A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Only Comment on Tonight's Debate: Those Were the Days: The Great White Fleet in the Suez Canal

Everyone will be talking about the Middle East Policy substance of tonight's Foreign Policy debate between the candidates. This is not a blog about US politics, but since my nostalgia posts are well received, and since Mitt Romney has shown a certain nostalgia for the United States Navy as it was in 1916, though battleship navies seem to have faded away after Pearl Harbor, I thought it might  be appropriate to run a  couple of pictures of the Great White Fleet's transit of the Suez Canal on January 1909.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, Teddy Roosevelt sent the United States Navy on a round-the world cruise to display American power, the "big stick" part of his "speak softly and carry a big stick" policy. The cruise lasted from December 1907 to February 1909. It transited the Suez Canal in January 1909. Left, a photo from the Battleship USS Connecticut, from this US Navy site. To the best of my knowledge, the felucca in the picture was not a part of the Great White Fleet.

Below, sailors from the Great White Fleet pose at the sphinx.

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