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Their Secret World War: Stephen Kinzer on The Brothers, John Foster Dulles and Allan Dulles


Welcome to books of our time brought to you
by the massachusetts school of law and seen nationwide. Today we shall discuss a book
entitled The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer. The book is a dual biography of John Foster Dulles
and Allen Dulles who lead the united states into a series of foreign adventures whose
effects have decisively shaped today’s world. The book’s author Stephen Kinzer is a contributor
to the New York Review of Books columnist for the boston globe and former reporter for
the New York Times who has reported from more than 50 countries on four continents. He’s
with me today to discuss his book and I am Lawrence R. Velvel the Dean of the Massachusetts
School of Law. Stephen thank you for being here today. Maybe I misunderstood the book
or took the wrong things from it but I got the impression from the book that John Foster
Dulles was as unlovely a character as you ever hoped or not hoped to meet and so what
I would like to ask first is why did you choose to write about such an unlovely guy or do
I misunderstand him? Well unlovely would certainly be a gentle
way of describing John Foster Dulles. In his personal and private life he was very off
putting he was arrogant and self-righteous and prudish I read somewhere even his friends
didn’t like him. But i feel that this is a very important part of the untold story of
America. This was the only time in history that siblings brothers controlled the overt
and the covert sides of american foreign policy. so John Foster Dulles was secretary of state
and Allen Dulles was head of the CIA together they lead america into a whole series of foreign
interventions whose effects we are still dealing with. Why did I decide to focus on them. Well
first of all it’s remarkable to me what’s happened to their reputation during the 1950’s
when they were at the peak of their power they were immensely strong. They could send
shock waves around the world just a wink and a nod between the two of them and governments
would shake and nations would crumble. There probably wasn’t a literate human being on
earth who did not know the name Dulles. But now they’re almost completely forgotten. when
I was working on this book several time friends of mine would ask me as they sometimes do
what are you working on now what are you writing about and I’d say oh i’m writing a book about
Dulles and they would say the airport? This is the extent to which they have fallen out
of the public consciousness why is that? The Dulles approach to the world did not work
out well for us and perhaps rather than deal with that fact and see if there are some lessons
we can draw from their misjudgments it’s easier just to air brush them out of history. and
my book is an attempt to strike back against that sort of historical amnesia. You say here apropos particularly of what
you’ve been talking about that understanding who they were and what they did is a key to
uncovering the obscure roots obscure roots of upheaval in Asia and Africa and Latin america.
You say only long after the Dulles brothers died did the full consequences of their actions
become clear. They may have believed that the countries in which they intervened would
quickly become stable prosperous and free. More often the opposite happened. Some of
the countries they targeted have never recovered. Nor has the world. Want to elaborate that
just a little bit more. The countries and some of the things that happened. One of the great failures of imagination of
the Dulles brothers and of their boss President Eisenhower was that they had no concept of
what we would now call blow back. It never occurred to them that by charging into countries
and overthrowing governments they wouldn’t just be effecting policy over a short term
but that these interventions would have huge long term effects. We assume that since we
forget about these interventions the people in the target countries will also forget.
That’s not what happened. The memory of these interventions festers and burns in their hearts
and their souls and it can take years or decades or even generations before those tensions
explode. But when you set off that time bomb in society it will explodes you asked for
some examples one of the most obvious ones as we look in today’s paper has to do with
Iran. We have been at a low lever war with Iran for 35 years and for Americans the poison
that has afflicted the US Iran relationship really was dumped into the wine of concord
in 1979 with the hostage crisis as far as we’re concerned everything was going fine
with Iran until the hostage crisis happened which was all their fault and then the relationship
has spiraled down into this terrible self-defeating hostility. The Iranians don’t see it that
way. Iranians would say well the hostage crisis was one episode but what really shaped our
country was that we had a democracy here until 1953 and then the Dulles brothers charged
in here and since then we’ve been under one form of dictatorship or another so the Iran
crisis if you want to call it that our long hostility with Iran which has included the
nuclear confrontation can all be traced back to an intervention in 1953 organized by the
Dulles brothers. If you multiply that times all the countries in the world where they
intervened you really can see a pattern of so many of today’s crises emerging from short
sighted interventions that the Dulles brothers conceived and carried out. Where was Eisenhower in all of this? Eisenhower’s roll was very interesting. He
turns out to have been a militant supporter of covert action. It’s not true that the Dulles
brothers acted without his knowledge or behind his back he knew everything they were doing
and he approved of it. Now why was Eisenhower such a strong supporter
of covert operations? I think one reason we mentioned earlier that it never occurred to
him that this would have terrible effects in the long run. He of course never spoke
about why he favored covert action because he never admitted he did. he never admitted
that there was any covert action but I think if we could ask him today why you supported
that we can imagine a couple of things he might say. First of all Eisenhower as commander
of American troops and allied troops in the second world war would have realized something
that the public didn’t know which was that secret operations played a big role in winning
world war two. Like the breaking of the german codes so he must have come away from that
war with an appreciation of what covert action could do but I think there’s another factor. Eisenhower probably would have considered
covert action a kind of a peace project. here was a guy who had to send kids off to die
by the thousands. this must have weighed on him. Arriving in office he finds the Dulles
brothers presenting him with an alternative. You can get rid of a government and only 100
people will die and none of them will be american and it will only cost you a couple of million
dollars he must have thought of this as a huge break through. So if you can imagine
that you are achieving a security gain for the united states and there won’t be any long
term negative effects and you can do it so cheaply, I think something like that would
have been very appealing to Eisenhower. This is Frank Nye. May i introduce you to
our coeditors for this edition of the Longine chronoscope. Mr. William Bradford Huie editor
of the American Mercury and mr. cecil carnes foreign correspondent and outstanding author.
Our distinguished guest for this evening is Mrs. Calre Boothe Luce former United States
representative from Connecticut. Mrs. Luce you are of course one of the most distinguished
women in America and I’m sure that our viewers will welcome your expressions tonight on the
political campaign. Think that more women will vote for general eisenhower. Well I think
because women have a better instinct of character they are not so concerned at a mental level
with the issues but they are very concerned with what kind of a man what kind of a character
he has. And Iknow that women instinctively feel enormous trust in Eisenhower’s capacity
to lead them and their nation and their families to a better a better america. Will he appeal
to their minds as well as to their intuition? Well of course yes because women are also
interested in the issues korea for instance do you think women are particularly interested
in an issue like Korea? I think it would be hard to say that a father
is less interested in what happens to his son than a mother but in a way that is true
I do thing the woman are more concerned by the fact that we had 19000 of our boys killed
and 90,000 wounded and that there are 13000 missing. Of our boys only 7 years after world
war two we’re already in world war two and a half and I think the women are alarmed when
they discover that the president by his own admission has no plan no plan at all for ending
the Korean war in fact from all the president says and mr. stevenson you get the impression
that they are sort of going to stabilize this war for an indefinite period. I think women
feel that Eisenhower can bring this war to an honorable end. Alison was a legal assistant with much bigger
dreams. Eric turned his business background into so much more. They found their futures
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. Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. Your future starts here. The CIA is alleged to have sent this P51 fighter
against Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958. Sukarno then captures an american pilot named
Allen Pope. Pope had been flying a B26 bomber for anti-sukarno rebels while working for
the CIA. Well all I can tell you is that we were not
very happy with mr. Sukarno in what was that year 1958 and I don’t think we were very happy
with him in 1965. The congo is a natural and deadly battleground
for American and Russian agents. The latest CIA help to the government is an airforce
piloted by Cubans. Is it possible that there may have been American agents in the Congo
who turned up later in Laos I mean are these men on both sides engaged in these battles
around the world? Oh yes. Do they meet. Well if they meet too much and are seen too
much then they lose their utility. Even in tibet where rebels fight the chinese
communists there is the CIA if it would help the CIA would recruit the abominable snowman. Well I’m not going to go into the Tibet situation
separately because uh we might get started all around the world I would be going beyond
of what I even know about. I do think that there are times where the supporting of the
movements that are favorable to you in a murky situation is one of the best ways of preventing
that movement from becoming a communist movement from taking over. Here’s another thing that you say. Stories
about exceptionalism the view that the United States is inherently more moral and farther
seeing than other countries and therefore may behave in ways that others should not.
It also addresses the belief that because of it’s immense power The Unites States can
not only topple governments but guide the course of history. Would you elaborate on
that? Sometimes I think American’s feel that our
country is so unusual so truly unique that we’ve actually transcended the cycles of history.
That there is no point in looking back in history for warning or examples of what might
happen to us we are so different from any country or empire that’s ever existed but
this isn’t true. Actually the history history shows all great nation and empires have had
ups and downs. Country’s that have survived over many many centuries like Iran or china
are used to this they understand that when things aren’t going well even if that goes
on for a century or two history will bring them back up again. they can look back over
20 , 40 centuries then you develop an understanding for this. American’s are not used to this
the arc of American history is quite misleading it tells us that we always get richer and
stronger and more powerful and more beloved but that’s never happened with any country
in history and I think right now we’re at the point where we are starting to realize
that that won’t be our fate forever I’m not sure we’re psychologically prepared for this
the fact that the US not going to be able to dictate the way the world runs indefinitely
it’s important for us to recognize that cycles in history also effect us and not to be thrown
into a panic when we realizes that other forces are emerging in the world and at least our
relative power is inevitably going to decline over time. the beloved part strikes me as oh boy we are
not beloved at least in many places we are not beloved. You add something else of enormous
interest. It say u the Dulles brothers had two other convictions both bred into them
over many years one was missionary christianity which tells believers that they understand
eternal truths and have an obligation to convert the unenlightened Alongside it was the presumption
that protecting the right of large american corporations to operate freely in the world
is good for everyone. Those are so contradictory that you just have to laugh any how why don’t
you elaborate that One of the reasons I find the story of the
Dulles brothers so fascinating is that they really reflect America the forces that shaped
john foster dulles and allen dulles are the forces that shaped this country and when we
understand them I think we understand our country better and we understand better why
we behave the way we do in the world. So what were those forces I think there were three
important ones. First of all they grew up in this very elite environment their grandfather
had been secretary of state their uncle was secretary of state before they had even reached
their teens they were sitting around parties in washington with grover cleveland and woodrow
wilson and bernard baruch and howard taft and ambassadors senators through these experiences
they assimilated this idea of america exceptionalism their grandfather had been a pioneer and risen
through the ranks of power he perceived of america’s uniqueness
the explanation for why we deserved to cover all of north america and they took that belief
and extended it to the whole world. so this belief in the exceptional nature of the united
states that we had a providential mission on earth that allowed us to behave in ways
that we wouldn’t want others to behave was one important factor that shaped them and
that also shaped our country. The second one is as you mentioned missionary
calvinism calvinism teaches you that there’s one true faith all the other religions are
wrong and if you believe that about religion it would be a short step to believe in the
same thing about politics that theres one political system that’s good all the others
are bad. The missionary aspect teaches you that you can’t just sit home and hope that
those bad countries become good you have to go out there and change them and the third
factor that shaped them definitely was their decades of work representing the larges american
multi-national corporations at this law firm in New York, Sullivan and Cromwell. They came
to view their job as protecting the right of american corporations to invest and be
active and extract resources from and have markets in foreign countries and they measured
how free a country was by how much freedom it gave american companies to operate there. Those three factors the belief in american
exceptionalism the missionary calvinist ideal and the service of american corporations shaped
them and I think shaped us and our foreign policy. Religiosity was an everyday matter in their
homes these people came there and ate dinner and so they they were exposed to this all
the time and I think it was allen who once when he was a very little boy 8 or 9 he’d
go upstairs and he’d he’d write down what people had said which for a kid that age this
is not normal . Its a remarkable story he’d be at these dinner parties given by his grandfather
for all these eminent figures and then the boys couldn’t participate in the dinner because
they were just little kids but they listened and then they would go up and go to be except
Allen future CIA director did not go to bed he would write what were essentially intelligence
reports to himself who was there what did they say and what did they really mean behind
what they said. Here’s a kid whose like nine years old writing this you begin to wonder
what goes on inside a mind like that. Well you sure do i mean that’s awfully young
to be au courant with that kind of, those kinds of notions to have them in your head. I believe it was tom paine who once said the
statement that the cause of america is the cause of mankind we think it might be hopeful
if we could start with a declaration that we americans are going to aid the cause of
freedom throughout the world again I think its well time that we should make that clear
again as long as we stood for that in the world we were on the offensive the despots
were on the defensive we were secure during that hundred years there was no peril to this
country we’ve only begun to have our peril during the last 50 years when we’ve become
rich and strong and fat and more interested in keeping the things we had than giving other
people freedom stuck in a cubicle jess was going nowhere.
carol made the switch from a tech company ever was an undergrad who knew he wanted more
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Massachusetts School of Law at Andover your future starts here. Well mr. dulles i’d like to get back to some
specific questions on this japanese peace treaty now one thing that’s been a one question
that’s been raised is the fear that the Japanese will very much need to trade with China and
because of this need for trade that they’ll be tempted to recognize and deal with the
chinese communists. do you have any comment to make on that? yes the you’ve got 85 million people almost
on Japan. pretty barren islands they can’t grow their own material for clothing of any
of that sort they’ve got to live somewhere now they’re are plenty of opportunities for
them to live and to live well in trade with southeast asia and other parts of the world
they don’t have to trade with china they have not traded with China for the last five years
to amount to anything and they’ve improved their economic condition tremendously. Now if the foreword is responsible and cuts
japan out from all their markets then the Japanese will be faced with a hard choice
they will have to play along with communism or starve to death. John Foster was a very self righteous and
judgmental person elaborate on that and who and what he viewed
in his self-rightious light and why etcetera. yeah foster dulles and his bother I think
were actually not intensely creative thinkers they were intelligent in a certain way certainly
foster dulles mastered astonishing details about international finance but they weren’t
creative thinkers in the sense of reacting to their environment everything they believed
when they were ten years old that’s what they believed until the day they died so they were
not open to new ideas. now one of the things that definitely shaped their world in the
fifties when they were at their peak of power was not only their inbred hatred of bolshevism
this is quite understandable and widely shared another concept they developed which was their
was a force in the world perhaps even more dangerous than bolshevism and that was what
they called neutralism so as we saw the world in the fifties as americans saw it the great
factor the great factor shaping everything in the world was the conflict between the
Soviet Union and the United States. The Dulles brothers were concerned everything that happened
in the world had to be a product of that conflict. A land reform act was passed in Guatemala
for example. It was not possible for the Dulles brothers to imagine that this was simply a
Guatemalan idea that it responded to a Guatemalan problem they assumed that since it had a negative
impact on a big American company, United Fruit it must have been ordered from the Kremlin.
Couldn’t believe that the Guatemalan’s would just come up with this themselves. So ARbenz,
the president of Guatemala was one of these neutralists like Sukarno president of Indonesia
of Nasser, president of Egypt or Nehru in India or Lumumba in the Congo there were a
series of these leaders and they didn’t see the world as shaped by the conflict between
Moscow and Washington they saw a different conflict because they saw the world was all
about the new young countries that were emerging from colonialism clashing against the old
established powers that wanted to keep them down so when foster dulles looked around the
world at these neutralist leaders he did not see patriotic nationalists who took over backward
countries and were trying to develop them and didn’t want to get involved in world affairs
because they wanted to concentrate on their own countries he saw something very different
he believed that as the Kremlin looked around the world there were some countries they couldn’t
take over right now so they told their lackeys in those countries rise to power but don’t
tell them you’re working for us pretend that you’re just a local nationalist and when the
right time comes we’ll call you and tell you to seize the country for communism. This was
a complete fantasy but it was impossible for the Dulles brothers to imagine that these
nationalists were simply products of their own countries and their own times so in this
sense I think they had a a very uncreative and narrow minded view of the world. To be so I hate to use the world blind but
maybe it fits to reality to what’s going on elsewhere. I think the reason is they grew
up in an elite and they never really stepped outside that elite they truly believed that
they and this small group of people all very similar types who essentially directed american
foreign policy for the first half of the twentieth century and beyond were the only ones who
saw the world correctly if you were different from them it meant that you were wrong and
the more you differed from them the more wrong you were the idea that they would sit and
listen to people with different perspectives never entered their mind in fact i think this
was one of the great dangers inherent in having two brothers in these very sensitive positions
they grew up so intimately they saw the world exactly the same way therefor they reinforced
each other and created kind of a closed circle that no other voice could enter they both
understood the truth about the world so what would be the point in consulting anyone else.
As a result when they decided to over throw a government say Iran or Guatemala they wouldn’t
call in the Iran expert from the State Department or the Guatemala experts in fact in both of
those cases the CIA station chief on the ground told them don’t do this this is not going
to work out well for us rather than listen to their own guy they fired those guys and
brought in people who were more ignorant and who would repeat what they wanted to hear. and Eisenhower was on board. Absolutely there’s no doubt that he full supported
this project although he never made that clear Eisenhower was a budget cutter and he had
a security policy called the new look it was a way of cutting down the size of the army
to save money so the new look had two pillars smaller army and nuclear deterrent to replace
it but we now know that the new look actually had three pillars, small army nuclear deterrence
and covered action. the nuclear deterrent part was I don’t know
whether to call it stupid or what to call it because nobody was going to start world
war three over something that happened in Guatemala. Though we pretended we would. foster dulles
had this concept called massive retaliation and it was exactly what you pointed out that
if there was some trouble in some place like Guatemala there’d be no limit to our retaliation.
Nobody believed this this was a concept that completely devoid of meaning like his other
concepts. He had this concept of the agonizing reappraisal that was towards Europe if europe
wasn’t going to be 100 percent anti-communist and anti-moscow we would agonizingly reappraise
whether we really wanted to support Europe. That wasn’t true either. Of course we were
going to continue supporting European allies. So his rhetoric far outstripped reality. Now
who was alex Gaunt and what was his effect on the Dulleses? Gaunt was a British intelligence officer who
came to work in the United States and Allen Dulles as a young man got to meet him. Allen
Dulles was fascinated by him. He had had this diffuse interest in the inner workings of
peoples minds but I don’t think he really understood what intelligence was as a business
because in those times the United States didn’t have a peace time intelligence service. But
Gaunt to him was just the epitome of this fascinating swash buckler who operated behind
the scenes and I think Allen Dulles wanted to be like him. Allen Dulles also had a favorite book he liked
this book Kim by Rudyard Kipling which is sort of a book for young adults its essentially
about a young kid who grows up to realize that being a secret agent for the british
is the real way to serve the cause humanity Allen loved this book and it was even on his
bed table when he died it’ s one of these childish fantasies like the James Bond books
that he loved that allowed him to believe there’s never going to be any bad effect to
covert action and in fact it’s going to be good for everybody. I want to read you a paragraph you wrote and
uh one hardly knows what to think it says around the same time Allen was informed by
British officers that a young czech woman he was dating and who worked with him at the
American legation and had access to the code room was passing information to austrian agents.
They had decided she must be liquidated and he understood it as a necessity of wartime
counterespionage. one night he took her to dinner and then instead of squiring her home
delivered her to two british agents who were waiting in front of the fourteenth century
Nydegg Church. She was never heard from again. What kind of a person does that. Quite a way to end a date. boy forever. Yeah
umm Allen was one tough guy. I spin this forward to the period in the 1950’s when was running
the CIA his major project was sending exiled groups of fighters into places like Soviet
Georgia, Soviet Latvia, Albania trying to stir up trouble. Every single agent that he
sent was immediately captured and killed this never bothered him and when he was asked about
it he would shrug and said well at least we’re getting experience for the next war. So he
sent people off to die without any real qualms and I think without even insisting that there
be some real benefit some real possible positive outcome from it. There was never any prospect
that six kids landing on the beach in Albania were going to overthrow the Albanian government
but just the fact that they would be there even if they only lasted a couple of hours
he thought might send a message to the communists so that was worth sacrificing lives for. And
multiply that times the lives that have been lost in places like Guatemala over the last
fifty years and you get into the tens even hundreds of thousands of deaths which he can
be held indirectly responsible for. You know one one wishes to think been acculturated
I believe to think that before people are sent on these kinds of missions there’s a
great deal of thinking soul searching and so forth that goes on about the missions and
the possibilities of success and how to avoid the deaths of the people on the mission and
essentially you’re saying that’s a lot of baloney he just sent em off that’s it. Thats right he was really there was none of
that serious thinking. Now we now realize that one of the reasons that soldiers were
waiting to pick up every one of those insurgents or rebels or would be fomenters of descent
was the chief representative of british intelligence to the CIA Kim Philby was actually working
for the Russians and he knew all these plans and he would just send them a note telling
them what beach to be waiting on when these kids landed. That happened over and over but
it never lead Allen Dulles to start to think maybe something was wrong. Fantastic. It’s just fantastic. Um you uh you say that Foster Dulles and Sullivan
and Cromwell played a role in the Cuban intervention by Robert Lansing. And maybe you could discuss
what the intervention was what Lansing did what role the Dulles brothers played. A hundred times in his career at Sullivan
and Cromwell Foster Dulles did what Sullivan and Cromwell lawyers were hired to do. That
was not a law firm like you assume what that phrase means it had a speciality. They could
do things like represent you in court or draw up a contract like other law firms but thats
not their speciality nobody hired them for that Sullivan and Cromwell had a distinct
speciality which was forcing small countries to do what big american companies wanted them
to do and that’s why every major american multi-national corporation hired sullivan
and cromwell. Whenever you had a problem in a country they wold go fix it that was what
you hired them for. foster dulles and his brother did this countless times and I just
used this one example at the very beginning of Foster Dulles’ career he was a young lawyer
at Sullivan and Cromwell in 1917 there had been an election in cuba the liberal party
which was much more popular had won the election and the incumbent conservatives had lost but
the conservatives favored granting american corporations privileges they wanted and liberals
favored limiting the amount of land that foreign companies could own so some of that land could
be divided up and given to poor cuban families that’s why they won the election. So the corporations
the american corporations told their friends in government in cuba don’t leave office.
WE know you lost the election but ignore that stay in power because we don’t want the liberals
in. The liberals began a rebellion the companies then went to Sullivan and Cromwell. they said
we have a problem in Cuba we’ve hired you to solve our problems, get rid of this rebellion
so John Foster Dulles got the case. The next morning he got on the train in New York and
he went to Washington to see Uncle Burt. Uncle Burt was known to the rest of us as the Secretary
of State Robert Lansing he went to see his uncle and explained the situation. His uncle
said what should we do and young foster said well I think we should send warships to cuba
to put down that rebellion. Next day two american warships were sent to cuba they landed 5000
troops they put down the liberal rebellion the liberals figured there was no reason no
point in fighting agains the US military that began a five year occupation of Cuba all intended
to be sure Cuba was stable for American corporations. Now Foster Dulles would have left thinking
I did my job I served the companies interests and it all worked out but if you look at what
happened in Cuba decades later and what has happened to Cuba in recent decades you realize
it didn’t all work out actually cubans got really angry about that. they couldn’t do
anything in 1914, or in 1917 or in the twenties and thirties and forties but in the fifties
Cuba finally exploded and came under the leadership of a radically anti-american regime. Why was
it so radically anti-american all you have to do is look back and see the history of
american interventions there including this one lead by Foster Dulles when he was a private
lawyer you understand why they began to feel that independent Cuba can never be achieved
in less it’s done in a way that reduces american influence.
So you’re speaking of Castro of course. Exactly. Castro was the long term result of all of
our interventions in Cuba. in 1898 we promised to all Cuba to become independent as soon
as they got free of spain. Then we changed our mind. Sixty years later when Castro took
over in his very first speech he said this time it’s not going to be like 1898 when the
Americans came in and took over our country so that shows you that these interventions
become a part of the consciousness of people and the inability to recognize or understand
this was a real mental shortcoming of the Dulles brothers. Just so I don’t get some nasty phone calls
Sullivan and Cromwell has been amorphosed I think that’s the right word you know decades
and decades ago into a what you would call a normal wall street law firm. yeah Sullivan
and Cromwell it’s still one of the biggest law firms in America but as you say it has
now branched out and sometimes I think uh it’s not really necessary anymore to have
a law firm to crash into other countries and make them safe for American business that’s
what our government does now. The suez canal storm center of controversy for
weeks now becomes a cause of war in a long sequence of diplomatic and military moves.
Since its seizure and nationalization by president Nasser of Egypt the vital waterway has precipitated
a new crisis in the already tense middle east. Crack french units are embarked at Marseille
bound for a joint staging era with Great Britain on Cyprus less than an hour’s flight from
Egyptian ports where they are prepared for seizure of the canal by force. simultaneously
Britain reinforces it’s garrison on the Island for the same eventuality. A naval concentration
on the eastern Mediterranean strengthens the military build up even as Israel in a lightening
attack thrusts deep into Egypt to the vicinity of the canal. France and Britain issue a 12
hour ultimatum that all fighting must cease. Within hours of its exploration britain’s
war planes are winging their way to Egypt and it’s bombers attack five key cities including
Cairo. Following a security council veto by Britain and France of a United States motion
for a cease fire President Eisenhower after consultation with secretary of state Dulles
makes a firm declaration of United states policy. The united states was not consulted
in any way about any phase of these actions nor were we informed of them in advance. In
the circumstances I have described there will be no United States involvement in these present
hostilites. Over 25 years ago we said legal education
was broken. Change is uncomfortable but its often needed so we rolled up our sleeves and
we fixed it. Law schools are just too expensive our isn’t. Most schools don’t teach needed
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often you settle for a career that’s less than what you hoped for. you shouldn’t. come
see the future. the massachusetts school of law at andover. Your future starts here. Secretary of state Dulles arrives in Ankara
for the meeting of the baghdad alliance and finds the turkish capital a troubled city
two bombs set off just a few hours before his arrival blasted american property. The
american publications bureau and the warehouse wall inside the embassy compound. foreign
agents are blamed for Turkey is staunchly pro-western. The incident sounded a grim note
for the opening of the council meeting designed to steady the somewhat shaky alliance. Problems
facing the council include the desire of it’s members that America formally join and supply
greater aid neither desire was satisfied but progress was made. America pledged 10 million
dollars for a new communications network and the first steps were taken for a unified command
of all Baghdad backed forces. What was the effect or the relationships between
Wilson the Dulleses and Benard Baruch’s relationship with John Foster Dulles? Benard Baruch was kind of a legendary deal
maker and wall street wonderkind who helped I think bring Foster Dulles into the top rank
of international finance and he hired foster dulles to ghostwrite one of his books. He
was basically originally he was like a south carolinian or something yeah it was through
contact with this elite that the Dulles brothers rose into the positions that they held now
both of them had gone to Princeton Woodrow Wilson was the president of Princeton in fact
he had been of a foster dulles and of course Wilson was this sort of grand utopian in some
ways you think of him as the opposite of the Dulles brothers because he was so idealistic
and they were so cynical but in fact they both shared some fundamental beliefs essentially
they were great products of American exceptionalism both wilson and the dulles brothers believed
fervently that the United States had the key to success for all countries in the world
if other countries would become more and more like the united states they would become happier
more prosperous and be able to provide better lives for their people and stability for the
world. It never occurred to them that other countries have other cultures other countries
have different ideas about what constitutes a good life and that the American system doesn’t
fit everybody. where do they get off thinking that I mean
I’ve loaded the question right there but where do they get off thinking that our way is the
only way and everybody must do it our way. I think it came from this deep sense of manifest
destiny inside north america we did have this belief all during the 18th and 19th centuries
that it was our destiny to spread from coast to coast so we were essentially expanding
ever since the pilgrims landed. Then at the end of the 19th century we filled up North
America then I think we really had a big turning point as a nation we had to ask ourselves
so are we finished now or do we keep going. The way that we looked at the Native Americans
and Mexicans who we cleared off of North America was the same way that we began to look at
people in other countries they’re poor backwards children and although they may think and say
that they want to be independent and they have their own ways actually they’re too childish
to be able to make such a decision we are the ones who know best for them. actually
when we overrule their will and brush aside their aspirations and impose our aspirations
we’re actually helping them because they think they know what’s best for them but we actually
know what’s best for them. It’s a kind of hubris that’s staggering really
but as you say it stems from a lot of successful history. And I’ll add that this is not a strange little
belief that just a few people had the Dulles brothers did not hijack American foreign policy
and make the united states do things that nobody wanted us to do they presented what
was probably the last general consensus about foreign policy in our history everybody was
trained and inculcated to see the world the same way. The mass media the luce empire everybody
was preaching the same view of the world and anybody offering a counter view was viewed
as strangely subversive. During that period if you even talked about troubles inside the
united states if you complained about racial injustice for example or you defended labor
unions you were already considered suspect because it was immediately thought that you
were kind of off the program and the Dulleses were very successful in maintaining that discipline
inside the United States to make sure that truly dissenting voices were not heard. Was it you that said and if so on the last
line of the book they are us and we are them. Yeah I think it’s too easy for us to read
stories like the stories of the Dulles brothers and say oh that was a couple of bad guys.
We have this fantasy not only about america but about other countries that if you just
peel off a layer of a few bad actors everybody would be happy and live like in Switzerland.
That was our approach in Iraq just sort of Saddam Hussein and about 10 other bad people
then everyone in Iraq will become pro-american and it’ll look just like Switzerland. There’s
a fantasy that’s very deep here and it has to do with being so self-centered that you
believe everybody wants to be like you and should be like you. It’s the idea that there
is only one real good way to run a country one good way to have a life and that’s the
way that me and my best friends have. The Dulleses and the people who ran American foreign
policy in those days were white protestant males who to the same private schools the
same law schools they went the same law firms and investment banks. Those were the only
two professions in that business. They vacationed in the same places married the same women
they went to the same parties it was a very inbred group and anybody who didn’t fit was
seen as being on some kind of a lower level not a different level. What did the Brits think about all that? The British were very unhappy with the Dulles
Brothers. and as a matter of fact the British Foreign secretary even wrote a letter to Eisenhower
asking him not to appoint john foster Dulles was that Anthony Eden? It was Anthony Eden
yeah I’ll give you one example of why the British were so unhappy with the Dulles Brothers.
so one of the principle beliefs of John Foster Dulles and his brother was never negotiate
with you enemies. Particularly in this case the Soviets. You never want to have any contact
with them and the reason that Foster Dulles believed this was that he felt perhaps correctly
that the entire cold war paradigm rested on the idea of immutable permanent hostility
between Moscow and Washington. You had to believe that the Soviets represented such
a thread as had never occurred in human history it was not a threat just to our politic system
but to all of civilization everything evil would come from any advance by the Soviets.
Therefor if you started to see photographs as an american citizen of American and Soviet
leaders sitting together The American president greeting the soviet leader you might start
to think well actually the soviets are people just like us we’re going to give them ideas
and they’ll give us their ideas and we’re going to talk about them and we’re going to
see if we can reach some conclusion. If you start thinking like that the whole cold war
paradigm dissolves. After Stalin died in 1953 the US started to get peace feelers from the
Kremlin. The Kremlin was interested in changing their relationship with the west. At the end
of 1953 there was a summit in Bermuda by what was then called the Big Three so it was France,
Britain the United States and that was one of the agenda items. they had received a message
from Molotov the interim soviet leader he wanted to have a summit where they would call
it the big four so France, Britain, The US and the Soviet Union. Churchill thought this
was a great idea he was all for it and the french were for it too but Foster Dulles was
absolutely against it and that summit never happened. Churchill went home very frustrated
and angry at Dulles because he saw that Dulles was too interested in maintaining the paradigm
of hostility to explore any way of getting out of it.

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