[May 29, 1960] The Outside World (Foreign Affairs wrap-up)

It’s been a tumultuous month in the world; I’d hate to be in the State Department while Ike makes his goodwill tour across the globe, particularly in the wake of the collapse of the recent four-party Peace Summit in Paris less than two weeks ago.

Courtesy of LIFE Magazine

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve read about the coup in Turkey, replacing the democratically elected government with a military junta led by Colonel Alparslan Türkeş.  This comes on the heels of (former) Prime Minister Adnan Menderes’ attempts to secure a line of credit with the Soviet Union, now that the West’s Marshall plan checkbook is running dry.  Türkeş is a far right winger, so I’m sure he’s not keen on working with the Communists. 

Perhaps our government is secretly delighting in the turn of events.  The coup may not be great for democracy or Turkey’s people, but it will likely keep Turkey firmly in the pro-Western NATO camp for some time to come.

Things are still chaotic in South Korea in the wake of mid-April’s revolution that saw the step-down of virtual dictator Syngman Lee and the suicide of his Vice President, Lee Ki-Poong.  It’s anyone’s guess if the new, democratic, government will survive long.

Cuba’s Castro has officially given America the raspberry and is publicly looking to grow ties with the Soviet Union.  This comes as the Cuban dictator nationalizes American economic interests in the island country.  The Monroe Doctrine has been subverted from within, and Communism now has an invitation to America’s doorstep.  I imagine Cuba will be a talking point in the run up to this year’s election.

Hamaya Hiroshi, photographer

Meanwhile, anti-American protests continue at a fever pitch in Japan against the inking of a mutual defense treaty.  I can only hope they blow over before July, when my family intends to take a trip to that wonderful country to visit friends.

As they say in the business, “All the news that fits, we print.”  That’s what I’ve got for today. 

Next up, KGJ will be broadcasting a stack of Galactic Journey recordings.  Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “[May 29, 1960] The Outside World (Foreign Affairs wrap-up)”

  1. I don’t know why so many people are so concerned about Castro.  He’s just another South American style tinpot dictator.  He’s set himself up in Havana… but American tourism and business are critical to the Cuban economy, and there’s no way the Soviets are going to be able to replace that.  I give it a year or two before he’s assassinated or runs off to Argentina to live like a king after asset-stripping the Cuban economy.  Then the Cubans will be begging us to come back.

    As for Japan… it seems like every correspondent has a different take on the root problem(s).  No, we’re not officially occupying them any more… but yes, we have huge military bases on Japanese soil, and they’re too important to risk with that hooraw in Southeast Asia.

    And… a breakdown in relations with Japan could affect important things, like motorocycles.  My brother bought a 250cc Honda last year.  That thing runs like the proverbial assaulted primate.  The thing revs like crazy and he has made more than one 500cc BSA or Triumph rider regret challenging him on the road.  And it has the optional electric starter, just like some of the big Harleys.  It sounds like a ridiculous thing to put on a motorcycle, but you just swipe your thumb across the button and ride away.  No compression release, no bumping the engine over to the right spot before using the kick starter.  The guys with the big-bore bikes jeer, but this might be the wave of the future.  After all, cars have all been electric start since before the war.  Even if MGs still have provision for the hand crank… I’d make a Lucas electrics joke, but after the service station hooked up the new battery in my girlfriend’s MGA backwards, electrical jokes aren’t particularly funny.

    1. A fantastic comment, sir.

      Those Japanese are a clever bunch, that’s for certain.  They are also far more heterogeneous than the American public gives them credit for.  More than Zen Buddhism and cheap radios, that’s for sure.  To coin a cliche, some of my best friends are Japanese.

      I agree with you on Cuba.  I bet there’s some sort of back door accommodation that could be made with Castro, if we’re willing.  He’s a pragmatist.

    2. What did my friend say? Oh, yes – “Never trust a dictator not smart enough to promote himself to general.” Snide, but funny.

      Who knows, maybe that’s been the problem with all the other ones who have come and gone over the years. Still, I can’t see him lasting either – none of these tinhorns do.

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