Wednesday, 26 July 2017

double-détendre

Writing for The Atlantic, correspondent and former member of the US National Security Council Jan M Lodal recalls a pledge shared between Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev and Gerald Ford (who as Nixon’s second vice-president took office once Nixon resigned in lieu of impeachment and served out the term until the next election—also having the pleasure of exonerating Nixon of all wrong doing by pardoning him) of the USSR’s support to ensure Ford’s re-election. The exchange took place during the Helsinki Accords—the formal settlement that marked peace in Europe after World War II and helped to limn the rules of engagement for the Cold War—in 1975 during a private moment with only the interpreter present. Some snooping and quick thinking on the part of Lodal, who was part of the presidential entourage during the summit, confirmed that this promise was extended—though the expressed outcome didn’t materialise with the election of Jimmy Carter.