During the last week in August in 1980 a new kind of light appeared in Poland, illuminating the world scene in an unexpected way. An eerie sentence swam into my mind, the one that Winston Churchill wrote about 1914 when the pall of the parochial Irish crisis hung over the warm summer evening of the British Empire; and when the parishes of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded into the mists and squalls of Ireland, "and a strange light began immediately, but by perceptible gradations, to fall and grow upon the map of Europe." That strange light, in 1914, was the glimmering advent of World War I.
How does he do it? Here is an administration in ruins. Here is a president who has nearly quadrupled the inflation rate at home, has produced the highest interest rates in American history, and now is deliberately steering the nation into a recession; abroad he has kicked away confidence among friends and foes alike in the sobriety, consistence, and reliability of American foreign policy. Six months ago he was nowhere in the polls.
In the little town of Boone, Iowa, last month. Senator Edward Kennedy was asked one of the crucial questions of the 1980 campaign. The question was put by Mrs.
Orwell said it about saints, but Nobel peace laureates also should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent. No doubt it would have appeared more seemly had the authorities in Oslo waited to bestow their decorations till a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt actually had been signed. In any case it is evident, at least in the cases of Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, that the Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded on the basis of either character or personal history. The two have been honored for their last act, and an uncompleted one at that.
During his US tour last spring Leonid Brezhnev heralded a fresh era in Soviet-American friendship as he embraced Wall Street bankers, hugged Hollywood actors and flattered Richard Nixon. Now, by encouraging and aiding the Arabs against Israel and thereby raising the spectre of renewed superpower confrontation, the Russians have moved from grins to grimaces. Their turnabout, it seems to me, can be explained in a single word—priorities.
Trying to evaluate the foreign policy of the Nixon administration during its first term, one must, as always in foreign policy, distinguish between rhetoric and policy. Rhetoric and policy may by and large coincide, one reflecting the other, or a wide gap may separate the two. In the latter case, what governments do is more important than what they say they are doing or are going to do.
This article was originally published on January 26th, 1963. President Nasser's armed intervention in Yemen is the most ambitious and dangerous foreign adventure of his career. It has brought him to the brink of war with Saudi Arabia and Jordan and provides American diplomacy in the Middle East with possibly its greatest challenge since Suez. By recognizing, in December, the republican regime of Marshal Sallal--Nasser's protege in Yemen--the United States has clashed with her British ally and has taken sides in the inter-Arab struggle for power.
This piece originally ran on September 2nd, 1957. C. L Sulzberger, the scholarly editorial columnist of The New York Times, had the courage in a recent dispatch from Paris to put forward a daring brink-of-war proposal for the Middle East -- a Western blockade of Russian arms shipments. The Soviet arms buildup in Egypt during 1956, he assumes, precipitated the Israeli attack. Likewise, Russian arms shipments to Yemen led to the more recent Yemini attack on British Aden.