N ewsmen, visiting Tokyo's Dai-Ichi Building, during the American occupation of Japan, were amazed at the things they heard there from members of Douglas MacArthur's staff. These officers, one-, two-, and three-star generals in the army and the air force, were tough, independent-minded men who had made their way to the top of their profession through demonstrated ability. They had, one assumed, a normal amount of skepticism, a certain degree of cynicism, a high level of sophistication, and more than the ordinary share of intelligence.
Yet, when asked about their chief, their eyes lit up and they babbled like stone-age men describing the Sun God. "The greatest man alive," Major General Edward Almond said of MacArthur. Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer went further: MacArthur was the greatest man since Christ, the greatest general in world history, "the greatest man who ever lived." An operations officer declared, "We look to MacArthur as the second Jesus Christ."
One officer, however, responded that he just could not make a judgment about MacArthur. "He's too enormous...I don't really understand him. No one could." There can be no doubt as to the accuracy of the confession. MacArthur was different from other men -- in all the vast literature about him, pro and con, he is hardly ever compared to anyone else -- and to come to a conclusion about the nature of his character is extraordinarily difficult. One can record events, sayings, decisions, reactions, but they do not constitute a