PRESIDENT NASSER'S visit to Russia for talks with Mr. Krushchev, which it is anonunced will take place at the end of April, brings the Russian plan for Soviet domination of the Middle East an important step nearer to completion.
So, too, do the replacement of King Saud by his brother, Prince Faisal in Saudi Arabia, and the riots which occurred in Lebanon last Saturday.
Stage by stage this important Muslim area. so long closed to Russia, is coming within the Soviet sphere of influence.
The Russian plan for the Middle East has been made clear by Communist writers. It is that Arab nationalism and anti-imperialist feeling should be used in order to achieve one pan-Arab State stretching from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf and in which live more than 40 million people.
studied in all its contexts. Fr. Rosa is a member of the Aloisiammi, a Jesuit College of Philosophy some 30 miles from Rome. At the Aloisianum, the works of St. Thomas including the Surnma have been electronically indexed. One man using this machine sifted, collated and processed 1,600,000 words in eight days. How long would it have taken the monks of old? Experts say that it would have taken three scholars working eight hours a day for nine years.
It is the area which joins Asia, Africa and Europe together in a single land mass. And it is rich in the oil upon which the West depends in either peace or war.
Unity throughout this enormously important strategic area is, according to the Russian plan, to be achieved under Soviet guidance and direction. In practical form Russia is encouraging the various Arab rulers to believe that Russia will underwrite their regimes if they show themselves prepared to stand up to Western imperialism.
This is exactly what most of them wish to do. And in the case of countries like Iraq and Jordan, whose rulers wish to have no truck with Russia, there are plenty of people under Communist influence or who are sufficiently antiWestern to maintain a steady pressure in this direction.
In Stalin's day the Soviet policy would have been to build up the Communist parties within the various countries, parallel with the wooing of the " bourgeois " nationalist leaders and politicians. Now, under Krushchev, the Cornmunist parties are for the moment ignored.
In each of the countries concerned the Communist Party is illegal. But Krushchev quietly makes one after the other of the Arab governments economically and politically dependent upon the Communist bloc knowing that when this is achieved the work of the Communist parties will be made incalculably easier.
The events in Saudi Arabia during the past week, like those in the Lebanon, suggest that it is only a matter of time before opposition to Nasser's plan for an allin United Arab Republic will be regarded as treachery to the Arab cause.
Russia undoubtedly sees President Nasser as the sawdust Caesar that he is. But for the moment he is the best person for the Communists' purposes. When he has outlined his usefulness " pressure tram below ", created by the illegal Communist parties and fanned by Russia, can be relied upon to force his removal and so open the way to someone who is more definitely Communist in outlook.
The fact that he is not half the strong man that he imagines himself to be makes him all the more useful since his removal will be that much easier.
It is doubtful if anywhere in the world the Russians have ever had so many successes in a matter of three years—or the West taken so many defeats.