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by Lewis Lipkin



Within the ranks of Texas oil men and the Saudi Arabian directors and consigliori, St Valentine's day has a particular significance. This year, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the Feb 14, 1945 meeting between Franklin Roosevelt and King Aziz Ibn Saud was once again the occasion for further baseless incrementation of the myth of an American-Arabian special relationship "treaty".

This year's bash, held in Jed Bush's Miami was sponsored by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAIGA). Neil Bush was among the attendees. Scions of both the Roosevelt and Ibn Saud clans were present as were relatives of the controversial Col William Eddy. The Colonel had been translator for both parties at the original Bitter Lake encounter and its general factotum. He was the sole western witness of the "Conference" - when, not insignificantly, FDR, given his not so latent anti-Semitism, was probably not disturbed by the King's proposed solution to the problem of the Jewish Holocaust survivors.

The mythogenic uses to which the FDR-Saud meeting has been increasingly put suggests that it is time to examine the very sparse record in the light of the meeting's historical context and the backgrounds and conjectures about the motivations of the three critical participants.


Toward the end of the war in Europe in January 1945, the last Churchill-Roosevelt-Stalin meeting took place at Yalta. [Click here for additional information on Yalta.] The heavy cruiser, the USS Quincy, had carried FDR to the eastern Mediterranean and was his base for travel to Russia. He returned to the Quincy following the meeting of the World World II leaders. Despite his obvious and severe health problems the President seemed determined to use this geographical opportunity to further the growth of a post war American influence in Africa and the Middle East, at Britain's expense. He had been forced by circumstances to omit a meeting with Saud after the Teheran conference the year before.

As part of the preliminaries for Yalta, Col Eddy (who had been appointed minister plenipotentiary to Arabia) was ordered at the end of 1944 to arrange for the Bitter Lake encounter. King Ibn Saud was to be brought from Jedda on the destroyer, the USS Murphy, to the meet the President on the Quincy. Much of Eddy's later account is of the trouble he had to limit the volume of food supplies and the number of personnel that the King had requested to accompany him on this, his first ever, departure from Saudi Arabia. The number of live sheep for slaughter was reduced to seven.

The encounter between Roosevelt and Saud occurred on February 14, 1945. There were two meetings. The first, beginning at 10 in the morning, was open to the entourages of both the principals. Squired by Colonel Eddy, the King came aboard accompanied by three of his sons and two of his senior ministers. Roosevelt was flanked by Harry Hopkins, Admiral William D. Leahy and Charles "Chip" Bohlen. It is probably significant that Roosevelt's small but carefully selected entourage included his Secretary of the Interior and oil administrator, Harry Hopkins, while no senior State department official was then present aboard the Quincy. (We shall see that, significantly, it was Hopkins who determined the extremely limited distribution of Eddy's secret account of the meeting. As far as can be determined, no copy of that account now exists).

The second meeting, the critical one, took place after luncheon, and was limited to Roosevelt, Saud, Eddy and Yusuf Yassin, Saud's foreign minister. [Click here for additional information on Yusaf Yassin.] Hopkins was not included. The meeting lasted at most for two hours and came to an end at 3:30 in the afternoon, when the Quincy weighed anchor, scheduled to return to Alexandria.


We have no explicit information as to the agenda FDR intended for the Saud meeting, but his behavior was in keeping with his well-known propensity to act as his own secretary of state and to exclude the professional diplomats. [Click here for additional information on Roosevelt style of personal diplomacy.]

Most likely, Roosevelt's motivation for the meeting was to solidify American economic position in the area. Perhaps, as the Eddy account hints, a major presidential objective was to reinforce Saud's decision to continue a concession agreement with the American company SOCAL - which in later years developed into the Arabian American Oil Company, ARAMCO. The exclusion of Churchill from the meeting would tend to confirm that the purpose was the furthering of American economic interests in the Arabian peninsula. Roosevelt likely would have wanted to do his own assessment of Saud as a future political and economic asset. Azziz Ibn Saud had a murky reputation.

Colonel Eddy was a distinguished Marine officer, who had been brought up in Sidon, Syria and was a fluent speaker of Arabic. [Click here for an essay on the expatriates.] His almost unique qualifications for the position of minister plenipoteniary to Saudi Arabia made for a greater closeness to the king and his objectives than what was necessarily in the best longterm American interests. In the long year before the meeting, the relationship between Eddy and Ibn Saud became extremely close. Even Eddy's perception of his duties as a Marine Corp officer was colored by his empathy with the Arabs. He had, after all, been brought up in Sidon and the Lebanon, and lived in intimacy since childhood with the Arab culture. In this meeting, he functioned as interpreter for both  Saud and Roosevelt. [Click here for additional information on William Eddy.]

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, the British reluctantly recognized Saudi Arabia as an independent kingdom. Ibn Saud had outfought and outfoxed the Hashemites, rival British clients for the guardianship of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. [For additional information, read Lipkin, "The Saudis: The Middle East Mafia," lipkin.mafia.html] King Azziz Ibn Saud was as close to a model of Machiavelli's Prince as the 20th century provides. His unification of Saudi Arabia was a bloody, treacherous and vengeful reuniting of a peninsula which had been regarded as Saud family property for more than 200 years. The revenue from the Haj pilgrams was the main source of national income, even though there was slow but persistent growth of an oil revenue in the Hasa province on the Gulf long before its oil production became widely known in the West. Why was Ibn Saud interested in a meeting with President Roosevelt, aside from prestige and politics? At the time, oil production was in dribs and drabs. Saudi Arabia was a poor country. For years the king has seen the need to acquire sufficient capital to start systematic exploration and development of his oil resources.


FDR Meets Ibn Saud is the major document for the encounter between Roosevelt and Saud. Published several years after the meeting, it is Colonel Eddy's account of what took place. The document is poorly organized. It is not in chronological sequence. Eddy's narrative mixes accounts of morning and afternoon events. For example, he describes the preparation of the secret document - which obviously didn't occur until after the meetings ended - in a beginning section titled "Meeting."

It opens with a laudatory (and highly selective) brief biography of Ibn Saud. Given Eddy's sympathies, it is understandable that Eddy could not produce an objective portrait of Ibn Saud's career. He was apologetic. For example, Eddy compares the 100 or more offspring of Saud's sexual predation to the family connections of a Queen Victoria. This shows a lamentable lack of understanding of 19th century European dynastic politics. The image of Saud remains admirable only as long as the patina of romantic overlay remains unexamined.

Much of the narrative is composed of charming and quaint details of the trip of Ibn Saud aboard the destroyer Murphy to meet Roosevelt.

And it contains material about the actual meetings.

The encounter at Bitter Lake began at about 10:00 in the morning. Of the large Arab party on the Murphy, only Ibn Saud, his three sons and two senior minister boarded the Quincy.

The morning meeting and luncheon were open. The morning session was in the presence of the princes and the King's ministers. During this preliminary diplomatic fan dance, the conversation was made up mostly of meaningless pleasantries. Saud and Roosevelt played the game of exchanging evidence of their similarities and the suggestion that they were really twins. (see "the twin similarity" exchange, Eddy, p 23) The leadup to FDR's gift to Saud of his spare wheelchair was also part of the morning festivities.

The second meeting, dubbed by Eddy as "The Conversation" took place after luncheon.

The only available primary sources of the afternoon closed meeting is limited to two items. The first, as indicated, is an account by Col. Eddy entitled FDR Meets Ibn Saud, that has been reprinted as a 41 page pdf file. The second is the letter from Roosevelt to Ibn Saud, which, contrary to the usual Arab citations, promises to consult with both Moslems and Jews concerning decisions in re Palestine.

The last part of the Meeting Section relates the follow-up to the secret discussions.

"That night Yussuf Yassin and I, with the aid of Merritt Grant (my colleague from the Legation who had accompanied me with his typewriter), beat out a draft of a Memorandum of Conversation on which both King and President had expressed a desire to agree. The memorandum was finally completed in both English and Arabic and before he went to sleep that night the King signed the Arabic text. In the meantime the President's cruiser had gone through the Suez Canal, past Port Said, around the coast of Egypt to drop anchor for one day in the harbor of Alexandria.

The following morning on February 15, I was flown to Alexandria to submit the memorandum of conversation to Mr. Roosevelt, The President read it and said "This is all right, just as it is," and signed it without changing a syllable or a comma. Others had joined his party in Alexandria, including Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, and Ambassador to London, John Winant. The statesmen around the President immediately expressed the greatest concern regarding the disposition of copies of the memorandum. Harry Hopkins warned me not to transmit this memorandum through the Legation to the Department, but rather to give him a copy then and there, which copy would suffice for the State Department and prevent the confidential memorandum from being read by a great many secretaries and filing clerks. One copy was of course kept for the President and another copy of the signed English text I took back to the King."

The English version of the secret account, which Eddy prepared in the evening after the closed meeting, has been lost. Ibn Saud refused to release his English and Arabic copies..


We can make some assumptions about the tone of the meeting. First, the ceremonials had been disposed of earlier, so the actual agendas could surface. We can also assume that the meeting took the high ground. It is unlikely that crassly material topics such as the specific details of credits or concessions would be detailed by the principals.

What can we assume about the value of Eddy's memoir?

We can assume that given Eddy's own psychology, we can't expect a necessarily astute understanding of Roosevelt's post-war objectives. Given his sympathies and background, we can't expect a necessarily objective view of the Arab agenda.

Given the internal contradictions of Eddy's public account, unfortunately, we can't take even some of the "facts" at face value.

Wrong Arithmetic.

As an example, Eddy conflates the total time of the encounter with the duration of the second meeting, the significant meeting.

Eddy writes "...About 11:30 lunch was announced ..." Later, he writes

"Then after lunch all withdrew except the President, the King, Yusuf Yassin and myself as interpreter to continue the political conversation until 3:30 P.M. They were thus together at least five very intense hours."

The last sentence is incorrect, even by Eddy's own account.

If the lunch ended as early as 1:30, there were at most 2 consecutive hours for significant political conversation.

Determining what was actually said. And is this complete?

First of all, what was specifically reported? Following an allusion to the status of the war, it is declared that Roosevelt asked Saud's help in solving the problem of the remnants of the Jews of Central Europe. Saud's unfeeling and useless reply was effectively to burden the Germans with the solution. Two additional probes by Roosevelt for Saud's help or suggestions for a solution produced effectively meaningless replies such as "Let the Germans pay."[Eddy, p 28]

"The King's final remark on the subject was to the effect that it is Arab custom to distribute survivors and victims of battle among the victorious tribes in accordance with their number and their supplies of food and water. In the Allied camp there are fifty countries among whom Palestine is small, land-poor and has already been assigned more than its quota of European refugee."[Eddy, p 29]

According, to Eddy, there is no further substantive discussion of any kind. Generalities as to Saud's hopes for countinued Arabian independence and desire for Roosevelt's friendship are there but if this is all there actually was, then the meeting had as its major subject the refusal of the King to help Roosevelt save some Jews. This is a most unlikely possibility. It may be noted that Roosevelt, having already been elected to his 4th term, was no longer under the political pressure to rescue 100,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Neither the dying Roosevelt nor the bustling ambitious King would waste much time on Jews.

One can only conclude that other topics were discussed about which Eddy was not, or could not, be forthcoming. In refusing to reveal the substance of the talks - a refusal that was quite disadvantageous to Saud at the time - the King supports our hypothesis that more was said and done than was admitted by Eddy.

Determining what was meant.

Saud was not forthcoming about the written document. Roosevelt didn't reveal his planned follow-up actions to the discussions. And five weeks later he was dead.

Eddy doesn't write about Roosevelt's motive for the meeting. But, as we said above, Roosevelt's motive seems straightforward. He saw possible post-war opportunities for extending America's influence in the Gulf and supplacing British primacy..

The major question then is: does what Eddy says about Saud's motives have any bearings on the actual agenda.

We have only William Eddy's account of the intentions the King brought to the meeting. Eddy claims [Eddy, p 27] that

" no time did Ibn Saud even hint at economic or financial aid for Saudi Arabia. He traveled to the meeting seeking friends and not funds, in spite of the fact that, at that date, he had no reason to expect that Arabian oil would be produced in quantity to multiply his national income but, on the contrary, ruled in 1945 over a pastoral land which could not produce enough to feed its population, and a land cut off by war from importing the necessities of life."

These claims could be merely incredibly naïve, The King already had every reason to expect that revenues from the oil in Hasa province would grow far beyond their already significant contribution to the national income. Since the early 1930s and later, with the help of Charles Crane, extensive oil exploration had indicated the golden future prospects. What was needed and what perhaps this meeting provided were some assurances to the world of finance, that the kingdom had passed beyond the stage of dubious stability. It is unlikely that FDR was giving outright guarantees but the fact of his meeting alone could provide assurances for hitherto reluctant investors.

Here one cannot help but recall a perhaps apocryphal but possibly relevant tale of American finance. A nameless broker came to J.P. Morgan senior and asked for a loan. The great financier refused. However, he suggested that the devastated young man might want to take a walk with him. Morgan proceded to walk up and down Wall Street during the lunch hour with his arm around the young man's shoulder. Morgan parted from him with the comment: "If you really need that loan -- now you can ask anyone on the Street."

While it is true the war years were difficult for the kingdom there was considerable aid from the allies even in the face of the Saudi's persistent official neutrality in the war. Twitchel remarks: [Twitchel, p 170]:

"From the spring of 1943 to the end of August 1945 the Lend-Lease program was extended to Saudi Arabia, and the British Government made huge loans to aid in the purchase of food supplies. The Middle East Supply Center was the medium for providing many of the supplies as well as all the shipping facilities from early 1942."

Alternatively, given the differences in cultural referents, Saud was subject to self deception. Eddy writes:

"In the conversation the King never seemed to distinguish between F.D.R. as a person and as President of the U.S.A. To an absolute as well as a benevolent monarch, the Chief and the State are the same... To the King, these oral assurances were equal to an alliance;..."

These last phrases from Eddy's account of the conference present us with unresolvable conflict in the image of the King. How can one with any knowledge of the decades of sucessful intrigue and negotiation practiced by Saud accept the simple minded assumptions that Roosevelt's promises were binding? He certainly was not as ignorant of the structure of American government as all that. His ministers and several sons had spent months during the previous year visiting the United States and acquiring information about the American polity. Surely by the time of the meeting he would have been aware of a President's inability to conclude alliances on his own. Perhaps in the end it was the unusual case of an Arab deceived by an expansive overconfident westerner.

Unlike the unavailability of the actual minutes of the meeting, we do have a text of Roosevelt's letter to Ibn Saud sent days before the President's death. The note was the response to a statement Saud sent to Roosevelt on Saud's position on Palestine. The letter ends with an assurance that "no decision would be taken with respect to the basic situation in that country without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews." The limited scope of the Roosevelt letter does not touch on Eddy's claim or Saud's delusion concerning a special relationship of America and Saudi Arabia. Even after the meeting, the Jews remained a plausible surface topic. The main concern was likely oil and its exploitation.

What is abundantly clear on reading the Roosevelt letter is that the now lost memorandum of conversation can have little, if anything, in common with the concerns of the letter of Roosevelt to Saud. The expression of agreement between the two leaders is a myth that has grown over the years..


Acheson, Dean, Present At the Creation; My Years In the State Department, WW Norton & Co, New York, 1969

Ashbee, C.R., A Palestine Notebook." 1918-1923, Doubleday Page, NY, 1923

Eddy, William A. (Colonel, USMC), "FDR Meets Ibn Saud," America-Mideast Educational & Training Services, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1954. Reprinted by Selwa Press, Vista CA, 2005. (This is a PDF file downloadable at "

Fromkin, David, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, Avon, NY, 1989

Ingrams, Doreen, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Braziller, NY, 1972

Johnson, Paul, A History of the Jews, Harper & Row, NY, 1987

Kissinger, Henry, "Diplomacy" Simon & Shuster New York 1993

Library Of Congress Federal Research Div - Country Studies - Saudi Arabia (

Sherwood, Robert E. Roosevelt and Hopkins,

Twitchell, Karl S., Saudi Arabia;With an Account of the Development of Its Natural Resources, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1947.

Yale University Law School Avalon Project,

Lewis Lipkin is a member of the Think-Israel staff and a contributor to Think-Israel.

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"We really believed in our hearts that this was the dawn of the new day we had all been praying for and talking about for so many years. We were abolutely certain that we had won the first great victory for peace--and by we I mean all of us, the whole civilized human race. The Russians had proved that they could be reasonable and farseeing and that there wasn't any doubts in the minds of the President or any of us that we could live with them peacefully for as far into the future as any of us could imagine" [Robert Sherwood, p 870]
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Roosevelt's diplomacy

It was probably a reflection of his overbearing ego and self-confidence that for the most part, Roosevelt acted as his own Secretary of State. The President, characteristically encouraged rivalries such as that of the State and Treasury Departments, then under Henry Morganthau. Further, Secretary of State Hull, limited to long term efforts in reciprocal trade and postwar planning, was in effect always in the shadow of special appointees to State who were emplaced to serve Roosevelt directly rather than their nominal chief. The first, but not last of these, was Sumner Welles, a close personal friend of the President. A calm and reasoned view of the undesirable consequences of such policies is given by Dean Acheson:

"... The President cannot be Secretary of State; it is inherently impossible in the nature of both positions. What he can do, and often has done with unhappy results, is to prevent anyone else from being Secretary of State. The office can be filled; some person can perform its ceremonial duties -- and, perhaps, a little more; but the function of a foreign office and of its head is simply not performed by anyone. President Roosevelt's virtual exclusion of Secretary Hull from high-policy decisions during the war had more far-reaching effects than its contribution to the estrangement of the two men. It led directly to the theoretical and unreal nature of the State Department's -- and, hence, the Governments's -- thinking on postwar problems. Largely detached from the practicalities of current problems and power relationships, the Department under Mr. Hull became absorbed in platonic planning of a utopia, ..." [Acheson, 1969, p 88]

If the presidential style in diplomacy was established even before the war as a consequence of the leader's personality, its hardening and increasing scope led to the disaster of Yalta.

Roosevelt's plan for the postwar world seems to have been almost as unreality based. He believed, despite extremely strong evidence to the contrary that the future "Four Policemen" -- Russia, England, China and the U.S -- would be sufficient to enforce peace against a resurgent Japan or Germany. One wonders whether this bizarre view of a post war settlement is in part a reflection of the President's depression and illness.

"...Churchill had suceeded too well in fostering the illusion that Great Britain was still a great power capable of resisting Soviet expansionism on its own. For only such a conviction can explain Roosevelt's advocacy of a world order based on American troop withdrawals from overseas, a disarmed Germany, a France reduced to second-class status, and a Soviet Union left with a huge vacuum opening up before it..." [Kissinger, 1994, p 397]
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The Expatriates

The missionary movement of the first half of the 19th century developed a unique expatriate community in Moslem Syria. Its founders had attempted without very much success to convert Jews and Arabs to Protestant Christianity and were almost complete failures in this original intent. The community founders, the Blisses and Dodges, in effect sublimated the conversion motif into a striving to educate; to expose the heathen to the New England Presbyterian/Congregationalist principles and traditions, soliciting their understanding but not insisting on their acceptance. These educational efforts gradually centered around the "Syrian Protestant College" which after WWI was renamed The American University Beirut. The mission of the college was summed up by Bliss:

"This College is for all conditions and classes of men without regard to colour, nationality, race or religion. A man white, black or yellow, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan or heathen, may enter and enjoy all the advantages of this institution for three, four or eight years; and go out believing in one God, or in many Gods or in no God. But it will be impossible for any one to continue long with us without knowing what we believe to be the truth and our reasons for that belief." [Kaplan, p 36]

This high-minded program helped to produce a cadre of upper class Syrians who held the Americans in love and esteem. They were confirmed in their affections by the unusual absence of the business man and soldier that usually followed in the wake of missionaries in the East. The college's promotion of the values of democracy and intellectual freedom was a major source of the Syrian revolutionary movement against the Ottoman overlords later in the century. That movement was in turn a source of the Hashemite revolt against the Turks.

The wonderful beauty of the Lebanon, the opportunities for simple Protestants to live a privileged even luxurious life encouraged later generations of the missionary children to return after their customary education at Princeton, or Amhurst and/or New England theological schools. They would meet future mates at or near these schools and returned home with them to the Lebanon to continue the tradition.

Accounts of an expatriate childhood is repeatedly presented as idyllic: life in a milieu of snow-capped mountain vistas in sight of gentle Mediterranean-washed beaches, the site of picnics and play. The acquisition of Arabic and knowledge of Muslim culture was almost unconcious, and of course would represent a rare and valuable accomplishment should any elect to return to an academic or diplomatic position in the States.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, few Jews could be found as students at Yale or Dartmouth, and to the second and third generation expatriates who were back to complete their educations, it was easy to absorb an anti-Semitic attitude. Many expatriate couples, especially those that took service in the State Department, attribute the "mild" anti-Semitism which they do not deny to their experiences at the Ivy League schools. Jews were rare, therefore Jews were strange, behaved strangely and had strange values.

There were of course, British analogues of the American expatriates. These like Lawrence or Doughty were more flamboyant and romantic characters. Among them was Harry St. John Philby, the father of Kim Philby, the Russian mole. Philby pere was a convert to Islam and spent many years in the service of Ibn Saud. During WWII Philby attempted to turn the King toward the Nazis, but was betrayed by Ibn Saud to British Intelligence, when it became clear that Hitler would not win.

Between the wars, scions of the Beirut colony served as foreign service or intelligence officers in most of the Moslem countries of Africa and the Middle East, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, which awaited the Bitter Lake meeting to join the club. According to Kaplan

"...The Saudis saw us as oil and commercial partners the way that the Syrians had once seen us [the Arabists] as partners in education. The relationship had officially begun in the February 1945 meeting between Ibn Saud and Franklin Roosevelt in which Colonel William Eddy was the translator. In the 1950s ARAMCO moved alongside AUB [American University Beirut] as the secret driver of the American-Arab relationship...." [Kaplan, p 135]
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William Eddy

Eddy's family took root in the Lebanon in the mid-19th century when his grandfather William Woodbridge Eddy, a graduate of Williams came to Beirut. He was a life long missionary and the author of an Arabic commentary on the New Testament. Eddy's father, William King Eddy, spent his entire life as a Lebanese missionary expatriate, except for his 4 year stint at Princeton.

Eddy was born in Sidon (now Lebanon) Syria in March 1896. He learned his Arabic in the suk as part of the total immersion in Arabic-Bedouin culture that his parents encouraged. He not only spoke Arabic, he ate Arabic foods preferentially, and was completely at home in the Bedouin tent world. He remained an Arabist for his entire life.

With America's entry into World War I, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the 6th Marine regiment as its Intelligence officer, thus setting another lifelong facet of a distinguished, well-decorated career. After a heroic participation in the battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, he was retired as a Captain in the Corps.

Yet a third persistent and productive career opened when he "got some American Education" leaving Princeton with a PhD and returning to the Middle East as Professor of English at an offshoot of American University Beirut in Cairo. In the years between the wars he progressed from Professor of English at Dartmouth and at the beginning of Roosevelt's second term became president of Hobart College.

With Hitler's war in Europe, Eddy felt compelled to leave academia and volunteered for active duty in the Corps, with a first assignment as Naval Attache (read spy) in Cairo. Very soon he was preempted by the predecessor of Donovan's OSS - which in turn became the basis of the CIA - and proceeded to construct spy, clandestine radio and sabotage networks all along the North African Coast, contributing much to the later success of Eisenhower's 1942 landings in Morocco and Algeria. Similar undercover work for the invasion of the "soft underbelly" of Europe, was interrupted in 1943 by a request from the State Department for his services as the first "minister plenipotentiary" to Saudi Arabia. Perhaps not surprisingly he remained an active marine and always wore marine uniform throughout the time of his service with the State department.

In the year before the Bitter Lake meeting, as the official representative of the U.S. government in the Arabian peninsula, he established very close ties with Ibn Saud, his immediate family and the largely Lebanese/Syrian entourage of the king's closest advisors. His excellent Arabic, his childhood immersion in Bedouin culture and his brilliant service record made for an ease of entry and acceptance into their semi-barbaric world that hardly any other American could match.

When his unfeigned differences with Truman became open, during the run-up to the creation of the State of Israel, Eddy resigned his post, and became a consultant to the Arabian American Oil company, thus continuing and developing his pattern of service to Arabian-Bedouin culture. It is almost certain that he remained an informant if not an agent for the CIA in the Eisenhower years.

He died in 1962. At his own request Eddy was buried in Lebanon with the words 'U.S.Marines' emblazoned on his tombstone.

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The Fourth Man

Yusuf Yaseen, though not a Saudi, had for decades been Ibn Saud's chief negotiator, especially when dealing with Westerners. At the time of Bitter Lake, he was in fact, if not in name, Ibn Saud's Foreign Minister. Twitchell 1947 repeatedly notes his influence during the years of attempts to identify and develop water, petroleum and mineral resources in both the Hejaz and in Hasa province. It is indicative of his importance that although the Arab entourage included 2 of the King's sons, it was Yaseen, the Lebanese, rather than kin who was the only Arab privy to the real purpose of the meeting at sea, and it was he who helped Eddy to prepare the Memorandum of Conversation the night after the meeting

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