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October 2, 1957

Memorandum by Frank Aiken [on an Interview with Scott McCleod and the Taoiseach]

Aiken made an immediate impression on his arrival in the Twelfth Session of the UN General Assembly in September 1957. He adopted an impartial posture of assessing each issue on its merits and campaigning to remodel international politics around self-determination, humanitarianism, and peace. His exhortation was that only the UN had the moral authority and political legitimacy to put forward global solutions. While he did not propose nuclear disarmament measures specifically, his intent was signaled by his recommendation for a mutual drawback of foreign forces (including their nuclear weapons) in central Europe and his endorsement of a proposal to discuss the representation of China in the United Nations. The Eisenhower administration was hostile to Aiken’s course as outlined in the U.S. ambassador’s audience with Taoiseach Eamon de Valera and Aiken in Dublin on 2 October. The record underlines the Irish concerns about accidental nuclear war due to the proximity of opposing U.S. and Soviet forces in central Europe.  

December 15, 1980

Resolution on the Status and Mission of Combatting Enemy’s Ideological Sabotage Efforts During This New Period

This resolution on combatting “ideological sabotage” lumps Chinese ideological propaganda, Western propaganda operations, international human rights and humanitarian relief activities, and religious radio broadcasts and religious missionary activities all together with the spreading influence of Western culture and music in Vietnam as part of a vast, insidious effort by Vietnam’s enemies designed to corrupt Vietnam’s society and to weaken its “revolutionary” spirit in order to cause the overthrow or collapse of the Vietnamese Communist Party and government. 

The over-the-top rhetoric used in this resolution illustrates the widespread paranoia that infected the upper ranks of Vietnam’s Party and security apparatus during this period of the Cold War.  It was not until six years later, in December 1986, that the pressures of growing internal dissension (even within the Party), the country’s desperate economic situation, and reductions in Soviet military and economic to Vietnam resulted in the decision by the Communist Party’s 6th Party Congress to shift to a policy of reforms, called “Renovation” [Đổi Mới] reforms and to new Vietnamese efforts to normalize relations with China and the United States.

December 3, 1956

Middle East (Situation): Debated in the Commons Chamber, Monday, 3 December 1956

In July 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970) nationalized the Suez Canal Company, surprising the world. The government of France, in whose capital of Paris the company was headquartered, and the British government, the company’s plurality shareholder, sought to reverse nationalization in court, but failed—even though they clad their case in the language not of imperial self-interest but, rather, of international public interest. The time in which such language was somewhat acceptable, even at home, was passing, and the Suez Crisis played a big part in this final act.

At the same time, the two governments early on after the canal nationalization decided to remove Nasser by force, for re-compensation was not their central concern. France believed Nasser was enabling the FLN, which in 1954 had started Algeria’s War for Independence, and Britain wanted some say in the canal, which had for decades been its worldwide empire’s “swing-door,” as a member of parliament, Anthony Eden (1897-1977), called it in 1929. In August 1956 France began discussing a joint operation with Israel, which wanted Nasser gone, too, and the Red Sea opened for Israel-bound ships. In early October the two were joined by Britain. On the 29th, Israel invaded the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. On the 30th, France and Britain gave Israel and Egypt a 12-hour ultimatum to cease hostilities, or they would intervene—and Anglo-French forces bombed Egyptian forces from the 31st and on November 5-6 occupied the canal’s northern tip. Although a power play, “Operation Musketeer,” like the court case, could not be an open imperial move anymore, then, and did not present itself to the world as such. No matter: especially in colonies and postcolonial countries, people were outraged.

More problematically for France and Britain, Washington was incredulous. This Middle Eastern affair triggered the worst crisis of the 1950s between America’s rising international empire and Europe’s descending empires, and indeed clarified and accelerated that descent. President Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) fumed that Prime Ministers Anthony Eden and Guy Mollet (1905-1977) had disregarded his administration’s opposition to military action. Worse, they had deceived him about their intentions. And worst, their attack on Egypt undermined the supreme US tenet: Soviet containment. The Americans were by association tainted by their NATO allies’ imperialist move while the Soviets looked good—on November 5 they offered Egypt troops and threatened to nuke London, Paris, and Tel Aviv—and that although they had just repressed an uprising in Hungary.

On the very day of the ultimatum, October 30, Eisenhower washed his hands of that move on live US television, and the US mission at the UN organized a cease-fire resolution vote in the Security Council. France and Britain vetoed it. Although sharing its European allies’ emotions about Nasser, the US administration withheld critical oil and monetary supplies from them to bring them to heel and withdraw from Egypt—after which, it promised, they would be warmly welcomed back. It ceased most bilateral communications and froze almost all everyday social interactions with its two allies, even cancelling a scheduled visit by Eden. And it badgered its allies at the UN, supporting an Afro-Asian resolution that on November 24 called Israel, Britain, and France to withdraw forthwith. On December 3, the British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd took the floor in the House of Commons.

November 15, 1956

Communist Party Central Committee Notice on Implementing Support for Egypt in Its Fight against Aggression

The CCP Central Committee outlines how the PRC can support Egypt during the Suez crisis.

February 18, 1956

Central Committee Notice on Propaganda on Current Events

Summarizing a speech made by Zhou Enlai, the CCP Central Committee distributes propaganda guidance on the PRC's efforts to "liberate Taiwan by peaceful means."

July 29, 1957

Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'CCP Central Committee Authorized Transmittal of Report on the Situation and Opinions by the Propaganda Department for Improvement of Propaganda Campaign towards Taiwan'

The CCP Central Committee distributes a detailed summary and evaluation of propaganda efforts vis-a-vis Nationalist controlled Taiwan.

July 29, 1956

Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'Guidance Regarding Strengthening Work on Peaceful Liberation of Taiwan'

Following a major speech on Taiwan made by Zhou Enlai, the CCP Central Committee distributes updated guidance on the Party's approach to Nationalist controlled Taiwan.

February 26, 1956

Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'Central Committee Issues the Central Propaganda Department’s “Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan"'

The CCP Central Committee distributes a report from the Propaganda Department titled “Report on the Basic Conditions of and Suggestions for Improvement of Propaganda Work towards Taiwan."

February 21, 1956

Cable from the CCP Central Committee, 'Regarding the Issue of Propaganda on Liberating Taiwan'

The CCP Central Committee advises officials in Guangdong and Fujian, as well as at Chinese embassies abroad, on the Party's propaganda strategy vis-a-vis Nationalist controlled Taiwan.

June 9, 1960

Radio Liberty Policy Position Statement: Latin America

Radio Liberty describes their goal of "countering communist propaganda" about the United States' role in Latin America. 

Pagination