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

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

raids in the North. 60 U Thant's successor, Kurt Waldheim, had, in his first year in office, issued a public statement urging the cessation of U.S. bombing raids. 61 In both instances, the Nixon administration either reacted with sharp disapproval or ignored the entreaties. As U Thant ruefully conceded, "The United Nations as an organization has been powerless to intervene" in Vietnam. 62


India and Pakistan, 1971

One of the few episodes in which the Nixon administration showed some interest in UN involvement was a dangerous clash between India and Pakistan in late 1971. Even here, though, the president vacillated between encouraging UN action and avoiding the world body for fear that it might complicate superpower politics.

In 1947 a partition of the Asian subcontinent had created India and Pakistan out of the imperial domain formerly controlled by Great Britain. The division, and the ensuing flood of refugees from one of the new countries to another, resulted in bloody clashes between Muslims and Hindus. Additionally, Muslim Pakistan was separated into an eastern and western region, each bordering the larger India.

By the early 1970s strains between Pakistan and India had become commingled with even larger geopolitical tensions. In October 1962, open hostilities had broken out between China and India over contested boundaries in the Himalayas, and bitterness persisted for the following decade. Further complicating the picture were armed border clashes in 1969 between China and the Soviet Union along the Amur river. Thus, with the Nixon administration's overtures to the Chinese, along with its apparently charitable attitude toward Pakistan, India began to worry about a U.S.-China-Pakistan alignment and sought closer relations with the Soviet Union as a counterbalance. The Soviets, with their own worries about a China-U.S. rapprochement, responded positively, and on August 9, 1971, the two countries signed the Soviet-India Friendship Treaty.

____________________
60
Press statements, May 5, 1970, and November 23, 1970, "Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations; U Thant, 1968-1971, VII" ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 353, 379. Hereafter cited as PPSG.
61
Waldheim, Eye of the Storm, 117.
62
PPSG, U Thant, 41.

-196-

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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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