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An Altered Statesman from Eden to Blair “Suez 1956”

Anthony Eden , the most famous name in the war of 1956 aka Suez War , the man who started it and unfortunately didn’t end it as he wanted

The British Prime minister who had a very long history in foreign affairs in the most critical times of history of England ,at the time of WWII ,if you read his profile in Wikipedia ,you would know that Eden held several important positions without reaching his 40. Imagine working in the British foreign affairs ministry in the WWII and then with the rise of the cold war

you will be surprised to find that the handsome intelligent man miscalculated several points the Suez war including the most important mistake ; not knowing the fact or ignoring the fact that UK is no longer the dominant power of the world

Eden in the white S

I believe all the expertise and intelligence of the world couldn’t protect or help Eden from the pressure and illness ,

The pressure that comes of the burden that he was filling Churchill place , after the war when the Power of UK began to fade away ,more and more colonies in the East and West were declaring its independence , a new world taking a shape , with new dangerous threat of a power that can consider not less dangerous from the Nazi threat , the Communist power of the Soviet Union

Then we got illness ,it was a surprise to me to know that Eden was sick in 1956 when I saw a documentary in Discovery Civilization under the title :Altered Statesmen

Before becoming a prime minister ,During an operation to remove Eden’s gallstones,the surgeon damaged his bile duct. This terrible mistake caused him a lot ,it made Eden so vulnerable to recurrent infections and various types of pain and fever , and to overcome this continuous pain the doctors then prescribed to him Benzedrine , a drug that was thought to be the medical miracle in the 1950s yet now it was discovered that it belongs to a family of drugs called amphetamines, which are considered illegal drugs now “oh yes the English sophisticated man was a drug to make him feel high 🙂 “

Ironically at that time it was the fashion to the British politicans to take amphetamines for example the follow members in the Conservative party where Eden belongs to used to take it in order to deliver a good speech in the conservative party conference “man I wonder what the NDP guys take to give us those speeches in the NDP conference in Egypt !!??”

Anyway the reliance on Benzedrine exceeded its safe limits when Eden led the cabinet in1955 ,imagine yourself in the place of Churchill !! Imagine that everything you do ,whatever you did from achievement ,you will also be in a comparison Churchill , Eden was haunted by Churchill ghost

Eden already shouldn’t have been prescribed Benzedrine ,as his historical medical and family background would show a psychologic fragile short tempered child but of course in the past they didn’t care to search for the patient past

Yet Eden and even the doctors then didn’t know that the overdose Benzedrine got fatal dangerous side effects , first by time the users of amphetamines tend to up their dosage to acquire tolerance , and the result of course is a series of side effect ,the most important ones are the following :

  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Perceptual changes
  • Paranoia

A side effects that can destroy anyone’s life with his/her family,career and future ,so imagine the situation with a ruler , Eden was ruling UK then ,imagine his decision

In the summer of 1956 ,he reached the peak of his struggle with addiction

as you know in the 26th of July 1956 President Nasser announced the Nationalization of the Suez canal and since then and due to the Paranoia Eden suffered from ,he took it as a personal matter , as it was suspecting his wife or butler is putting poison in his 5 o’clock tea but it was Gamal Abd El-Nasser , who turned him in to his own personal enemy , just like we say in Egypt “as if Nasser were his step father”

already during the Suez Crisis Eden lived on Benzedrine , he was holding a small box suitable for the pocket full of Benzedrine tablets everywhere , he was so nervous , yes some people noticed but they thought it may be because of the crisis , but no it was not

in fact I believe the crisis was in Benzedrine

Eden’s hate to Nasser reached to the dangerous level , when he called Miles Copeland ,the famous C.I.A officer who had a good relations with the Egyptians especially Nasser and asked him for the cooperation of the C.I.A with the M.I.5 to kill Nasser ,yes Kill Nasser ,not even to make a coup or think in returning back the King , no way death was the only solution ,this Egyptian colonel was to be killed , that Egyptian man reminded him with Moslouni ,a faisicate , strange thing is that the term is still used by the Americans to describe the Muslims !!

Copeland felt something is wrong , first the word Eden was nervous , the look in his eyes , the movement of his hands and also the use of the word “Kill” not even “Murder or assassinate” not to kill , it seemed more personal.As an excellent intelligence officer with a sharp eye, Copeland after reaching to Washington D.C he wrote a report not about the deadly suggestion but the mental and physical conditions of Eden , Washington should careful with that sick man

Unfortunately Washington didn’t care much yet

Because Eden decided to make war on Nasser and Egypt ,read the words carefully on Nasser before Egypt and thus he found good companions France and Israel and you know the rest

But of course he didn’t know what was the result of such foolish war , His troops were stuck in one city could not advance more than Port said ,they didn’t even reach the Suez city ,facing a hard ,very hard resistance , then he found his country threatened to be bombed with nuclear missile if the troops weren’t withdrawn from Port Said , a call from the American president Eisenhower in a late night ordering him to withdraw immediately

And so he did even without consulting the French or the Israelis, sick ,sad ,divested to the end , the man was going to collapse

Despite the attack of the British Press on Eden on a daily Basis and the public anger ,the man surprised the whole world ,by taking a short vacation to Jamaica by the orders of the doctors while his troops were still in Egypt !!

Of course that destroyed the conservatives’ chance in keeping the Cabinet in the next elections

I once read an article in BBC about the Suez War and in it ,the man who wrote that the problem of Eden was that he didn’t knew that it was over for England as an Empire ,I don’t think so ,I think part of Eden’s struggle was that he already knew that and he wanted to prevent it from happening by any cost , he didn’t want the British Empire to vanish and that’s just another burden to hold on your shoulder

One good lesson all the British Prime Ministers learned from Eden’s experience

Follow the United States

If you follow the history of UK foreign policies after the Suez war ,you will find that since the end of it ,UK became the ultimate ally to the United States ,even if it is not in the sake ,the real benefit of UK and its people , and that’s the case in the most of time

The invasion of Iraq is the greatest example

In fact now Tony Blair is consider the Labor Anthony Eden , the only differences Eden didn’t follow the Americans and he was taking Benzedrine , well I don’t know what Blair takes !!

Anyway all the newspapers ,all the experts saying Blair pushed UK in that war of terrorism thing thanks to the United States to a fiasco just like the Suez Crisis

British troops are now in Iraq , facing a semi civil war ,UK is losing lots and lots of popularity in the middle eastern and Islamic streets,UK is looked now as a puppet in the hands of the Americans in the world

The majority of the British People are against the war in Iraq and having troops there

and even look to the situation in Iraq , it is nearly standing in the eve of a civil war

And history will then blame Tony Blair in the same way it blamed Anthony Eden

The World in 1957 , Eden leaving the Cabinet

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