God Save the Queen: The US Destruction of the British Empire – L arry Romanoff | Global Research

Larry Romanoff | Global Research

This is about a little-known and never-discussed part of US history, but yet one of the major factors that propelled the US to its overwhelming manufacturing and economic supremacy after the Second World War. It involves the final destruction of the British Empire, for which no thinking person would have regrets.

The First World War caused Britain to lose about 40% of its former Empire and wealth, and the Second World War completed this task, but not without the little-known predatory intercession of the United States of America.

During the Second War, Britain needed huge volumes of supplies of food, raw materials, manufactured goods, armaments and military hardware. But Britain’s factories were being destroyed by the war, and in any case lacked sufficient productive capacity. Britain also increasingly lacked money to pay for those goods, its solution being to purchase on credit from its colonies.       

Canada, India, Australia, South Africa, and many other nations supplied England with necessary goods and war materials, on promise of future payment. The plan was that after the War ended, Britain would repay these debts with manufactured goods which a rebuilt Britain would be able to supply. These debts were recorded in the then British currency of Pounds Sterling, and maintained on ledgers in the Bank of England, commonly referred to as “The Sterling Balances”.

After the Second War ended, the US was the world’s only major economy that had not been bombed to rubble, a nation with all its factories intact, and able to operate at full capacity producing almost everything the world needed.

The US had enormous capacity to supply, but the many countries of the British Empire, whose economies were in sound condition and had money to pay, were refusing to buy from the US since they were waiting for the UK to rebuild and repay the outstanding debts with manufactured goods.

The US government and corporations realised that this enormous market consisting of so many of the world’s nations, would remain closed to it for perhaps decades, that it would have little or no commercial success in any part of the former British Empire so long as those Sterling Balances remained on the ledgers in the Bank of England.

So, this is one place where the true nature of America comes into sharp focus, an incident which serves better than many to illustrate the story of American “fair play” and of the US creating “a level playing field”.

At the end of the war, Britain, physically devastated and financially bankrupt, lacked factories to produce goods for rebuilding, the materials to rebuild the factories or purchase the machines to fill them, or with the money to pay for any of it. Britain’s situation was so dire, the government sent the economist John Maynard Keynes with a delegation to the US to beg for financial assistance, claiming that Britain was facing a “Financial Dunkirk”. The Americans were willing to do so, on one condition:

They would supply Britain with the financing, goods and materials to rebuild itself, but dictated that Britain must first eliminate those Sterling Balances by repudiating all its debts to its colonies. The alternative was to receive neither assistance nor credit from the US.

Britain, impoverished and in debt, with no natural resources and no credit or ability to pay, had little choice but to capitulate. Of course, with all receivables cancelled and since the US could produce today, those colonial nations had no further reason for refusing manufactured goods from the US. The strategy was successful. By the time Britain rebuilt itself, the US had more or less captured all of Britain’s former colonial markets, and for some time after the war’s end the US was manufacturing more than 50% of everything produced in the world. Therefore, that was the end of the British Empire, and the beginning of the last stage of America’s rise.

Americans have been propagandised into believing that their country selflessly supported the European war effort, and generously planned and financed the entire rebuilding of all of war-ravaged Europe. Their heads are full of ‘lend-lease’, the “Marshall Plan” and much more. But here we have three salient truths:

One: It was commercial self-interest rather than compassion or charity that prompted the US financial assistance to the UK and Europe. The US assisted Europe and the UK primarily because it needed markets for its goods. US corporations found little purchasing power in the European nations that were now largely destroyed and bankrupt, and without these markets the US economy would also have crashed. All the US did was provide large-scale consumer financing for the products of its own corporations, with most of the ‘financing’ never leaving the US. In other words, the Marshall Plan was mostly a welfare program for American multinationals.

Second: Europe and England paid heavily for this financial assistance. It was only in 2006 that Britain finally paid the last installment on the loans made to it by the US in 1945.

ThirdThe post-war financing of Europe was not primarily for reconstruction but as the foundation for overwhelming political control that has largely persisted to this day. Funds from the American’s vaunted Marshall Plan were spent more to finance Operation Gladio than European reconstruction.

As William Blum so well noted in one of his articles, the US was more interested in sabotaging the political left in Europe than in reconstruction. As a consequence, Marshall Plan funds were siphoned off to finance political victories for the far right, as well as the violent terrorist program known as Operation Gladio.

Blum also correctly mentioned that the CIA skimmed off substantial amounts to fund covert journalism and propaganda, one of the conduits being the Ford Foundation. Also, the US exercised enormous economic and political restrictions on recipient countries as conditions for the receipt of funds, most being used to help re-entrench the European bankers and elites in their positions of economic and political power after a war that they themselves instigated, rather than to assist in reconstruction.

In the end, the Europeans could have done as well without this so-called ‘assistance’ from the US, and Europe would have been far better off and more independent today had they refused the offer.

The conviction of most Americans that their nation ‘rebuilt’ Europe is pure historical mythology created by propaganda and supported by ignorance.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On November 10, 2019 at 12:38 am

    CADTM: Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt

    Fidel Castro Ruz: The Debt is Unpayable

    Introduction to Fidel Castro’s Speech, by Eric Toussaint

    In 1985, Fidel Castro launched an international campaign to build a front of countries who faced unsustainable debts. In the speech, given in August 1985 after an international meeting on debt, Fidel said:

    “We realized (…) that in the final analysis the watchword of debt cancellation was valid for all countries of the Third World.”

    His efforts to promote unity among peoples for cancellation of Third World debt gained wide acclaim in Latin America among the social and intellectual movements of the radical Left.

    In Africa, Thomas Sankara, president of Burkina Faso, took up the watchword and endeavoured to launch a vast movement in Africa for non-payment of debt.

    In Europe, the CADTM came into being out of the international campaign that began in Latin America.

    We are publishing excerpts of the speech, given more than 30 years ago, at a time when a new crisis involving the debt of so-called “developing” countries is looming as a result of the collapse in the revenues those countries earn from exportation of their raw materials, the lack of economic growth in the most industrialised countries, and the anticipated bursting of new speculative bubbles, in particular on the stock exchanges.

    Fidel’s speech was given at the end of the Continental Dialogue on the Foreign Debt of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Havana on 3 August 1985.

    Fidel Castro showed his sense of humour when he said:

    “They blame me for saying the debt cannot be paid. They should blame Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Pascal or Lovacheski, or any ancient, or any present, or any modern mathematician you prefer. Mathematics and mathematicians’ theories are the ones which demonstrate that the debt cannot be paid.”

    Fidel felt that abolition of the debt of the Third World needed to be granted by the industrialised capitalist countries as well as by so-called socialist countries.

    “When we speak of abolishing THE DEBT, we mean ALL THE DEBTS the Third World has with the industrialized world, and I am not excluding the socialist countries (applause).

    When I speak of the new international economic order and FAIR PRICES, I am not excluding the socialist countries. I am sure that the socialist countries will understand and support this. It will represent a sacrifice for them, but they will support these views.”

    Castro was challenging the policies imposed by the IMF.

    Fidel says that the necessary abolition of debts is an indispensable condition, but NOT A SUFFICIENT ONE.

    OTHER RADICAL CHANGES NEED TO BE SET IN MOTION:

    “These are basic principles. It is not just a single idea – just the idea of abolishing the debt. It is associated with the idea of the new order. In Latin America we have to associate it to the idea of integration because even if we are able to abolish the idea of the debt, achieve a new economic order, without integration we would continue to be dependent countries.”

    Fidel asserts that repayment of debt is unsustainable for economic reasons and that debt must be abolished also for moral reasons:

    “It is now clear that the collection of this debt – this unjust system of economic relations – is the most flagrant and brutal violation of human rights that one could ever imagine (…) – A small portion was invested in useful projects, but we all know that most of it was invested in weapons, was wasted, was misapplied, and misused. We know that a large portion got away; it did not even reach Latin America.”

    Fidel issued a call for unity among indebted countries in order to resist the governments of the industrialised countries. He says that the ideal thing would be to arrive at a consensus between the governments of the debtor countries of Latin America, but that he does not believe it would happen:

    “The ideal thing is a preliminary consensus. But, will Latin American debtor countries reach a preliminary consensus before a crisis erupts?

    The ideal thing is a preliminary consensus, a discussion with creditors.

    Will this happen?

    The most likely development of the events leading to a crisis would be for them to demonstrate an interest to negotiate because of this grave crisis. This is most likely. No one can predict this exactly, but I have never really believed that this preliminary consensus would occur, although I don’t think it is impossible.

    That is to say as the situation gets worse, it is possible that this preliminary consensus among debtors will occur. It is not impossible, but I don’t think it very likely.

    If this struggle continues, if the masses become aware, if each citizen of our countries understands the problem and the possibility of attaining a favorable solution — because a single government cannot wage a struggle — then they could be influenced in their decision to meet and adopt a policy and a preliminary consensus.”

    In 1985, Fidel called for all energies to be mobilized to organize a broad grassroots movement for cancellation of Third World debt; that struggle is just as important for us today.

    Translated by Snake Arbusto in collaboration with Christine Pagnoulle

  • Clyde Duncan  On November 10, 2019 at 12:49 am

    “The Sterling Balances”

    After the Second War ended, the US was the world’s only major economy that had not been bombed to rubble, a nation with all its factories intact, and able to operate at full capacity producing almost everything the world needed.

    So, this is one place where the true nature of America comes into sharp focus, an incident which serves better than many to illustrate the story of American “fair play” and of the US creating “a level playing field”.

    At the end of the war, Britain, physically devastated and financially bankrupt, lacked factories to produce goods for rebuilding, the materials to rebuild the factories or purchase the machines to fill them, or with the money to pay for any of it. Britain’s situation was so dire, the government sent the economist John Maynard Keynes with a delegation to the US to beg for financial assistance, claiming that Britain was facing a “Financial Dunkirk”. The Americans were willing to do so, on one condition:

    They would supply Britain with the financing, the goods and the materials to rebuild itself, but dictated that Britain must first eliminate those “Sterling Balances” by repudiating all its debts to its colonies. The alternative was to receive neither assistance nor credit from the US.

    After reading the foregoing: I surmised Fidel Castro was RIGHT.

    • kamtanblog  On November 10, 2019 at 2:43 am

      Fast forward…..
      Economic “blackmail” !
      Pay what you owe others and I will then
      lend you more. Economic stitch up !
      Never never loans the end result.
      UK indebted to USA.
      Thatcher and Reagan “conspired” to repay
      USA with North Sea oil funds and the protocol
      became “special relations” ?
      Today the £ remains the most “overvalued”
      currency of the West supported by the $
      which is the world reserve currency of the
      world. Will this remain so ? And if not what
      will replace it ? Speculation here …more questions than answers !
      Nothing is forever and everything is possible.
      Change will come, change must come…
      as die we will. For better hopefully.

      Forever the optimist

      Kamtan

    • wally n  On November 12, 2019 at 10:46 am

      But some how………..comrade fidel died a billionaire??

  • Clyde Duncan  On November 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Barbados-born, KAP Sandiford wrote:

    Guys:

    Most of you/us, spoon-fed as we all were in our youth, by crappy Anglocentric propaganda, still believe that the Brits were the most liberal and humanitarian among all of the other European imperialists.

    But we should never forget that the Brits, whether posing as Americans, Australians, Barbadians, Canadians, New Zealanders and South Africans, etc., managed to rule over almost a third of the world’s space by 1900.

    They used exactly the same ideas, methods and weapons as their Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spanish counterparts: All of them believed in what was then (and still is) known as The Tribunal of War.

    Using superior weapons, the Brits decimated the indigenous population throughout the United States. Several thousands of indigenous persons “Down Under” also disappeared.

    The Brits also signed treaties, which they never intended to obey, with the “First Nations peoples” in Canada. To this day, the indigenous Canadians are still being maltreated, in typical European fashion.

    The result is that modern historians and sociologists still cannot estimate the actual number of millions of victims slaughtered by the British troops. The most we can say is that “countless millions of natives” died at the hands of cruel British soldiers, especially in the so-called “New World”.

    Recent medical historians have also theorized that this number is probably swollen by the deaths of locals who contracted European diseases for which there was no local cure.

    Considering the vast number of natives involved in so many parts of the earth, it is ridiculous to suggest that the other Europeans were more cruel and inhumane.

    Some still think that the British were much more liberal in their approach to local education and religion in their treatment of Barbados. They are dead wrong. The British leaders themselves were opposed to all Christian religions apart from Anglicanism.

    Therefore, Catholicism, Methodism and Presbyterianism were frowned upon. Even one of our present National Heroes, Sarah Ann Gill, was constantly harassed and persecuted for her attempts to preach the Methodist gospel during the 19th century. Some Anglican priests did feel that education would make the slaves better citizens and Christians.

    So, the various vestries promoted the notion that the local parishes should build elementary schools. Consequently, by 1822, even before slavery was abolished, they were devoting sizable sums to this endeavour. The British themselves did not pass a similar Education Act until 1833 or establish a national education policy until 1908. Not surprisingly, Barbados boasted the most literate society in the whole world for most of the 19th century!

    By the 1870s, it already contained more elementary schools per square mile and per capita than anywhere else. Barbados was a clear exception to the British rule.

    Other West Indian islands were much less fortunate. When, for example, I first went to Jamaica as an undergraduate in 1956, I was absolutely amazed at the overall level of illiteracy in a colony whose level of civilization was far superior to my native Bimshire in every other respect.

    Most British West Indian colonies profited much more from individual philanthropy than the programmes of the Metropolis. The British Government built very few colleges or universities in its far-flung empire. Nor did it establish any factories.

    The colonies were mainly expected to produce raw materials which could produce the necessary fodder for British factories to refine and export at vastly higher prices.

    A sociologist or historian can still count on the fingers of a single hand, the number of schools, colleges, factories, foundries, hospitals and universities the Brits established throughout their vast colonies in Africa and India. British Imperialism was never intended to benefit the governed.

    KAPS

    • kamtanblog  On November 12, 2019 at 3:20 am

      An interesting take on “imperialism “
      past and present !
      Post WW1/2 the British empire ruled
      1/3 of the planet.
      After WW the American empire replaced
      the British one.
      Today we have the Anglo Russian
      Chinese Indian ones….Brazil and South
      Africa included…BRICS empire.

      Who said Robots cannot replace
      humans.?? Here are a few examples
      of robots !
      Bojo
      Potus
      Rasputin
      Xi
      Modi
      brazil presidente elect
      South Africa CIC

      Go figure

      Kamtan

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 12, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Kamtan:
    When commenting stay out of India. You are neither well-informed nor intellectually competent to talk about India/Indian icons. You, as several other racists on this blog, are in the habit of ‘dumbing-down on Indians. As well, Eastern philosophies are very different paradigms from the Western.

    Your ‘Anglo-centric’ and Judeo-Christian-Islamic views make you the “robot” not Shri Modi. As a mere “tea-seller”, as his Secularist (read Marxist-Christian-Islamic cabal) likes to deem him, he ran the most prosperous state in India before becoming Prime Minister of India (and now for a second term with an overwhelming majority, esp among the young people/women).

    You also deemed him a “faggot” when commenting on the other ‘echo-chamber’ writer, Raymond Chickerie’s article. It is obvious you get your news from the aforementioned ‘echo-chambers’ which makes you the robot. Try thinking ‘outside the box’ and become enlightened. Here are a couple of videos on the benefits of being a Brahmachari (Modi’s path).

    After looking at them there are numerous Youtube videos on the right panel by the same guru and others to help you with the needed enlightenment.

    VedaNM.

    • kamtanblog  On November 12, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      Really !

      Our opinions may differ but we also
      are free to express them on this forum.

      It does not make your opinion
      more “correct” than others.
      It is an “opinion” !
      Let’s just say we agree to disagree.
      Guess that makes it more “palatable”
      believeable ?

      Kamtan

      • Emanuel  On November 12, 2019 at 7:22 pm

        Cyril should ban this man for life. He has nothing wholesome to contribute to the site except his toxic obsession with India and all things India.

      • Kman  On November 16, 2019 at 10:21 am

        Right on Kamtan

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