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

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

Reagan insisted that he remembered little of this; Colonel North, in his autobiography, insists that "PresidentReagan knew everything." 166 Although there were clear and serious violations of law and of the Constitution, no somber call for impeachment was heard in the land. Colonel North faced charges in court and was subsequently convicted, but his sentence was suspended as a consequence of his earlier immunized testimony before Congress. 167


Gorbachev

Despite the gravity of the Iran-Contra scandal, Reagan left office as one of the most popular presidents in history. 168 If he surfaced from scandal so unscathed, it may have had as much to do with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev as with anything. While there is a conservative refrain insisting that Reagan alone planned and accomplished the end of the cold war, 169 one has some difficulty imagining the dramatic international events of the late 1980s without according considerable weight to the strategy, skill, and determination of Gorbachev. Archie Brown, who has done a careful study of the Reagan-Gorbachev period, points out that Reagan's early policy of harshness actually hardened the Soviet Union. Moreover, it was not Reagan who brought Gorbachev to power, but rather internal Soviet politics; and, in the end, Brown persuades, the "Gorbachev factor" was much more decisive in ending the cold war. 170

As we noted earlier, critics had pointed out that, for his entire first term, Reagan was the only president in half a century not to meet with

____________________
166
Oliver North, with William Novak, Under Fire: An American Story ( New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 12.
167
A comprehensive study of the Iran-Contra scandal is Theodore Draper, A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs ( New York: Hill and Wang, 1991). See also Lawrence E. Walsh, Iran-Contra: The Final Report ( New York: Random House, 1994), and The Tower Commission Report ( New York: Random House, 1987).
168
Reagan's approval rating at the end of his term was 63 percent, exceeded only by Franklin Roosevelt's 68 percent. Adriana Bosch, Reagan: An American Story ( New York: TV Books, 1998), 332.
169
Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union ( New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994).
170
Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 227-228.

-276-

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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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