State of Emergency

December 12, 1951 — The Morning Herald

The Mossadegh Project | November 1, 2015                  

This was the lead editorial from The Morning Herald of Gloversville, New York on December 12, 1951.


WHEN Islam’s wave of delirious nationalism reached the banks of the Nile, leaders of the Egyptian Government welcomed the opportunity to divert the minds of the people from smouldering resentment against the regime at Cairo to hatred of the British. They encouraged the mobs to demonstrate against the “vicious foreigners” but there are signs that they didn’t foresee the bloody riots that have occurred.

It is becoming daily more evident that the Egyptian Government is not the captive of the nationalist movement. It doesn’t seem possible that a government could be driven to extremes of action by such loosely knit, almost leaderless fanaticism. But it happened in Iran. Mossadegh was prevented from making an equitable and profitable deal with the British by the temper of the people, so he booted the British out.

Nobody in Cairo or London has any workable idea for correcting a situation which is deteriorating daily. The British have no intention of getting out of the canal zone and certainly the Egyptians aren’t strong enough to drive them out by force. The result is a series of clashes and riots which are preventing negotiation of international differences.

In international law, the Egyptian unilateral abrogation of a treaty, which had five years to run, is flagrantly illegal. But such considerations are alien in the thinking of the fanatic nationalists. They take the simple and uncomplicated view that the Suez Cana is in Egypt; ergo, it belongs to the Egyptians and the British should get out. Long forgotten is the fact that the Egyptians were pathetically glad to have in their midst the “foreigners” with their guns and planes when Mussolini and Hitler were on the rampage. [fascist dictators Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler]

So it is stalemate in Egypt. The British won’t get out; the Egyptians can’t throw them out. And nobody has a notion how to stop the bloodshed. A press dispatch has summed it up: “The Egyptian Government has proclaimed a state of emergency. London doesn’t have to do that because the British Government is living in the midst of one.”


Related links:

Woes in the Near East — U.S. editorial, October 19, 1951

Cute Oriental TrickAmsterdam Evening Recorder, January 23, 1952

Mossadegh’s TroublesThe Lethbridge Herald, September 19, 1951

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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