By Eric Berne
Eric Berne is better referred to as the writer of the 1965 vintage video games humans Play. A Layman's consultant to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, first released in 1947, is his creation to the psychoanalytic college of suggestion, written in obtainable language that any one can comprehend and luxuriate in.
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The cabinet agreed that for these reasons every effort must be made to restore effective international control over the Canal. It was evident that the Egyptians would not yield to economic pressures alone. They must be subjected to the maximum political pressure which could be exerted . . 12 This excerpt from the cabinet meeting gives us a broad picture of the choices that were available to Britain at that moment. The first option, the legal argument, did not have enough power behind it, as the case was particularly complex.
11 Later in the speech, when Nasser spoke the name ‘‘De Lesseps,’’ it was a signal for the Egyptian military to seize the canal. It was a daring move, which caught the world almost completely by surprise. We can get a feeling for the initial reaction of British leaders through the minutes of the first cabinet meeting. The cabinet agreed that we should be on weak legal ground in basing our resistance on the narrow argument that Colonel Nasser had acted illegally. The Suez Canal Company was registered as an Egyptian company under Egyptian law; and Colonel Nasser had indicated that he intended to Preventing What?
This case highlights the importance of perception in decisions regarding preventive war. The British decided to take preventive action after Egypt’s nationalization because of their perception of both Egypt’s intentions, and their own capabilities. British decision-makers, and in particular, Anthony Eden, had locked into the idea of Nasser as an ‘‘enemy’’ with evil intentions, who would try to humiliate Britain and/or blackmail it through control of the transportation of oil through the canal. Simultaneously, British leaders 24 Why Leaders Choose War disregarded warnings over the potential consequences of their action, believing that their influence in the world was such that they could weather the storm of criticism and condemnation that might follow.