WASHINGTON (Nov. 15)
Armed action by United States forces to prevent the Soviet bloc from establishing a Red military base in “a Soviet Egypt” was urged today in the largest and most authoritative non-official U.S. military publication, the “Army Times,” which reflects official thinking of leading military circles and is read by virtually all U.S. Army officers throughout the world.
Warning that if Russia and Egypt are allowed to get away with the arms deal the Russians will have technicians, jet fighter squadrons, and submarines based in the Mediterranean, Major George Fielding Eliot called for intervention before it is too late. He said “all that is necessary is to say to Colonel Nasser–’either send these people home, or in 48 hours the Suez Canal Zone will be re-occupied by British troops while the U.S. Marines from the 6th Fleet move into the Gaza strip.’”
Major Eliot said the question confronting the United States was “are we or are we not going to allow the Soviet Union to establish a military, naval and air base at the crossroads of the world–in Egypt?” He predicted that the Russians would not risk atomic war for the sake of their Egyptian arms deal. “They cannot get away with it,” he said, “if we and our British and Turkish friends make up our collective minds that they are not going to be allowed to get away with it.”
Making it clear he did not urge action for the sake of Israel, Major Eliot said this is not the time “for lengthy debate in the United Nations, chatter about guarantees for Israel or what happens in the El Auja zone in some patrol skirmish.” He emphasized that “this is the time for the Western powers, still in full command of the situation, to stand up and be counted: not for Israel’s blue eyes, and not on the ground of this treaty or that, but on the firm hard principle that self-preservation is the first law of nature.”
Urging prompt action to block Soviet military activity in Egypt, Major Eliot said: “Let us recall the long and miserable history of Hitler’s successive adventures in seeing how much he could get away with: first rearmament in defiance of the Versailles treaty, then the occupation of the Rhineland, then the Anschluss with Austria, then the Sudeten affair. This is the same story.”
The Soviets, Maj. Eliot stressed, are trying to find out whether they can set themselves up a Soviet military outpost in the Middle East. The next thing, there will be a puppet government in Cairo. “They will be in a position to control air traffic between Europe and the Far East; they will command the largest reservoirs of petroleum,” he pointed out.