Juan Cole - What Today’s GOP Gets Wrong About Leadership: Obama & Eisenhower, Russian & Israeli Recklessness
So when in late 1956 Moscow crushed the Hungarian uprising, President Eisenhower could do little about it. He concentrated on helping Hungarian refugees. Privately, his heart went out to “captive peoples” whom he wanted to rescue from foreign domination (including, by the way, the Algerians laboring under French colonialism). But he was unwilling to risk WW III over Moscow’s assertion that Hungary was its sphere of influence.
As for Eisenhower, he was outraged by the aggressive war launched jointly by Britain, France and Israel against Egypt in late October 1956, and he put enormous pressure on Israel to withdraw from Sinai.
These words have largely been suppressed and forgotten in the United States of today, but they should ring through the decades and centuries:
If the United Nations once admits that international dispute can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the very foundation of the organization, and our best hope of establishing a real world order. That would be a disaster for us all …
[Referring to Israeli demands that certain conditions be met before it relinquished the Sinai, the president said that he] would be untrue to the standards of the high office to which you have chosen me if I were to lend the influence of the United States to the proposition that a nation which invades another should be permitted to exact conditions for withdrawal …;
If it [the United Nations Security Council] does nothing, if it accepts the ignoring of its repeated resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the invading forces, then it will have admitted failure. That failure would be a blow to the authority and influence of the United Nations in the world and to the hopes which humanity has placed in the United Nations as the means of achieving peace with justice.;
You can only imagine what Charles Krauthammer and Fox Cable News and Lindsey Graham would say about Obama if he gave a similar speech, or took a similar stance, today. Yet Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is no more justified, all these decades after 1967; a war in which Israel fired the first shots; than David Ben Gurion’s occupation of Sinai in 1956-57.