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October 23, 1992

Meeting between ChefBK Bohl and Secretary of Defense Cheney on 22 October 1992, 9:40-10:40 Hours

Bohl and Cheney assess the impact of the Yugoslavia war. Bohl emphasizes that lack of the EC consensus on fundamental security issues in contrast to its ability to regulate questions of trade and finance. He argues that this could do massive harm to the European integration project in general. Moreover, Bohl and Cheney discuss German domestic problems with NATO out-of-area missions.

June 2, 1992

Meeting between ChefBK Bohl and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger on 2 June 1992, 11:00 Hours

Eagleburger reviews his most recent visits in Russia, Bulgaria, Albania, the CSFR and Romania. Bohl and Eagleburger discuss the security of nuclear power plants in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe as a pivotal theme for the agenda of the 1992 Munich World Economic Summit. Eagleburger sees no chance for U.S. financial support for Russia prior to the 1992 Presidential elections.

November 9, 1962

Memorandum from William R. Tyler to the Secretary [Dean Rusk] through U. Alexis Johnson, 'Turkish and Italian IRBM's'

Seymour Weiss would push back against any efforts to remove the Jupiters, but he and others realized that President Kennedy had a “keen interest” in the matter and that Secretary of Defense McNamara had ordered that action be taken (assigning his General Counsel John McNaughton to take the lead). Nevertheless Weiss and Assistant Secretary of State William Tyler presented Secretary of State Rusk with a memorandum making the case against action on the Jupiters or at least postponing their removal until a “later time.” Paralleling arguments made during the crisis by Ambassadors Hare and Reinhardt, Tyler pointed to the “symbolic and psychological importance” of the Jupiter deployments. While Tyler noted parenthetically that the Italians had “given indications of a disposition to work toward the eventual removal of the Jupiters,” the U.S. could not phase them out “without general Alliance agreement,” including Italy and Turkey’s consent, “unless we are prepared to lay ourselves open to the charge of abrogation of specific or implied agreements.” Rusk was in the know on the secret deal, but his reference to a “later time” was consistent with it and signing the memo would have placated Tyler and Weiss.

October 20, 2020

Interview with Bruce Jentleson

Bruce Jentleson is a former US Department of State official. He served as a member of the US delegation to ACRS.

November 13, 1974

United Nations General Assembly Official Records, 29th Session : 2282nd Plenary Meeting, Agenda Item 108, 'Question of Palestine (continued)'

As other documents in this collection on Moroccan nationalists in 1947 and 1950 have exemplified, the United Nations was an important arena in decolonization struggles for Arabs, as it was for Asians and Africans as e.g. Alanna O’Malley’s The Diplomacy of Decolonisation: America, Britain, and the United Nations during the Congo crisis, 1960-1964 (2018) has shown. In this regard, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was founded in 1964 and taken over by the Fatah movement in 1969, was no exception.

To be sure, Palestinian organizations including Fatah and the PLO decried key UN actions. One was the UN Palestine partition plan of 1947; another was UN Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967. Calling upon Israel to withdraw “from territories occupied” during the Six-Day War in June and calling for the “acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace,” it did not mention Palestine or the Palestinians. Even so, the PLO sought to get access to the UN and UN recognition. A crucial landmark on this road was the address to the UN in New York in November 1974 by Yassir Arafat (1929-2004), a Fatah co-founder in 1959 and from 1969 PLO chairman.

Arafat did not speak at the Security Council, which was and is dominated by its five veto-carrying permanent members Britain, China, France, the United States, and the USSR/Russia. Rather, he addressed the UN General Assembly (UNGA), where from the 1960s Third World states were in the majority; his speech was the first time that the UNGA allowed a non-state representative to attend its plenary session. The UNGA invited the PLO after having decided, in September, to begin separate hearings on Palestine (rather than making Palestine part of general Middle Eastern hearings), and after the PLO was internationally recognized as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, a landmark accomplishment for the organization. The UNGA president who introduced Arafat, Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1937-2021), was the Foreign Minister of Algeria, which since its independence in 1962 had supported the Palestinian cause organizationally, militarily, and politically. Arafat spoke in Arabic; the below text is the official UN English translation. Arafat did not write the text all by himself; several PLO officials and Palestinians close to the PLO, including Edward Said, assisted, as Timothy Brennan has noted in Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said (2021). Later in November 1974, the UNGA inter alia decided to give the PLO observer status and affirmed Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

July 2, 1957

Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy in the Senate, Washington, D.C., July 2, 1957

On July 2, 1957, US senator John F. Kennedy made his perhaps best-known senatorial speech—on Algeria.

Home to about 8 million Muslims, 1.2 million European settlers, and 130,000 Jews, it was from October 1954 embroiled in what France dubbed “events”—domestic events, to be precise. Virtually all settlers and most metropolitan French saw Algeria as an indivisible part of France. Algeria had been integrated into metropolitan administrative structures in 1847, towards the end of a structurally if not intentionally genocidal pacification campaign; Algeria’s population dropped by half between 1830, when France invaded, and the early 1870s. Eighty years and many political turns later (see e.g. Messali Hadj’s 1927 speech in this collection), in 1954, the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) launched a war for independence. Kennedy did not quite see eye to eye with the FLN.

As Kennedy's speech shows, he did not want France entirely out of North Africa. However, he had criticized French action already in early 1950s Indochina. And in 1957 he met with Abdelkader Chanderli (1915-1993), an unaccredited representative of the FLN at the United Nations in New York and in Washington, DC, and a linchpin of the FLN’s successful international offensive described in Matthew Connelly’s A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era (2002). Thus, Kennedy supported the FLN’s demand for independence, which explains its very positive reaction to his speech.

And thus, unlike the 1952-1960 Republican administration of Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) that officially backed the views of NATO ally France and kept delivering arms, the Democratic senator diagnosed a “war” by “Western imperialism” that, together with if different from “Soviet imperialism,” is “the great enemy of … the most powerful single force in the world today: ... man's eternal desire to be free and independent.” (In fact, Kennedy’s speech on the Algerian example of Western imperialism was the first of two, the second concerning the Polish example of Sovietimperialism. On another, domestic note, to support African Algeria’s independence was an attempt to woe civil-rights-movement-era African Americans without enraging white voters.) To be sure, Kennedy saw France as an ally, too. But France’s war was tainting Washington too much, which helped Moscow. In Kennedy’s eyes, to support the US Cold War against the Soviet Union meant granting Algeria independence. The official French line was the exact opposite: only continued French presence in Algeria could keep Moscow and its Egyptian puppet, President Gamal Abdel Nasser, from controlling the Mediterranean and encroaching on Africa.

1938

Taha Hussein, 'The Future of Culture in Egypt' (Excerpts)

The text printed here, an English translation, is constituted by two excerpts from the famous yet controversial Arabic book Mustaqbal al-thaqafa fi Misr (1938) [The Future of Culture in Egypt],by Taha Hussein (1889-1973).

Born in a village in Upper Egypt and blind from the age of three, Hussein was first educated in his village school. He went on to the famous Azhar Islamic university in Cairo, to the newly founded Egyptian (Cairo) University, where he received a doctorate in 1914, and to Montpellier and the Sorbonne, which in 1917 awarded him another doctorate. For one thing, Hussein was a powerful educational institution builder, as Hussam Ahmed’s The Last Nahdawi: Taha Hussein and Institution Building in Egypt (2021) shows. Thus, he became a Cairo University professor in 1919, teaching Islamic history and Arabic literature, and he was the university’s Dean of Arts (1928, 1930-32 and 1936-39), a member and then president of the Arabic  Language Academy (1940-73), and Egypt’s Minister of Culture (1950-52). For another thing, Hussein was a supremely influential intellectual and a specialist of premodern and modern Arabic literature. Thus, from 1926 to 1967 he published the three-volume autobiographical novel Al-Ayyam [The Days], and in 1926 wrote Fi al-shi‘r al-jahili [On Pre-Islamic Poetry (2016)], which he revised as Fi al-adab al-jahili [On Pre-Islamic Literature (1927)] after traditionalists (unsuccessfully) took him to court. And although helping to introduce thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre to Arabs as the 1945-1948 editor of the journal al-Katib al-Misri, he belonged to the Arab Renaissance (nahda) literati who were from the 1940s accused by many younger intellectuals for not supporting committed art; in turn, he defended the necessity of not delimiting what art should be or do.

His 1938 text The Future of Culture in Egypt, excerpted here in a 1975 English translation, was very detailed—it included dozens of suggestions about how to improve Egypt’s educational system—and quite complex. On the one side, Hussein confidently took Europe to task in the main body of the work, and emphasized the need to thoroughly know one’s own culture and history. But on the other side, he saw European empires as still very powerful; thus, a lagging Egypt should embrace European concepts—an approach internalizing (self-interested) European Orientalist views, as Stephen Sheehi has argued in The Foundations of Modern Arab Identity (2004). In a sense, both of these two sides were framed by his work’s immediate historical context: the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty. Maximizing Egypt’s sovereignty and allowing it to become a League of Nations member in 1937, this treaty showed strength—but also continued weakness vis-à-vis Britain, whose troops remained in the Suez Canal zone. In the same vein, the introduction’s argument about Egypt’s geo-civilizational position accepted the discourse of a dominant Europe—only to make Egypt its geographical and historical pioneer by giving it great weight vis-à-vis Ancient Greece, which was conventionally seen as the cradle of European civilization.

May 3, 1974

Report by CSMD on Europe's Nine Autonomous Nuclear Force

Report by CSMD on prospective configuration of Europe's Nine autonomous nuclear force. Includes discussion of NATO burden-sharing, comparison of US and European nuclear forces and costs. Annexes: A: French Military Balance 1972; B: French nuclear forces; C: Military Budget 1972; D: European Community nuclear forces.

October 31, 1987

MAE Cable on INF Treaty Phasing Problem

Report on NATO Washington meeting on INF negotiations. The report addresses the US position concerning phasing, the issues raised by the other delegations as well as problems related to burden sharing.

December 14, 2016

Oral History Interview with Hans Blix

Blix was IAEA Director General from 1981-1997.

Pagination