03 November 2006

A revisionist view of Suez

Anyone who has been following the analysis of the Suez Crisis 50 years on might be interested in Andrew Roberts' re-assessment here.

It is clear from this that Mr Roberts is no champion of "high-minded liberal internationalism", but it's intersting to read a view so radically different from the one I grew up with.

For example, Mr Roberts contends that "[US President] Eisenhower himself years later admitted that not supporting [British PM] Eden over Suez had been his greatest foreign policy mistake."

He also states:

"On the eve of victory, just as General Hugh Stockwell telegraphed Downing Street to say that within 48 hours the entire Canal Zone would be in British hands, Eden was stabbed in the back by a cabal of unscrupulous Cabinet colleagues, short-sighted allies and a small and unrepresentative group of Tory liberal internationalists.

"It is undoubtedly true that Suez tragically proved that Britain was no longer a Great Power, but this was their fault, not Eden's. "

I enjoy reading Andrew Roberts' "counterfactual" history - it might be a little harsh to place this in the same category!

Andrew Roberts' full Suez article
Andrew Roberts' website
BBC's "Remembering Suez" section - a more conventional viewpoint

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