Nixon in the White House: The Frustration of Power

By Rowland Evans Jr.; Robert D. Novak | Go to book overview

IX
Time of Troubles

I feel deeply sorry for him. Every weapon he uses
smashes in his hands.

-- Sir Harold Nicolson on Winston Churchill, in The War Years. Diaries and Letters 1939-1945

They could not positively prove it, of course, but some advisers around President Nixon in those days just before his bold gamble to send American troops into Cambodia were convinced he saw a similarity between his own adversity in withdrawing the nation from Vietnam and Winston Churchill's in ridding the world of Adolf Hitler. Others close to the President felt that he saw some similarity between the Cambodian intervention and Kennedy's throwing down the gauntlet to the Russians in demanding the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba in 1962.

If so, the similarities were in the President's soul, not in the objective circumstances, because the circumstances of Cambodia could not conceivably offer Nixon anything like the universal and emotional backing that sustained Churchill during World War II or Kennedy in those brief days when American citizens gave him their total support to do whatever necessary to expel Soviet missiles from Cuba. To the contrary, in the public consciousness Cambodia was a distinctly marginal military undertaking that, whatever its actual significance as one factor in the Vietnam equation, widened the war to another country, and therefore must be bad.

Indeed, Nixon understood perfectly well that this would be the initial reaction by most Americans to the Cambodian invasion and, consequently, resolved to build it up to heroic proportions by rheto

-245-

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Nixon in the White House: The Frustration of Power
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents *
  • I - The President 3
  • II - Prelude at the Pierre 9
  • III - The President's Men 37
  • IV - A Very Personal Diplomacy 75
  • V - Nixon and Congress 103
  • VI - The Politics of Civil Rights 133
  • VII - Nixonomics 177
  • VIII - The Reformer 211
  • IX - Time of Troubles 245
  • X - May 1970 269
  • XI - Agnew, Nixon and the 1970 Campaign 303
  • XII - Starting Over Again 347
  • XIII - Meeting Adversity: 1971 383
  • Source Notes 411
  • Index 413
  • About the Authors *
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