The Suez Crisis address, given in response to the exigencies of the Cold War, marked a dramatic shift in presidential rhetoric regarding the Middle East. In this essay I build upon Richard Gregg’s analysis of this speech by demonstrating how President Dwight Eisenhower’s rhetoric broke from previously articulated rationales for American engagement with the region and subtly proposed a new understanding of U.S. responsibility for the region that has yet to be refuted. This speech should be understood as establishing premises in presidential discourse that have been used to mobilize support for American intervention in the Middle East from the Eisenhower Doctrine to the present.


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