I’m about halfway through Hugh Wilford’s America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, so this isn’t a review, it’s just a snippet.
Concerning U.S. involvement of the Egyptian coup of 1952, replacing King Farouk with Col. Nasser, Wilford tells us,
“The Americans were being disloyal to their old friend and ally, complained the British ambassador, Ralph Stevenson, and were encouraging the Egyptians to make unreasonable demands. They were also being naive, failing to detect the deviousness of the Arabs who professed friendship yet in truth…regarded them with hidden contempt for being so easily deceived….The Americans in other words were allowing themselves to be ruled by irrational emotional forces, rather like the Oriental Arabs in fact, and not at all like the sensible, hard-nosed British. ‘The most pathetic aspects…are the belief of the average American that he deserves to be liked, and his inability to understand why he is not when that fact becomes too obvious to be overlooked any longer’.”
Well now, I do believe we have this week’s winner of The More Things Change…competition.
Isn’t it comforting to know that it wasn’t just the State Department that was made up of self-deluding, pro-Arab, anti-Semites?
Don’t rely on my word for things. Get off your ass and read the book.