To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

in precipitous decline. And for the entirety of his troubled term he would face a Congress dominated by the opposing Democratic Party.


Nixon and Watergate

Any consideration of Richard Nixon's place in American history, whether in his dealings with the United Nations or with any other matter, must take account of the Watergate scandal, insofar as the scandal indicates a style of governing that affected his entire presidency. Nixon became the first, and so far the only, president to resign from office. Whatever long-term influence he may have had on America's relationship with the United Nations, the consequences of this grandest of all scandals also had an impact, both immediate and long-term, on the way the United States approached world affairs and on its relationship to the United Nations.

There is a certain irony in the fact that, as Nixon fell from grace—from 1973 to his resignation in 1974—pundits announced that the presidency in recent times had become "imperial," that is, beyond or above the control of normal constitutional or institutional constraints. 40 The charge has persisted in some quarters into the late twentieth century. Such a claim is of interest to this study, given our regard for America's role in the larger world, and the truism that the president is, by constitutional mandate, the country's foreign policy leader. It is thus useful to remember that, within less than two years from an overwhelming electoral victory, within a year and a half after he had risen to the highest poll ratings of his long career ( January 1973, at the moment of the Paris peace agreement on Vietnam), Richard Nixon, under pressure from Congress, the courts, and an independent media (all provided for in the Constitution) left office a humiliated man. Moreover, it is difficult to find in the ensuing presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter much evidence of an "imperial presidency." Even the popular Reagan found himself reasonably restrained by opposition Democrats in Congress and by the Iran-Contra scandal. The president may be the most important player in the formulation and conduct of America's diplomacy, but as we can see throughout this study, he can be effective only by playing within the game's rules, provided in the intricate constitutional system bequeathed by our

____________________
40
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Imperial Presidency ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973).

-186-

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To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • To Create a New World? *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Frequently Used Citations *
  • Introduction *
  • 1: To Create a New World? American "Exceptionalism" and the Origins of the United Nations *
  • Dismissing the United Nations 7
  • The United Nations at Half Century 10
  • Woodrow Wilson and American Idealism 12
  • Traditional Arrangements of International Politics 17
  • The Twentieth-Century Crisis 21
  • 2: The Founders *
  • Fdr and the Un *
  • Yalta 44
  • Truman and the Un 47
  • Onset of the Cold War 53
  • Korea 69
  • 3: The Cold Warriors *
  • The President, His Foreign Policy Team, and the Un 84
  • The "Eisenhower Model" 91
  • Superpower Confrontation and the United Nations, 1953-1969 95
  • Cold War Tensions and UN Institutions 112
  • Jfk and the Un 118
  • Lyndon Johnson and the Un 131
  • Disarmament and Development 143
  • 4: The Realists' Ascent *
  • Nixon and the Un 176
  • 1968 184
  • Nixon and Watergate 186
  • "Nixinger" Diplomacy 188
  • Vietnam and Nixon 193
  • India and Pakistan, 1971 196
  • China 199
  • Yom Kippur 203
  • President Ford's Interregnum 208
  • 5: Two Sides of Idealism *
  • Carter and Foreign Policy 214
  • Carter, Human Rights, and the Un 219
  • Carter, China, and the Ussr 229
  • Breakthrough at Camp David 234
  • Carter and Africa 241
  • The Iranian Hostage Nightmare 248
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase One 254
  • The Middle East, Reagan, and the Un 262
  • Reagan and the World 268
  • Iran-Contra 274
  • Gorbachev 276
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase Two 280
  • 6: The New Moralists *
  • President Bush's UN Odyssey 290
  • President Bush's Use of the Un 298
  • President Clinton: the New Moralism and the Demands of Politics 315
  • Conclusion *
  • Appendix a Secretaries-General of the Un *
  • Appendix B U.S. Ambassadors to the Un *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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