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Posts Tagged ‘Dwight Eisenhower’

After Lee, It’s Lincoln’s Turn – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 18, 2020

Was Lee really the racist and traitor of his haters’ depiction, deserving of the gallows rather than being honored for how he sought to sever the Union? Perhaps the last word should go to a president who still revered Lee as late as 1960, Dwight Eisenhower:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/12/patrick-j-buchanan/after-lee-its-lincolns-turn/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

First, they came for the Confederates. And that purge is far from over.

Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, named for the president of the Confederacy, has been re-christened Richmond Highway.

An Arlington group is calling for the removal of Robert E. Lee’s name from Lee Highway to be replaced by “Mildred & Richard Loving Avenue.” The Lovings were an interracial couple who challenged and helped overturn Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law in the Warren Court.

This month, the statue of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was removed from the campus of Virginia Military Institute, where Jackson taught before leading Confederate troops at the First Battle of Bull Run.

Jackson would die of friendly fire after his victory at Chancellorsville in 1863. Had he been with Lee at Gettysburg, two months later, that most decisive battle of the Civil War might have had a different outcome.

But the cultural-Marxist revolution has moved far beyond Davis, Lee and Jackson. Out west, it is Abraham Lincoln’s turn.

A renaming committee of the San Francisco school district wants the Great Emancipator’s name removed from Lincoln High School for crimes against Native Americans.

Our 16th president ordered the Navajo tribe off their Arizona lands into New Mexico, resulting in a forced march of 450 miles. He approved the hanging of 38 Dakota Indians who had fought in the Dakota War in Minnesota in 1862, the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Lincoln’s Homestead and Pacific Railway acts led to the loss of large swaths of tribal lands.

Other names to be removed from San Francisco schools include those of George Washington, Herbert Hoover and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. In 1984, Mayor Feinstein allowed a Confederate Battle Flag to be flown at City Hall.

As one looks down the list of greats whose statues are to be pulled down and names removed from public buildings, there seems to be a single common great sin for which none can be forgiven.

The unpardonable heresy? Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Lee, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson and Lincoln disbelieved in the equality of all races, peoples, cultures and civilizations. And these men lived and acted in conformity with this disbelief.

Lincoln detested slavery but did not believe in social and political equality between the races. As he conceded to Stephen Douglas in one of their 1858 debates, “We cannot, then, make them equal.”

Still, between 1789 and 1960, a republic led by those men, who preached but did not practice equality, built the greatest nation in history.

Ever victorious in war, with the mightiest manufacturing base and the highest standard of living on earth, America was by the day of JFK the envy of mankind.

Yet, since Jamestown in 1607, we had been governed by men who disbelieved in equality and disregarded the suggestion that, “All men are created equal.”

That proposition first appeared in a Declaration of Independence written by a member of Virginia’s landed aristocracy who owned scores of slaves and described the Indians against whom we fought as “merciless savages” in that same document signed on July 4, 1776.

For Lee, the dishonors do not stop. A Virginia history commission just voted to replace the general’s statue in the U.S. Capitol with a statue of Barbara Rose Johns, a teenager who, in 1951, led a strike at her high school to demand the same benefits white kids were receiving.

Was Lee really the racist and traitor of his haters’ depiction, deserving of the gallows rather than being honored for how he sought to sever the Union? Perhaps the last word should go to a president who still revered Lee as late as 1960, Dwight Eisenhower:

“General Robert E. Lee was… one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

“From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

“Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.”

The Best of Patrick J. Buchanan Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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America Has Come Full Circle in the Middle East – Defense One

Posted by M. C. on February 1, 2020

In US interventionist foreign policy circles this is considered progress.

Eisenhower hastily convened a meeting with his top national-security advisers on the day of the Iraqi king’s downfall. John Foster Dulles, a consummate Cold Warrior and the U.S. secretary of state at the time, argued that a failure to heed Chamoun’s call would signal to the Soviets that the United States wasn’t ready to take risks for its allies, and would thus mean “the decline and indeed the elimination of our influence—from Indonesia to Morocco.”

More than half a century later, the future of the United States’ military presence in the Middle East is once again up for discussion, as Iraq calls on the U.S. to end its roughly 5,000-strong troop presence in the country and Trump struggles to remove American forces from Syria and Afghanistan as well. U.S. politicians are now grappling with the possibility of a post-American period in the region.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/01/america-has-come-full-circle-middle-east/162655/?oref=d-river

“We are opening a Pandora’s Box,” Dwight Eisenhower warned when he ordered the first U.S. combat mission in the region. Little did he know how right he would be.

In 1958, U.S. leaders stood at the threshold of an American era in the Middle East, conflicted about whether it was worth the trouble to usher in.

A year earlier, in the context of the emergent Cold War and fading British and French power in the region, Dwight Eisenhower had articulated and received congressional approval for what became known as the Eisenhower doctrine. The United States had for the first time staked out national interests in the Middle East—oil, U.S. bases and allies, Soviet containment—and declared that it was prepared to defend them with military force.

Sixty-two years before President Donald Trump dispatched a drone to Baghdad to kill Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, this is how American combat missions in the post–World War II Middle East began.

Eisenhower felt compelled to issue his doctrine following a showdown over the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, an Arab nationalist whom U.S. officials perceived as allied with the Soviet Union. The U.S. president had pledged to honor requests for American military assistance by countries facing aggression from proponents of “international communism.”

That U.S. commitment was tested when insurrectionist Iraqi army officers executed their country’s last king, the Western-friendly Faisal II, in Baghdad in the summer of 1958. Camille Chamoun, the Christian leader of Lebanon and an opponent of Nasser, asked for American aid against the backdrop of the coup in Iraq and looming civil war in his own country. (The revolution in Iraq had little connection to Nasser, but the U.S. didn’t initially grasp that.) In keeping with the grand domino theorizing of that period, U.S. officials worried that if they didn’t act decisively, U.S. partners such as Lebanon and Jordan would be next to fall to Nasserite nationalism and, by extension, Soviet communism.

Eisenhower hastily convened a meeting with his top national-security advisers on the day of the Iraqi king’s downfall. John Foster Dulles, a consummate Cold Warrior and the U.S. secretary of state at the time, argued that a failure to heed Chamoun’s call would signal to the Soviets that the United States wasn’t ready to take risks for its allies, and would thus mean “the decline and indeed the elimination of our influence—from Indonesia to Morocco.” In a calculation that has been turned on its head today, the president maintained that “to lose this area by inaction would be far worse than the loss in China, because of the strategic position and resources of the Middle East.” His team insisted that the U.S. was on sound footing to intercede militarily in another country’s civil war, because Lebanon’s president had invited them in, a poignant point to read today as Iraqi officials seek to kick the U.S. military out of the country in retaliation forSoleimani’s killing. As for intervening in Iraq as well, Eisenhower, a celebrated World War II general who was typically cautious about taking military action, dismissed the notion as unworkable. In an illustration of just how new all this was to Americans, Eisenhower’s speech announcing the operation included a geography lesson, noting that Lebanon was “a small country, a little less than the size of Connecticut” and that Iraq was “nearby.” He was also mindful of the risks. “I realize we are opening a Pandora’s Box here,” a jumpy Eisenhower told Britain’s equally nervous prime minister on the eve of deploying the Marines to Lebanon.

The episode and its aftermath are essential to understanding how the United States went from being deeply apprehensive about getting involved militarily in the Middle East to conducting more military interventions there than in any other region in the world. The trajectory of U.S. involvement is one of American leaders gradually putting stock in their ability to achieve their objectives through discrete military action and then investing everything in costly military misadventures, to the point that we’ve come full circle: The American public and its leaders are profoundly ambivalent about even limited and critical missions, such as the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Even in 1958, now-familiar patterns of military intervention in the Middle East were evident. Though he advocated for a troop deployment to Lebanon, for example, Dulles warned that the United States was entering a situation in which “it will be easy to get ourselves involved, and very hard to get out.” Then, as now, military inaction was equated with the United States renouncing its interests in the region. “We must act [in Lebanon], or get out of the Middle East entirely,” Eisenhower told his aides, presenting a stark choice that Trump is surely acquainted with. Then, as now, the White House debated whether it needed congressional authorization for its combat operations. Then, as now, U.S. leaders offered the public misleading justifications for their use of force; Eisenhower greatly inflated the situation in Lebanon to be about avoiding another world war by refusing to appease the Soviet Union, when it mostly had to do with internal Lebanese politics.

Despite Eisenhower’s soaring rhetoric, the actual U.S. objective was narrow in scope: to prop up a friendly government. And that goal was achieved with surprising ease. Dulles had predicted that the military intervention would generate blowback, such as an oil crisis as Egypt and its ally Syria retaliated against commercial infrastructure, or “a wave of anti-Western feeling in the Arab world.” Yet when hundreds of U.S. marines came ashore in Beirut on July 15, 1958—backed up by three aircraft carriers and dozens of warships in the Mediterranean Sea, plus the threat of the U.S. deploying nuclear weapons from Germany—they were greeted merely by sunbathers and vendors on the beach. U.S. diplomats soon negotiated a political settlement that eased Chamoun out of power. American forces, eventually numbering in the thousands, left the country in October after suffering only one fatality, from sniper fire, during the three-month deployment. They got in easily, they stabilized the situation, and they got out easily.

More than half a century later, the future of the United States’ military presence in the Middle East is once again up for discussion, as Iraq calls on the U.S. to end its roughly 5,000-strong troop presence in the country and Trump struggles to remove American forces from Syria and Afghanistan as well. U.S. politicians are now grappling with the possibility of a post-American period in the region.

Though Eisenhower and his advisers couldn’t have known it at the time, their swift, successful operation would prove the exception rather than the rule. “Subsequent American combat missions in the Middle East would not be so lucky or so cost-free,” Bruce Riedel, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution, has written. “The wars in Iraq have now seemingly become endless.”

In the years following the campaign in Lebanon, Iran underwent an Islamic revolution, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and violent Sunni Islamist movements rose up—all seismic developments that encouraged the United States to double down on its investments in the Middle East. By the ’80s, Washington had created a combatant command for the greater region and unveiled the Carter doctrine to defend Persian Gulf partners. The U.S. came to view Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq as its top threat after the Soviet Union collapsed, and George H. W. Bush’s carefully calibrated multinational military operations to reverse Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait arguably represented the height of U.S. military competence in the Middle East.

In the space of a decade and two Bush presidencies, however, the United States veered into a major debacle in Iraq. James Jeffrey, now Trump’s special representative for Syria, noted in a 2016 study that after the September 11 attacks, George W. Bush decided not to manage the challenges to U.S. interests in the region, as his predecessors had done for the past three decades, but to try to eliminate those challenges altogether. Through its post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and especially Iraq, the Bush administration attempted not only to root out hostile regimes but also to fundamentally remake the region in a manner consistent with U.S. interests and values.

Bush, of course, failed in spectacular fashion to achieve that transformation. Barack Obama, who ran for president in part to remedy those failures, mostly maintained America’s security architecture in the region and sought (largely unsuccessfully) to overhaul America’s role in the Middle East without resorting to military force. Trump, by contrast, has been willing to use limited military force, but has also demonstrated little interest in effecting any change in the region beyond retiring the United States as a security guarantor. Ultimately, he wants out.

And even if Trump doesn’t get his way entirely, he will undoubtedly seize on additional opportunities to reduce the American military presence in the Middle East, as fed-up Americans and progressive presidential candidates push in the same direction. When Eisenhower elected to open that “Pandora’s Box” back in 1958, his justification was that it would be “disastrous” if “we don’t.” Perhaps nothing signals the coming post-American era in the Middle East more than the fact that so many U.S. leaders these days fear the disastrous consequences of leaving the box open.

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Suez Crisis | Middle East [1956] | Britannica.com

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