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.

Chickens Coming to Roost in Iraq

Could the ISIS embroil Syria, Iraq and Iran in decades of sectarian warfare, decimating the radical population of all three states? We can hope. Sadly, even that best-case scenario endangers millions of innocents.

Of course, if George H. W. Bush hadn’t gone wobbly in 1990, we wouldn’t be having these troubles. (He, not his son, is responsible for the mess there.) Saddam Hussein would have been removed then, and the country likely split in three … and we’d have a whole different set of problems.

Be careful what you wish for.

No Wonder No One Trusts America.

For the last fifty years, America’s allies have learned that we aren’t dependable. We abandoned the Shah of Iran, after we engineered the coup which brought him to power. We declared victory in Southeast Asia and abandoned South Vietnam.

Russian tanks are showing up in Ukraine. Tanks. You know, those really big military things. Things which your neighborhood revolutionary—even in Europe—is not apt Continue reading