Roosevelt's `Grand Strategy' to Rid the World of British Colonialism: 1941-1945

by Lawrence K. Freeman

Printed in The American Almanac, July 14, 1997.

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It is now fifty-two years since the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We can only speculate on what the world would have looked like, had Roosevelt lived, after the end of the Second World War. However, what we will document in the following report, is that Roosevelt was determined to force the British to dismantle their colonial empire, and to bend to Roosevelt's American System policies--to be dictated by the United States, at the end of the war.

Roosevelt had intended to use his relationship with Joseph Stalin, the leader of Russia, and Chiang Kai-shek of China, to forge a new postwar alliance: a ``Grand Strategy'' to free the world of the colonial methods of the British, French, and Dutch empires. After Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945, there followed a dramatic turn, away from this perspective, when Harry S Truman became President, and subordinated U.S. strategic policy to the then-weakened, and defeatable, British Empire.

Now a half-century later, Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr., world-renowned statesman and physical economist, is working, as the world careens toward disintegration of the global financial and monetary system, to resurrect a new anti-British alliance for a new just world economic order. LaRouche is organizing for a Roosevelt-type alliance today, with Russia and China, to free the world of domination by the same, albeit ``modernized,'' but no-less-evil British Empire. LaRouche's efforts today to bring about this new strategic realignment, although premised on a more profound philosophical understanding, is, nevertheless, historically coherent with Roosevelt's wartime policy towards Britain, and his plans for the postwar period.

But, today, we dare not fail, as we did in 1945. Failure to crush the British Empire's political and financial power in the world today, will be devastating for humanity. Such a failure will guarantee that the world will enter a New Dark Age, as we approach the third millennium.

Truman's capitulation to the British at the end of the war, and his subservience to the United Nations, as an instrument of world power, was completely antagonistic to Roosevelt's anti-British postwar grand strategy. Because the British succeeded in maintaining their Empire after 1945, when they were about to be put in their place by Roosevelt, the world has needlessly suffered through a series of disasters: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Churchill's instigation of the Cold War and the age of Nuclear Terror; the rock-drug-sex counterculture; and the destruction of the world economy.

Yet, with sufficient positive impulse for development in the world, and enough stored-up capital wealth available, civilization has been able to survive over the past fifty years. That is no longer the case today. We are at the end of the line, so to speak. We are at a historical discontinuity. Either we succeed, behind LaRouche's leadership, to force the British to submit to a new alliance of sovereign nation-states, i.e., what Roosevelt had intended, had he lived, or civilization, as we know it, will cease to exist.

For that reason, this report provides a clear picture of the undeniable, fundamental conflict between the American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the war period from 1941-1945. Since the death of Franklin Roosevelt, this unresolved conflict, between the principles of the sovereign nation-state, represented by the United States, and the oligarchical nature of the British Empire, has, unlike any other conflict in modern times, acted to ``determine'' in one way or another, every significant policy decision, by every nation on this planet for the last fifty years.

There Will Not be Another World War

Roosevelt formed a military alliance with Great Britain, to win the war against Hitler's Third Reich, but he had plans to create a different world, after the war--a world without colonialism. He was acutely aware of the danger, that unless colonialism were finally eradicated, another world war was virtually inevitable. Unfortunately, Roosevelt's grand design for the creation of new, independent nations to populate the world, did not come to be, after the war, due to Truman's capitulation to the British.

Roosevelt's understanding of the threat posed to world peace by the continuation of imperialism, was recorded by his son Elliott in his book, As He Saw It. FDR told his son,

``The colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of these countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements--all you're doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you're doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.''

At the Casablanca conference in January of 1943, Roosevelt was even more emphatic:
``I'm talking about another war. I'm talking about what will happen to our world, if after this war we allow millions of people to slide back into the same semi-slavery! Don't think for a moment, Elliott, that Americans would be dying in the Pacific tonight, if it hadn't been for the shortsighted greed of the French and the British and the Dutch. Shall we allow them to do it all, all over again? Your son will be about the right age, fifteen or twenty years from now.''

Roosevelt understood the danger that British imperial policies posed to the world, and he was acutely aware that he would have to deal with this threat, in a forceful manner, at the conclusion of the war. In 1942, Roosevelt quipped, prophetically, to one of his advisors:
``We will have more trouble with Great Britain after the war than we are having with Germany now.''

Roosevelt's ``Four Freedoms''

On January 5, 1941 Roosevelt stood before the Congress, and spoke of ``a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union.'' He presented, as a single concept, both the domestic program for the United States and the principles of his global ``grand design.'' First he spelled out his economic bill of rights:

  • Equality of opportunity for youth and for others;

  • Jobs for those who can work;

  • Security for those who need it;

  • The ending of special privilege for the few;

  • The preservation of civil liberties for all;

  • The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

Roosevelt then articulated the four freedoms that were later that year embodied in the Atlantic Charter.

``In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon the four essential human freedoms:

``The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.

``The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.

``The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants--everywhere in the world,

``The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world."

Roosevelt adds, ``That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our time and generation.''

Two years later, in 1943, Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, recognized that the American people, ``were wondering a little about the third freedom--the freedom from want.'' They wanted, ``assurance that will extend from the cradle to the grave.'' Roosevelt's economic policies echoed the fifth clause of the Atlantic Charter.

Both Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, and the Atlantic Charter were governed by the same principles as those found in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

In his ``Second Bill of Rights,'' in 1944, Roosevelt once again made clear his hopes for the postwar period: ``And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well being.... ''

The Atlantic Charter: Roosevelt's Grand Design

The fundamental and unbridgeable difference between the United States and the British Empire, is the fact that the United States represents, if imperfectly, the embodiment of the nation-state, and that Great Britain is the modern form of the Venetian oligarchical system of rule. Roosevelt's thinking derives, in part, from the fact that he was born in the last quarter of the 19th century (1882), a period whose culture was dominated by Henry Carey's and Abraham Lincoln's ``American Nationalist Party.''

The assassination of the anti-British U.S. President McKinley at the turn of the century, ended a period (with ebbs and flows) of about 125 years following the Declaration of Independence, of a distinctively American, anti-British world view. It was this heritage, among other factors, that led Roosevelt to envision the postwar period, as a decisive shift away from British colonial policy, to those principles consistent with the American System of Political Economy. International relations among countries would no longer be driven by oligarchical-geopolitical methods, but would instead promote the rights of all nations to develop, according to principles of national sovereignty, guided by a commitment to foster economic growth by maximizing the rate of scientific and technological progress. This would require projectionist and national banking measures to provide for the development of the essential agro-industrial sectors, along with meeting vital infrastructure needs of each nation.

It was obvious to Churchill and the British establishment, that Roosevelt's American Century vision of the postwar period was antithetical to the very existence of their Empire. It came down to this: the determination of the American President to nurture the existence of a community of republican nation-states in opposition to British insistence on maintaining their oppressive colonial system.

This fundamental conflict was more than evident at their meeting in August 1941 at Argentia, Newfoundland, before America's entry into the war. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the American President, Franklin Roosevelt, had heated conversations over the burning issue of Roosevelt's insistence on guaranteeing sovereignty for those nations still controlled by the colonial empires. Churchill was forced to sign the Atlantic Charter, with its eight articles outlining the principles of freedom and economic development to ensure peace, ``after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny.''

Churchill made clear his reluctance to sign the Charter, when he said to FDR,

``Mr. President, I believe you are trying to do away with the British Empire. Every idea you entertain about the structure of the postwar world demonstrates it. But in spite of that, we know that you constitute our only hope. And you know that we know it. You know that we know that without America, the Empire won't stand.''

There were many fights between the American outlook: a commitment to republican principles concomitant with global economic infrastructural development, and the British insistence that their colonial empire remain intact after the war. For Roosevelt, the Atlantic Charter embodied in embryonic form, his grand strategy for the future, which he maneuvered the recalcitrant Churchill to support.

The Charter, signed by Churchill and Roosevelt on August 12, 1941, outlined the basic rights of nations to independence, peace, economic development and freedom from tyranny. It was seen by those people around the globe, struggling under the brutal boot of colonialism, as a sign of hope. They were inspired by the outlook of the American President and what he had uniquely put forward in the Charter.

As word of its signing spread, Roosevelt became a hero to oppressed people all over the world for his opposition to the imperialist policies of the British, French, and Dutch. Sumner Welles, Roosevelt's Assistant Secretary of State, who worked closely with the President on the wording of the Charter commented years later:

``The principles he had proclaimed in the Atlantic Charter were regarded as a source of hope and as a guarantee of a better day to come.''

Author William Roger Louis, in his book Imperialism at Bay, reports that the original formulation of Article III, authored by Sir Alexander Cadogan, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, read:
``Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; they are only concerned to defend the rights of freedom of speech and thought without which such choice might be illusory.''
Roosevelt added the phrase, ``and they hope that self-government may be restored to those from whom it has been forcibly removed,'' because he thought it was more important to emphasize the restoration of self-government, than to simply defend freedom of speech.

Louis argues that Churchill, in turn, added the phrase ``sovereign rights,'' as an escape clause, to make it inapplicable to the dependent British Empire,'' because the British never considered their possessions, dominions, and colonies, to be sovereign.

The final version of Article III adopted at the conference reads as follows:

``Third, they respect the rights of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.''

British leadership correctly understood that Roosevelt was attempting to use the language of the Atlantic Charter to force an end to British colonialism. As early as 1941, FDR was acting on what he wanted the future--the postwar period--to look like. In the Atlantic Charter, which embodied the principles of sovereign self-government, Roosevelt was was planting the seeds for that future.

The British wanted to believe that the principles of the Atlantic Charter only applied to ``self-government'' for the Nazi-occupied nations, but they knew that Roosevelt emphatically intended to include the colonies of the British Empire. The British Colonial Secretary Lord Moyne tried to convince the War Cabinet of the dangers involved in endorsing the principle of self-determination outlined in Article III, stipulating that it only applied to those ``still not in need of political tutelage.''

Lord Moyne's self-serving interpretation of Article III was that,

``it was, of course used as is obvious from the context, with the nations of Europe in mind. But in the colonies we cannot admit the right of unfettered choice to those who, in the words of the League of Nations Covenant, are `not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world.'|''

The British War Cabinet had the same response:
``The view generally expressed was that the Atlantic Charter ... was directed to the nations of Europe whom we hoped to free from Nazi tyranny, and was not intended to deal with internal affairs of the British Empire.... ''

Although Roosevelt eventually prevailed, he also had sharp disagreements with Churchill over Article IV of the Charter, which reflected the same essential conflict. Roosevelt, working with Sumner Welles in Argentia, in drafting the Atlantic Charter re-wrote Article IV to read:

``Fourth, they will endeavor to further the enjoyment by all peoples to access, without discrimination and on equal terms, to the markets and to raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity.''

It was Roosevelt's personal addition of words ``without discrimination'' and ``of the world,'' that Churchill raised objections to Welles about. Churchill protested, upon reading Article IV, that this formulation would violate the British Ottawa Agreements, which restricted access to economic markets for those outside the Commonwealth. Churchill initially claimed that he did not have the power to agree to this point and threatened to delay the signing of the Charter. Roosevelt instructed Welles, in a letter on August 11, one day before the final meeting between the two leaders, not to change his wording of Article IV.

His letter reads:

``Time being of the essence, I think I can stand on my own former formulas--to wit: access to raw materials. This omits entirely the other subject which is the only one in conflict: discrimination in trade. The fourth [paragraph] would then read ``of access to the raw materials of the world'' etc. For me, that is consistent.''

Roosevelt succeeded in binding the British to a set of principles, which expressed his own unique vision of the future. The Charter was signed even before the United States had entered the war as a combatant, but Roosevelt knew it was just a matter of time before that would happen. The U.S. was already involved in the war through its Lend-Lease program, which supplied the British, through the strength of America's unequaled ``machine power:'' vital planes, tanks, and other war production.

Roosevelt wanted to steer the world onto a different course, one not dominated by colonial-imperialist methods of suppressing nations and looting their natural resources of wealth. So, the axioms set forth in the Atlantic Charter, coupled with his Four Freedoms, were Roosevelt's foreign-policy strategy to realize his Grand Design after the war, a war that the United States had to fight, and had to win, through the revitalization of its full industrial capability. For Roosevelt, the war was not the end, but a necessary action, to insure the potential for his ``American System'' reorganization of the global economy.

Churchill knew, all too well, the implications of the Atlantic Charter for the British Empire. Only a few days after the signing, the Labour Party newspaper, the Daily Herald, carried the headline: ``The Atlantic Charter--It Means Dark Races as Well--Coloured people as well as white, will share the benefits of the Churchill-Roosevelt Atlantic Charter.''

The news of the signing of the Charter affected anti-colonial movements around the globe. According to Louis, within days of signing the document, Churchill received a message from the British Governor of Burma, warning that the Burmese people would use the literal meaning of Article III to call for independence after the war.

In Africa, Roosevelt's Atlantic Charter was praised by Sudan independence forces, as an encouragement to their efforts to liberate their country from the Anglo-Egyptian condominium. Mohamed Ahmed Mahgoub, the first Foreign Minister of Sudan put it this way:

``In the Sudan, we had been reading the liberal literature published in Britain, which spoke of a free world after the war. We had read and studied the Atlantic Charter of Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt after their meetings in August 1941, which declared that after the war all people should have the right of self-determination and self-government--a declaration which Churchill later qualified with his famous remark `I did not become His Majesty's First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the Empire.' We had high hopes that after the war we too would get the right of self-determination and independence.''

Churchill himself tried to alter what he knew to be Roosevelt's intent. Shortly after his signing of the Charter, Churchill attempted to qualify the application of the Atlantic Charter to the British Empire as distinct from those nations under the Nazi yoke:
``So that is quite a separate problem from the progressive evolution of self-governing institutions in the regions and peoples which owe their allegiance to the British Crown.''

Churchill's racist and imperialist attitude came to the surface in his anger at the implications of Article III, for Britain's colonial possessions in the resource-rich African continent. Churchill said that he was sure that it was not meant to apply so:
``that the natives of Nigeria or of East Africa, who could by a majority vote chose the form of government under which they live ... [and] that prior obligations require to be considered and respected and that circumstances alter cases.''

The ``prior obligations'' and ``circumstances'' to which Churchill referred, were the British Empire's intent to control the natural wealth and population of the Nigerian state, which was, and is, economically key to all of West Africa.

Roosevelt was generally distrustful of pro-British attitudes in the State Department, and attempts by the British to win over Department personnel to their side. However, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles had a healthy hatred of British colonialism, and shared Roosevelt's view that Britain's ``Imperial Preference,'' which the British considered a right of the Empire, was in fact a danger to world peace.

In 1942, Stanley Hornbeck, Advisor on Far Eastern Affairs, in an effort to counter Churchill's attempted sabotage of Roosevelt's grand design, wrote to Welles:

``Ought not thought be directed rather to the formulation and publishing of a world Charter which might be build upon, which might absorb, and which might be the logical, legal and political successor to the Atlantic Charter?''

Hornbeck's draft of the ``Declaration on National Independence'' quoted heavily from America's own Declaration of Independence (in which the word `independence' appeared 19 times) to project America's own experience to ``all the peoples of the world.'' The preamble to this proposed new declaration read in part:
``That the independence of those nations which now possess independence shall be maintained; that the independence of those nations which have been forcibly deprived of independence shall be restored; that opportunity to achieve independence for those peoples who aspire to independence shall be preserved, respected, and made more effective....''

The draft also included the specific timetable for de-colonization:
``It is, accordingly, the duty and the purpose of each nation having political ties with colonial peoples ... to fix, at the earliest practicable moment, dates upon which the colonial peoples shall be accorded status of full independence.''

Consistent with his earlier efforts, Hornbeck, in December 1943 spoke about the irreconcilable differences between the British and American outlooks:
``In the U.S. we place a much higher valuation upon the concept of political freedom and independence than do the British ... We assume to a far greater extent that various sundry now-dependent or quasi-dependent national groups have capacity for self-government.''

An End to 18th Century Colonial Methods

Roosevelt knew quite well that Churchill would not like his determination to put an end to British colonialism and he told his son, Elliott:
``I think I speak as America's President when I say that America won't help England in this war simply so that she will be able to continue to ride roughshod over colonial peoples. I think that I can see there will be a little fur flying here and there, in the next few days.''

At Argentia in August 1941, Roosevelt confronted Churchill directly in their discussions when he told the British Prime Minister:
``These Empire trade agreements are a case in point. It's because of them that the people of India and Africa, of all the colonialized Near East and Far East, are still as backward as they are.''
Churchill, with his neck reddened, responded:
``Mr. President, England does not propose for a moment to lose its favored position among the British Dominions. The trade that made England great shall continue, and under conditions prescribed by England's ministers.''

Roosevelt replied slowly to Churchill, according to his son Elliot's eye-witness account:
``You see, it is along in here somewhere that there is likely to be some disagreement between you, Winston, and me. I am firmly of the belief that if we are going to arrive at a stable peace it must involve the development of backward countries. Backward peoples. How can this be done? It can't be done by 18th-century methods.''

Churchill interrupted, ``Who's talking 18th-century methods?''

Roosevelt answered Churchill directly:

``Whichever of your ministers recommends a policy which takes wealth in raw materials out of a colonial country, but which returns nothing to the people of that country in consideration.''

Roosevelt continued to lecture the red-faced Churchill on ``American System'' economics:
''20th-century methods involve bringing industry to these colonies. 20th-century methods include increasing the wealth of a people by increasing their standard of living, by educating them, by bringing them sanitation--by making sure that they get a return for the raw wealth of their community.''

Assistant Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, one of Roosevelt's key men, clearly reflected Roosevelt's views on foreign policy. Welles, in his 1942 Memorial Day address, proclaimed that World War II would bring about an end to imperialism:
``If this war is, in fact, a war for liberation of peoples, it must assure sovereign equality of peoples throughout the world, as well as in the world of the Americas. Our victory must bring in its train the liberation of all peoples. Discrimination between peoples because of their race, creed, or color must be abolished. The age of imperialism is ended.''

Secretary of State Hull, two months later, echoed Well's remarks:
``We have always believed--and we believe today that all peoples without distinction of race, color, or religion, who are prepared and willing to accept the responsibilities of liberty, are entitled to its enjoyment.''

Churchill's outlook during the war was, that upon an allied victory, the British Empire would be resurrected as the dominant power in the world, and this governed his relations with the emerging American superpower. Thus, the British knew that they needed the United States to win the war, but Churchill fought Roosevelt throughout the entire war to maintain every inch of Britain's imperial possessions.

The American President, looked at the world from an entirely different hypothesis, one that saw the end of the war as synonymous with the end of all forms of oppression, and the beginning of a new era of development, especially for those countries who had suffered under colonial rule.

Two Opposing World Views: The Case of Africa

In Africa, Roosevelt saw, as we can unfortunately still see today, the horrendous, abysmal conditions of life which have resulted from British rule. When Roosevelt visited British Gambia on the West African coast in 1943, and saw the appalling conditions there, it created a strong image in the President's mind of the truly ugly nature of British colonialism. He later spoke about it in his press conference:

``I think there are about three million inhabitants, of whom, one hundred and fifty are white. And it's most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life.... The natives are five thousand years back of us. Disease is rampant, absolutely. It's a terrible place for disease.

``And I looked it up, with a little study, and I got to the point of view that for every dollar that the British, who have been there for two hundred years, have put into Gambia, they have taken out ten. It's just plain exploitation of those people.''

He told his son after his visit to Bathurst (now Banjul), the capital of Gambia, that workers were paid only fifty cents a day. ``Besides which,'' he added,
``they're given a half-cup of rice. Dirt. Disease. Very high mortality rate.... Life expectancy--you'd never guess what it is. Twenty-six years. These people are treated worse than livestock. Their cattle live longer!''

Roosevelt threatened the British, that he would expose what they were doing in Gambia:
'' ... if you Britishers don't come up to scratch--toe the mark--then we will let all the world know.''

Roosevelt wouldn't let Churchill forget about what he saw in his visit to Gambia. Years later, when he became seriously ill, he quipped to Churchill, that he was sick with ``Gambia fever'' from ``that hell hole of yours called Bathurst.''

Before Roosevelt had ever been to Africa, he understood the enormous potential to create new wealth on the continent through infrastructural development, as opposed to the imperialistic looting policies as practiced by the British, the French, and the Dutch. He talked to Elliott about a plan to irrigate Tunisia that would,

``make the Imperial Valley in California look like a cabbage patch.... The Sahara would bloom for hundreds of miles.''

``Wealth. Imperialists don't realize what they can do, what they can create! They've robbed this continent of billions, and all because they were too shortsighted to understand that their billions were pennies, compared to the possibilities. Possibilities that must include a better life for the people who inhabit this land.''

This was the subject of discussions with the Sultan of Morocco (see box, page 7), and at the Teheran Conference with the young Shah of Iran. According to accounts from his son Elliott, Roosevelt was sympathetic to the plight of Iran, in that its oil and mineral deposits were controlled by the British, and instructed Pat Hurley to draft
``a memorandum guaranteeing Iran's independence and her self-determination of her economic interests.''

Roosevelt's commitment to economic development was explicit in a memorandum he wrote on the eve of the Yalta conference of the need for a ``free port and international railway'' for Iran in the Persian Gulf as part of trans-Asian rail system. Roosevelt wrote:
``Three of four Trustees should build a new port in Iran at the head of the Persian Gulf (free port), take over the whole railroad from there into Russia, and run the thing for the good of all.''

No Return to Colonialism

At Casablanca in 1943, Roosevelt was able to talk to de Gaulle, as well as Churchill again. He was determined not to allow the French to return to their imperialistic practices after the war. Even though there were clear differences between de Gaulle and Churchill, the anti-imperialist Roosevelt knew that the British were sympathetic to France's desire to reoccupy Indochina in order to strengthen their own imperialist plans after the war. Roosevelt was fearful of that the French would attempt to retake their colonies after the war:

``Interests coincide. The English mean to maintain their hold on the colonies. They mean to help the French maintain their hold on their colonies.''
He told Elliott that although de Gaulle expected the Allies to give France back her colonies,
``I'm by no means sure in my own mind that we'd be right to return France her colonies at all, ever, without first obtaining ... some sort of pledge ... of just exactly what was planned.''
When Elliott questioned not returning the colonies, Roosevelt replid,
''How do they belong to France? Why does Morocco, inhabited by Moroccans, belong to France? Or take Indochina.... The native Indo-Chinese have been so flagrantly downtrodden that they thought to themselves: Anything must be better, than to live under French colonial rule. Should a land belong to France? By what logic and what custom and by what historical rule?''

In a conversation with Secretary Hull, Roosevelt said:
``Each case must, of course, stand on its own feet, but the case of Indochina is perfectly clear. France has milked it for one hundred years. The people of Indochina are entitled to something better than that.''

One question this raises is: If ``Roosevelt's scheme'' for the postwar period had been implemented, would the French have been prevented from being involved in Indochina, and might this have spared the United States the nightmare known as the Vietnam War, and its devastating political consequences?

At the Casablanca summit, Roosevelt made clear what he intended for the future:

``When we've won the war, I will work with all my might and main to see to it that the United States is not wheeled into the position of accepting any plan that will further France's imperialistic ambitions, or that will aid or abet the British Empire in its imperial ambitions.''
A few days later he told Elliott:
``I've tried to make it clear to Winston--and the others--that while we're their allies, and in it to victory by their side, they must never get the idea that we're in it just to help them hang on to the archaic, medieval Empire ideas. Great Britain signed the Atlantic Charter. I hope they realize that the United States government means to make them live up to it.''

Roosevelt remained concerned, right up until up his death in 1945, about France's postwar imperialist plans for Indochina, Burns reports:
``Independence for Indochina had become a near-obsession of the President during the past year or two. He told Stalin at Yalta that he had in mind a temporary trusteeship for Indochina, but that the British wished to give it back to France, since they feared the implications of a trusteeship for their own rule in Burma. De Gaulle, he said, had asked for ships to carry Free French forces to Indochina. Was he going to get them? Stalin asked. The President answered archly that he had been unable to find any ships for de Gaulle.'' Regarding his idea of a trusteeship, Roosevelt said that, ``Stalin liked it. China liked the idea. The British don't like it. It might bust up their empire.''

India and Burma

Roosevelt was particularly outraged about the British policy towards India and Burma. One evening, after a day of formal discussions at the Casablanca Conference, Roosevelt told Elliott: ``The look that Churchill gets on his face when you mention India:

``India should be made a commonwealth at once. After a certain number of years ... she should chose whether she wants to remain in the Empire....

``As a commonwealth, she should be entitled to a modern form of government, an adequate health and educational standard. But how can she have these things, when Britain is taking all the wealth of her national resources away from her every year? Ever year the Indian people have one thing to look forward to, like death and taxes. Sure as shooting, they have a famine. The season of the famine, they call it.''

When Churchill got upset over the mentioning of India as one of the countries to be liberated, Roosevelt responded:
``Yes. I can't believe that we can fight a war against fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy.''

Even though Roosevelt had advised Stalin not to even bring up the word ``India'' with Churchill, due to the Prime Minister's raw nerve on the subject of India's independence, Roosevelt himself could not resist. Throughout the entire war, Roosevelt had a special concern for India, and was very upset about British treatment of the Indian people. He believed strongly that India should be free from British colonial rule, but he was afraid that, if he pushed this all the way with Churchill, it would rupture their war-time relationship, which Roosevelt thought was absolutely necessary to defeat Hitler's Third Reich. Many of Roosevelt's true intentions to reorganize the world away from colonialism were tempered by his concern to win the war first, at all costs.

It pained Roosevelt to reject appeals from India's leader, Mohandas Gandhi:

``I venture to think that the Allied declaration, that the Allies are fighting to make the world safe for freedom of the individual and for democracy sounds hollow, so long as India, and, for that matter, Africa are exploited by Great Britain, and America has the Negro problem in her own home. But in order to avoid all complications, in my proposal I have confined myself only to India. If India becomes free, the rest must follow, if it does not happen simultaneously.''

China's Chiang Kai-shek also appealed to Roosevelt, ``the inspired author of the Atlantic Charter,'' to pressure Churchill on India, but he rejected this too, on the grounds that, ``any action which slows up the war effort,'' would actually assist Japan.

Every time Roosevelt brought up the subject, Churchill would get red with anger, after all, India was the ``crown jewel'' of the British Empire. Roosevelt told Churchill bluntly that American opinion held the British responsible for the deadlock over the signing of the Charter, ``has been caused by the unwillingness of the British Government to concede to the Indians the right of self-government.''

Author Roger Louis reports it this way:

``The President made no secret that he deplored British Imperialism in India and in all other parts of the world.... Roosevelt's sentiments were genuine. With `almost boyish relish' he would speak of American constitutional history and how the problems of India might be solved by learning the lessons of the American revolution.''

After one of Roosevelt's lectures on what India could learn from America's own colonial experience when it finally became free of British subjugation, Churchill erupted against Roosevelt:
``The President's mind was back in the American War of Independence, and he thought of the Indian problem in terms of thirteen colonies fighting George III at the end of the 18th century.... This was no time for a constitutional experiment ... to determine the future relationship of India to the British Empire.''

Churchill continued,
``Nor was the issue one upon which the satisfying of public opinion in the United States could be a determining factor. We could not desert the Indian peoples by abandoning our responsibility and leaving them to anarchy and subjugation.''
In these remarks, Churchill represented the oligarchy's true feelings of hatred against America. More precisely, it was America's victorious War of Independence from the British Empire, and her emergence as the premiere sovereign nation-state in the world, that threatened the very existence of the Empire, which fueled Churchill's rage.

Roosevelt also understood the importance that Churchill placed on having Burma return to colonialism in that sector of the world:

``The British want to recapture Burma. It's the first time they've shown any real interest in the Pacific war, and why? For their colonial empire!... It's all part of the British colonial question. Burma--that effects India, and French Indochina, and Indonesia--they're all interrelated. If one gets freedom, the others will get ideas. That's why Winston is so anxious to keep de Gaulle in his corner. De Gaulle isn't any more interested in seeing a colonial empire disappear than Churchill is.''

The French had no problem supporting Britain's claim to Burma, because they figured it would help to get Indochina back under French control after the war, and vice-versa.

Colonial Mandates

Roosevelt sought to replace the ``Mandate system'' set up in 1919 with one of ``Trusteeship'' which would be internationally supervised and open for inspection. The British recognized this as another effort by Roosevelt to dismantle their colonial empire, since, as Louis reports: ``At least during the inter-war years the mandates were treated as though they were British colonies.''

Oliver Stanley, head of the British Colonial Office, knew what Roosevelt was up to and objected to having ``a motley international assembly'' look into British affairs. Stanley correctly feared that the United States would put, ``the whole of our Colonial administration under international review.''

Churchill made clear that he would not allow the Empire to be put ``in the dock,'' by having the international community scrutinizing their possessions.

The British paternal defense of their colonial system in Africa, for which we can see the ugly results today, was expressed in a 1923 policy paper on Kenya: ``In the administration of Kenya, His Majesty's Government regard themselves as exercising a trust on behalf of the African population, and they are unable to delegate or share this trust, the object of which may be defined as the protection and advancement of the native races.

``We are the Trustees of many great African Dependencies ... and our duty is to do justice and right between races ... remembering, above all, that we are the trustees before the world for the African population.''

The British knew that the Americans disliked the mandates, because in fact, they saw them as colonies, and the British tried to rationalize this objection to the American position and appease it through semantics. This is expressed in a letter to the Colonial Office in 1944, concerning the United States opposition:
``The tradition stems of course from the Revolution which produced fundamental attitudes, ideas, and symbols that are still at the core of the national thinking ... the attitude springs from this emotional source....

``We can only by-pass this emotion by presenting our policy through ideas and symbols ... which are in line with positive American traditions. Conceptions like `union', `partnership', `self government', `federation' fit this tradition; `trusteeship', `colony', `Empire', `British subject'--any words that smell of subjection--do not.''

The British were not going to let any outsiders hold them accountable for the colonial administration of their mandates and ``they bitterly rejected Americans sticking their fingers into colonial pies.''

Hornbeck said that,

``He felt like replying to the British that it happened to be their pie which was under our nose and which did not smell too good to us ... what becomes of these dependent peoples was everybody's concern.''

Roosevelt's Anti-Imperialist Alliance

Roosevelt knew the war had to be won with the British as allies, but his diplomacy, while he was conducting the war, was premised on the future, which his grand strategy embodied. After the war, he intended to bring into existence a new anti-imperialist alliance, which, unfortunately his untimely death, and the succession of Truman as President, tragically aborted. Roosevelt's vision was to have a new alliance comprised of the United States, Russia, and China, the three most powerful nations, which did not have colonial possessions against the British, French, and Dutch colonial powers. Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt's closest aide, reflected this aspect of the President's thinking when he wrote:
``We simply cannot organize the world between the British and ourselves without bringing the Russians in as equal partners. For that matter, if things go well with Chiang Kai-shek, I would surely include the Chinese too.''

Militarily, the British were already weakened, which made the potential for the defeat of their Empire after the war, all the more feasible. A memorandum from the U.S. Joint Chiefs Strategic Survey Committee at the time made the following evaluation:
``As a military power, the British Empire in the postwar era will be in distinctly lower category than the United States and Russia. The primacy of the British Empire in the century before World War I, and her second-to-none position until World War II, have built up a traditional concept of British military power which the British will strive to profit by and maintain in the postwar era.... Both in an absolute sense and relative to the United States and Russia, the British will emerge from the war having lost ground both economically and militarily.''

Sumner Welles, looking at the world in 1946, concurred with this analysis:
``It was evident that Great Britain would be utterly exhausted upon conclusion of the war. These signs were already plain to all who cared to see them that the world order which must then be created would bring freedom to the colonial peoples, and that the liquidation of the British Empire was at hand. The British Commonwealth of Nations itself must undergo a profound transformation in the postwar period as a result of which the mother country's position would become far less dominant.''

Roosevelt was acutely aware that, the United States would be in the dominant leadership position after the war, and would determine the character of the new, postwar, alliance against the imperial practices of the old colonial powers. (There are interesting parallels to the current strategic correlation of forces, and the decisive role that President Clinton and the United States must play in forging a ``New Bretton Woods System'' today).

FDR expressed this to his son Elliott, in the following way:

``Even our alliance with Britain holds dangers of making it seem to China and Russia that we support wholly the British line in international politics. The United States will have to lead, and use our good offices to conciliate ... between Russia and England, in Europe; between the British Empire and China and between China and Russia, in the Far East. Britain is on the decline, China--still in the 18th century. Russia--suspicious of us.... America is the only great power that can make peace in the world stick.''

Roosevelt wanted Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek to know the sharp political and philosophical differences between the United States and the British. In reporting on his meeting with Stalin, he said that,
``the biggest thing was in making clear to Stalin that United States and Great Britain were not allied in one common bloc against the Soviet Union. I think we've got rid of that idea, once and for all. I hope so. The one thing that could upset the applecart, after the war, is if the world is divided again, Russia against England and us.''

The central, anti-British nature of the alliance was made clear by the Chiang's request for Roosevelt's help to prevent the British from moving into Hongkong and Shanghai, while Stalin also agreed to help Chiang against the British.

``The Chinese were very anxious that we agree not to show our air-maps to the British--in fact, they made us promise not to.... It's not hard to appreciate their point of view. They're aware that the British want to look at them for commercial reasons ... commercial, postwar reasons.''

Elliott Roosevelt says that his father pointed ``out that a majority of Chinese think more highly of Japanese colonial policies than they do of British or French or Dutch.'' The Chinese were so fearful of renewed British imperialism after the war that Chiang Kai-shek pleaded with Roosevelt, ``that when Japan is on her knees we make sure that no British warships come into Chinese ports.''

According to author James Burns:

``Roosevelt saw China as the kingpin in an Asiatic structure of newly independent and self-governing nations and hence as the supreme example and test of his strategy of freedom.... Roosevelt at least glimpsed the explosive energy lying dormant in the billion people of Asia.''

Roosevelt fully intended to force British Empire, along with the other imperialist powers to bend to a new era of progress in the second half of the 20th century. He told this to Elliott before the Yalta Conference:
``The point is that we are going to be able to bring pressure on the British to fall in line with our thinking in relation to the whole colonial question. It's all tied up in one package: the Dutch East Indies, French Indochina, India, British extraterritorial rights in China.... We're going to be able to make this the 20th century after all, you watch and see!''

The British were well aware of Roosevelt's organizing for this new alliance and were trying to gather support from other imperialist powers to help protect the integrity of their Empire and their colonial system prior to the Yalta Conference in February 1945. Leo Pasvolsky, the head of the postwar U.S. planning staff, who was involved in the pre-Yalta discussions, has this to say in response to Britain's Colonial Secretary Stanley:
``The British position is clearly designed to win support from other states with colonies in order to offset the support which, they, anticipate, the United States will receive from the Soviet Union and China'' (emphasis added).

Lord Beloff, reports that,
``in a dispatch in 1944, the British Ambassador, in analyzing the British-American tendency to view the United States, Russia, and China as the Great Powers of the future, and the unspoken assumption that the British Empire was falling apart ... that the traditional attacks on colonialism and imperialism ... were now again coming to the fore.''

The decisive issue for Roosevelt, which he had made repeatedly clear throughout the 1941-1945 period, was to rid the world of imperialist-colonial practices in the postwar era, and this was to be supervised by the three emerging non-colonial powers: the United States, Russia, and China.

As Louis reports:

``He found it easier to talk to Stalin and Chiang Kai-chek than Churchill about the future of the British Empire.''
Churchill knew this is what Roosevelt was working toward, and attacked this new alliance again after the Yalta Conference. Churchill was determined not to allow any international intervention to dismantle the Empire's colonies. In March 1945, Churchill bellowed again:
``I should myself oppose ... [that] which might well be pressed upon nations like Britain, France, Holland and Belgium, who have great colonial possessions, by the United States, Russia, and China who have none.''

The dividing line was clearly established.

Churchill: The Empire will Survive

Under Roosevelt's assault, the British leadership were quite hysterical and defensive about protecting ``The Empire'' at all costs. In the summer of 1942, Lord Cranborne, the British Colonial Secretary, who later became the 5th Marquess of Salisbury, remarked: ``The British Empire is not dead, it is not dying, it is not even going into decline.'' He defended the Empire's colonial policy against the Americans:
``Our record was, in general, a good and progressive one, not a thing to be ashamed of, and ... the British had a useful mission to continue in the Colonies.''

Churchill himself responded to non-stop American attacks on the British Empire on November 10, 1942, in his most well known wartime remark:
``Let me however make this perfectly clear, in case they should be any mistake about it in any quarter. We mean to hold our own. I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.''
One can imagine how, upon hearing this, Roosevelt must have had a hearty laugh, accompanied by one of his famous, large smiles.

Lord Lugard, a member of the British elite in formulating colonial policy, and the first British Governor General of Nigeria, immediately rushed off a letter to The Times of London, in an attempt to soften Churchill's remarks, by stating that the British Empire really had the interests of its colonies at heart, and that, ``His Majesty's Government ... as trustees for the dependent peoples would never surrender that trust, which they alone could fulfill.'' The British thought the colonies were their obligations, i.e., their property, not anyone else's business, nor did anyone else have a right to interfere with them.

A month later, in December 1942 Churchill repeated his defense of the Empire, in his more typical, racist and pugnacious language:

``We also have our traditions and as long as I am here, we will hold to them and the Empire. We will not let the Hottentots by popular vote throw white people into the sea.''

Margery Perham, one of a stable of Oxford scholars employed by the oligarchy, wrote two articles for The Times to try to deal with criticisms of the British commitment to maintain their Empire. On November 26, she wrote one of the most elaborate attempts to assuage the anger of Americans at the British:

``It was not to be expected that Americans whose ancestors broke away from the British Empire in 1776 should march to its direct defense without asking themselves and us uncomfortable questions.... America was born out of negation of the British Empire; her democracy has been bred in the tradition of anti-imperialism. When Americans wake up to find their soldiers besides ours in India and Africa, and marshaled, it may be, for the recovery of Burma and Malaya, they have to put their minds suddenly into reverse; and this jarring process has been freely reflected in their Press during the last nine months.''

Academic excursions aside, the British meant to hold what they had. In the December 28, 1942 issue of Life magazine, General Smuts, the Prime Minister of South Africa for the British Empire, repeated the salient point:
``Mother countries should remain exclusively responsible for the administration of their colonies and interference by others should be avoided.''

In December 1944, before the Yalta Conference, when Churchill was going to meet with Roosevelt and Stalin to plan out the postwar period, he found it necessary to warn them of his intent on maintaining the Empire:
``There must be no question of our being hustled or seduced into declarations affecting British sovereignty in any Dominions or Colonies. Pray remember my declaration against liquidating the British Empire.... `Hands off the British Empire' is our maxim and it must not be weakened or smirched to please sob stuff merchants at home or foreigners of any hue.''

Roosevelt's Vision Dies

On April 12, 1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, and, tragically for humanity, the potential for a brighter postwar era died with him, as that ``little man,'' Harry Truman, took over the reigns of the U.S. Presidency. The British were confident that with Roosevelt's death, the Empire would live on, and, to the detriment of civilization, it has. All Roosevelt's plans to dismantle the British colonial empire along with the French, Dutch, and Belgium, and his vision of entering a new era of development, especially for the ``colonial sector,'' with the end of imperialist ``18th century methods,'' vanished, instantaneously, with his death.

The Russians also knew that without Roosevelt in the presidency, there was little chance of achieving the economic and political cooperation that Roosevelt had envisioned for the two superpowers after the war. The close relationship between Stalin and Roosevelt, that had developed at the Teheran and Yalta conferences was not going to be duplicated with Truman. The Cold War, the Iron Curtain, would not have happened had Roosevelt not died prematurely; the entire history of the postwar period would have been different. Commenting on the unique relationship between the United States and Russia after Roosevelt's death, Welles put it bluntly:

``The Soviet authorities became persuaded that the United States was now far more under the influence of the British policy than she had hitherto shown herself to be.''

The fact that the United Nations now functions as the vehicle for implementing the policies of the British Commonwealth today, was not what Roosevelt had intended. Contrary to what the U.N. has become: the bastion of world government, responsible for enforcing the most brutal programs to destroy the sovereign nation-state in both the developed and undeveloped sectors, Roosevelt had other ideas. He wanted to use the U.N. for the stated purpose of his anti-imperialist alliance: to eliminate colonial practices throughout world, once and for all.

Roosevelt's idea for the United Nations was not to set up a utopian world government of the type advocated by Bertrand Russell and his crowd, but rather, it was to create an extension of his war-time grand strategy. The U.N. had its origin in 1942, when 26 nations signed a declaration against the enemy Axis powers. In October of 1943, the United States, the USSR, the UK, and China agreed to establish an organization for peace and security at the earliest date. In the Fall of 1944, proposals were drawn up for the new organization, which were further discussed at Yalta Conference. In San Francisco, on April 25, 1945 (thirteen days after Roosevelt had died), 46 countries met, to draw up the Charter which was signed in June, and entered into force on October 24, 1945.

Unfortunately, the U.S. President at the time of the creation of the U.N., was Truman, who was easily manipulated by the British. Roosevelt's idea was that the United Nations would be run by the ``Big Four'' (The United States, Russia, China, and the British), with Britain forced to bend to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and Roosevelt's ideas of ``20th century'' methods of economic development for the ``colonial sector.'' His untimely death before the founding conference, however, robbed history of that brighter future.

Roosevelt's intended purpose for the U.N. was clear, as he discussed it with Elliott:

``The Big Four--ourselves, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union--we'll be responsible for the peace of the world after.... When we've won the war.... It is already hightime for us to be thinking of the future, building for it. France, for example. France will have to take its rightful place in that organization. These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions--of all the backward, depressed colonial areas of the world.''

Roosevelt had wanted to schedule a trip to England and talk directly to the British people,
``on the need for Britain to put its hopes of the future in the United Nations ... and not just the British Empire and the British ability to get other countries to combine in some sort of bloc against the Soviet Union,''
reports Louis, in his bookThe Transfer of Power in Africa.

With Truman as President, instead of Roosevelt, the British had little to fear. At the San Francisco meeting, previous American determination to rid the world of colonialism and its imperialist economics, ``shifted gradually from one of dismantling the British Empire to one of giving it tacit support.'' Under Truman, ``the fire of anti-colonialism burned much less brightly within the United States government,'' Louis observed.

As a result of the pro-British policies of Truman, the United States effectively turned its back on the world. The promise of Roosevelt's grand strategy to rid the world of ``18th century methods'' was never kept, and civilization has suffered greatly. The abhorrent conditions of life in Africa today, the backwardness that exists in Asia, India, and elsewhere, the suffering of billions of people on this planet, are all the direct result of the change from Roosevelt's anti-colonial policy to Truman's acquiescence to the British Empire.

The United States under Truman turned its back on Roosevelt's former allies. This view was confirmed by Elliott Roosevelt after the death of his father. He laments the broken promises that had been made by Roosevelt to the Chinese and Russians. After the war he said, ``The first warships to enter Chinese ports were British warships.... Faced with a broken American promise, Chiang in turn broke his.''

Concerning Indochina he said:

``How often Father maintained that this colony, liberated in main part by American arms and American troops, should never be simply handed back to the French, to be milked by their imperialists as had been the case for decades. Yet when the British Colonial troops marched in, they took with them French troops and French administrators.''

We Forget That We Were Anti-British

In the strictest sense, our enemy today is same one the United States has been fighting for over two hundred years; the British Empire. It is of major consequence that we had an American President in the personality of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who formulated a grand strategy to defeat America's mortal enemy. How is it, that what we call the ``World War II Generation,'' today acts in ignorance of this historical fact? Millions of men in uniform who served their country on battlefield abroad, and millions of men and women who fought the war on the home front here in the United States, knew the British were our enemy. It was part of our culture in that period. It was natural for Americans to have animus towards the British.

The belief that colonialism was wrong and that countries should be free to govern themselves has always been a matter of principle for the majority of Americans, and one that set us absolutely apart from the British.

The prevalence and openness of this conflict with the British was not simply an esoteric bit of secret knowledge, known only to Roosevelt and his close coterie. It was in the public domain. Excerpts from a full-page Open Letter, approximately 1,700 words in length, by the Editors of Life magazine, addressed ``To the People of England,'' on October 12, 1942 is evidence of the mood of the American population during the war years.

``We Americans may have some disagreement among ourselves as to what we are fighting for, but one thing we are sure we are not fighting for is to hold the British Empire together. We don't like to put the matter so bluntly, but we don't want you to have any illusions. If your strategists are planning a war to hold the British Empire together they will sooner or later find themselves strategizing alone. Take this unhappy matter of the ``second'' front. In a war to hold the Empire together a second front might not be so important at this time. But in a war to assure victory for the United Nations--which means us and Brazil and Costa Rica and Russia and China and all other people who want to be free--it does seem to be most dreadfully urgent....

``So there is one concrete concession that we demand of you, as partners in a battle. Quit fighting a war to hold the Empire together and join us and Russia and your other allies to fight a war to win by whatever strategy is best for all us. After victory has been won, then the British people can decide what to do about the Empire (for you may be sure we don't want it). But if you cling to the Empire at the expense of a United Nations victory you will lose the war. Because you will lose us....

``But you can't understand us at all unless you realize how much principles mean to us. We fought you on principle in the first place. Once again in our history we killed 500,000 of our own sons to establish the principle of freedom for the black man. And there's no use pretending that America is going all out in this war unless it becomes clear to us that this is a war to establish certain principles, and to make them stronger that they were when the war started....

``For instance, we realize that you have a difficult problem in India, but we don't see that your `solution' to date provides any evidence of principles of any kind. In the light of what you are doing in India how do you expect us to talk about `principles' and look our soldiers in the eye?''

Historian Christopher Thorne reports on a survey in 1942, by the U.S. Office of War Information, entitled ``Attitudes Towards Our Allies,'' which showed that anti-British sentiment among Americans was greater than either anti-Russian or anti-Chinese sentiment. Approximately 25% of Americans ``were more or less anti-British'' in December 1942, according to another report.

The British Embassy was so upset about the American public's view of its British ally that the Embassy drew up a list of ``Things Which Americans Hold Against The British'' so they could attempt to counter such hostility. Their list included, ``their imperialism; their class system; their tendency now to `go Red'; their large army which remained in the British Isles, not engaged in any fighting; their defeats and retreats; the superior air of Britons in the U.S.A.''

American skepticism about the real intentions of the British war effort did not diminish as the war went on, and by 1945, ``Over twice as many Americans now felt that Britain was fighting mainly to keep its power and wealth as felt it was fighting to preserve democracy.'' Concerning the Asian theater, ``Americans' historic suspicions of the British empire'' was expressed by referring to SEAC--the South-East Asian Command, as ``Save England's Asian Colonies.''

Today, one would be hard-pressed to find many adults of the World War II generation, who recognize the British Empire is the mortal enemy of the United States. What happened? The World War II generation didn't simply forget. They chose to not remember. The World War II generation shrunk their outlook of the world down to the microscopic concerns of their personal security, career opportunities, and family life. Men who had risked their very lives to save the world from fascism, who had shown extraordinary courage and morality on the battlefield, became very small-minded, very quickly after the war. Roosevelt's death, and replacement by the small-minded Truman, also contributed to the demoralization and pessimism of this generation after the war. Even if the population was not aware of Truman's capitulation to British control, it was clear to many, that he did not share Roosevelt's hopeful vision for the future.

This author was been able to witness this in his own family surroundings, where the obsessive fixation on money, security, and personal happiness became more dominant among those who had behaved ``bigger'' during the war. Correspondingly, the morality of the generation returning from the war descended rapidly during the 1950s. For those Americans who lived through the World War II experience, they had to forget their anti-British attitude during the war, in order to accommodate their small-minded concerns for their lives, after the war. For, if, one remained morally committed to eradicating the world of the disgusting British colonial practices, which everyone was aware of, then a return to the ``normal,'' narrow-minded family life would have been distasteful, if not morally impossible.

Thus, all, but a few, were determined to forget what they knew about the British treatment of their colonies, and, as a result, cowardice began to take over a previously courageous generation.

Yet today, the British Empire still is the most powerful superpower in the world. As we have documented in Executive Intelligence Review magazine, the British Commonwealth (the new name for the Empire) today, which extends to 76 countries, controls 29.1% of the world's population, 23.8%, of the world's land area, and 50% of the financial markets. Through their interlocking corporation, cartels, and banking tentacles they control the majority of the world's raw materials, strategically necessary resources, and precious metals. If one adds to that, their influence in shaping peoples' attitudes and opinions through their control of the British-Canadian-Australian press empires, and influence of such evil entities as the London's Tavistock Institute of Psychiatry; the British Empire is more powerful today than at any time in this century.

Since the death of Roosevelt, the British have controlled large sections of U.S. policy-making institutions and have strongly influenced, if not at times, completely controlled, the office of the President. Henry Kissinger highlighted the fundamental antagonisms between the British and the American outlooks, as they existed in the differences between Churchill and Roosevelt, in his ``Reflections on a Partnership: British and American Attitudes to Postwar Foreign Policy.'' In this address, which Kissinger delivered in Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Office of Foreign Secretary,'' at London's Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House on May 10, 1982, he noted the following:

``All accounts of the Anglo-American alliance during the Second World War and in the early postwar period draw attention to the significant differences in philosophy between Roosevelt and Winston Churchill reflecting our different histories ...

``Many American leaders condemned Churchill as needlessly obsessed with power politics, too rigidly anti-Soviet, too colonialist in his attitude to what is called the Third World and too little interested in building a fundamentally new international order towards which American idealism has always tended ...

``Franklin Roosevelt, on his return from the Crimean Conference in 1945, told the Congress of his hope that the postwar era would `spell the end of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, spheres of influence, the balance of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries--and have failed' ...

``Americans from Franklin Roosevelt onward believed that the United States with its `revolutionary' heritage, was the natural ally of peoples struggling against colonialism; we could win the allegiance of these new nations by opposing and occasionally undermining our European allies in the areas of their colonial dominance. Churchill, of course resisted these American pressures.'' (emphasis added)

This address, at the headquarters of the British Empire, is not only remarkable for Kissinger's accurate account of the conflict between Churchill and Roosevelt, but also for the fact that he, of course, sided with Churchill against Roosevelt. Kissinger later on in his remarks, publicly admits his role as servant for the British Foreign Office, while serving as Secretary of State.

As Kissinger makes the relevant point, the entire post-World War II period, which shaped every policy, for every country, over the last fifty years, is nothing but a continuation of the 1941-1945 conflict between Churchill and Roosevelt, which, itself is a continuation of America's successful War of Independence from Great Britain. The lives of the World War II generation, their children, the ``Baby Boomer'' generation, and their children known as ``Generation X'' have all been ``determined'' by this unresolved historical conflict: a conflict between the degenerate, oligarchical outlook of the British Empire, and the opposing, republican principles of the United States, as the leading sovereign nation-state in the world.

Roosevelt clearly knew there had to be end to colonial practices throughout the world, and that the leading institution promoting these inhuman policies, was the British Empire. Uniquely, Roosevelt had achieved the moral high ground, with the principles embodied in Atlantic Charter and his Four Freedoms.

As with most presidents, he had his weaknesses. Among them, was his refusal to publicly expose and denounce the colonial doctrine of the British Empire for fear of disrupting the war-time alliance between Great Britain and America. It was a mistake not to take on the British openly. Britain was no position to buck the United States on this question. Had he done so, he would have had the support of the majority of Americans, and the rest of the world as well.

Roosevelt personally ran United States foreign policy like a military commander. He dictated the policy, and used all his skills to get the Congress and others, to go along with him. Thus, with his premature death, the problems caused by failing to make his disputes with Churchill public, became manifest. He did not prepare the nation to carry out his vsionary policy for the postwar period. Oftentimes in history, the success of a policy depends on the courageous, resolute action of one solitary individual. Unfortunately for civilization, this was true with Roosevelt: he died before he could carry out his policy.

With Roosevelt's death, the moral leadership of the United States rapidly declined, along with the morality of the population, under the British-manipulated Harry S Truman. Roosevelt's death led, not only to a dramatic change in foreign policy, but it affected the way the rest of the world looked at the United States. As our nation's citizens became narrower in their moral outlook after the war, so too, did our stature decline in the eyes of many countries throughout the world.

Reflecting on the failures of the Truman presidency, Welles summed it up this way:

``The United States has ceased to be regarded by the smaller powers as the champion of their legitimate rights in the community of nations. By her failure to support in practice, as she has supported in her official declarations, the principle of the `sovereign equality of all nations, great or small,' she has forfeited much of the added influence which the backing of the lesser powers would have afforded her in pursuit of her objectives.''

Although far from perfect, Roosevelt as President, represented the highest expression of the United States as the foremost anti-oligarchical nation-state in the world. No other President in this century has shown that special quality, to take bold and decisive action in the midst of a profound crisis, with the country gripped by fear. He did so, informed by an understanding of the unique heritage of the United States, so beautifully articulated in the Preamble of our United States Constitution.

It is now time for all adult citizens to act in the self-interest of the United States, and the rest of the world, by defeating the British Empire. We dare not, for the second time in this century, fail to defeat our deadly adversary. Note: All emphasis (boldface type) in quotes, as in original, unless otherwise noted.


  • James MacGregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom, 1940-1945, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. New York 1970

  • Prosser Gifford, and William Roger Louis, editors, The Transfer of Power in Africa, Decolonization, 1940-1960, Yale University Press, New York and London. 1982

  • William Roger Louis, Imperialism at Bay, The United States and the Decolonization of The British Empire 1941-1945,, Oxford University Press, New York. 1978

  • William Roger Louis and Hedley Bull, editors, The Special Relationship, Anglo-American Relations Since 1945, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1986

  • Elliott Roosevelt,As He Saw It, Duel, Sloan and Pearce, New York. 1946

  • Christopher Thorne, Allies of a Kind: The United States, Britain and the War against Japan, 1941-1945, Oxford University Press, New York 1978

  • Sumner Welles, Where are We Heading?, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London 1946

  • ``The Sun never sets on the new British Empire,'' Executive Intelligence Review Special Report, May 24, 1996.

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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac.

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