America, Europe, and the Middle East
THE October war in the Middle East was a Pearl Harbor, an explosion which revealed acute tensions between reality and the models for reality which have dominated many minds. Like a flash of lightning, it illuminated the contours of a landscape large sectors of European and American opinion, in particular, were firmly resolved to ignore.
First of all, the fact that the war took place represented a failure of intelligence in a special sense-not a failure of knowledge, but a failure to understand what was known, because the event seemed incredible, in terms of the presuppositions about world politics which prevailed in high places. Like Stalin’s refusal to believe that Hitler would attack him, like Pearl Harbor itself, neither the United States nor Israel could bring itself to conclude that Egypt and Syria would make war rather than carry out Security Council Resolution 242, at a time when, according to reports, Egypt had just agreed with Kissinger in Washington on a procedure for negotiation to implement the mandate of that resolution.
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