State Department Under Truman, On Zionism And Israel

By Edwin Wright, GA
Oct 2 2006

Harry S. Truman Library
Al-Jazeerah, October 2, 2006

Oral History Interview with Edwin M. Wright Edwin M. Wright General
staff G-2 Middle East specialist, Washington, 1945-46; Bureau Near
East-South Asian-African Affairs Department of State, since 1946,
country specialist 1946-47, advisor U.N. affairs, 1947-50, advisor
on intelligence 1950-55. Wooster, Ohio July 26, 1974 by Richard
D. McKinzie

Oral History Interview with Edwin M. Wright

Wooster, Ohio July 26, 1974 by Richard D. McKinzie


Mr. Wright has asked that this letter be included as a preamble to
his interview.

445 Bloomington Ave. Wooster, Ohio 44691 April 3, 1977

Mr. James R. Fuchs Harry S. Truman Library Independence, MO 64050

Dear Mr. Fuchs:

Your letter of March 23, 1977 and the draft transcription of the
interview that I gave to Professor McKinzie arrived last week.

I have gone over the latter and made a few corrections of a minor
nature and am returning it under separate cover.

I took the liberty of adding a number of footnotes. The material
I gave Professor McKinzie was of a very controversial nature–one
almost taboo in U.S. circles, inasmuch as I accused the Zionists of
using political pressures and even deceit in order to get the U.S.

involved in a policy of supporting a Zionist theocratic, ethnically
exclusive and ambitious Jewish State. I, and my associates in the
State Department, felt this was contrary to U.S. interests and we
were overruled by President Truman. At the time I gave the interview,
I had to relate many personal incidents for which, at the time, there
was no evidence. In the past 30 months, a great deal of relevant
material has been published which corroborates my story. Especially
useful has been the publication of Foreign Relations of the United
States 1948 Vol. V on the Near East, Part 2 by the Department of
State which gives the original documents from which I quoted from
memory. So I have added footnotes where verification is now available.

In addition, Zionists and Christian Fundamentalists have frequently
used the Hebrew Bible as an authority for justifying a Jewish State.

As late as summer 1976, Candidate Jimmie Carter stated,

"I am pro-Israeli, not because of political expediency, but because
I believe Israel is the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy."

So the Bible–and belief that it is God’s Holy Word and infallible,
became a useful tool in Zionist propaganda. I take the point of view
that the Bible is a mixture of Hebrew legends and myths and cannot
be used as an element in U.S. foreign policy. Two recent books by
well-known and competent scholars support my view. They are,

John Van Seter, Abraham in Legend and History. Yale 1975..

Frank M. Cross, Caananite Myth and Hebrew Epic. Harvard 1973.

The Zionists were very successful in using religion for political
purposes. This is prohibited by the First Amendment of the U.S.

Constitution which states the Government should recognize no "religous
establishment." In the case of Zionism and Israel, the U.S.

has recognized and supported a religious establishment–viz: the
State of Israel which in turn discriminates against all non-Jewish
religions. Two texts are available

Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel. Beirut 1968.

Israel Shahak, The Non-Jew in the Jewish State. Jerusalem 1975.

Dr. Shahak, Professor of chemistry in Hebrew University introduces
his topic, "This collection of documents is intended to show that it
(Israel) is, at least in one of its most important characteristics,
a State about which the greatest amount of misinformation, double
talk and straight lies, is being published abroad" (Preface, first

U.S. citizens, quite ignorant of Biblical critical studies and equally
ignorant of Zionist dogmas and claims, were easy victims to clever
Zionist manipulation of their gullibility. When I mailed to Professor
McKinzie a typewritten statement to explain some of the documents I
gave him, a group of my friends urged me to expand the material and
publish it as an independent document. So I completely rewrote the
material and published it as The Great Zionist Cover-Up.

It is a much fuller statement of how the Zionists operate. I enclose
a copy with the transcript. It also includes many references to books
where a fuller treatment of the material may be obtained.

Finally, my opposition to Zionism was on purely pragmatic grounds. I
was convinced the Arabs would fight a Zionist Exclusive Expansionist
Jewish State–because they saw it in operation during the period of the
British mandate. So did I. I felt it was folly for the United States
to support a State composed of such neurotic groups as I witnessed in
Palestine (1942-46). The Orthodox Rabbis wanted to turn the clock back
to 1200 B.C. Theocracy–and were really fanatic. They have produced
such irrational and Expansionist groups as the Gush Emunim group,
who openly defy the Israeli government and cannot be disciplined
because they are so "Holy." A description of this "Much Holier than
Thou" movement is found in The New Outlook (Tel Aviv) monthly for
November 1976, "Chauvinistic Politics and Political Religion: Danger
in Hebron." It was the Zealots who in the time of Christ so provoked
the Roman authorities that they brought on Roman retaliation and the
destruction of the Jewish State in 70 A.D. The Gush Emunim have learned
nothing from history and will repeat history. The Israeli government
is impotent in the face of the defiance of this Zealot group. Other
Israelis are equally blind to realities and so dogmatic and fragmented
that no party can ever get a majority. The in-fighting between these
parties is causing rapid decay in Israeli domestic political life. The
only force which unites them is fear of the Arabs. Remove that, and
Israeli political unity will disintegrate. George Ball in Foreign
Affairs, April 1977 has the opening article, "How to Save Israel from
Herself." He calls the Israeli government "impotent" and "immobile"
(pp. 456-57) and on p. 467 refers to Israel’s "paranoia." Because
the USA is waking up (for the wrong reason–need of Arab oil) to the
potential disasters facing us in the Arab-Israeli conflict, the USA
is preparing to undo–what it did in 1947-48. Norman Podhoretz, the
Zionist Editor of Commentary has a recent article, "The Abandonment
of Israel." He now accuses the USA of perfidy because he sees US
support for Israel ebbing.

"America’s policy toward Israel suggests the Vietnamization of
Israel–it is felt that America, in order to avoid confrontation
with the Soviet Union and to protect its oil supplies, will gradually
withdraw from a total support of Israel and if necessary, negotiate
over the survival of Israel."

Zionists, since Truman’s decision in 1947-48, have lived in a Fool’s
Paradise. They assumed their control of the US government, press
and public was permanent and based an "moral" values–therefore,
the US at all times would give Israel total support. Zionists seem
to live in a dream world of their own creation and think the rest
of the world should accept their dream. They seem quite incapable
of facing reality. George Ball is making an effort to break through
to some of the realities involved in our foolish adventure into
theocratic politics. It will generate a bitter and possibly violent
emotional reaction on the part of US Zionists who will accuse the
USA generally of "anti-Semitism." (p. 454) I have been accused of
this since 1944–now it is probable that President Jimmie Carter will
share the title. Returning Israel to its pre-1967 boundaries, as he has
stated, is–to the Zionist–a death sentence. Their 30 year dream of
"Eretz Gadohl 1′ Am Gadhol"–(a great land for a great people) will
be shattered. I doubt if Israel can long survive such a blow. Jews
will no longer emigrate to such a small non-viable state. Israelis
will leave in increasing numbers. In 1947-48 when President Truman
declared for a Jewish State, there was an outburst of Jewish Messianic
hysteria (Bernard Pashol and Henry Levy, The Hills Shout for Joy:
The day Israel was born (New York 1973). As Cyrus was declared "The
Messiah of the Lord" in Isaiah 44 :28, so Truman was a "Messiah"
to serve Eternal Divine Israel in 1948. Jews of a Zionist persuasion
cannot separate the Transcendental from the Mundane. In antiquity,
within a half a century, the Jews turned against Persia and in the
Book of Esther (Hadarsal) King Artaxerxes is painted as a drunken
and lecherous fool. He ruled from 485 B.C.-465 B.C. I fear President
Carter may prove to be the Zionist model for the Treacherous Fool who
"abandoned" Israel. Zionists seem to deal in superlatives–no relative
values. They cannot see that President Truman was a US politician,
needing Jewish votes and money to win an election. To the Zionists
Truman was a Messianic Savior chosen by Destiny. Nor can they see
President Carter is beset by global problems and it is necessary to
curb Israel’s excesses and mistreatment of the Palestinians lest it
bring on a global disorder.

George Ball’s article is the rarest and best statement made in 29
years. I’m not sure the Esther model is the one to hope for. Esther
got her Gentile King drunk, then wheedled his signet ring and sent out
an order to the Jews–so they slew 75,000 innocent Persians (Esther
9:16). The Book of Esther is not history. It is parody. The Ahasuerus
of Esther is probably the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (165
B.C.) and Mordechai is probably a symbol for Judas Maccabeus. Esther
represents the beautiful dream of a Messianic Jewish State. There is
a lesson nevertheless in this immoral and violent story. A political
marriage of any political power with Messianic Zionism is certain to
produce disaster.

I would appreciate it, if you make this letter a part of my "Oral"
transcript by attaching it as a "Preamble." The Ecstasy of Zionism by
capturing President Truman in 1947-48 is turning into the Agony of
President Carter in 1977. George Ball has started the Ball rolling;
how far dare we let it (Israel’s paranoia) determine American policy?

(p. 467) Time is vindicating the point of view of those State
Department specialists whom Truman said he could not trust because
they were "anti-Semitic." His barb hurt and has left scars.

Thank you for your patience and trouble.


Edwin M. Wright


MCKINZIE: Mr. Wright, perhaps you could start by telling how you got
into Government work and your personal background before you went
into the Government.

WRIGHT: My background is a rather unusual one because my father
went out to the Middle East in 1878 and I was born in Iran. As such
I have dual citizenship. I’ve never used my Iranian citizenship,
it’s conferred upon me by birth. I grew up in Iran and learned to
speak Armenian and Turkish. I was born in Tabriz, which is in the
northwestern part and a Turkish speaking area.

When I came back to America I went to Wooster College and graduated
in 1918. Then I took three years of theological work. My father was a
missionary and I thought I would need some theological background for
work in the field. I went to McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago
and then back to Iran. I spent 16 years in educational work there,
being the principal of several high schools in Tabriz, in Rasht,
and in Hamadans (1921-1937).

I came back here after the Iranian Government had nationalized all
the schools and there was no purpose in staying in Iran. I decided to
take a course in ancient history at Columbia University. I thought I
would get my doctorate in ancient history and for the next four years,
1937 through 1941, I was working on a doctorate.

This has a great deal to do with my working in the Government,
because I had lived in the Middle East. I was interested in it,
especially the religious background. I have studied Islam a great
deal, I have studied Arabic, and I wanted to get the whole Jewish
point of view. I took three courses under Dr. Salo Baron, who is
perhaps the outstanding Jewish scholar in America. He is the author
of a seven-volume history of the Jews.

What I wanted to do was get this religious background. I’m convinced
that religion underlies much of our language, though we don’t
recognize it.

In other words, the themes and dogmas of religion underlie the way
we see the world. If you would understand especially the Middle East,
which never had a renaissance, you simply have to know this religious
background. I majored in the religions, culture, and history of the
Middle East.

When the war came on, the OSS put out a general request to find people
who knew the Middle East. As I recall, there were only six people in
America at that time (of American parentage), who could read or write
Persian. I was one of them. Practically all of us got dragged into
the Government. We had no political background in the Middle East and
practically no interest in politics there. There was no great dirth of
what you might call specialists or experts in the Middle East. There
were a few from archaeology, a few missionaries’ children, and a few
from business. Many of us were dragged into the research branch of
the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), to prepare materials for the
U.S. Government in case the United States became involved in that area.

Eventually, Mr. [Winston] Churchill called up President [Franklin]
Roosevelt and said that they did not have the facilities to handle
supplies for Russia across Iran. [For details: George Lenczowski,
Russia and the West in Iran, 1918-1948, Cornell U. Press,
pp. 273-275.] Immediately the OSS asked me to prepare a study on the
railways and transportation systems of Iran. I wrote a very complete
one because I found in the Library of Congress all the sources,
in Persian, of the railway maps and whatnot that had been sent in
earlier. I was able therefore to prepare a full study on the Iranian
railway system. This got into the Department of Defense and Mr.

Roosevelt said, "Well, we’ll take over the Iranian railways and
operate it under the Persian taskforce."

They found my name on this study and immediately offered me a captaincy
in Intelligence. They assigned me to go to the Middle East and work
in the Intelligence side of the operations (E-2).

I was sent, in 1942, to Iran. I might mention the Russians protested
my being there, because they knew I spoke all the languages. They
reported that I was an American spy and a dangerous character,
and that I would be shot immediately because I was so hated by the
Russians–a bluff which had its effect.

The result was that the Defense Department moved me out of Iran and
sent me to Cairo. I spent the rest of the war in Cairo in Intelligence
and handled the Iranian situation from Cairo. This is the way we had
to do it, but I made frequent trips there.

Also there opened up a position in Palestine. We had had a man there
but he was transferred and Palestine had no Intelligence officer. For
a year I worked in Tel Litvinski, which is just outside Tel Aviv,
the U.S. Army headquarters.

This period is very important for what I have to say about serving
under President Truman, because while I was there I realized that
there was going to be a war between Jews and Arabs; that was just
certain. This was because of the concepts of the two societies. One
has to get into the attitude of mind and the philosophy of these two
societies to understand this problem.

I made a special study of Zionism, and I talked with as many people
as I could find who were the leaders of the Zionist community. I
interviewed Golda Meir at that time; she was then labor secretary. I
had conversations with Reuven Zaslani, who later was called Shiloah
(all these people changed their names later on); Dov Joseph, who
became the mayor of Jerusalem during the war; and Teddy Kolleck. I
made a special effort to meet them, talk with them, and find out what
Zionism is; what it stands for. I also found that there was a school in
Tel Aviv, known as the Gymnasia Herzliya. It was the training school
in which most of the modern leaders of Israel had gone; Moshe Dyan
and others. I talked with a number of the teachers and professors
there. I felt that this was a school dedicated to inculcating and
indoctrinating [Theodor] Herzl’s ideas into the minds of the young
Jews in Palestine. [See: Moshe Menuhin, The Decadence of Judaism in our
Times, Exposition Banner Book, 1965. He was a graduate of this school.]

At that time many of Herzl’s writings were not yet translated into
English. In fact, they were not translated until 1952, so no one
had really any easy access to this material unless he knew German or
Hebrew. I don’t know either one of these very well. I studied some
Germany and some Hebrew, but I talked with the people who were the
professors there and also got to know Edwin Samuel, the son of Lord
Samuel who was the first High Commissioner of Palestine.

With Edwin Samuel, I made trips all through the kubbutzim. We spent
several days at Ein Geb, Mishmar Ha-Emek, and at various other of
the kubbutzim. During this period I became convinced that Americans
didn’t know what Zionism was at all.

The material was not in English. There was very little of it known
to America, and I came to the conclusion that it was a very dangerous
type of philosophy of living.

What I found out was that Herzl had taught that all the Jews of the
world should go to Israel. This was the idea that dominated the Yishuv
(the Yishuv means the Jewish community of Palestine) and even Ben
Gurion, who was at that time Secretary of the Jewish Agency.

The Jewish Agency was a shadow government. It already was a government
of Israel; simply waiting for the veil to be pulled and it would
emerge. It had all the functions of government. I found their ideas
were that all Jews should leave the Gentile world. This is in Herzl:
"Gentiles hate Jews, they are going to destroy the Jewish world." It’s
a paranoic view of things. The only way Judaism can be saved is for the
Jews to leave the Gentile world completely; to go to a Jewish state,
as Herzl put it in his book. There they would rule themselves and be
able to get away from the hatred of the Gentile world. The Gentiles
are out to destroy Judaism. [See: Theodore Herzl, The Jewish State,
N.Y., 1943.Diaries in II Volumes]

I did not believe this. I think it’s a false concept of society,
and especially false of American society. Nevertheless, this is the
foundation of Zionist thinking.

The second step was that this Jewish state must be in Palestine. This
is the sacred home of the people; its literature was developed there,
and their attitude was that Judaism cannot survive in any other
place except Palestine itself. That’s where it grew and germinated,
and it’s got to get back there in order to save itself. Otherwise,
Jews are going to assimilate in other countries. Herzl himself made
the statement that, when the Jewish state is set up, if a Jew does
not go to live in it he is anti-Semitic because he chooses to live
with Gentiles rather than live with Jews which are his real community.

I got all these ideas through talking with people who were Zionists.

The third step in Zionism was that they must have large enough a
state in order to keep the whole Jewish population there. At that
time there were about fourteen million Jews, and now that meant
owning a very large territory. It is not brought out in Zionist
propaganda in America, but what they claim is all the territory
from the Suez Canal clear north to the mountains of Cappadocia, in
southern Turkey. [Statement by Herzl. Also see Numbers 34; Genesis
15:18, Joshua 13, II Samuel 8:5-6.} It includes all of Lebanon,
much of Syria, Jordan, and Sinai. This is the territory they call
"Eretz Israel," the land of Israel, which is mentioned in the Bible.

Furthermore, in the Bible you will find the boundaries of "Eretz
Israel" as given by God. There are several places these are found,
Numbers, the 34th Chapter and so forth.

One of the men whom I discussed this with was Rabbi Meyer Berlin,
the Chief Rabbi in the Mizrachi group. These are the ultra-orthodox
group, who accept the Old Testament literally. Everything that it
says is exactly just as it’s described.

I might mention my concept of the Bible is that it is largely
mythology; Jewish legend; distorted history. [See: John Van Seter,
Abraham in Legend and History, Yale, 1975. Frank M. Cross, Caananite
Myth and Hebrew Epic, Harvard, 1973.] There are a lot of poems and
other sorts of things like this. There are a number of moral teachings
in it, but they are the minimum part of it. Large parts of it are
just ritualistic and have no meaning in the modern world at all,
but if you want to understand Jewish legend, that’s the book to go to.

When I talked to these people I saw that they took it literally.

Furthermore, in one of my conversations with Mr. Ben Gurion he made
the remark that, "the Bible is our charter." I began to realize that
Zionism is a thinly veiled theocracy. The Bible was in their minds
when they were talking, but they used modern nationalistic language
in order to hide the fact that this was theocratic in nature. They
realized that a theocratic society would not appeal to America.

I might mention here that I have found Zionism very deceitful. There
is a double meaning in all the words Zionists use, and [Chaim]
Weizmann himself said one time, "Let the British or anyone else talk
about Zionism and they can use our terminology, but we know what
the meaning of it is. It has one meaning to us, one meaning to the
Gentiles." They’ve always had this double-entendre in everything that
they have done. Whenever they use words you have to try to find out
what is the context in which they are using these words.

This threw me back to studying the Bible again to see what they are
talking about; what is "Eretz Israel," which includes this tremendous
territory? Furthermore, in the covenants which God gave to the Jewish
people, he said, "You are to be a pure and holy people and not to
be contaminated by contact with Gentiles. Therefore, you should
cast out all the inhabitants that are there and make it a Jewish
state." [See Deuteronomy 7:1=6. Joshua 6:17; 8:21; 10:33. I Samuel
15:18, etc.] I found the same thing in Herzl: You must remove the
Arabs and Palestinians in order to have an exclusivistic Jewish people.

I found Herzl’s writings were really all ideas taken from the Old
Testament, but dressed up in modern language, and that Zionism meant
the incorporation of the whole Jewish community in Palestine. A
large territory that was to be exclusively theirs, and the Arabs
would be expelled.

I, at that time didn’t have access to all the writings of Herzl,
because they were in a language I couldn’t use for research, but I
got a lot through discussing this with various Jewish leaders. These
are what I saw as their plans for the future. [I also met some
anti-Zionists such as Rabbi Judah Magnus who was President of Hebrew

When I was there I also made a point of discussing the Middle East
with as many authorities as I could. There were a number of Americans
who were in the American University of Cairo; I found the professors
at Beirut extremely helpful; and Alfred Carleton, the president of
Aleppo College. I made a point of contacting as many Americans who
lived in the area, who knew Arabic, and Arabic history. I myself knew
a great deal of it because I had lived in Iran much of my life, and
I also had a professor at El-Azhar University, which is the great
theological school of the Muslim community in Cairo. I hired him
to teach me Arabic so I could study the Quran and the background of
Islamic history as well.

In other words, I went to the sources. I found that the area had
not yet emancipated itself from the theocratic point of view of the
world. Such ideas as we had in the West had never penetrated the Middle
East. They are just beginning to penetrate now; technology and the
objective and secular point of view. These people are introspective,
they live in a world of imagination and mythology which they interpret
as reality. This is true of Golda Meir, Ben Gurion and all the rest of
them. They live in a world of half myth and half reality. The result
has been tremendous blunders that they have made in international

One of the men whom I met when I was there was Loy Henderson. He was
at that time our minister in Bagdad. I reported to him, and got to
know him fairly well. I also knew George Wadsworth, our minister in
Lebanon. I got to know some of these men very well and found them very
well-versed in Middle Eastern history and the mood of the societies
at that particular time.

I reported all of this to the Department of Defense and copies of my
reports were sent to the Department of State. When I was demobilized
and brought back from the Middle East in November of 1945, the
Department of Defense immediately put me on what they called the
"specialist corps." There were about 20 officers who were specialists
in different parts of the world; who had studied Chinese or Hindu
or something else. I was put on that specialist corps to cover the
Middle East. For the next six months I briefed General [George C.]
Marshall about twice a week on the Middle East. Of course, this was
a period when the Middle East was beginning to become important.

I should here make another statement: In 1944 Secretary Ickes made a
statement that "the United States cannot oil the war much longer. We
are running out of resources; we’ve got to open up oil resources in
other parts of the world in order to fuel the war." The result was
that in ’43 the Department of Interior released very high-priority
materials to go to Aramco in Saudi Arabia and technical personnel to
develop those oil fields.

The Pacific fleet was partially operating on oil from Iran, but Iran
was not able to rapidly develop its sources and Aramco was given the
green light: "Build, get anything you need to, and the United States
Government will support you."

When these orders went out to allow Aramco to develop, the Defense
Department sent off what we call a signal. It said, "Immediately
prepare for us a special report on oil. We want to know what the oil
situation in the Middle East is."

Now, I’m not an oil man; I’m not an economist. I’m a historian
and a researcher, but the Army sends you to all kinds of odd jobs,
especially if you’re in Intelligence.

I was called in by General [Barney M.] Giles who said, "We want you
to prepare this report."

Fortunately I had met in my contacts, many of the oil men, and I
went to representatives of Caltex. I said, "Could I travel around
with some of your men in the field and get the necessary technical
language and some material?"

They were very anxious to cooperate with us. The result was I made
several trips into Arab territories along with the drillers and
the field men. I talked with them trying to get the whole geological
structure of the oil of the Middle East. I became, by osmosis, somewhat
of an oil expert. I think of myself as sort of a person who explains
things to other people in ordinary English. This is what I try to do,
and I take no pride in the fact that I’m an oil specialist, I can take
facts and put them in English, and that’s been my value. What I did
was prepare for the Defense Department a study on the oil resources
of the Middle East.

As I look back on this, thirty years later on, it was an infantile
effort. Oil was just being discovered and very little was known
about it at that time, and what has happened since then has been
phenomenal. My report anyhow was sent in and copies of it went to the
State Department. It was one of the first official documents on this.

Up until this time we had a petroleum advisor in the State Department,
but he did not produce this type of popular work; that anyone can
read and get the picture.

What I found out was that the average well in the Persian Gulf area
produces from 500 to 1000 times as much as the average well in the
United States, and costs only six to ten cents a barrel to produce.

These facts at that time were completely unknown, and they still are
unknown to the average person in America. Americans are as ignorant of
where their oil comes from as if it rained from heaven. So when there
is an Arab oil embargo nobody knows who to blame for a shortage of
oil. The confusion in America in 1973 over where our oil comes from
is an indication of the stupidity and the ignorance of the American
people on the facts of life. I learned these facts of life back in
this period, because I had to study it and report on it.

When I came back to Washington, the Defense Department had me
prepare a special discussion with maps and visual aids. At one of
these discussions they invited in the State Department people. The
Defense Department felt they had something of value. They invited in
[Dean] Acheson, Loy Henderson, Spruille Braden, and a whole group of
the creme de la creme in the State Department, including Harold Minor.

I gave this talk on oil and Loy Henderson was there. He had heard me
also in Bagdad, and afterwards he came up to me and said, "What are
you going to do when you are discharged from the Army?"

I said, "I don’t know. I think I’ll go into teaching, because that’s
the field that I’m especially interested in."

He said, "Well, don’t you think about teaching; we want you to come
into the State Department."

As a result he sent Harold Minor, his assistant on Middle Eastern
affairs, and they got me to apply for a position in the State
Department. That’s how I got in.

When I reported in February of 1946, he said to me, "I don’t want
you to get tied down with any one kind of job. You’re not so highly
specialized, but I’m going to make you a special assistant and you
will just simply handle everything that I assign to you."

In other words, there was no job description for me. It was because I
knew the languages, the history, and the background so he wanted to use
me just as a generalist; a sharpshooter on anything that happened. As
such, I was his special assistant and I sat in the office right outside
Loy Henderson’s office. I found him a remarkable person. He was honest,
I could talk frankly to him. Although we had different backgrounds,
but we had a lot in common. Immediately the Iranian issue came to
the fore, the question of Azerbaijan. [See Lenczowski, pp. 284-303]
He said, "You work with the Iranian desk on this."

I did a great deal of the work on briefing and writing of memos and
going up to the United Nations at the time that this Azerbaijan issue
came up. I might mention, in connection with leaks, that an official
Government policy is to leak non-sensitive stuff. Mr. Henderson told
me, "You know, the public doesn’t know anything about this. You give as
much information as you can, without compromising the State Department,
to the various agencies around here."

I got to know Stuart Alsop, I gave him a lot of information. I got
to know other men who were working in other areas and I was able,
through the press, to put out a lot of information on Iran. It was
not confidential stuff, but I became known as the source of material
for the Azerbaijan and Iranian issue. They found out that I was sort
of an instant authority, that they could ask questions and I could
give them information very quickly. So I got into contact with the
press. It gave me an outlet and helped the American public to see
some of the issues that were going on.

I don’t consider this a violation of any oaths because I was not
giving secret material. They wanted background material on the issues,
and I was able to help them. It was not leaking secret material,
it was simply using the information that we had in the personnel of
the Department.

One day Ted Winetal of Newsweek came in to see me and asked me some
questions about Iran. I told him, "Well, you know, there’s a lot I
can’t tell you."

He looked at my safe containing all my material there and said,
"You’ve got more material in that safe than we could collect for ten
thousand dollars in two years."

I said, "Well, that’s true, but it’s just not material I can give out."

Many people in the State Department do have this material available.

The problem is how do you get it out to the public, because you can
do it from an illegal way, or you can try to help out the press. I
was very fortunate in my relationships with these newspapermen;
not one of them ever betrayed me. They did not quote my name and
they didn’t give away secret material, but we were able to use the
information the State Department had to get across to the public what
I looked upon as an educational program. It’s essential because we did
not have very many people in the Middle East and the American public
knew very little about it. Suddenly the United States was projected
into Middle Eastern affairs.

In April 1945, I happened to be going from Bagdad to Teheran on a
British army truck, on a morning in April when they turned on the
radio and they announced the death of President Roosevelt. They said
President Truman had taken over, and I knew nothing about this man.

What is his background? He was almost an unknown to the average
American and we wondered, "Is he going to be able to handle the type
of problems that are coming in the postwar period?"

Up until the war we had not been interested in much of the world.

During the war our attention was largely on Europe and Japan, and
people had forgotten the Middle East or never had even heard of it. I
wondered, "How is he going to handle the kind of problems that are
going to arise in this area in the postwar period?"

Well, I was very pleased with Mr. Truman in almost everything that he
did. I thought he was extremely creative in connection with Europe
and NATO, but this was because America had a great fund of European
specialists, and many of us had European backgrounds. We had endless
numbers of schools where we had European studies. Our European policy
was very constructive, very creative, and very useful. It turned us
away from isolationism into a sort of integration with the rest of
the world.

Unfortunately, when it came to Asia we had no specialists, and
there arose in America; domestic issues which attacked those who were
specialists. Domestic issues are not based on intelligence, but on self
interest of a smaller group, and I think in this connection I think
I should mention specifically two. One was what we called the China
Lobby, a very odd and indiscriminate group of people who never were
really organized, but had a tremendous influence upon government. They
eventually were captured by Senator [Joseph R.] McCarthy.

The other were the Zionists, who were more organized. They had been
working for a long time to capture the U.S. Government; to use it
for purposes of developing a Jewish state. In other words, we had
two lobby groups in America who knew little about the area at all,
who had certain ideological concepts of society and America. When the
people from the fields reported what was unpopular to these groups,
they were fired.

It’s too well-known what happened to the people that McCarthy
attacked. The best specialists we had on China were all fired or
declared Communists. We purged them, and that led us into the debacle
of supporting Chiang Kai-shek.

The same thing happened in the Middle East. The Zionists well knew
that these specialists in the State Department were people opposed
to Zionism; that we were dangerous people from the point of view of
Zionism. They were already attacking me when I was in Cairo. They
found out that I was reporting things they didn’t like, and they had
people also in Washington who picked up my reports.

The result was I was put on a dangerous list. When they found me as
assistant to Loy Henderson, who was advising against their Zionist
state, they felt that this was a conspiracy of certain groups of
people that must be purged from Government.

Whatever contribution I had to make on President Truman’s attitude had
to do with his decision on this question of Zionism. Up until 1946 no
head of State had ever used the phrase "Jewish state." The British had
used the phrase "Jewish national home." The result was that the concept
of a Jewish state had not been accepted by any outside power. It was
the drive of the Zionists to get the United States to recognize such
a thing as a Jewish state, but nobody in America knew what a Jewish
state was. I’m convinced that Mr. Truman never knew what it involved,
yet he used the phrase "Jewish state."

No one has ever been able to define what a Jew is; what is the
adjective "Jewish?" I’m convinced there is no agreed definition; it
cannot be defined. Israel has in 26 years tried to define the term
"Jew," and it’s run across endless contradictions. Every time that
a court in Israel defines the term Jew, half of the Jews protest
against it and say, "That’s not what we mean by Judaism." In other
words, Judaism or Jew means so much to so many people that there is
no possible definition of it. The Zionists have a specific meaning
of Judaism that is racist; it has to do with a theory of birth. You
are born a Jew, you have to have a Jewish mother, and every Jew
has a DNA particle that is identified as Jewish. This is a sort
of a chain to connections back to Abraham. This is pure mythology,
[See John Van Seder, op. cit.] and yet this is the idea on which the
State of Israel is being built.

Furthermore, Mr. Truman knew nothing about their concept of Zionism.

In his book he refers to the fact that the extreme Zionists, as
he said, threatened him. Those are not the extreme Zionists at all,
these were the regular Zionists. He didn’t know the difference between
a leftist and a rightist Zionist. All he knew was that the Zionists
put tremendous pressure upon him in order to accept the concept of
a Jewish state in Palestine.

There’s a little booklet here that has to be read in connection with
my statements. It’s called Pentagon Papers, 1947, and I’ll give you
a copy of it and it should be used by anybody who uses this text. It
was put out by Elmer Berger and myself last fall, before the October
war of 1973. [I enclose a copy of my latest pamphlet The Great Zionist
Cover-up which gives further details.]

In Mr. Truman’s book you will find that he describes the pressures
that were brought to bear upon him at this particular time. He said
it was like nothing that he ever saw again in the Presidency. He
makes the strange remark, "I could not trust my advisers in the State
Department because they were anti-Semitic."

It’s perfectly obvious he was smearing Mr. Henderson, who was the
adviser and the director at that time of the Near Eastern areas. The
Zionists went to various people like Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell
and said, "Smear this fellow. Destroy his character and get him out
of Government."

The result was Mr. Henderson became the target of Zionist attacks.

All kinds of false stories were told about him in these columns
by Walter Winchell and others. I was at that time Mr. Henderson’s
assistant and I answered many of the letters, because he didn’t have
time to do it himself. I was his sort of alter ego in handling much
of this correspondence, and I saw the kind of letters that he got.

They were vituperative. Walter Winchell accused him of crucifying
the Jews the way that the Jews had been crucified earlier, and so
forth, and so on.[See: George Ball "How to Save Isreal From Herself,"
Foreign Affairs, April, 1977 pp.454. He points out how Zionists attack
anyone who criticises Isreal "ad hominen"–by character assasination,
calling them "anti-semitic."]

Mr. Henderson in a letter to me only recently makes the statement that,
"These people tried so hard to destroy me some 25 years ago. I see
now they are also trying to destroy you."

Anyone who comes out and says, "The concept of a Zionist Jewish state
is going to bring on trouble," is immediately attacked. The orders are,
"Get him out of Government," just the way Mr. Nixon tried to get some
people out of Government. Some of these people are protected because
they happen to be doing a good job.

What Mr. Truman did was not project his people, but smear them. In
his own book he declared that his advisers in the State Department
were anti-Semitic and he couldn’t trust them.

On the other hand, he got his advice from people like Eddie Jacobson,
who was his haberdasher partner; Rabbi Steven Wise; Robert Nathan;
and other people who were all Zionists; crypto-Zionists very often
[Clark Clifford, Political Affairs officer in the White House
staff must be included. A New York lawyer and politician, he was
in close contact with the Zionists and represented their views to
the President. See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948,
(hereafter cited F.R.U.S.) Vol. V, pp. 973-976. For Clifford’s view,
p. 755. Recognizing that the State Department was skeptical of the
"peaceful" outcome of establishing an exclusivist Zionist state on Arab
territory, the Zionists and the Jewish Agency (later the Government
of Israel) established outlets for propaganda and pressure on the
U.S. public. The American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
was placed in Washington to influence Congress, public officials and
the press. It was well funded and published in the Near East Report and
was recognized as "the Israeli Lobby." A psuedo–"American Christian
Committee for Palestine" was funded by the Israeli Government and
U.S. Zionists. It published a news sheet, organized tours to Israel and
worked especially on clergy and churches. For the press, the Jewish
Telegraph Agency pretended to be a U.S. installation. The Fulbright
investigation of 1962 exposed the latter two–the American,Christian
Committee and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Israeli Government
organizations. As a result of the exposure the American Christian
Committee lost all its utility and disbanded. The press card of Milton
Friedman of the JTA to the Department of State was cancelled. These
many Israeli Government propaganda organizations did all they could to
discredit those men in the State Department, whom they identified as
"pro-Arab." For further details: Alan R. Taylor Prelude to Israel
(Philosophical Library, 1959), especially the Chapter VIII, "The
Zionist Search for American Support," pp. 77-113.] They kept whispering
in his ear, "Don’t trust the State Department." The result was he did
not trust the State Department, the people who knew what was going on.

David Niles was another one. He was the protocol officer in the White
House, and saw to it that the State Department influence was negated
while the Zionist view was presented. You get this from Mr. Truman’s
book, but also there are many stories that are not known.

One of them was that when the election was coming up in 1946 in New
York, the group of New York Jews called upon Mr. Truman. [Alan Taylor,
op. cit. p.93] Emmanuel Cellar was the head of this committee. Rabbi
Steven Wise and several others were in it. They called upon Mr. Truman
and said, "We have just been talking with Mr.

[Tom] Thomas Dewey. He is willing to come out and declare for a Jewish
state, and we are going to turn our money and urge the Jews to vote
for him unless you beat him to it." Then Emmanuel Cellar pounded upon
Mr. Truman’s desk and said, "And if you don’t come out for a Jewish
state we’ll run you out of town."

This, I’m sure, is the threat that Mr. Truman refers to in his book,
saying, "The extreme Zionists threatened me." They were Emmanuel
Cellar, Rabbi Steven Wise, etc. These are not the extreme Zionists,
these are just the run of the mill Zionists. What Mr. Truman did was
to cave in to these threats that they would support Mr. Dewey. In
that way he got the Jewish money and the Jewish vote. His decision
was not made from the point of view of what was going to result in
the Middle East, but what was going on in the United States.

Foreign policy cannot be operated intelligently if it’s to be
the football of domestic lobbies, and this was Mr. Truman’s great
mistake. In this issue he gave way to a domestic lobby. What did
Emmanuel Cellar know about the Middle East? The answer is nothing.

What did these other men, David Niles or Eddie Jacobson know about
the Middle East? Zero. The result was he listened to a group of
propagandists who gave him the wrong ideas and he came across with
this fatal decision that we would support a Jewish state in the area.

>>From that time on, the fat was in the fire. A chief of State had
come out supporting the idea of a Jewish state. Now the Zionists were
simply able to take over and operate without reference to America
anymore. They began smuggling out arms and money. Mr. Ben Gurion
had been in the U.S.A. at the Biltmore Convention in May 1942 and
had gotten organizations to support the development of a war in the
Middle East. They knew war was coming.

In one of my reports I found out that Mr. Ben Gurion had made
a statement at Tel Hai, which is one of the group meetings in
Palestine. "As soon as the war in Europe is over, the war in the
Middle East will begin." The Zionists had no question but that they
were going to fight and drive out the Arabs. This has been written
in many of their documents, and Mr. Truman didn’t know this. [John
Davis The Evasive Peace, Chapter 5, "The Palestine Refugee Problem,"
Cleveland, 1976.]

They told him, "Zionism is but a humanitarian move. It’s liberal,
it’s progressive, it’s going to bring prosperity in the Middle East."

Mr. Truman made that one statement; that the reason he supported the
idea of a Jewish state was because it was bringing prosperity to the
Middle East.

It was obvious he was deceived, but I think he was easily deceived
because it brought money into the campaign and he needed it badly for
his whistlestops. In fact, I’m convinced that the American Government
is largely corrupt because of the way that our campaigns are run.

This has been brought out, of course, very clearly in the last few
months in connection with Watergate, but it’s not new. The business
of buying Government opinion and Government judgment is very old in
America and it’s one of the things that is going to destroy democracy
unless it is somehow or another corrected.

In this particular case, Mr. Truman not only supported the Zionists
but he also did a very dirty trick. He smeared his specialists and
made it difficult for them to operate any longer in Government.

Mr. Henderson was, therefore, told, "You’ve got to leave the State
Department or the Zionists are going to keep after us."

The State Department suggested he be sent as an ambassador to Turkey.

The Zionists had a clearance process going and they said, "No, that’s
too near the Middle East, we want to get him completely away from
the Middle East." The result was that they sent him as ambassador to
India to get him out of the area completely.

What Mr. Truman then did was to turn over the Middle Eastern
policymaking and the fate of State Department personnel to the
Zionists; who were not in Government at all. He turned it away from
his trained diplomats and over to irresponsible and fanatic people
who simply purged the State Department. [F.R.U.S., 1948, Vol. V,
The Near East. President Truman referred to "the fanaticism of our
New York Jews," p. 593. There are dozens of references to domestic
pressures, pp. 640, 656, 609, etc.]

I happen to know this from personal experience because I became the
brunt, the target of Zionist attacks. They found out, with Mr.

Henderson being sent away, that the Department was still anti-Zionist,
and they tried to find out who was there in the woodwork bringing
out this anti-Zionism. They found me in there, and they turned the
character assassin loose on me. His name was Milton Friedman. He
was at that time under a camouflage; he operated in the Jewish
Telegraph Agency. They sicked him onto me and he wrote a whole
series of articles about how I was getting paid for my point of view,
that I was a dangerous character, and that the Government ought to
investigate me for anti-Semitism. They did investigate me.

This came out in connection with the McCarthy scandal: not only were
there Communists supposedly in the State Department but there were
also anti-Semites. You can see how domestic passions and domestic
irresponsibility simply shreds the usefulness of the Department of
State. That’s what occurred both in China and in the Middle East. It
was so destroyed that nobody dared say anything publicly for fear it
would be reported.

One day I was sitting next to Mr. Henderson, he had his notes out and
was dictating to me some letters when the telephone rang. It was Mr.

Niles of the White House, and Mr. Niles told him (I got the story
later on) that the night before some member of the State Department
had been at a dinner party and had criticized President Truman’s
statement on a Jewish state. Mr. Niles said, "We are not going to
tolerate any criticism of the President on this issue, and you let
your staff know that if this happens again they must be disciplined."

Mr. Henderson called a meeting of the staff and told them of the
message of Mr. Niles. He said, "None of you people are to speak in
public about this issue, because if you do we’ll have to send you
off to some Siberia if any of you, publicly express your private
opinions, even to private groups, and it gets to the White House,
you will be purged."

There were a number of these people that were purged. I can mention
them, Stuart Rockwell, Robert Munn. They tried to purge me in
every way.

I can’t understand why I survived, and this is one of the strange
things in my history, for they had me on their list as an anti-Semitic
force operating in the State Department. The American Zionist, which is
the paper of the American Zionist organization, came out with a full
page attacking me, claiming that I was the source of anti-Semitism. I
was called in frequently and told I must not speak on this subject
because it was so controversial and I was too indiscrete.

One day George McGhee, who later on was Assistant Secretary of State,
called me in. Jacob Blanstein, president of AMOCO had just come in
to see him, and somehow or another had picked up the story I was
anti-Semitic. He told George McGhee, "Why do you keep this fellow

There were influences to get rid of anyone who was called "pro-Arab."

They were not pro-Arab, I must insist upon this, they were acting in
accordance with America’s larger interests in the Middle East. The
Zionists gave them the title "pro-Arab" and that was enough to destroy
them. You had to be pro-Zionist or keep quiet in order to stay in
the State Department, and the net result was a whole generation of
officers who are simply "Uncle Toms." They don’t dare to speak or
publish things. They are afraid that they will be sent off to Africa,
or who knows to some other part of the world, and will stay there
the rest of their lives.

One of these men was Henry Byroade. Henry Byroade made a talk in
Philadelphia in April 1954. Before he made this talk he had two men
work with him on it. One was Parker T. "Pete" Hart, who was the head
of the NE, the Near Eastern Section, and the other was myself. We
went over to his house and worked out his talk. In it he made this
statement: "I have some advice for both Arabs and for Jews. Israel
should think of itself as a state living in the Middle East and
that it must live with its Arab neighbors. The Arabs must cease to
think of themselves as wanting to destroy Israel and should come to
terms with Israel itself." [Fred J. Khouri The Arab-Israeli Dilemma,
Syracuse Press, 1968, p. 300 adds that even the Israeli Government
protested this statement]

The next morning Henry Byroade got a call from Nathan Goldman, who
was in California. [Nathan Goldman was president of the World Jewish
Congress and many years president of the World Zionist Organization.

He acted as though he were president of a World Jewish State and had
a bitter fight with Ben Gurion after 1948.] He used his first name
and said, "Hank, did you make that speech in Philadelphia that was
reported in the papers today?"

Byroade said, "Yes, I made that speech."

He said, "We will see to it that you’ll never hold another good

That was the control, from California, that Nathan Goldman held over
the State Department. All they had to do was go to the President or
to Congress, and the demand would come for this fellow to be sent
off and put in some obscure area, where he no longer would influence
the situation. This has been going on for 26 years in the Department
of State as the result of Mr. Truman’s first decision to purge Loy

It destroyed the efficacy of the Department of State in that particular
area. The Zionists consider that they have control of the Department
of State, can dictate who is going to be in it and who is going to
say what policy should be. It’s sort of silent terrorism that they
have applied and kept up ever since.

There is an article in the New York Times by Joseph Kraft, called
"Those Arabists in the State Department." He points out how this terror
muzzled the "Arabists" so that it has destroyed the capability of the
State Department to advise the President. Not only has it destroyed
their capability, but the Presidents from that time on would become
"mercenaries for Zionism." They find so much money coming in from
Zionist groups that they don’t dare go against Zionism. As a result
you’ll find that there’s practically no criticism whatsoever of
Israel from the Presidency or the Congress; all kinds of criticisms
of the Arabs. Here’s another little story that I can tell, for many
of these anecdotes are illustrative of what happened. Vice President
[Alben] Barkley used to go out and make speeches for the Zionists,
and while the President cannot take money from other sources, the
Vice President can, evidently. The Zionists got him on the circuit
and paid him a thousand dollars a lecture.

A thousand dollars then was a lot more than now, and they had him
simply go all over the country stumping for Zionism. The favorite
phrase he used was, "Israel is an oasis of democracy in a desert of
tyranny." The Arab states came to the State Department and protested.

They said, "Here’s the Vice President insulting us, and we wish to
protest this."

One of the officers in the State Department wrote a memo, for Mr.

McGhee’s signature, to Mr. Truman. "The Arab states are protesting
the Vice President constantly insulting them at a time that we are
supposed to be friends of theirs. We feel that the members of the
Cabinet and the Vice President should be a little more discrete in
what they say in public."

This memo went to Mr. Truman; I understand he read it to his Cabinet.

It didn’t influence Barkley one bit, he went right ahead talking about
an "oasis of democracy in a desert of tyranny," but the officer who
drafted that was removed. He was sent off to the Defense Department
and I don’t want to give you his name, because he’s now an ambassador
in one of the states in that area. I don’t want to embarrass him. This
is what happened. Even if you suggested what is good policy you got
punished for it, and the result was that nobody dared even write memos
or sign their initials to anything. If the Zionists got hold of it,
this person was purged and sent off to some obscure area for a number
of years.

As you can see, that’s why the United States has made blunder after
blunder in the Middle Eastern area. It has been controlled by Zionist
groups, through money to Congressmen and Senators who get large fees.

For instance, Mr. Hubert Humphrey gets as much money from the Zionists
and the Jews as he does from the U.S. Government. Mr.

[Edwin] Muskie received 80 thousand dollars two years ago for speaking
for Jewish groups and gets only 42 thousand dollars a year as a
salary. These men just said whatever they were told to say because
it satisfies their personal finances and also satisfies the votes
in their area. This has corrupted American policy completely towards
the Middle East and it has led to four wars.

When I briefed the Defense Department and the State Department on oil,
my presentation was a very infantile study because I only had a few
weeks to do it. Yet the raw materials were there, and I point out in
process of time that the United States would need Arab oil. It was
essential, therefore, if we were to have good relationship with the
Arab world and get their oil, that we do not support a state that is
attacking the Arabs all the time.

The Zionist attitude is, "Keep on expanding, get more and more
territory." I could quote endless numbers of passages here from Moshe
Dayan and Yigal Allon. Moshe Dayan actually two years ago made the
remark: "This next generation of Israelies must occupy everything up
to central Syria. " [His statement: The first generation of Israelis
founded the State. The second generation expanded it in 1967.]

This idea that they must occupy all that area, drive the Arabs out,
Dayan first learned in the Gymnasia Herzliya where he went to school.

It’s Herzl’s ideas, Weizmann’s ideas, Ben Gurion’s ideas. They kept
repeating, "Drive the Arabs out, get more territory," and the United
States pays for it. We have kept paying Israel more and more money
each year. The more expansive it’s become, the more it mistreats
the Arabs. The result has been an alienation of America from the
Arab world.

This was predicted by Mr. Henderson. He said, "If we support a Jewish
state, a Zionist state, a racist state in a territory that’s dominantly
Arab, it will alienate us from the Arab world. It will make possible
the development of Russian interests, who will support the Arabs
against us. Eventually we will need Arab oil and it may be refused."

All of this is in the documents of 1947, [F.R.U.S., 1947 The Near East
and Africa, Vol. V, pp. 1281-82.] but the Zionists took a completely
different attitude: "Mr. Henderson’s anti-Semitic; pay no attention
to him." The result was that we embarked upon the development of a
Jewish, Zionist, expanding colonial empire, and have supported it with
billions of dollars. This is what brought on the war of October 1973,
in which we found that the Russians were threatening to send troops
into Egypt to support the Arabs, the Arabs who are our bewildered
friends. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia cut off oil to the U.S.A. and
Mr. Henderson’s prophesies all came true.

The man who foresaw what was going on was punished and the people
who deceived the Presidency and the Congress have been rewarded for
26 years.

This is the sad history of the mistake that was made by Mr. Truman to
open the door to Zionist control of the U.S. Government in the Middle
East. It has continued until recently, but Mr. [Henry] Kissinger is
making an effort to reverse the trend. [Edward R. F. Sheehan, "Step
by Step in the Middle East," Foreign Policy, Number 22, Spring, 1976.]

In 1956 Governor [Nelson] Rockefeller asked Mr. Kissinger to prepare
a book, which he was going to use in connection with his campaigns.

The book would anticipate the world as it would be for the next ten
years. In other words, an anticipation of America’s problems from
1960 to 1970. The Rockefeller brothers’ funds financed the thing. Mr.

Kissinger was then a professor at Harvard and he went to some of his
friends and said, "I’d like to have working papers on all parts of
the world."

The result was he got a whole lot of these working papers. He and a
small committee published the book called Prospects for America. It
came out in 1958. When he wanted a study of the Middle East he realized
this was a highly controversial area, and he went to two men whom
he knew very well, Joe Johnson, of the Carnegie Peace Foundation,
and William Yandell Elliot, his professor at Yale.

I happened to know both of these men very well. Joe Johnson had been
sent out on a mission to the Middle East. I had briefed him and I
had worked with him. I knew William Yandell Elliot because he was a
civilian advisor to the State Department on International Affairs. I
was often called in to that committee to give them information on
the Middle East. Both of these men recommended me to write this study
and I produced a study for Mr. Kissinger.

In that study written in 1958, I pointed out all the things I had
been saying here, that Zionism intended to have a large state, drive
the Arabs out, dominate the Middle East, have the United States pay
the bill.

I felt this was destructive of the American interests. Mr. Acheson
knew the same thing because in his book Present at the Creation, he
makes the statement, "The only thing on which I disagreed with the
President was his policy towards the Arab-Israeli issue. I found here
was an emotional, fanatical group; you cannot discuss these issues
with them. I couldn’t discuss it with Justice [Louis] Brandeis or
with Felix Frankfurter because our friendship would not have been
able to tolerate the differences of opinion we had on it. My advice
to the President was that to support such a state would undermine
America’s larger interests in the area."

This is exactly what Mr. Henderson and his staff had been saying,
and it came true finally in October 1973. Our larger interests were
threatened, Russia was going to send troops in there. The Arabs,
who were our friends, embargoed oil and suddenly Mr. Kissinger had
to go and try to save the day.

The result is that after 26 years, we’ve got a reverse of what Mr.

Truman did. We’ve go to get the Zionists out of control of the Middle
Eastern area, to restore some confidence with the Arab world.

Otherwise, the United States is a paper tiger; it cannot operate
without Arab oil and cooperation of the Arab people.

Now, Mr. [Richard Milhouse] Nixon, having finally learned something
about the Middle East, is trying to reverse it and restore confidence
of the Arab world. It’s going to mean an attack by the Zionists
against both Mr. Nixon and Mr. Kissinger, and that’s already begun.

"Get these fellows out as well, through the impeachment process or
something else." [For Kissinger’s problems with the Zionists: Edward
Sheehan op. cit., pp. 56-58. On p. 39,;"Kissinger encountered some of
the Golan settlers outside his hotel, screaming, ‘Jew boy go home.’"]
They want a President who is amenable to Zionist pressures and
dictations. [See George Ball, op. cit. Foreign Affairs (April 1977)
p. 454.]

They’ve hunted for 26 years and I think they’re going to be terribly
shocked when they find out they no longer have that control. The
situation that existed in 1947 is not going to be repeated in 1974.

In ’47 America was naive, the Zionists had an organization and were
able to use the treatment of Jews in Germany as a great emotional
appeal. They persuaded the public that there were no people in
Palestine. It was empty country and they were just coming home; all
this type of specious argument simply went over because the Americans
didn’t know the situation. It no longer exists. It’s not enough that
the Jews were being persecuted in Europe, but it’s the Arabs who are
now being persecuted in Israel and the neighboring territories. The
whole picture is being changed, therefore. America now knows it cannot
operate without Middle Eastern oil, at least for the next 10 years. We
simply would have a collapse in America unless we get Middle Eastern
oil. [Dankwart A. Rustow, "U.S.-Saudi Relations and the Oil Crisis
of the 1980s," Foreign Affairs, April, 1977.]

MCKINZIE: Mr. Wright, did you talk about the oil problem with the
Secretary of Defense? He said that if there were another war the
United States could not fight the war longer than three years without
Arab oil.

WRIGHT: No, but I instructed General Marshall on that. I produced
this study and I gave it to him verbally as well as with maps. I have
a copy of the report that I gave at that time. I don’t know whether
I influenced General Marshall or not, but I also gave the same talk
to General Eisenhower when he became Chief of Staff (I never met the
Secretary of Defense, that was one step beyond me). That’s one reason
why General Eisenhower, in 1956, ordered the Israelies back out of
Arab territories when they conquered the Sinai. That’s what Lyndon B.

Johnson should have done in 1967. Instead of that we supported Israel
to develop that Arab territory and put Jewish communities in there; to
drive the Arabs out. We made inevitable the war of 1973. The mistakes
that were made by Truman lasted for 26 years and have brought us to
near disaster in the Middle East. [Foreign Policy, op.

cit., p. 37. "Kissinger has described the Golan settlements as the
worst mistake the Jews have made in 2500 years.’"]

I might here briefly diverge to show the types of tactics that the
Zionists used; not only to change the opinion of Mr. Truman, but the
pressure brought to bear upon people in the State Department. This
set a certain tone that anyone in the State Department who was out
of line with what the Zionists wanted was to be attacked, defamed
and gotten out of the Government.

I happened to give a talk to the Presbyterian Church in Washington
when I returned from the Middle East in 1956. There were many questions
asked about what was going on; about Zionism and so forth.

The Suez crisis had just taken place. This was November 14, and that
took place the last week of October. It was a very sensitive moment,
and people were trying to find out what happened in the Middle East.

I was unusually frank in telling them what I thought was the source
of the trouble: Israel, Britain, and France had conspired to attack
Egypt and take over the Suez Canal. President Eisenhower shortly
after this said that they should get out of that area, and ordered
them out immediately or he would no longer give them any support. I
tried to explain what this war was and why it had come about. I made
the statement that so much that is found in modern Zionism is really
a rewording of Old Testament themes, about the "Land belonging to the
Jews," "God’s covenant," and the fact that they must have a purely
Jewish society and get rid of the foreigners. All of these were themes
in modern Zionism.

On the 14th of November a letter came to me from the Union of
Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, from 305 Broadway, New
York. It was signed by Dr. Sampson R. Weiss, who was the executive
vice-president. This speech of mine had been reported in the
Indianapolis Jewish News, and I began to get threats in the mail.

"You shouldn’t be in Government; you ought to be fired; you’re

Now, this particular letter says, "In the National Jewish Post of
Friday, November 9, there appeared, on the front page, an article
concerning an address delivered by you at the National Presbyterian
Church. In this article you are quoted as saying, ‘Zionists ideology
comes out of Deuteronomy.’" Well, it does. I think it can be very
well proven to be a rehashing of Old Testament themes, and I had made
that statement. "The article goes on to state that you accuse Jews
of dual loyalty."

What I did was to quote Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist
Organization, who said that Jews should have dual loyalty.

That was not my idea, but it was the idea of the president of the
World Zionist Organization. [The Supreme Court in the Rusk vs Afroyim
case gave Afroyim the right to dual citizenship.]

"You depicted the Jewish religion as a faith which does not allow
people to think." What I pointed out was that Orthodox Judaism is an
indoctrination system; you must believe that God dictated all of these
things to Moses and that they were infallible and, therefore, anyone
who tends to be questioning this is likely to find himself outside
the Orthodox group. What I did was to parallel it with what happened
in Christianity at the time of Luther when he began to doubt many of
the church doctrines. I said, "All these great religions undergo this
process of self-criticism when a new phase or a new attitude of mind
comes in. Judaism is now in that process." I did not separate it out as
different than others, but simply as the changing from a traditional
type of approach to a more modern one. Many of these things were what
I quoted from others, but they were written in such a way that they
attribute to me all of these bad characteristics. What I was trying
to do was explain the nature of change taking place in society.

Rabbi Weiss goes on, "Understandably, we are very much astonished
at the tenor and contents of the remarks alleged to you, which are
in such glaring contradiction to the facts." They are not glaring
contradictions, they are quotations of facts from which I can get the
sources. "The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America,
servicing about 3,000 Jewish congregations and over 3,000,000
citizens, is hereby inquiring whether or not the above statements
are a correct report of your remarks at the National Presbyterian
Church of Washington." I’m sure Rabbi Weiss never showed this to any
of his 3 thousand congregations or 3 million people; he just sat down,
wrote it, and said, "I represent 3 million people."

This type of propaganda is what the Zionists use. Any Zionist can sit
down and say, "We Jews believe," but he never consults with anyone;
simply sends it in. When it gets to the White House or the State
Department they say, "Here are 3 million people being stirred up by
what Mr. Wright has said."

Immediately I got a letter from the Personnel Department. "What did
you say these things for? Why aren’t you more discrete about it?"

This is a type of pressure under which you live. Every public statement
you make, however much you quote the original source, is distorted
as though these ideas are your own. Then you’re attacked for them.

For instance, this character named Milton Friedman of the Jewish
Telegraph Agency charged me as being pro-Arab and wrote an article
about it in the California Jewish Voice of May 7, 1954. I don’t know
whether he was even in the audience, but he picked up some statements
and immediately demanded that there should be an investigation to
find out whether I was fit to be a Government servant. The moment
that this appeared, a whole lot of letters also began to come in.

Here, for instance, is one addressed to the Republican National
Committee. They wrote to the Committee asking who I was and what view
I was representing in making the various statements that I made. They
approached not only the Government, the Secretary of State, but they
went to the Republican National Committee and the White House. It’s
just like a shotgun blast; they cover every area where they can bring
pressure to muzzle you and to keep you from expressing your ideas.

The Republican National Committee has to get a letter in reply to
these letters that come in. They don’t know who I am or anything
about me, but they immediately write to the State Department and the
State Department calls me on the mat. "What did you say this for? You
mustn’t say these things."

In this particular connection I’m going to read another letter. I was
indiscrete, I don’t doubt it, but I also was convinced I was accurate,
because I quote my sources. This is what I’ve learned as a historian:
you must quote your sources, so that other people can look them up and
see whether you are quoting accurately. This is what I’ve always done,
but in this particular case there was a letter writing campaign and
committees coming to the State Department; saying I should be removed
from office because I was anti-Semitic.

So, I received a letter from the Deputy Under Secretary of State for
Administration. This happened to be my former boss Loy Henderson whom
I greatly admire, one of the greatest men I’ve ever worked for. Loy
was under pressure and he had to answer these letters in such a way
that he didn’t hurt my feelings but still could answer the letters

He was then caught in the crossfire between myself and the Zionists.

What he wanted to do was write me a letter to sort of warn me and at
the same time send a reply back to the Zionists who were writing to
these various committees. This is the letter, and it reads as follows:
"Dear Ed:" (We’ve always gone on a first name basis because I respected
and I worked very closely with him for a long time.) "I would very
much appreciate your comments on the attached letter from Rabbi Israel
Klavan to Mr. Maxwell Rabb at the White House." (In this case they
went to the White House against me.) "It is inconceivable that the
remarks attributed to you in the enclosure to the Rabbi’s letter are
accurate." (He knows that I don’t just talk out of free will, but that
I do quote my sources. This is sort of a clue to me, saying, "Please
excuse me for writing this, but I’ve got to do it.")"I’m requesting
your comments in order to make an appropriate reply to Mr. Rabb."

"In any event, because of the extremely delicate international
situation and as public comments on current sensitive events should
only be made by the appropriate officers in the Department, I would
like to ask that in the future you not discuss in public meetings
substantive matters relating to the international situation or other
substantive political matters. Exception would, of course, be made
in cases where speeches are written and cleared by the relevant
geographic bureau in advance."

This sort of played both sides. It tells me "Please be cautious and
don’t get into trouble, we know that you’re accurate, but it is a
sensitive situation and we have to explain it whenever these letter
writing campaigns begin." This is the type of problems you deal with;
irresponsible journalists like Milton Friedman can write anything
they want. Immediately a thousand letters come into the Department.

You’re called on the mat; "What did you say this for?" You have to
explain it in written letters because it’s got to go back to the
sources of the letters. At one time I was called in by the Assistant
Secretary, who said, "You know, you’re causing us more problems
than the Arabs-Israelies themselves, because you keep raising these
questions all the time. We have to spend our time answering letters
about you rather than handling the problem of the Middle East."

You can see why they were hot and bothered. They are trying to solve
terribly difficult problems and somehow or another I seem to throw the
issues out into the open. It made them spend time trying to answer
attacks upon me because they found me useful and wanted me to stay
in the Department.

It’s the type of issue that very few people understand. The Zionists
are organized in 17 (now 31) different committees and groups in
America. They are all inter-related by what’s called the Association
of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. These are the presidents
of the 31 Zionist organizations. All they have to do is to send in a
letter to any one of them and these 31 will reproduce it in mimeograph
and send it out to all their organizations. As a result of one letter
you’ll get hundreds of replies coming in attacking me.

This is the type of constant fear that a Government official lives
under because of the mimeograph machine and the xerox machine. These
organizations can immediately make it sound like a thunder clap. Some
unimportant little thing is picked up and individuals are put on the
grill; almost punished for being accurate. It’s obvious from this
thing that they knew that I was accurate and that I was reporting
things correctly.

MCKINZIE: Would you call a letter like the one from Mr. Henderson
equivalent to a muzzle?

WRIGHT: Yes, because it says, "Don’t discuss it unless cleared by the
appropriate officer." In this case the appropriate officer was the
Israeli desk officer who was just running scared. He wasn’t going to
let anything through to get him into trouble. What they do is really
make us sort of what I call "intellectual eunuchs." You don’t dare
think or sign your name or your initial to anything that’s going to
get you into trouble. You’ll never get a promotion. That’s the kind
of pressure under which these officers operate.

I could multiply this a hundred fold. I have a file here of just case
after case of things like this. Each one takes a long explanation
of what you said, how the Zionist organization got its wolves out
after you, and then how the State Department either sacrifices you
like Truman did Mr. Loy Henderson, or muzzle you like they did me.

Once I left State Department I became very vocal on this because I
realized then there was no more running back to the State Department.

I was no longer impeding their work by coming out openly. I published
a whole series of pamphlets on the Arab-Israeli issue using the
information I developed in the field and during my period in the
State Department. Thus, the unmuzzling took place only by leaving
the Government.

MCKINZIE: We’ll add these documents to the transcript. [See Appendix]

WRIGHT: Very good, yes.

During the war I had traveled very freely around the Middle East
because that was my job, and I talked with people of all kinds. Just
as I tried to find out what the Zionists were thinking, I also talked
with Arab leaders. The interesting thing about talking with Arabs
was that when the United Nations were organized in San Francisco the
largest alumni group from any school in the world represented at San
Francisco was the American University in Beirut, representing them.

If you look at the personnel of that first meeting of the United
Nations you’ll find the University of Beirut supplied more people
than Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, or any other school.

The impact of the University of Beirut upon the Arab world had
made the Arabs extremely favorable towards the United States. They
believed the United States were just interested; would not try to
play a deceitful type of a game and take advantage of them. They had
a picture of Americans as honest, good natured people who were out
to help the world. It was a false picture but it was nevertheless
the picture they had.

In the case of three states in the Middle East, Mr. Truman had to make
very quick decisions as to what to do. This was Greece, Turkey and
Iran. In all these cases the Soviet Union was trying to penetrate. In
Greece they had this movement of Zakhariadis and what not, a military
movement up in the north being supplied through Bulgaria. In Turkey
they tried to pick up some small individuals and groups who were
leftists, revolutionaries, in order to overthrow the government of
[General Ismet] Inonu. In Iran they had well organized movements like
the Tudeh party and others to try to overthrow the Iranian government
and bring the area under Soviet control. What they wanted to do is
extend that circle of satellite states, which they could control.

Because of the fact that I had lived in the Middle East most of my
life, Mr. Henderson called me in and said, "I want you to make a
special study on the way the Soviets operate. You can be a sort of a
detector of the kinds of phrases they use, the types of propaganda
they use, and follow this through." I became an Intelligence agent
for the State Department on Soviet plans and tactics in the Middle
East. It was under this situation that it became apparent that we
needed to help Greece, Turkey and Iran. They were on the borders of
Russia and they were the only places at that time where the Russians
came in direct contact with free countries. Otherwise they established
these satellite states, like Bulgaria, Rumania and East Germany.

Here then the free world came into direct contact with the Soviet
Union. It was suggested that Mr. Truman should come out with an
aid program for these countries and he came out very courageously
on an aid program for Greece, Turkey and Iran. This was a departure
in American history, and it was a courageous one. We didn’t know too
much about these countries as a whole, but we did have a feeling that
this is such a vital part of the world that we have got to help these
governments survive the attempt of the Soviet Union to undermine them.

As such I worked on all of these problems; I was a generalist rather
than attached to any one desk. When finally Mr. Acheson asked Mr.

Truman to support it, he went before the public and made a speech
on why we should support Greece, Turkey and Iran. (Iran was outside
of the immediate Greek-Turkish bill; it was a separate bill. As a
result, it was first called the aid program to Greece and Turkey,
and Iran wrote a separate treaty. Later on they were all united.)

For this reason the State Department organized what was called
the Greek-Turkish-Iranian desk (GTI). Their problems are all of
the problems of Russian sabotage and efforts to take over. GTI,
as we called it, became then a functioning section, and there never
had been such a grouping before. Greece was always a part of Europe
previous to this, but now it became a part of the Middle East. Mr.

Truman’s decisions on this were not only bold but extremely
courageous. We went all out to support Iran.

There’s one statement that Mr. Truman makes in his Memoirs that I
can find no proof for whatsoever. It will be recalled that at the U.N.

the Soviet Union refused to answer any questions and Mr. Gromyko
left the meeting. {Lenczowski, op. cit. pp. 292-300 describes the
Azerbaijan crisis.} Meanwhile, they kept their troops in Northern
Iran. I happened to be working on the Iranian desk on this issue
and handled the communications coming and going. We eventually sent
a special statement up to be read by Senator [Warren] Austin on the
American position. Our statement was approved by Mr. Brynes and Mr.

Truman. It was pretty strong on the whole. It said that we had planned
to reconstruct the world on the basis of cooperation with Russia and
if the Soviet Union was going to undermine this joint effort it would
be a dangerous precedent and would have very sad results in the future.

That was the theme of the note. There were no threats in it; it simply
said, "We are planning on Soviet-American cooperation and if we do
not cooperate there is going to be a lot of trouble in this region."

Mr. Truman, in his Memoirs, says that he sent Stalin an ultimatum.

When these memoirs appeared I was called into the historical division,
because I had been working on this problem at the time, and they said,
"What is this ultimatum that Mr. Truman refers to?"

I spent several days going through the White House documents, but
never found any reference to such an ultimatum. [Franklin was then in
charge of the State Department archives and I wrote a memo for the
files.] If Mr. Truman did write a letter to Stalin, what he did was
just simply write it in longhand in his office and take it down and
mail it in the local post box on Pennsylvania Avenue. Nobody ever saw
this note or produced any proof of it. I do not believe such a letter
was ever written. I think Mr. Truman, looking back upon it later on,
embellished and exaggerated it somewhat. He says he told Stalin that
unless he pulled out of Northern Iran or Azerbaijan that we would
send the American fleet into the Persian Gulf.

That was quite an impossibility. At that particular moment the
American fleet was in complete disarray. We were bringing troops
home from everywhere, and we didn’t have enough ships to even get to
the Persian Gulf at that time. All of our ships were busy carrying
soldiers back from Europe and Japan and there would have been no
possibility of getting the fleet in there. Furthermore, we had no
business in the Persian Gulf, which was British territory. They had
handled treaty relationships with Iran for a hundred years, and if we
had done anything we would have done it through British action. The
British were the actors in the Middle East until we came out for
a Jewish state. [F.R.U.S., 1948 , Vol. V, contains many references
to the legal position of the U.K. in the Middle East. Truman found
himself caught between the U.K. position and supporting the Zionists
who wanted to end the British legal position. pp. 593, 906, etc. are
examples.] Our whole attitude was to let the British handle the Middle
Eastern effort; we’ll be trying to support their position there.

In the documents of the State Department that Mr. Henderson sent out
to Acheson and further up, he makes the remark that if we attack the
British in Palestine it will make their position in the Middle East
untenable. We should not attack the British Government in Palestine,
because then the British would have to get out of the Middle East, and
that would leave it on our doorstep. This advice is in the document
that Mr. Henderson sent, "Do not attack the British on this thing,
we are expecting them to keep the security of that area, and if we
undermine their security, they will pull out." Mr. Truman paid no
attention to these warnings and yet they are in the documents.

Mr. Henderson was working closely with the British Embassy and we
knew what the attitude was: the British would not stay if we were
attacking them. But Mr. Truman continued to attack the British and
the British pulled out. It opened up Pandora’s box and there have
been four wars since.

MCKINZIE: Did the United States expect Iran to be a kind of model
in the Middle East? There is some reference that Franklin Roosevelt
expected Iran to be a test case to determine whether or not the Soviet
Union would live up to the pledges made in the Atlantic Charter.

WRIGHT: There is some truth in that. In October, 1942, the Soviet
Union and Britain moved into Iran. They immediately took over the
railway system to supply Russia, and then we urged upon them to
come up with some sort of a treaty in order that the occupation of
Iran wouldn’t be purely military. After some months of negotiation
they came up with a treaty between Iran, the Soviet Union and Great
Britain. They stated that they were only there as guests, and that
within 90 days of the conclusion of the war in Europe, they would
withdraw their forces from Iran.

When we operated in Iran, we did not operate as an independent
state but as mercenaries of the British. This is not understood. We
had no treaty with Iran to go in there, and therefore, we had no
right to have a single uniformed man in Iran. We went in under the
British treaty and had to handle these affairs through the British
ambassador. [Lenczowski op. cit., pp. 173-175.]

Actually this was a theory; the practice was quite different. Our
Ambassador, Mr. [Louis Goethe, Jr.] Dreyfus, knew the Shah, the
public officials, and we acted in one way as though we were there by
rights. Legally we were only British agents.

We withdrew immediately from Iran when the war was over in Europe and
Japan. The British withdrew also, but the Russians stayed on. The
date was March of 1946, and that’s what brought up the case in the
United Nations. Our attitude was that this was a test of Soviet
sincerity. They had signed a treaty that they would leave within 90
days, and then they didn’t leave. Here I can tell another story.

Jimmy Byrnes was Secretary of State at this time. Loy Henderson
had very close contact with Jimmy Byrnes and we got some dispatches
from Mr. Dreyfus and a young officer by the name of Robert Rostow,
describing the way the Russian troops were acting in Iran.

[Lenczowski, op. cit., p. 298 credits the information to Major Carl
Garver at Karej. Actually U.S. Consul Robert Rostow and Major Gagarine
in Tabriz very courageously got close enough to some Soviet tanks
to get the identification marks. The Russian military then arrested
the U.S. Consul and held him several hours in detention the following
day.] They were acting as if they owned the place. It was coming March;
they were out planting gardens and everything was evident that they
were going to stay there for quite a long time.

Mr. Henderson told me to collect the documents on what was going on in
Iran. One afternoon he called up Mr. Byrnes (this must have been about
March 12th or so of 1946), and said, "You know, we have a whole series
of dispatches from Iran. The Russian troops, instead of staying within
Azerbaijan, are fanning out and going to other parts of Iran. I would
like to come and show you this map and these documents if I could."

Mr. Byrnes said, "I’m awfully busy, but at 6 o’clock I’m free. I have
no more appointments."

Mr. Henderson and I stayed until 6 o’clock, then went up to the
office. Mr. Henderson said to Secretary Brynes, "This is our specialist
on Iran. He’s got all the documents and can explain everything to
you. You ask him any questions you want."

Mr. Henderson, having introduced me, left. I put the map down on
the desk in front of Mr. Brynes and said, "From the dispatches we’re
getting, and here they are, tab A, B, C, D; the Russians are moving
in the direction of Qazvin, down towards Kurdistan, and expanding
outside of the area where they were when the British were there. As
soon as the British leave, the Russians are moving in. "If you notice
this particular spearhead, it’s approaching the oil fields of Kirkuk.

I think they will move into Iraq and try to take over those oil
fields; negate them from the British who were operating there. This
other move is going down towards the south and is headed towards
the Persian Gulf oil field. The third one is headed directly for
Teheran." I had a map that I had drawn myself with arrows pointing
out where these troops were.

Mr. Byrnes said, "What do you think their intentions are?"

I said, "There can be no doubt. They want to get control of those oil
areas as quickly as possible; to deny them to the Western World. They
went to capture the capital of Iran and control this as a satellite

Mr. Byrnes stood up and clapped one hand into the other. He said,
"All right. I’ll call Loy and tell him to give it to them with both

Mr. Byrnes took the attitude that we should now come out strongly
against the Russians and tell them we know what their intentions are.

This note that Mr. Truman refers to as an ultimatum was really not
an ultimatum; it was calling to the attention of the Soviet Union,
"We know what you’re doing, and if you continue this is going to
create real problems for the Middle East."

It was, therefore, more of a warning and simply letting them know,
"You’re not fooling us." That was the purpose of this note which I
think was written about March the 10th or 11th. It has been published
in the documents of the State Department.

Now later on when Mr. Truman’s book came out, the historical division
asked me to write up what I have said here. It’s all written up and
in the archives in the historical division, but of course, these are
open only to specific scholars, they are not open to the public. I
do not believe that that ultimatum was ever sent. I think it was much
more as I tried to tell it here, it was a warning to the Soviet Union,
"You’re not fooling us, this is a test case of how far we can trust
you in the future." Unfortunately, the answer was we couldn’t trust
them very far. And of course, that suspicion still lasts today.

How far can we trust the Soviet Union. It’s a debate right now in

MCKINZIE: President Truman frequently said that poverty and want were
the greatest factors in generating communism. The U.S. response was
to think in terms of eliminating those two causes. Did that philosophy
work well in the Middle East?

WRIGHT: This theory, that poverty and want create communism, I do
not subscribe to. The Communists use poverty and want as a tool of
overthrowing government and getting into it, but communism develops
among people who are not poor. Marx was not a poor man; he belonged to
the middle class. Communism is the result of an intellectual effort
to interpret the rules of Newton’s laws of motion and thermodynamics
to society. Marx himself said, "I shall do for society what Newton
did for the laws of thermodynamics." It was an effort to take a
mechanical point of view of history and interpret it in terms of pure
mechanics. Man is simply not mechanical. He is such a mixture of so
many drives and so many problems that he is far beyond a mechanical
person. Communism’s always an appeal to middle class people who are
trying to get into government and find themselves frustrated by some
upper elite. Very often it’s the rich who are the Communists in the
society, people with a sense of guilt because they are living on the
edge of wealth when a lot of people are suffering.

It’s basically humanitarian, but it’s also a desire to get into
government, like the Bolshevik party of Russia. When they get in,
they slightly eliminate the excess between wealth and poverty, but the
cause of communism is not basically wealth and poverty. In fact, many
societies that are anti-Communist are the poorest in the world, like
India (and it may go Communist I don’t know). This is not essentially
the cause of revolution. If people are so poor that they can’t think,
that they are just trampled down, they won’t become Communists because
they become totally fatalists.

Another form of an emergence of this is Fascism. Poverty, then, can
be used for several purposes, either fatalism, fascism, or communism.

I don’t think that this theory is necessarily the only theory to
explain communism.

In a world like the Middle East in the postwar period, some of us
recognized that there were revolutionary forces. They were strongest
in Iran, they were strong in Greece, but these again were intellectual
movements or labor movements of people who were better off than the
peasants. Communism never spreads in a peasant society.

The Communists may make it look as if the peasants participated,
but they liquidated the upper peasant class in Russia in order to
bring them all within the control of a Politburo. My own feeling
is that while this is an explanation, it’s not the only explanation
of communism.

MCKINZIE: Did poverty produce fatalism among the masses of people in
the Middle East?

WRIGHT: It did for a thousand years. The people of the Middle East are
terribly fatalistic: they call this takdir, "this is what God wills,"
Inshallah "God does it." This theory that God does everything for you
is pure fatalism and it’s caused by a hopeless feeling of poverty that
you cannot overcome. So much of what we call faith is really just a
hopeless fatalism. There’s no use struggling; let’s just simply get
along and survive as best we can. That was the mood in the Middle East.

The Arab world on the whole still remains strongly anti-Communist.

Egypt we used to call Communist a short time ago, because that’s the
title the Zionists put on it. They never were Communist or interested
in communism. They didn’t like the Russians. [Anwar] Sadat did
everything he could to get rid of the Russians and finally he got
rid of them in July of 1972. He sent his special emmisary to see Mr.

Nixon and say, "We want to get rid of the Russians. We want to work
with the Americans."

Mr. Nixon’s answer was, "I’ll send 48 more new phantom jets to
Israel." This is what made the war inevitable. [There are increasing
numbers of Israelis who are now (in 1977) very critical of Golda
Meir, Moshe Dayan, etc. for failing to offer peace to the Arabs and
withdrawal from Arab territory in 1967 when Israel was victorious.

The Israeli hawks however won the day and began placing Jewish
settlements on Arab territory–now declared illegal by the U. S.

State Department.] The Arabs wanted to work with us, they were
anti-Communist. We kept rebuffing them and insulting them all the
time until finally they said, "Well, we’re going to earn American
respect by a war."

They went to war in October and they earned American and Israeli
respect because of the fact that they proved themselves more capable
than we thought. [In December , 1973, Foreign Minister Yigal Allon
was asked why Israel was taken by surprise on October 6, 1973. He
replied, "It was because of our excessive self-esteem and our
contemptuous scorn for the Arabs."] But it is not basically poverty
that brings on a Communistic government, it may bring on all forms of
dictatorship. These will have socialistic tendencies in an effort to
try to close the gap between the rich and the poor. These societies,
unfortunately, have a terrible gap between the rich and the poor,
but what’s going on in many of these societies today is a closing of
that gap through education and various other things.

We did play a small role in getting things started in the Middle East,
but we soon dropped any help to the Arabs. This was because of the
Zionist influence. The illustration is the Aswan Dam. Mr. Dulles
offered this to Egypt and then he got a flood of letters from two
groups of people: the Zionists and the Southern cotton farmers. "No
help to Egypt." The Zionists wanted no help to Egypt because they
wanted to monopolize all help to Israel. The cotton farmers didn’t
want help to Egypt because they’ve got a better cotton there than
we have in the South; therefore, keep Egypt poor. This served the
purpose of the cotton farmers, the Zionists, so that we withdrew
from that plan. Revolution didn’t come to Egypt in spite of all of
its poverty, and today they’re so anxious to work with the Americans
that it’s pathetic.

MCKINZIE: There was in the postwar period the idea of peace through
integrating world economies. Nations were going to be economically
integrated and as a result there was going to e a kind of peace,
because each nation would be dependent one upon the other. Was the
Middle East supposed to be a part of this?

WRIGHT: Yes, we went through this period. It attained a higher degree
of activity under [John F.] Kennedy when the Alliance of Progress
was developed. That was a legal phase of it in connection with Latin
America. Of course, in Europe this was the Marshall plan, NATO and
so forth, the O.E.E.C. In the Middle East there were also efforts
on the part of Mr. Dulles to get what he called the "Northern Tier"
operating; Greece, Turkey, and Iran, and Pakistan. Let’s get them
communicating and develop their railways and infrastructure.

So there was organized a Central Treaty Organization. This is still
functioning. It’s never been very important, but psychologically it’s
important and I think politically it’s important. It has helped these
states to communicate with one another, to have constant meetings
on what their common problems are. I don’t think it’s had any very
large economic effect, but it has created intercommunications which
have never existed before.

We were hoping that this would spread into still larger fields, but
we did exactly the opposite in Israel. What we did was take an Arab
state and break it up into a little Zionist militant state that was
going to try to occupy Arab territory and had nothing to do with the
Arabs. We put all of our eggs in the Israeli basket.

In other words, if we had any such plans, we very thoroughly sabotaged
them ourselves by splitting up what was a growing entity.

The Arab League and all of these things were efforts to get the Arabs
together. But putting Israel in the middle and blocking communications
between one Arab world and another, and then creating a picture of
an expanding Israel, we simply destroyed any influence we had in the
Arab world and any possibility of economic cooperation.

This is now coming about. Saudi Arabia is now going to finance the
large Euphrates Dam and has helped to pay off the Russian military
debt to Egypt. These states now with their wealth are thinking in
terms of using that wealth for regional developments. They are paying
also a good deal of money to help Jordan and the refugees in Lebanon.

It’s coming slowly but very painfully, but there is going to be more
cooperation in the future. They are establishing now large banks,
in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, to loan money for various purposes
and investment. With the accumulation of capital in that region,
it’s going to come from a different source than we thought. It’s the
tremendous vast quantities of capital that are going to pour into the
Persian Gulf states, that’s going to force a certain amount of world
cooperation. There’s nowhere that these people can spend that money
in their own country. [Foreign Affairs, April, 1977, has an article
by Dankworth Rustow on "The U.S.A. and Saudi Arabia: Oil Crises of
the 1980s" that gives recent data on this subject.]

MCKINZIE: What about plans for regional development, such as the
Jordan River project, that were talked about in early postwar
years, but really never quite got off the ground. Edwin Locke, as
special ambassador, argued very strongly for developmental programs;
industrial, and particularly water.

WRIGHT: Yes, this got through to President Eisenhower. Locke suggested
at one time developing atomic energy for desalinization.

His theory was to install these large plants, one at the Gulf of
Aqaba. This would help end the rivalry between Jordan and Israel,
because that’s one of the driest parts of the world. The story I tell
about it is that there are only two lizzards per ten square miles in
that area, because unless there were two there wouldn’t be any. It
is one of the driest parts of the world, but fertile land that just
waits for water.

This idea was that we put in a large energy plant at the head of
the Gulf, and get the Israelies and the Arabs to develop agricultural
supplies in there. This would help take care of some of the Palestinian
refugees. The other plan would be large scale planting on the Suez
Canal itself.

On the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal, that is the southern bank,
there is water because there is what’s called the sweet water canal.

Across on the north bank you enter a howling desert, such as you’ve
never seen anywhere else. Not a blade of grass grows in a hundred
square miles. This area he thought could be put into irrigation also
by atomic energy.

We drew up papers on this and wrote studies after Edwin Locke came up
with the idea. They all fell flat because we could get no cooperation
between these states at that time. Nothing ever happened at all.

There was a slight effort on the Jordan River Valley. Joe Johnson
was sent out, and came back with a scheme on how to develop it, and
we sent out and came back with a scheme on how to develop it, and we
sent out Lilienthal. I believe it was a U.N. team. We supported it
and were anxious to put money into such a scheme. This all fell foul
because the Israelies had plans to occupy all that region. They did
not want vested interest to divert some of the water to Jordan. They
wanted to lift that water out of the Jordan Valley and bring it down
into the Plains of Esdraelon, and then the Plains of Sharon. The
United States Government did not favor this, because we seemed to
have a policy that water should be used in its natural bed.

None of these plans came to anything, but we did put in one small
section. The Yarmuk River runs right into the Jordan, just below
the Sea of Galilee. The Yarmuk does not have very much water, and I
think people who think of these schemes like the Jordan River have an
exaggerated idea of what the Jordan is. In this particular connection
I have often wondered, did Jesus baptize by just dipping some water
and putting it on people’s heads, or did he immerse them?

I thought he might have immersed them until I saw the Jordan River.

You can’t immerse a person being immersed in the Jordan River, it’s
too shallow. It only comes up to your ankles practically. There’s a
very small flow of water, it’s a real limited source. People have these
exaggerated ideas that the Jordan River is some great Mississippi.

What we did then was to tap the Yarmuk above where it flows to Israel
as a boundary between Israel and Jordan, and develop a scheme in
Jordan which I think absorbed eventually about 80 thousand people,
called the East Ghor Canal scheme. It was supposed to grow vegetables
and things like that because you can grow three crops a year in that
hot climate. It would thereby supply the fresh vegetable market of
Amman and even Israel and other places. Unfortunately, in the fighting
that took place, some of the Palestinian guerrillas lived in that
area. Israel took the attitude, "We’ve got to make it a scorched
earth. Anywhere that there is a guerrilla, we’re going to destroy
the civilian population so it cannot support the guerrillas.

This is their attitude towards Lebanon and Syria. "If one guerrilla
gets in there, we’ll destroy the whole village and then they cannot
support the guerrillas."

So, the Israelies shelled the area, destroyed the canal and everything
else that we had financed. Today it’s again desert. We put, I suppose,
30 or 40 million dollars in that scheme, but this reaction between
guerrillas, using it as a hideout area and Israelies using it as a
scorched earth area has completely destroyed that scheme.

MCKINZIE: Where can a historian go to get hard evidence that Israel
opposed the development of any of its Arab neighbors?

WRIGHT: Of course, this will not come out from Government sources,
because the Zionists don’t want this to be known. All you have
to do is to simply see the facts: why do we offer the Aswan Dam
and then withdraw it? It’s because of the pressure I mentioned in
connection with the Zionists and the others. Here you have to go
into motivation. You’ll find that almost every effort we made to
work with the Arabs was opposed by the same Congressman who votes
for everything for Israel. This is more than coincidence. They block
what the Zionists tell them to block and vote for what the Zionists
tell them to vote for. [George Ball, Foreign Affairs, op. cit.,
p.471 gives two illustrations of Israeli control over 71 and later
76 Senators. These Senators act as though Israel was "The Master’s
Voice" to be obeyed.] You cannot get any definite proof, and you’d
have to have bugs in the rooms of every Congressman to find out who
they talked to before they voted one way or another. Why is it they
opposed help to Egypt and favor it for Israel? This is the type of
thing that you simply have to see; the straws in the wind. There are
so many straws in the wind that the Israelies did not want the Arabs
to develop, because of the fact that they were afraid. A developed
Arab society is a dangerous Arab society. Let the Arabs be strong
and then they’re going to put pressure upon Israel and Israel knows it.

Israel has no resources of any importance whatsoever, either minerals,
oil or water. It cannot even feed its own population. They must keep
the Arabs divided and weak. "Keep the Arabs divided up and fighting one
another, and Israel will survive. Let them get together and you’ve got
trouble. [One of the main purposes of Kissinger’s "Shuttle Diplomacy"
in 1974-75 was to split Egypt away from Syria. It worked and caused
much ill will between Syria and Egypt.] They got together in 1973
and there was trouble.

MCKINZIE: One of the other questions that inevitably comes up and is
not very well understood, is the movement of 100,000 refugees from
Germany to Palestine in 1945 and 1946.

WRIGHT: When Mr. [Ernest] Bevin suggested that the U.K. cannot handle
the Middle East problem there was appointed a special committee made
up of twelve people. Six were British and six were Americans.

One or two of these Americans were already Zionists. Bartley Crum was
one. This committee of twelve went out there and the Arabs simply said,
"We won’t talk to them. We are not going to talk to anybody who is
going to divide up our land. We have a right to it and we don’t see
why we should discuss the division of the land." The Committee did
not interview any Arabs therefore, which is a sort of a negative
Arab approach: "This is a subject beyond discussion, especially by
Europeans, British and Americans. They have nothing to do with our
future, we are going to make our own future."

Nevertheless, this commission went out. It talked to no Arabs, but
they did meet a group of Arabs in Beirut on their way back, and also
talked to some Arabs in New York. They finally came up with this
strange plan. [Fred J. Khouri, "The Arab-Israeli Dilemma," pp.


Here again I played a small part. As their report came in I was
assigned to collect it and put it together, get it into printable form
and published. It came out as a document, "The Anglo-American Committee
Inquiry." They came up with a plan that had six different points
in it. What they pointed out was this must be a package; you cannot
select one and ignore the others, because they are tied together. No
one of these points was valid unless the other five went along with it.

Amongst these six recommendations, the first one was that a
Palestinian state should be established in which neither Jew would
dominate Arab, or Arab dominate Jew. This is point one and the most
important one. About the third or fourth was that 100 thousand visas
should be given for the refugees, who were in Germany at the time,
to go to Palestine. Then there were some others.

At the moment this came in I collected the original documents on this
and I took them to the Assistant Secretary of State and we had the m
typed up and printed. My job was a mechanical one, get the information
all together and get it ready for printing.

The next thing we heard was that Mr. Truman came out with a statement
that he was not in favor of the plan, but he was in favor of the
100 thousand. He did exactly what they said not to do. "Do not tear
it apart and accept one and refuse the other, because one is only
valid if they are all valid." He simply repudiated his own people and
came up with a personal decision. I’m sure that what he did was to
immediately turn over copies of the plan to the Zionists. They said,
"Well, we don’t want it." I can’t prove that except that it was his
own commission and he immediately violated the very initial preamble
of it."

This was, as I recall, just before another election in New York..

Elections in New York or whatnot are terrible things from the point
of view of foreign policy, because you can’t do certain things and
must do certain things to satisfy New York elections. It’s tragic
that this is the way the American Government operates, but it is.

Very often we never even knew what went on in the White House. That
comes out time after time in this little pamphlet, The Pentagon
Papers, 1947. In one of Mr. Henderson’s memos to the Secretary he
said, "We don’t know who’s influencing these decisions. We send you
information and the next day we read something that’s set up in New
York by a Representative we never heard of before. Who is making
these decisions?" [F.R.U.S. , 1947, Vol. V, pp. 1121-1122; 1215;
1239; 1281-82, etc.]

In other words, the State Department didn’t even know who was
making the decisions. Mr. Truman himself has the most remarkable
of all statements in there, a memo that’s quoted, in which he says,
"Something’s going on and I don’t know what it is. Somebody called
up the President of Haiti and he said that it was I. [F.R.U.S., 1947
, Vol. V, p. 1309.] He said, ‘We want you to vote for the Zionist
program.’ As a result the President of Haiti changed his vote to
satisfy what he thought was me. I don’t know who this fellow was that
called him up."

In other words, somebody impersonated President Truman and threatened
the President of Haiti. There were people who used President Truman’s
voice and name and he didn’t know who they were. The State Department
never found out who they were, but this is the way decisions are
made in Washington. I think I know who that fellow was. It was Robert
Nathan, because I met Robert Nathan frequently at the U.N. I had met
him out in the Middle East, and he was the one who was running to
the telephone booth and calling up the President of Liberia, calling
up Costa Rica, telling them, "Unless you will vote for our program,
we will see to it that the American interhighway system is not built
through your country." These people assumed that Nathan and Co. were
acting for America and nobody had consulted them at all. This kind
of thing went on at the U.N. and in Washington and if you want the
documentary proof of it, it’s in Mr. Truman’s statement.

Before I read this statement of Mr. Truman’s I’ll have to explain
what the situation was. There was tremendous pressure upon the
governments of other countries to vote for the partition program,
which the Zionists had accepted. I was at the U.N. and was Mr.

Henderson’s assistant and was there when he read some of these memos.

I was reporting back to the State Department what was happening at
the U.N.

There were a number of Jewish Zionists at the U.N., like Robert
Nathan, Bernard Baruch, and various other people, who were calling
up the chiefs of other states and saying, "Unless you vote for this
partition program, the United States will not build a road in your
country; will not help you in aid or will not do something else."

They were pretending they had the authority of the President of the
United States to determine policy, when they were just one individual
operating on their own. They had no authority, no official position,
but they were using the importance of the United States as a threat
against these countries.

Mr. Romulo, who was the Ambassador from the Philippines, had initially
stood against this program; did not want the Zionist state.

They have a lot of Moslems in the Philippines and they were afraid
that this would create trouble.

Romulo left Washington and flew to the Philippines. When he got
there, the Philippine President called him in saying, "You know,
I have information from Washington that if we vote the way you have
stated, we’re not going to get any American aid. We’re going to change
our vote."

Our ambassador also reported that the President had said that he had
gotten this threat and was changing his vote.

Upon this we immediately notified Mr. Truman and sent these documents
right to him. "This is what is happening. These various Jewish
representatives are simply using the authority of the United States,
without any responsibility, in order to threaten people to vote for
that program."

On December the 11th, Mr. Truman wrote this letter to Secretary of
State Acheson:

I read with a lot of interest your memorandum on the 10th in regards
to the Philippine situation. [That’s the one I’ve just described.] It
seems to me that if our delegation to the United Nations is to be
interfered with by members of the United States Senate and by pressure
groups in this country, we will be helping the United Nations down
the road to failure. The conversation between the President of the
Philippines and our Ambassador is most interesting.

I have a report from Haiti in which it is stated that our consul in
Haiti approached the President of that country and suggested to him
that for his own good, he should order the vote of his country changed,
claiming that he had instructions from me to make such a statement
to the President of Haiti. As you very well know, I refused to make
statements to any country on the subject of his vote in the United
Nations. It is perfectly apparent that pressure groups will succeed
in putting the United Nations out of business if this sort of thing
is continued and I am very anxious that it be stopped. Harry S.


That’s an official document. Somebody represented himself as the
President of the United States to some foreign countries. This was
the kind of threat that the Zionists used to change votes at that last
session when finally it was voted by a small majority of two or three.

These are documents you can quote and find in the Foreign Relations
of the United States, 1947, Vol. V.

So, that’s how foreign policy is made on the Middle East.

MCKINZIE: Could you discuss the events between the time when the
British announced their withdrawal and the Government of Israel
declared its independence?

WRIGHT: Yes. One of the most perhaps amusing, and yet, also
frustrating, problems was the fact that the State Department lost all
contact with the White House over this question of Israel. Mr. Truman
discussed this with the Jewish Agency, rather than with the State

At this time, George Marshall was Secretary of State and he was up
at the U.N. a good deal of the time. When the British had finally
announced they were going to pull out by May the 15th (which was May
14th our time, because of the difference in time), the question arose
about recognition of the state.

The State Department wrote a memo which drew upon traditions of how
to recognize a country. It’s very rare that a country of which no
boundaries are known is recognized. There are also other questions:
When you recognize a state do you recognize its claims to people
outside the state? The Zionists have always claimed that the Jewish
nation is wherever a Jew is, anywhere in the world. Every Jew,
therefore, is part of this Jewish nation. Golda Meir repeated this
when they asked her what the boundaries of Israel are. She said,
"Wherever there’s a Jew, there is Israel. It’s not a line on a map."

Does a government recognize that kind of a concept? The answer is no.

We always have to recognize a state on the basis of control of
territory, and a specified territory. The State Department sent in,
through its legal representatives, a memo, pointing out that there were
no real grounds at that time for recognizing a Jewish state. We didn’t
know what the term "Jewish" meant, we didn’t know its boundaries,
there was fighting going on. They recommended that there be a little
time (which is often what the State Department does) to let the dust
settle. Then would recognize it.

The Zionists didn’t want anything like that and so they sent Eliahu
Elath, who at that time was the representative of the Jewish Agency
in Washington. He is now president of the Hebrew University and one
of the men with whom I traveled a great deal when I was in the Middle
East. He is a graduate of the American University of Beirut and a
very capable Arabist.

What happened was that Clark Clifford went to Mr. Truman, evidently
upon the request of Weizmann, who was also hanging around Washington.

Washington was loaded with Zionists at that time, they were all hanging
around there talking to their Congressmen, getting Eddie Jacobson on
the job and others. They were pulling all the strings.

It’s very difficult for the person outside to know just what did go
on, because this has not yet been published. We’ll have to find, if
David Niles ever publishes any documents, as to what part he played
in it. I don’t know that his book has come out yet.

Anyhow, through David Niles, they had a meeting of Clark Clifford,
political adviser to the President; Elath, at that time still called
himself Epstein; and the President. On the morning of the 13th of
May, Epstein argued, "Please recognize Israel immediately, because we
need that recognition for legitimacy." They had quite a discussion,
but Mr. Marshall was never called in or asked about this at all.

[F.R.U.S. 1948, Vol. V, pp. 974-77, Secretary of State’s memo of May
12, 1948 describes the acrimonious debate between Clark Clifford and
Secretary Marshall.]

On the morning of May the 14th the U. N. was in session and was
discussing a return to the trusteeship. Mr. [Henry H.] Jessup, who was
representing the United States mission there, was up making a speech
about returning that area to British trusteeships, because of the
fact that war was about to break out. While he was giving his talk,
somebody got up and said, "Well, doesn’t Mr. Jessup know what’s going
on? The United States has already recognized Israel." [This story
is now verified by F.R.U.S., 1948, Vol. V, p. 993, Editor’s Note:
The U. S. mission to the U. N. considered resigning en masse because
of the Truman had doublecrossed them and destroyed their credibility.]

We have to reconstruct the story by circumstantial evidence. They had
decided on the day before to recognize Israel and not let the State
Department know it. If the State Department had known it they could
have probably gotten to the White House and tried to persuade them
not to recognize Israel that quickly. It was known that the State
Department did not favor that kind of quick recognition, so what they
did was not tell the State Department. On the morning of the 14th
Secretary Marshall was telephoned and told at 10 o’clock that the
President was going to announce the recognition of Israel, but not to
let his commission or anyone else know about it. He was so angered that
he didn’t even go to the U.N. meeting and he was in his hotel room at
the time. Our representative was still following out the rules of the
13th and discussing the possibility of a trusteeship when some other
delegate got up and said, "Doesn’t the American know what’s going on?"

Mr. Jessup called in a secretary and said, "Well, I’ll try to find
out." She ran out to the ticker room and there she found a whole
group of people tearing the ticker tapes off, but she got one copy
which stated that President Truman at 6:10 p.m. o’clock had recognized
Israel. She tore these off and took them back to Mr.

Jessup. Mr. Jessup read them and he said, "Well, under these
circumstances I have nothing more to say."

That’s how diplomacy was handled in the Middle East. The Jewish Agency
knew what was going on, but the State Department and the U. N.

didn’t until after the announcement came out. The reason was that Mr.

Truman wanted sole credit for the recognition of Israel. He did not
want it to go to anyone else, because he was anxious for the Jewish
vote and Jewish money.

At least that’s the best way I can interpret a strange type of
diplomacy such as this, for Secretary Marshall was a very responsible
person and not even he was told what was going on. Jerusalem knew
about it, Ben Gurion did, but the Secretary of State didn’t. This
often is what happens in the State Department. We find out things by
going to Jerusalem, conversations that take place, people that run
back and forth.

It’s not a very pretty picture of how to operate an intelligent
or a responsible organization, and it’s made the State Department
neither intelligent nor efficient. [George Ball, Foreign Affairs,
April, 1977, p. 467 asks, "How far dare we let it (Israel’s paranoia)
determine U. S. policy?"]

MCKINZIE: Were there other instances in which the White House, to
your knowledge, took direct action?

WRIGHT: Yes, I would say they took direct action all the time. You’ll
have to get this in Mr. Acheson’s book, Present at the Creation. He
tells the story of the type of problems that followed, and it’s
just an endless series of hopeless problems. We were committed to
certain things and we didn’t know what we were committed to. As these
situations unfolded, and the Secretary of State made no decisions,
I can assure you of this: They were all made in the White House. Mr.

David Niles knew what was going on, Emmanuel Cellar knew what was
going on, but the State Department often just had these announcements
coming out and they’d find out afterwards what’d been decided.

MCKINZIE: What did this do to morale?

WRIGHT: It made it plummet, of course. It’s remained low in the
Middle Eastern section, it’s always been low in the Arab-Israeli
issue. [Reference F.R.U.S. , 1948, Vol. V, p. 993 where the whole U.

S./U. N. mission considered resignation en masse. Other Middle
East officers asked to be transferred to some other area where they
might prove more useful.] It has not been on the Greek-Turkish or
other issues, like India; these have all been areas where we felt
we were doing something. I felt I was really getting somewhere on
those issues because I did see the Secretary of State. I was able to
talk to him. I was able to show the documents. On the Arab-Israeli
issue I was absolutely cut out. "Keep out of this issue;" I was told,
"this is being made in the White House." The result was this absolute
gap between the White House and the State Department.

MCKINZIE: Did you do studies, after 1949 when NATO was created,
about military assistance and that kind of thing?

WRIGHT: I often sat in on committees. We operated by committees there,
and whenever a request came in the Treasury and the Defense would
have a committee that tried to coordinate points of view. I was very
often what they called a resource official in those committees.

There I had my say; I could say what I wanted to.

When it came to the technicalities I had very little to contribute. I
don’t know enough about military hardware or strategy. When it came
to trying to explain the political situation, what the ramifications
of such a particular act were, I played quite a part on everything
having to do with the Middle East except the Arab-Israeli issue. On
that issue I never had anything to say. They didn’t want me to
say anything, because I was convinced Zionist myopia was going to
"undermine America’s larger interest," the very phrase that Mr.

Acheson used.

MCKINZIE: At what point was it apparent to you that you weren’t
supposed to say anything?

WRIGHT: The day that Mr. Henderson told us what Mr. Niles’
instructions were: "Discipline these fellows if they disagree with
the President." From then on we knew that we played no part in what
was going on.

I met the Israeli desk officer, Will Porter, a few days later in the
hallway and I said, "Well, what’s doing?"

He said, "If I showed you this telegram, you’d never go back to the
Middle East again." He said, "From now on no American’s life is going
to be safe out there." It was a statement we had just gotten from
the White House on something about support for Israel, and he knew
immediately this is going to undermine our relationship with the Arab
world. He said that we’ll never want to go back there again.

Well, I’ve been back there many a time since then and I found a
very interesting thing. I was always very highly welcomed in the
Arab world, although I was in the State Department. They had known
me beforehand, they always separate me as an individual from me as
a representative of the State Department. The Arabs never attacked
me or anything. They’d say, "Well, we know you are a friend of ours,
but why does the Government do this?"

It was almost impossible to explain to them why the Government
behaves this way. They’d say, "Don’t you have any influence in the
State Department?"

I’d say, "No. I’m in it, but I have no influence whatsoever. I’m just
a spear carrier."

This same kind of a thing appears in a recent document that has just
come out. Senator [William] Fulbright’s committee sent a member of
the staff, in November and December of 1973, to talk with all the
various people in the Middle East. It is a very interesting document,
"The Middle East Between War and Peace, November-December 1973: a
staff report prepared for the use of the Subcommittee on Near Eastern
Affairs of the Committee of Foreign Relations, United States Senate."

It was published March the 5th, 1974.

The man who went out there was a young staff officer who specialized in
Middle Eastern affairs. He’s a very capable person and he was in Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon. Here we get a firsthand report of
the reaction between an American official and the Arabs and he says,
"Constantly they kept asking me, ‘Why does the United States behave
this way?’ I couldn’t explain it to them."

Nobody can explain it, because you’ve got to know how they buy
congressional and senatorial votes through speeches; how they control
the five electoral states, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, etc. You
have to understand the weighting of the Jewish vote in America and
the contribution to the party systems. By the time we explained that
to Arabs they’d say, "But aren’t you corrupt?"

The answer is, "Yes, we’re corrupt."

Try to explain to Arabs why it is that we have this strange phenomenon
in American life. We ignore our basic interests in the area and
support something for which we get no returns whatsoever.

What do we get out of supporting Israel? Nothing but problems, bills,
debts, and embarrassment. Natural friends from the point of view of
strategy, anti-communism, and oil, are all allied to the Arab world.

They keep saying, "Why don’t you understand this?" And you have to say,
"You don’t understand the American system."

This staff reporter constantly says, "I couldn’t explain to them why we
behave the way we do, because by the time you explain it they have lost
their respect for American institutions and American Government." This
is just a fact, and I have lost my respect for it as it deals in the
Middle East. In other areas I don’t know that we have such control
as we have in that Arab-Israeli issue, but anyone who goes out there
and talks to the Arabs will be asked, "Well, you’re a decent fellow;
you’re intelligent. Why is it that you insult us all the time and
support these people occupying our territory?"

[This indicates a great deal of cynicism on my part but the Senate
Ethics Code of April 1, 1977 indicates how cynical the U.S. public
has become because of the many ways Congressmen get funds–and sell
their votes. See Milton Goldin, "Why they Give–American Jews and
Their Charities" which illustrates the power of wealthy Jews.]

MCKINZIE: At the time that Auschwitz and Buchenwald and all those
places were being revealed to people, there was a massive sentiment
in favor of moving Jewish refugees out of Germany to some place. Did
you have any ideas for a viable alternative to the creation of Israel?

WRIGHT: Yes, this was in 1945. I briefed Chief of Staff Eisenhower
one day on the situation in the Middle East and pointed out all of
these things.

He interrupted me in the middle of the talk. (Eisenhower was, by the
way a very vocal person. Marshall sat there looking like a great big
bear and never said anything. You could talk for an hour and you hadn’t
the least idea whether it was registering or not. Eisenhower is very
different. He’d interrupt you, he would tell stories, very much the
social character.) I was telling this story about how they were using
this problem of the hundred thousand refugees in order to get them into
Palestine. This was being used as an effort to help build up a Jewish
community to sufficient size in order to justify a Jewish state. He
suddenly interrupted me. He said, "You know, I walked through all
those camps in Germany. I looked upon those bodies and those people
heaped up there and skeletons. I do not believe that these people who
went through that experience could ever become human beings again." In
other words, they’d been so nervously upset they would be neurotic. He
said, "I’m not in favor of bringing them to the United States because
this whole generation of Jews from Europe will have to undergo a long
process of getting away from the fears of what’s happened there."

This is just his remark and he threw his heart in this talk. I said
to President Eisenhower, "You know, if we move these 100 thousand
we will create this kind of problem in the Middle East. Instead we
should bring them here; it is our culture that created this problem.

It was the Europeans who destroyed the Jewish community; hated them
and punished them. It’s up to us to try to rectify ourselves."

So at that time the Stratton bill was up. It was to bring, I think,
200 thousand of these Jewish refugees to America. I was in favor of
that. "Let’s bring them to America. Here’s where they’ll find a home
and a much more normal life. While there’s some anti-Jewishness in
America it’s very light, it’s nothing important. Jews have risen to
high positions in America, and if there’s anywhere in the world that
they have a chance, it’s here. If they go to a Jewish state, this
concept of paranoia, ‘the world hates us, we’ve got to establish a
state, completely independent and exclusively ours,’ it will transfer
the problem from Europe to the Middle East." That was my argument.

So often when I was discussing this with people in the State Department
or other places I’ve said, "We ought to support the Stratton bill."

The strange thing was, it was the Zionists who torpedoed the Stratton
bill. They did not want Jews to come to America. Their purpose was to
build up a Jewish state, and if these Jews came to America they would
not have enough people in Palestine to do so. What they did was to
torpedo it and to see that it never even got a hearing. The Stratton
bill was, I think the healthiest thing to do for the Jews and for
ourselves. We would have paid the price of European cruelty. As it
was we shipped these people off to Israel where they’ve developed
what was called the Masada complex, "The world’s against us. We’ve
got to destroy the Arabs, expand our kingdom and defend ourselves
even to the last Jew." Golda Meir has it and all the rest of them
have it. The concept of persecution was moved from Europe down to
the Middle East where they saw the Arabs as their enemies. It was
really the Arabs who have always helped the Jews throughout history,
they never persecuted the Jews the way the Christians have done. What
the U.S. did was to save ourselves by shifting this problem over to
the Middle East. We did not solve the problem at all.

I might mention right now that many of those same Jews want to come
to America. One of the fascinating things emerged only recently; of
these Jews going from Russia to Israel, 13 percent have already left
Israel to come to other parts of the world. In other words, Israel is
a staging area to get out of Russia. Then they want to go somewhere
else, like Latin-America or the United States. [New York Times
magazine, January 16, 1977. Article by Feron "Israelies in New York"
states 335,000 Israelies have migrated to the U.S. and Canada. Jews
leaving Russia do not want to go to Israel. In 1976 out of 12,000
Jews who left Russia, only 5,000 went to Israel. The U.S.A. finally
issued 7,000 special visas to clear them out of "refugee" camps in
Europe.] This is like Pavel Litvinov. He applied to go to Israel,
but the moment he got to Austria he used his influence on American
Jews to come here to teach.

Some of them never even go to Israel, some go to Israel and immediately
leave. Israel is not turning out to be their haven; the United States
is. This is what we should have done back in 1945-46.

We should have paid the price of our own guilt and our own cruelty
rather than ask the Arabs to handle this problem.

MCKINZIE: I am interested in the reluctance of the American Jewish
community to support the Stratton bill in the desire not to have a
large influx of Jews, particularly Eastern European Jews.

WRIGHT: Well, there were no other Jews wanted to come here. The Jews in
the Arab world had no idea about what America was. The European Jew,
who had relatives here and knew about America, looked upon it as a
land of hope. I’m sure right now if we said, "We’ll take 3 million
Jews from Israel," they’d line up in front of our consulates.

A recent survey in Israel about two months ago was made, one of these
Harris poll types of things. It pointed out that over 10 percent of all
of the Israelies who were interviewed, out of a thousand five hundred,
indicated a desire to come to America. Twenty and a half percent of
those between the ages of 19 and 29 wanted to come to America.

In other words, this is where they want to get rid of the problems of
the world in which they are living. They are becoming too burdensome
to bear. This is what we wanted to avoid in the Middle East, and what
President Truman created. [For the disintegration of Israeli morale
since 1973, read Terrence Smith in Saturday Review, February 5, 1977
"Report from a troubled people." Also George Ball, op. cit., pp.

464-65. Time is running out for Israel. Beleaguered Israel is no
longer the bright promise it was a few years ago."]

MCKINZIE: To what extent were any State Department actions in the
Middle East influenced by American business interests; either during
the war, or in the Truman years?

WRIGHT: You’re thinking in terms of so-called imperialism?

MCKINZIE: I’m thinking in terms of economic opportunity and the
imperatives of having raw materials and markets.

WRIGHT: There are really two points of view here. One is that a
nation creates its own morality by serving itself. I mean the ultimate
morality is the survival and the enrichment of the nation.

Whether you like it or not, this is a rule that’s been existing for
300 years in Europe and we have taken it over. What is moral is what
is good for your nation, and whether it’s good for some other nation
makes no difference at all. I’ve often protested American policies
in the outside world because they are good for America, but they are
bad for someone else. This question of morality is a very tough one
to answer, because the national interest is in getting as much wealth
as possible or using it for a higher standard of living. It’s not a
bad goal, but the trouble is that we are doing this at the expense of
others. We are now using up the world’s iron resources, the world’s
cooper resources, and the world’s oil resources. Thirty-five percent
of all the oil produced in the world is used in America. This is
fantastic. It is of national interest to keep up this kind of wasteful
use of oil? The average American would say yes.

This influence is dominating American policy and has been for a long
time, because oil is the symbol of automobiles. Automobiles are a
symbol of a standard of living. All of these interactions of oil and
automobiles will be threatened if we do not have access to Middle
East oil.

So, when it comes to national interests, you get into a terrible
hassle. What are national interests, and are they moral or not? I think
they’re immoral myself, because they are selfish. They look at only
a small part of the world’s population and ignore the rest. I’m not
sure but what we axe heading into one of the worst periods in human
history. We will be the richest people and will have exploited the
wealth of most other people. It’s going to create a hatred of America
as time goes on. I look forward to when oil ends in the Middle East,
what will be left? The answer is not very much. During this period
we are simply exploiting the world’s resources for a higher standard
of living; while the world is going to face, within the next 10 or
15 years, starvation. What’s going to happen?

Whether they’ll turn Communist or not I don’t know, but I’m sure
there’s going to be a tremendous amount of anti-Americanism. We are
sitting on the top of a period of wealth and privilege, and it’s
coming at the expense of other people.

This is my attitude: it’s a world view, rather than just a national
view. I think that as a nation we ought to be aware of what we
are doing to other people. "If it’s good for us, to hell with
everybody else," is the general attitude. "Let’s get the iron and
everything we need, and use it here in America. The devil will take
the hindermost." The devil is going to take the hindermost unless we
learn some discipline.

To me this question of national interest has always been a very
troublesome one. Often I’ve been asked to write papers. What is our
national interest in Greece? What is it in Turkey? What in Iran? What
in the Arab-Israeli issue? We used to have what we used to call
position papers, and I was the custodian of the position papers as
Mr. Henderson’s assistant. I had a little file with all of these.

"What is our interest here, there?" As I read through these things
they were always, "What can we get out of it?" A very selfish point
of view; we ought to be friendly with these people because we can
get something from them.

I always felt that there’s an end to this somewhere. National interest
cannot be interpreted in terms of material goods alone.

Unfortunately, this is the American story. If we want land, we’ll
just take it from the Indians. They don’t use it well, so send them
off to reservations. Then if we find oil or coal on them, take the
reservations. Our whole attitude is that the Indian is an un-people;
they don’t belong in the world. Yet, at the same time, we’re somewhat
troubled in spirit when we read about Wounded Knee. Why do we treat
the Indians that way? The devil is within us, he’s not somebody
outside with horns. He is us.

I see myself caught in a dilemma. National interests do mean the
welfare of the United States, but do they not also mean conserving
other people’s resources and helping them conserve them? This
would mean developing technical interests and developments in other
countries, but not bringing that stuff here. This is not going to
happen simply because of American tradition and what we call national

I’ve always seen national interests as destructive, ultimately. They
help temporarily. They hold a people together, give them a cohesiveness
and a harmonious feeling of belonging to one another. In the long run
I think it’s going to destroy the possibility of a world order. Then
we’ll have to pay a high price for what I think is a highly immoral,
limited concept of national interest.

Perhaps this is because I was born abroad and lived in other
countries. I’ve had to answer these questions, "Why do you behave
the way you do?" I’ve spent more than half of my life in the Middle
East and I’ve had to face these all the time. I’ve become a little
bit apologetic about the way Americans behave and what we think of
as our national interests.

MCKINZIE: Other than Aramco was there a powerful American business
community in the Middle East during this period?

WRIGHT: There was no powerful influence. There are many small ones,
a few banks and missionary enterprises, but these were not political.

Their whole attitude was, "We’re out here to do whatever our
function is." I was a missionary and always took the attitude,
"I’m not representing the United States here. I am a U.S. citizen,
but I’m out here representing an educational experience." I always
saw myself in connection with helping to collect information and
passing it on to other people.

This had nothing to do with oil or anything else, the result being
that educational and religious people did not think in political
terms. We thought in terms of a function of society and played no part
in politics. I did to a degree; a few of us broke away and got into
Government. I never intended to go into Government, this is the last
thing that I’d have ever said if somebody said, "What do you want to
do?" It is my background that dragged me into it. I really feel it was
useful in many ways, perhaps I use my experience better in Government
than in an educational institution. But national interests are awfully
dangerous if they’re thought of purely in narrow terms. This is one of
the tragedies of Israel; it sees its national interest as only having
to do with Jews, and ignores completely the problem of the Arab. Now
they’ve got to face the problem. They are living in the midst of an
Arab world, and it’s going to be one of the great shocks. They’ve got
to change from their picture of themselves as a separate chosen people
to being a people living in a society they consider enemies. There’s
no solution for Israel other than to integrate itself into the Arab
world. [It was folly to establish a theoretic, ethnically exclusive,
ambitious Zionist Jewish state in the heart of the Arab world. To
impose its will upon the Arabs, Israel has to resort to the sword. All
the assumptions of Herzl’s Zionism turned out to be false. Most Jews
do not want to live in a theoretic Jewish state. Israeli Jews have
proven incapable of granting non-Jews equality. Israel survives only
because of large transfers of arms and money from the U.S.A.–a very
un-healthy situation for all involved. March 29, 1977 Edwin M.


MCKINZIE: Mr. Wright, thank you very much.

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript |
List of Subjects Discussed]

List of Subjects Discussed

Acheson, Dean Alliance for Progress Allon, Yigal Alsop, Stewart
American Christian Committee for Palestine American-Israeli Public
Affairs Committee American University, Cairo, Egypt American Zionist
Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine Arab-Israeli War
(1956) Arab-Israeli War (1973) Arab League Arab states Arab-U.S.

relations Aramco Oil Company Artaxerxes, King Association of Presidents
of Major Jewish organizations Aswan Dam Azerbaijan crisis, Iran

Ball, George W. Barkley, Alben W. Baron, Salo Baruch, Bernard M. Ben
Gurion, David Berlin, Meyer Bevin, Ernest Bible (Hebrew) Biltmore
convention Blaustein, Jacob Brandeis, Louis Byrnes, James F. Byroade,

Cairo, Egypt Carleton, Alfred Carter, Jimmy Celler, Emmanuel Central
Treaty Organization China China Lobby Churchill, Winston Clifford,
Clark M. Columbia University Communism, popular appeal of Congress,
U.S., Zionist influence on Costa Rica Crum, Bartley

Dewey, Thomas E. Dreyfus, Louis G. Dulles, John F. Dyan, Moshe

East Ghor Canal Project Egypt Eisenhower, Dwight D. Elath (Epstein)
Eliahu E1-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt Elliot, William Y. "Eretz
Israel" Esther, Book of

First Amendment, U.S. Constitution Foreign Relations Committee Report
on the Middle East (1974), U.S. Senate Foreign policy, Middle East:
American economic interest in, morality of Zionist influence on
Frankfurter, Felix Friedman, Milton

Galilee, Sea of Giles, Barney M. Goldman, Nathan Great Britain Greece
Guerrillas, Palestinian Gulf of Aqaba Gush, Emunim

Haiti Hart, Parker T. Henderson, Loy W. Herzl, Theodor Humphrey,
Hubert H.

Ickes, Harold L. Indians, American, treatment of Iran Iraq Islamic
theocracy Israel: Arab states, opposition to economic development of
Arab states, relationship with destruction of in 70 A.D. East Ghor
Canal, destroyed by erosion of U.S. support for establishment of,
U.S. support internal dissension Palestinian guerrillas, war against
recognition of by U.S. statehood, early concept of theocratic state,
as a discrimatory U.S. support for, mistaken policy of

Jacobson, Edward Jessup, Henry H. Jewish Agency for Palestine Jewish
Telegraph Agency Jews, definition of Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Lyndon
B. Jordan Jordan River Joseph, Dov

Kennedy, John F. Khouri, Fred J. Kissinger, Henry Klavan, Israel
Kolleck, Teddy Kraft, Joseph

Lebanon Liberia Litvinov, Pavel Locke, Edwin A., Jr. Loretz, Norman P.

McCarthy, Joseph R. McCormick Theological Seminary McGhee, George C.

Magnus, Judah Marshall, George C. Marx, Karl "Masada Complex," Maxwell,
Rabbi Meir, Golda Minor, Harold Muskie, Edmund S.

Nathan, Robert National Jewish Post New York Gubnatorial election of
1946 Niles, David K. Nixon, Richard M.

Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Oil, Middle East Orthodox Jews
in Israel

Palestine: general situation of Jewish emigration to Partition of
trusteeship for, proposed Persia, ancient Persian Gulf Philippines
Porter, William

Refugees, Jewish Refugees, Palestinian Regional development, Middle
East Republican National Committee Rockefeller, Nelson Romulo, Carlos
P. Roosevelt, Franklin D. Rostow, Robert Roxas, Manuel

Sadat, Anwar Samuel, Edwin Saudi Arabia Shahak, Israel Shiloah, R.

Zaslani Soviet Union "Specialist Corps," U.S. State Department Stalin,
Joseph V. State Department, U.S., anti-Zionist purge of Stratton bill
Suez Canalq Suez Crisis (1956) Syria

Tabriz, Iran Tel Aviv, Palestine Truman Doctrine Truman, Harry
S.: aid to Greece-Turkey Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on
Palestine, opposes recommendations of Azerbaijan crisis in Iran,
ultimatum to Soviet Union on British mandate of Palestine, critical
of impersonation of by Zionist agents Israel, decision to recognize
State of Israel, announces recogniton of "Jewish State," first use
of term as President, critique of State Department advisors, accuses
of anti-Semitism Zionists, threatened by Turkey

Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America United Nations UN
San Francisco Conference

Wadsworth, George Weiss, Sampson R. Weizman, Chaim White House staff,
dictation of foreign policy by Winchell, Walter Winetal, Theodore
Wise, Stephen S. Wooster College World Jewish Congress World Zionist
Organization World’s natural resources, U.S. exploitation of

Yarmuk River


Opened August 1977 Harry S. Truman Library Independence, Missouri


torials/2006%20Opinion%20Editorials/October/2%20o/ State%20Department%20under%20Truman,%20on%20Zionis m%20and%20Israel%20By%20Edwin%20Wright.htm