Monday, January 27, 2014

Stuff I Did Not Know about the Brothers D

I lived through the Eisenhower/Dulles years--some of the time, in Washington itself.  But here are some things I never grasped until today:
  • John Foster Dulles was the savage foe of everything he was a savage foe of, yet he exposed his neck to the thuggish Joe McCarthy, and why?   Apparently because he remembered how Woodrow Wilson rebuffed Congress and paid for it with the loss of his entire program, perhaps even his life.  John Foster was determined not to make the Wilsonian blunder. He knunckled under to McCarthy because he remembered Wilson.
  • Allen Dulles as head of the  CIA may have made more mischief than John Foster as Secretary of State.  Foster bloviated; Allen sent in spies.  Yet Allen was not a clever man; he had no aptitude for analysis and no fully-developed world-picture.  He just loved gossip and intrigue.
  • Henry Luce the publisher-potentate  and Allen operated on a common premise: if the guy in the field reported something contrary to what you believe at your desk at home, fire the guy in the field. 
  • True that Dwight Eisenhower as President sent no American forces into battle.  But he thought coups against foreign governments were okay, presumably because the ones who got hurt were the other guys'.

Such is what I glean from The Brothers Dulles by Stephen Kinzer.  More anon.

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