SOURCE: National Interest
comments powered by Disqus
Lawrence Korb: Return of the Neocons
Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
In the 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter criticized the Nixon-Ford administration on several foreign policy issues. One was Ford’s decision to sign the Helsinki Accords, which in his view legitimized Soviet control of Eastern Europe.
But what if Democratic candidate Carter had called on national-security veterans of the Democratic administrations of presidents Kennedy and Johnson—such as Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and National Security Advisor Walt Rostow—to criticize the Nixon-Ford administration on issues such as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Soviet Union, China or the defense budget?
These veterans of the Kennedy and Johnson years could have blasted Nixon and Ford for “losing” Vietnam by signing the Paris Treaty, which set a date for American withdrawal from South Vietnam; or for not doing more to save Saigon in 1975 when the North Vietnamese overran the country. They could have scored Republicans for not even “leading from behind” when Pol Pot murdered millions of his fellow citizens in Cambodia’s hellish killing fields and for not retaliating against Cambodia when its military seized the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez.
These Kennedy-Johnson hawks could have asked why the Republicans had not only signed the Helsinki Accords but had agreed to an arms treaty with the Soviets that allowed them to have more strategic nuclear missiles than the United States and limited America’s ability to deploy missile defenses. In effect, Rusk, McNamara and Rostow could have argued that these “weak” Republicans had failed to capitalize on the “strategic victory” won by hard-line Democrats in the Cuban Missile Crisis to put the Soviets in their place.
And how could America throw our ally Taiwan under the bus, go hat in hand to “red China” and sign the Shanghai Accord with a country that had helped our North Vietnamese enemy?..
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History