Essay on Nasser and the United States

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In July 1952, the Egyptian government, headed by King Farouk, was overthrown in a bloodless coup led by the Free Officers, soon to be known as the Egyptian Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). The revolution was ostensibly led by Muhammad Naguib but it was clear that he was a mere figurehead and in a little over two years, Gamal Abdel Nasser would assume the Presidency. Although the goals of the RCC were somewhat unclear at the start, Nasser would embark on a policy of creating an independent Egypt free from internal and external domination. It was the latter goal that would set Nasser on a collision course with the West, initially Great Britain and to a lesser extent France, but eventually the United States. As such, Nasser’s commitment …show more content…

Accordingly, the United States, in the midst of their conflict in Korea, could not have been more pleased. As Great Britain’s power in the Middle East was waning, the contest between the United States and the Soviet Union increased in order to fill the vacuum of power left by the slowly-vacating British. Immediately upon seizing power, the RCC showed a willingness to brutally suppress domestic communist activities. According to Yaqub: The Truman administration was enthusiastic about the new regime…The new government expressed a desire for friendly relations with the United States and cracked down on communist activists who had taken part in the anti-British disturbances, prompting Moscow to denounce the regime as reactionary.
The revolutionary regime in Egypt appeared to fulfill US aspirations in the Middle East in a sense that it was sufficiently opposed to communism and at the same time appeared to have generated popular sympathy. When in the fall of 1954 Nasser stated his willingness to align with the west while seeing the USSR as the only real threat to Egypt’s independence, the United States responded by providing propaganda for Nasser’s regime in Egypt and the Arab world. The appearance of solidarity, however, was soon to be tested.

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