Deadly Cold War Rhetoric: The Dulles Brothers & The Crisis in Hungary

Deadly Cold War Rhetoric: The Dulles Brothers & The Crisis in Hungary


I think that it’s clear in your book that
uh the Dulles brothers failed with regard to Nasser and with regard to the Hungarian
crisis the latter I remember because here’s a silly thing but uh I was in a fraternity
at the time in Anne Arbor and one of the guys who came to work at the fraternity house was
a Hungarian refugee well that story is really a poignant one and it shows I think one of
the worst aspects of the the Dulles approach so one of their views was when they came into
office was containment the policy that had been followed by Truman and Dean Acheson his
Secretary of State was an evil thing containment essentially meant we understand that Communism
is where it is but we’re going to contain it and we’re not going to allow it to grow
so the Dulles idea was this is a bad policy you have to have liberation policy he called
it like roll back we’re going after the Communists where they are actually this never happened
they followed the same containment policy that Truman and uh Acheson had followed it
was all for it was all for domestic consumption it was all rhetoric and everybody in Washington
understood this when they heard this idea we’re going to roll back Communism nobody
in Washington took this seriously they knew we weren’t going to bomb Moscow or invade
China but the tragedy was that the people in Eastern Europe didn’t realize it was all
rhetoric those poor Hungarians were listening and they thought it was real it was being
broadcast on radio free Europe we had agents inside Hungary telling them if you rise up
Americans will come and help you because doesn’t Foster Dulles say this all the time give us
a chance to roll back the Communist regime in your country so they did they rose up and
we never sent them one bullet or one rifle nor we’re we ever intending to we never even
considered it and we just allowed the Soviets to come in and crush that rebellion and execute
its leaders and cause tremendous dislocation in Hungary and throughout Eastern Europe this
was really uh I think uh uh a terrible thing to have done to a brave people uh it’s it’s
bad enough to say no we can’t help you but at least let’s be honest about it don’t say
if you rise up and expose yourself to die we’re going to help you and then when they
do that don’t go in to help which is what the Dulles brothers did you know the idea
that we’re going to go to Hungary to help them against the Russians is beyond crazy
and everybody in America realized that except the poor innocent naive Hungarians who heard
it on the radio and thought if the Secretary of State is saying it it must be true This
excerpt is brought to you by the Massachusetts School of Law

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