forces of history does not mean blind submission to history." 90 The Yom Kippur war had educated Kissinger and had left the ashes from which he would rise to the heights of his tireless Middle East diplomacy.
That Kissinger would finish off his service in the executive branch shuttling about the Middle East is noteworthy, given his professed unfamiliarity with the area at the beginning of Nixon's term. 91 The president, on the other hand, was mindful of the painful history of this region, and, for example, had a more sanguine view of UN Resolution 242 than Kissinger. During his speech to the General Assembly in 1969, Nixon had found it propitious to "point up anew the urgency of a stable peace" in the Middle East. "The United States continues to believe that the U.N. cease-fire resolutions define the minimal conditions that must prevail... [and that] the Security Council resolution of November 1967  charts the way to that settlement." 92 Kissinger would also come around to this view, following the drama of October 1973.
After Nixon left office and Gerald Ford assumed the presidency in August 1974, Kissinger continued to play the most important role in foreign relations. President Ford's first public statement included a reassurance to the American people and world leaders that he intended to continue Nixon's foreign policies under Kissinger's firm guidance. The new president demonstrated the same willingness to go it alone in international affairs. He did so, for example, in May 1975, when Cambodia seized an American cargo vessel, the Mayaguez. He did not seek a Security Council session or use UN back-channel routes to negotiate a release of the ship. Ignoring the War Powers Act, passed in 1973 over President Nixon's veto, by which Congress gained authority to limit or approve the president's power to engage in undeclared war, Ford ordered an assault to free the crew. As it happened, by the time of the rescue attempt all the Americans had been released. And since thirty‐ eight Americans would lose their lives in the pointless attack, Ford came in for some criticism and derision at home and in UN bodies. 93____________________