tv The Presidency Nixons Cold War Detente Strategy CSPAN November 6, 2017 12:00am-1:33am EST
>> the house ways and means committee begins work on the republicans tax reform plan monday, before sending it to the full house for debate in both. watch live coverage monday starting at noon eastern on andan2 and www.c-span.org listen live using the free c-span radio app. next, sven kraemer talks about president richard nixon's cold war detente strategy. he's the author of inside the cold war, an unprecedented guide to the roots, history and historical documents to cold war. the richard nixon foundation hosted this 19 meant it event. event.inute >> mr. kraemer brings us a government steady. he was a civil servant in eight presidential administrations.
with six presidents, two secretaries of defense, and two senior members of congress. with president nixon, he served on the national security council staff from nixon's and i -- inauguration to his resignation. he has a unique perspective working in the nsa under johnson and gerald ford. and later working as ronald reagan's nfc arms-control director. today, he will draw upon his perspective on a graduate seminar he taught for over a decade on u.s. national security, emergency threats, and security control and his recent
book, which he will be happy to sign after the program. they are available for purchase in the museum store. the book is an unprecedented guide to the ideological roots and strategies and key official documents on the cold war. on detente policy, he is often critical. others described the book as scholarly, indispensable and having authoritative documentation and unique insights. he is a distinguished fellow at washington's american foreign-policy counsel in washington, d.c. he joined here today with his wife and the founding director of the performing arts company that produces opera and cabaret.
their two sons are also active in music, theater, and writing. welcome. [applause] we are fortunate to have dr. luke digna. he has published two revealing books. he has taught at this podium several times about his books and his expertise on the nixon tapes, a book which he co-authored with historian douglas brinkley. he will return to the nexen diary -- nexen library -- nixon library. the stage is yours.
[applause] >> a perfectly good place to start here is how unusual an event of this kind is. you have someone who, if you think about the number of administrations he served in, either in the pentagon or the white house proper, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, a botched retirement after that, back for reagan, another botched retirement, and back for bush 43. to have someone like this is unique. people who work in this capacity are surrounded by secrecy.
they are trained not to talk about their work. they are trained not to give unauthorized disclosures. so here you have an authorized disclosure tonight. you have it was someone who has observed government and spent 50 years and it in a bipartisan fashion -- also rare these days -- and it is our chance to spend an evening with him and to learn from him. the basis from the book, but going down the book -- before we dug into the substance, talk about your background a little bit. i have emphasized how unique the evening's end your career, but you really do bring a unique mix of government service, or experience, a personal studying of history, yourself, and policy insights relevant not just for the 1960's or 1970's, but for
today, in many cases. you experienced war record yourself as a child, in world war ii and leader in vietnam. you emigrated to america and studied at harvard and berkeley. you served at the u.s. government, including as a national security council at the pentagon and with congress. and your book has a unique historical scope and documentation. by way of background, how does all this experience shape your perspective and lessons on nixon and detente? >> thank you, luke, and thank you john. it is indeed very rare that i
have ever spoken about anything have done in the government. i taught a course, a seminar to graduates and have worked these issues since my days at andover prep school and at harvard, history and the cold war and philosophies and ideologue -- ideology that lead dictatorships and to work between democracies and totalitarians. that is what the cold war is about. it's about what i have on the front cover of my book, the statue of liberty, which is the first building structure that i saw on the boat coming from the dark continent, the war continent of europe, where i spent the second -- the second world war. i am british by birth. my mother was swedish. she and i were captured by the gestapo and held.
my father got out and made it to america, became a citizen and a soldier, and came back to germany. i learned firsthand. when i came to america, i was nine years old. i was learning english. that was the first object that i saw. and everybody on the ship was in tears. so it was easy for me always to want to studied war and peace and how difficult it is to maintain, peace, to get to peace if there is an ideology that
promotes civil war home and imperialist or colonialists are expansionist war abroad. that is why i studied the issue. this is history, by the way, that is not taught anymore. it is ignored. it is completely suppressed. as you know, it is said that the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century is the dissolution of the soviet union. they lost the cold war and the idea of communism crumbled. i believe that it is very important in the current age to remember what has happened before, and especially what strategies were attempted in order to calm down totalitarians and their weapons -- their
weapons of belief and of torture and of war. i would just as soon be talking about korea or iran or russia or pakistan or places -- china at times -- that collaborates and still tries to tear down democracy in building those forces of intolerance and of war. my view of president nixon was shaped when i was in college. and when i took my civil service exam, which was in 1962, and entered the kennedy administration, he was still famous as the vice president. he was famous as having lost the election against jack kennedy, who was treated as a hero, and his personal flaws, which were considerable, which were forgiven because he was so eloquent.
i knew he had participated in the anti-communist hearings in washington, including the movie industry in this area. he had before that in the navy. he was a lawyer and then he ran for governor. when i was at berkeley, he run for governor. the name governor nixon make people laugh. when i entered the government, and that is still my vocation in my calling, you have to look for what calls you to action with passion. . what passions get you to working and to take responsibility? the word responsibility means you are responding to a call.
my call is to public service and possibly to teaching, which i have done, and to try to work on this issue of how democracy is maintained a democracy, both against internal and external temptations and threats. so i am well to give you some more thoughts as we go along. >> you share these insights from your background. let's move to the period before richard nixon, and tell us a little bit more of your ideological background. why was ideology important anyways? your ideology came from your experience during the second world war, the cold war. but one thing i noticed in your book is that you are getting your book that the beginning of the cold war was not something that started in the 1940's, which is the popular understanding. you go much further back.
you go back to finding ideology of the cold war even earlier in the 20th century. so talk about the ideological roots. >> the chinese strategist sun tzu said no yourself and know your enemy -- know your self and know your enemy. that is what the cold war was about. it was led by two superpowers, two large powers -- the united states and the soviet union. both came from strong faiths. in the case of the american faith, the first chapter in my book is about that, the founding documents and in alienable rights given by a creator, not by a state. god. they are untouchable. we learned in the american experience to expand that understanding of unalienable for every man and woman. it took a while. it took the civil rights movement. i would remind her that -- remind you that, when martin luther king spoke in washington, he did not say i have a dream. he said i still have a dream.
and then the cascading word say i have a dream of not judging people by their color and so i. -- and so on. not their class, not their value -- but their value as a creature of god. my second chapter of my book is about leninism and marxism. marx was a prophet. marriage of his rambling -- i thought it at berkeley. they didn't know that his treatment of history was based on something called dialectical materialism. man is only material. there is no soul. there is no individuality. there is no god.
a collection of atoms. you can rearrange it. and guess how you can rearrange it? on the perfect template of a new society, which he would say might be a state, but the state would wither away. that is what he kind of our married -- that is what he kind of argument and lenin later argued. there would be an administration in charge of distribution of production and all wealth. there would be no private part 30. there would -- private property. there would be no private families. there would be no personal
rights. it would be a collective. there would be a socialist stage in this communist society. he attacked people who are democratic socialists who said you do not need a dictatorship of the proletariat. those who wanted peaceful transitions, he probably would have put bernie sanders in jail the first day. but there would not be any independent trade unions. there would be no competitive parties. it would be a vanguard, which in lenin's terms would be a single party, the elite that controlled, administered, planned, punished any deviation from the central plant and central ownership, which was absolute -- which was after all a state.
when you are a communist in that tradition, he wanted to centralize everything. in that sense, the prophecy of a wonderful society with all contradictions eliminated, classes eliminated, all these stages would be overcome. it did not involve the abolishment of all religion. religion is the opiate of the ruling class. you had to crush the enemy classes, remnants of the class you are killing off. the choice given to those -- this vanguard encountered were either convert or go to prison or die.
where have you heard that proverb before recently? in some areas in this role, you can get decapitated if you do not convert or confess or die. you can be really killed for it. i see the roots in the french never -- french revolution. it ended with the guillotine. it ended with a never went to war on russia -- it ended with an emperor who want to war on russia. lafayette, the frenchman who fought with us, was not welcome in his own country after the french revolution, which took place in 1789, the same year our constitution was signed. next game marxism and leninism and the 1849 manifesto. then later in the coup by lenin, not against the czar, got against the march revolution,
which was a coalition government led by a democratic socialist who was leading a coalition of parties. lenin hated that. killed off those people in a coup. it was in october 1917. he immediately made peace with the german imperial troops were a thousand miles -- a thousand kilometers inside russia. he undercut badly the french and the british. he enabled one million of them to crossover with equipment into france. if they had gotten there a
little earlier, before the americans arrived, who gets it would have won the european war? the germans. that is lenin's big betrayal. he waged war with the capitalists and the west. he also the trade the hopes for bread and peace and land that the russians had, the russian population. he set up the gestapo-type secret police. he collectivized forms. when london was dead and stalin over, 5 million ukrainians lost their lives -- when lenin was dead and stalin took over, 5 million ukrainians lost their lives. in the mid-1930's, mr. roosevelt, our president, decided to make these. nash makepeace. -- make peace. that means diplomatically recognizing the soviet government. they promised noninterference
abroad. instead, they violated both of those tenets of hope. the most cruel thing they did to me personally, rather faithful, was the taboo subject today for the german business national socialists -- i will tell you the words in german. [speaking german] national socialist german workers party. when antifa calls people nazis, they don't realize that hitler's, like his predecessor in europe, mussolini, as socialists, they defended things are called workers party, both
for the workers against the plutocrats, the wealthy, the property owners, the bankers, and the media people often identified with jews. marx, himself a jew, was anti-semitic. hitler did the same. they both had killing fields at home. they had ambitions abroad to spread their ideology. they killed right and left. the overlap of the far left in the far right should be obvious to anybody. it is simply not tolerated in common discussions. you have to realize that when hitler and stalin made this pact in 1939. my father had gotten out sometime before. my mother's passport was swedish. mine, child, english. we were enemies and we had to stay.
stalin was on the wrong side for 20 months. he did not change sides from .elping hitler' they both invaded poland at the same time. until hitler invaded him. then he purged so many of his soldiers who were so little prepared for war. the germans made rapid advances, which we, the united states of america, we saved the forces in the far east from japan, which was in the axis pact with the germans and the italians and, for a while, the soviets were the fourth member of that act
against -- that pact against democracies, against human rights. we saved russia from the success of the german invasion. 50,000 airplanes, tens of thousands of tanks, etc., etc. we took, on the japanese, which the russians didn't in the last days of the war. we saved siberia. we attacked in normandy and in africa, areas where the russians were absent. the russian people thought, but they would not have been able to hold the eastern front in japan went in there.
by the way, we saved china, too. when i meet chinese officials who break me or my country -- not me -- i say, you know, we saved you. few would be speaking japanese if we had not gone in there. and you russians would be speaking german. so we've done well. we have sometimes made that mistakes, but we have also done well. that is part of my background of where happened in what is known as the cold, between mr. truman and mr. roosevelt. we were allies in that war. we both fought bravely. i think our power includes a very strong -- i don't just mean the military. are you an idealist or a realist? you can't have one without the other. moral agility makes the difference. >> with all of these events and backgrounds from world war i and world war ii, the rise of totalitarianism that you covered here, as we move closer through the cold war and into the nixon period, what was the importance, the significance of these events we have talked about?
and how were they so important leading up to the nixon administration? >> the main things that mr. truman and then stalin and their successors worked on as tensions grew very great at the end of the second world war. we had formed a successful alliance. the russians fought very well for their own country. remember stalin's message on socialism and communism was one country first. the country was soviet union.
anybody else who adopts this -- which helped the chinese revolutionaries on the left -- as the army moved into eastern europe [indiscernible] of the allies, they were occupiers. among the people they liquidated in the baltics, in poland, in areas that had been occupied by the germans, were those who were in the resistance against the germans. the polish army was fighting with the british heroically in places like italy and sometimes on the eastern front at times. they liquidated because they made the mistake of being democratic versions of socialists and they were not communists. they used their power to liquidate. i remember being a child and reading about the coup in czechoslovakia. i remember as a freshman at
harvard. i think there was only one person in that entire faculty who spoke out against the soviet suppression with tanks of the hungarian revolution. republish october, which was parallel. he did not quite understand the uprising in east germany in 1953, the polish and hungarian revolutions. tanks came in and pressed them. the russians did that in czechoslovakia. we had a policy that was developed under harry truman's watch. it was stimulated by the korean war. north korea invaded south korea, aided by the soviets. who has aided and protected them ever sense. that policy was called containment. we did not contain. the soviet empire and its influence expanded into the
third world. the chinese revolution of october 1, 1949, took over large areas there. they were very active in vietnam. they were active in other places. the third world became a combatitive ground. they often did active measures, penetration of the soviet agents and military didn't deter them. we developed this area of mutual destruction. robert strange mcnamara was the fourth senior boss i had in civil service. they believed a threatening atomic weapons would deter
somebody. what it really did, in my opinion, to me, that was morally questionable. but if they president have the choice between massive retaliation with a new weapon or -- a nuclear weapon or doing nothing, to force backed the aggressor moving forward, what did he did? nothing. it wasn't effective. and the humans moved into the caribbean area. was that our basic policy? no, it was not. what can you do? it was combined with you could not have antimissile defenses because that would somehow provoke the other guy, the bad guy to think you are launching a
first strike into him. when we discuss now, think we probably moved to the nixon strategy of detente. it made a real serious effort, i more an extremely well-intentioned effort to break this cycle of violence and to reach a mutual understanding and discuss why not -- why that did not work so well. >> in your career, and your work during the nixon years, intersects with the three principal foreign policy issues of the nixon administration. first, it was u.s.-soviet detente and the talks over arms and arms control. secondly, it was sino-u.s. relations after years of no contact. and then vietnam.
since you spend all your career working on all three of these come i guess the first austin is what was detente? i teach primarily 18 to 20-year-olds in the classroom and i try to remember what they know. sometimes, it is not very much and sometimes it surprises you. for 18 to 20 years old, the cold war might as well be the civil war. and richard nixon might as well be abraham lincoln, or something so far in our past that he cannot possibly have relevance to today. so the first question is what was detente? and why were you a constructive critic of the policy? >> in 1968, the election that brought richard nixon to power, was at a time of extreme crisis domestically and huge threats abroad developing.
and bogged down u.s. forces into vietnam. the violence at home -- anybody who thinks the current tensions in the united states are severe -- which they are some and there are some apps that are just violent by nature, which is not very courageous. black uniforms, by the way, were worn by fascists. it's the color of anarchism. it suggests death.
the swastika, incidentally, in german, it is called [indiscernible] it is specifically anti-rate -- pagan anti-religious symbol. the red on top of many buildings still in moscow and is in the flags of the north vietnamese and now the entire vietnamese and the korean flag, that is the bloody star. you crush the enemy. you have to crush the heretic. you have to crush the defiler's in your own sacred sacraments and pledges and so on. these are religions where the leader is god. the kim family of korea has been around since 1949. that castings have been around for four years.
they are now not likely totalitarians. the congress party of china is not more democratic. the mystery of who is elected a mystery.ars, it is it makes the selection of the pope seem like an open thing. of course, these parties do not have to respond to parliaments were everybody can vote no. and many people do vote no over the prime minister when there is a majority in his leadership. when nixon came in, he faced these kind of ideologies and symbols and the fight indian on where we had 550,000 troops. the inherited that. he said we can only resolve this
issue peacefully, with honor, get our prisoners of war back in the soviet union and the prc, the people's republic of china -- the proletariat and the common people -- the party. they are not people. they are dictatorship. mr. nixon said i've got to get these two big powers, china and russia, to put pressure on their little north vietnamese ally. all the artillery, all the tanks, aircraft, the pilots came from russia or from china in the vietnam war. the same forces were very active
in laos and cambodia. mr. nixon thought let's get their help, understand the have national interests and national strategies and views which could share some of our brainpower american [indiscernible] in which, by the way, would help progress global restructuring in the action of peace. i believe totally that mr. nixon was a peacemaker or peace searcher. he really seemed to want to -- actually, i was struck during his presidency. i was there before he came in in the white house and i was
thereafter he left. he was actually quite sincere in that. it is not a fake and a thing. when used -- fake kind of thing. when you see his modest beginnings, you see how difficult it was for him to be relaxed or seem relaxed. i have very rare encounters with them. i was very low down on the totem pole. he was gracious. you really thought that he and his senior colleague, henry kissinger, his national security advisor and later his secretary of state, could reach into the minds and maybe the hearts of these large powers, rulers. mao,remier who worked with and the russian leader, mr. brezhnev, was a little tougher. they thought they could make peaceful coexistence, which was a soviet propaganda line that
they practiced throughout europe with considerable effect. we can exist peacefully, coexist. we don't have to go to war. meanwhile, they were subverting and cheating on every agreement they signed -- as i believe they still are, they, the russians. so the notion that they could calm them down, the scope of diplomacy, which mr. nixon wanted and dr. kissinger thought he could do very well, they put real hope in detoxifying the rate. the were detente is from a french word. if there is an arrow in their bank, it shoots forward. but if your lacks the poll, and -- the pull and just let it go so that it is no longer taught, that is detente. you detach the powerful moving forward aggressively from the
situation. that is what they thought they could do. so there were three big agreements in the summit year. you want to discuss those? >> so while you are more of a critic or pessimistic about the body of agreements that became known as the other major -- one of the other major issues during the nixon years, when you worked in the nixon white house, the sino-u.s. relations. you have spoken more positive about the outcome of the agreements produced during those years, while more critical of the actions of the soviets. you are more positive with respect to china.
why is that? >> i need to outline three of the readings with the russians to tell you the difference between those, which were almost tragic, in my view. the chinese approach -- in the case of the russians, in 1972, which was the high point of detente. richard nixon and lean integration of -- brezhnev signed three agreements. and there is a closely-related vietnam agreement that came shortly after. this is in an election year. nixon had barely won the 1968 election against his opponent, humphrey, who i knew well because i worked in the german white house. he was inspiring in a way in johnson to the oxygen out of every room i was in.
until he broke down. he wrote down on march 31. i thought it was very sad after the north vietnamese came into overrun a lot of areas. johnson retired from the race effect -- in effect, and that opened up the democratic party to vicious, vigorous -- between bobby kennedy and george mcgovern and others. one had won the nomination but lost the election narrowly. richard nixon encountered a very weakened democratic party. and many of those humphrey democrats or scoop jackson democrats, i knew them very well
as colleagues. they turned to donald -- to ronald reagan immediately. . they became reagan democrats. we have to watch the time. i could keep going on for hours. the first agreement was a strategic arms containment agreement. it was very controversial. i can't go through all the aspects of it, but it capped the arms. it had no reductions.
there was no real restriction on bombers and the strategic missiles with intercom not as intercontinental ballistic missiles, like the north koreans have. they are not really limited in their monomers in his eight and -- modernization, to have an incredible number of new types immediately after they signed this agreement. that agreement was strongly challenged by jackson democrats and by humphrey democrats and by carter-mike miller, maybe conservatives, republicans. it did not get very far beyond the signature. the jackson amendment required that all future arms agreements have a levels for the u.s. and soviet capabilities, which was not the case, and that a robust research and the development of modernization program the promised to the joint chiefs of staff, because the americans were falling behind. the second agreement was the anti-ballistic missile treaty.
i was one of the few people, and i was not authorized to do so, but i disagree with it in the white house. i thought it was immoral to dan and pamela stick -- and time -- immoral to ban anti-ballistic missile defenses, unlimited radars and so on. that was reduced to 100 on each side. it was to me like saying you cannot have fire hoses when there are arsonists around. because the first time you use a firehose, you have discouraged the arsonist.
ulee people defenseless. that was part of having -- you leave people defenseless. that was part of having the mutual destruction strategy. it was a mathematical game. it really did not have moral, resilience. it was moral and strategic. but mr. nixon's advisers were so used to that doctrine. allegedly it save money and it was more effective than having stronger conventional forces, not necessarily relying on crossing the nuclear threshold. it was just excepted. it was excepted -- in the reagan period, it was rejected. but he could not get out of that treaty. the soviets were violating it really badly with their programs. we did not get out of it until mr. bush in till 2001 when donald rumsfeld. the third agreement -- with donald rumsfeld.
the third agreement is the daytime principles agreement. -- the third agreement is the detente principles agreement. there was a difference between the totalitarian ideology of the state and the soviet union and the u.s. it was signed because the soviets wanted it and it was connected to the hopes for peace in vietnam and some illusory hope from the unit -- the soviet union. brezhnev said, by the way, detente and the network of agreements did not mean that they would in any way reduce the
support for revolutionary, and, so you -- revolutionary, procommunist, pro-soviet factions. the soviets brought 40,000 infantry to angola in 1975. that was after this agreement was signed. right after this agreement was signed, when the president left office and thinks collapsed around him, that broke the authority of the american presidency for some years. congress, which was turning quite radical in 1974 in cutting
the and send intelligence budget and the public information but stood by as vietnam fell the crisis of the detente policy which had bogged down in vietnam and the crisis in dealing and sometimes what was called salami tactics, which is intelligence cover deceptions and so on -- covert deceptions and so on, where communists pretended they were for peaceful transitions and coalition governments, which would have been non-communist
switches. that please a lot of people and they went for it -- that pleased a lot of people and they went for it. high risk, but logically valid. if we move on to vietnam, i can tell you how the dominoes started following, how the president fell and how vietnam fell. >> we have not spoken about vietnam. final question to wrap up and tie together some of the issues. >> china, too. -- weaven we china in in with your answer. we will let you wrap it up in one tidy answer. so we have been talking a lot about detente and the forces moving before nixon and during the nixon administration. you also wrote in your book about four nixon crises -- the pentagon papers, watergate,
impeachment, and nixon's resignation ultimately. five together the discussion we have been having in the relationship that detente ultimately had on these four crises. we are obviously talking about the end of the nixon presidency. >> really quickly. the pentagon papers, i participated in mcnamara's office before i was assigned to the national security council. it was withheld from lyndon johnson. knowing about the steady in nsc and vietnam, pentagon denied it. it was denied to president nixon, when he came in in 1969. i went to general haig and others and it was requested again and they denied it.
a year or two later, two years later, daniel ellsberg released the pentagon papers from his office at grand in santa monica -- at rand in santa monica. mr. mcnamara had resigned. mr. clifford did not get it. nixon came in. so it was denied twice to the president. it was given to "the new york times." last bits of data were from mid-1968. it did not take account of any of the so-called vietnamization improvements, very different military tactics that mr. nixon
didn't initiate, but implemented very forcefully. i was in vietnam nine times in the period, six times with general haig. i was his. deputy assistant and then as secretary of state -- i was his deputy assistant. and then a secretary of state with president reagan. i had one man with a pistol, who was my interpreter. and i could go anywhere in 1973. we had basically satisfied some basic requirements. our troops are gone. we signed an agreement. congress said no more bombing. we left no residual force. we left a lot of refugees. some die trying to escape.
when you are engaged in the combat zone a residual force, as we saw in afghanistan and in iraq, 58,000 dead in vietnam, 4000 in afghanistan. we've got to keep somebody there because the american symbol is important if you are interested in some opportunity for a non-communist half or non-isis path today. the american absence is a vacuum. they are usually very hostile to any differences. why is it that a shia can murder a sunni and claim religious credit for that? why can't it be that the christians are getting murdered and sometimes it's necessary to have force against force, to
deter with force, to deter with moral principles that you enunciate and mean about human rights, instead of just some u.n. resolution. and look at who is in charge of u.n. resolution for civil rights. maybe libya or somebody. so the hope fell apart as the pentagon papers turned to checking out, but beyond intelligence breaking into areas -- in which case, this was the democratic party. let's find out with the russians are up to. who is funding these things? massive mobilizations. i remember coming into the white house, high windows around the complex of the white house, lines through which people were spitting and throwing rocks and calling us all fascists.
i had experienced fascism and national socialism and i had already seen as a child the movies of the holocaust. on the other side, where there is the 101st infantry, loaded machine guns and other guns in case the buses had been climbed over and bridged. the white house would have been overrun. i was in the white house when there were 250,000 people protesting, including rioters in washington, d.c. in one of these demonstrations, mr. nixon went down to the lincoln memorial. he talked to what he thought were hippies. they were fervently against the government.
the government had not done a very good job in its public diplomacy. it had not done a good job in the military and economic and other lines it had been -- it should have been doing in vietnam. one general had been a friend of the president back in the 1960's and you how to talk to people of a different culture, honor them, respect them. i should have mentioned the failure of our policy. he was legitimately appointed and then elected in south vietnam. nixon's failure in vietnam was not sending 60,000 green berets, special forces, large combat forces. but he authorized the crew and the assassination of president kim. the first time i went to vietnam, i was talking to a folk
singer. i always asked to speak with poets or priests or buddhists, catholic, labor leaders. they said, you americans, you kill their president. and then your president was killed a month later. that's how heaven strikes you. we destroyed large pockets of legitimacy that we had. the president gets caught. he had to assign this to some officials who might not have known what they were doing. the presidency froze on august 4. i happened to be on my honeymoon in greece with my wife.
i saw the newspaper on that day. i wept about it. my wife said what's the matter? we just lost vietnam. that cost cambodia -- 5 million cambodians were killed out of about 15 million or so, killed by the khmer rouge. killed. vietnam forced the north vietnamese were brutally. at that point, the chinese, with whom he had cut the deals of hope, not for peaceful coexistence per se -- although that is used in the shanghai communique that killed the deal, the handshake -- they had indicated, because their fear of the soviet union launching a
predicted strike, they were in mortal danger. mao reached out to us, not because we supported the red guards in the resolution -- the revolution, but because we might create together and the unity in the soviet mind about how we would react if the chinese were hit. that is what caused the chinese and the americans, nixon, to clasp hands without having to it knowledge each other's ideologies of freedom versus tyranny and so on.