Let me start with colonialism. In 1945 the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services - the United States agency that was the forerunner of the CIA - had an agent in Vietnam and this agent reported back to Washington that all the peasants wished that France would treat Vietnam like the United States had treated the Philippines because the United States had promised and did give the Philippines independence on July 4, 1946. The truth is that the United States had a reputation in much of the third world as an anti-colonial power, and so I'd like to talk about that a little bit.

    The United States came to overseas colonialism late in the game. By 1898 Africa had already been carved up. Big chunks of Asia had already been carved up, and the United States then embarked on its colonial enterprise taking the Philippines and Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawaii. These were the territories that the U.S. formally colonized. Compared to a country like Britain which took all of India and big chunks of Africa and Asia, this was small pickings, and then in fact, the United States gave independence to its biggest colony, the Philippines, in 1946. So this is the basis for the claim that the U.S. has been anti-colonial, but it's important to look at what exactly happened at the turn of the century. At that time the U.S. fought a very bitter war in the Philippines leading to the deaths of perhaps as many as a quarter of a million Filipinos. The human toll among Filipinos was of no consequence to U.S. Policymakers, and the war was costly to the United States as well, in terms of lives and treasure and domestic dissent. So this was an approach that U.S. officials were not eager to repeat. They wanted instead an approach that offered the benefits of colonialism without its costs. This alternative approach -- neocolonialism -- the United States tried out in Cuba, forced to do so because of congressional legislation.