The President of the United States of America, Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower, on January 5 addressed a special message to Congress on the policy of the United States in the Middle East countries. In his message, which abounds in anti-Soviet remarks, the President, describing the present situation in the Middle East as "critical," demanded the authority to use the armed forces of the United States in the Middle East at any moment be might consider it necessary, without asking for the consent of Congress as is envisaged in the country's Constitution. The President of the United States also demanded that he be empowered to render military and economic "aid" to the countries of the Middle East. It is envisaged, specifically, that 200 million dollars will be spent for "economic support" to countries of that area.
President Eisenhower's message runs counter to the principles and the purposes of the United Nations and is fraught with grave danger to peace and security in the Middle East area. . . .
In his message to Congress the President of the United States speaks of the sympathy which, he claims, the United States entertains for the Arab countries. Life, however, shows that in actual fact the American ruling circles are setting themselves obviously selfish aims in that area. It is a fact that when Egypt, as a result of the military aggression of Britain, France and Israel, was threatened with the loss of her national independence, the United States refused to pool its efforts with the Soviet Union in the United Nations in order to take resolute measures to cut short the aggression. The primary concern of the United States was not the defence of peace and the national independence of the Arab countries, but the desire to take advantage of the weakening of Britain and France in the Middle East to capture their positions.
At present, when a favourable situation has developed in the Middle East and real possibilities for consolidating peace and settling outstanding issues in that area have been created, the government of the United States has come forward with a programme which envisages flagrant interference by the United States in the affairs of the Arab countries, up to and including military intervention. The aggressive trend of this programme and its colonialist nature with regard to the Arab countries are so obvious that this cannot be disguised by any nebulous phrases about the love for peace and the concern claimed to be shown by the United States for the Middle East countries.
It is permissible to ask: Of what love for peace do the authors of the "Eisenhower doctrine" speak when the threat to the security of the Middle East countries emanates precisely from member-states of N.A.T.O., in which the United States plays first fiddle? What concern for the aforementioned countries can be in question when it is the United States and its N.A.T.O. partners that regard those countries merely as sources of strategic raw materials and spheres for the investment of capital, with the object of extracting maximum profits? Is it not clear that the uninvited "protectors" of the Middle East countries are trying to impose on that area nothing else but the regime of a kind of military protectorate, and to set back the development of these countries for manv years? . . .
The United States ruling circles consider that the weakening of the positions of the Anglo-French colonialists in the Middle East and the successes of the Arab countries in consolidating their independence have produced a "vacuum," which they would like to fill by their military and economic intervention in the internal affairs of those countries. But what " vacuum" can be in question here? Since when do countries which have liberated themselves from colonial oppression and have taken the road of independent national development constitute a "vacuum"? It is clear that the strengthening of the national independence of the Arab countries, the intensification of their struggle against colonial oppression by no means create some kind of "vacuum," but are a restoration of the national rights of the Middle East peoples and constitute a progressive factor in social development. The United States tries to present its policy as an anti-colonialist one. But it is not difficult to see the falseness of these assertions, clearly designed to blunt the vigilance of the peoples in the Middle East. The programme of the United States insistently stresses that the Middle East must recognise its interdependene with the western countries, that is, with the colonialists-specifically with regard to oil, the Suez Canal, etc. In other words, the United States is stubbornly seeking to impose a "trusteeship" of the colonialists on the peoples of the Middle East countries. . . .
The authors of the colonialist programme try to sweeten it by a promise of economic "aid" to the Middle East countries. Every intelligent person, bowever, understands that in reality the United States is offering as charity to the peoples of the Arab countries only a small fraction of what the American monopolies have received and are receiving by plundering, by exploiting the natural wealth belonging to those countries. The United States promises the countries of the Middle East 200 million dollars in the financial years of 1958 and 1959, whereas in 1955 alone the American and British oil monopolies extracted 150 million tons of oil in the Middle East at a total cost of 240 rnillion dollars, and made a net profit of 1,900 million dollars on this oil. Such is the real picture of American "philanthropy-.". . .
Seeking to cover up gross intervention in the internal affairs of the Middle East countries and their aggressive policy with regard to these countries, the United States ruling circles resort to inventions about a threat to the Arab countries emanating from the Soviet Union. These slanderous assertions will decelve no one. The peoples of the Middle East have not forgotten that the Soviet Union has alway's defended the self-determination of peoples, the gaining and consolidating of their national independence. They have learned froill experience that in relations with all countries the Soviet Union steadfastly. pursues the policy. of equality and non-interfercnce in internal affairs. They also know very well that the Soviet Union is actively supporting the right of each people to dispose of its natural wealth and use it at its own discretion.
It was not the Soviet Union, but Britain and France - the United States' chief partners in the North Atlantic bloc - which committed aggression against Egypt, inflicting great losses and suffering on the Egyptian people. This is borne out by the fresh ruins of Port Said and other Egyptian cities, as well as by the new plans for United States economic, political and military expansion in the Middle East proclaimed by the American President. These aggressive plans of the American imperialists express their striving for world domination, of which they speak now quite shamclcsslyl, presenting this aspiration as the need for "energetic leadership" of the world by the United States.
In the days of hard trials for the Arab peoples it was the Soviet Union, and no one else, who came out as their sincere friend and, together with the pcaceloving forces of the whole world, took steps to end the aggression against Egypt. All this is well known. . . .
It is well known that the Soviet Union, as distinct from the United States, does not have and does not seek to have any military bases or concessions in the Middle East with the object of extracting profits, does not strive to gain any privileges in that area, since all this is incompatible with the principles of Soviet foreign policy.
The Soviet Union is vitally interested in the maintenance of peace in the Middle East area, situated as it is in direct proximity to its frontiers. It is sincerely interested in consolidating the national independence of those countries and in their economic prosperity and regards this as a reliable guarantee of peace and security in that area.
In our age the national liberation movement of the peoples is a historical force that cannot be repressed.
The Soviet Union, loyal to the great Leninist principles of recognising and respecting the rights of peoples, large and small, to independent development, regards as one of its prime tasks the rendering of every assistance and support to the countries fighting to consolidate their national independence and their sovereignty. That is why it welcomes the growing unity of the peoples of the Arab countries in their struggle for peace, security, national freedom and independence.
The Soviet Union opposes any manifestations of colonialism, any "doctrines" which protect and cover up colonialism. It is opposed to unequal treaties and agreements, the setting up of military bases on foreign territories, dictated by strategic considerations, and plans for establishing the world domination of imperialism. It proceeds from the premise that the natural wealth of the underdeveloped countries is the inalienable national possession of the peoples of those countries, who have the full right to dispose of it independently and to use it for their economic prosperity and progress. The need to strengthen peace and security demands the wide development of political, economic and cultural ties between all countries. The development of these ties is an important prerequisite for using the achievements of contemporary science and technology for the good of mankind. The policy of establishing closed aggressive military blocs, such as N.A.T.O., S.E.A.T.O. and the Baghdad Pact, and the raising of artificial economic barriers hampering normal relations between states seriously impairs the cause of peace. The Soviet Union, striving to render assistance to peoples fighting for the consolidation of their national independence and the earliest elimination of the aftermath of colonial oppression, is willing to develop all-round co-operation with them on the principles of full equality and mutual benefit. . . .
Authoritative Soviet circles hold that the steps with regard to the Middle East area outlined by the United States government, which envisage the possibility of employing United States armed forces in that area, might lead to dangerous consequences, the responsibility for which will rest entirely with the United States government.
from Soviet News, No. 354( (jaramy 14, 1957), pp. 33-34.
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© Paul Halsall, November 1998