Friday, August 1, 2008

Legerdemain - Book Review

The Presidents Secret Plan, The Bomb and what the French Never Knew...
by James J Heaphey
History Publishing Company

Leger demain as two words (in french) means Light Tomorrow, and probably refers to the Nuclear Mushroom and Explosion.

This is the memoir of James J Heaphy (bn 1930) who in 1952 was assigned to a US airbase in Morocco, as the local base newspaper editor. His real job however was to covertly help the Moroccan nationalists to overthrow the French colonials, and hope that the Moroccans would allow the US to keep the Air Force Base in Morocco in place.

James Heaphy was sent to language school in USA and taught to speak Russian. This was the height of the cold war and the USA needed to know everything the Russians were doing, thinking and saying. WHY Heaphy was sent to Morocco where he did not speak the languages, is one of those things that Americans just dont question - when they should. There were three languages spoken in Morocco at that time. Arabic, French and Berber. Heaphy knew none of them. Although he did begin learning French.

This book describes Heaphy's two years in Morocco, during which he was involved in the Casablance massacre (1952 Dec 8, French troops shot on demonstrators at Casablanca and 50 people were killed) and was lucky to survive. He also disocvered french agents close to the US base as well.

Heaphy also went to Cyprus a few times, mainly to discuss the issue of Cypriot Independence from the British and the matter of the Turks in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots wanted the Turks out, since Turkey had signed a treaty with the British (in 1923 I think), allowing the British to take over Cyprus, and the Greek Cypriots also wanted the British out as well. Heaphy also visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt - something to do with the Nationalisation of the Suez Canal.

Also in 1952, the Americans were secretly moving atomic bombs to the Air Force base without telling either the Moroccans or the French. The US needed to have bombs close by in case Russia did something bad.

When Heaphy's tour was over, he was encouraged to sign up again for a second four year tour, because he was doing such a good job in Morocco. Heaphy refused. He mustered out and went back to Ohio and settled down.

This is a true story and tells of Heaphy's 2 years in Morocco during which he met with various famous people around the Middle East. If you really want to know what life was like in Morocco fifty years ago, then you have to read this book. I enjoyed this book for the history of Morocco and the unknown secret of the USA.

There have been many times when US interference has gone badly for them. The Bay of Pigs in Cuba (1962) is one example, Vietnam (1965-1975) and Grenada in 1983 are other examples. USA is currently losing both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it is contemplating more wars on Iran and Pakistan. The US government badly needs to learn to stay out of other countries. It almost always goes badly for them.

If you wish to know where I get up-to-date information - Please read this website - WRH. One of the most popular alternative news sites online today.

I read this book for the Memoir - In Their Shoes Challenge.

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