By Martin Woollacott
Fifty years after Antony Eden's fateful determination to tackle the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, veteran father or mother journalist Martin Woollacott brings to existence the arguments, personalities and occasions surrounding the difficulty, and follows its disastrous legacy. He attracts on 4 a long time of overseas affairs reporting to teach the way it replaced the center East, and the realm. greater than anything Suez uncovered with brutal readability that Britain can't pursue any coverage on this planet with out the help of the USA. Woollacott's richly interesting e-book indicates either how Suez ended in the place we're this day, and the way parlously Blair and Bush have didn't study its classes.
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Additional resources for After Suez: Adrift in the American Century
Even the comparisons with Hitler and Mussolini were secondary. The essential fact was that Nasser had repudiated Eden’s compromise and then reacted to the punishment represented by the loan decision in a way that endangered the whole British position in the region. The Americans half agreed. But they did not see the British project as their own in the manner in which Eden fiercely wished they would. The British way was one way of pursuing American interests in the region, but not the only way. Even if it was preferable to preserve a ‘British’ system in the Middle East, the best way to minimize the damage Nasser had done would be, the Americans concluded, to accept the nationalization and put the best face possi- E N G L A N D ’ S FA L L 39 ble on it.
Challe had put the idea to Eden on 14 October. Ten days later after a meeting in Sèvres outside Paris, the plot was down on paper, albeit on paper intended to remain secret for ever. The British destroyed their copy of the Sèvres agreement, the French lost theirs and the Israelis buried theirs in the archives for 30 years. Both the British and the Israelis had doubts that might have led to a failure to agree, in which case there would have been no war and Sèvres would be no more than a footnote in the history books.
The French government was not only ready to supply arms but wanted a programme for joint action, including raids and sabotage missions, against the Egyptian leader. Agreement on such a programme was reached before the Suez crisis. This was a major alliance, which would probably have led to war between Israel and Egypt even if Nasser had not seized the Canal. Britain was thus in a sense the most hapless of the three war makers. It had no deep-laid plans for war against Egypt and indeed had thought it more likely that it might have to take military action against Israel in the event of an Israeli attack on Jordan.