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By Martin Woollacott

Fifty years after Antony Eden's fateful selection to tackle the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, veteran father or mother journalist Martin Woollacott brings to existence the arguments, personalities and occasions surrounding the situation, and follows its disastrous legacy. He attracts on 4 a long time of overseas affairs reporting to teach the way it replaced the center East, and the area. greater than the rest Suez uncovered with brutal readability that Britain can't pursue any coverage on the planet with no the aid of the United States. Woollacott's richly attention-grabbing publication exhibits either how Suez ended in the place we're at the present time, and the way parlously Blair and Bush have didn't study its classes.

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Extra info for After Suez: Adrift in the American Century

Sample text

No matter that the Egyptian action was within the law, nor that it had been carried out in a civilized manner. It must be reversed and preferably in such a way as to bring down Nasser and the Egyptian government. Hugh Gaitskell, the new leader of the Labour Party, at first was of like mind. The seizure of the Canal, he told the Commons, was ‘part of the struggle for the mastery of the Middle East’. Many leaders across the world agreed that the conflict was indeed about mastery rather than the ownership of a useful trench across the desert.

Convinced that Nasser was supplying and inspiring the Algerian rebels, France had concluded, 40 AF TER SUEZ in the words of foreign minister Christian Pineau, that ‘defeating Nasser is more important than winning 10 battles in Algeria’. The French government was not only ready to supply arms but wanted a programme for joint action, including raids and sabotage missions, against the Egyptian leader. Agreement on such a programme was reached before the Suez crisis. This was a major alliance, which would probably have led to war between Israel and Egypt even if Nasser had not seized the Canal.

Whether the United Nations was the appropriate forum for settlement or adjudication was secondary. Even the comparisons with Hitler and Mussolini were secondary. The essential fact was that Nasser had repudiated Eden’s compromise and then reacted to the punishment represented by the loan decision in a way that endangered the whole British position in the region. The Americans half agreed. But they did not see the British project as their own in the manner in which Eden fiercely wished they would.

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