Dabbling In The Middle East - 1958

(Periodically getting up close and personal, even in the 1950's) Most people lately have assumed our involvement in the Middle East (other than Isr

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(Periodically getting up close and personal, even in the 1950's)

Most people lately have assumed our involvement in the Middle East (other than Israel), has been a thing of recent vintage. It goes back a long, long ways, certainly our military involvement extends back at least to the Lebanon situation of July 31, 1958 where religious and political factions lead to an overthrow of the government in Lebanon. Similarly, a wave of assassinations and overthrows also took place between Jordan and Iraq (the assassination of King Faisal of Iraq, leading to a series of military regimes, ending with Saddam Hussein in the 1960's). Cold War tensions, brought on by military maneuvers on the USSR/Iranian border and the rise of Gamel Abdul Nasser of Egypt and just a general shift in the political landscape of the Middle East, brought about considerable nervousness in some quarters, particularly in Britain, France and the U.S.

UN Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was quick to point out these tensions in a news conference during a quickly called UN Security Council session.

Henry Cabot Lodge: “What is really happening is plain for all to see if you but lift up our eyes. The overthrow of the lawful government of Iraq, beginning with the assassination of the Crown Prince, and which was followed by a wave of assassinations throughout that unhappy country, is one dreadful fact. Then the attempt to subvert and overthrow Jordan, of which we have just heard, is another. And of course the effort directed from without to subvert Lebanon is familiar to everyone. That there is in the Middle East a common purpose to take over, everywhere. All at once. Clearly, there is a purpose, masterminded from one source. You can read all about it in the Cairo newspapers, or listen to the incessant radio broadcasts from Cairo to other Arab countries.”

The culprit in this case appeared to be Egypt, as Nassar was emerging as a potent leader in the Arab world. Of course, underneath all of it was the question of oil. Wouldn't you know?

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