Shades of 1956

Now, as in 1956, the America administration was distracted by three crises, hindering it from effectively leading the country.

Then, as now, center stage was taken by a crisis in the Middle East: the AngloFrenchIsraeli seizure of the Suez Canal, after it had been nationalized by Egypt. The European crisis was the Hungarian effort to throw off the iron grip of the Soviet Union. The Hungarian people bravely attempted to free themselves from Soviet hegemony, AKA the Warsaw Pact. The third crisis was domestic, though the public of that time did not realize its severity: President Eisenhower had suffered a major heart attack. (A detailed analysis may be found in David A Nichols, Eisenhower 1956)

Today, political paralysis may stymie effective American leadership in the current Middle East and Ukraine conflicts. If that happens, Ukraine (and more of the former Soviet Union) may slid back under Russian control and the entire Middle East may dissolve into chaos and bloodshed.

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4 thoughts on “Shades of 1956

  1. I think the Middle East has already descended. The justifications from both sides for having to continue encroaching on territory or bombing is always the justification they had to “pay back” for this, or that loss. They don’t get it. Reminds me of the conflict in Northern Ireland and how it went on and on. For two countries that profess strong religious faith, at least some people in those countries do, they haven’t grown in compassion or understanding.

    • The political paralysis. Like most presidents, Obama came to office as an amateur at international relations. Unfortunately he still is. His previous ineffectiveness will diminish any action he takes now, no matter how well advised or bi-partisan.

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