Naked Deception (A Caribbean Nightmare). (Nightmares.)


The city of Saigon became an American outpost, resembling any town adjacent to a base. Brothels, bars, and opium dens catering to Americans sprang up, and the metropolis grew to a population of over 1. Some of the new immigrants came to work for the Americans, and others fled in terror from the war in the countryside. The Americans may not have welcomed them in town, but they were delighted to have them leave the land. The new American commander in Vietnam, Gen. Westmoreland, favored a strategy of "search and destroy" in which the American troops scoured the countryside looking for the enemy and killing them.

The fewer friendly Vietnamese the better, and the Americans cleared "free-fire zones" in which anything which moved was fair game. In a war without traditional front lines or regular enemy units, the "body count" became the means of measuring progress.

Secretary of Defense McNamara required numbers from commanders to judge the success of the war. From the lowliest lieutenant to the colonels and generals, the number of dead on the other side was exaggerated until it appeared that the United States was slaughtering three hundred thousand Vietnamese a year. These reports convinced the secretary of defense until the middle of , when he noticed that the North Vietnamese had no trouble replacing their losses in the South even though commanders had told him that more men were being killed than could be drafted. At the same time, McNamara was wracked with doubts about the morality of the bombing campaign in the North and the South.

He asked an assistant, Leslie Gelb, to compile a documentary history of the American involvement in the war. The Pentagon Papers, which emerged from this study, concluded that the United States leaders since Roosevelt had deceived the public into supporting an unwinnable war. In the fall, McNamara, ashamed of his participation in the war, convinced that it could not be won, asked Johnson for another job. LBJ, furious at his defection, let him become president of the World Bank.

Few doubts assailed the president. His principal concerns in the war were not to lose, not to allow the Chinese or Soviets to intervene, and to keep the public be-hind him. He hoped to maintain popular support by making the fighting as painless as possible. Despite repeated pleas from the Pentagon, Johnson refused to call up reserves.

Instead, the administration paid for the war with public borrowing, causing inflation to rise in the United States to from less than 3 to about 5 percent a year and flooding Europe with unwanted dollars. Allied governments did little to help as they watched the economic and political results of the war in Vietnam with a combination of horror and some secret delight at America's discomfiture.

The Koreans especially acquired a reputation for fierceness bordering on savagery in combat. But the European nations criticized the United States on several fronts. German chancellor Ludwig Erhard, a former finance minister, believed the United States was exporting inflation. French president Charles de Gaulle voiced the harshest criticism when he predicted in a speech in the Phnom Penh, Cambodia, soccer stadium that "there is no chance that the peoples of Asia will subject themselves to the law of the foreigner who comes from the other shore of the Pacific, whatever his intentions, however powerful his weapons.

Dean Rusk shrugged off de Gaulle's proposals to mediate as the sour grapes of the leader of a country which had lost in Vietnam and wanted the Americans to suffer a similar humiliation. But Americans had a harder time responding to other concerns often voiced in Europe during the Vietnam years: This objection seemed borne out when a war erupted between Israel and three of its Arab neighbors-Egypt, Jordan, and Syria-in June The United States, which had become a major supplier of arms to Israel in the Kennedy administration, tried to arrange an international force of warships to test the Egyptian guns at Sharm el-Sheik, which blocked the straits of Tiran.

To the chagrin of Johnson, Rusk, and McNamara, none of the fifty states approached was willing to join the United States in challenging the blockade.

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At the end of May, Johnson begged Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban for more time to reach a peaceful settlement. His government waited two weeks, but when it became apparent that the United States could not force Nasser to back down, Israeli warplanes struck at dawn on June 5, destroying Egypt's air force on the ground.

The war lasted only six days, with Israel humiliating the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Israeli bombers sank ships in the Suez Canal the first morning of the war, thereby closing that waterway for the next seven years. European powers were furious that their supply of oil would now have to make the ten-thousand-mile trip around Africa, but the United States found some comfort in the canal's blockage: While in America, the Soviet leader met President Johnson for their only conference at the small college town of Glassboro, New Jersey.

Johnson wanted Soviet help in pressuring the North Vietnamese to negotiate with the Americans. The Soviet leader was noncommittal, but Johnson at least came away with the relieved sense that Kosygin desperately wanted to avoid a direct military confrontation with the United States in Vietnam. The two men also agreed to do more to limit the race in strategic arms between the superpowers. As the foreign policy consensus collapsed under the weight of the Vietnam War, Americans took a hard look at clandestine activities by their intelligence operations-the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency.

Reports surfaced in that the CIA had funneled funds to foreign political parties, labor unions, newspapers, and publishers. In violation of its charter, the agency spied on American citizens in the United States, opening their mail, tapping their telephones, and tracing their friends. The CIA had secretly paid the bills of the liberal anti-Communist National Student Association from to and provided subventions for publishing books on international affairs which subtly supported the American point of view.

The CIA also plotted the assassination of foreign leaders, hatched a coup in Iran in , invaded Guatemala in , planned the Bay of Pigs invasion in , "destabilized" the socialist governments of Chile after and Nicaragua after , and helped scores of anti-Communist governments crush domestic rebellions and undermine opposition parties. Few members of Congress beyond a trusted inner circle knew how much money went for intelligence. Fierce battles raged within the intelligence community itself. While the National Security Act supposedly centralized information-gathering under the authority of the director of central intelligence, the CIA never managed to keep the field to itself.

The FBI under the leadership of the prickly, maybe paranoid, J. Edgar Hoover, its only director before , resented the CIA. Hoover despised its use of non-Communist liberals and socialists in foreign countries to achieve its ends. During the Vietnam War, the CIA consistently presented accurately pessimistic estimates of the chances for success. Alarmed generals, admirals, and diplomats ordered their own departments to prepare more cheerful forecasts. The National Security Agency, created in as a code-breaking operation, soon exceeded that technical function.

After the United States began launching communications spy satellites, the NSA could intercept and decipher telephone conversations around the globe. Instead of providing the raw data to the CIA for analysis, the NSA acquired its own staff of specialists to explain what the messages meant. During the congressional investigations of covert intelligence activities, Frank Church, chairman of the Senate subcommittee, charged that the CIA had become a "rogue elephant," plunging uncontrolled into a steamy jungle of deception, assassination, and counterrevolution.

The charge that intelligence agents had become the masters rather than the servants of foreign policy is too simple. Political leaders often welcomed the "deniability" offered by entrusting "dirty tricks" to secret agents. Because they were outside the scrutiny of press, public, or Congress, covert operations permitted officials to avoid the second-guessing of democracy, which makes life harder to people at the top.

Moreover, the confusion within the intelligence community mirrored the competition in more visible parts of the foreign policy bureaucracy. Intelligence agencies had the same type of parochial interests that the other offices pursued in the decades that the United States had global interests. All have been part of the vast, untidy apparatus which has projected American power.

Johnson lost ground politically in He no longer spoke about being "president of all the people" and retreated to "I'm the only president you've got. Martin Luther King, the most prominent of the nation's black civil rights advocates, opposed the war in Vietnam as needlessly causing the death of black draftees and called on Johnson to step down. In November, as many as one hundred thousand demonstrators marched on the Pentagon to hear calls for immediate American withdrawal from Vietnam.

Rejecting pleas for "moderation," "responsible debate," and "negotiated settlements," speakers told the crowd "the only thing to negotiate is the route American troops use out of Vietnam. Others, like Norman Mailer, participated in mass arrests to emphasize opposition to the war. Calls went out throughout the antiwar movement to make the transition "from dissent to resistance. Conventional politicians also looked for ways to "dump Johnson. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota to challenge Johnson for the Democratic nomination in the primary elections upcoming in the spring of Kennedy, elected to the Senate from New York in , had come out against the war in , and he waited for the right opportunity to enter the fray against Johnson.

Another dissident Democrat, Gov. Wallace of Alabama, expecting to capitalize on the "white backlash" to the civil rights movement and the public weariness with the small progress in Indochina, announced his candidacy. The last hope the administration had of persuading the public that the war could be won vanished when the North Vietnamese launched the Tet New Year's offensive on January 31, In two weeks of fighting, the North Vietnamese captured eight provincial capitals, blew up the wall surrounding the United States embassy in Saigon, and held the grounds for several hours.

American television viewers saw the police chief of Saigon put a bullet through the head of a Vietcong suspect, and they heard an American officer proclaim the awful words "We had to destroy the village in order to save it. William Calley led a company which gunned down over two hundred infirm men and women and small children in the hamlet of My Lai. No calming remarks from General Westmoreland about having crushed the Tet offensive could change the public's disgust with the endless bloodshed.

By March, Johnson was severely shaken. Senator McCarthy nearly defeated him in the New Hampshire primary, which caused a wavering Robert Kennedy formally to enter the race. The president knew that Kennedy would defeat him in the Wisconsin primary. Johnson's newly appointed secretary of defense, Clark Clifford, supported by a group of "wise men" led by the former secretary of state, Dean Acheson, let him know that they believed the war could not be won.

Having only hardliners like Rusk and Walt Whitman Rostow behind him, Johnson reluctantly turned down General Westmoreland's request for two hundred six thousand additional troops. On March 31, the president shocked the public by announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race so he could devote himself full time to negotiating a settlement.

He stopped the bombing north of the Nineteenth Parallel in an effort to open peace talks in Paris. Things got worse before they got better. Johnson called up thousands of regular army troops to suppress the insurrection in Washington. Two months later, another assassin shot Robert Kennedy, shocking the world and stripping antiwar Democrats of the only dissenter who had a chance of gaining the party's presidential nomination. When the Democratic convention met in Chicago in August, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, the president's choice, became the nominee in the midst of massive antiwar demonstrations.

Six thousand troops joined hundreds of Chicago police in clubbing antiwar activists who chanted, "The streets belong to the people" and "The whole world is watching" while trying to march on the convention hall. President Johnson, fearful of the chorus of boos which would greet his appearance despite Chicago mayor Richard Daley's packing the gallery with loyal sanitation collectors , did not come to the convention. The Democrats emerged from Chicago in such disarray that even the resurrection of Richard Nixon as the Republican nominee could not unite them. Liberals thought Nixon had committed political suicide when he lost the governorship of California in and told reporters, "You won't have Nixon to kick around any more.

Nixon won in November by a mere five hundred thousand votes, a margin nearly as small as the one by which he had lost to John Kennedy in Many antiwar Democrats decided to support Humphrey at the last minute, after he announced that he would suspend all bombing of the North to get peace talks started. A few days before the election, actual discussions between the United States and North Vietnam did open in Paris after the diplomats resolved a months-long dispute over the shape of the negotiating table.

More voters probably wanted to escalate the war than wanted withdrawal. George Wallace received eight million votes as an independent running on a pro-war platform with former air force general Curtis LeMay, who expressed the wish to "bomb them [the North Vietnamese into the stone age. Nixon's own proposals for ending the Vietnam War were even more obscure. During the campaign, he indicated that he had a secret plan which would assure "peace with honor" but to reveal it publicly would ruin Johnson's chances of ending the conflict. Privately, he doubted that the war could be won. A month after the election, he chose Henry Kissinger, a Harvard political science professor who formerly had been foreign policy adviser to Nelson Rockefeller, to be the head of the National Security Council.

Nixon and Kissinger together spent the next four years looking for ways to conclude America's war in Vietnam and silence the voices challenging the assumptions on which American foreign policy had rested since Lyndon Johnson departed Washington a broken man on January 20, His leadership in the most controversial war in American history coincided with the end of the era of American dominance of world politics.

As the Europeans had learned to their discomfort in the aftermath of World War II, losing an empire leaves a bitter taste. Richard Nixon had no secret plan for ending the war in Vietnam, but he knew what he did not like. The war had wrecked Johnson's ability to act freely in foreign affairs, and the new president wanted to restore the authority of the White House. A man who did not inspire affection, Nixon shrank from confronting the sort of angry demonstrations which had made life miserable for Lyndon Johnson.

Nor was the president's personal popularity the only thing threatened. The bewilderment of the Europeans with the American preoccupation in Vietnam meant that the United States no longer could count on subservience from former clients. For example, French president Charles de Gaulle assured fellow Europeans that the war in Vietnam hastened the day when "the Americans would no longer have any reason to stay on this side of the ocean. The excessive commitment of American power in Vietnam prevented the United States from responding to other changes in the world balance.

For years, Americans had denied the split between the Soviet Union and China, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk explained that the United States fought in Vietnam to meet the threat of "a billion Chinese armed with nuclear weapons. American and Soviet influence seemed to ebb in the rest of the world too. This "diffusion of power," as Johnson's undersecretary of state Eugene Rostow called it, reflected the changes in the world's economy.

No longer did the United States sit alone as the world's only wealthy country, as it had at the end of the Second World War. There was nothing Nixon could do to restore American economic dominance, but he reasoned that extrication from Vietnam would provide greater maneuverability in a competitive world. Nixon's first object in the Vietnam War was to silence domestic and foreign critics.

Then, perhaps, government could govern without having to answer opponents it could never satisfy. Nixon's style of making foreign policy-his dramatic reversals, his reliance on trusted staff members, and his sanctimony helped lower the rhetoric over Vietnam. They complemented each other, secretly directing relations with other nations while one of Nixon's oldest friends in political life, William P. Rogers, made the public appearances as secretary of state from to Rogers had been the man Nixon turned to when Eisenhower had wanted to drop him from the ticket as a result of the controversy over the' "secret fund" provided by Nixon's business friends.

Rogers had listened patiently as the vice-presidential candidate practiced his speech pledging his family attachment to their dog, Checkers. Throughout the remainder of the Eisenhower administration, Rogers remained one of the few men who liked Nixon and still retained his own sense of decency. His reward for befriending Nixon was appointment to the premier spot in the cabinet, where he suffered the indignity of being kept in the dark on important issues.

Kissinger, who bested Rogers in the bureaucratic wars and could afford to appear generous, recalled that "Rogers was in fact far more able than he was pictured; he had a shrewd analytical mind and outstanding common sense. With Rogers put forward to give an impression of well-intentioned honesty, Nixon and Kissinger went about their own work of creating an "illusion of peace," as former New York Times reporter Tad Szulc described it.

Nixon's reliance on Kissinger rested on more than both men's enthusiasm for manipulation and secrecy. Both acknowledged the problems of bureaucratic rivalry which had plagued American foreign policy for half a century. They realized that the National Security Act of had built a framework for presidential control over foreign policy, but it had not eliminated interagency warfare.

Things had gotten worse in the sixties when the Pentagon under Robert McNamara assumed an increasing share of the business of foreign policy. Kissinger proposed to Nixon to make the National Security Council "the principal forum for issues requiring interagency coordination, especially where presidential decisions of a middle or long range are involved. He bombarded the State, Defense, and Treasury departments with requests for information. He set up special working groups to coordinate policies on Vietnam, southern Africa, and the Middle East.

Nixon also took a visible part in setting a new course. Nixon told Thieu that American troops no longer could be as obtrusive in the war, that American forces had to be withdrawn with the South Vietnamese soldiers doing more of the fighting. So began the disengagement of American ground troops, a process as awkward as the new word Vietnamization Nixon invented to describe it. While the United States gradually reduced the troop level from five hundred thirty-five thousand to four hundred thousand over the next year and American casualties fell from over three hundred men to under one hundred men killed a week, the air war increased.

From Midway Island the president flew to Guam where he promised a new "Nixon Doctrine" designed to limit American engagement in future wars. The United States would use small nations as surrogates, he asserted. America would provide the arms, advisers, and financing for other countries to wage guerrilla or conventional wars against domestic insurgents or foreign enemies.

Despite its promise of reducing American participation in overseas conflicts, the Nixon Doctrine changed little in the way the United States dealt with other lands. First, the president indicated that the United States would move to this new strategy only after the war in Vietnam ended. Moreover, the United States had modestly increased its sale of weapons throughout the sixties, but these activities mushroomed percent in the early seventies. While fewer Americans fought wars, the level of violence rose.

Some regions, notably the Middle East, developed voracious appetites for sophisticated, deadly equipment. By , the nations from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf absorbed 39 percent of all military sales, more than the purchases of the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries combined. These tools of destruction brought greater insecurity, not peace, to the region. A major war broke out between Israel and the Arab states in , and the region was in flames again at the end of the decade.

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From Africa to the Caribbean to Vietnam, Americans learned hard lessons of the cost of global competition with communism. McGovern pledged "1, percent support" for Eagleton and then dumped him unceremoniously from the ticket. The North Vietnamese diplomat refused to share the prize with Kissinger, whom he blamed for prolonging the war. Maintaining American domination over the Western Hemisphere came easier than asserting influence in the Middle East. Secret talks began in Warsaw, Poland, between the American and Chinese ambassadors in

The negotiations to end the war in Vietnam proceeded along two tracks. The public conversations begun a week before the election by the Johnson administration continued in Paris with Philip Habib, a career Foreign Service officer, leading an American delegation in endless hours of fruitless conversation with the National Liberation Front contingent headed by Madame Nguyen Thi Binh.

While these talks failed to hasten the coming of peace, they did explain to the world that it was talking with, and listening to, an exasperating foe. The North Vietnamese insisted that the diplomats resolve the military question of when the United States would withdraw its troops and stop the bombing. In reply, Americans linked the military and political sides of the war. The United States was willing to withdraw troops, but only if the North Vietnamese did the same. Each time Nixon took to the air to announce withdrawal of more troops, American negotiators hoped to obtain North Vietnamese consent to a political deal.

Instead, the adamant North Vietnamese stayed put, and with each reduction in the size of the United States army in South Vietnam, American leverage over the future of Indochina diminished. While the public talks went nowhere, Kissinger began in August a series of secret negotiations with Xuan Thuy, the principal representative from the North Vietnamese delegation. The national security adviser would flv from Washington to unnamed airbases in France or West Germany and be whisked to private retreats on the outskirts of Paris.

There, in villas owned by members of the Communist party of France, where priceless Picassos hung on the walls, the national security adviser and Thuy spoke privately. At one point in the conversation, an enterprising reporter learned of Kissinger's presence, but the West German government put out a cover story that the plane carrying the American to Paris actually bore a mistress of French president George Pompidou. The national security adviser appeared more flexible in private than did the official team. He suggested that the United States was heartily sick of the war, but America could not leave immediately for fear of alienating President Thieu and being seen as weak.

He indicated to Xuan Thuy, however, that the Americans would be willing to separate the military and political issues in the war if the North showed similar willingness to hold back in its eventual takeover of the South. Xuan Thuy did not encourage Kissinger in the early days of their conversations, but the American could be as menacing as he could be generous. The United States signaled the North Vietnamese that it would enlarge the air war while it reduced the troop level. In April , Nixon ordered the secret bombing of Cambodia, a traditional neutral which had managed to stay out of the war for the previous five years.

Led by Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the Cambodians had allowed the North Vietnamese to use their territory as staging areas for the war in the South. American generals had wanted for years to cross the border into Sihanouk's country and eliminate what they thought was a secret command headquarters for the National Liberation Front.

Lyndon Johnson had always resisted the expansion of the war beyond Vietnam, but Nixon and Kissinger believed that a "sideshow" in Cambodia would keep the generals happy while the United States brought troops home. If the prince did not complain about the bombing, which was to be kept secret, then it would indicate that the Cambodians actually supported the Americans.

The North and South Vietnamese would also know about the at-tacks, but news would be withheld from the press and public. Whenever there was a special order for the MENU bombing, the code name for the operation, enlisted men secretly adjusted the coordinates on the airplanes' computers without the pilots' knowledge so they would fly over Cambodia. When the New York Times broke the story in April, a brief flurry of public opposition arose. Nixon and Kissinger offered bland assurances that the Cambodians did not object and continued with the bombing.

Prince Sihanouk, chief of state of Cambodia since , never found favor with official Washington which found him too fond of good wine, fast cars, and France, where he had spent much of his life. A proud nationalist who worried that the United States, Vietnam, and China each had designs on his land, the prince had tried, not always successfully, to stay aloof from the war in Vietnam. He closed his eyes to North Vietnamese troops in his land while at the same time uttering no protest when American Bs bombed them.

He drew the line, however, at American or South Vietnamese ground troops on Cambodian soil. But an ambitious anti-Communist army general, Lon Nol, had fewer qualms about inviting outsiders. When Sihanouk made his yearly visit to the French Riviera in March , the general deposed the prince and made himself prime minister. In Washington, Kissinger and Nixon cheered the news of a more complaisant Cambodia which would actively join the war against North Vietnam. The cavalier disregard of the public's objections continued in the fail when the antiwar movement tried once again to end the fighting.

A broad coalition ranging from moderate Republicans to revolutionary supporters of the Vietcong scheduled a demonstration in Washington for the weekend of November A week before the march, which drew close to half a million people, Nixon announced the withdrawal of an additional seventy-five thousand troops.

He also called upon the "great silent majority" of the American public to support him in the war. On the day of the demonstration itself, buses ringed the White House to prevent any of the demonstrators from getting too close to the president, who, his aides announced, spent the afternoon watching television as the Notre Dame football team defeated Michigan State.

The November demonstration was the high water mark for massive, peaceful marches on the nation's capital. Seemingly having no effect on the administration's policies, and with the large public happy that the troops were being withdrawn, the antiwar movement cast about for new techniques. Activists on college campuses suggested that student strikes occur each month, with the duration increasing.

The antiwar movement got another chance in May , when the Nixon administration became convinced that the bombing of Cambodia had done little good and that an invasion was necessary. On the evening of April 30, Nixon took to the airwaves with the announcement that American and South Vietnamese troops had crossed the border to find the "headquarters of the North Vietnamese.

National guardsmen, summoned by Ohio governor James A. Rhodes to Kent State University killed four and wounded twenty-two students attending a rally called to get the militia off the campus. In mourning, stunned undergraduates across the country refused to attend classes. Rhodes lost a close primary the next week, hundreds of television reporters descended on the town of Kent, and novelist James A. Michener produced a six-hundred-page book on the incident. The public paid much less attention when Mississippi national guardsmen shot and killed two student antiwar protestors at Jackson State College, a black institution, the week after the massacre at Kent.

President Nixon offered no condolences to the families of the slain demonstrators, but he did ask his chauffeur to drive him to the Lincoln Memorial on the night of May 7 to talk about the war to some of the thousands of college students who had flocked to Washington to express their outrage. Several members of Kissinger's staff submitted resignations, while the national security adviser himself confronted angry Harvard students and professors. He told them he had restrained Nixon from even more forceful acts and begged his former colleagues for patience, but he concluded he "would get no help" from his old colleagues.

Eager to demonstrate his loyal support for the Cambodian operation, Kissinger thereupon authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to install taps on the telephones of aides suspected of speaking to reporters. The taps revealed little. Nixon later explained to White House Counsel John Dean at the height of the Watergate scandal, "Lake and Halperin [two staff members under surveillance], they're both bad. But the taps were too. They never helped us. Just gobs and gobs of material: The invasion proved a fiasco. The Americans and South Vietnamese found no headquarters because none existed.

Nixon shortly thereafter announced that the troops would leave Cambodia by June 30, thereby eliminating the small hope that the mission made military sense. In Cambodia, die results of the invasion were worse. With Sihanouk deposed, a long-smoldering civil war erupted in full flame between the Cambodian Communists, or Khmer Rouge, and Lon Nol's government.

Both sides used boys as young as twelve as soldiers. These untrained, frightened youths, imbued by officers with implacable hatred of the other side, engaged in murderous assaults. The better-led Khmer Rouge conducted some of the worst atrocities of the Indochina war. After their victory in April , they forced hundreds of thousands of Cambodian city dwellers to leave their homes and live off the land. A total social breakdown ensued, and as many as three million innocent people, nearly 40 percent of the population, were starved to death by the new government.

The unhappy country's troubles continued for years. In , the new Communist government of Vietnam invaded Cambodia and installed a less brutal regime, but one which was a virtual puppet of Hanoi. Prince Sihanouk, now living in Beijing as a guest of the Chinese government and bitterly opposed to Vietnam, made another of his startling shifts of alliances and backed the remnants of the Khmer Rouge, despite their having murdered several of his children.

The United States too decided that anything, including the odious Khmer Rouge, was preferable to Vietnamese domination of Cambodia. After , American representatives at the United Nations continued to vote for the seating of the vestiges of the Khmer Rouge in the General Assembly.

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Prince Sihanouk, whom Washington had airily dismissed, returned for a triumphal American tour in , in which private church and relief groups publicly promised aid and public officials privately expressed their understanding and support for his attempts to regain his throne with the aid of the butchers of his kingdom. The American army began to disintegrate as troop withdrawals mounted. No soldier wanted to be the last man killed in action.

Platoons refused to go on patrol, officers were murdered by their own men, and marijuana smoking increased. The absurdity of the wartime experience increased the disillusionment. As a disgraceful character in the antiwar novel Dog Soldiers put it, "When elephants are hunted by armed men in helicopters, the only solution is to get high. In the midst of this, the massacre at My Lai came to light, and Lt.

Calley stood trial for murder. Although a court-martial convicted Calley in and sentenced him to a prison term of fifteen years Nixon spoke out in favor of reducing the sentence. The president hoped to align himself with the prowar segment of the population who thought that Calley had been unfairly accused by the antiwar movement. A year after the invasion of Cambodia hastened the destruction of that country, the United States helped the Vietnamese army move into another neutral neighbor, Laos, in May American television viewers saw the reality of Vietnamization as the Vietnamese troops scrambled for cover instead of fighting.

The invasion turned into a rout with ARVN soldiers rushing back home without clearing out another supposed headquarters of the insurgency. What had been planned in Washington as a means of demonstrating how well the South Vietnamese could fight became instead proof that they could not hold their own.

At the same time, the American economy seemed ill, with inflation running at an unacceptable rate of 5 percent per year, and Europeans were angry that the United States had exported the cost of the war to them. German and French central bankers made their distress known by demanding payment in gold for the dollars they held.

GOING BANANAS!

On August 15,, Nixon made a dramatic about face in economic policy, announcing the imposition of wage and price controls, something he had previously said he would never do. He also cut the remaining link between the dollar and gold; no longer would the United States Treasury repay foreign dollar holders with the precious metal.

Nixon had little choice, for foreigners held four times as many dollars as the United States possessed gold. He devalued the dollar by 10 percent in terms of other currencies. Nixon hoped for a decline in the value of the American currency which would accordingly decrease the flood of exports from Japan and Europe. The Japanese economy had, in fact, boomed during the Vietnam War as the United States used that nation's facilities to repair equipment.

Nixon also moved in and to isolate Vietnam from China and the Soviet Union, reasoning that if the North Vietnamese lost their major backers they would make peace on America's terms. Accordingly, Nixon and Kissinger recognized the Soviet-Chinese split while at the same time attempting to become friendlier with both Communist powers.

The negotiations with the two nations went along at the same time although the opening to China was the more dramatic. Secret talks began in Warsaw, Poland, between the American and Chinese ambassadors in During that year, Kissinger took over the negotiations, letting Secretary of State Rogers know what he was doing only when he found it convenient. Americans were as bad at Ping-Pong as the Chinese excelled, so acceptance of the invitation implied that the Americans would gladly lose to their hosts to improve relations.

The following July, Kissinger himself went to Beijing after first disappearing from sight on a visit to Pakistan. The press reported that the national security adviser had a stomachache, and the next day he showed up in the Chinese capital to announce that the president of the United States would be coming to China to open "normal" relations between the two countries.

Other White House aides foresaw Kissinger's emergence as "the mystery man of the age" upon his return from Beijing. He instantly became a celebrity in the press. Kissinger's gastric distress may have been invented, but other diplomats and politicians experienced genuine pain at the handshake between him and Chinese premier Zhou Enlai.

The Japanese, who had followed American suggestions and improved relations with the Nationalists on Taiwan, were caught unaware They read of the American reversal in the newspapers. Secretary of State Rogers played no part in the planning for the trip to China, and he had to watch the most important departure in recent American diplomatic history from the sidelines.

Haldeman heard the national security adviser complain that "Rogers is trying to stop Kissinger as the negotiator with the Chinese. Ohio representative John Ashbrook vowed to fight Nixon for the party's presidential nomination in the primaries. In Taiwan, Jiang reacted with sputtering rage. That the American president who had hailed him earlier would now open relations with Mao Zedong flabbergasted Jiang. In Pakistan, where Gen.

Miniature Disposable Breathers

Aynb Khan had been the intermediary between Kissinger and the Chinese, the news won applause; for it seemed as if Pakistan were now an indispensable ally of the United States. Six months later, in December , General Khan called on Kissinger for something in return when the east province of Pakistan broke away and declared itself the independent nation of Bangladesh.

Khan's army fought a war with India in which the United States "tilted" toward Pakistan. India triumphed while the United States, unlike its Western European allies, supported the defeated Pakistanis. Kissinger kept control of American policy toward the India-Pakistan war. He told the president, "I can't turn it over to Rogers. We can't be frivolous about this," because it is "the one area that will screw up the trip" to China.

In February , Nixon flew to Beijing. As he stepped off the plane, he shook hands with Premier Zhou. The photograph of the two leaders reversed an old snub; Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had refused Zhou's hand at the Geneva Conference of Nixon's trip to China proved a huge success. He met with the aging Mao and accepted the Chinese leader's complaints about the "hegemonism" of the Soviet Union. The two pledged to end their thirty years of hostility and move toward "normal" relations. Before the decade was out, America and China had full diplomatic exchanges.

On the touchy question of Taiwan, the United States went a long way toward acknowledging the Chinese claims to the island. The Shanghai communique', announced at the end of the meeting, indicated that the United States recognized that both Chinese governments claimed that Taiwan was part of China, and that the Untied States acknowledged the Beijing government as the sovereign power in China. Both sides pledged to work for a "peaceful resolution" of the dispute over Taiwan.

No one knew precisely what that meant, and the phrasing was purposely ambiguous. Kissinger outshone Rogers in Beijing. The national security adviser helped fashion the final communique'. His preeminence even threatened to overshadow the president. One of Nixon's other staff members worried that reporters had "built HAK to the point where people wonder whether he makes foreign policy or the president.

The president used the national security adviser to generate support among the press for the Shanghai communique'. While Kissinger decried leaks from NSC staff, other Nixon aides were appalled by certain stories in the press. Despite orders from Attorney General John N. Mitchell not to publish the documents, the Times did so on June Immediately thereafter, the special assistant to the president for domestic affairs, John D.

Ehrlichman, created a White House "plumbers" unit to plug leaks of embarrassing information. Their first stop was a break-in at the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist to find discrediting information. Soon the plumbers cast a wider net. While Beard recovered from a nervous breakdown at a Denver osteopathic hospital, E. Howard Hunt, one of the planners of the Guatemalan invasion in , the Bay of Pigs operation of , and the commando attacks on Cuba, dressed in a red fright wig and entered her hospital room to persuade her to recant her damaging allegation.

The Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington appeared next on Hunt's ridiculous agenda. He recruited five anti-Castro Cubans to obtain Democratic party secrets. While attempting to do so, they were apprehended at the building complex on the night of June 18, That "third-rate burglary," as Nixon's press secretary, Ronald Ziegler, dismissed it, created barely a stir in the summer of as Nixon successfully relaxed tensions with the Soviet Union.

Nixon's trip to Moscow was all the more surprising as it came on the heels of another major escalation of the war in Vietnam by the United States. Nixon expected that Soviet ships would be hit in these raids, which dumped one hundred twelve thousand tons of bombs on the North. But if the Kremlin leaders offered no formal protest and did not cancel his proposed visit to Moscow, he would conclude that they wanted an accommodation with the United States despite their friendship with North Vietnam.

Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev went ahead with the invitation to Nixon for reasons of his own. With the scheduled opening of the Twenty-Fourth Congress of the Soviet Communist party at the end of June, the Soviet premier desired some international success to show his docile delegates.

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The Soviet economy was in far worse shape than the American, with the consumer goods promised under Khrushchev still in short supply and chronic food shortages threatening stability. The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August had temporarily stopped the Eastern Europeans from showing their independence, but the Soviets had constantly to worry about the loyalty of their allies.

The conditions on the Chinese border were even worse, with Mao Zedong officially calling the Soviet Union a "revisionist" power which had betrayed the revolutionary heritage of Leninism. Mao had shown how much of a revolutionary he was by embracing President Nixon. Economically, the Soviet Union could gain immensely by opening trade relations with the United States.

New technology would help the struggling consumer industry, and imports of American grain could raise meat production. If the United States and the Soviet Union worked out a limit to the arms race, the Soviet Union, already spending twice as much of its gross national product as the Americans on arms, could divert resources to consumer goods.

Finally, an agreement with the United States in the face of the opening to China would mean that the Soviet Union had effectively countered the pull of Beijing. Accordingly, both sides had much to gain from an agreement in Moscow. In return for a mutual pledge to drop production of an antiballistic missile ABM system, Nixon and Brezhnev set upper limits on the number of offensive missiles each side could husband.

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The Soviet Union would have 1,, and the United States would be allowed 1, Despite these lopsided numbers, the United States actually gained in the exchange. The idea had been floated in the Johnson administration and dropped since weapons specialists did not believe it would work and a financially strapped government could not afford it. The ABM was resurrected by Nixon's secretary of defense, Melvin Laird, in as a way of showing that the new administration would be tougher with the Russians than its predecessor had been.

Henry Kissinger, whose academic work had included a discussion of the role of nuclear weapons, had backed the system for diplomatic, not strategic, reasons. The United States could threaten to complete the ABM as a bargaining chip which it would return to the Soviets for an agreement limiting the number of missiles. While SALT I froze the number of missiles, it said nothing at all about the new technology of multiple warheads in which the United States had a huge lead over the Soviet Union.

With the introduction of MIRVs multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles , the United States possessed a new weapon that had several warheads, each capable of hitting targets miles apart. The arms race continued in the seventies, with each side trying to outdo the other in new technology. The United States developed a new strategy for avoiding a nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union. The strategy was as frightening as the acronym which described it. Each side supposedly held the weapons of its adversary hostage, and each knew that an attack would be met with the assured destruction of its capacity to wage war.

The Soviets never accepted the American definition of how the next war would be fought, but American planners dismissed Russian complaints about "inhumanity" of the strategy as hypocrisy and proclaimed that the job of American defense intellectuals was to "raise the Soviets' learning curve" about modern strategic thinking. In fact, the SALT agreements did not arrest the slide toward destablizing weapons. Barred from some fields by the treaties, weapons planners on both sides turned their inventive energies to areas left uncovered by the agreements and speeded production of new generations of missiles not covered by SALT.

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The Soviets went to work on highly accurate land-based missiles-the s. The United States worked on an invulnerable, accurate land-based missile of its own, the MX. Nixon returned from Moscow to a coronation ceremony at the Republican National Convention, which had been hastily moved from San Diego to Miami after the whiff of scandal came from Dita Beard. The assembled Republicans cheered a man they expected easily to defeat the Democrats' Sen. CREEP had done what it could to disrupt the campaigns of the other Democratic candidates in the hopes that McGovern's liberal views went beyond those of most voters.

The election proved no contest. McGovern's campaign self-destructed early with the selection for vice-president of Missouri senator Thomas Eagleton, who admitted having received shock treatments for depression. McGovern pledged "1, percent support" for Eagleton and then dumped him unceremoniously from the ticket. Instead, voters were heartened by Henry Kissinger 5 announcement in the last week of October that he had arranged a settlement with the new negotiator for North Vietnam, Le Duc Tho.

He carried every state but Massachusetts and captured nearly 61 percent of the vote. Peace was not at hand in late October, and Kissinger received a severe dressing down from H. Haldeman, wondering what role Kissinger saw for the president if his principal diplomat "rides into town and does everything by himself," temporarily banished him from the White House and forbade him to meet the press until an agreement was signed.

The snag in the negotiations arose from objections by South Vietnamese president Thieu to a peace settlement which would have the United States remove the last of its troops while the North Vietnamese agreed only not to introduce any new forces in the South. The United States had separated the military from the political aspects of the war by permitting the North Vietnamese and the Provisional Revolutionary Government the new name for the National Liberation Front to work out the best deal they could with the Thieu government. The United States had resisted the calls to depose Thieu, but still the South Vietnamese president did not want to face the armies of his enemies alone.

He had a sinking suspicion that the United States had fled Vietnam and let the North know that it awaited only a "decent. Thieu therefore rejected the importunities of Kissinger's deputy, Gen. Haig, who scurried to Saigon to secure South Vietnamese assent to the peace treaty before election day. Thieu was rude to Haig and refused to sign. The Paris talks were at a standstill in November and December when the president decided that a dramatic demonstration could loosen the South Vietnamese and frighten the North.

Two days before Christmas, Nixon ordered the Bs, which previously had seen service only in the South and over Cambodia, to attack North Vietnam. Every city in the North came under fire, hospitals were exploded in Hanoi, and hundreds of civilians were killed. Denunciations came in from the usual peace groups, but Nixon treated their complaints with disdain. He justified the bombing by saying that it would secure the release of the American prisoners of war held in the North despite the fact that thirteen of the Bs were shot down over the North and forty-five of their crew members held captive.

While Nixon sought support from the silent majority, diplomats were at work on both North and South Vietnamese. Kissinger continued his talks with Le Duc Tho and indicated that his boss might be mentally unhinged. Nixon himself carefully cultivated the fears that he might go to irrational lengths to get his way. Chief of Staff Haldeman later dubbed this procedure the "madman strategy": While Kissinger played upon these fears, Haig returned to Thieu in Saigon with some brutally frank messages. The United States was determined to have a settlement, withdraw all of its troops, and get its prisoners back.

If Thieu refused, the United States would make peace anyway, leaving the South in the lurch. If, however, Thieu swallowed his misgivings, the bombing of the North offered only a taste of what the United States might do later to back its friend in the South. In a secret memorandum, which he later denied writing, Kissinger pledged the reintroduction of United States troops should the South need them.

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The United States also assured North Vietnam of future reconstruction aid if it would sign. No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. Wednesday, Sep 19th 5-Day Forecast. Arizona restaurateur abandoned by Gordon Ramsay in car crash Kitchen Nightmares episode is fighting deportation Samy Bouzaglo's restaurant Amy's Baking Company featured on 'Kitchen Nightmares' earlier this month It was the first restaurant in the show's history where Gordon Ramsay walked away saying he couldn't help Bouzaglo faces deportation as immigration officials investigate his past By Daily Mail Reporter Published: Share this article Share.

Gordon Ramsay was forced to walk off the 82nd episode of Kitchen Nightmares after being unable to work with the owners, who have courted controversy ever since the episode aired A message appeared on Monday on the Amy's Bistro Facebook page: Share or comment on this article: Arizona restaurateur abandoned by Gordon Ramsay in car crash Kitchen Nightmares episode is fighting deportation e-mail. The date you MUST buy a home by - as experts First plastic bags, now this: Harrowing moment a 'malnourished' lion is spotted having The shocking moment a cyclist collides with a woman Murdered nurse's roommate and identical twin both break Man shoots himself in the stomach to test a bulletproof Family face jail for forcing vulnerable neighbours to Police killer Dale Cregan begs his criminal friends on an Indian husband 'is prostituting out his mentally disabled Fears for missing schoolgirl, 11, who was last seen in Is ANY fruit safe?

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