honduras. But this did not have the intended consequence of crushing the FDN. In fact, it only made them more popular as Salvadorians were horrified at the invasion. Most began to see the JPN as puppets of the hated Honduras government and radicalized the populace into either supporting the OPN or FDN. The OPN with the surge of popularity came out against the invasion and denounced it as a “Jewish plot” to destroy the nation. With the surge in popularity the OPN ramped up its massacres and murders of Christians.


    Catholic church in El Salvador being burned down by the OPN.

    The war in El Salvador did have an unintended consequence of the collapse of the Somoza regime. With Honduras distracted the FSLN used the open skies to their advantage. Without a fear of being killed in an airstrike the FSLN moved into the outskirts of Managua. To make matters worse for the Somoza regime was that FSLN sympathizers rioted in Managua, crippling their remaining soldier's ability to resist the FSLN. To the shock of Central America, the FSLN entered the city on May 20th and the Somoza regime ended. The remaining Somozas fled to the US and would never face any punishment for their corruption, murder, war crimes, or torture. With this Daniel Ortega became the president of Nicaragua and was intending to rebuild the war-torn country. But things changed when a clash between the militias on the Pacific coast and FSLN soldiers clashed on May 23rd. The clash killed thirty people and the FSLN gave chase, unknowingly invading Honduras. Honduras soldiers protecting the militia members opened fired on the FSLN, killing five. The next day a Honduras reconnaissance plane was shot down in Nicaragua. Honduras had been well known for its support for the Somoza and right-wing regimes in Central America. To make matters even worse for the invasion of El Salvador was considered an attack on a sister revolution and with high tech weaponry coming in from the US the FSLN suspected Nicaragua would be next on the chopping block. Furthermore, in Nicaragua and other left wing countries Honduras had become a pariah state for its known allegiance to the US and Somozas. It was this animosity and fear that Ortega decided to remove the Castro regime once and for all. On May 29th Nicaraguan soldiers assaulted the nation of Honduras. The border was lightly defended by Honduras most soldiers went to El Salvador for the invasion.


    Daniel Ortega, the new dictator of Nicaragua.

    Pope Nicholas VI condemned both the invasion of El Salvador and the invasion of Honduras as illegal and murderous. He saw both the FSLN and Honduras as immoral for their invasions and called for peace, even offering to mediate peace talks but neither side listened. Despite him pleading with Ortega he refused to back down.

    The Nicaraguan soldiers rushed towards Tegucigalpa in an attempt to quickly end the war. The Honduras military immediately pulled soldiers out of El Salvador to defend themselves from the invasion. The first major battle of the war was the battle of Danil, which connected three major roads, including one connected to Tegucigalpa. The battle of Danil could’ve easily gone in Honduras’s favor if they had not invaded El Salvador, but there wouldn’t have been an invasion if Honduras hadn’t invaded El Salvador in the first place. The battle of Danil was brutal as the battle-hardened Nicaraguan soldiers grinded down the Honduras soldiers, who hadn’t seen combat or were just pulled from El Salvador and sleep deprived. Combined with a distracted air force Danil fell after a week of brutal fighting. The city was reduced to rubble in most parts, but Ortega’s plan had succeeded. The day after Danil fell members of the OPN raided soldiers stationed in the state of Valle, killing twenty. With the fall of Danil, Nicaraguan soldiers launched an attack on the state capital of El Paraiso, Yuscaran from two directions, capturing it in three days.


    FSLN soldiers in Yuscaran.

    With the fall of Yuscaran Jackson took drastic action to buy time for Honduras. On March 10th, 1979, the US launched several airstrikes on Nicaraguan soldiers. On March 11th, the United States announced a blockade of the Nicaraguan coastline controlled by the FSLN government. Later that day an airstrike on supply lines hit a convoy carrying two tons of ammunition. The ensuing explosion killed over one hundred people. The American intervention in the Latin American Crisis served only to anger the people of Nicaragua. On March 15th after a vigil a group of students made a radical decision. In the early hours of March 17th, 1979, over a hundred students protested at the US embassy in Managua. US marines at the embassy watched the protest closely and originally were minimally concerned. But as the protest swelled to 10,000 after another round of bombings was reported by the government. As casualties mounted from the day. In the city of Danil an airstrike killed thirty civilians and ten soldiers. As a student with a megaphone gave the list of the martyrs the crowd’s anger grew. Soon several members of the crowd in a fit of rage started throwing bricks at American banks and soon enough rioting broke out. The Managua police couldn’t do much as the riots grew and were outnumbered. The army wasn’t too much concerned with it as American businesses were being targeted but then the anger turned onto the embassy. Rocks were thrown at the embassy and windows were smashed. American marines in the embassy, fearing the crowd would attack the embassy requested an evacuation for the staff and themselves. When the helicopters were sent into the Nicaraguan airspace rumors of an invasion spread amongst the crowd. Ortega called Washington to see what was going on as a precaution and the ambassador to Nicaragua Elliot Abrams picked up. Abrams promised that the helicopters were only there for “caution” and was deliberately vague to prevent Ortega from knowing the location of where they were heading as he didn’t trust Ortega. Ortega desperately tried to get more information out of Abrams but couldn’t. The Nicaraguan Army was put on high alert. This decision caused the crowd to panic, and students attempted to storm the embassy. The marines fearful for their lives, deployed tear gas and hit the students with their rifle butts.

    At that point as the helicopters arrived students stormed the embassy. All hell broke loose as tear gas was deployed inside the embassy and shots were fired somewhere. No one knows who shot first, but someone shot someone a block away from the embassy. A man laid dead on the sidewalk. Ortega ordered the army to break up the riot near the embassy, wanting to avoid an invasion but it was too late. Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown at the embassy as soldiers tried to evacuate the embassy. Ortega immediately called Abrams and made clear he had nothing to do with it. Abrams and the state department weren’t convinced. Even when Nicaraguan soldiers attacked the rioters with tear gas and batons the rioters trudged on. US marines desperately tried to quicken the pace of the evacuation as the two hundred people who worked at the embassy were evacuated into chinook helicopters. After around an hour the staff was fully evacuated and just in time. The rioters set fire to the back of the embassy and with the fire department overwhelmed by the riots there was no possibility the embassy wouldn’t be burned to the ground. From there the marines were quickly evacuated as the fire consumed the first floor. No one had died luckily due to the quick response by the US marines but the images of the American embassy being besieged and burned down by militant socialists dismantled the competence of the Jackson administration. How the American people were supposed to trust Jackson after this failure was beyond most Americans. An official investigation was started into American actions in Central America soon after, spearheaded by Mike Gravel of Alaska and Paul Laxalt of Nevada.

    The investigation exposed the US’s support for death squads responsible for the murder of numerous priests and just about every war crime under the sun. Not exactly shocking for anyone who paid attention to the fact aid was being sent to any thug who supported capitalism over communism in the third world, but it did shock Catholics and progressives. Gravel called for Jackson’s impeachment while Catholic priests gave sermons against the Jackson administrations support for the JNP and OPN. Pope Nicholas VI officially called for all aid to be cut off from the US to the JNP and OPN. Most Americans sadly could care less about the fact death squads were being sent weapons and money but rather the fact Nicaragua was winning against Honduras. Why should they care if some communists were being killed in El Salvador? The more the merrier in fact as they did blow up the Panama Canal. It only seemed like the anti-war folks and the Catholics condemned the death squads. Only a couple other groups such as pro-life groups and politicians opposed the JNP and OPN for their anti-Catholicism and murder of political dissidents. The exposure of the widespread mass killings by the death squads in El Salvador had far reaching effects across the world. First was the radicalization of Catholics. Seeing their fellow Catholic brethren get butchered by the government they put so much trust in. Millions of Catholics in America alone who were originally hesitant in their support for Nicholas VI soon became the most fervent and zealous supporters of the pope. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics also became committed to the cause of anti-imperialism and support for the poor. For the former they viewed Jackson’s foreign policy as a direct attack on Christianity with America’s support for death squads that murdered and tortured pius men like Romero and quite brazenly violated “thou shalt not kill.” In addition to that bishop Fulton J. Sheen, a man who opposed birth control and abortion denounced the wars in Latin America. Sheen was one of the most influential bishops in American history and his opposition to the war in Latin America convinced many Catholics to oppose war fervently. Amongst those was future representative and friend of Gore Vidal Bill Kauffman who was at the same rally as Sheen when he condemned the Latin American Crisis. Sheen would shortly die afterwards but he managed to change the course of American Catholicism forever.

    The latter they became more active in due to it being emphasized by Pope Nicholas VI and so priests followed it. In addition to the Pope’s emphasis on poverty the news reports of a deteriorating economic situation in America and de-industrialization pushed Catholics to take action in places such as the rust belt with food drives and donating to food drives for laid off workers. As the poor flocked to Catholicism, more action against poverty would follow. Catholics have become some of the most politically active groups in America with them being at the forefront during the Hightower administration's decision to review Taft-Harley and the debate to continue to implement universal healthcare in the 1990s. Furthermore, the pro-life movement has been given a major boon due to the aggressive activism by Catholics such as Dennis Kucinich and James D. Griffin restricting abortion during their times as governor. Both of them would be self-described members of the “blue collar coalition” which opposed abortion but supported social democratic economic policies. Kucinich especially has been popular with his support for avowed socialists such as Governor Mike Connolly of Massachusetts and activist Cornel West has put his radical turn front and center.

    Arguably the biggest influence in Kucinich’s view of the world was the Jackson administration’s foreign policy and Nicholas VI’s papal doctrine which expressed solidarity with the poor and strict anti-authoritarianism. Originally a supporter of Jackson he became very critical of him right after becoming mayor of Cleveland. Yeah, he passed a public option but for many poor Americans he felt like it wasn’t enough. Kucinich saw the poverty in Cleveland and begged the Jackson administration to do anything over it. Instead, they dropped more bombs and armed more death squads that produced unwilling martyrs. Every month he saw headlines about a death squad decapitating another priest or thousands dying in the Latin America Crisis. But when he looked for allies to help the poor or help the victims of war, he always found an ally in local Catholic church.

    As the situation in Honduras turned into a stalemate as Jackson bombed Nicaragua shortly after the burning down of the embassy, he declared Nicaragua a terror state that attempted to kill diplomats and justified the bombings by saying he was defending the Americas from communism. Unfortunately for him Americans weren’t buying it. Catholics and progressives led by young radicals such as Bill Kauffman and Harvey Milk respectively punished Jackson for his decision with hundreds of thousands marching against war. Kauffman called for an immediate end to military aide for the JNP, Honduras, Panama, and the OPN while calling for a complete withdraw from Panama, and for the impeachment of Jackson for crimes against humanity.

    Jackson was certainly not having a good time as president. He had lost his own party and with a worsening economic situation he was nearly doomed for re-election. But if things couldn’t get worse, he was terribly wrong. Remember Persia?


    Iranians protesting the Shah during the Iranian Revolution

    Well, the Shah had done a terrible job since the near overthrow of his regime in 1977 the resistance to the Shahdom went underground but not away. The Islamists had decreased in popularity but still had a lot of political sway in Persia. Furthermore, the People Mujahedin was the most popular organization opposed to the Shah as hatred of American imperialism reached a breaking point all over the world due to the Jackson administration's foreign policy. The People Mujahedin openly supported socialism and anti-imperialism and was thus very popular in Persia after the death of Ruhollah Khomeini. With their own charismatic leader in Massoud Rajavi the People Mujahedin became the de facto opposition to the Shahdom and began to arm themselves. On March 30th, 1979, that night came when the Shah left the country for Switzerland to receive surgery for his ever-worsening cancer. With the Shah out of the country the Islamists and socialists began mass protests against his rule. In Tehran soldiers fired at a crowd of protestors, killing ten people and injuring fifty. The day was known as Black Thursday and overnight the Shah’s regime collapsed. Both Massoud Rajavi and Ali Khamenei called for an end to the Shahdom. On Friday a general strike was declared as the government teetered on the edge of total destruction. In retaliation the interim government, led by the military ordered striking dock workers to be broken up by the Persian Navy. This would’ve surely resulted in a massacre if the dockers didn’t back down which they refused to. However, Captain Bahram Afzali, a member of the communist Tudeh Party led a mutiny on a cruiser and hundreds of sailors joined in. By the end of the day 40% of the navy was in a full-on rebellion and 20% deserted. Inspired by this, soldiers sympathetic to Islamist or socialist ideals joined the protestors and by Sunday Qom had fallen to the Islamists without a single shot being fired. On Monday soldiers retreated from Tehran as militias and deserting soldiers outgunned and outnumbered the remaining soldiers so severely, they would’ve been massacred if they dared to fire a single shot. With the people and the military in full on revolt the junta fled on a flight to France.

    With this Persia was no more and in Tehran Islamists and socialists celebrated the end of the Shahdom. Shortly thereafter a congress was set up in Tehran led by Massoud Rajavi, who had coordinated the general strike. The interim government started the National Revolutionary Congress (NRC) and immediately problems came up. First of all, the Islamists and the socialists had radically different ideas for the nation. The Islamists wanted a nation guided by ultra-reactionary social values that stripped women of their rights and seeked a liberal economic agenda. The socialists called for keeping the reforms that were implemented by the Shah that benefited women while nationalizing oil and other industries to complete their promise of socialism. Furthermore, they called for an alliance with the USSR to protect against US imperialism. The Islamists balked at this idea as the USSR’s oppression of the religious terrified them and denounced the idea as an insult to God. By the end of the NRC on August 9th the only thing they could agree on was scheduling presidential and congressional elections for February 20th, 1980. These elections would decide the fate of the Iranian Republic as Islamists promised a reactionary social agenda, liberal economic agenda, a powerful presidency, and Islamic education. while the People Mujahedin-Tuden Alliance, officially the Popular Iranian Front (PIF) called for nationalizing industry, an alliance with the USSR, proportional representation, a parliament, a prime minister, and abolition of the presidency. The PIF ran Massoud Rajavi, and the Islamist National Green Party ran Ali Khamenei.


    Massoud Rajavi in a colorized campaign ad (1980)


    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (2005)

    The unstable situation in Iran caused the worldwide recession to deepen with oil prices increasing by three dollars. Even worse the thought of a communist Iran caused investors to pull out of Iran causing further doubt in the market. Jackson was terrified of yet another country falling to communism which looked likely as Rajavi was polling 7% ahead of Khamenei with 44% of the vote and the PIF was winning the congressional elections with a majority of seats. Jackson did everything in his power to make sure the National Green Party won by sending them millions of dollars in money and in case they lost guns. Two weeks before the election a group of socialists and Islamists clashed in the city of Arak. A man pulled out a gun after the brawl started and killed seven. After the Arak Incident the PIF and Islamists respectively started to arm themselves to the teeth with neither trusting the other to peacefully accept the results only fueling more hatred and more militias. Come February the world watched in bated breath as Iran was on the brink of civil war.
    Chapter VIII: The Gospel of Truth
  • With the rise of Iranian socialism came the start of the 1980 primary season. On the Republican side there were three men who stood out. You had Paul Laxalt, senator from Nevada who was the conservative darling that year but unlike Reagan considered a rational man who wouldn’t piss off the establishment. The second candidate was John B. Anderson, who was a liberal Republican who attacked the conservative wing for blowing an easily winnable election by primarying the late President Rockefeller. Anderson seeked to continue the legacy of the Rockefeller administration by compromising with the continued hegemony of the New Deal and embracing social liberalism. The third candidate and the one who made the biggest splash was Buddy Cianci. Cianci saw an opening as the Jackson administration fell apart while his brand of moderate conservatism, law and order rhetoric, anti-corruption rhetoric, and pseudo-populism flipped a state that voted Jackson by a thirty-point margin. In addition to that he was endorsed by conservatives such as the Buckley brothers and moderates such as the Rockefeller family and Charles Mathias of Maryland. The campaign was an intense one as Cianci and Laxalt targeted Iowa and spent a decent amount of their war chests there. Daily both Cianci and Laxalt gave speeches to hundreds if not thousands of Iowans in an effort to get them to support their candidacy. Cianci ran as the pragmatic conservative who would crack down on crime, government waste, and corruption with a moderate social agenda. His platform included additional funding for the police, a steady militarization effort of the Panama Canal to make it a fortress to protect shipping, a hard crackdown on drugs, and cutting programs that he perceived as generating unnecessary waste such as the EPA and Department of Education but not touching the public option.


    Paul Laxalt. Conservative hero and next president?

    Laxalt on the other hand called for cutting the public option’s budget by 10% and deregulating the pharmaceutical industry, abolishing the department of education, a troop surge in Panama, and increasing bombing efforts against the FSLN. He also slammed social liberalism by denouncing homosexuality as a disease and decrying abortion. Laxalt’s social views may have fit into the Republican Party but his economic views in Iowa at least were very unpopular. Many poor members of the GOP loved the public option and saw how it benefited them. This included Catholics who were in love with his belief in a right to life amendment but didn’t have a problem with government welfare programs including the public option. Come Iowa Cianci managed to scoop up poor and moderate voters and he won 43-37-20 with Anderson coming in a distant third. Laxalt was dealt a serious blow, but he still kept on treading to New Hampshire which was a more conservative state that sympathized with Laxalt. The state after all voted for Reagan despite Rockefeller being quite popular. Laxalt was further helped with an enthusiastic ground campaign and the endorsement of governor Meldrim Thompson Jr. Laxalt easily won the primary 50-39-9. With a key win in New Hampshire Laxalt’s campaign quickly started to gain momentum as more and more establishment Republicans such as Howard Baker and Bob Dole endorsed him. On the other hand, Cianci raked in endorsements from George H.W Bush and just about any Republican from New England. The primary fight went back and forth between Cianci and Laxalt with Cianci sweeping New York, New England (minus New Hampshire and Vermont), Pennsylvania, and Michigan while Laxalt like Reagan swept the South and libertarian mountain states in addition to winning Texas and California. Anderson managed to pick off a couple of states but before the Illinois primary where he won in a shocking upset. Come the convention it was neck and neck between Cianci and Laxalt with Cianci winning Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington but in the end Laxalt barely pulled it off.

    The two main reasons were due to Laxalt and Anderson refusing to debate Cianci due to his charisma, which prevented a knockout blow by Cianci and the increasing conservatism of the Republican base. If this was the 60s Cianci would’ve won easily but with more and more conservative voters out numbering the moderate and liberals by the day, they went with the safe friend of Reagan who wouldn’t provoke the same anger from the Republican establishment. Cianci though was considered a valuable tool in Laxalt’s potential arsenal. Laxalt figured he could prevent another exodus from either the liberal or moderate wings of the party by picking Cianci as his vice president. Cianci first of all would be a valuable attack dog on the campaign trail which would benefit Laxalt as Cianci could get his hands dirty while Laxalt put out his platform. Secondly, Cianci brought in liberal and moderate Republicans including John Anderson who debated running for president as an independent but decided against it. Finally, it protected Laxalt’s image from allegations of radicalism due to Cianci’s credibility as a moderate and rational politician who simply wished to get tough on corruption and crime. On the other side of the political spectrum the primary was a complete mess.


    Mike Gravel with fellow senator Ted Stevens discussing their opposing views on the Panama War.

    While the Republicans had a mildly intense primary season the Democrats were busy tearing each other apart. With Jackson’s neoconservative foreign policy simultaneously angering Catholics, students, progressives, and social democrats there was bound to be a primary challenger. He met his match in the anti-war senator from Alaska Mike Gravel. Gravel is8 most known nowadays as the creator of the American Liberty Institute (ALI), a YouVids channel that posts a steady stream of anti-war and libertarian socialist videos that criticize the current political system in America as corrupt and its foreign policy harmful to the world. But before Gravel became a YouVids mogul he was senator from Alaska until he gave up the seat to run against Jackson in the Democratic Primary. He attacked him for his reckless foreign policy and funding death squads in Latin America while calling for massive spending at home to offset the failing economy. Come Iowa Gravel was blown out of the water with him only garnering 33% of the vote. But then he won Maine by 3% and in the lead up to New Hampshire Jackson suffered another hit in popularity. In Iran the presidential and congressional elections were held with Rajavi winning by 2% and the PIF winning a razor thin majority in Congress over the liberal and Islamist parties.


    1980 Iranian presidential election.

    With this shock waves were sent throughout Iran, especially the Islamists who feared the PIF would repress them. It was with this that Islamist militias began to attack PIF militias and were egged on by Jackson who publicly denounced Rajavi as a dangerous demagogue. Ali Khamenei from his house in Qom called for a campaign of resistance against the Rajavi presidency which Rajavi didn’t take too well. With Iran facing violence between socialist and Islamist militias and riots Rajavi decided to arrest Khamenei for “inciting violence.”


    Islamists protesting the election results and attempted arrest of Ali Khamenei (1980).

    When soldiers were sent to arrest Khamenei, they soon faced off against over three hundred militia members who demanded his release. The soldiers accepted and this was the catalyst for the Iranian civil war. With their leader arrested the Islamists saw Rajavi as another tyrant, this time instead of a US backed monarch a Soviet backed communist who needed to be overthrown. As riots gripped the country over his decision to arrest Khamenei, he sent in the military to quell them. With this the civil war began as militias and anti-PIF soldiers took it as a coup, causing the military to fracture and Khamenei to declare Rajavi an illegitimate dictator. PIF and Islamist militias attacked each other, and the battle lines were drawn as oil prices spiked due to the calamity. The first shots were fired inside Tehran when Islamist and PIF militias fired on each other, and the army was sent into crush the Islamists. Despite brutal urban warfare and two thousand deaths the PIF won. The USSR and US quickly sent millions of dollars in guns and artillery to aid the PIF and Islamists respectively who were open combat across the country. Within week thousands were already dead as it became another proxy war in the Cold War. The first real test of US interventionism was when the Revolutionary Navy under the famed Bahram Afzali decided to stop a cargo ship that was carrying weapons to the Islamists. The ship was boarded and seized by the Revolutionary Navy which caused a fierce condemnation by Secretary of State Kirkpatrick. The next day the NRC declared the People’s Revolutionary Republic of Iran (PRRI) with Massoud Rajavi becoming Chairmen.


    Socialists celebrating the declaration of the PRRI in Tehran (1980).

    Gravel was given a boost in popularity as Jackson’s foreign policy was being torn apart by the day with more socialist insurrections and revolutions popping up seemingly every week. Gravel preceded to call out Jackson’s failed foreign policy and blame US aggression for the rise in radical socialist movements such as the PIF and FRS only coming about due to the US’s actions abroad. To Democrats sick and tired of war this was exactly what they wanted to hear with inflation and oil prices spiking and body bags mounting. Gravel won in Massachusetts with a lead of 150,000 votes, which shocked Jackson. In Vermont, a state known for being quite libertarian, even amongst Democrats went to Gravel the same day. Jackson didn’t panic as he knew he’d blow out the South no matter what and also take the west coast and mountain states due to him being popular in those parts of the country. Massachusetts, he felt was a fluke mainly because it had a large liberal and Catholic population that hated his agenda. Once Jackson swept the southern states Gravel’s campaign started to decrease in support and cash until New York. With Jackson’s bickering with Prime Minister of Italy Aldo Moro for including communists in the government Jackson once again was embarrassed as Americans would rather have a stable economy than publicly feud with another one of their allies. This once again became a key attack against Jackson from Gravel who ran an ad saying “Jackson would rather spend time bickering with a democratically elected government than give economic aid to the average American. While the average man and women are struggling to fill up their tank of gas, Jackson’s spending time in luxury doing nothing but complaining.”

    The ad struck a chord with Democrats especially in New York where Jackson won by only 5,000 votes. The shocking near win gave progressives hope for the rest of the Democratic primaries but it would not last as Jackson dominated the rust belt due to his popularity amongst union voters and working-class Democrats. Gravel would win the Hawaii primary due to the state’s large progressive population that disliked Jackson’s warmongering and had historically been one of the most progressive states in the union. By the end of the campaign Jackson dominated the primary but was weakened nationally as he looked more divisive, and it made the Democrats were a broken party. This was further cemented by Gravel announcing a third party run for president. The independent campaign for president was launched in New York with Gravel picking consumer activist Ralph Nader as his running mate. At his announcement he decried the fact America still didn’t have universal healthcare, the funding of death squads in El Salvador, the war in Panama, and the murder of Oscar Romero. The Gravel campaign was surprisingly successful as people such as Reverend Jesse Jackson, representatives Ron Dellums and Pete McCloskey, mayor of Detroit Michael Coleman, mayor of San Francisco Harvey Milk, and philosopher Noam Chomsky all endorsed him. Gravel would also capitalize of the attention of the media who ate up his eccentric personality and brazenly progressive platform, giving him millions in free advertisement. Within a week he shot up from 5% to 15% in the polls and Jackson fell from a respectable 47% to 39%. But Gravel’s campaign for president has been overestimated by both progressives and moderates alike. For starters once the initial novelty of a semi successful independent wore off the media started to thoroughly go through Gravel’s platform. His platform was undoubtedly unpopular with most Americans as he called for gradually giving the Panama Canal to the Justine regime, nationalizing healthcare, and implementing a free college program. Immediately it was attacked by Laxalt and Jackson as a giveaway to student activists and a disservice to all those who died in Panama.

    Come the debates Jackson spent most of his time attacking Gravel and Laxalt as dangerous radicals who shouldn’t be placed anywhere near the presidency but due to his vendetta against Gravel for running an independent campaign after he got blown out in the Democratic primaries. Laxalt on the other hand took some easy jabs at Gravel but portrayed himself as a rational conservative, in the same vein as Eisenhower and Ford who would be a president for all Americans, end the Panama War and Latin American Crisis in an American victory, and end the recession plaguing America instead of blasting Gravel who he correctly viewed as a non-threat. Jackson spent most of the debate trying to defend himself and his administration from accusations of incompetence due to the dumpster fire that was the current foreign situation and recession. By the end of the first debate Laxalt came off as the best one, a tad boring but one who would respect the public option, cut government bureaucracy, cut taxes, and win the Panama War. At the end of the day, America wanted a boring conservative who would be forced to compromise with the likely Democratic Congress. As the situation in Iran stabilized in favor of the Islamists and the PRRI lost ground to Kurdish separatists and Islamist soldiers who repelled an attempted attack on Khorramabad Jackson started to slightly recover in the polls. He was also helped by Gravel slipping back to around 7% but trailed Laxalt 48-43. Jackson’s accusations of radicalism against Laxalt failed miserably as when asked by reporter Al Gore on October 3rd on if he’d repeal the incredibly popular public option he replied with:

    “Frankly I don’t believe the GOP has the mandate to do that. Voters have made clear they support the public option. Even in conservative states such as Texas have shown they love it. My good friend John Tower lost partially due to his opposition as Price Daniel Jr ran on his support of the public option and managed to turn a five-point lost into a two-point win. We’ll do whatever we can get a mandate for rather than repealing popular legislation. President Eisenhower knew this and instead of cutting a vital and popular program like social security left it be while implementing conservative policies elsewhere.”

    Laxalt still promised to tweak certain parts of the public option by deregulating the pharmaceutical industry and cutting what he viewed as the “wasteful” parts of the public option, but he’d stick to cutting taxes, increasing military funding, and fixing the economy rather than waging war against popular legislation that would likely blow up the GOP’s future electoral chances. Unlike the Reaganites Laxalt knew he’d need to make an effort to appeal to moderates in order to win the election, much to the dislike of conservatives such as Phil Crane. What’s undeniable is that it worked. Come election day Laxalt defeated Jackson and Laxalt in a dominating win. Not a landslide but pretty close.


    Laxalt/Cianci 354 EV 48.3% PV
    Jackson/Harris 184 EV 43.8% PV
    Gravel/Nader 0 EV 5.2% PV

    Closest states (under 3%):

    Massachusetts 0.07%
    Missouri 0.21%
    Delaware 0.30%
    Tennessee 0.34%

    North Carolina 0.35%
    Mississippi 1.1%

    Rhode Island 2.1%

    Gravel won 5.2% of the vote in the best third party showing until 1988. His campaign may not have flipped any states, but it did cost Jackson Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware in a clear message to the Democratic Party that on some level they would need the progressives in order to win the presidency. Laxalt and Cianci would end up making history. Laxalt was the second Catholic president, Cianci was the first Italian American to become vice president. Most Americans look back and wonder “how did things go so wrong?” Laxalt to most Americans is a great man whose term was ended by outside forces that prevented a better future. It depends on who you ask really, if it’s Oliver Stone they'll say fascist goons in the Cianci administration and if you ask conservative evangelicals, they’ll say demons who wished to destroy America. But most Americans would rather speculate if things were different and what that path would entail. One that would make moderates happy as you could be one without being viewed as a sellout to either the other party or corporate interests. One that would also make conservatives happy as America would avoid sixteen years of Democratic hegemony.
    Last edited:
    Chapter IX: Malice and Communism in Europe
  • As Iran was tearing itself apart the opposite was happening in Italy. Negotiations were being carried out by Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro and Communist leader Enrico Berlinguer would be dramatically accelerated with the election of Pope Nicholas VI due to his support for a peaceful coexistence with communism and sympathies with liberation theology. With more Catholics than ever supporting the PCI Moro accelerated the decision to compromise. In January 1979 Moro and Berlinguer managed to put out a compromise platform with the PCI. The platform gave communists numerous positions in government and would have Aldo Moro as Prime Minister, Berlinguer as Minister of Industry, strengthen trade unions, oppose the wars in Latin America, support for a Palestinian state, a hardline policy on terrorism, $10 billion in new spending for welfare, tax cuts for worker co-ops, equal rights for the disabled, and further expansion of healthcare. The Communists and the Christian Democrats called for another election to crystalize the support for the Historic Compromise. Moro would replace Benigno Zaccagnini as leader of the Christian Democrats and became Prime Minister for the third time in his career.

    Moro called an election for August in March and the campaign for a Christian-Communist Coalition had begun. The idea was fiercely opposed by the insurgent Radical Party, a libertarian party dedicated to social and economic liberalism, calling for the deregulation of Italian industries and social progressivism. So did the social democratic Italian Socialist Party which was led by the notoriously corrupt Bettino Craxi who targeted those working in white collar jobs and Catholics who were wary about including communists in government but didn’t support the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement. Speaking of which they managed to increase their support level as they ran a fiercely anti-communist campaign and called for never negotiating with the communists and a reactionary social agenda that opposed the 1974 divorce referendum and the liberalization of abortion laws. Another staple of the election besides setting the stage for the Second Italian Republic was the unprecedented violence with over a hundred people being murdered by either the far-left Red Brigades or the far-right Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (NAR). The formers main sin was at a campaign rally in Naples where Aldo Moro was giving a speech to over two thousand supporters when three men fired at him. Moro was struck by three bullets and severely injured from blood loss. After the attempted murder of Moro all major parties halted their campaign and Berlinguer visited him in the hostpital. After a week Moro was released in good health and spirit.


    Berlinguer at a rally in Milan. “Workers of Italy, we have the chance to bring not only peace but freedom to Italy this election.”

    For the latter the NAR orchestrated numerous murders of both Christian Democrats and Communists. The two most notable examples were when the mayor of Bologna, Renato Zangheri was killed by a nail bomb mailed to him by the NAR. The second example was when Pier F. Casini, a volunteer for a local Christian Democrat candidate was murdered along with three others by two NAR members. The rising violence by both the far-left and the far-right caused the people of Italy to support the PCI more due to their explicitly hardline anti-terrorist policies. But as the communists saw their support increase after the assassination of Renato Zangheri the Christian Democrats began to slip to the Socialist Party as Craxi’s targeting of white-collar workers and moderate Catholics who opposed the Historic Compromise. Come election day it was a resounding success for the Communists as they increased their popular vote share from 34% to 37% and won thirty-four extra seats in the Chamber of Deputies, giving them a plurality of 262 seats while the Christian Democrats fell to a total of 222 seats and 34% of the popular vote due to more wealthy voters and conservative Catholics voting for either the Socialists or Social Movement. Craxi’s strategy had been a resounding success with the Socialists gaining twenty-three seats and 12% of the popular vote. Craxi vowed to never join a government with Berlinguer as Prime Minister and attempted to negotiate with the center-right of the Christian Democrats. Otherwise, the Italian Social Movement gained seven seats and was the fourth largest party in the Italian Chamber of Deputies.



    If the communists could’ve gotten Craxi behind them the Communists would have formed the first communist government in the west but for now too many Christian Democrats and Socialists opposed a communist government to form one where Berlinguer was the Prime Minister, but the communists knew with time they’d be able to form one. Moro entered into a coalition with the communists and Socialists but unfortunately for him the coalition was unstable. Craxi was eager to prove to voters that he stood as the true antithesis of communism and wasn’t looking for compromising with the communists as he just ran a campaign against working with them. While technically he wouldn’t enter a communist led coalition it still wasn’t impressive to new socialist voters. The second group not very happy with the agreement was the right wing of the Christian Democrats who weren’t sympathetic to the communists and seeked a straightforward coalition with the Radicals and the socialists who they agreed with more and were willing to hash out compromises with. The right wing of the Christian Democrats and the socialist party only brought about the end of their own dominance, however. Berlinguer who was personally popular was one of the few politicians trusted by the Italian people, along with Moro. The calculated risk by the socialists who immediately pulled their support of the coalition in 1980 due to the increasingly economically left-wing agenda, including a minor tax cut for worker co-ops and strengthening of trade union power. Soon enough the right wing led by Arnaldo Forlani would protest the moves by the communists in the Moro Ministry and call for a center-right agenda. With the protests within Moro’s own party calls for another election intensified in the liberal, socialist, and neo-fascist parties within Italy. The increasing violence also drew concern with the Italian Social Movement, Socialist Party, and right wing of the Christian Democrats spreading rumors of it being inspired by the communists. Moro relented and called for another election in 1981 in an attempt to bring confidence back to his government that had been lost amongst the socialists and right wing of his party. Instead, it only emboldened the far-right which ran on a platform of staunch anti-communism and opposing the PRRI, in stark contrast to the pro-peace stance of the communists.

    The communists campaigned on a pragmatic agenda that would see subsidies given to worker co-ops, stay out of the Latin American Crisis and Iranian Civil War, cancel any research for nuclear weapons, and crack down hard on terrorism while the Italian Social Movement campaigned on funding Honduras against the FSLN invasion, limiting immigration, and supporting Iran against the PRRI. Another factor for the PCI's increase in popularity was their opposition to both American and Soviet intervention in the Iranian Civil War, with this being the final straw that broke relations between the Soviet Union and the PCI. The PCI was also aided by the general discontent with moderate politics as the world went up in flames due to Jackson's foreign policy. This created a backlash that was shown on election day when the Christian Democrats fell from 34% to 30% while the Communists increased to 38.7% of the vote. The Italian Social Movement did extremely well, increasing their vote total to 13% of the vote and 77 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The Socialists on the other hand fell to 10% due to them being attacked as hypocrites for working in a government with communists and for angering union voters due to them focusing on white collar workers. Even more damaging for Craxi and the socialists was that the Italian Social Movement attracted a decent number of white-collar workers, thus sabotaging Craxi's strategy further. The PCI would win a total of 304 seats, a plurality but worked with the center-left of the Christian Democrats, with Aldo Moro becoming Deputy Prime Minister to show the PCI wouldn't stray too far into radicalism.



    While in Italy, communism had taken control without a civil liberty being trampled or a drop of blood being spilt the UK rejected left wing politics. Back in 1978 James Callaghan called an election in the hopes he would win re-election. The problem was that it was poorly timed with the Panama War. The longer the campaign went on the worse the economy got, and Thatcher and the Tories capitalized on it. Thatcher was able to quickly criticize the Callaghan Ministry for inflation and increasing feelings of discontent. After four years of Labor voters held their breathes and voted for Thatcher and the Tories. But only gave her a plurality of seats, with the Tories winning 299 seats and being forced to enter into a minority government. The Thatcher government was marred by infighting between the moderate Liberals who were holding up the government from a no confidence vote, the one nation types led by Ian Gilmour and Francis Pym, and the Thatcherites who wanted a free-market economy and the privatization of public utilities. It didn’t help that the economy was in shambles with the Latin American Crisis and the Winter of Discontent dismantled Thatcher’s popularity. Her war against unions only worsened the situation, much to the dislike of Pym and Gilmour who seeked a more moderate approach to unions. As the crisis grew out of control Thatcher proclaimed a state of emergency, only worsening the financial panic that ensued. Combined with Secretary of State of Northern Ireland Airey Neave’s inflammatory response to the Troubles by supporting a heavier response by the military causing more violence Thatcher’s government was on the edge of collapse by 1980. Neave’s support for the death penalty and failure to re-implement it only served to burn into the conscience of Britons of the radical failure that was the Thatcher Ministry.

    But a no confidence vote was never held. After the Labor leadership election saw Michael Foot best Peter Shore and Denis Healey, moderates were hesitant to call a vote of no confidence as it would lead to Labor winning a massive majority, allowing Foot to implement his radical agenda. But then a shock wave was sent through the British political system when moderate members of the Labor Party left the party due to Foot’s leadership to form the Social Democratic Party, which joined an alliance with the Liberal Party. With Roy Jenkins winning the Warrington by-election against Doug Hoyle, the SDP-Liberal Alliance shot up in the polls with widespread discontent with both Labor and the Tories at an all-time high the SDP-Liberals became the highest polling party, as they attacked Thatcher and Foot for their perceived radicalism and called for a centrist government to pragmatically solve the crisis that gripped the UK. In 1982 the SDP-Liberals brought a vote of no confidence against the Thatcher government and with the support of Labor, it succeeded. The SDP-Liberals ran a campaign that could be simplified as not rocking the boat and returning to good old social liberalism and moderate social democracy instead of embracing radicalism. As Thatcher’s term embarrassed the Tories they were nearly ignored by the media. Everyone knew they weren’t going to do good, and the real question became if Foot was going to become Prime Minister. The media would make it seem like a choice between the SDP-Liberal Alliance and the Labor Party as the Tories were only talked about when the issue of gas prices and inflation came up. The media also focused on Foot's particularly radical agenda that called for nuclear disarmament, a noble but unpopular cause and the abolition of the House of Lords. Plus, his republicanism came under fire as unpatriotic even if the royal family got along well with Foot despite his views. The SDP-Liberals were heaped praise for their agenda of unfolding the status quo by dismantling the unnecessarily complicated welfare system and dedication to a more peaceful world without destroying the UK’s nuclear arsenal.

    The Tories would mainly campaign on making the UK strong oversees with them fervently supporting a tougher crackdown on the IRA and supporting the US’s interventions in Latin America. This position, while popular with conservative and nationalist voters was unpopular with moderates and young people as with the aftermath of the Vietnam War most didn’t want to be stuck in another quagmire like the Panama War. Around 1,000 soldiers were stationed in Panama and since the start of the war fifty-three had been killed. Jenkins promised to pull out all UK soldiers from Panama and focus on the economy rather than adventuring into wars started by the US. In addition to his opposition to wanton interventions abroad he criticized Airey Neave, Secretary of State of Northern Ireland for his hardline approach and his push to bring back the death penalty. Once again portraying the SDP-Liberals as the only truly moderate choice in the election. On August 9th, 1982, during a humid day which saw a temperature of 82 degrees the United Kingdom made history.


    Despite coming first in the popular vote, the SDP-Liberals came third in overall seats, a fact that angered liberal voters due to the brazen idiocy of the most popular party coming in third. Still, with a Labor minority instead of a majority there was still the possibility of an SDP-Liberal-Conservative coalition. Thatcher was hesitant at first, figuring that letting Foot screw up for a year before kicking him out of government was a better idea that refused legitimacy to the SDP-Liberals. But Thatcher was in no room to negotiate as the conservative party was in a state of full rebellion against her leadership and the only unifying goal was to stop Foot from becoming Prime Minister. At the advice of her fellow conservatives, she entered into a coalition with Jenkins, with Jenkins becoming Prime Minister. Anything less would've been rejected as Jenkins did come in first with the popular votes, far ahead of the Tories. It wasn't like the Conservative Party could've gotten their act together if they were the lead coalition leaders. The One Nation Tories and the True Conservative Faction were already at each other's throats with Keith Joseph and Francis Pym planning to run in the next leadership election. Thatcher soon after resigned as leader of the Tories and was replaced by interim leader Willie Whitelaw who became Deputy Prime Minister as an act of goodwill by Jenkins. A leadership election was called for October and the civil war between conservatives was only about to get worse.

    Speaking of civil war, the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union were now in a state of full-fledged civil war thanks to the egos of their two respective leaders, Helmut Kohl and Franz Josef Strauss. For some background in 1976 Helmut Kohl won 240 seats in the Bundestag election, losing to the SPD-FDP coalition. This set up the climax to the feud between him and his arch-rival Franz Josef Strauss in which Strauss decided to pull the CSU out of the alliance with the CDU in 1976. The feud escalated when a local CDU branch opened a campaign office in Bavaria. Strauss panicked and accused the CDU of splitting the conservative vote in Bavaria which was the final straw for Kohl. The hypocrisy would’ve pissed anyone off as Strauss was the one who couldn’t deal with one of his political rivals having power within the party, so Kohl retaliated by putting in two new CDU offices in Bavaria and soon enough Strauss followed suit. The feud had broken the CDU-CSU and would give way to the SDP-FDP dominance of the 80s and 90s. The split severely damaged the reputation of the right wing in Germany as they were made out to look like fools who only cared about the egos of either Strauss or Kohl. Schmidt ran as a social democrat who would fight for the working class but not stray into socialism or Eurocommunism while criticizing the mess that was the CDU and CSU.

    The SPD and the FDP both made gains while the CDU and CSU cannibalized each other due to the feud between the moderate Kohl, who promised a liberal conservative agenda and Strauss, who was gunning for socially conservative voters and threw in a dash of red baiting for good measure. Schmidt ruthlessly attacked Strauss for his red baiting as dangerous and showed his hardline stance on the Red Brigades to prove his social democratic credentials.

    Schmidt’s third cabinet would be tumultuous with him cutting welfare in order to offset the massive government spending of the last decade. This was also used to appeal to the FDP to prevent them from attempting a CDU-CSU-FDP coalition and for good measure he made the cuts even deeper than intended. Despite the cuts being welcomed by conservatives and them hollering from the rooftops about howe this would save the economy, the economy was still in the gutter. In addition to not helping the much-needed economic recovery the cuts angered the left wing of the party, led by Oskar Lafontaine protested the cuts as a betrayal of social democracy. Schmidt refused to listen and kept the cuts to welfare which cost him a great deal of popularity in his own party, causing an outflux in support. But the sad truth is for the left is that the public was getting sick of the hegemonic social democratic order that had controlled Europe since WWII. Europeans like Americans were seeking a new right wing that would challenge this order and shake things up. Whether this came to be is debatable as the economy was still being bombarded by recessions and inequality despite the election of Laxalt in 1980 and the election of Chirac in 1981.

    Germany would enter a new centrist age with a government defined by attempting to reduce the national debt and build Germany’s technology industry to offset the effects of globalization that would become prevalent in the 80s and 90s all while keeping up the social safety net, with Schmidt voting to slightly increase child benefits in 1982. Furthermore, the messy reunification between West and East Germany would help give popularity to the CSU and PDS in the 90s and 2000s. In the meantime, though, Germany like the United Kingdom rejected the tide of conservatism and socialism for a more centrist and social democratic future. One dominated by centrist politicians who focused on a pragmatic bureaucracy, free trade, social liberalism, and a moderate social safety net. Schmidt along with Jenkins would be the leading voice of a pragmatic Europe that wouldn’t come to an end in Germany until the late 90s.

    Now onto Germany’s archrival France. France had a tough 70s with President Georges Pompidou from cancer in 1974. The death rocked the French Republic and Prime Minister Valery Giscard d’Estaing was made President and his term was a chaotic one. He did pass reforms like an increase in the minimum wage, modernization of government institutions, increasing pensions, and developing education.

    d’Estaing did end up angering the conservative base of the UDF, specifically Jacques Chirac who was a center-right nationalist type who didn’t like d'Estaing’s pro-European policies and d’Estaing as a person. The final straw was when France legalized abortion in 1979 which angered pro-life Catholics. Come the 1981 presidential election the electorate was split four ways. On the right you had d’Estaing who ran a center-right campaign that focused on reformism and supporting the US’s air war in the Nicaraguan-Honduras War while on the other hand you had the more nationalistic Chirac who was hesitant to support the US’s wars in Latin America. He also pointed to his support for the elderly and people with disabilities during his time as mayor of Paris.

    On the left you had Francois Mitterrand who was a social democratic member of the National Assembly ran as a member of the Parti Socialiste (PS) for president once again. He had been the candidate for president in 1974 and 1965, both times he had come close to becoming president of France and overthrowing the Gaullist status quo. But with him losing both times skepticism of his candidacy came from the left wing of France as they were skeptical of Mitterrand’s ability to win the presidency. The other candidate was Georges Marchais of the communists, whose viability was increased by the victory of Eurocommunism in Italy. While more pro-Soviet than Berlinguer he was still able to rally a decent amount of people to the Parti Communiste Francais (PCF) in 1981. He denounced the interventions in Latin America by the US and called for a more radical agenda of industrial democracy and the nationalization of the shipping industry to offset the worldwide recession. Marchais had no chance of winning as the second round would’ve brought the combined moderate, conservative, and anti-Soviet left together against him. Despite this obvious fact the PCF shot up in the polls as discontent with capitalism and global inflation due to the shutdown of the Panama Canal caused an uptick in communist and radical activity in not just Europe but the rest of the world, as seen in Iran and Latin America.

    On election day most didn’t know who would exactly make it to the second round. Discontent with d’Estaing was prevalent, and Chirac was popular, but Mitterrand was the expected favorite to secure his spot in the second round. They couldn’t have been more wrong. The surprise increase in the PCF’s vote gave them a four-place finish of 20.8% while Mitterrand won a total of 21.92% of the vote in the first round. Now here’s where things really surprised people. Chirac won 22% of the vote and d’Estaing won 24% of the vote. The left was in shambles, and no one knew who was going to win the second round. Both had moderately pro-welfare stances, but both were socially conservative and Gaullist. Mitterrand nor Marchais endorsed Chirac or d’Estaing for president, preferring to allow them to tear into each other while they licked their wounds. Chirac ran as the true successor to Gaullist ideals while d’Estaing ran on a more reformist and pro-European agenda. But d’Estaing was known as the president of instability and the worst recession since the global collapse of the economy in 1929. In this case the incumbency was a disadvantage rather than an advantage as he was stuck with the discontent and malice in France rather than Chirac. It was the global winds of change that would truly decide the election and with Chirac’s pro-France agenda appealing to a decent portion of the anti-war left. In the end a decent number of leftists viewed Chirac as the lesser of two evils. Chirac won with 50.11% of the vote against d’Estaing in the closest election in French history. If the economy had been slightly better d'Estaing would've pulled off a second term but the curse of being the incumbent in the early 80s was too much to overcome.


    President Chirac shortly after his victory.


    • 1641657804173.png
      201 KB · Views: 57
    Chapter X: America on the Highway to Hell
  • Paul Laxalt’s term is an enigma in American history. Such few American presidents have seen the world changed so much during their term. The problem with the Laxalt presidency being so consequential is that he spent so little time as president. During his short term as president, he did the standard conservative policies. Pass a couple of tax cuts here and there and increase military spending.

    These policies weren’t an important part of his administration. Neither was meeting with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but the global backdrop was. Shortly after he was sworn in as president by Chief Justice Warren Burger Guatemala descended into chaos. After the sister revolutions of Nicaragua and El Salvador had descended into an international conflict Guatemala experienced an uptick in revolutionary activity. In response the Guatemalan government, led by Fernando Garcia retaliated with a series of killings and village burnings by military death squads. A group of peasant farmers protested these killings in Guatemala City on December 1st. In response to people using their right to freedom of speech the government brutalized them, beating men and women alike for the crime of speaking out against injustice.

    The protestors realized they needed to do something bigger to allow their voices to be heard over the deafening tyranny of the Guatemalan government and took drastic action on the 10th of December. The Spanish embassy was stormed by poor farmers in a desperate attempt to show the plight of poor Ixil and K’iche farmers in the country. Spain was sympathetic to the cause of the indigenous farmers, especially after the murders of several Spanish priests in the region. The Spanish ambassador pleaded with the Guatemalan government to negotiate with the farmers, but the government refused. On December 20th, a few days before Christmas the Guatemalan City police department sent in the SWAT team to dislodge the protestors, despite the brazen violation of international law. A fire soon started due to white phosphorus being deployed by the police mixing with tear gas and Molotov cocktails. The fire burned out of control as the police fled the building along with the staff and protestors, causing the entrances to be jammed. To make the situation even worse the SWAT team actively sabotaged the efforts by protestors to escape the embassy by continuing to deploy tear gas and beating protestors who escaped to the brink of death. In total forty-one people were killed in the fire, including the Spanish ambassador to Guatemala.

    Screenshot 2022-01-14 2.02.08 PM.png

    First responders at the Guatemala Embassy.

    A wave of grief burned like a wildfire through Guatemala City as the funerals for the 41 people murdered on December 20th were held on December 26th. As thousands of citizens viewed the charred bodies their anger only grew when they realized the sheer brutality of the government. But the final straw came when the Guatemalan government broke up the funerals as “riots” due to angry funeral goers burning effigies of the dictator Lucas Garcia. The soldiers deployed tear gas and used batons to brutalize the funeral goers. If they thought their crackdown was going to work, they were mistaken. The next day several factories went on strike to protest the brutality of the Garcia regime and the attack on the funeral service. A couple hours later railroad workers went on strike in the south of Guatemala City in solidarity. By the end of the day 20% of all workers in Guatemala City were on strike and by January 1st that number increased to 35%. The Garcia regime was on the brink of collapse when soldiers fired on strikers on the outskirts of Guatemala City. With a couple of shots Guatemala burst into flames. The Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP) and Organization of People’s Arms (OPRA) saw a dramatic increase in support and renewed their offensives towards Guatemala City. The Garcia regime dug in and begged the Jackson administration for aide. Jackson agreed and sent millions of dollars in guns, RPGs, and artillery to the Garcia regime in the final act of the Jackson administration.


    Socialist militia marching to Guatemala City.

    The war became a slaughter as death squads “disposed” of suspected communists in a precursor to the indiscriminate Guatemalan genocide under the Montt regime. But for the time being the OPRA and EGP united under the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) along with dozens of smaller decentralized local militias. The Guatemalan military managed to hold the line due to the US aide but rioting in Guatemala City and massive offensive allowed the URNG to capture vast swathes of land in the poor rural areas of the country. As Laxalt came in he expanded the air war to encompass Guatemala as the Panama War winded down. Plans for a possible invasion of Nicaragua were being drawn up but Laxalt knew he couldn’t invade every country in Latin America. So, his plan of using the CIA to direct and aide the Guatemalan military and JNP was put in motion. The CIA would aide anti-communist dictators and organizations with advisors and weaponry to out class and out gun the communist organizations. This strategy would be first used in Guatemala as the civil war raged on. At first it was successful as the heavy weaponry managed to kill scores of disorganized UNRG members, but things would change in the near future as more fires lit up in Latin America and America’s network of supplies would have to be stretched thin.

    Laxalt’s most consequential action would be passing the Wilson Act, named after representative Charlie Wilson of Texas, it’d would provide billions of dollars over the next decade to aid the Islamists in the civil war. This came as the first major battle in Qom was raging between PIF forces who defended the city from an Islamist offensive. The battle quickly devolved into street to street fighting and was considered the most important city besides Tehran. First of all, the city was the political base for the Islamists and if it fell it would deal a great psychological blow to the Islamists. Second it would allow the PIF to penetrate deep into Islamist territory. The battle started with a massive artillery barrage by the PIF that killed thousands before they attempted to storm the city. However, the destruction created by the artillery barrage became the greatest enemy of the PIF. Moderates who were neutral or unwilling to fight in the civil war were horrified by the destruction of mosques, which while not purposeful didn’t exactly disprove the allegations of radical and oppressive atheism that the PIF attempted to dodge. The Islamists soldiers in Qom were soon reinforced by Islamic militias who held back the PIF soldiers while the Islamists entrenched themselves. But more importantly militias formed inside the PRRI itself and were instrumental in sabotaging the supply lines. By the end of the first two weeks the PIF looked like it was going to be pushed out of Qom as Islamic militias wreaked havoc on other parts of the country and were at risk of breaking the front line.


    Soviet Premier Dimitry Ustinov

    The Soviet Union saw this and wasn’t about to allow a potential oil rich ally fall into the hands of the NATO sphere. The PRRI would be a far more helpful and powerful ally compared to the weak and feeble Afghanistan regime they propped up. It was in Tehran that the Soviet Chairman Dimitry Ustinov, who had replaced the sickly Leonid Brezhnev after a stroke incapacitated him in 1978 wanted to leave his mark on the world. He felt that the Soviet Union had the potential to win against the United States in the Cold War due to the fact so many organic revolutionary movements had springing up. Figuring the US was unwilling to fight in Iran as even Jackson flat out rejected the idea of sending US soldiers to Iran when they could’ve easily turned the tide due to the crisis on America’s home continent. Ustinov knew it was a gamble, but he needed to do something to prevent a hostile country in charge of a decent amount of the world’s oil supply from taking root. Just like the US intervention in the Vietnam War the reasoning would be mostly fictitious. On February 14th, 1981, a Soviet plane carrying cargo would be shot down in Islamist territory. The crew survived but shooting down an officially neutral plane was an act of war. Ustinov responded by bombing key Islamist positions, specifically in Qom and dramatically increasing the importation of heavy weaponry to the PRRI. Ayatollah Khamenei denounced the Soviet bombing campaign as an act of war and Muslims across the Middle East burned Soviet flags and called for death of Rajavi and Ustinov. Vice President Cianci while in Egypt to discuss escalating tensions between Israel and Egypt after the failed peace talks of 1979 denounced the intervention as an act of international terrorism.

    The Soviet weaponry of APCs and heavy artillery and air strikes did much to help the PIF as they were now able to focus on Islamist forces in Qom and cause some serious casualties. A month after the Soviet intervention the PIF launched an offensive on Islamist supply lines just South of Qom forced the Islamists to retreat. After the deaths of 80,000 people the battle of Qom was won. Most of the city, including several important religious monuments were destroyed in the crossfire and were the real decisive factor in the battle. It was an important strategic victory for the PIF on paper but to the public it was a rallying cry. Many Muslims viewed the PRRI as another puppet of the Soviet Union and one that would destroy Islam in the Middle East. The popularity of the PIF collapsed in the religious, conservative, poor, and rural areas of the country. This made occupying the rural areas of the country increasingly difficult as Islamists ran a brutal guerilla campaign against the PIF that wreaked havoc on their supply lines and soldiers. The Battle of Qom may have been a victory for the PIF, but it was a political blow that they would never shake off. The US at the advice of Secretary of State Alexander Haig began to bomb PIF positions.


    Saddam Hussein announcing the invasion of Iran.

    If things were looking to simple for those looking at the Iranian Civil War a new country would join the war on February 25th. Iraqi soldiers crossed into the Khuzestan region in the dead of night as the lightly defended border was wide open. The few Islamists and PIF soldiers or militia members were swiftly crushed by the superior Iraqi soldiers. Saddam Hussein had long sought the Khuzestan region since he came to power in 1979. This was due to the immense oil wealth in the region that would turn Iraq into a superpower that would command respect from the rest of the world. Furthermore, he would supplant Egypt as the leader of the Arab world. Seeing Iran torn apart by civil war gave him the best possible opportunity to invade with minimal casualties. As news trickled into the ears of the Islamists and PIF the more soldiers trickled into the Khuzestan region. Almost immediately both the Soviet Union and the United States condemned the invasion of Iran by Iraq as a criminal act of aggression. Overnight Iraq turned into a pariah state in both the Warsaw Pact nations and the American aligned bloc of the world. One particular opponent of the invasion was representative George W. Bush of Texas who said on the house floor:

    “This battle in Iran serves as a battle not just against Godless socialism but also now against the tyrannical piranha state of Iraq who seek to only benefit off chaos and murder scores of innocents. Hussein and his ilk are no better and just as tyrannical as the China and the Soviet Union. Him and his fellow tyrants, Ustinov, Hongwen, Rajavi, and Ortega are part of a new axis of evil that threatens the very fabric of society.”

    Bush's gaffe aside the US would become a sworn enemy of Iraq as they penetrated deeper into the Khuzestan territory. But one nation would stand out in their support for Hussein as both the Soviets and United States wished for his death. That nation was Israel. A surprise for sure as what do they have to gain from Iraq? Well Israel had been fearful of an avowed antisemitic Islamist state backed by one of the most powerful nations on earth. Israel didn’t like Rajavi and the PRRI for obvious reasons, but the Islamists’s brazen antisemitism and ultra-reactionary subgroups terrified the state that was surrounded by hostile states. Especially since the failed peace talks in 1979 between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin allies or even non-hostile countries were hard to come by. So, they naturally looked for someone who would tip the Middle East in their favor. Israel’s whole policy was to play for the Arab powers against each other while they lived in peace and the other nations were too busy either fighting or bickering with themselves to focus their wrath of Israel. Hussein’s invasion of Iran presented a golden opportunity for Israel as Hussein was desperate for support after both the Soviet Union and United States denounced him as a rogue regime and he would do serious damage to the Islamists and PIF who hated Israel. If Hussein’s plan did succeed then Israel had a somewhat competent ally in the Middle East who would be willing to tolerate them and would make nations like Syria, Egypt, and Iran think twice about messing with them. If he lost, then well he’s alienated and would have to be a friend of Israel to prevent Iraq from becoming a hermit kingdom. Plus, he’d weaken whoever won the Iranian Civil War for years to come. The support for Iraq was at first clandestine but once it was figured out it was going to unleash a firestorm Begin would regret for the last of his time on earth. But for now, the Iraqi military only just started to face resistance from the Islamist and PIF soldiers. The first major battle came in Ahvaz against the Islamist forces. The Iraqi army went in overly cocky and with high expectations that this was going to be a quick and decisive victory for the nation. What followed was a brutal battle that saw Islamist militias fight with an intensity not seen since the crusades. The Iraqi soldiers were stunned and suffered a hefty price for entering the city. Urban warfare made the Iraqi soldiers cramped and easy to pick off by merely blowing up a house with either booby traps or an RPG.


    Iraqi soldiers in 1981 after capturing an enemy position and Islamist flag.

    The Iraqi soldiers would win the battle of Ahvaz by the end of April but at an enormous cost in morale and lives. Shortly after the United States bombed Iraqi soldiers as they attempted to take the coastline. The air strikes slowed down the advance to a stalemate as they came under attack from PIF soldiers in the north of the country. Next Hussein tried to secure a defensive line against the PIF to allow him to focus his main fire power on the Islamists and force a peace deal. Instead, the battle turned into a full-blown siege as Rajavi told the people of Illam via radio to hold strong against the tide of Iraqi imperialism and Arab Nationalism. By the end of May Hussein was making gains but at a slower pace than expected. Thanks to support by Israeli advisors and weaponry he managed to stabilize the situation, but Soviet and United States air strikes damaged his ability to totally cripple the Islamist forces. Laxalt was planning in around a month to confront the UN about implementing international sanctions against Iraq but in the meantime he had too much to chew on. The FSLN and FDN were inflicting thousands of casualties on the Honduras military and there was now a refugee crisis on the southern border. The stress was getting to him, and he decided he would knock out three visits with foreign leaders at once. He would first stop in Sydney Australia to meet with Prime Minister Bill Hayden of Australia for two days between May 5th and May 7th. Then he would meet with the Queen in Auckland to discuss global issues and take a couple of photos for the UK-US press. Then the next day on the 9th he would meet with Robert Muldoon to round off the trip and return back to the US. A tight schedule that wouldn’t be healthy, but neither was being president.

    He just wouldn’t realize how unhealthy it was. Everything was going fine until his visit to Auckland. He got a feeling in his gut this wasn’t a good idea. It was as if his guardian angel was telling him something he told his wife. On the 9th he had gotten a good night of sleep, but he still had the nagging feeling that something was wrong. He ignored it, figuring it was just some anxiety due to the situation in Latin America or Iran. As he drove up to the parliament building from his hotel crowds started to form at the sight of a foreign visitor of such prestige. He exited his car and waved to the crowd. Bang. One shot rang out from fifty feet away. The gun shot was the last sound Laxalt heard before fell into the arms of a secret service man, dead from a direct shot to the head. The bodyguard was covered in blood and Laxalt’s wife was screaming in horror as would America when they woke up to find out their nightmare had just begun. America was now on the highway to hell.
    Last edited:
    Chapter XI: A Day of Malice
  • Cianci was in bed when the secret service shook him awake. Dazed and confused he asked them “why the hell did you wake me up at three in the morning?”

    The secret service member replied with “the president has been shot and has been pronounced dead.”

    Cianci’s anger turned into pure shock as he heard those words. He was still half asleep and figured he somehow misheard the man. “Repeat that?”

    “The president is dead.”

    Cianci couldn’t believe his ears. Six years after Ford was murdered by a mad woman in Sacremento another president would leave in a body bag. He didn’t know how to react to the news. It was terrible but surreal. He could now remember three assassinations in his lifetime and now he was in the same position as Rockefeller and Johnson. He wanted to become president but not like this. Laxalt was a friend of his. Despite their differences they got along well and were developing an unbreakable friendship but now Laxalt was gone and Cianci would never be able to speak with him again.

    Cianci spent the morning preparing to tell the American people the horrible news. The day was supposed to be a sunny one but instead it should have been a cloudy day with raging thunderstorms. Him and his staff didn’t know how to calm the nation at 8:00 AM. The man they needed most was just murdered in a foreign country as the world was going to hell. Latin America was burning and now the Middle East was going up in flames. Cianci’s first job was informing Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill that he was going to nominate a new vice president shortly. When the time came for his eulogy the gravity of the past decade hit him. As of now there was only two other presidents alive were the controversial Jackson and Nixon, a crook. Ironically for three years the only two presidents' alive would-be crooks even if Cianci would never admit it.

    His speech writers finished editing Cianci’s eulogy for the former president Laxalt and he motioned for the camera man to start the broadcast. Over two hundred million Americans watched their new president give his first speech in the wake of another unspeakable tragedy. He took the podium from Alexander Haig and the words began to come out of his mouth.


    “As you most likely have seen our president has been murdered. Laxalt was on a routine diplomatic visit to the usually calm and peaceful nation of New Zealand when he was like Ford six years earlier struck down by a callous criminal. Thankfully the police were able to apprehend this individual alive so unlike so many he will face justice for his great crime. I know many of you are angry and sad at this news. Because lord knows I am. But instead of focusing on the murderer whose name isn’t worth a mention I will focus on the victim. Laxalt was a man who was known for his warm attitude to all he met. To him it didn’t matter if you had an R or a D next to your name because to him, we were all Americans. I believe that vision is important especially right now. As you know we’ve been through a lifetime of tragedy in the past two decades. In 1963 Kennedy was killed in Dallas. In 1968 we saw mass riots grip our beautiful nation. In 1975 Ford was murdered. In 1978 we were once again at war with Panama after the attack on the Panama Canal. And now we have seen Paul Laxalt killed in cold blood. In the wake of these tragedies malice and anger are common emotions that we all experienced but these emotions will never undo the tragedies of yesterday. All we can do is what I’ve always done as Americans and push forward and not be paralyzed by fear. This is the time for us to unite as Americans, in honor of Laxalt’s legacy and push forward. The world isn’t great right now but nor was it in 1941 or 1861. The way we made the world a better place is by fighting for what was right and right now we need that more than ever. God bless you all and God bless you, Paul.”

    By the end of the speech Cianci had tears in his eyes and shortly after the camera cut, he cried for Laxalt. Cianci had his inauguration planned out in his head. He would be inaugurated by a chief justice most likely appointed by Laxalt and Laxalt would be there, right next to him and his wife with his family. Now that fantasy was shattered and overtaken by the dark reality that things were only getting worse. But now with the eulogy over the focus shifted the man who killed Laxalt in cold blood.


    Christopher John Lewis. The man who killed Laxalt.

    In New Zealand the police apprehended the man who was suspected of murdering Laxalt. His name was Christopher John Lewis. An officer spotted him as he tried to flee the scene with his .22 rifle and was promptly tackled and arrested for murder. Now he stood in the spotlight in the most public murder case in world history. Never before had a president been killed in foreign land and naturally the world wanted to know the man who killed one of the most powerful men in the world. What they found was a mentally deranged individual who should’ve been in jail.

    Lewis was a troubled youth who by the time of the assassination of Laxalt had been expelled from school due to assaulting a fellow student and robbed a post office with his friends. Why he was on the streets let alone possessing a firearm was beyond the people of both New Zealand and the United States. The media soon enough began to psychoanalyze Lewis as he became the poster child of mentally disturbed youth in the English-speaking world. A deranged individual who idolized Charles Manson and showed no remorse for his actions. When asked by the police if he understood the gravity of what he just committed he responded with “will I get tried here or in the United States?” An unfortunate side effect of Lewis murdering Laxalt was the fascination of the mentally ill in US media with those suffering from mental health issues being portrayed as tomorrow’s serial killer or president killer. Despite most mentally ill folks being non-violent and more likely to suffer from poverty they were still smeared by the media due to the actions of Lewis. It wasn’t until the Kleefisch administration when attitudes started to change as the mentally ill were recognized as victims of mental illness instead of perpetrators of violence.

    But for the time being Lewis stood as a poster child for the mentally ill. After Lewis officially took responsibility for the murder, he was booked in the newly built Auckland Prison while Prime Minister Robert Muldoon and Buddy Cianci discussed the future extradition of Lewis to the United States on 1st degree murder. Muldoon had concerns about the death penalty, but Cianci was unsympathetic to his concerns. Muldoon had no place to negotiate with Cianci as the situation was already making New Zealand look quite terrible internationally. Muldoon accepted Cianci’s request for extradition despite it being a guarantee that Lewis would be put to death by the US government. Lewis on June 9th was officially taken from Auckland Prison to Auckland airport where military police from the US escorted him into a military cargo plane that was outfitted with a brand-new cell to hold him. Lewis would not escape justice this time and by the time he arrived in LA talks of his death amongst Americans were already being discussed with great glee. Shortly before his arrival Lynette Fromme was executed in Sacramento. Cianci was in Sacramento to campaign on his tough on crime approach which he called for states to re-implement the death penalty and a national crackdown on drugs, which the media ate up with heaps of praise. Cianci at this point as the murder of his friend wore off began to revert to his usual habits. He would personally lead the Turner Broadcasting Association (TBA) on a tour of where Fromme was set to be executed. During the tour he had a hint of glee in his voice as a murderer would face the same fate as their victim in a twisted sense of justice. One reporter asked Cianci if Fromme would feel any pain during the execution in which he replied with “not that I know of. I wouldn’t say I would feel bad personally.”

    Cianci originally wanted to do a tour of the maximum-security prison where Lewis would be staying and most likely executed at, but Attorney General Orrin Hatch talked him out of it, believing it would interfere with the case and lead to a small chance of a mistrial due to the intervention of the president. Cianci may have been a bombastic but wanted to see his friend’s murder avenged, even if he had to change his style until after the verdict. A small price to see him meet the same fate as his friend.

    Another change America saw in the wake of the murder of Laxalt was the dramatic increase in police spending across the US. Police were starting to find themselves with brand new weaponry to crackdown on crime, with the LAPD and the NYPD becoming the owners of new armored cars that were able to mount machine guns. Soon enough if you were in your living room doing drugs you could find yourself on the receiving end of a fully armed SWAT team. This overkill reaction to crime was popular amongst most Americans as it led to some actual results due to the federal government being paranoid about more assassinations in the future. In Rhode Island the Patriarca Crime Family was attacked ruthlessly by the FBI due to them being a perceived threat to Cianci. The head of the family, Raymond L.S Patriarca was arrested in 1982 for the alleged murder of an informant. However, the police were fired upon at his house when they attempted to serve the warrant and an FBI SWAT team was sent to arrest him. A four-hour standoff culminated in a shootout which ended in three of Patriarca’s goons dying and one FBI agent being killed after being shot in the head. The further crackdown on the Patriarca crime family led to the arrest of thirty associates or family members. Cianci during his time became Rhode Island’s hero. An anti-corruption crusader who through honest and noble work became president. Even when he got to the big leagues, he still came back to destroy the tyranny of corruption. This was before his crimes were exposed and they found out he was merely replacing those who threatened his power. Patriarca may have gone down but he was merely replaced by a greater thug. One who has the full resources of the federal government behind him.


    Police during the Patriarca Standoff (1981).

    Even though they are just conspiracy theories we must talk about the allegations of Cianci killing Laxalt. Soon after the prosecution of Cianci began another investigation was started by Attorney General Martin D. Ginsburg which became known as the Hecht Commission. The Hecht Commission was tasked with investigating allegations by Vito Miceli, who alleged Cianci had bragged about having Laxalt killed. This was most likely an attempt to save himself from a harsh prison sentence in Italy, but it was investigated, nonetheless. The Hecht Commission had little to work with as Lewis been executed in 1982 shortly after he was found guilty. After hours of interviews with CIA agents, disgraced general Oliver North, members of the Cianci administration, and the New Zealand police they determined that Cianci did not kill Laxalt. Despite this the Hecht Commission inherently sowed distrust in Cianci’s innocence by merely giving credence to the theory he murdered Laxalt as the Biden Commission uncovered numerous other violent crimes committed by him and his accomplices. Rudy Guliani, the former governor of New York and one of the lawyers of Cianci’s prosecution still doubts the innocence of Cianci. Claiming that the CIA and Cianci sought to get rid Laxalt for his planned meeting with Prime Minister Moro of Italy to settle the diplomatic spat between the two countries and his opposition to the OPN death squads in El Salvador. These claims have been once again debunked and rejected by every presidential administration since Cianci left office. Though one can hardly blame people for being suspicious of Cianci's innocence.


    Hecht announcing the findings of the Hecht Commission (1990).

    But many Americans and Italians still believe Cianci was responsible for the death of Laxalt, with Prime Minister Massimo Zedda raising suspicions in 2017. Furthermore, the film Cianci by Oliver Stone and Alex Jones is laced with the theory of Cianci killing Laxalt, with it being implied him and the CIA were working together to hire and train an assassin shortly after Laxalt became president. Despite it being panned by critics for its stunning lack of historical accuracy that would make PRC apologists blush it was a hit, making $300 million at the box office. Matteo Renzi, the current Prime Minister of Italy has publicly stated it was one of his favorite movies and Cianci’s former wife Shelia said she could see him killing Laxalt. Of course, she has reasons to believe that considering she saw Cianci’s actions behind closed doors. But the government has no reason to lie about Cianci’s crimes. Some claim it’s because it would expose the CIA’s criminality. Of course, they conveniently forget the CIA suffered such a blow in the wake of Cianci’s administration they were eventually abolished in 1999 and replaced by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) due to them becoming the most hated and distrusted government agency in not only the US but the world. By the time the CIA was abolished and replaced it had become a liability for the US's diplomacy. By the time they were replaced their criminality during the Cianci years were very well known and impossible to avoid when the CIA was brought up. All documents on the Laxalt Assassination were released in 2001 and no evidence of Cianci or any government agency being involved in the assassination were found in the documents. Everything was truly done by Christopher John Lewis.
    Chapter XII: The New Boss
  • Once the tour of death row was completed Cianci would head back to D.C to start defining his administration. The first order of business was government matters as a competent administration is key to leaving your mark on American history. For Vice President he knew he needed a conservative to appeal to the Reaganite base and balance out the administration. His shortlist included Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Pete Domenici of New Mexico, Bill Janklow of South Dakota, and Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan. He personally liked Cochran, Janklow, and Vander Jagt for numerous reasons. Cochran was from the South, and he felt like he would be a perfect balance. But with a razor thin tie in the senate and a Democratic governor being the one to appoint Cochran’s successor he rejected Cochran. Janklow was like Cianci in many ways. He was an energetic governor who was known for his bombastic personality. Cianci was concerned though about him outshining himself and for his lack of concern for the environment. He figured Janklow would be quite divisive and unpopular, and he’d be right as when he proposed the list to Tip O’Neill, he flat out rejected Janklow as his least favorite. Usually, Cianci would just ignore O’Neill but in this case, he figured unity would be important. Vander Jagt, he determined was the best option. He was an establishment figure to contrast with his pseudo-populism and a staunch conservative from Michigan. He’d prefer a southerner, but Vander Jagt was still a good choice. Cianci figured he’d be the best of the pair to handle bureaucratic measures while he was away on a foreign trip or playing the media game. When he interviewed Vander Jagt, he stood out to Cianci as a Vice President he would enjoy working with compared to a firebrand Reaganite like Phil Crane or Robert Bauman. Who proved to be concerned with pushing his own ideological agenda on Cianci.

    On May 20th Vander Jagt was nominated by Cianci for the Vice Presidency. He was a fairly uncontroversial pick amongst the public and Washington. He was a well-liked man in the House, so he passed with nearly all 435 members voting for his confirmation. In the senate it was once again a near unanimous vote in favor of Vander Jagt. Only two senators (Stennis and Durenberger) didn’t vote for Vander Jagt because they were sick and stayed home. Vander Jagt became the 45th vice president and deep down he knew he was going to become president. He didn’t like to admit nor want to. He had a superstitious feeling that Nixon’s curse would take Cianci but if only he could imagine the firestorm instead of a bullet that ended Cianci’s career.


    Guy Vander Jagt answering a question during the confirmation hearing.

    Cianci would get his chance to make his mark early on with the retirement of Potter Stewart in July. The vacancy provided an opportunity for him to prove his conservative credentials to the supreme court. The Reaganites still didn’t trust him with him appointing Pete du Pont as Secretary of the Treasury who was on the moderate end of the Republican Party. Furthermore, Cianci refused to touch the public option and wasn’t the one to go on some grand moral crusade for the agitated social conservative faction of the Republican Party. During his term as governor, he tried to remain neutral on the issue of abortion. The state legislature though had other ideas and passed a bill funding Planned Parenthood for the next three years. He had the opportunity to veto it, but he personally didn't care very much about abortion. He cared more about keeping his approval ratings high, so he signed the bill. While the bill was popular in Rhode Island it was unpopular amongst conservatives. Every day the Crane brothers and Pete Domenici tried to pressure him to oppose abortion. When the vacancy came up, he was concerned with getting the conservatives in line for the remainder of his term, so he asked his staff to come up with a supreme court justice who would do exactly that. Bork was at the top of the list, so he picked him on a whim. At that point Cianci wanted to get the conservatives in the GOP to shut up and let him do his own thing rather than complain endlessly about abortion. He nominated Robert Bork the Supreme Court to replace Stewart on July 24th. He was controversial but Cianci was known for his moderate views which helped convince a decent number of Democrats to support the nomination. Begrudgingly the senate would give the green light to Bork as Cianci had a sky-high approval rating due to the assassination of Paul Laxalt. Despite opposition from Ted Kennedy and the liberals of the senate due to Bork’s reactionary views, he would be approved 53-47. James Exon, John C. Stennis, Ernest Hollings, , Bill Schulz, Dennis DeConcini, Wendell Ford, and Walter D. Huddleston voted for Bork. Edward Brooke, Lowell Weicker, and John Chafee voted against the Bork nomination. The Senate didn't want to have a partisan battle until the effects of the Laxalt assassination wore off. The American people supported Bork's nomination due to liking Cianci. Any attempt to quash the nomination would've surely backfired on the Democrats. The Senate confirming Bork by only four votes sent a clear message that another Bork would not be tolerated. It was also just one supreme court justice, Cianci was the man they viewed as reasonable enough to appoint a moderate if another vacancy came up.


    Bork getting into a heated exchange with Senator Mondale.

    Cianci had now gotten the Reaganites to shut up and could pursue his true agenda. Crime. The first act of the Cianci administration was the Safe American Streets Act or SAS Act. The SAS Act sharply increased the federal budget to fight drug use through mass incarceration. Millions would be set aside to fund new prison contracts to hold these prisoners who for doing drugs would be sent to prison for around ten years on average. Those selling drugs would face up to twenty years. Billions more would be set aside to aid police departments across the country and hire 80,000 new police officers. The SAS Act would pass swiftly 83-16 as very few senators or representatives would dare vote against a bill that would supposedly decrease crime. Of course, it would mainly lead to mass incarceration as drug abusers and small-time sellers clogged up the prison system, ruining tens of thousands of lives for minor offenses. Cianci celebrated the incarceration rate however as evidence that criminals were finally being punished for their sins against society. With crime being cracked down upon at an unprecedented rate Cianci was content with his first year domestically.


    Hezbollah militiamen in Qom (2011).

    In Iran, the situation only became bloodier. The weapons being sent to Iran only ramped up in 1981 as Cianci viewed winning the Iranian Civil War as the top priority for the United States. Thousands of guns and artillery pieces soon enough found their way into the more radical Islamist factions. The Army of God (Hezbollah) was formed by the radical Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. Hezbollah acted as a militia and a political faction within the National Green Party. After its formation in 1981, it quickly became notorious for numerous crimes against humanity, with them executing hundreds of suspected communist guerrilla fighters without trial or evidence. On the battlefield, they were notorious for not taking prisoners, whether Iraqi or communist. Most importantly though the inability of the National Green Party to condemn Hezbollah for their crimes against humanity alienated the large liberal population of Iran. While the liberal militias fought on the same side as the Islamists, they still didn’t have much trust for them, fearing they would be purged once the civil war ended. Hezbollah didn’t do wonders for the coalition with their death squads running around the country. Cianci attempted to correct the divisions within the anti-communist coalition at a conference in Muscat. The Muscat Conference was aimed at uniting the Islamist and liberal factions. Ali Khamenei represented the Islamists, Abolhassan Banisadr represented the liberals, and Mohammad-Javad Bahonar was the representative of the radicals. The Muscat Conference stands as one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in US history. At first Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld tried to lead the three warring factions in the right direction by emphasizing their collective hatred of communism. This started the meeting out well with Banisadr and Khamenei telling each other how much they appreciated their alliance against the communists. Then Banisadr went on about how much the liberals and the Islamists had in common. Both wanted the same market reforms and to kick out the tyranny of communism.

    Unfortunately, as the meeting went on Mohammad-Javad Bahonar grew more agitated with the negotiations. In his view, the liberals were just as bad as the communists due to their secularism and their stark differences in the role of religion in society. As the Muscat Conference quickly turned into a flurry of insults and white-hot rage. Bahonar and Khamenei were staunchly in favor of a theocratic government while Banisadr was in favor of a staunchly secular government. It was these fundamental disagreements that prevented total victory in the Iranian Civil War. Cianci at the last minute cut his tour of the UK short shortly after meeting with Prime Minister Jenkins. As Khamenei and Banisadr were in an intense argument over whether the latter was a traitor to the revolution Cianci burst into the room, with a stoic face and quiet yet threatening tone. He sat between Khamenei and Bahonar and at first, was quiet. Once the arguments started up again, he snapped.

    “Listen you son of a bitches. You have two choices here. One, you refuse to work together and allow a godless communist to steamroll your country and kill your families. Or two, you guys put your petty differences aside and win a great victory for liberty against the most tyrannical ideology in human history. You got that?”

    The room was stunned by Cianci’s interruption. They had all heard that he could be brash and energetic, but his tone sounded like a mob boss more than a president. Khamenei and Banisadr were silent as they feared angering the man that they owed their country to. Bahonar on the other hand, whether because of his lack of intelligence or bravery spoke up first.

    “Mr. President, you’re a religious man, correct?”

    “Yes,” said Cianci, sounding more annoyed as each letter came out of his mouth.

    “Well, then you’d understand that we must not compromise on the issue of religion in our society. Mr. Banisadr over there is another godless atheist who seeks to destroy the religion that brought the end to the Shah. How the hell are we supposed to work with a godless and sinful man who opposes the fundamental values of Islam!”

    Cianci had enough and sprung out of his chair and right into the face of Bahonar. “Are fucking joking? Your party won the election of 1981 and your scared of that man over there? Last time I checked Rajavi and the PIF have the capital under their control and have their boots on the necks of Tehran’s residents and you’re worried about him? The US is the single biggest contributor to Hezbollah, so I’d suggest you’d shut up and get in line! Or your organization will be lacking some necessary funds.”

    Bahonar didn’t know how to react to the new president. Cianci was the kind of man who didn’t take shit from anyone and wasn’t willing to go home with a broken anti-communist coalition over some religious disagreements. Bahonar apparently didn’t know this and made the greatest mistake of his life. Bahonar shot back “I will not yield to tools of Zionism and imperialism for your money that you stole in 1953!”

    Cianci snapped further and got within an inch of Bahonar’s face and screamed “then enjoy being slaughtered by a bunch of commie bastards you dense asshole! If you think for one minute that I need you, you’re mistaken. You’re the one who needs me.”

    “Then why did you call this meeting?” Bahonar screamed back.

    Before Cianci could think of a response or punch him in the face the secret service separated the two, thus marking the end of US support for Hezbollah and the radical militias. But the damage was done. Officially the Muscat Conference would end with the liberals and the Islamists officially agreeing that communism was the greatest threat to Iran, not theocracy or secularism. But the agreement they made provided no framework for a joint military as both feared the other side would dominate it and later purge the other side in a military coup.

    After the disastrous Muscat Conference Cianci’s approval ratings dipped slightly to around 57% on average. Most Americans hadn’t heard of the Muscat Conference and were happy with a president that had a no-nonsense approach to politics. When the public heard about how he berated Bahonar they ate it up. Seeing their president stand up for what he believed was right during such a tough time always put a smile on their face. After he returned from Muscat, he began to craft a new bill that would begin the end of his downfall. The bill was a $5 billion dollar infrastructure bill that aimed to create an energy-independent United States by developing the oil and gas industry in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado and building ten new nuclear power plants. The bill itself was rather uncontroversial (minus amongst anti-nuclear groups) as politicians liked it for creating jobs and giving the economy a shot of adrenaline, giving them something they could brag about for their re-election campaign. The bill easily passed and was received very positively by the public. So, what was so bad about the bill? It wasn’t so much the bill but the implementation. Cianci used the bill as a way to reap immense profit as the federal government decided which contracts went to which companies. To keep his name off the records he would give insider information on what companies would get a government contract. In exchange, the friends and family would pay Cianci 20-40% of the profit they made from the stock. The insider trading would go unnoticed for a decent amount of time as Congress didn’t want to investigate another president unless they had hard evidence of wrongdoing. Especially one whose whole appeal was his anti-corruption. Without, wiretapping Cianci’s relatives and friends Congress wouldn’t even have enough evidence to start an investigation, making any attempt to bring Cianci to justice look like a Democratic witch hunt.

    For the time being Cianci raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from stock increases alone as no one in Congress dared to investigate the friend of the martyred Laxalt. But after around a month with not a peep from Congress, he proceeded to look for a new way to benefit from the energy bill. First, he wanted to give back to the state that contributed the most to his rise to the presidency. One of the ten nuclear power plants was set to be built near Cumberland due to heavy pressure by Cianci. The city wasn’t chosen at random though, just like all the projects he had something to gain. This time he used his friends in Rhode Island to find the best way to rake in the cash. Cumberland was designated as the building place for the nuclear power plant due to it being an unassuming town that would serve as a great place for embezzling money. Cianci had won the city in his 1978 run for the governorship and was very popular there, allowing him to get away with a few funds going missing. The construction of the Diamondhill Power Plant was notoriously slow and expensive as the project kept running over budget. The state government would be in charge of constructing the plant. Governor Claudine Schneider originally planned to use a local construction company for the project but at the behest of Cianci and his Chief of Staff Edward D. DiPrete, she would give the state government control over the construction. At the time she didn’t know why Cianci and DiPrete wanted to have the state government-run the construction process but later she would find out the true reason. Cianci during his time as governor stacked the state government to the brim with his goons that would be more than happy to launder him some money when the time came for a little bit of influence or cash themselves. The folks in charge of the Construction Commission were all in Cianci’s pockets and as the construction went on more and more money was unaccounted for unless you were Buddy Cianci and Edward DiPrete of course. Schneider attempted to crack down on the theft, but Cianci and his goons sabotaged the investigation from the start.


    The Diamondhill Power Plant, the most corrupt construction project in US history.

    Witnesses with the help of allies in the Cumberland Police Department and FBI were intimidated, threatened with their careers being ruined, or threatened to frame them for stealing the money. All of the witnesses promised secrecy as they feared the police and FBI’s ability to ruin their lives. If anyone had the resources and credibility to ruin their lives it was the local police who everyone trusted and the FBI, who had the full power of the federal government behind them. They didn’t know at the time the president was behind the intimidations, but the police and FBI agents knew full well Cianci was their boss. They respected him for increasing their salaries during his time as governor for the former and during his time as president for the latter. Furthermore, several police officers and FBI agents would extort some money from the witnesses to earn some extra cash on the side. The Cianci crime circle would see countless FBI agents abuse their authority to seize tens of thousands of dollars in cash from those who threatened Cianci’s power. Some tried to go the media, and most were ignored until Cianci’s reign of terror was exposed and impeachment proceedings began. Unfortunately, the Diamondhill Power Plant would be the first and not the last of Cianci’s crimes.
    Last edited:
    Chapter XIII: The World Gone Mad
  • In January 1982 Cianci was living the dream. He was the most powerful man in the world, he had a decent amount of the FBI in his pocket, and Congress hadn’t even thought of investigating his crimes. But the first obstacle to his power came in February of 1982. As Washington was five below a group of Conservative congressmen became increasingly critical of Cianci’s handling of the Diamond Hills Power Plant. Led by Congressman Robert Bauman of Maryland he viciously criticized the government’s funding of nuclear power plants as four more in Foley Minnesota, Lubbock Texas, Provo Utah, and Little Rock Arkansas began construction and were already reporting spending more money than predicted. Bauman assumed this was due to government incompetence and wanted to use the opportunity to push Cianci to the right.


    Lyndon B. Johnson Power Plant being constructed in 1981. Soon enough plants like this would come to dominate Texas and export power to neighboring states under the Silber governorship.

    Robert Bauman (1983).

    Bauman would attempt to lead a Congressional audit of the four power plants, but Cianci continuously pressured him too not. Warning him “your career will be ended.” Bauman figured he was being hyperbolic and continued to push for an audit of the power plants. Bauman was about to introduce his plan to Republican and Democratic leaders when Bauman was called into the White House by Chief of Staff DiPrete on February 14th. Bauman accepted the invitation and early in the morning, he met Cianci in the Oval Office. He and DiPrete were already there and suspiciously there were no Secret Service agents in the office.

    “Good evening, President and Mr. DiPrete. How are you guys doing today?” Said Bauman as he walked into the quiet and cold room.

    “Good Mr. Bauman. Take a seat will you” said Cianci with a dead serious tone.

    “Uh, okay.” Bauman sat down and a low-level staff member brought in a TV on a cart and moved it in front of Bauman. Once the staff member left the room DiPrete closed the door and locked them. “What the hell?” Bauman mumbled under his breath. Cianci pulled out a cassette tape and inserted it into the cassette player.

    “Now Mr. Bauman I’d suggest you’d look closely, and you may learn something. If you don’t well that’s your choice but don’t expect me to follow you into the fire.”

    Bauman was terrified yet confused at the statement. Not one of Cianci’s final threats but he was still worried. The TV flickered on and security camera footage came on. Bauman was seen at a gas station twenty miles south of Washington D.C. There it showed him paying for sex with a man named Angus Marion, a sixteen-year-old. Bauman started to sweat profusely as he remembered that night. The police had seen him, and he managed to get the police to leave him with a warning. It was put into the record by the police and Cianci had done his homework after having his goons try and find dirt on Bauman. When the video ended with Bauman leaving after an officer stopped by Cianci turned off the TV. Bauman was paralyzed by fear and Cianci had a grin on his face as he prepared to let out his firestorm of words. “Now listen here faggot, paying for sex with a boy is illegal last time I checked. If this tape landed in the hands of Congress you’d be expelled and jailed within a week. That’s your first option. Your second is you end this idiotic witch hunt and do as I say. Then you’ll be able to make tens of thousands less than me but still have a decent living swindling your constituents out of the truth. So, which is it?”


    “Well, are you gonna answer me you son of bitch? How would your mother react to you attempting to sodomize a boy with cash? How many years do you think I could get the judge to throw at you?”

    “I accept.”

    “Which one faggot?”

    “The one where I won’t go to jail.”

    “Good choice. Now I need a couple of favors. I’m gonna eventually take some heat from your dumbass friends in Congress. Ya know the Crane brothers, Gingrich, and Kemp are on my ass due to “spending too much money” and not banning abortion. Tell them I already appointed Bork to the supreme court and made Vander Jagt Veep. I’ve told them at least two million times their policies are going to piss off the public but maybe they’ll shut the hell up if you talk to them. Ya got that?”

    “Uh, yes Bud-I mean Mr. President.”


    Cianci went on with his day with him considering it one of the best days of his life. He now had his own puppet in Congress who was motivated by fear. Bauman would be the first of several in Cianci’s sick game who were threatened with their livelihoods being ruined and were forced to bow down to him and cover up his crimes. Several others willingly went along to get rich but Bauman on the other hand was sympathetically viewed by some Americans as an unwilling participant. In 1990 he would be pardoned, and his criminal record was extinguished. Bauman before he was brought down would kill any plans for a congressional audit. As February went by most Americans forgot about the construction of the nuclear power plants as more news broke from Iran. Iraqi forces were once again able to push the Iranians back as the war began to turn into a stalemate between the PIF and Islamists. Due to the invasion by Iraq, the Islamists were forced into sending tens of thousands to hold the Khuzestan region, preventing them from launching a crippling offensive against the PIF. The PIF on the other hand was also preoccupied with not only Iraq, which was massacring their Kurdish allies but the Islamist resistance fighters who were still ambushing supply convoys and generally screwing things up for Rajavi. The Islamists and PIF were now stuck in static yet bloody mountain fighting that saw thousands of deaths.

    Cianci wasn’t particularly interested in a war against Iraq at the moment and dramatically ramped up airstrikes by 40% against Iraqi forces. Cianci at the UN meeting in 1982 led a motion to sanction Iraq. The motion was supported by the USSR and the Egypt-aligned bloc in the Middle East. Two countries opposed it openly though. The first was Israel was funding the Iraqi government and wanted a strong secular government to deter Islamist and nationalist aggression. The second was China. For some background in 1976, the Chinese government faced a power struggle between the radical Gang of Four and the reformists led by Deng Xiaoping and Hua Guofeng. After the Tiananmen Square Incident in 1976 Xiaoping was arrested for treason. The key to the Gang of Four seizing power was getting the military on their side which was accomplished by promising Wang Dongxing and Chen Xilian political power and a role in foreign policy. Furthermore, on November 9th Guofeng met with President Rockefeller in Singapore and protests once again broke out. Guofeng wanting to not look weak in front of Rockefeller refused to cut his trip short and denounced the protests from Singapore. The Gang of Four used the Peking Incident as it would be called as further evidence Guofeng, and the reformists were unable to handle governing the country and a more hardline leadership was needed. Dongxing feared a potential mass movement of students and workers that would overthrow the Communist system. He viewed the reformists' nonchalant attitude towards the protests convinced him that Guofeng needed to be removed from power. Guofeng's decision to not return to China would cause a verbal fight between him and Dongxing who attempted to convince him that his decision was reckless and a threat to the government. Guofeng in the heat of the moment cussed out Dongxing and accused him of harboring anti-government views. The next day of November 15th, another protest started in Bejing this time spearheaded by a few hundred factory workers. This was the final straw as the risk of the Communist system falling under the pressure of constant protests that the government refused to make an example out of convinced Dongxing that Hongwen was the best choice for China. Combined with the Gang of Four's control over the media Guofeng suffered enormously from the propaganda campaign that brainwashed millions into supporting the Gang of Four, a decision they would regret. On December 1st the reformist faction of the Politburo was arrested by the military in a coup by the Gang of Four. The two generals were rewarded handsomely with Xilian becoming the commander of the PLA and Dongxing the Minister of Defense. Wang Hongwen became Premier and started to install his radical vision on the Chinese people. The propaganda machine of the Politburo was put to good use convincing the Chinese people that Hongwen's power was going to turn China into a superpower that would rival the United States and the Soviet Union. One part of his plan was to dramatically expand China’s influence over the globe and create a third bloc, not aligned with capitalism or Marxist-Leninism but what would become known as Maoist-Wangism. The Maoist-Wangist foreign policy would not be utilized too much in the 70s as Wang and Jiang Qing focused on domestic affairs but come the 1980s, they were dead set on asserting China as a first-rate power. That meant sabotaging any attempts by the Soviet Union and the United States to expand their power over the rest of the world. Wang to his credit recognized the potential benefits of a strong Iraq that controlled a decent amount of the world’s oil supply. So, Wang ordered the Chinese delegate to the UN to veto the proposed sanctions against Iraq in an effort to bring Hussein into their sphere. Hussein gladly accepted weapons but had no plan to actually enter into an official alliance with Wang who he viewed as a tinpot dictator whose incompetence could be abused for time being.


    Wang Hongwen denouncing the Reformist faction after the December Coup.

    Cianci and Ustinov's anger was legendary. Both of them hadn’t expected the play by Wang and were cursing him under their breaths. Cianci would cut off most diplomatic ties to China as their dictatorship became more and more like a cult hell-bent on purging any vague hint of dissent with bullets rather than running a country properly. Cianci’s speech at the UN was planned to be about the Iraqi intervention in the Iranian Civil War but he changed it on the spot. Instead, it was a twenty-minute bloodbath that denounced China as a tinpot dictatorship that had no respect for international law. Cianci and Ustinov would press for sanctions against Wang’s regime and due to the blocking of sanctions against Iraq China would be increasingly alienated from the rest of the world. With Cianci’s speech, Nixon’s legacy was now destroyed.

    In retaliation for the increasing alienation, Wang would begin a new project that struck close to home. In July of 1982, they began to fund the Shining Path terrorist organization in Peru. The Shining Path had quickly gathered a reputation as one of the most brutal terrorist organizations in Latin America. With their new weapons, they would massacre scores of civilians and execute surrendering soldiers if they refused to comply with the Shining Path. China’s arming of Maoist-Wangist terrorist organizations only worsened the situation in Latin America as more and more atrocities were committed each day. Cianci when he found out about the arming of the Shining Path retaliated by placing 10,000 soldiers in Taiwan and sent advisors to the Andes mountains to help crush the Shining Path rebellion.

    Going back to domestic circumstances Cianci was still very popular amongst most Americans. Oil production was booming from Alaska to Louisiana which brought thousands of jobs and the nuclear power plants despite suffering from Cianci and his goon's taking money from the budget were near completion. Most anticipated a decrease in their electricity bill when the power plants opened. With Bauman shutting up about an audit Cianci would be able to get away with his theft for now. Unlike in Rhode Island, his theft was significantly less as he wasn’t able to exert as much control over private companies. But where the government did have a hand in the building process, he made sure to collect a couple of thousand dollars. When it came to giving oil contracts things were somehow shadier. In Texas, the Houston Natural Gas company under Kenneth Lay was passed over for a contract. Lay went directly to Washington in a last-ditch effort to try and convince Cianci to give his country the contract. Lay walked out promising to pay one of Cianci’s goons $800,000. Each year Cianci would demand a new round of bribes that were often $500,000 a year. A small price to pay as Lay quickly became a millionaire as the prices of stocks shot up within his company. Everyone wanted a piece of the pie as Lay became one of the richest men in Texas. Business boomed as the government contract allowed him to build dozens of new oil rigs to exploit Texas’s vast reserves. Lay was technically the CEO of the company but deep down he knew it was only due to Cianci he was rich. Lay may have sold his soul to the devil but he didn’t regret it. For half a decade he was the undisputed king of Texas and was a man who monopolized the oil market with Cianci’s support. “King Ken” would also be the one who brought the technology industry to Texas. Before Cianci’s fall, he was arguably the key financial advisor to Cianci as the more money he gave to him the more power he had. Only one man had enough courage to stand up to him and that was Charlie Wilson, the partying liberal. Wilson despite his role in suppressing liberation theology in Latin America would be a man who tirelessly fought for the poor and as King Ken’s monopoly expanded into state politics, he vigorously denounced him as a tyrant who sought to defund Medicaid in favor of subsidies for businesses, he invested in.


    Charlie Wilson. A hero to Texas and later the United States.

    King Ken tried to defeat Wilson at the ballot box with a pro-Cianci candidate, but Wilson was just too popular. He was an opponent of both communism and inequality and for that, he was rewarded. Wilson despite King Ken’s efforts would not be taken down until long after he was imprisoned and by that point, Wilson was still a hero to Texas. A man who may have done some drugs, but he did break the stranglehold of corruption that choked the state. But for now, King Ken was building up his business and using Cianci’s allies in the FBI to get dirt on his opponents. He paid his dues to Cianci like many would and would learn quickly that crime did indeed pay. In 1982 the company had quadrupled in wealth and King Ken looked to take his crime ring national. Later that year he bought a small oil company in New Mexico and another one in Oklahoma.

    Cianci’s next big bill was a tax cut bill that would cut taxes by 8% for the middle class and 4% for the top tax bracket. Despite not having a majority in the House the Democrats would bend to Cianci’s will. The bill surprisingly didn’t directly benefit Cianci or his goons but was a legitimate piece of legislation that Cianci believed would benefit the American people. The tax cut ran into no serious opposition due to the bill being quite small in nature and very popular. Seeing more money go to you rather than the government was something that every American, rich or poor loved to see. In the senate, the bill once again passed with an overwhelming majority of sixty votes. But the tax bill would be the least important bill that Cianci tried to pass in 1982. The most important would be the attempted ban on desegregation busing. The bill was controversial and would be the first bill supported by Cianci to run into heavy opposition. Liberals opposed the bill as they believed it would lead to a state of continued de facto segregation while conservatives eagerly supported the bill. Busing had become increasingly controversial as many racists viewed it as negatively affecting their children's education due to integration. Cianci on the issue of busing was with Jesse Helms and the Reaganite faction of the GOP. When the bill was proposed Cianci saw a great chance to cement his re-election as the bill would appeal to mostly white suburbs who were vast in votes.

    But the bill while popular amongst the socially conservative working-class and suburbs the bill was unpopular amongst liberals and blacks. Former president Jackson endorsed the bill while meeting with Cianci. Most southern Democrats supported the bill as they viewed it as the last chance to strike a blow in favor of state's rights as the Supreme Court and society were publicly against them at this point. Though even Republicans opposed the bill. Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts opposed the bill as an attack on civil rights. During the proceedings, more and more Democrats came out in opposition including Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. On September 4th, 1982, the bill was narrowly defeated in the House 230-210. The bill was defeated by a slim margin and Cianci would use the bill as a bludgeon against the Democrats. The fiasco over busing would last the entirety of the year as the issue was inflamed once again. In the 1982 midterm elections, the issue would dominate over issues such as Latin America and political corruption. The liberal Republican governor of Massachusetts, Francis W. Hatch would be narrowly defeated by conservative Democrat Louise Day Hicks, who ran as an opponent of busing. Her victory served as a major defeat for those who supported busing as one of the most liberal states rejected the policy. The 1982 midterms saw a slight increase in the Democratic majority from 249 to 251, with gains being made mainly in the Midwest which was terribly affected by the Iranian Civil War and the oil shocks. While the midterms went great for Cianci and the Republicans, with them picking up senate seats in California, and Nevada compared to the Democrats picking up New Jersey and Virginia. Notably Shirley Temple Black defeated Governor Jerry Brown by two points to become the first female senator from the state. In Virginia Elmo Zumwalt defeated Linwood Holton by less than 10,000 votes and like Temple was already being considered a prime candidate for the presidency. The senate was still a 51-50 majority, but Cianci was able to keep his party from losing the senate, a big accomplishment considering the economic situation and the fact the Democrats had controlled the senate since 1957 until that streak was broken in 1980. With the midterms over it was time to take a trip to Europe and see Marxism in motion.
    Chapter XIV: Marxism in Motion
  • 1644017644514.png

    Solidarity protestors in Krakow (1982).

    The Soviet Union at the time of Cianci’s ascension to the presidency was in a state of decay. Dimity Ustinov’s ascension to the chairmanship of the Soviet Union was a quiet one. With the support of Mikhail Suslov and the hardliner faction he quickly crushed any opposition to his rule. The reformist faction dared not to challenge his rule as they knew the hardliners had a clear advantage in power. Ustinov was more moderate than the United States and the west made him about to be though. He recognized some reforms were needed but was conservative in reforming the Soviet system. Furthermore, he was vehemently opposed to corruption, decrying it as a plague that threatened the Soviet system. His actions on corruption were still limited to arresting those accused of corruption and throwing them in prison. Any attempts to reform the system to give more accountability were thwarted by Ustinov and the Politburo to protect their own friends.

    In 1981 the greatest threat to Ustinov’s power came in the form of the people the Soviets claimed to speak for. The workers. In Poland discontent with mounting debt, inflation, food shortages, and authoritarianism was taking its toll on the people’s patience. The longer the communist regime ruled the nation with a fist of iron the skinnier and poorer the Polish got. Anger was mounting and all the Polish people needed was a spark to dismantle the regime. Their spark came when Lech Wałęsa, an electrician worker whose wage was cut along with hundreds of other shipyard workers. Wałęsa and another worker, Anna Walentynowicz convinced the workers at the docks to go on strike. The workers demanded a minimum wage increase, freedom of speech, more rights for the Catholic church, improved healthcare, and the freeing of political prisoners. The strikes spread from the Lenin Dockyard in Gdansk to all across the coast of Poland. Thousands of workers walked off the job or occupied their workplace. The strike would soon spread to the factories of the interior of Poland as workers facing similar oppression by the communist regime were finally taking action. By the end of May hundreds of thousands of factory workers, miners, farmers, and dockers were occupying their workplace in direct defiance to the state. Mass protests were held as the Polish government was paralyzed by the strikes and Chairman Henryk Jabłoński hesitated to crush the general strike out of fear of a revolution. Jabłoński entered into negotiations with Wałęsa and Walentynowicz in an attempt to end the strikes. Ustinov’s reaction to the strike was far less forgiving. He viewed Wałęsa and Walentynowicz as agitators against communism who sought to bring down the Polish government. Soviet soldiers began to prepare for a military intervention and built up a force of 50,000 on the border in a show of force. Another 5,000 Soviet soldiers arrived in Warsaw over the next week. The message to Jabłoński was clear. Crack down or we will. Jabłoński assumed Ustinov was bluffing and continued to negotiate with the workers. On June 2nd rumors of a Soviet invasion began to spread amongst the striking workers.

    On June 3rd students at the University of Warsaw occupied the campus in protest of the Soviet Union’s threats. They demanded that the Polish government resign and allow free elections, expel Soviet soldiers, end censorship, and end restrictions on the church. The proposals were more radical than what the strikers demanded and Jabłoński refused to negotiate with them. The Warsaw police were overwhelmed by the students as 1,500 officers arrived on scene in an attempt to break it up. Jabłoński didn’t want a massacre though and told them to only use deadly force if the students attempted to kill the police. Jabłoński calculated (correctly) that using unnecessary force on the students would turn them into martyrs and backfire on the regime. The police dug in as they knew they wouldn’t be able to break up the 20,000 protestors. Eight thousand soldiers arrived to aid the police and send a message to the students. Jabłoński was gambling the show of force would break up the occupation, but it only inflamed tensions in the rest of the country. Fearing a massacre protestor stormed the streets of Warsaw and Krakow to show solidarity with the Warsaw students. Cardinal Karol Wojtyła endorsed the protests in Krakow and actively encouraged the workers of Poland to join the protestors.


    Saint Cardinal Karol Wojtyła marching against Soviet rule.

    Wojtyła viewed the protests as a chance to expose the fragility of the Jabłoński regime and as tens of thousands joined the Warsaw students the state apparatus itself was overwhelmed. Ustinov at this point had enough and announced that a “counter revolution” was taking place in Poland. In order to defend one of their puppet states Ustinov ordered one hundred thousand soldiers to cross the border and crush the protests. On June 23rd, 1981, 7,000 Soviet paratroopers attempted to dislodge the Warsaw students and were faced with unexpected resistance. They deployed tear gas and beat the students and in retaliation students threw bricks at the incoming soldiers. The Warsaw police and Polish soldiers didn’t know what to do as Jabłoński gave no orders to follow the Soviet soldiers into the university. Some joined the paratroopers and others stayed behind. This confusion was what arguably cost so many lives. The protestors saw the hesitant Polish soldiers and figured it was a mutiny, giving them a false sense of hope. Instead of retreating they stood their grown and as the paratroopers attempted to clear out the Rostov-On-Don which was the main building of the university and the headquarters for the protestors. In the building we know for a fact that some kind of clash took place, but we won’t know how severe it was unless God himself showed the world.


    Soviet soldiers clash with protestors during the Warsaw Massacre.

    The end result was shots being fired and amongst the tear gas and bullets a stampede for the exit ensued. Hundreds of students and soldiers attempted to escape the worsening situation that was devolving into a full-on riot. Soldiers desperately fumbled to get on their gas masks as tear gas was deployed without warning. Some brave students attacked the soldiers who struggled for their gas masks with broken chair legs or knives causing several soldiers to open fire. To make matters even worse a fire broke out near the left corner of the room. Today it’s suspected it was lit by a Molotov cocktail or ignited by an improperly disposed cigarette. The historical Rostov-On-Don fire burned off the tear gas and wooden furniture and the soldiers were told to retreat from the building. Within an hour one hundred seventy students, fifteen staff members, three professors, and thirty-two paratroopers were killed. A majority were killed in the fire and the rest were killed in the attempted dismantling of the Warsaw student protests. The massacre was decried by the Polish people and the international community. The butchery saw in Warsaw hadn’t been seen since the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The strikes in Poland devolved into full on rioting as Soviet soldiers were overwhelmed by the sheer amount. In Warsaw alone the Soviet soldiers numbered only ten thousand and were forced to retreat in order to secure a path to the Warsaw airport to prevent the soldiers from being surrounded. Striking workers at 6:48 PM threw bricks and rocks at advancing Soviet soldiers. Ustinov’s intervention had already done more to destroy the Polish regime and the next action would cement this fact. Fearing that they’d get overrun by the thousands of workers who were gathering to protest against the tyrannical regime that murdered hundreds. The white-hot rage was boiling over and the thirst for freedom was taking over as more bricks hit the Soviet soldier’s shields. When one brick hit a soldier on the head the situation escalated dramatically. The soldier would die as his head was cracked open, killing him. In retaliation the senior officer told the soldiers to open fire on the crowd in an effort to save the Soviets own skin. The ensuing massacre killed forty-nine people and injured three hundred. The Warsaw Massacre ended when on June 26th another twenty-eight thousand Soviet soldiers and thirty thousand Polish soldiers arrived in Warsaw and the riots and protests dispersed.

    By the end of the massacre three thousand, seven-hundred eighty people were dead, including two hundred fifty-nine Soviet soldiers. Some workers and students actively took up arms against the Soviet Union and Poland. But while the strikers talked a tough game when it came to actual fighting most abandoned the idea when they realized the brutality of resistance. Still a lot did, and gunfire was a common sound along with kids yelling at the playground and tanks rumbling down the streets. The ensuing resistance would not be crushed until August as thousands of striking workers and students across the country took up arms. Tensions were only inflamed when Wałęsa and Walentynowicz were arrested by Soviet soldiers on June 26th arrested them on charges of treason and inciting violence. The arrest of the two masterminds behind the strikes was an act that was meant to weaken the strikes but for a short while it only emboldened the strikers. Poland’s industry grinded to a halt as millions of workers were on strike to protest the Soviet occupation. In response to the strikes 30,000 East German soldiers joined the occupation force along with an additional 20,000 soldiers from Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Czechoslovakia sent an additional 10,000 soldiers and the Soviet Union sent an additional 50,000 soldiers to aid the 100,000 soldiers in Poland. The sheer amount of Soviet soldiers intimidated strikers into going back to work as Ustinov promised to crush the rebellion no matter the cost. The Soviet soldiers while mobilizing took way longer than expected in a show of how decedent and incompetent the Soviet military was. The mobilization was slow as the commanders had trouble with low morale and poor infrastructure. It took over a month to get the entire force to Poland in a stunning display of incompetence. The invasion was technically a success due to the strikes dissipating out of fear of being massacred by the invading armies. The Soviet soldiers made good on their promise to kill any violent resistance to their tyrannical rule and the resistance was promptly crushed due to poor organization.

    By the time the Polish Intervention was over more than ten thousand people would lose their lives. The exact body count to this day is unknown but the lowest estimates are 11,000 and the highest are around 30,000. Most historians agree that around 18,000 people were killed by the time Soviet soldiers left Poland and the regime collapsed in a tide of strikes and rebellion.

    The worldwide reaction was one of broad condemnation. Buddy Cianci denounced the invasion as a violation of international law. Cianci met with Polish American leaders in the White House on June 27th and called for Ustinov to release Wałęsa and Walentynowicz. The rest of NATO followed suit unsurprisingly. In Italy, Enrico Berlinguer had just been elected Prime Minister and as a communist many feared how he’d react to the invasion of Poland. Berlinguer’s reaction would be forceful and eloquent. On June 25th he gave a speech on national television about the invasion saying:


    “As you know the Soviet Union two days ago invaded the sovereign nation of Poland in the most brazen violation of international law since the invasion of Poland in 1939. I have consulted both the Chamber of Deputies and the military on further action and have come to the decision that Italy will not stand with another tyrant like we did in 1939. Today, I and the rest of the Italian government stands in solidarity with the Polish people in the face of a foreign invasion. No country should be under the boot of another larger and imperialist power like Poland is. I call on the Soviet Union to end their illegal occupation of Poland, instigate democratic elections, end the massacres of students and striking workers, and to free all political prisoners in Poland. It is not Ustinov’s job to decide what the Polish people want. Rather it is the workers of Poland who ought to decide what’s right for them and they have made clear their demands.”

    The same day but at 9:30 PM the people of Italy and the entire world turned on their TVs to hear Pope Nicholas VI’s condemnation of the Soviet invasion. Amongst the conservative clergy there was a fear Nicholas VI was going to be soft on the Soviet Union due to his sympathies with the pro-liberation theology priests of Latin America. Nicholas VI condemned the invasion of Poland fiercely and compared the act to when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. He was unsympathetic to the Soviet Union due to their crushing of the strikes and for murdering numerous priests in the invasion who protested. Specifically, he focused on the Wujek Massacre which saw ten striking workers killed by the police. He called for the Soviet Union to end their occupation of Poland and praised the striking workers. Furthermore, he called the Soviet Union a disgrace to the workers they claimed to represent and praised Wałęsa and Walentynowicz as heroes who put the interests of the poor and the workers over that of the state. Nicholas VI’s planned trip to Poland was postponed for the near future as Ustinov flat out refused to let Nicholas VI in out of fear of him inciting future rebellion. It was probably for the best as the Soviet Union and Polish government had no qualms about turning priests into martyrs. Of course, it was unlikely that Ustinov would dig their own grave further by killing such an important figure in Catholicism that was respected by 90% of the Polish people. The condemnation of the invasion by Nicholas VI would give renewed hope to the Polish people in the wake of the invasion as the religion they had invested so much in gave back to them in the form of being committed to an end to tyranny. Cardinal Karol Wojtyła lent his support to the workers and the students by condemning the invasion.

    The rebellion may have been crushed but it showed the weakness of the Soviet Union on full display. No longer was the Soviet Union some kind of equal to the United States but a corrupt and incompetent state ran by gynocrats who didn’t know when to retire. During the invasion Second Secretary General of the Communist Party Mikhail Suslov’s health took a nosedive. His diabetes and coronary issues worsened over June as the situation in Poland was killing more each day and put the decadence of the Soviet Union on full display. On July 2nd he collapsed at 3:22 in the morning after a long day at work. He was found ten minutes later by a security guard and rushed to the hospital. He was pronounced dead two days later on July 4th, 1981, due to numerous blood clots. Suslov’s death was a shock to the world as never before had such a high-ranking Soviet leader died in the midst of such a great crisis. At the same time Soviet soldiers were being met with sniper fire in Warsaw and Krakow there was now a leadership struggle. The main fight for the position of Second Secretary tore the Politburo apart. The main fight was between Yuri Andropov of the KGB, Andrei Kirilenko, and Nikolai Tikhonov. Tikhonov was by far the most hardline of the three but was backed by Ustinov over Andropov who was revealed to have kidney disease and was assumed that he’d die soon enough. Naturally none of them became Second Secretary, instead it was Vitaly Fedorchuk who was known for dismantling spy rings and cracking down on corruption during his time as Minister of Justice. His investigation led to the expulsion of the high-ranking KGB officer Semyon Tsvigun due to him covering up corruption and bribery within the Politburo. His fast rise to Ustinov’s right-hand man was complete by building a coalition of allies in Viktor Grishin, Yuri Andropov, and Ustinov himself. The election of Fedorchuk as Second Secretary would be the final gasp of air in a collapsing country as their puppet states came to oppose the Soviet government. He would be the last breath of the conservative faction whose refusal to reform would have dire consequences for the Soviet Union as corruption despite the efforts of Ustinov flourished.

    On the other hand, in Italy the communist government was successful. The PCI and the Soviet Union officially split after the Invasion of Poland which gave the PCI a massive boost in popularity. Berlinguer would work to implement his vision of Eurocommunism with him first implementing stricter punishments for corruption. His second policy was his attempt to bring industrial democracy to Italy. The way that this would be accomplished was by legalizing worker co-ops and giving massive government subsidies to co-ops. The co-ops would be ran by a representative council, instead of being ran by a CEO and COO the workers would elect representatives for every fifty workers for a co-op of 1000 employees and a representative for everyone hundred employees for a co-op of 2000 employees and so on. Originally it was supposed to be a representative for every twenty-five and fifty workers but that failed in the Chamber of Deputies 322-308. Three socialists and one Christian Democrats voted for the more radical proposal. The proposal that was passed only did because Bettino Craxi was ousted as leader due to the disastrous results in the 1981 General Election. The new leader, Giuliano Vassalli was more of an old school socialist who would become known for his fierce opposition to corruption and being the friend of New York governor Rudy Giuliani. Vassalli managed to hash out a coalition with the PCI who agreed to make him Minister of Justice. The 50-100 Bill passed 340-290 in the Chamber of Deputies thanks to the support of Vassalli and the PSI. The Craxist faction opposed the bill, but Craxi was irrelevant in the eyes of Vassalli and Berlinguer. Coming in fourth place and behind the neo-fascists was a stunning embarrassment and Vassalli believed he could get something out of the communists.

    While the 50-100 Proposal was heralded as a victory for the working class it was just a small step. The 50-100 Proposal didn’t mention which industries this would be enforced in and didn’t explain how larger companies would be dealt with. In heavily unionized industries like the mining industry and the steel industry workers were given a fighting chance at industrial democracy. Mining companies were forced to give a vote on turning the company into a worker co-op under the threat of a strike at the mine. Under a Christian Democratic or Socialist government, they’d have the government behind their back a decent amount of the time. But with the Communists in charge the unions had the advantage. The 50-100 Proposal would make it so that co-ops had to be voted on by the workers which was angered the hardliners such as Alessandro Natta and Nilde Iotti who viewed it as not going far enough. Furthermore, they disliked the fact it only included industrial jobs such as mining and steel work instead of all private sector jobs. They voted for the bill regardless due to it still being a victory for Eurocommunism and they knew the workers would vote for the proposal.


    Miners rally in Lombardy (1984).

    The first test came at the Lozzolo Mine in the North of the country. The mining company fiercely opposed the co-op, but the union came out in support of the proposal. Berlinguer himself visited the mine three days before the decision was to be made by the workers. Each man got a vote and on July 23rd, 1981, the votes were cast. It was a resounding victory for the miners. 60% of the miners voted in favor of establishing a co-op. Many more mines by the end of the Communist’s first term in government would establish co-ops but, in the mines, ran by bigger companies most would not succeed.

    With the passage of the 50-100 proposal the wealthy of Italy were fearful. While the poor got behind the Communists the wealthier citizens organized against the Communist government. Bigger companies spent tens of thousands on the campaigns if a ballot measure was forced by the unions. Often times running a campaign against a co-op was cheaper than a weeklong strike and dozens of mines rejected a proposed co-op. Using their immense wealth to campaign against co-ops and industrial democracy wasn’t enough for some citizens of Italy.

    In the 80s an organization would gain millions of dollars from the wealthiest Italians. That was the Propaganda Due Lodge. The P2 as people referred to it was not a political organization but rather a terrorist and criminal organization. One that was dedicated to dismantling Italian democracy by cracking down on unions, controlling the wealth of Italy through fraud and theft, aiding terrorists, and consolidating power in an authoritarian form of government where the economic and political elite of Italy would control the government. The P2 Lodge during the Berlinguer years found allies both national and international and in the 80s would get the fame they deserved as one of the most powerful and corrupt criminal organizations in human history. But their crimes were only just beginning when Air Force One touched down in Rome.


    Propaganda Due: one of the most notorious criminal organizations in world history.
    Chapter XV: The Unholy Alliance
  • 1644552879295.png

    Licio Gelli. One of the worst terrorists in world history and Cianci ally.

    Air Force One touched down in Rome on May 3rd, 1982. A seemingly innocuous event that set both Italy and America on a collision course. Cianci was not a fan of Berlinguer. Berlinguer during his time as Prime Minister had done more for communism than anyone since Lenin. His “clean” Eurocommunism was undeniably rehabilitating communism in the West and the third world. Instead of harsh, incompetent, and totalitarian Marxist-Leninism of the Soviet Union and whatever the hell you’d describe the insanity of Maoist-Wangism Eurocommunism was starting to surge in popularity in the third world. Amongst Arabs especially Eurocommunism found supporters. This was due to Berlinger’s foreign policy which was staunchly pro-Arab compared to the pro-Iranian and pro-Israeli positions of the Jenkins Ministry and Cianci administration. Berlinguer on the other hand was sympathetic to Egypt and the Palestinians which earned him a great deal of respect amongst the Arab population of the Nile and the Levant. But too Cianci this was a treacherous position that threatened the West’s geopolitical position. The final straw was when Berlinguer managed to pass sanctions against both the PRRI and Iran for their various war crimes. The PCI being emancipated from Soviet influence suffered little repercussions from the Soviet bloc besides a token denouncement. From the US, UK, and France they received a fiery condemnation from all three. Thatcher privately called Berlinguer a Soviet puppet and Chirac called the sanctions “a dangerous attack on our allies in the Middle East.” Cianci was especially pissed off. At midnight he called Berlinguer and berated him for around an hour before Berlinguer’s wife forced her husband to go to bed. That was in April and Berlinguer and Cianci decided to settle their disagreements like men. With a conference in Rome with cameras rolling.

    Going into the meeting both Berlinguer and Cianci had wildly different opinions and ideas about each other. Let's start with the former. Buddy Cianci when it came to politics was a simple man. He believed that communism was a totalitarian ideology that dismantled democracy like sepsis dismantles the immune system. His hatred of communism was no more than the average Republican politician such as Shirley Black Temple or his favorite senator David Durenberger. But unlike most politicians, his heritage influenced his decision to fiercely oppose Berlinguer’s government. Being an Italian was a source of pride for him. To him being an Italian was what it meant to be an American. A hard-working, moral man whose hard work fighting mob bosses and fighting the establishment paid off. In six years, he went from the first Republican mayor of Rhode Island to the president of the United States. When he looked over to his sister country, his second home he saw a government that was antithetical to his upbringing and the values his fellow Italians had. He wasn’t going to tolerate a country like Iran falling to communism and he sure as hell was going to do anything in his power to make sure his brothers and sisters weren’t under the hammer and sickle.

    Berlinguer was a bit naive about Cianci. He didn’t like him in the first place, viewing him as a man who’d go along with the CIA’s crimes in Latin America and a hypocrite who claimed to stand for Catholic values who sat at his desk and sent weapons to fascist death squads that slaughtered priests in Latin America. Berlinguer believed that Cianci wasn’t a stuck-up thug who would attempt to screw up his government. He believed their populist views and Italian heritage would mesh well and he’d be able to hash out a deal with the United States that would leave each side happy. How wrong he was.

    Things started out fine enough with Cianci and Berlinguer greeting each other at Fiumicino Airport. They shook hands and shared smiles, a scene that would piss off the conservatives in Congress for his friendly attitude towards what they viewed as a “pro-Soviet government.” These criticisms were only shared by a few though as most people appreciated the thawing of what was at the time icy US-Italian relations. The first day was a goodwill tour for Cianci which was specifically organized by Berlinguer and the PCI to make him feel welcomed and show that no ill will stood between Italy and the United States. Unlike today Cianci was very popular in Italy. Many viewed him as a principled man who fought the corrupt establishment and was a man of the people. He was like a brother to the Italian people. Communists who praised Berlinguer and the likes of Nilde Iotti praised Cianci in the same breath. To them, Berlinguer and Cianci were cut from the same cloth. Both made peace with the establishments of the country, Berlinguer with Catholicism and liberal democracy, and Cianci with the New Deal. Both were vehemently anti-corruption and during their terms (from what the Italians could see) fought the fight that needed fighting against the smothering tyranny of corruption. Finally, they both proved everyone wrong. Both of them became the leaders of their respective countries against all the odds. Berlinguer emancipated the PCI from the stigma of the Soviet Union and authoritarianism that was viewed as compatible with communism. Cianci went from the mayor of not even the 100th most populous city to the president of one of the two hegemonic powers that controlled the world.

    But Cianci didn’t feel that way. The adoring crowds were further evidence that Berlinguer was unpopular and a tyrant much like the Communist regime in Poland. In addition to his belief that Eurocommunism was a tyrannical ideology that was going to destroy his homeland, he viewed Berlinguer as a useful stooge for the Soviet Union. Despite, Berlinguer’s fierce opposition to Ustinov’s regime and support for the Solidarity Movement in Poland his opposition to nuclear weapons in Italy, and his praise of Liberation Theology.

    By the end of the first day, both parties were sleepless as they were about to meet face to face. Both sides didn’t know how the meeting was going to affect history and few knew the butterflies the seemingly minor meeting was going to have. At 9:30 AM both men arrived at the Italian Parliament building. Cianci came from the right of the hallway with a feeling of confidence and a prepared hardline attitude, similar to what he used to intimidate Robert Bauman. To Cianci’s left was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and to his right was Colonel Oliver North who was his de facto chief military advisor. Berlinguer came from the left of the hallway with a smile on his face and an aura of bravado and confidence that was unparalleled in not the building but all of Rome. To his left were Achille Occhetto, his Minister of Foreign Affairs and protege. To his right was his Deputy Prime Minister and friend Aldo Moro. All three of the men had coached each other the night before on what to say and how to show their respect to the United States delegation. When the two parties met both of them shook hands and exchanged greetings. “Should we get to work gentlemen?” Said Occhetto, nodding his head. At that point, the two groups split off. Cianci and Berlinguer went into a room by themselves and Rumsfeld and North went with Occhetto and Moro to a room across from Cianci and Berlinguer’s room.

    Berlinguer and Cianci sat across from each other in the brightly lit room. On the north wall was the flag of Italy and on the south wall were photos of the current Berlinguer Ministry. “So where should we start president?” Asked Berlinguer with a gleeful voice.

    “I think a good place to start is your opposition to the Iranian Republic,” said Cianci with a serious yet oddly cheerful tone that he was known for.

    “I think that would be an excellent way to start off the meeting.”

    “Okay. First, your opposition to the Iranian Republic is a dangerous miscalculation on your part. The sanctions frankly are sabotaging the Iranians ability to liberate themselves from the Communist menace. Furthermore, if they lose to either Iraq or the PRRI a decent chunk of the oil in the world will be controlled by madmen,” said Cianci as he prepared to go into his mob boss debate style.

    “President with all due respect the idea that I’m somehow sabotaging the efforts of a democratic regime is preposterous. Just because Khamenei and his friends are opposing the Soviet-backed proxy doesn’t mean anything to me. What means something to me is which side is moral and respects the dignity and liberty of the poor and the workers.”

    “If you supported the rights of the workers then you’d support the side that will allow them to participate in free and democratic elections,” said Cianci, with him beginning ton tap his foot as he started to become slightly agitated.

    “The thing is the Islamists don’t give a damn about democracy. Khamenei and his friends haven’t given a moment of consideration to even the liberal parties in their country. Do you think they’d listen to the social democrats or the socialists? They kill homosexuals for their mere existence, even though they don’t threaten their power like the workers who’ll organize against their religious extremism. The moment the poor of Persia hit the streets they will be shot and killed much like what the Shah did.”

    Cianci’s dash of happiness in his tone was gone as soon as Berlinguer said that. From that point on Cianci didn’t suspect but fully believe Berlinguer was what he thought. A radical stooge who was hell-bent on sabotaging NATO in the Cold War. “Comparing the Islamists, who overthrew the Shah to the Shah is a ridiculous comparison. It’s like comparing me to a mob boss when I took them down as mayor, governor, and president. If you want to compare anyone to the Shah, then that would be the godless communists at the PRRI whose militias have massacred the anti-communist dissidents as Ustinov did in Poland.”

    “Which is why I sanctioning the PRRI too. The problem with your view on the Iranian Civil War with all due respect is the belief that a wrong justifies a wrong that perpetuates violence. My view is that wrong doesn’t justify a wrong and that we must stand up for what’s right in regard to foreign policy no matter what ideology the perpetrator of tyranny or atrocities is.”’

    “The problem with that logic is that not all ideologies are the same!” Cianci responded with a raised voice with a dash of anger to replace his usually cheery attitude. “Yeah, the Islamists may be bastards but they’re our bastards. They may kill some sinners but compare to giving the totalitarian communists in the North control over the world’s oil? They’re saints who will allow the west to flow with so much oil we wouldn’t know what to do with.”

    “I don’t care what their lifestyle is. Homosexuals have human rights and even if you disagree with it based on Catholic doctrine then you must oppose their murder at the hands of theocratic thugs under the sixth commandment. What is the morality of collecting resources if they are collected through the blood of innocents?”

    “They’re resources that will end the tyranny of your ideology and sweep the Soviets into the dustbin of history.”

    “But at what cost? The cost of our morality and sanity?”

    “Listen you sonvabitch. We have a chance to strike a blow against those thugs Ustinov and Rajavi. If you want to sabotage our effort, I will not be surprised nor will I condone your actions that are antithetical to the values, we were raised in. Your legacy unlike mine will be one of capitulation to tyranny while mine will be one who fought against tyranny!”

    Berlinguer sighed and couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was a de facto puppet for tyrants? Ridiculous. He had denounced Ustinov’s thuggery in the same way he had protested Jackson’s and Khamenei’s. “First Mr. Cianci I am not some kind of scrooge for tyrants. I may be a communist, but I am one who has unlike Ustinov a respect for the law and democracy. I am a man who emancipated my party from the grasp of the Soviet Union even if my fellow communists attacked me for the decision. Saying I’m a useful stooge for the Soviets is like saying the Pope is a useful stooge for the FRS and Ortega.”

    “It doesn’t matter what you and the Pope think you are it’s what everyone sees you as. I see you guys as nothing more than stooges who use your power to sabotage the global fight against communism. We both know the reason you’re so hesitant to sanction Rajavi and contribute your fair share to NATO.”

    “I will not contribute to acts of aggression that cost thousands of lives in the name of ideological proxy wars. This brings me to the next point and that’s the issue of nuclear weapons in my country.”

    “Oh God help me,” said Cianci as if he read Berlinguer’s mind. “Lemme guess, you’re going to want the US to remove your one defense against a Soviet intervention?”

    “I want all nuclear weapons out of my country. Italy is already a part of NATO which guarantees protection in case of a Soviet invasion. These nuclear weapons serve no purpose but to escalate tensions with Italy and the Soviet Union, therefore putting us at a greater risk of attack at the hands of Ustinov and the Red Army. The last thing I want is my country to contribute to the nuclear arms race between the US and the Soviet Union that puts billions of lives, including every one of my fellow Italian citizens in the hands of a few people who if one makes a mistake or has bout of insanity will end those billions of lives. Like you I want what’s best for the people of my country and in my opinion weapons of mass destruction in my country will not end well if there’s an accident at one of the missile silos or military bases.”

    “What you just said was ridiculous. More ridiculous than your belief that communism is a legitimate ideology that will allow your country to thrive. We both know that your policies have led to millions of gallons of blood being spilled by the state.”

    “I am many things. An opponent of the Islamists and nuclear weapons, you’ve got that right but a goddamn mass murder? Is that some kind of disgusting hyperbolic joke?”

    “I never said you were a mass murder. But I’m not going to mince words. You are no better than the Left in the 60s. Like them, you have a huge heart but you simply are an idealist who’s blinded by sweet talk from dead radicals who think that just one more attempt to implement communism or socialism will prove it works. But like all the attempts before your ideal world will fail frankly fail because it denies the basic liberty needed for a society to survive that will lead to thousands of deaths.”

    “Cianci. I took you as a good man, much like my friend Aldo who I may disagree with but who I can work with to find a suitable compromise that would lead to good relations and understanding. Instead, you are no better than that thug Jackson. Both of you have been filled with the poisonous red-baiting by the far-right in America, the poison that makes you believe that I, the man who has denounced the crimes of the Soviet Union and its puppet regimes in Eastern Europe is somehow a useful stooge for tyrants then I don’t know what to say besides you’re wrong and playing a dangerous game.”

    “What game?” Sneered Cianci.

    “The game of diplomacy. No one is going to want to be your ally if all you do is try and bully those who disagree with you then the only favor, you’ll do is give people a reason to hate you. The only people your cruel and slanderous accusations will help is the Red Brigades who’ll view you as the man who represents everything wrong with the capitalist system. An ignorant bully who attacks those who disagree with him.”

    Cianci gritted his teeth and replied; “this isn’t about just ideological differences. This is about defending my ancestor's land from communism.”

    “Ya know what? Never mind” replied Berlinguer, rolling his eyes as he wondered why he scheduled this meeting in the first place. This squabble isn’t getting us anywhere and I figure you don’t like having your time wasted. Let's try and settle another issue. Are there any you have in mind, Mr. Cianci?”

    “Yes indeed. Your proposal to dismantle the right to a business in Italy.”

    “I respectfully wouldn’t call it the dismantling of business. The plan of my government is not to destroy businesses but to turn them over to the hands of the people much like how the Republican tradition seeks to turn over the government to the people.”

    “But does that matter if you won’t have enough money to buy bread? Not everyone is willing or able to run a business. There cannot be a democracy, in the same way, there can’t be democracy in the cabinet. You ask them to do the necessary work to make sure the machine is well oiled and working. If I allowed by the cabinet to run itself there would be no order and the government would collapse.”

    “With all due respect Mr. Cianci, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this issue.”

    “With all due respect no. Italy is my true homeland, where my family lived and died before they came to America. Hell, my great-grandfather was the mayor of Benevento. I will do everything in my power to stop this beautiful country from falling into economic ruin and tyranny like China and the Soviet Union.”

    “I promise I will not destroy the beautiful country I was raised in Mr. Cianci. Like you I love this country and I will stop at nothing to see it thrive. I ask you not to make a fool of yourself and get involved.”


    Berlinguer answering a question (Cianci is out of view to his left).

    Cianci would not stay out of Italy but to his credit, he would not make a fool of himself. He did something much worse. Cianci’s meeting with Berlinguer only convinced him that Berlinguer was a dangerous radical who wasn’t a malicious thug like Ustinov or Hongwen but an idiot who would lead his country to ruin. While taking questions from reporters he could hardly focus on their questions. Berlinguer was noticeably happier, talking about how they had their disagreements, but he felt like the US was a sister to Italy. By the end of the press conference, Cianci was angry. Angry at the fact Berlinguer was correct. What could he do without making himself look like a fool? If he sanctioned Italy, he would be harming his fellow Italians, including millions who opposed Berlinguer. If he called for Berlinguer’s resignation he would earn the scorn of NATO and the Eastern Bloc for interfering with Italy’s affairs. Just when he was about to resign himself being defeated by a communist a man walked into the room with Oliver North. “Who the hell are you?”


    Cianci's man on the inside.

    “This man right here Mr. President is the solution to our problems with the Berlinguer regime.”

    “Ah really? Now ya piqued my interest. What’s your name sir?”

    The man in the white suit and black tie put out his cigarette and with confidence that only Cianci could rival began to speak. "My name is Silvio Berlusconi Mr. President, and me and my friends have a proposition about the communism problem.”

    Cianci stood up and shook the man’s hand. “Call me Buddy, please. What do you prefer to be called?”

    “Silvio please.”

    “Well, Silvio my ears are open.”

    “Thank you, Buddy. Now onto business. As we all know Italy has been controlled by the Communists under Berlinguer since 1978 when Moro decided instead of democracy and rationality that we would compromise with communism and insanity. Our organization is at the forefront of resisting the economic collapse that the Communists seek to bring about. We are just like the Nationalists during the Chinese Civil War we seek a country free of communism. Now, we’re not suicidal mass murders who want to kill thousands in a civil war but patriots who will use less bloody means to dismantle the tyranny of communism and the Berlinguer regime. Our plan is to centralize power in the hands of business leaders, anti-communist politicians, fellow common patriots, and those in the media to guide Italian society like a business where the common man will prosper. In other words, we are Propaganda Due.”

    “First, of all Silvio. Ya seem like a godsend. Too good to be true. I know for a fact that an organization with that kind of political and economic capital has to have a king on top of the scheme. I’m going to be here for another day so gimme a meeting with him and we may just have a deal.”

    “That is doable” replied Berlusconi as the two men shook hands and sealed Cianci’s fate.

    The next day Cianci, North, and Rumsfeld went to a villa called Villa Licio in the south of Rome to discuss a potential partnership with P2. North and Cianci were suspicious of P2 due to it being too good to be true. But Berlusconi made good on his promise as the leader of P2 himself game to greet them. Licio Gelli came in dawning a black and white suit with a sash around him. Rumsfeld had been told this was a meeting with an Italian general to gain information on Berlinguer’s true plans. You can imagine his shock when he realized he was in a masonic lodge. Rumsfeld left the room and waited in the kitchen, not wanting to be a part of what he viewed as a clearly embarrassing blunder on Cianci and North’s part. After he left the meeting got down to business. Cianci started the conversation in Italian, saying “Mr. Gelli I have to say I’m impressed with your organization you have here. But I don’t cut deals before I have the evidence that you’re the real deal. How do ya make your money? Who do ya have on your side? Because if you’re a bunch of rich folks who drink wine while bitchin about communism rather than putting the money where your mouth is.”

    “Well, Cianci we have a list of all our high-ranking members of the upper echelon of Italian society,” said Gelli as he pulled the list from his pocket and handed it to Cianci. “As you can see, we have politicians, bankers, rich men, the claimant to the Italian throne, members of the military, and even members of Berlinguer’s administration.”

    “I’m in awe Gelli. Ya actually did it. You sonvabitch you actually managed to infiltrate the bastard's government. You’ve got a deal!”

    “A wise choice Mr. Cianci. What will the deal entail exactly?”

    “For starters, I’ve got some buddies in the CIA who will be more than willing to provide you with funds. Just know if you do a good job the reward will be large both in morality and wealth. Second, I want in on how you’re making money currently. I know that you’re shady as hell and I respect that. Back home I got my own organization outside of the federal government and I’m looking for an expansion.”

    “Well, Mr. Cianci. On behalf of Propaganda Due, I take the deal. Give me a couple of minutes and I shall have the list of people you’ll have the primary funders of this anti-communist operation. They’ll understand your investments and will value doing business with you.”

    The two men shook hands as the fate of Italy was sealed. The Unholy Alliance was complete as the CIA, P2, the Mob, and Cianci joined forces to dismantle the Berlinguer government as they attempted to present an alternative to both state communism and capitalism. A grave mistake as the decision to fight for what they believed was right was one that nearly cost not them but Italy everything. Pope Nicholas VI that day was in Spain but from hundreds of miles away he could sense something was wrong. That night the feeling of existential dread swept into his soul, and he couldn’t sleep that night. He got out of his bed and prayed for guidance. The entire night he didn’t get a second of rest as the sun rises and he made the trip back to Rome. This time he was slated to discuss a visit to his home country of Brazil to discuss a meeting with the military junta. The meeting was supposed to negotiate the end to the dictatorship that had martyred so many innocents, but Nicholas VI was cautious due to the recent events in Latin America. The meeting was cut short as he could barely stay focused. In the end, they agreed to a date, with May 5th, 1982, being the selected date. Still, he couldn’t sleep due to the dread. He knew something sinister was going on under his nose. He just didn’t know what.

    He read the paper as he told the cardinals and the assistants what to do and saw Cianci’s face in the newspaper. At that point his body filled with rage. He was reminded of the recent reports from El Salvador. Thousands were dead as the Green Shirts and the OPN slaughtered FDN and JNP forces in brutal raids. Furthermore, US weapons contributed to propping up South African apartheid. The fact he and Pinochet were still in power was shaken him to his core that such corrupt thugs could control their respective countries without being thrown out by the children of God. To Nicholas VI the only men worse were the ones who controlled China and turned it into a madhouse. He continued to analyze the newspaper and saw an ad for a cigar company with a cartoon of the devil on the back. He rolled his eyes and grabbed his glass of water but spilled it all over his lap. Even better he thought. As if his day wasn’t bad enough his clothes were all wet. He picked up the newspaper and the face of the cartoon devil and Cianci were now merged together due to the ink seeping through the wet newspaper. A creepy image but one Nicholas VI wouldn’t pay attention to until years later.

    The next day Cianci paid a visit to two men on Gelli’s list. Their names were Roberto Calvi and Giuseppe Calo. He visited them on a tour of the Banco Ambrosiano bank’s headquarters which was one of the largest in all of Italy. There Cianci and two of Italy’s richest men smoked cigars and exchanged a couple of jokes before getting down to business. Cianci enlisted Calvi and Calo to help him launder money for Cianci’s criminal empire. In exchange for their help, Calvi and Calo would receive an 8% cut on top of having access to resources from the CIA, including weapons and information on the Italian government that was written off as going to the Contras or Justine regime for the former. Calvi and Calo would also give Cianci a conclave in the Mob’s affairs which would allow him to negotiate with the mobsters. The negotiations would be smooth considering the fact that Cianci was the most powerful man in the world and even the most powerful mobsters wanted access to him, even if it was through Cianci's low-level goons in the state department. Soon enough millions were being laundered to Cianci with the help of Calvi and P2 over international borders. That’s on top of the new opportunities Cianci was given. Soon enough he began a campaign of extortion against small business owners in Sicily and Tuscany. In exchange for “security” against the threat of a communist campaign against the business in an effort to turn it into a co-op, they would pay the Mob thousands of dollars, 10% of which would go to Cianci in exchange for giving the Mob access to his resources. Bigger mining, steel, and chemical companies especially hired the Mob to work for them. Depending on the company you could find yourself threatened by mobsters on a regular basis if you advocated for industrial democracy or criticized their anti-union policies.


    Pro co-op union leader shortly after being murdered in Treviso (1986).

    In some extreme cases, pro-worker activists or local communist politicians would be executed by mafia death squads. The CIA’s involvement was to encourage this business model by training sending members of the Contras to train the mobsters in torture techniques and how to properly kill someone without getting caught. Even more egregious was when the CIA in connection with the P2 Lodge actively encouraged terrorism by the NAR or other neo-fascist terrorist organizations. This was accomplished by P2 helping neo-fascist terrorists in committing their crimes or using their CIA money to fund terrorism, which was accomplished with manuals on torture and giving neo-fascists access to explosives that they often used in assassinations. This was all part of a strategy of tension that was intended to cause massive violence and therefore a massive backlash against the Berlinguer Ministry. While the CIA’s encouragement and “indirect” funding of terrorism did succeed in killing scores of civilians it didn’t make the communists any less popular as it allowed them to push for harsher policies against terrorism. Plus, the far-right committing mass murder isn’t exactly a good way to disprove communism but prove that fascism is inherently insane and evil. Did Unholy Alliance give a damn? No. Just like the hundreds killed through their funding of neo-fascist terrorist organizations and direct aiding of the Mobs terror campaign against communists and socialist civilians they gave not one pause about what they were doing. The ones who had aided the JNP and OPN’s crimes against humanity in El Salvador were soon reassigned to help with Operation Gladio in Italy.

    In Italy, the deputy director of the Military Intelligence and Security Service actively sabotaged any attempts to crack down on neo-fascist terrorism. Whether through misleading investigators, planting false evidence, or sending the names of witnesses to terrorists or mobsters so they could be properly intimidated or in some cases executed. The main rule of the Unholy Alliance was to leave no loose ends and do anything to bring unnecessary attention to P2. By the end of 1982 P2 was only going to get more brazen and deeper into the government to such an extent that the Italian people felt like they were shocked by a million volts of electricity and exposed the true corruption and criminality prevalent in not only Italian society but the American government.
    Chapter XVI: A World on Fire
  • Laxalt’s assassination in Latin America was a complicated discussion. Members of the FDN and FSLN cheered the assassination while those who were members of the JNP or lived in Honduras wept at the fact a crucial ally was murdered in cold blood. The OPN simply didn’t care. In the grand scheme of things, the assassination didn’t matter. Latin America was still burning, and things were about to get worse. In Honduras the FSLN continued to push into the country as the FDN renewed their offensive against the Honduras military. By September the FSLN was within forty miles of the capital. Juan Castro begged Cianci and the US government for help as it looked like the FSLN might take the capital and crush the Honduras military. Cianci ramped up airstrikes against the Nicaraguan military by 80% within a month and soon enough a loosely united coalition of right-wing death squads and militias were being taught in the United States about torture techniques and how to conduct guerilla warfare. The Contras as they became known as would launch a brutal and bloody guerrilla campaign. What was intended to be a quick war aimed at crippling the Castro regime turned into another bloody proxy war for the US and Soviet Union. Hundreds were dying each day in a war that was increasingly dominated by jungle and urban warfare.


    Honduras backed militia preparing to engage the FSLN (1983).

    Dozens of villages would be slaughtered and burned by the Contras in some of the worst crimes committed during the Latin American Crisis. Hundreds would be killed as Contra forces came out of the jungle to execute any suspected communist and looted the towns for supplies, food, and cash to fund their operations. Tens of thousands would be displaced and retreated to FSLN territory to escape the Contra’s wrath. The FSLN’s response was severely slowed by the flow of refugees from their own country and Honduras as soldiers attempted to care for the tens of thousands who lost everything. Honduras used the Contra’s attacks on the FSLN to go on the offensive and attack FSLN forces near Nacaome. The FSLN forces were caught off guard and forced into a brutal urban battle. The FSLN soldiers were also depleted of manpower due to the Contra insurgency which would prove fatal for the force of 10,000. The Honduras military with the help of the USAAF inflicted a crushing defeat on the FSLN. Trapped in the city they were bombarded with hundreds of artillery batteries and soldiers were incinerated by bombs from the USAAF and Honduras Airforce. Seven thousand people would die in the battle, including four thousand FSLN soldiers.


    Honduras soldiers on the offensive against the FSLN.

    As Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua were killing each other with increasing fury, trouble brewed in South America. Chile and Argentina had been clashing over the islands of the Beagle Channel since 1971. The military Junta of Argentina had invited Pope Clement XV to mediate talks between Chile and Argentina in 1979 but a short while later he died. His successor determined both of the nation's futures. When Pope Nicholas VI was elected as pope their fates were sealed. Pope Nicholas VI had no interest in mediating talks between two military dictatorships that ruthlessly violated human rights. Pope Nicholas VI while touring Ecuador in 1980 denounced the Pinochet government. After meeting with indigenous leaders, he called out Pinochet’s regime for murdering dissidents and overthrowing the democratically elected government. He vowed to never recognize the Pinochet regime as a legitimate government but rather a criminal state that murdered thousands. Pinochet’s regime at that point was teetering. Catholics made up a substantial portion of the population and as Chileans lived in poverty the more their anger grew. Pinochet lived in luxury while the majority of Chileans lived in fear and humiliation due to Pinochet’s policies. The military junta of Argentina got the short end of the stick when Pope Nicholas VI visited the nation in 1981. During the tour he met with the poor and desperate. No matter how much dirt they had on themselves he hugged them like they were his brothers and sisters. For two days he talked with them and prayed with the poorest and most abused of Argentina instead of meeting with the junta. When he did, he denounced them to their face for their crimes against the Argentinian people. He called on them to surrender their power or face dire consequences in the afterlife. The threat was hollow to the junta who saw Nicholas VI as a heretic who was unworthy of the title of pope. But his influence was far and wide. The poor, factory workers, small farmers, and priests started to become more brazen in their hatred of the junta. The junta who had come to power in 1976 with the backing of the United States was led by Jorge Vega, a ruthless thug who was later jailed for crimes against humanity and war crimes in 1990. Priests and citizens started to vocally oppose the Vega regime after Nicholas VI’s visit. For using the human right to freedom of speech Vega ramped up his extrajudicial killings and torture program. Priests were safer than a regular citizen due to the high respect they commanded but dozens would still be killed in “accidents” by the Vega regime.

    But still the junta became increasingly unpopular as the oil shocks and inflation crippled the economy. Much like in Chile the people starved as the government ate like kings with food bought with the money they looted from the people. In 1981 both nations were eager for something that would increase their ever-decreasing popularity. With socialist uprisings in Panama, Columbia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala the people became agitated and were starting to get ideas and all they needed was some motivation to overcome their fears and dismantle the dictatorship. It was with this background that Argentina attempted to assert its dominance over the Picton, Lennox, and Nueva Islands by sending two cruisers two miles off the coast. The Chilean navy ordered the ships to leave and fired three warning shots, one hit the cruiser Cabo and caused substantial damage. The ensuing explosion killed ten soldiers and injured a further thirty. An hour later Jorge Vera declared war on Chile on September 2nd, 1981. Both Chile and Argentina experienced an uptick in nationalism during the war which was a blessing to both regimes. The problem came that when one of the countries lost the war and was thoroughly embarrassed. The embarrassment of a lost would dismantle either of the regimes swiftly and for the tyrants who looted so much money and spilled so much blood it was non-negotiable that they needed a victory for their own survival.

    The opening salvo came from Argentina who sought to break the Chilean defenses swiftly so they could snake up the coastline and capture key population centers. Artillery cannons roared to life just as the US-UK delegation arrived in an effort to prevent the conflict from spiraling out of control. In Operation Light Justice the Argentinian military bombarded Chilean soldiers in the mountains. The Argentinian Airforce attacked the Chilean cities in an attempt to take out their industry and strike fear into the hearts of the Chilean people. The bombings only strengthened them. The bombings served only to give Pinochet a rallying cry against the Argentinian invasion and gave a massive boost to the army’s morale. The Argentinian Airforce attempted to gain aerial superiority over the Beagle Strait and Strait of Magellan but were halted by Chile’s attacks on the mainland. One of the advantages of Chile was the long border between them and Argentina. The long border was mountainous and treacherous to pass which made it perfect for the Chilean military to defend. Argentina failed to account for just how bloody the war would be. The first attempt to break through the mountains would come on September 6th, 1981, when 7,000 Argentinian soldiers attempted to scale the Andes mountains to dislodge a Chilean garrison of 6,000. The attack quickly went to hell as machine gun fire consumed the Argentinian soldiers. Within three hours of the offensive, they were fighting tooth and nail against the Chilean military. RPGs and gunfire were all one could hear on the mountain for a week as they inched their way up the mountain with a tenacity that would consume the average citizen with fear and dread. By the end of the week on September 13th the Argentinian force surrendered to Chile after three thousand soldiers were killed. For Chile the victory of Puerto Natales (where the battle was near) came at a heavy price. One thousand soldiers were slaughtered in the fighting and seven hundred where injured.

    The second major battle to happen was Operation Triplet which saw the Picton, Lennox, and Nueva Islands invaded by the Argentinian military. The navy quickly assaulted the few warships near the islands and pushed them back to port before a larger fleet could be sent. This left the lightly defended islands wide open. Only fifty Chilean soldiers defended the island of Picton while Argentina sent a total of five hundred-fifty soldiers to claim the island for themselves. The outnumbered and outgunned Chilean soldiers were swiftly crushed with twenty being killed and the rest captured. The Picton Fifty would become martyrs in Chile as Pinochet and the military held them up as ideal heroes Ones who refused to backdown in the face of an invasion force eleven times the size of their own meager garrison. Only ten of the Picton Fifty would survive the war as many were killed in the POW camps of Argentina. The ten survivors would all be worshiped as heroes even as the Pinochet regime was cast into the dustbin of history.

    After the Battle of Puerto Natales both nations dug in for the winter. Argentina didn’t want to attack mountains while they were covered in ice and snow which would kill thousands of soldiers. Chile used the break in fighting to further dig in and turn the Andes Mountains into a fortress that would claim the lives of thousands. Pinochet would also convince the UK to support Chile to prevent a strong Argentina that could threaten the Falkland Islands. Thatcher was reluctant but agreed as she felt Pinochet was the quote unquote “good guy” in the conflict. This was due to Vera’s threats to take over the Falkland and Sandwich Islands so naturally he got no support. Chile would receive aid from the UK, Mexico, Brazil, and Israel while Argentina received substantially less aid from Peru and Bolivia. Argentina managed to alienate most of the international community with their brash invasion of Chile and aggression towards the United Kingdom. The United States was officially neutral in the Beagle War due to the state department not wanting to anger whichever side won by supporting the losing side. Cianci and Haig were understandably quite angry that two of their allies were now at war with each other over three minor islands in the Atlantic, but they didn’t have the capabilities to negotiate a peace. After the battle of Puerto Natales neither Argentina or Chile was willing to accept anything less than a clear and crushing victory.

    The third major land battle was one of the largest of the entire war. The battle is one that’s been portrayed in both Spanish and American films and if you take a South American history class this is one of the most memorable battles from the entire class. The Battle of Torres del Paine was the turning point of the war and one of the bloodiest battles in Latin American history. Argentinian soldiers would attack the Chilean army at the Torres del Paine national park on May 4th, 1982. The attack was meant to break through the mountains and onto the coastline and dozens of islands inhabited past the Andes. If they could break through the mountains the main advantage for Chile would be destroyed. 38,000 Argentinian soldiers attacked 30,000 Chilean soldiers who were stationed in the area. Fighting was chaotic as Chilean soldiers attempted to hold back the numerically superior Argentinian army all while coming under fire from the superior Argentinian air force. Argentina had broken through the first line of defense with breakneck speed by the first week of fighting. The chaotic fighting worked in the favor of the Argentinians who managed to cut off numerous units and capture them. The Argentinian air force would manage to systematically dismantle the organization of the Chilean military allowing the Argentinian military to further push the Chileans closer to the coastline and out of the mountains. By the end of the first week three thousand soldiers were dead.


    Argentinian soldiers preparing for a Chilean attack.

    The Chilean military was in a state of panic as it looked like Argentina could win the Battle of Torres del Paine. Pinochet ordered another 10,000 soldiers to Torres del Paine in order to crush the Argentinian forces and by the end of the week their mobilization was complete. The Chilean forces received a boost in morale as they knew they could be rescued if they just held out for another three days. The experience of fighting in the mountains aided them very well as they were able to outmaneuver the Argentinian soldiers and successfully defend their positions. It came at a heavy price though. By the time the 10,000 fresh soldiers arrived another four thousand soldiers died as the Argentinian air force ramped up airstrikes and Vera demanded a swift victory before the 10,000 soldiers could arrive. The end result was a clash of bullets and rock as boulders tumbled and bullets were sprayed at each side. The Chileans held the line though and the Argentinian force suffered heavy casualties, taking 60% of the casualties. When the 10,000 soldiers arrived in Torres del Paine the Argentinian force knew they were in trouble. Vera had ordered another 7,000 soldiers to aid the Argentinian army at Torres del Paine but by the time the 10,000 Chilean soldiers arrived it was too late. The 33,000 Chilean soldiers attacked the 35,000 Argentinian soldiers from the mountains and the valleys on May 13th and managed to dislodge the Argentinians from their positions. With over 10,000 soldiers flanking the right side of the Argentinian army. The assault managed to scramble the unprepared Argentinians whose light defenses allowed the Chilean army to break through on the right and instigate a brutal firefight that killed thousands. Suffering heavy casualties and with the entire invasion force being threatened with encirclement in the mountains forced the Argentinians to retreat. Within two weeks the battle of Torres del Paine killed 23,000 people including 14,000 Argentinians.

    The battle of Torres del Paine delivered the decisive victory Pinochet had hoped for had come. With the Argentinian military suffering heavy casualties and having low morale due to the defeat at Torres del Paine the order was given for the Chilean army to go on the offensive. All over the border Chilean soldiers overran Argentinian units with ease. With the lost at Torres del Paine severely decreasing morale the soldiers folded like paper when the offensive started on August 2nd. The Chilean soldiers swiftly made ground against the demoralized Argentinians who retreated thirty miles from the border of Chile in an attempt to regain their footing. But everyone knew it was over. Morale in Argentina collapsed and widespread protests against the government began. Now the Chilean air force began to bomb Buenos Aires, killing dozens but most importantly damaging support for the war. Afraid of another suicidal attack against the encroaching Chileans thousands of soldiers deserted and often towns all Chile had to do was walk into a town and raise their flag over the town hall for them to capture a town. Come April 1983 both countries signed a cease fire and began to negotiate a permanent peace treaty. The Treaty of Miami was signed on October 30th, 1983, by both nations. The Picton, Lennox, and Nueva islands were declared to be Chilean land, the Strait of Magellan ended at the boundry line, Argentina was ordered to pay $50 million in reparations to Chile, and Argentina and Chile would promise to end the Beagle Conflict. The Treaty left the Argentinian population hating both the government and Chile for the humiliation. 40,000 Argentinians had died in the conflict for three useless islands compared to the 25,000 Chileans. The winds of change were blowing in both nations whether either was going to accept it was a different story.


    An unlikely hero to not only Brazil but Latin America.

    One ray of light coming from Latin America as most of the nation's dealt with far-right or far-left insurgencies was the nation of Brazil. Ever since the 1964 Coup overthrew the Democratically elected government, Brazil had been under the stranglehold of a military junta. But under the new president Joao Figueiredo the regime started to loosen its restrictions on the public. Soon after becoming president Figueiredo gave amnesty to jailed and exiled dissidents in a sign of change. Still, the dictatorship was ruthless and imposed harsh and unpopular austerity as the country slipped further into recession. With the popularity of the regime collapsing Figueiredo was under further pressure for reforms. Churches organized protests against the dictatorship and not wanting to kill his fellow Catholics, he relented and allowed the protestors to march. Soon enough the Movement for the Liberation of Brazil swelled in numbers as students and workers joined the Christian socialists in their calls for liberation. The uniting of the people against the regime caused Figueiredo to give even more power to opposition parties, decriminalizing the newly formed Christian Liberation Movement, under the pressure of the Vatican and restoring the direct election of governors. Soon after he had a massive heart attack and subsequently passed away. Aureliano Chaves succeeded him as president and invited Pope Nicholas VI to his home country. Nicholas VI was treated as a hero amongst the population for his consistent opposition to the dictatorship, which he denounced in the capital in front of 200,000 spectators. He praised the trade unions and the churches that were at the forefront of the resistance. Chaves would meet with Nicholas VI the next day to discuss the end of the dictatorship. Nicholas VI would represent the opposition and Chaves would represent the dictatorship in the meeting. Both agreed that the dictatorship was immoral but when it came passed restoring democratic rule they fiercely disagreed. Nicholas VI wanted those who perpetuated violence against the people arrested and put on trial for human rights abuses while Chaves sought a meager truth and reconciliation tribunal that would establish what happened and only punish the worst of the worst.

    Despite their disagreements Nicholas VI and Chaves managed to hash out a deal that would cast the regime into the dustbin of history. Full democratic rights would be restored to Brazil, a truth a reconciliation commission would be set up, in 1983 the first democratic elections would be held, and austerity would be loosened. The Brasilia Agreement was released on July 4th, 1982, after a week of negotiations. The real test is if a constitutional amendment ratifying the Brasilia Agreement’s demands would pass. The amendment failed to gain traction amongst the pro-dictatorship congressmen and for a little bit the Brasilia Agreement was in jeopardy. Growing agitated churches and labor unions organized to pressure the fence sitting congressman. In the Day of Rebellion, led by Pope Nicholas VI, Luiz Lula da Silva, Clodovis Boff, Fernando Cardoso, Tancredo Neves, and 1,700,000 other people marched for democratic elections and an end to the dictatorship. The soldiers sent to disperse the crowd quickly found out they were outnumbered and either dispersed themselves or joined the protestors. Nicholas VI made sure every Catholic church in Rio supported the protest as all illusion of control by the dictatorship disappeared. Under the watchful eyes of the Catholic Church and a further million people in Brasilia Congress passed a constitutional amendment allowing democratic elections. The military was powerless to fight back as with the pope in the crowd, firing upon the crowd would destroy their support even further.


    Protestors in Rio de Janeiro demanding democracy.

    A week later a constitutional amendment was passed allowing democratic elections. On February 10th, 1983, the first democratic elections were held. In the first round Luiz Lula da Silva came first with 25.23% of the vote while Aureliano Chaves came second with 24.23% of the vote. In the second round Chaves would defeat Silva 50.5%-49.5% in the closest election in Brazilian history. Chaves was aided by his reputation as the man who reformed Brazil into a successful democracy and Silva's reputation as a socialist and proponent of liberation theology. Normally the pro-dictatorship vote wouldn't have shown up for Chaves but due to Silva's reputation as a socialist who supported liberation theology. Fear mongering about how a socialist would destroy the economy Chaves managed to eke out a very narrow win. Furthermore, there was a fear that the military would launch a coup if Silva won, and thousands of Brazilians decided to bite the bullet and vote for another four years of Chaves. Despite high hopes his presidency would be less than ideal.

    His austerity policies and refusal to punish alleged war criminals earned him few friends and even fewer supporters. His term was like his first year in office. One of crisis but instead of being able to fall on the support of pro-reform and pro-democracy politicians and activists for political support. His legacy as a reformist who managed to peacefully dismantle the military dictatorship has earned him a decent following today, but many socialists, social democrats, and families of torture victims question his legacy and whether he should've been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Nicholas VI (who most historians agree was instrumental in the fall of right-wing dictatorships). While controversial most will remember his reforms more than his second term as that's what makes a good story.
  • Thank you to @hagersalthist and @FlyingSquirrel for nominating the timeline for a Turtledove!

    Here's the link if you want to vote for it.

    Chapter XVII: Crime Town USA
  • Cianci’s crime ring was ever growing in 1983. Bauman being his loyal puppet was not enough for him though. He was useful but could hardly keep the conservatives in check as they grew more agitated at the failure of busing. But for the time being they were willing to play ball with Cianci. Now that he secured his place in the executive branch with DiPrete and the FBI on his side he needed to extend the crime ring into the Senate and the House. Having a couple of loyal foot soldiers in each chamber would come in handy in making himself even richer. The Senate and the House is what gave Cianci funds in the first place to steal so if he could get some loyal Congresspeople or Senators he would have all but the judicial branch in his grasp.


    Senator Arch Moore explaining his crimes (1986).

    The first man he recruited was Senator David Durenberger of Minnesota. Durenberger would be brought into Cianci’s crime ring through a series of bribes that made betraying his constituents so much easier. Durenberger used his stature in the Senate to push for more infrastructure funding fossil fuel subsidies that both he and Cianci would take a cut of. Within a year Durenberger easily made tens of thousands of dollars off the scheme. Subsidies intended for oil companies or natural gas companies went missing and per the orders of Cianci ignored. Out of the billions of dollars in subsidies the missing money could easily be blamed on a small-time government employee. Durenberger and Cianci would then launder the money to an offshore bank account in Chile. As Chile looked like it was winning the Beagle War it became a hotspot for Durenberger’s money laundering scheme. Durenberger seemingly felt little remorse for his actions at the time as it was a small amount of money, he would tell himself. Durenberger’s loyalty to Cianci would also bring him more power in the senate. He had quickly become one of the highest-ranking Republican senators in the country with Cianci favoring him for the position of Majority Whip in 1984. Durenberger would also use the funds he made off of the stolen subsidies to buy more houses in his home state of Minnesota. The condos in Minneapolis in St. Paul would be written off as travel expenses and he made serious money. One condo alone raked in $40,000 in the reimbursements. Now multiply that by ten and this is how Durenberger became one of the richest senators by the time of his arrest. The amount he stole from the subsidies was only around $10,000 compared to the millions stolen by Cianci.

    Another key player in the crime ring was Senator Arch A. Moore of West Virginia. Moore was known for taking heat due to his corrupt practices which included attempting to extort a bank while governor. Cianci seeing Moore’s desperation for wealth proposed he’d come on board which Moore gratefully accepted. Moore used his position in the senate and Cianci’s crime ring to flex his muscle. Not only did he take bribes, commit insider trading by investing in companies Cianci gave subsidies too, but also played a role in expanding the crime ring to the Appalachian Mountains. His old scheme of extorting banks was a failure as he was nearly put in jail for it but now, he had a different idea. Why not just extort coal companies? Instead of fighting with the banks he fought with coal companies who were known for egregious safety violations. For a cool $100,000-$900,000 that could all go away. Moore would also start to start a massive wire fraud campaign which saw him receive bribes from dozens of individuals, including some who took it from charity. Backed by loyal FBI agents and state troopers Moore’s extortion ring-controlled West Virginia until he was caught in Cianci’s impeachment and promptly arrested, jailed, and fined $100 million for stealing millions from the people of West Virginia, the second largest fine in US history for a single individual, only behind Kenneth Lay.

    Moore and Durenberger weren’t the only new recruits in Cianci’s crime ring. Cianci found another opportunity from Dan Crane.


    Dan Crane, easily one of the most hated men to serve in Congress.

    Like many other Congressman Crane held a secret. He was having an affair with a 17-year-old staff member. Usually this would be exposed by the government and lead to Crane’s downfall. Instead Cianci didn’t want to destroy Crane but use his influence to expand his power. Like Bauman Crane would be blackmailed with photos of his affair being mailed to his office in a package. Crane panicked and called his brother, fellow Congressman Phil Crane. Phil Crane scolded his brother for the affair but promised to swear secrecy. Dan Crane was interrupted by a phone call from Buddy Cianci directly demanding he’d come into his office. Dan Crane was terrified as he just found out about the affair and his fear of being exposed by Cianci was high on his list of fears. He knew if someone had found out about the affair it was the president. He was right but not in the way he thought. His worst fear was being expelled but like Bauman that wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. Instead Cianci gave him a deal. Be expelled from Congress for the affair with an underage staffer or do Cianci’s dirty work. Crane gave a non-answer to buy himself some more time, but Cianci pushed him.

    “How would the police react Dan?”

    “I-I’m not sure!”

    “It’s obvious Dan. Ya with us or are ya down with having your life ruined?”

    “Listen you son of a bitch I am not doing whatever dirty work you want me to do. It’s not worth it, it’s not worth violating my contract with God and being damned just to save your failing presidency.”

    “Well, Dan you’re already damned. Statutory rape is a big deal from where I come from, and I don’t like people who claim to be Christians yet sin in some of the most fucked up ways possible. I mean you have a wife. Just why Dan?”

    “I-I-I’m not sure.”

    “Listen Dan. I’ll give you a week to make your decision. Choose wisely.”

    Dan Crane would be in a state of panic when he got home. He was visibly angry and sweating like he had just ran a marathon. His wife took note of this and tried to calm him down. Crane didn’t tell her anything that transpired between him, the staffer, and Cianci. Crane rejected his wife’s attempt to console him and began to cry. His home phone went off in the kitchen and he picked it up. “Dan?”

    Crane began to panic. It was his mistress. “Don’t call me dumbass!” he whispered to her.

    “I’m pregnant.”

    Dan Crane’s world was shattered. If he wasn’t screwed before he was now. Cheating on his wife would anger any moral American but impregnating a 17-year-old? He’d be truly lucky if he didn’t go to jail or bankrupted by child support and the divorce. “Meet me tomorrow in my office,” he whispered as the fear of hell was put into him.

    The night was a sleepless one. He tossed and turned in between his panic attacks and thoughts about Cianci’s deal. Compared to possible legal issues Cianci’s proposal wasn’t a bad one. But still Dan Crane couldn’t help but have a bad feeling about Cianci. As he later said in an interview “Cianci had an aura around him. One that gave me the feeling he was a morally bankrupt ally of the devil. I wish I had listened to that feeling instead of what my brain said.”

    Crane decided that whatever Cianci had in store for him couldn’t be that bad. It was probably just telling him to shut up and stop attempting to push Cianci to the right. How wrong was he. When he took the deal Cianci immediately told him to buy a car wash in Danville Illinois in order to use it as a money laundering scheme. Crane initially refused but Cianci brought up the fact his mistress was pregnant and under 18 years of age. Under DC law Crane would be guilty of statutory rape and he would rather do a crime that harmed no one than be put in a cold jail cell.

    The Italian Mafia and P2 were just starting to unload the money made from attacking trade unions and defrauding the nation through Roberto Calvi’s banks was just starting to arrive on the shores of the United States. The amount of money laundered over international seas was ridiculous. Within a year Cianci had pocketed five million dollars and as the violence in Italy increased so did the profits as companies begged mobsters for protection against violent labor strikes. Often times the CIA encouraged P2, neo-fascists, and the Mafia to agitate or cut to the chase and attack peaceful strikes in order to spur more violence. Once the strikes turned violent the Mafia would jack up their prices. Cianci’s allies in the Italian military actively gave information on investigations into key allies in the Mafia and the P2. Using this information Cianci and his allies would sabotage investigations. Furthermore, the CIA smuggled weapons and small explosives to P2 members, usually in the intelligence community.

    As investigations were thwarted and a steady stream of money and weapons arrived in the hands of the Unholy Alliance violence exploded. The first major attack was at Stefano’s Bar in Naples. The bar was known for being sympathetic to the PCI due to it being unionized and friendly to gay folks. It had already been a flash point of conflict after neo-fascists started a brawl with a communist and soon enough dozens of people joined in. Soon enough it became a key point of attack for the local far-right who characterized it as a club of degeneracy and communism. When the local P2 members got access to more resources and weapons they quickly began to plan to destroy the bar. They decided that attacking the bar in the day light would get them caught and they’d expose the P2. So, they decided to attack during the nighttime, and they found the perfect opportunity. From 8:00-10:00 PM the Young Communist League, the youth wing of the PCI was meeting at the bar to discuss the upcoming city council elections. At 8:50 PM three men arrived at the bar. One went to the back of the building and another one went to the right side of the building that formed an ally with another restaurant that was closed. The third man entered the bar and planted a small bomb in the garbage can at the front. Then he left the building out the backdoor.

    At 8:54 AM all hell broke loose. Two fires were started that quickly spread. As the patrons attempted to leave the building the small bomb exploded, collapsing the doorway and killing several people. They panicked as they attempted to break windows and the walls before the fire could spread. Unfortunately, it spread very quickly and in three minutes the building was wrapped in flames. Within twenty minutes thirty-nine people were dead and forty were injured. It was one of the worst fires in modern Italian history and it didn’t take long for the police to determine it was an act of terror. Unfortunately, they couldn’t catch the killers until the fall of P2 and by that time two of the three terrorists were already dead after being shot to death by a far-left terrorist in 1984. The next terrorist attack was in the historic city of Palermo. There the Mafia attempted to infiltrate local trade unions to engineer their collapse. It failed miserably when the union expelled everyone reasonably suspected of being a member of the Mafia. In retaliation the Mafia ordered the execution of several union leaders. The Palmero Massacre was followed up by retaliatory attacks by left wing militants against alleged members of the Mafia. For three days straight what was essentially a gang war between left wing militants and Mafia members erupted and quickly the body count mounted. The Mafia was aided by P2 members who gave them information about them whereabouts of anti-Mafia politicians. The CIA and Cianci egged on the violence with their strategy of tension aiming to cripple the Berlinguer government's credibility. Several Mafia bosses even received phone calls from P2 members or anonymous "citizens" encouraging their war against the state and anti-Cianci bosses.


    Anti-Mafia protests in Palmero (1983).

    Those vocally opposed to the Mafia with real power, like being a prosecutor, judge, community leader, or union leader, could be driving to work and without any warning they’d be filled with bullets. During this time the mayor, Elda Pucci quickly initiated a crackdown with the backing of the federal government. Unfortunately, this earned her the ire of the Mafia. In retaliation for several local leaders being arrested she was killed. On March 5th while driving to work she came under fire from an adjacent vehicle. She tried to evade the gunfire but within ten seconds she was killed from several gunshot wounds. Along with Pucci a further three people were killed from the gunfire and five other people were killed due to a ten-car pileup that was caused due to the shooting.


    The Italian government in retaliation sent two thousand federal agents and police along with five hundred soldiers. General Carlo Alberto Chiesa was given orders by Berlinguer and Minister of the Interior Alessandro Natta to "totally crush" the Mafia in retaliation. The moles in the Italian intelligence agencies of course leaked this to their allies in the Mafia who panicked and figured that Chiesa was their greatest threat. On May 5th, chosen for symbolically being May Day or International Workers Day they attempted to kill Chiesa. While talking to Palmero police officers a sniper caught him in the window of the police headquarters. Chiesa was shot in the chest and collapsed but thanks to the quick actions of the police in the building he survived and was prevented from going into hemorrhagic shock. Chiesa became a hero, a man who served his country and fought the triple terror of anarchism, fascism, and the Mafia. He would later become one of the loudest proponents of extraditing American officials who were complicit in the Unholy Alliance.

    If even being a sovereign country wasn’t enough to save Italy from Cianci’s crimes, then imagine how bad it was in Rhode Island. Both the Democratic Party and Republican Party were complicit in Cianci’s crime ring. His goons bribed everyone, from legislators, county attorneys, and even advisors to the governor. Even if Governor Schneider wasn’t corrupt her entire administration pretty much was. The corruption in Rhode Island started to show when the economy, despite the national economy recovering once again grinded to a halt. This was because state and federal projects were filled with fraud (that unsurprisingly went unpunished), theft, and incompetence. Most state projects at this point served as money laundering schemes and when a company did bid on a contract with the government it wasn’t how high the bid was but who paid the most in bribes. Every time the state legislature chose the most corrupt and most likely the most incompetent company. Even better was that the banking industry was on the brink of collapse as embezzlement had somehow become even worse. Politicians would always give more money to banks on the brink of collapse in order to save themselves from jail, which their money would then once again be embezzled. Millions of dollars were defrauded from the people of Rhode Island, a decent chunk of which went to Cianci and DiPrete themselves. Debt for Rhode Islanders worsened as Cianci, the Cianci allied Mob, and most of the government defrauded, stole, and bribed their way to immense wealth off the banks. The poverty rate hit 10% in 1983 in Rhode Island and the public was getting angry. As if things couldn’t get worse the popular corruption investigation was extraordinarily corrupt, with the investigators sitting on their assess and collecting bribes while the bubble only grew larger. During 1983 they expanded their reach into Massachusetts and Connecticut, buying up small banks and bribing local politicians.


    Early victim of the AIDs Epidemic that would kill thousands (1981).

    The final crime of the Cianci administration was the lack of funding to fight the AIDs Epidemic. Despite thousands being infected and it being considered a near death sentence the government did not speak out about the harmful effects. The reason for this was because of Cianci and his administration not caring if who they viewed as the criminals of society dying. Homosexuals and drug abusers were some of the most vulnerable of society yet the government’s view of them was inhuman.

    Cianci openly refused to fund drug treatment and instead funded more private prisons (who he and several congressmen invested in). Depending on the state if you admitted to having gay sex or abusing drugs, you’d be reported to the police either by your family or even a doctor and arrested. Cianci encouraged the ladder as a tragic necessity to prevent drug abusers from spreading the disease while staying silent on the former. Instead of a campaign of AIDs awareness he campaigned on reporting drug abusers to the police to keep them off the street. The McCarthyite tactics to crack down on drug abuse ended up backfiring as more drug abusers refused to seek help for AIDs or their drug abuse due to a fear of being reported. Furthermore, it led to larger social alienation as the war on drugs increased in its sheer brutality.

    Despite the obvious failure of Cianci’s cruel AIDs and drug policy most Republicans didn’t give a damn. Who cared if a few gays or addicts bit the dust? It was less “sinners” to influence their children. The black community was devastated by the AIDs Epidemic and war on drugs due to higher rates of poverty, racism, and worse healthcare. Tens of thousands of mostly black drug users were jailed in Cianci’s first term alone and as more and more were jailed the more money Cianci, and his goons made. Kenneth Lay in Texas alone used thousands of prisoners to work menial jobs such as clean his company's offices for less than a dollar a day.
    Last edited:
    Chapter XVIII: Old vs New
  • As Cianci’s position as the world’s number, one crime boss was secured his popularity grew. The economy had recovered to where it was before the recessions of the 70s and more Americans were employed than ever before. Criminals were being thrown in jail and Cianci had proven to resist the reactionary views on abortion and economics the conservatives tried to get him to support. He was the most popular president since Kennedy at the time and there was no doubt that he’d win re-election.


    Vander Jagt at the 1984 RNC introducing President Cianci.

    Still, someone had to be the Democratic nominee. Former President Jackson had died in 1983 after suffering an aortic aneurysm at his home in Everett Washington. Shortly after his death, the primaries began officially. Without a former president to play the role of kingmaker several candidates scrambled to launch their campaigns. The first was Senator Birch Bayh who was considered the candidate that could take down Cianci. Bayh was a New Dealer like Jackson and also had written the most constitutional amendments of any non-founding father, with the 27th (Equal Rights Amendment), 25th, and 26th amendment under his belt there was no doubt he’d be an effective president. His problem was that labor unions were unenthusiastic about his campaign and key members of the Jackson administration such as former Secretary of State Jeane Kirkpatrick disliked his broadly anti-war views.

    Kirkpatrick tried recruit a more hawkish candidate but very few wanted to run for president, and she wasn’t about to endorse a far-right racist like Larry McDonald. After around a month of searching for a hawkish candidate who wasn’t a racist asshole like McDonald Kirkpatrick resigned herself to defeat. When she woke up on September 5th, 1983, she received a call from a reporter. “Yes sir, what do you need?”

    “What’s your opinion on former Vice President Fred Harris’s run for president?”

    Kirkpatrick had just woken up and quickly snatched the paper from the kitchen table. On the front page it read ‘Harris announces bid for president. Calls for a “century of the common man”’

    “No comment,” she said unenthusiastically. She had disliked him during his term as vice president due to his anti-war beliefs and felt like he should’ve been dropped from the ticket for someone who would have appealed to the Midwest like Walter Mondale or John Glenn. As she sat there, she reviewed the choices for America. A cowboy populist, a standard New Dealer, a racist, and a bombastic idiot who lucked out after Laxalt was murdered in New Zealand of all places. Seeing the choices before her she wondered if there was any other Americans who felt the same way? She quickly came to the conclusion there must be a silent majority as millions voted for Jackson in 1976 and 1980. What was with this belief that Kirkpatrick began to plan a run for president.


    "America must be the policemen of the world. If we surrender our duty to the Soviet thugs, we'll see decades of darkness consume the free world." Excerpt from Kirkpatrick's presidential campaign announcement.

    The first debate was on November 14th, so she had some time and quickly secured endorsements behind the scenes. These included former governor Patrick Lucey, senators Donald Stewart, Lloyd Bentsen, Fritz Hollings, and academic Irving Kristol. At first when she announced her campaign on October 11th, she was met with not any concerns over her support for authoritarian regimes but over her gender. She was the first female Secretary of State and the media only really speculated over how historical it would be for her to become the first female nominee for a major political party.

    Still, it gave her campaign publicity and it allowed her to gain some footing in the primary. Her platform was similar to both Harris and Bayh’s on social and economic issues. Supporting the ERA fervently and supporting universal healthcare. What came under attack was Kirkpatrick’s brazenly authoritarian and sadistic foreign policy. She supported increasing the nuclear weapons stockpile by 500 ICBM nuclear missiles, suspending aid to the Italian military, an invasion of Nicaragua, and placing an additional 50,000 soldiers in Europe in retaliation for the invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union. The platform wasn’t even supported by the Republican Party who felt like it took things too far. Kirkpatrick did manage to tap into the vicious anti-communist crowd who’s concern over stopping communism was above the human rights they claimed to support.

    She quickly became the conservative option in the Democratic Party as McDonald was ridiculed as a racist lunatic who was a member of the John Birch Society. Kirkpatrick was viewed as the only rational conservative Democrat in the mix. Harris despite being a fellow member of the Jackson administration attacked her political views as a threat to world peace. He made clear he was an anti-communist but not one willing to create another Panama in Nicaragua. Furthermore, he and Bayh attacked her refusal to denounce the OPN and JNP’s crimes against humanity in El Salvador. Her support for funding the OPN despite their war against the Catholic Church swiftly angered the large Catholic bloc in the Democratic Party. Even Polish Americans, the most fervently anti-communist group in the Democratic coalition refused to vote for her. The Polish community hated both the communists and the fascists slaughtering Jesuits and bishops in Latin America. Needless to say, her main power was in the South who opposed the march of communism and could give less of a damn about the atrocities in Latin America.

    The Iowa caucus to the surprise of very little people was a Bayh victory. Him being from the Midwest easily gave him the advantage and he was popular in the region. Harris came in second 5% behind Bayh with 33% of the vote and Kirkpatrick came in third with a respectable 20% of the vote. In New Hampshire Harris pulled off a victory over Bayh, Kirkpatrick, and McDonald with an impressive 40% of the vote. He was aided by the endorsement of former governor Hugh Carey whose endorsement decisively rallied the Catholic vote to Harris. The rest of the primaries were close. In South Carolina Harris won off a coalition of African Americans, college students, rural voters, and the urban poor. Next McDonald won his only primary in the state of Georgia. Due to his home state advantage, he was able to eke out a win over Kirkpatrick and Harris who split the anti-McDonald vote. Even in more conservative states such as Mississippi and Alabama he got crushed. Former governor George Wallace and Governor William Baxley both endorsed Harris and black and poor voters turned out in masse for Harris in both states, effectively crushing the competition which was split between McDonald and Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick did manage to win Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee where conservative Democrats endorsed her bid for the presidency. Meanwhile Harris swept most of New England off of Catholic and black voters. In the West he blew out Kirkpatrick and Bayh due to his populism appealing to the poor and small farmers.


    Harris campaign button (1984).

    Bayh’s main strength was in the Midwest where his pragmatic progressive ideals were very popular. He easily won most midwestern states minus Minnesota whose large unions swung in favor of Harris and Ohio that went to Harris for similar reasons. He also dominated the mid-Atlantic states and west coast that were very receptive to his staunch social progressivism. Women turned out in droves for him as the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment easily made him a favorite of feminists and in fact most voters. But it wasn’t enough. California was close and Bayh needed a crushing win to overcome Harris’s delegate lead. He came close but unfortunately for him the victory was followed up with several Harris victories in the west that allowed him to regain a decent lead. Furthermore, Kirkpatrick won the state of Washington by a razor thin margin over Bayh and Harris due to her relationship with the deceased president. By the time the convention came around in Boston no candidate had a majority of the vote. Both Bayh and Harris wanted the presidency and neither Kirkpatrick nor McDonald were willing to rally behind either candidate.

    The differences between Harris and Bayh were merely regional and in their rhetoric. Both were social democrats who wanted to implement universal healthcare and fight against racism home and abroad. Both supported sanctioning South Africa so besides them both wanting to become president there wasn’t an issue between each other. Wanting to avoid a contested convention both Bayh and Harris sat down to negotiate. Harris clearly had the advantage over Bayh due to his delegate lead and the negotiations were swift. Bayh endorsed Harris and pledged his delegates to him in exchange for a renewed push to abolish the electoral college if Harris became president. Harris gleefully accepted and despite the media hyping up a contested convention one never came. Next came finding a good vice president. Harris looked to Bayh’s support base to find a possible candidate who’d appeal to them. He also wanted a historic pick, feeling like it could give him more momentum heading into election day. Many wanted him to pick Geraldine Ferraro due to her Italian heritage and liberal record, but Harris decided against her. Senator Elizabeth Holtzman on paper was a good choice. A woman, Jewish, and a fighter in the Senate. But she was too liberal considering Harris was known for being a liberal firebrand. Three days before the convention he made his decision. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana.

    A moderate liberal who was known for advocating the ERA but being able like Harris to appeal to conservative constituents. Sure, she was pro-life, but Harris promised to be a pro-choice president who dampened any serious opposition to his candidacy.

    The Progressives under Gravel who left the Democratic Party once again met in Chicago to put forward a ticket. The problem was that they had much fewer supporters than in 1980. Gravel gave tepid support to the 4th iteration Progressive Party but was busy dealing with financial issues in Alaska. The convention in Chicago was a mess as socialists, Trotskyites, and environmentalists clashed over who to nominate. Some wanted Eugene McCarthy, but his anti-immigration stances thoroughly pissed off the convention and soon after he endorsed the Libertarian nominee, Ed Clark. Others wanted mayor Bernie Sanders, but he politely rejected the offer. Finally, the convention compromised and selected activist and 1980 vice presidential nominee Ralph Nader as their nominee and selected Michael Harrington as his running mate. Compared to 1980 the Progressives collapsed. They had won 5% of the vote last time and were now polling at a high of 2% and a low of less than 1%.

    At the same time the Democrats and Progressives were trying to find effective tickets Cianci considered himself lucky to not have to go through another brutal primary season. He had managed to silence most of the conservative Republicans through a mix of cutting taxes and blackmail so at first, he didn’t worry. But discontent amongst the conservatives within the party were prominent. Two particular examples were Phil Crane and Pat Buchanan. Both hated Cianci’s moderate approach and viewed him as liberal in disguise and a fat cat who got rich off high taxes while sitting in a comfy chair as Americans were still struggling to make ends meet. They met in D.C on July 5th, 1983 and agreed something needed to be done. Taking direct inspiration from Reagan’s primary challenge against Rockefeller they both decided that Buchanan would challenge Cianci.


    Pat Buchanan campaigning in New Hampshire.

    On August 25th he announced his intention to primary Cianci. Buchanan’s speech instantly destroyed any chance at winning more than 20% of the vote in any state. He derided the popular president as a left-wing sympathizer whose decision to leave Jackson’s healthcare reforms intact was a giveaway to the “socialist Democrats.” Furthermore, he attacked the economy as a house of cards that due to government corruption would collapse and cause unimaginable pain and suffering. Now the latter statement proved prophetic (even though he was referring to welfare and government regulations). Buchanan’s campaign was easily brushed aside by Cianci who used the RNC and his allies (which included 97% of the Republican caucus). Buchan’s best state was in the Libertarian stronghold of New Hampshire where he won an impressive 23% of the vote. It was helped by Senator Meldrim Thompson’s neutrality during the primary but soon after endorsed Cianci as the reasonably conservative candidate in the race. He denounced Buchanan as a saboteur and a useful tool for the Democratic Party. After New Hampshire Buchanan’s campaign was ignored by the media for being essentially a vanity project that they viewed as boosting his own ego rather than having any legitimate concerns with Cianci.

    The conventions went as expected. Cianci and Vander Jagt were renominated with little opposition (with twenty delegates going to Buchanan). The keynote speaker was Senator Shirley Temple Black of California who praised Cianci’s first term as a continuation of Laxalt’s legacy and a new dawn for America. One which saw a record recovery for the economy and an unprecedented crackdown on crime. Unbeknownst to her the speech would come back to haunt her for the rest of her life.


    Senator Black's giving the keynote speech to the RNC.
    Crossword Puzzle

  • I saw @Vidal's post in his test thread where he made a crossword puzzle for his timeline idea. Again sorry for there not being a chapter. Spring break is this week so I most likely won't have one up for this week. So I thought this would be a good little thing to do as it'll hopefully be fun.