August 18, 1950
Dear Brooks-- 1
The more I think about it the more clearly I realize that that ad was only a sort of private declaration of war, and probably a little clumsy. I don't suppose anybody has the situation sized-up accurately, though maybe Walter L. came close to it in his definition of the present phase as a series of civil wars in which Russia will take the side of the rebels and we'll be trying to put the rebellion down. That's what's most infuriating in our position--we're going to have to smash most of Korea to save it from slavery, and it's going to make us most unpopular there.
No doubt you saw the Alsop article about the "business-as- usual" war. 2 That's perhaps a bit exaggerated but I think it's true that the country doesn't think it's at war. The crisis doesn't look immediate to us here--we're not shocked into action nor into making sharp discriminations between the loyal and the disloyal.
These are only opinions, of course. A fellow would really have to be a prophet to know what ought to be done next, and I'm no prophet.
Give my best to your wife. My wife doesn't agree with me either--and she says some of the things which you have written to me.