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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 15:16
Originally posted by nuvolari nuvolari wrote:

Putting to one side the US War of Independence since that issue is one of major complexity and demands it own especial discussion


Surprised you did not see fit to mention 1812. It's the only real example of US belligerence towards Britain.

Quote 1.   The strategy of FDR to bankrupt the British by dint of the Lend Lease plan has been well documented and reported in several books by respected historians.


Yes, I'm sure some paperback historians have made the claim. I imagine their books are popular at UK supermarket checkout counters.

But the terms of the lend-lease were actually pretty generous, overall. There were some raw deals involved (junky old obsolete destroyers sold for too high a price, etc) but the repayment terms were easy. It was not a lucrative proposition for the US overall.

Quote  Back in 1917 just prior to the entry of the USA into WW1 **, Woodrow Wilson drafted his famous "Fourteen Point Declaration". which specifically stated what the US wanted out of its entry into that war.  One of its key points was the dismemberment of ALL empires, especially that of Great Britain's.


It emphasized the right of self-determination. So did Britain's series of Imperial Conferences around the same era, which recommended the same policy and ultimately resulted in the Balfour Declaration and Statute of Westminster.

Quote During WW2, the stated policy of the American Chief's of Staff was to prevent the participation by the UK in any significant manner in the Pacific theatre of war.


US planners felt it made far more sense (and it did) for Britain's resources to be chiefly directed to the European theater. If the Americans wanted to keep Britain from being involved in the Asian theater, why didn't they oppose the naming of Mountbatten to Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia? It's not like it would have been difficult to object, after Dieppe and some of Mountbatten's more absurd plans (eg building aircraft carriers out of sawdust and icebergs)

Quote  When in 1956 President Nasser occupied the Canal Zone (which legally belonged to both Britain and France) and was a crucial British lifeline to it's Far Eastern dependencies and its oil supplies, and was of much greater value to her than ever was the Panama Canal to the USA, the USA deliberately withdrew its support at the United Nations, brought about a devaluation of the Pound Sterling, and threatened embargoes on supplies of strategic materials to the UK


The Suez did not 'legally belong' to Britain, it was a neutral territory under British protection. And in fact, in 1954, Britain had agreed to withdraw its forces from the area.   The US acted partially at the instigation of none other than Lester Pearson, the Canadian Prime Minister, to ensure regional stability between Israel and Egypt and a lasting peace, which would guarantee Europe's oil lifeline remained open and free from conflict. Do you really suppose Canada was out to "get" Britain?

Quote Given the state of much of Africa and the Middle East etc. now being virtually wholly unstable, whereas previously when part of the British Empire or Commonwealth they hade been both prosperous and politically sound


Had little to do with the Suez, this process predates even WW2 and was well underway before Suez. Yes, they were prosperous under empire for a time ... until the tensions generated by empire erupted into unstable situations, under which neither empire nor prosperity could be maintained any longer. How exactly things like India-Pakistan have anything to do with Suez is beyond me ... usually causes precede effects in linear time.
 
Quote The US's entry into both World Wars can be best described as being similar to that of many police forces around the World when faced with dealing with a serious and dangerous bar-room fight i.e. Let all of the participants exhuast themselves so as not to pose a threat, and then stroll in and separate the enfeebled fighters.


So ... because they didn't run straightaway to help Britain, that means they sought its destruction? So I guess Britain, then, sought the destruction of everyone it didn't run to help, too. Failing to live up to some perceived obligation to assist in a timely fashion simply isn't the same thing as actively attempting to destroy.


Edited by edgewaters - 09-Feb-2009 at 15:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 15:52
I have often pondered on Kings marked dislike for the British. Of course it could be rooted in his general envy of what was then, and had been for 250 years, the Worlds finest navy i.e the Andrew (aka the Royal Navy to any landlubbers reading this ), but I did once read that upon an official American navy visit to the Royal Navy's base at Scapa Flow, he felt that he had been deliberately NOT given the proper number of guns in his salute, so this would not have helped.  As for MacArthur, well he beleived himself to be God anyway, so what chance did anyone else have of being accorded his respect !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 16:17
What a load of bollocks from all sides.

1. US is an empire. No denying that. It started form a small area in the Eastern side of the US and expanded into its modern land area, exterminating the local populations and stealing the land from other countries. Today US has military bases in hundreds of countries, it invades countries who disobey it, which has been going on almost since its inception. It imposes trade policies on weaker nations and opens their markets by economic or military coercion. It is willing to fight to make sure that no opponent emerges and its profits are not threatened. US is an empire, and only people who deny that are a handful of ideologically blinded ultra-nationalists, whom nobody takes seriously outside the US mainstream media.  

2. Britain had no intention of letting go of its empire. It went bankrupt and was forced to do so. Before going to World War I, they had plans to divide up the Middle East, called the Sykes-Picot plan. Of course they were promising the Arabs independence, but in fact they wanted to rule them themselves. Same in India, India became independent only because Britain became bankrupt in the wars and Indian independence movement kicked their asses back to UK.

3. Suez canal was built by slave labour. Many Egyptians died for the profits of European imperialists. It did not belong to Britain or France. It belong to Egypt and when the Egyptians took what is rightfully theirs, English and French, together with the usual imperialist attack dog, Israel, attacked Egypt. However, those idiots had still not understood that they were no longer living in the pre-world war era, when they could do pretty much whatever they wanted. So what happened in the end was that the USSR (not Canada!) warned them, and demanded that they stop their imperialist aggression. US did not want confrontation with the USSR to defend the old imperialist idiots on this issue, so it told the idiots to get the eff out of Egypt or else. That's exactly what they did, with their tails firmly between their legs. British and French press and some historians still haven't fully come to terms with this change in the world, and still miss the good old days of white men's burden, when they could oppress the wogs and niggers the way they liked (hence the 'Middle East was peaceful under British rules' garbage above). 

4. Middle East was not peaceful under the British. The British caused 90% of the problems still there, by the Belfour declaration, oppressing the Palestinians (I've seen old Palestinians on TV who swear that British trated them worse than the Israelis), dividing the Arabs arbitrarily, setting in the frameworks to steal their oil wealth, bombing, torturing, killing them whenever they disagreed (they gassed the Kurds way before Saddam did). British were total barbarians (French were better).

USA and USSR understood the new imperial dynamics of the post world war world. They created vassal states and dependencies in the region and expanded their military and economic presence. 

Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 16:33
I suppose there has been a sillier lot of statements but not many
 
1. Why are the Indian population still alive and well. AFAIK there was no stealing of land unless you think of Mexico under the Spaniards whi stole that land and Cuba etc. BTW if you study history well enough you will see everyone has stolen lanmd at some time from earlier inhabitants. US has bases in some countries and does not arbitrarily invade other countries without provocation apart from about 1 as far as I can remember.
 
2. Britain had every intention of giving up its Empire in course of time and continued to do so at an accelerated rate after WWII unfortunately for the inhabitants, their new leaders were largely awful and oppressive with some exceptions
 
3. The canal was not created by Britain but they bought shares in the Company running it when that Company was having problems. The manner of being taken over was not well done
 
 
4. Until WWI end the Middle East was under Ottoman control. Britain had mandates from the League of Nations to oversee, Palestinet, Iraq and in part Jordan. On the whole peaceful until the question of the Jewish Homeland started to come up. Then the UN took over in 1948 and the Arab nations then defied them and attacked Israel. Your so-called old Palestinians on TV is I think somewhat suspect. BTW the British user 'tear' gas not the sort that Saddam Hussein used against his own people
 
The USSR of course is hardly backward in claiming an Empire for itself against the wishes of the inhabitants. Thanks to the determination of the US, UK and the rest of the free world this was largely broken


Edited by Peteratwar - 09-Feb-2009 at 16:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 16:40
edgewaters,
 
Just a quick aside here:  Those junky old destroyers were still valuable.  There were still, in 1940/41 over 100 of them in service in the US navy awaiting replacement by more modern classes, and all the DDs in the Asiatic squadron were old four stackers.
 
Fifty destroyers, old or not, were useful to ASW in the Atlantic.  They could still make 30 knots, could drop a good number of depth charges, and could outgun any U boat on the surface.  How long would it have taken for British yards to build 50 destroyers?  The emergency flotilla construction program didn't go into effect until 1941, and the classes were based on existing plans for WW I ships!
 
  


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 09-Feb-2009 at 16:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 16:57
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Originally posted by nuvolari nuvolari wrote:

Putting to one side the US War of Independence since that issue is one of major complexity and demands it own especial discussion


Surprised you did not see fit to mention 1812. It's the only real example of US belligerence towards Britain.
 
Reply. 
It is a lesser conflict that I do not know enough about to offer an opinion on.
 
**************************************************************

Quote 1.   The strategy of FDR to bankrupt the British by dint of the Lend Lease plan has been well documented and reported in several books by respected historians.


Yes, I'm sure some paperback historians have made the claim. I imagine their books are popular at UK supermarket checkout counters.
 
Reply
A harsh and unfounded criticism, although I won't blame you for thinking that this reply let's me off the hook, since due to a recent house move my library is horribly disordered.This means that I cannot find my copy of the relevant book, which was a bio. of both FDR and WCChurchill. However, my claim re the US lend-lease agreement being designed to bankrupt Britain is mentioned in numerous other credible books by respected authors. As to my library being sourced from supermarket counters, I tend to find most of mine at either established bookshops, or, more frequently, many of the respectable charity (you might know them as "thrift" stores ) shops we have in the UK.  Another source is the redundant book sections of my local library and universities.
 
************************************************************************

But the terms of the lend-lease were actually pretty generous, overall. There were some raw deals involved (junky old obsolete destroyers sold for too high a price, etc) but the repayment terms were easy. It was not a lucrative proposition for the US overall.
 
Reply. 
My overall impression accords with your own in this respect, but that doesn't negate what might still have been terms designed to be acceptable, but still nevertheless achieve the bankruptcy of the UK (which was pretty much the case) . That being so, and the UK facing bankruptcy, when Maynard Keynes ( a brilliant and lucid economist ) was sent by the Atlee government immediately postwar to negotiate a dollar loan from the US, he was sent away empty handed despite his reasoned and logical appeal.  His appeal was rejected largely because the postwar Labour government had introduced the British National Health Service, which the Americans saw as being too "socialist" in nature. "Socialist in nature" ?  perhaps, but a service that the American government has long sought to emulate..........unsuccessfully, I might add, despite it being a pet project of both the Clintons when in power !
 
**********************************************************

Quote  Back in 1917 just prior to the entry of the USA into WW1 **, Woodrow Wilson drafted his famous "Fourteen Point Declaration". which specifically stated what the US wanted out of its entry into that war.  One of its key points was the dismemberment of ALL empires, especially that of Great Britain's.


It emphasized the right of self-determination. So did Britain's series of Imperial Conferences around the same era, which recommended the same policy and ultimately resulted in the Balfour Declaration and Statute of Westminster.
 
Reply.
"Self determination" or dismemberment of the British Empire ; it is one and the same thing.
What the Hell has it got to do with the Americans anyway ? especially since they were constantly absorbing (often by bloodshed- e.g. the Spanish-American War etc. - ) the territories of other nations ! 
 
**************************************************

Quote During WW2, the stated policy of the American Chief's of Staff was to prevent the participation by the UK in any significant manner in the Pacific theatre of war.


US planners felt it made far more sense (and it did) for Britain's resources to be chiefly directed to the European theater. If the Americans wanted to keep Britain from being involved in the Asian theater, why didn't they oppose the naming of Mountbatten to Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia? It's not like it would have been difficult to object, after Dieppe and some of Mountbatten's more absurd plans (eg building aircraft carriers out of sawdust and icebergs)

Quote  When in 1956 President Nasser occupied the Canal Zone (which legally belonged to both Britain and France) and was a crucial British lifeline to it's Far Eastern dependencies and its oil supplies, and was of much greater value to her than ever was the Panama Canal to the USA, the USA deliberately withdrew its support at the United Nations, brought about a devaluation of the Pound Sterling, and threatened embargoes on supplies of strategic materials to the UK


The Suez did not 'legally belong' to Britain, it was a neutral territory under British protection. And in fact, in 1954, Britain had agreed to withdraw its forces from the area.   The US acted partially at the instigation of none other than Lester Pearson, the Canadian Prime Minister, to ensure regional stability between Israel and Egypt and a lasting peace, which would guarantee Europe's oil lifeline remained open and free from conflict. Do you really suppose Canada was out to "get" Britain?
 
Reply.
The Canal Zone was leased from Egypt in the same way that Hong Kong was leased from China...........and handed back to them when the lease expired.  The fact that the UK had agreed to relinquish the lease hugely negates any entitlement that the Egyptians may have thought theirs to take it back.........even by negotiation, let alone the murder of innocent British civilians ! It is hard to imagine anybody (even Lester Pearson) being able to successfully negotiate peace between the Arabs and the Israelis; after all, a succession of statesman and diplomats have been attempting this for many, many years. At the end of the day, Israel chose to participate in the Suez war against Egypt in no small degree and, of course, actively conspired and fought with the Anglo-French alliance. Irrespective of Pearson's well meaning attempts, the actions of the Israelis would have totally scuppered his efforts.
 
****************************************************************

Quote Given the state of much of Africa and the Middle East etc. now being virtually wholly unstable, whereas previously when part of the British Empire or Commonwealth they hade been both prosperous and politically sound


Had little to do with the Suez, this process predates even WW2 and was well underway before Suez. Yes, they were prosperous under empire for a time ... until the tensions generated by empire erupted into unstable situations, under which neither empire nor prosperity could be maintained any longer. How exactly things like India-Pakistan have anything to do with Suez is beyond me ... usually causes precede effects in linear time.
 
Reply.
I agree, if one takes the granting to India of its independence as being the start of the major part of the disolution of Empire, then that had commenced nine years earlier. However, that had been negotiated with the Indians and was agreed as part of the support by that country of Britains war against the Axis forces during WW2.  That is quite different from Nasser's murderous campaign against the British to unlawfully recover the Canal Zone.  I am surprised that you have failed to link these two events, since they are all part of the destruction of the Empire and the American role in that destruction.
 
****************************************************
 
Quote The US's entry into both World Wars can be best described as being similar to that of many police forces around the World when faced with dealing with a serious and dangerous bar-room fight i.e. Let all of the participants exhuast themselves so as not to pose a threat, and then stroll in and separate the enfeebled fighters.


So ... because they didn't run straightaway to help Britain, that means they sought its destruction? So I guess Britain, then, sought the destruction of everyone it didn't run to help, too. Failing to live up to some perceived obligation to assist in a timely fashion simply isn't the same thing as actively attempting to destroy.
 
Reply.
I don't desire to be facetious, but it may have escaped your notice ( if you are Canadian  that would greatly surprise me, due to Canada's role in both World Wars ) but the ever present existence of America's isolationist policies have twice in the last 100 years displayed its most unattractive face to the World when it has sat back and grown fat on the misery of other countries before finally deciding that it could ignore world events no longer ( in WW2, of course, it took the destruction of their Pacific Fleet by Japan to finally prompt any action on their part ! ). In both wars the US has allowed much of Continental Europe and elsewhere to be conquered and occupied by hostile forces long before it recognised that its world trade would be effected . Surely FDR's famous speech about lending your neighbour a ladder when his house is burning down is greatly indicative of the fact that withholding the loan of that ladder for over two years in both world wars is akin to allowing his house to burn down ?  However, the UK has on many occassions, and certainly in both world wars )  been the principal prime mover to set in motion the liberation of those defeated countries......and what a price we have paid for it !
 
 
                                                  Finis.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 17:51
Originally posted by nuvolari nuvolari wrote:

when Maynard Keynes ( a brilliant and lucid economist ) was sent by the Atlee government immediately postwar to negotiate a dollar loan from the US, he was sent away empty handed ....  too "socialist" in nature.


What kind of idiot sends Keynes to ask the American government for money? In the middle of a US panic over communism? It's like sending Daniel Pipes to ask the Saudis to increase oil production. Any president who agreed would be sabotaging his political future.

Quote "Self determination" or dismemberment of the British Empire ; it is one and the same thing.


Regardless ... it was already British policy to begin a process of transfer of power throughout its colonies by that point. The Fourteen Points merely affirmed US support for a stated British policy.

Quote The Canal Zone was leased from Egypt in the same way that Hong Kong was leased from China...........and handed back to them when the lease expired.  The fact that the UK had agreed to relinquish the lease hugely negates any entitlement that the Egyptians may have thought theirs to take it back.........even by negotiation, let alone the murder of innocent British civilians !



Murder of innocent civilians? One of the reasons the UNEF had to be deployed is because the British/French/Israeli forces were involved in widespread massacres of civilians during the conflict ... not to mention that, part of the reason for the tension in the first place, was an attack on a Egyptian police station by British forces which saw 40-odd police slaughtered. The garrison had a long history of attacks on civilians.

Quote It is hard to imagine anybody (even Lester Pearson) being able to successfully negotiate peace between the Arabs and the Israelis


Yeah, truth is stranger than fiction sometimes ...

Quote  Irrespective of Pearson's well meaning attempts, the actions of the Israelis would have totally scuppered his efforts.


Pearson enters the picture after the conflict has broken out. His ideas, supported by the US, helped to conclude hostilities succesfully.

Quote if you are Canadian  that would greatly surprise me, due to Canada's role in both World Wars


Well, I guess I am not 100% Canadian. I was born in, and spent the first 8 months of my life in, a suburb of Birmingham. I'm still a dual citizen.

Quote but the ever present existence of America's isolationist policies have twice in the last 100 years displayed its most unattractive face to the World when it has sat back and grown fat on the misery of other countries before finally deciding that it could ignore world events no longer


Again ... what's that got to do with actively trying to harm Britain?

Quote  In both wars the US has allowed much of Continental Europe and elsewhere to be conquered and occupied by hostile forces


Hostile to who? Not the US.

There were tons of countries who remained neutral. What about the Swedes? They were helping Germany, even. I don't see you accusing them of trying to destroy Britain. The US didn't owe Britain its help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 17:57
This thought that the United States had some obligation to get into two wars immediately, if not sooner, because Europeans couldn't keep peace among themselves is a non sequitur.
If your neighbor's house is burning, you may give him a hose, but you are not required to jump into the fire.
 
The British fought on alone, and did it well, it is true, but Britain was never going to be capable of liberating western Europe without the US.  The United States was hardly prepared to go to war in 1939, or even 1940-41.  Major US contribution in Africa and Italy could not be made until 1943!  The Pacific was somewhat different, but that had been studied by the Navy Department since 1919.
 
In sum, it was not the obligation of the US to fight in a war until it was ready.  And in the absence of the US, any "liberation" of western Europe was more likely to be done by the Red Army.
 
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 18:10
nuvolari,
 
John Maynard Keynes asking for a loan from the US immediately after the war may have been just a sign of absolute desperation on the part of a Britain exhausted by the war.
 
The US in the last months of 1945 was sitting on unprecedented debt that was not retired until well into the following decade, or even later.  There were 13-14,000,000 service persons about to be demobilized with no jobs to go to, and in a lot of cases no place to live.  The US in 1945 was not the US in 1965.  It was more like the US in 1935!  I don't think we had it to lend until a few years later.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 09-Feb-2009 at 18:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2009 at 19:37

The war bankrupted Britain and very nearly did the same to the US. There was no money.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

As far as US policy during the Suez affair, AFAIK, Britain and France acted without the knowledge of the US in their joint intervention.  Such an affront to acknowledged US leadership of NATO could hardly go unaddressed.  Eisenhower was pissed at them.  Perhaps they got back at us during Viet Nam....and perhaps AoO can address that.

 

..to be honest, I do not know of any direct sources that give the indication that Britain’s policy in the American war in Vietnam was in part influenced by Washington’s actions during Suez…I would hazard an assumption and say that I am sure there were some British officials who saw Britain’s Vietnam policy as some sort of vindication over the Suez affair, I recall reading some material long ago that certainly suggested that some in the White House believed this to be so….even so, one account observes that later, Nixon and Kissinger would argue that the United States should have backed the British over Suez… (C. J. Bartlett, ‘The Special Relationship’: A Political History of Anglo-American Relations since 1945 (London, 1992) p.78)…

 

....as for British Commitment and Foreign Policy in Vietnam, Harold Wilson supported the view that Britain should attempt to re-build itself as an influential global power and the method he chose was not to support American military action but to put Britain forward as a political mediator in the Vietnam conflict…Wilson resisted all American pressure to commit ground troops to the fighting and continued to pursue a policy of peaceful conclusion to the Vietnam War…. Britain’s position in 1967-68 was one of conflicting loyalties between continuing Co-chairmanship of the Geneva Conference on Indo-China, and preserving a viable political relationship with the United States….this policy was influenced by the fact that Britain was struggling with its economic situation…..British Ministers were often pre-occupied in looking for options to resolve Britain’s domestic financial difficulties as well as minimising defence expenditure in Europe and elsewhere abroad…..during the latter half of 1967, discussions were already underway concerning plans for the withdrawal of all British military influence east of Suez…… against this backdrop of political and economic difficulties, a commitment of British troops to Vietnam was certainly out of the question….

 

...however, there is one argument that suggests that Washington applied a rather acute level of pressure on Britain if London supported a policy of total dissociation with American policy in Vietnam… the British Government’s willingness to defer dissociation was influenced by the possible long-term consequences of upsetting the American administration whose future actions could affect Britain’s role and status in Western Europe….. Dean Rusk had indicated that in the event of isolationist sentiment prevailing in Congress, it would be unwise for Britain to dissociate from United States policy in Vietnam. In a letter to the British Foreign Secretary, Rusk warned, “those very senators who are opposing the President’s policies in Vietnam are among the same senators who are pressing for our withdrawal from Europe.” Rusk continued that these politicians “are just as isolationist about Europe as they are about South-East Asia.” (Prime Ministerial Papers, The National Archives, PREM 13/2459, Rusk letter to Brown, September 1967)…

 

…..George Brown did express fears that if dissociation became public, the present and future American administrations might, “cease to exert themselves at all in favour of British interests,” adding that it would be hard to believe “the United States administration will take a helpful line in respect of our financial, economic and commercial problems.” (Cabinet Papers,, The National Archives, CAB 129/134/Part 1, Brown’s assessment for Cabinet discussion, 15th November 1967)…

 

….This last point was particularly central to a British Government that knew devaluation of sterling was imminent. Indeed, practically all the Cabinet meetings in the latter half of 1967 were mainly devoted to the impending reality of the devaluation of sterling, and for the first two weeks of January 1968, the Cabinet meetings were all chiefly concerned with post-devaluation measures and difficulties. (Cabinet Papers, The National Archives, CAB 128/43/Part 1, CC (68), see conclusions for 4th, 5th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 15th January 1968)…

 

..there is something else to this story, I seem to recall viewing some Foreign Office documents from the British archives that state, in the early 1960’s, the British government believed the war in Vietnam could not be won by the Americans…..hence, another reason  not to military commit to the conflict, but push forward Britain’s role as a mediator instead…now, I was pretty sure that I had these documents on file, but I simply cannot find them without looking through a vast amount of material, which then makes me doubt my memory(which is easy to do I can assure you!!)…I am quite certain that I have this evidence, but until it surfaces, I can only say the above statement is speculative at best…

 

…so, there were many practical reasons for British policy in Vietnam, but I doubt that ‘revenge’ over Suez was one of them…it seems that London was more preoccupied with more immediate circumstances…however, I would not be surprised if there was something more revealing tucked away in the archives…

 

..all the best….AoO..

 

"No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes"


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 01:36
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

What a load of bollocks from all sides.

1. US is an empire.
That's not the position of all the participants in this thread.
Quote 2. Britain had no intention of letting go of its empire. It went bankrupt and was forced to do so.
This is just incorrect. Britain had adopted a long-term strategy of transferring power to the colonies beginning in 1887, underway in earnest with the Imperial Conferences in the 1920s, and formally initiated with the Statute of Westminster, all of which predates the war and Britain's economic crisis. If the empire was profitable, what sense would it make to abandon it during an economic crisis, particularly when there were large numbers of troops whose decommissioning would only intensify the crisis? WW2 certainly speeded up the process and resulted in premature transfers of power, but to say that it was instigated by WW2 simply displays ignorance of pre-war trends in the Commonwealth.
Quote So what happened in the end was that the USSR (not Canada!) warned them, and demanded that they stop their imperialist aggression.
The Soviets shaking their fist did not constitute a solution to the problem, actually it was just an escalation that threatened to provoke an even wider conflict, but it did prompt Pearson to seek a viable solution (the Americans were interested in one, but they didn't really have much of a plan on how to do it). He developed the UNEF and the very idea of peacekeeping in order to supervise the end of hostilities. He was the author of the resolution adopted by the UN imposing the ceasefire, and was even able to secure the votes of both Israel and Egypt on it (although, ironically, not the UK nor the USSR, who were determined to escalate the situation), something neither the Americans nor the Soviets could possibly have achieved. 
Quote Middle East was not peaceful under the British. The British caused 90% of the problems still there
Yep, and the US and the USSR kept the fires burning.


Edited by edgewaters - 10-Feb-2009 at 01:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 10:16
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

nuvolari, the men of Fourteenth Army or of the Far Eastern Fleet will definatly disagree with you on the issue of "token representation". The main land fighting against the Japanese (after China) was taken by the British in Burma, and the Eastern Fleets submarines helped cripple the Japanese Merchant Marine, while the RAF inflicted some pretty heavy losses on the IJN at Ceylon.
 
It is true that there was a lot less cooperation in the Pacific than in Europe, but was a cause of Geography and different interests, not Admiral Kings noted Anglophobia.
 
OK. I agree that the phrase "token representation" may well not accurately reflect the efforts of the British armed forces in the Pacific theatre, but what I meant to convey in my thread was that the US establishment fought long and hard to contain the size of the British contribution to that area ( thereby reducing post war British influence )and that this was all a part of their well established anti-Empire attitude.
Incidentally, I have an uncle who fought in the 14th. Army as part of Wingate's "Chindit" force.  He was also a founder member of the Long Range Desert Group in the Western Desert two years earlier.    In June 1944 the Us Air Force made an air drop of luxuries to those fighting the Japs in Burma. This was to celebrate the Normany Landings, and as part of this drop a sack full of pineapples ( the fruit, not the anti-personnel bombs )were airdropped at a low height without using a parachute. The sack burst open and a pineapple hit dear old Uncle Bas on the back of the head and killed him  stone dead, something that the Italians, the Germans and the Japanese had been trying to accomplish for nearly five years !!...............................no, actually it didn't kill him, but it severely fractured his skull and rendered him severely epileptic thereafter. As a result of this he died in his late 30's in 1953.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 10:29
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

nuvolari,
 
John Maynard Keynes asking for a loan from the US immediately after the war may have been just a sign of absolute desperation on the part of a Britain exhausted by the war.
 
The US in the last months of 1945 was sitting on unprecedented debt that was not retired until well into the following decade, or even later.  There were 13-14,000,000 service persons about to be demobilized with no jobs to go to, and in a lot of cases no place to live.  The US in 1945 was not the US in 1965.  It was more like the US in 1935!  I don't think we had it to lend until a few years later.
 
 
 
Quite so, my friend, quite so !  Britain WAS desperate after the War and for a long time beyond that . After all, rationing was still applicable in the UK nearly ten years AFTER the War's end, and even bread(which was NOT rationed during the War) became rationed in post war UK.
Don't remind me of the returning US servicemen, amigo ! My actress mother had a three picture contract with RKO Studios immediately post war and her passage to the USA was booked on the RMS "Queen Mary" . In common with all other passengers on that voyage (and a few afterwards), she was turfed out of her cabin when the US Govn't commandeered the ship in order to return 1000's of US personnel from Europe( I think that an Election Year was pending in the USA, and Harry S. wanted to get as many Democrats back as he could  !!  She later became pregnant with me. Thus it follows that were it not for the actions of Truman, I'd have been born a US citizen !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 11:03
Quote That's not the position of all the participants in this thread.
'All sides' means that more than one side exists in the thread. I am aware it is not the view of 'all sides', not even of the majority.

Quote This is just incorrect. Britain had adopted a long-term strategy of transferring power to the colonies beginning in 1887,
Wherever Britain adopted such a strategy, it was because its hand was forced.  

Quote underway in earnest with the Imperial Conferences in the 1920s, and formally initiated with the Statute of Westminster, all of which predates the war and Britain's economic crisis.
All wrong. 1920s and Statute of Westminster don't predate 'the war'. 'The war' is the imperialist war of partition of the world, and it started in 1914 and ended in 1945, with a time-out in between. British Empire was shaken after the World War I, it turned from a net lender to a net debtor. Its financial situation was already shaky. Then World War II came and bankrupted them.   

Britain before the end of WW I had no intention of letting go of anwhere if they could help it. They partitioned the Ottoman Empire, taking some juicy bits to their control. Read here: Sykes-Picot agreement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes-Picot_Agreement) and Sevres Treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevres_treaty). Western control of the world's area and population peaked in early 1920s, and most of that was under the British flag. They had no intention of letting go of their Empire.  

Quote If the empire was profitable, what sense would it make to abandon it during an economic crisis, particularly when there were large numbers of troops whose decommissioning would only intensify the crisis?
They had no choice, they were forced to do it. They had no money and the natives turned hostile.

Quote WW2 certainly speeded up the process and resulted in premature transfers of power, but to say that it was instigated by WW2 simply displays ignorance of pre-war trends in the Commonwealth.
I never said WW2, that's your assumption. In fact I mentioned WW1 in the above post. It started with WW1.   

Quote The Soviets shaking their fist did not constitute a solution to the problem, actually it was just an escalation that threatened to provoke an even wider conflict, but it did prompt Pearson to seek a viable solution (the Americans were interested in one, but they didn't really have much of a plan on how to do it). He developed the UNEF and the very idea of peacekeeping in order to supervise the end of hostilities. He was the author of the resolution adopted by the UN imposing the ceasefire, and was even able to secure the votes of both Israel and Egypt on it (although, ironically, not the UK nor the USSR, who were determined to escalate the situation), something neither the Americans nor the Soviets could possibly have achieved.
Soviets (and US) totally solved the problem, as they did during the rest of the Cold War (which was mostly a bi-polar affair, and the other pole, ain't Canada despite the ice and snow there). Same old story, imperialists went rampaging, Soviets bared its fangs, and US reined in its dogs. Canada was irrelevant. If it wasn't the Canadian PM, it would have been someone else. Swedish PM, Danish PM or someone like that. 

Quote Yep, and the US and the USSR kept the fires burning.
Sure. US and EU still do.
Always try to be as radical as reality itself. - Lenin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 11:35
Quote 1. Why are the Indian population still alive and well.
Alive and well? That's like saying 'if Hitler killed the Jews, why there are so many alive and well today'? Yea, there are a few Indians 'alive and well', living in 'reservations' like endangered species in Africa, where before they owned all of the continent.  

Quote AFAIK there was no stealing of land unless you think of Mexico under the Spaniards whi stole that land and Cuba etc. BTW if you study history well enough you will see everyone has stolen lanmd at some time from earlier inhabitants.
So it will be OK when Mexico will reclaim all the land you stole from them. Which may happen soon enough, given the demographic trends.

Quote US has bases in some countries and does not arbitrarily invade other countries without provocation apart from about 1 as far as I can remember.
You don't remember very far then. How old are you, 7?  

Quote 2. Britain had every intention of giving up its Empire in course of time and continued to do so at an accelerated rate after WWII unfortunately for the inhabitants, their new leaders were largely awful and oppressive with some exceptions
Reading racist drivel like this makes me hope the next independence movement will kill more imperialist Americans. Luckily your empire is in terminal decline and I will see the world flush the toilet on your kind. 
 
Quote 3. The canal was not created by Britain but they bought shares in the Company running it when that Company was having problems. The manner of being taken over was not well done
The Canal is Egyptian and they do what they goddam please with it. They Nationalised it, they even paid the stock holders full compensation. All you can do is STFU at that point. Not draw up secret invasion and partition plans and attack them.  
 
Quote 4. Until WWI end the Middle East was under Ottoman control. Britain had mandates from the League of Nations to oversee, Palestinet, Iraq and in part Jordan. On the whole peaceful until the question of the Jewish Homeland started to come up. Then the UN took over in 1948 and the Arab nations then defied them and attacked Israel. Your so-called old Palestinians on TV is I think somewhat suspect. BTW the British user 'tear' gas not the sort that Saddam Hussein used against his own people

Ooooh, Britain was given 'mandates' to 'oversee', ooh poor Britain, sending its brightest and the best to oversee the savages and bring them civilisation, to save them from themselves. The white man's heavy burden... Who started the Palestinian-Jewish debacle other than the drooling evil embecile Britain put in charge in Palestine? His grave has him depicted in Crusader armour... And what happened when the Palestinians (whom the British considered sub-human) started protesting? They were killed and tortured by the British during the riots in the 30s, that's what the old Palestinian who was a protester at the time was referring to. I saw this on BBC, even the British don't deny it. It seemingly takes the lowest of the imperialist to apologise for this, all in the name of true nazi-like racial solidarity, given that you are not even British...  
 
Quote The USSR of course is hardly backward in claiming an Empire for itself against the wishes of the inhabitants. Thanks to the determination of the US, UK and the rest of the free world this was largely broken
Completely retarded reading of the Cold War (as if we expected anything else). Soviets had their Empire and they were concerned in defending it. The rest of the world, however, was under Western empire, which was broken, thanks mostly to local independence movements, but also support from the Soviets. This process is still going on as the West becomes weaker and weaker in relative terms. 


Edited by Beylerbeyi - 11-Feb-2009 at 16:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 12:12
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

nuvolari,
 
Can you advise on FDR's strategy to "bankrupt the British by dint of the Lend Lease plan?"
 
Can you cite sources "well documented" by "respected historians?"
 
Thanks.
 
 
 
It took a very much greater brain than mine (i.e. Henry Morgenthau's) to construct the Lend Lease Plan, even in its original objective of providing support to GB ( for which we are all** eternally grateful and I make this comment without a shred of cycnicism or irony !). Moreover, it is very likely that no overt means by which it would bankrupt GB were specifically drafted into it ( I hope and suspect that the British Government would have spotted those had they have been there !).  What is more generally accepted is that the size of the loan and the terms that came with it would have inevitably bankrupted GB, and this proved to be the case. Then, following the good old adage of "Get your man down and then kick him in the nuts !", when post war GB sought to obtain another loan from the US (whose economy was booming, whilst that of GB had largely been destroyed by WW2) it was refused for no other grounds than that the GB had a socialist government !!
** when I say "all" here, I am referring to the "Free World", who enjoy the freedoms it has today largely as a result of the struggles of GB and its Empire alone for the first 3 years of the War against Nazism.
 
Re yr. 2nd. point.   I have covered this point (albeit inadequately, I am afraid to say ) elsewhere in this thread.  I do, however, full accept the validity of your question and my obligation to answer it more thoroughly. I shall do this when I have found my source(s).
In the interim I can only repeat that the well established US policy of wishing to dismember
the British (and possibly other Empires also ) is very well known both in the US and elsewhere. That both countries continue to enjoy the relationship they have is a testament to something, I only wish I knew what it was !!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 12:12
 
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Wherever Britain adopted such a strategy, it was because its hand was forced.


It's a nice myth, but it doesn't really stand up to examination. The transfer of power from London to the colonies actually began in the 1830s, with the idea of 'responsible government' which saw increasing levels of self-rule. This process continued and expanded due to internal pressures. By the 1870s, it was an apparent trend whose merits were heavily debated - with the conclusion being that it was in Britain's interest to undertake a managed, staged transition from empire to trade bloc.

Quote 1920s and Statute of Westminster don't predate 'the war'.


The Imperial Conferences began to discuss decolonization in 1887.

Quote Britain before the end of WW I had no intention of letting go of anwhere if they could help it.


Yes, they did continue to expand the empire. At the same time as exploring decolonization. A simplistic analysis does not serve understanding well here. By the late 1800s, Britain's status as the predominant industrial power was being challenged and it was losing ground in export markets; it desperately needed to develop new export markets and consumer bases outside of Europe and America. Decolonization was seen as the answer. 

Not only that, but the economic model of empire that had served Britain so well to that point became maladapted to changes in industrial capitalism. Domestic producers - for instance, the agricultural sector - began to suffer.

It is no coincidence that the abandonment of empire in the 50s and 60s also saw unprecedented economic growth and increases in living standards in the UK itself.

Quote They had no choice, they were forced to do it. They had no money and the natives turned hostile.


There had always been hostile natives, so they did not suddenly 'turn hostile'. And yes, they had no money, which is actually a reason not to abandon empire, if it were true that it was a lucrative proposition. If empire had been a profitable proposition at this point, Britain could have solved not only its economic crisis, but prevented the social and economic problems that were attendant with decommissioning its troops, by keeping it. The empire was not profitable, however. The economic crisis merely made the ideal of empire a luxury Britain could no longer afford to indulge.

Quote If it wasn't the Canadian PM, it would have been someone else. Swedish PM, Danish PM or someone like that.


Alternative/fantasy history doesn't change what really happened. If it wasn't the Romans it could have been the Carthaginians or something, but that's not history, it's fantasy.

Besides which, it is not necessarily true at all. Canada had a rather unique relationship with all the parties (Israel, Britain, the US, and Egypt) involved. The Swedes and Danes were just not in the same sort of position - in fact, nobody else was.


Edited by edgewaters - 10-Feb-2009 at 12:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 12:25
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

What a load of bollocks from all sides.

1. US is an empire. No denying that. It started form a small area in the Eastern side of the US and expanded into its modern land area, exterminating the local populations and stealing the land from other countries. Today US has military bases in hundreds of countries, it invades countries who disobey it, which has been going on almost since its inception. It imposes trade policies on weaker nations and opens their markets by economic or military coercion. It is willing to fight to make sure that no opponent emerges and its profits are not threatened. US is an empire, and only people who deny that are a handful of ideologically blinded ultra-nationalists, whom nobody takes seriously outside the US mainstream media.  

2. Britain had no intention of letting go of its empire. It went bankrupt and was forced to do so. Before going to World War I, they had plans to divide up the Middle East, called the Sykes-Picot plan. Of course they were promising the Arabs independence, but in fact they wanted to rule them themselves. Same in India, India became independent only because Britain became bankrupt in the wars and Indian independence movement kicked their asses back to UK.

3. Suez canal was built by slave labour. Many Egyptians died for the profits of European imperialists. It did not belong to Britain or France. It belong to Egypt and when the Egyptians took what is rightfully theirs, English and French, together with the usual imperialist attack dog, Israel, attacked Egypt. However, those idiots had still not understood that they were no longer living in the pre-world war era, when they could do pretty much whatever they wanted. So what happened in the end was that the USSR (not Canada!) warned them, and demanded that they stop their imperialist aggression. US did not want confrontation with the USSR to defend the old imperialist idiots on this issue, so it told the idiots to get the eff out of Egypt or else. That's exactly what they did, with their tails firmly between their legs. British and French press and some historians still haven't fully come to terms with this change in the world, and still miss the good old days of white men's burden, when they could oppress the wogs and niggers the way they liked (hence the 'Middle East was peaceful under British rules' garbage above). 

4. Middle East was not peaceful under the British. The British caused 90% of the problems still there, by the Belfour declaration, oppressing the Palestinians (I've seen old Palestinians on TV who swear that British trated them worse than the Israelis), dividing the Arabs arbitrarily, setting in the frameworks to steal their oil wealth, bombing, torturing, killing them whenever they disagreed (they gassed the Kurds way before Saddam did). British were total barbarians (French were better).

USA and USSR understood the new imperial dynamics of the post world war world. They created vassal states and dependencies in the region and expanded their military and economic presence. 

 
A reasonable man would not allow his opinion of your post to be unduly influenced by your location. However, given the nature of the content of your replies, I can only think that your politics are greatly coloured by where you reside. I therefore think it best that I refrain from answering. To end on a positive note, though, I will say that having worked in Havana for many weeks until late last year, I do love your countries rum, music, women and cigars, although quite where one goes for a decent meal is anybodie's guess !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2009 at 12:58
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

As far as US policy during the Suez affair, AFAIK, Britain and France acted without the knowledge of the US in their joint intervention.  The result included threats of Soviet action in central Europe which was certainly not in the interests of NATO's membership.  Such an affront to acknowledged US leadership of NATO could hardly go unaddressed.  Eisenhower was pissed at them.  Perhaps they got back at us during Viet Nam....and perhaps AoO can address that.
 
Dismantling European empires would deprive certain states of the resources to wage major wars, and solidify US hegemony in Europe.  This was a conscious policy, frankly, to keep Germany and France from disturbing the peace again.  The policy did not include bankrupting anyone, and even if it had, the Marshall Plan turned that on it's head in short order.
 
Austerity Britain, up into the 1950s, suffered the effects of thirty years of war and the resulting costs of war.  Bankruptcy was a possibility but not because of policies of the US.  
 
Reply
It is well known that Eisenhower later admitted that his failure to support Britain and France over the Suez affair was the one mistake of his presidency.   I rest my case on that point.
 
Your comment that a Soviet threat to Europe arising over Suez NOT being in the best interests of NATO is fatuous, I am afraid to say. YES, the Soviets DID and ALWAYS did rattle their sabres on issues of this nature, since that is how they conduct, to this day, their foreign policy, and it may well have been the American view that the Soviets were to be mollified, but then no US interests were then being directly threatened, whereas the loss of the Suez lifeline would have been critical to ALL European countries especially GB and France.  When the US interesrs WERE threatened( i.e over Cuba) just a few years later, that wretch Kennedy brought the World to the brink of nuclear annihilation !
 
It sems to me that you ARE stating that it IS Americas foreign policy to dismantle Empires (in order to secure global peace.  Yet by dint of the Marshall Aid plan it restored the ability of both France and Germany to wage war again, albeit harder so in the case of Germany prior to its re-unification.
 
If by "bankruptcy" we mean the financial inability of GB to maintain its Empire, then "bankruptcy" WAS achieved and largely due to the foreign/financial policies of the US towards its principal ally GB. What any nation without a policy of the dismantling of the Empires of others on its agenda should have done, was to make its terms and conditions of its loans much less onerous ; after all, despite GBs parlous financial situation post WW2, it did continue to act as World Policeman much more effectively and successfully than ever the USA did !  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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