紐約時報今天花了相當大的篇幅，回顧蔣宋美齡的一生（標題：蔣女士，105，中國領導人的寡婦，死亡 ）非常值得注意的事，整篇文章，從開始到結尾都不斷強調一件事，就是蔣宋美齡A了美國的錢，也清楚提及美國人對蔣宋美齡幻滅(disillusion)的 過程。台灣的部分媒體和政客只顧吹噓蔣宋美齡如何受到美國人愛戴，而隱藏美國人後來極端厭惡蔣宋美齡的事實。
Yet historians have documented the murderous path that Chiang Kai-shek led in his efforts to win, then keep, and ultimately lose power. It also became clear in later years that the Chiang family had pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars of American aid intended for the war.
Although Madame Chiang developed a stellar image with the American public, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and other leaders became disillusioned with her and her husband's despotic and corrupt practices. Eleanor Roosevelt was shocked at Madame Chiang's answer when asked at a dinner at the White House how the Chinese Government would handle a strike by coal miners. Madame Chiang silently drew a sharp fingernail across her neck.
"She can talk beautifully about democracy," Mrs. Roosevelt said later. "But she does not know how to live democracy."
By the end of the war, the loyalty of Nationalist officials melted away as the Government grew corrupt and fiscally traitorous, printing money so aggressively that the Chinese currency fell to an exchange rate of several million yuan to the dollar. Many Nationalist soldiers were reduced to begging for food because they went unpaid, yet American diplomats discovered that military supplies sent from the United States to China sometimes appeared on the black market soon after arrival.
Even at the busiest times of war, Madame Chiang often left her husband and disappeared into seclusion in New York for months at a time. The Chiang camp was too secretive to deny rumors about marital troubles, but Madame Chiang's retreats may also have been caused by a debilitating skin condition.
Madame Chiang went out shopping in her limousine one afternoon, and did not return home by evening.
Madame Chiang made a splash in Washington soon afterward. She spoke forcefully and passionately to Congress, winning a roaring ovation. She then traveled across the country, appearing at Madison Square Garden and at the Hollywood Bowl.
But she earned the enmity of American G.I.'s when she returned to China's wartime capital, Chungking, with several suitcases, one of which plopped open to reveal luxurious cosmetics, lingerie and fancy groceries.
It was a small sign of the growing corruption within the Nationalists that would speed their undoing.
Other American officials in China also warned against the vast amounts of graft among Nationalists. More than $3 billion was appropriated to China during the war, and most of it was transmitted through T.V. Soong, who as China's foreign minister was based in Washington. It later became apparent that the Soong family suffered vicious infighting over the purloined funds..
Madame Chiang traveled to Washington again in November 1948 to plead for emergency aid for the war against the Communists. Yet Congress had recently assigned another $1 billion to China, and President Truman was impatient with the Chiangs and what had become an apparently hopeless effort to shore up the Nationalist Government. Madame Chiang never returned to China.
"I can ask the American people for nothing more," she said. "It is either in your hearts to love us, or your hearts have been turned from us."
In her frustration, she publicly likened American politics to 'clodhopping boorishness." Coming after years of generous American support, that irritated Truman.
"They're thieves, every damn one of them," Mr. Truman said later, referring to Nationalist leaders. "They stole $750 million out of the billions that we sent to Chiang. They stole it, and it's invested in real estate down in SÄao Paolo and some right here in New York."