Middle East: The Camel Driver

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At 6:30 one morning early this month, a phone shrilled in the small office off the bedroom of Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Already awake, he lifted the receiver to hear exciting news: a military coup had just been launched against the anti-Nasser government of Syria. The phone rang again. It was the Minister of Culture and National Guidance. How should Radio Cairo handle the Syrian crisis? Support the rebels, snapped Nasser.

Then Egypt's boss rapped out a succession of telephoned commands. To the air force: alert the bombers and fighters...

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