By Abraham Ben-Zvi

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The Communists already rule one-third of the world. [Dulles] referred to Communist activity in Indo-China as evidence that Communists seek further expansion. The death of Stalin did not change Communist philosophy which, like a religious creed, keeps on and on. . S. S. . R. R. risked a terrible war for this objective. S. 19 And indeed, motivated by the vision of a worldwide Communist threat to the global balance of power, and alarmed by the rapid fall of all the East European states to Soviet domination, the Eisenhower Administra- Divergence Dominates 27 tion embarked on a policy that sought to encircle the Soviet Union with states allied to and supported by the West.

Risked a terrible war for this objective. S. 19 And indeed, motivated by the vision of a worldwide Communist threat to the global balance of power, and alarmed by the rapid fall of all the East European states to Soviet domination, the Eisenhower Administra- Divergence Dominates 27 tion embarked on a policy that sought to encircle the Soviet Union with states allied to and supported by the West. 20 Perceived as critical “because of its geopolitical importance and the value of its oil resources to Western Europe,”21 the Middle East quickly emerged, in the thinking of President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles, as a major front in the global effort to contain Soviet penetration and encroachment: The Near East possesses great strategic importance, as the bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa.

36 Convinced that “Arab goodwill” could still be won, Secretary Dulles, in his press conference of October 4, 1955, could not bring himself to condemn the September 1955 arms deal. ”37 Indeed, the reliance on coercive measures and tools was strictly confined, during the administration’s first term, to the American-Israeli dyad. As Secretary Dulles pointed out to Foreign Minister Sharett in the course of their October 30, 1955, meeting: “The United States . . ”38 Despite the wealth of evidence indicating that Egypt would remain irrevocably opposed to the Baghdad Pact, and that the regional security visions of the administration could not be reconciled with Egypt’s ambitions and inter-Arab policies, American diplomacy tenaciously held onto its preconceived belief that Egypt could still become a major component of its containment design.

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