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"Eisenhower's army liberated the death camps, after all." And I who had thought it was Soviet troops who liberated the most iconic death camp of them all, that at Oświęcim (known as Auschwitz to those who prefer German to Polish)! If the above is at all indicative of the manner in which Mr Avishai deals with history, we had best take his postulates in the manner in which the elder Plinius recommended dealing with poisons: "cum grano salis."

M. Henri Day

Stockholm, Sweden

Jun 27 2009 - 7:47am

Web Letter

The US has never knowingly elected a president who was not a Bible-believing Christian. The previous one claimed that God and he conversed. God told him to start two wars and kill over 1 million Iraqis, thousands of Afghanistan civilians and over 4,000 Americans.

According to the group of Jews who wrote the Old Testament, God anointed them his "Chosen People." There's your answer. Because of all the Christian presidents and their Christian administrations, the US cannot deny the right of Israel to exist. Which means covering up every atrocity the state of Israel has ever committed.

And now, rational thinking Americans have to stand back and witness this country being hijacked by the Christian right, Zionist fanatics and bone-headed fellow travelers who believe in the Rapture and the Second Coming of their Savior in their lifetime.

These irrational believers pressure our government to continue to back Israel's genocidal policies so as to hasten Armageddon so they can party with Jesus, in Heaven, while the rest of us are condemned to Hell forever. They get giddy just thinking about sitting upon their white horse while watching God's angels push the non-believers into the lake of fire. Ain't religion grand?

Charles Lingenfelser

Brandon, MS

Jun 18 2009 - 5:18pm

Web Letter

Sounds like a good book! History is not a straight line, and there is no single reason for any policy. However, I spent six years in Europe during the cold war in the Air Force and Army respectively. The Air Force period began with the Hungarian uprising and ended with Eisenhower sending the Marines into Lebanon. The major events in the army period were the U2 incident and the rise of the Berlin Wall. I have a surface knowledge of events in Europe from 1956 through 1962.

Because of the coups in Iran and Guatemala, I was never a big fan of John Foster Dulles, but both he and Eisenhower were very experienced in foreign policy. Dulles had been around since Versailles, and Eisenhower had to deal with all the European leaders as Supreme Commander in Europe during WWII.

For the same reasons I didn't like their coups in Iran and Guatemala, I liked their support for Egypt during the Suez Crisis. One reason Eisenhower might not have been too happy with Israel is that they had run a disinformation campaign, attempting to blame Egypt for arson attacks against US and British government offices, along with cinemas showing films from those countries. A Labor government was in power in England during this period. It was reported in the papers at that time, but Avi Shalaim's excellent book The Iron Wall, Israel and the Arab World also mentions it.

During an interview with a Palestinian diplomat, he said, as a child, there used to be baseball-type cards with Eisenhower's picture that were very popular. He had a good record in the Arab Middle East. American Foreign Policy in the Middle East during this period must be viewed though the prism of the cold war.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Jun 18 2009 - 4:02pm

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