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Thread: End of Empires: who and what was responsible? (post WW2)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Given that the archaic closed-loop colonial trading systems effectively closed new rising powers out of trade and were largely responsible for triggering WW2 in the Pacific, this seems a not unreasonable demand.
    I'll think you'll find that US foriegn policy was much more fundamental in its effects upon Japanese decision making than any of the Euroepan perial blocs.

    It probably seemed unreasonable to the old colonists, who were accustomed to imposing ridiculously one-sided trade terms on their "possessions", but then fair play always seems a drag to those accustomed to the benefits of unfair play.
    m, actually, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were largely the benficiaries of massive direct and indirect investment emanting from London. The dominions were quite happy with that relationship to the metropole given that they were able to exert local and domestic (limited) soveriegnty. Had WWII not occured, however, I am sure that the move from Empire to a more rubust Commonwealth would have been inevitable. De-colonisation, however, isa loaded term (it assumes that "subject peoples" had a pre-existing political identity that was being supressed whereas in many cases- take India for instance- what "national identity" they had had been inculcated in them by Britian ("India" was a British creation). As for Africa, Mntgommery himself stated that the African "states" in the empire would need a period of tutelage before they were ready to stand on their own two feet (i.e., attain self-government). WWII cut that educational process off and with the former imperial captials of Europe now deeply indebted to the US and enmeshed in the Marshall Plan (and thus thrall to its demands) there wasn't much Eurpoe could do but let the US enter those markets and their own (De Gaulle and Gaullism is partly a response to that situation as is Willy randts Ostpolotik to a degree).

    And exactly how many former colonies did the US establish sovereignty over?
    Sir, I've obviously touched a nerve (thought only JMA could accomplish that). There are many different kinds of "imperial" system as you well know. My use of that phrase was polemical (this medium unfortunatly restricts nuance). As an example take the League of Nations. The US didn't sit on it but that didn't matter given its Latin American "fraternal brothers" did (invisible empire is the hallmark of capitalism -but please don't think me a Marxist!)

    "Imperial tutelage" my arse. Have a look at, say, the opium trade, the single most profitable commercial enterprise in British imperial history. An interesting form of "tutelage", that. The White Man's Burden was never more than romantic fiction, it was about making money.
    We are in agreement here. Check what I wrote and notice the statement regarding "self-interest" as opposed to liberal universalist values (of which the notion "White" Man's Burden was a progenitor). Conversely, the pium Tade is really a good argument given that Britian and the other European powers didn't incorporate China into their political systems (largely through Chinese shrewdness; hat tip to them). Bt Europe didn't invent empire (as carl Schmitt argued once); the people Europe "subjugated" weren't some Rousseaean perfect "savages" either; ritian, after all, stopped the slave trade in Africa (but we're getting away from the issue)

    In the wake of WW2 the old empires were dead. The subjects were no longer interested in subjection and the masters no longer had the power to impose it. That was clear to some, if not to all, as early as 1945. It was clear to all soon enough.
    That's a pretty blanket statement that I don't think applies as universally as you think. The death of Empire was foretold after WWI too yet reality turned out differently. As for willpower and the power to impose it France didn't seem to notice the conditions you're talking about until after they were defeated (i.e., the idea of Empire wasn't dead until proved at dien ben phu and Algeirs). Had France won in Vietnam who knows what the outcome would have been but certainly US rheoric about "freedom" certainly helpd the moral cause of the Viet Minh for instance as did Soviet propaganda (and lets not forget them!). Australian foriegn policy only became pro-US in orientation once it was clear that the homeland was exhuasted and hegemony had passed to the US. There were plenty of people in various colonies that wanted things to stay much that same; the usage of an Us/Them formula is misleading.
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 05-19-2011 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Having problems with my keyboard, apologies if text isagrbled

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    Default Kind of humorous ....

    Archimedes Patti's "Why Viet Nam" was one of the half-dozen histories of the Vietnam War of which I wrote as fitting "that mold" ("100% totally unblemished heroes and 100% totally besmirched villains").

    But then, I also feel that US foreign policy since WWII, from the Worldviews of Dutchess County or Houghton County, has been more successful than unsuccessful. US foreign trade policy is another kettle of fish (Shanghai Smelt, anyone).

    Oh well, reasonable persons can differ.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Archimedes Patti's "Why Viet Nam" was one of the half-dozen histories of the Vietnam War of which I wrote as fitting "that mold" ("100% totally unblemished heroes and 100% totally besmirched villains").

    But then, I also feel that US foreign policy since WWII, from the Worldviews of Dutchess County or Houghton County, has been more successful than unsuccessful. US foreign trade policy is another kettle of fish (Shanghai Smelt, anyone).

    Oh well, reasonable persons can differ.

    Regards

    Mike
    As I said, Patti has his opinions, often strong ones, and they can be taken or left. What I like about the book is the level of detail in the chronologies and the reviews of competing personalities and organizations: the appendices alone are worth the price of the book. Also the fact that he was actually there, on the spot, at that time. That often doesn't confer dispassionate distance: it's difficult to be... well, "fair and balanced", to quote a phrase, about events you're personally involved in, but it also lends an essential perspective that is hard to get from secondary sources.

    Certainly his frustration with the French was quite evident, but that wasn't without reason... it wasn't a place or period in which the French gave a notably good account of themselves.

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    Default French return to Saigon

    I've read a couple of books on the First Indo-China War and found it startling that the French were able to return a small military force to Saigon, in October 1945, after the Japanese had surrendered to a British Indian division, under General Gracey, in September 1945. This altered the facts on the ground between the non-French civil administration (nationalist & communist Viet Minh) and the French who sought a return as a colonial power.

    That is a very short summary and my point is not what happened in Saigon, but the ability of the French to move a military force from Europe by sea there. This was a France dependent on Allied assistance, mainly from the USA; involved shipping - not in available in great abundance from France herself I suspect and money somewhere.

    What an opportunity missed?

    The British would have left and who knows who in place as government. Aside, in fact the division then went to Java, part of the Netherlands East Indies, to a similar situation and the most intense, bloody fighting of its war.

    Not to overlook that what became North Vietnam after the Japanese surrender was occupied by the Nationalist Chinese (which was hated by the locals) and they left to be replaced by the French.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    I'll think you'll find that US foriegn policy was much more fundamental in its effects upon Japanese decision making than any of the Euroepan perial blocs.
    I've read various opinions on that question, and they often seem to have more to do with the opinion of the historian than with any actual assessment of Japanese motives. Obviously there were multiple factors involved, and I don't think we can fully assess their respective impact on Japanese decisions.

    Japan was a rising industrial power, almost devoid of natural resources. With regional resources largely locked up in closed-loop colonial trade, and with China rapidly being sliced up by the west, the threat of being locked out by potential resource suppliers and starved of raw material was certainly there.

    It's worth noting that post-war Japan prospered in a more open trading system. They were able to buy copper, nickel, tin, rubber, oil and other raw materials from SE Asia; they had no need to conquer to get what they needed. Could they have done that without the dissolution of the colonial trading system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    actually, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were largely the beneficiaries of massive direct and indirect investment emanting from London. The dominions were quite happy with that relationship to the metropole given that they were able to exert local and domestic (limited) soveriegnty.
    Ah yes, those colonies. Apples and oranges, really: the small number of colonies in which the native population was eliminated or suppressed completely and the colonizers became the "colonized populace" are difficult to compare to colonies where the colonized populace was indigenous and the colonizers simply ruled. The two types went through very different decolonization processes, for obvious reasons, and need to be treated as different things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    Had WWII not occurred, however, I am sure that the move from Empire to a more rubust Commonwealth would have been inevitable.
    Possibly so, but it's also likely that many of the colonized parties might have wanted to break away from that Commonwealth. It's actually very difficult to know what would have happened if WW2 had not occurred, and any such construction is by necessity very speculative indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    De-colonisation, however, isa loaded term (it assumes that "subject peoples" had a pre-existing political identity that was being supressed whereas in many cases- take India for instance- what "national identity" they had had been inculcated in them by Britian ("India" was a British creation).
    Why would de-colonization assume a prior political identity? Are you suggesting that people with no prior large-scale political identity can legitimately be occupied and ruled by foreign forces against their will? Whether political identity emerged pre or post colonization seems quite irrelevant to any question of self-determination... and in point of practical fact, if the populace is trying to kick the colonizers out and the colonizers haven't the resources to continue suppressing them, whether the political identity behind resistance emerged before or after colonization is of little moment. Resistance to foreign occupation is often a unifying factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    As for Africa, Mntgommery himself stated that the African "states" in the empire would need a period of tutelage before they were ready to stand on their own two feet (i.e., attain self-government). WWII cut that educational process off and with the former imperial captials of Europe now deeply indebted to the US and enmeshed in the Marshall Plan (and thus thrall to its demands) there wasn't much Eurpoe could do but let the US enter those markets and their own (De Gaulle and Gaullism is partly a response to that situation as is Willy randts Ostpolotik to a degree).
    What "educational process" would that have been? Was there really any educating going on? Despite all the rhetoric about tutelage and the white man's burden, evidence suggests that there wasn't much. It's easy to note that after 75 odd years of high-minded and noble Belgian tutelage the Congo was not exactly ready for self-government in 1960, but difficult to maintain that another 10 or 20 or 50 years would have made much difference. It was never about tutelage in the first place: colonies wee meant to generate profit, not to enlighten anyone or prepare them for self-governance.

    How would "letting the US into those markets and their own" have hurt either to colonies or the home countries, even to the limited extent to which the US penetrated the markets of the remaining colonies? The old mercantile system hadn't worked well for anyone but the owners of the colonies, and desperately needed to go. It should be noted that free trade has not only benefited the US: it's allowed many other nations, both from the old powers and from new ones, to rise and prosper. A huge improvement, it would seem to me. Hard to imagine anyone but a bunch of bloated whining Colonel Blimp characters in decaying London clubs bemoaning the demise of the colonial economic system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    There are many different kinds of "imperial" system as you well know. My use of that phrase was polemical (this medium unfortunatly restricts nuance). As an example take the League of Nations. The US didn't sit on it but that didn't matter given its Latin American "fraternal brothers" did (invisible empire is the hallmark of capitalism -but please don't think me a Marxist!)
    Disagree. The word "empire" has a meaning. It's a quite specific meaning.

    noun

    1 an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state:[in names] :the Roman Empire
    [mass noun] supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a single authority:he encouraged the Greeks in their dream of empire in Asia Minor
    OED. QED.

    An empire requires direct rule, supreme political power. Without that it isn't an empire. It may be something else, a sphere of influence or what have you, but it isn't an empire. Take away a word's meaning and it means nothing at all. Respect the word.

    If there has been an "American empire" at any time since WW2, what were its constituent parts? Whom did the US rule? Over whom did they exercise supreme political power?

    Again, the post-war political order did not only benefit the US. Many others prospered, notably Germany and Japan. If the old colonial powers failed to adjust, that has to be attributed to their own inability to adapt to change, not to the long-overdue demise of their old colonial crutch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    Bt Europe didn't invent empire (as carl Schmitt argued once); the people Europe "subjugated" weren't some Rousseaean perfect "savages" either
    Of course not; nobody said they were. Neither were the colonizers some sort of Kiplingesque heroes sacrificing themselves to bring enlightenment to the "lesser breeds without the law". Romantic fiction runs deep in both directions. Colonization was about finding someone weak enough to kick around, kicking them around, and harnessing their human and material resources for your own benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    As for willpower and the power to impose it France didn't seem to notice the conditions you're talking about until after they were defeated (i.e., the idea of Empire wasn't dead until proved at dien ben phu and Algeirs). Had France won in Vietnam who knows what the outcome would have been but certainly US rheoric about "freedom" certainly helpd the moral cause of the Viet Minh for instance as did Soviet propaganda (and lets not forget them!).
    Of course... that's another item demonstrating the irrelevance of the Atlantic Charter. Despite that document, the colonial powers emerged from WW2 determined to reclaim their empire. In 1945 a few people were suggesting that wouldn't be possible. By 1955 it was becoming painfully obvious. By 1965 it was largely done. None of the colonists really accepted that reality until it kicked them in the face.

    The Soviets were smart enough to leap on the anti-colonial bandwagon and use it to expand their influence. If you want to play "if"... what could have happened if the US had done that first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    There were plenty of people in various colonies that wanted things to stay much that same; the usage of an Us/Them formula is misleading.
    Certainly there were people who found the prior disposition personally advantageous, and supported it. For the most part they were outnumbered and swept before the tide.

    It's easy to speculate that a different approach by someone, somewhere, might have changed the course that the collapse of colonial empires took. Any such speculation is... well, speculative, and we don't know where the road not taken would have led. Likely to an only slightly different form of mess: collapse is by nature a sloppy process.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 05-19-2011 at 11:06 PM.

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    Default End ofd Empires

    There seems to be a lot of hot discussion on this tiopic, so lets start from the begining. In 1940 the United States wanted a series of rights in Britain's Carribean colonies in return for a number of obsolete American tin can destroyers. It can be argued that FDR and is progressive Demnocratic party saw Britains empire as inherently evil. Some of this view is a natural conclusion drawn from America's birth in the American revolution or rebellion depending on your point of view.
    As a Canadian I also saw some Canadians (such as Prime Minister King saw this as a time to escape from the Britrish. King worked in the Unitewd States as their ideal. King went to several American universities and wsork for a time within the American civil service before returning to Canada.
    FDR saw Britain's condition during the Second World War as a advantage to crack open the Pound`s trading sphere. Ignoring the fact that the America`s dollar sphere was based on the same operating system the American diplomatic corps pushed for the desolution of Britain`s trading system And Britain was in no position to fight the USA oin this. By the end of the war Britain was drained of most of her financial resources. Britain had told the US that she coundn`t support any longer the anti-cxommunist forces in Greece and that the United States had to fill in her place.
    As for the United States abandoning east European peopler there coundn`t be anyway around it. Churchill place a sheet before Stalin showing the spheres of diplomatic domination. To quote a modern statement the Soviets had boots on the ground and there was very little that the United Kingdom and the United States could short of full war. Both theb UK and thew US sent in small military teams with little effect showing except the killing of these teams by oviet forces.
    FDR was anti-imperialist to his core and tried to bind the UK ninto the dismantalling of the British Empire. He was assisted after this death by Britain`s Labour Party. Labour wanted out of India as soon as possible. So Britain pulled out of India with disasterous effects. Britain allowed for the dismantalling of Greater India with the creation of Pakistan. The British threw in their cards and left the scene. Those Labour ministers were never held to account for the results of their actions. British actions led to untold numbers of dead and the the movement of masses of people during the midnight hour.The effects of this is still with us today. Pakistan was meant to be a secular state instead of what it is today. I suspect Pakistan`s founding father is spinning in his grave considering what happened to his creation.
    All in all the decolonisation of the British Empire is complex affair ands what has been stated above is very simple. The dismantling of Britain's African Empire is another chapter and the French and Dutch Empires have not been discussed at all.

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    Default How the Frogs Leapt to Saigon

    Here is the version from Louis Allen, The End of the War in Asia. London: Hart-Davis, MacGibbon, 1976. Book One, "The Japanese Surrender in South-East Asia," Chapter 4, "French Indo-China," pp. 96-129, placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

    De Gaulle planned on a 3 division corps for Indochina, but that was not to be - at least not at once (p.7 pdf):

    But demobilization after the defeat of Germany so reduced the ranks of these divisions that they had to be combined. Besides, there seemed to be no way of transporting them to the Far East. French shipping was under the control of the Allied Shipping Pool and could not be released. The only unit actually present in Mountbatten's command was the 5th Colonial Infantry Regiment, itself only a battalion strong, under Colonel Huard. A Senegalese brigade was awaiting orders in Madagascar.
    Unfortunately for French military plans, the natives were growing restless in Madgascar and their later 1947 Malagasy Uprising tied up many more French troops (primarily North African units) that otherwise could have been used in 1947-1948 Indochina.

    That is getting well ahead of the story. The BLUF is that the US left Thailand and South Indochina to the British (Mountbatten) (p.18 pdf):

    ... headquarters was set up in Saigon under Major-General Douglas Gracey, GOC, 20th Indian Division. A brigade of this division had begun its fly-in on 15 September, and along with it Mountbatten established an Air Headquarters, with two RAF tactical squadrons, and a Naval Port Party.
    Following Petri's Appendix I (p.455), 12 Sep 1945 saw the Saigon fly-in of the initial advance elements of the 20th Indian Div.; and also initial advance elements of the Huard Bn of the 5th Colonial Infantry Regiment (Troupes de Marine). The main body of the 5th RIC did not debark in Saigon until 3 Oct 1945 (Petri, p.455).

    The latter weeks of September saw more chaos (p.21 pdf)

    Meanwhile, events had gone much further than a mere proclamation. Gracey had permitted the French forces in Saigon to carry out their own coup d'etat. His troops took over the Saigon gaol and freed French paratroops who had been imprisoned by the Vietnamese. At Cedile's request, he allowed the men of the 11th Colonial Infantry Division, who had been under [Japanese] guard in their barracks since 9 March, to be rearmed and to leave the barracks. These French troops, about fifteen hundred of them, were spoiling for a fight, and went out into the streets to throw their weight about against the Annamite population. ... He [Gracey] ordered the 11th Colonial Infantry Division to return to their barracks and be disarmed. The Japanese command was given full responsibility for maintaining order.
    The Japanese were indifferent to that task (pp.21, 22):

    Order was the first casualty of the next phase in Saigon. The electricity generating station was attacked by Vietnamese on 24 September, and dozens of Frenchmen were kidnapped or killed in the port area. The next day, there was a massacre in the Tan Dinh suburb: three hundred French men, women, and children were abducted, of whom half were killed in atrocious circumstances. This happened in the space of two hours, while Japanese sentries stood by, idle and indifferent.

    Colonel Peter Dewey of the OSS was driving to the Saigon airfield on 26 September when his jeep was attacked. He realized the Vietnamese had taken him for a Frenchman, and cried out 'Je suis Americain', but it was too late. His body was removed by the Vietnamese before Allied troops could rescue it.
    ...
    It was in this atmosphere that France's two highest officials in Asia came on the scene. Leclerc landed in Saigon on 5 October, and the High Commissioner, Thierry d' Argenlieu, arrived on 30 October.
    ...
    Leclerc had remained in Kandy until sufficient French forces were available for him to act effectively in Saigon. With the arrival of elements of the 2nd Armoured Division, and the presence in Saigon River of the chastened Richelieu, Leclerc began to take over from Gracey the responsibility for government and for disarming the Japanese. The 20th Indian Division packed its bags in January 1946, and on 1 March, with the approval of the combined chiefs of staff, IndoChina was withdrawn from South-East Asia Command.
    The battleship Richelieu and its escort vessels had been operating under US command in the PTO.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default More specifics on French transport to Saigon

    From Patti (I typed "Petri" in the post above ), p.298, the 12 Sep 1945 fly-in was from Rangoon to Ton Son Nhut (Saigon) and involved Gurhkas, a Bn of the 15th Cav. Regt., 20th Indian Div.; and one company of the 5th RIC (Regiment d'Infanterie Colonial).

    Patti devotes a chapter (Chap 32, "South of the 16th Parallel", pp.307-325) to the events of later September and early October 1945 in Saigon. One correction to Allen's book is that the barracks housing French prisoners was that of the 11th RIC (regiment, not a division), and that most of the prisoners were Legionaires and not Colonial Infantry (Patti p.316-317). The main body of the 5th RIC (roughly a 1000 men) arrived on 3 Oct 1945 on the French warship Triomphant (Patti, p.325). The Triomphant on 3 Oct 1945 was captained by Andre Jubelin.

    The battleship Richelieu was under British fleet command in 1944-1945 (pre-VJ Day), and was not under US fleet command (as stated by Fall in his Two Viet Nams, p.67). From the Wiki:

    After V-J Day, during the last four months of 1945, Richelieu took part in the return of French forces to Indochina, particuliarly at Nha Trang, with her Fusiliers Marins landing party, and delivering gun support. When Richelieu left for France, the crew received congratulations from General Leclerc, the French Commanding General in Indochina.
    Besides the French warships Triomphant and Richelieu, the Dutch-British troop transports, Queen Emma and Princess Beatrix, hauled French troops into Saigon in October 1945.

    Indian Ocean

    Queen Emma was decommissioned to be adapted for service in tropical waters at Harland & Wolff at Belfast. The works were completed on 29 March 1945, and on 5 May Queen Emma sailed with Convoy KMF-44 for India, arriving at Bombay on the 26th. Queen Emma remained in India until the Japanese surrender in August. She then took part in Operation Jurist - the reoccupation of Penang by British Marines.[2]

    She then embarked French troops, and escorted by the French battleship Richelieu, sailed to Saigon. On the return trip, Queen Emma was damaged by an acoustic mine. Her main engines were knocked out and the ship had to be towed. However, emergency repairs were made and she reached Singapore under her own power.[2]

    After this Queen Emma transported Dutch women and children from Japanese concentration camps, and took British troops to Batavia, Semarang and Soerabaja.[2]
    and:

    Indian Ocean

    Princess Beatrix operated for a time between the Clyde, Avonmouth and Liverpool before she was decommissioned to be adapted for service in tropical waters at D & W Henderson Ltd., Glasgow. She then sailed to the Indian Ocean, arriving at Trincomalee on 15 July 1945. A few days after the Japanese surrender she then took part in "Operation Jurist" - the reoccupation of Penang by British Marines.[2]

    Princess Beatrix then acted as troop transport, sailing to Colombo, and taking French troops to Saigon. On 29 September [JMM: this date doesn't jibe] the ship entered the port of Tanjung Priok to take Dutch women and children from Japanese concentration camps. In early January 1946 she was ordered to return home, arriving at Portsmouth on 15 February.[2]
    The Wiki source is the Service History M/v Prinses Beatrix and Koningin Emma 1939 - 1968. Each ship could carry up to 2000 troops - although the service history does not tell us the number of French troops carried to Saigon:

    Via Gibraltar, Port Said, Suez and Aden, the port of Bombay was reached on May 26. First a few trips were made to Trincomalee and a few days after the Japanese had capitulated Emma and her sister ship Beatrix, just arrived, were made part of the operation Jurist the occupation of Penang by the British Marines. Here the British flag was raised and order restored. It had been a long time since the two Dutch ships had worked together. After this sail was set for Trincomalee, where French troops had to [be] embarked, under escort of the mighty French Battleship Richelieu, to Saigon.
    The conclusion seems to be that the movement of French forces to Saigon in September and October 1945 was an example of British-French co-operation by air and sea (and two Dutch transports). An interesting little puzzle to solve (after a false start or two - Vietnam War I and II history is a bit of a minefield).

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 05-20-2011 at 06:08 AM.

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    The role played by the British in general and Gracey in particular in facilitating the re-establishment of French control in the south (particularly in the re-arming of French POWs), is often overlooked. The British clearly didn't want to see an precedent of independence being established, which suggests that they really weren't modelling their plans on the Atlantic Charter.

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    If I may pick and choose from your post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Barton View Post
    In 1940 the United States wanted a series of rights in Britain's Carribean colonies in return for a number of obsolete American tin can destroyers.

    It can be argued that FDR and is progressive Demnocratic party saw Britains empire as inherently evil.

    FDR saw Britain's condition during the Second World War as a advantage to crack open the Pound`s trading sphere.

    FDR was anti-imperialist to his core and tried to bind the UK ninto the dismantalling of the British Empire.

    ... Britain pulled out of India with disasterous effects. ...All in all the decolonisation of the British Empire is complex affair
    I just wanted to summarize what you said to indicate that we are largely in agreement over the attitude of FDR towards screwing the Brits for economic advantage... and too hell with the consequences.

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    Default French return to Saigon (more)

    JMM,

    Thank you for the details of transporting the French.

    My main "bible' on the period is 'The First Vietnam War' by Peter M. Dunn (Pub. 1985:http://www.amazon.com/First-Vietnam-...5879757&sr=1-4 which has no review easily located.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barton View Post
    As for the United States abandoning east European peopler there coundn`t be anyway around it.
    No agreement here. Read up on the Tehran Conference and note that a "sick" FDR was prepared to concede just about anything to Stalin just to get him to the conference and once Stalin was there he got what he wanted. Churchill's plan of an invasion through the Mediterranean was ignored. FDR sided with Stalin.

    Note: Khrushchev was to later apply similar pressure on a weak 40 something President (also apparently ill at the time) at the Vienna Summit (1961) where the weakness of Kennedy led to the Soviet's pushing their luck in what led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I just wanted to summarize what you said to indicate that we are largely in agreement over the attitude of FDR towards screwing the Brits for economic advantage... and too hell with the consequences.
    We've yet to see anything beyond very speculative evidence that FDR or the US actually succeeded in "screwing the Brits for economic advantage", or in fact that any US policy had any significant impact on the breakup of the British Empire.

    Why would we need to speculate over a US impact that is anything but self-evident when so many very reasonable causes are right in front of us? Colonies were far more expensive to maintain in the face of growing resistance to colonial rule, the military force needed to sustain them was no longer available, and anti-imperial sentiment was growing on the home front... what more do you need? Nobody needs an outside influence to encourage them to dispose of colonies that are losing money and requiring unavailable military force to protect from a populace that no longer wants to be colonized, especially when the home-front electorate's interest in maintaining empire is rapidly evaporating.

    US influence was really not required to "crack open the pound's trading sphere". The British no longer had the capacity to sustain it, so it collapsed, from within. Others naturally took advantage, and helped the trend along as they could, but the core cause was the lack of capacity and will on the British side combined with a rapidly expanding desire on the part of the colonies to break free of an arrangement that was set up to benefit the British at their expense. Why would any of the colonies have wanted to continue as a part of that sphere? Not like it was doing them any good...

    There's really no evidence to suggest that US economic intrusion played a role in Indian independence. How much of the India trade actually moved to the US between 1945 and Indian independence in 1947? It's not about what was said or agreed, but about the actual economic impact, and there's little evidence that it was significant in any way, certainly not compared to a surge of strikes, riots, and mutinies that the British lacked the capacity and will to suppress.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 05-20-2011 at 09:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    We've yet to see anything beyond very speculative evidence that FDR or the US actually succeeded in "screwing the Brits for economic advantage", or in fact that any US policy had any significant impact on the breakup of the British Empire.
    Sorry, can't help you.

    I suggest that you embark on a journey of research to lift the scales from your eyes in this regard. Won't be a pleasant journey to be sure but I assure you that you will be wiser in the end. That surely would make the whole exercise worthwhile... yes?

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    To provide some supporting fires to one of Dayuhan's points:

    FDR was absolutely against colonialism (though much of that was his hate of the way it served to exclude the US from participating in rich markets. During WWII FDR met with the leaders of Tunisia, Morocco, etc and sold "democracy" and "self-determination" to an audience buying "liberty" while Churchill sat there and stewed (no booze at the dinner may have been his chief complaint). FDR also went in great detail about the value of doing business with the US...

    So, when colonialism expired at the end of WWII as we were calling for that to happen; there were also long suppressed populaces newly empowered by a modern info age standing up and making the cost exceed the benefit of such arrangements.

    Similarly, at the end of the Cold War while Reagan called for the Wall to be torn down by Gorby, at the same time it was the empowered populaces of that info age that also actually brought down another empire that was no longer cost viable.

    It is like if I had my kid say "abracadabra" while I push the button on my remote control. He may well think it is the power of his word that makes the channels change or the garage door open. The truth is another matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Sorry, can't help you.

    I suggest that you embark on a journey of research to lift the scales from your eyes in this regard. Won't be a pleasant journey to be sure but I assure you that you will be wiser in the end. That surely would make the whole exercise worthwhile... yes?
    Ever the resort of those who can't or won't support their arguments... "learn more and you will come around to the exalted Truth which I alone purvey". Have you considered starting a religion? That's a style that prevails in that field of endeavour, but it hasn't much place in the realm of rational discourse.

    Suppose I were to say the same thing? Where would that get us? How difficult would it be for me to suggest that you embark on a journey of discovery and understand that your cherished construct is in fact an insubstantial mirage?

    Since you were the one that maintained that FDR had a direct influence of the course of decolonization, isn't it up to you to support that rather improbable assertion?

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    I'm sorry, but who the hell is this "FDR" that everyone keeps talking about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwards Observer View Post
    I'm sorry, but who the hell is this "FDR" that everyone keeps talking about?
    For once a non-US military abbreviation has led to a pause and so FDR is US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. More on:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt

    I am sure you are not confused by the use of SDR, a very different matter.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    FDR is US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    Oh, right. Okay thanks. The mission school i went to only had one book, an old copy of The Good Earth by PSB (Pearl S. Buck), and it was missing the last hundred pages. Pray continue.

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    Why don't we just blame those nasty Europeans for setting up messy empires in the first place and not bothering to figure out an exit strategy?

    But I forgot...that would interfere with the meme...the U.S. is responsible for everything.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
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