At times, history can offer valuable lessons for a policy apparatus mired in its own brand of keyhole myopia. Iraq is a case in point. In 1958-1959, the United States faced a situation in Iraq eerily parallel to that of 2003. It appeared that only preemptive intervention could prevent Iraq from falling under Soviet Communist domination. In the shadow of Sputnik and armed with an alarmist Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) on the future of Iraq, the intelligence community, the State Department, the Pentagon, and activist interventionist elements in the Eisenhower Administration argued about the necessity of preemptive intervention to avert disaster. The intervention never happened; the Communist threat disappeared; and Iraq continued on its fractious, brutal road careening between instability to dictatorship. What made the difference? Quite simply, while the man in the Oval Office, Dwight Eisenhower, may have known little about Iraq, he knew something about the military, about occupations, about diplomacy, and about a conservative approach to serving the interests of the United States.