Us Intervention In 1957 Lebanese

US Intervention in 1957 Lebanese Elections

A reader writes by email concerning the question of whether the United States engineered the parliamentary elections of 1957 in Lebanon in an attempt to give President Camille Chamoun a second (unconstitutional) term:

In regards to the US role in these elections, the remarks of former Ambassador Richard Parker – which can be found in Warfare in Lebanon, published in 1988 by the National Defense University in Washington DC (pg. 35) -add further credence to the claims of US involvement ( Parker was Iraq Desk Officer at State on 14 July 1958); Parker says:

“We reacted because we thought there had been a “Nasserist” coup in Baghdad. In fact we were reacting to the blank check we had given President Chamoun of Lebanon earlier under the Eisenhower Doctrine, through which we were confronting Nasser. President Chamoun cashed the check on the morning of the 14th. We had given him this check because of UAR subversion coming from Syria, which people kept denying but which was factual. This subversion, however,and we had conviently overlooked this, was in part made possible by the fact that we had been up to our ears in buying the 1957 election for Chamoun. We allegedly bought the election of Charles Malik in the Koura and we allegedly bought the defeat of Saib Saalam in the Basta. That’s sort of like getting Tip O’Neill defeated in Massqachusetts. We did this with money, just as the French, British, and the Egyptians had done.”

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