Cultural Revolutions

Bombing Iran

As an American President prepares for his reelection campaign, he has to deal with a complex crisis in the Middle East.  A radical regime is projecting its military power, trying to destabilize the pro-American governments in the Middle East, threatening the state of Israel, and aiming to achieve regional supremacy.

America’s allies in the Middle East and Europe, including France and Britain, are joined by an Israeli leadership that compares the leader of the radical regime to Hitler and urges Washington to pursue tough diplomatic and military action against the emerging threat.  But the American President is more cautious and refuses to give a green light to Israel and other friendly governments to use military force to resolve the crisis.

In 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dallas regarded Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nas­ser—the fiery Arab nationalist who had pledged to rid the Arab world of the pro-Western monarchs in countries like Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia—as a potential threat to U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the Israelis perceived Nas­ser as a new Hitler who intended to eradicate the Jewish state as part of the implementation of his pan-Arabist grand designs, while the British and the French were worried about Nasser’s plans to weaken their hold over their...

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