Forty years have passed since Richard M. Nixon was ousted by the U.S. Congress.
History seems to be repeating itself like a farce as the ghost of impeachment once again circles the White House trying to frighten Barack Obama. Forty years have passed since Richard M. Nixon was ousted by a Congress that denounced him for initially covering up and then lying about the scandal caused by the break-in of government agents into the Democratic National Committee headquarters located in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. Nixon was less fortunate than Bill Clinton, the president-philosopher whose phrase “oral sex is not sex,” offered as an excused for having used his office to receive oral sex from Monica Lewinsky on several occasions, convinced Congress, who exempted the former president of guilt.
The commemoration of Nixon's thunderous outing led to the appearance of a dozen books that for the most part encouraged reflection about the administration of that controversial former president. Some objected to his domestic judgment, during a time full of incidents, to repress public protests, which were becoming more frequent and dangerous during his administration. However, everyone praises the scope of his foreign policy, demonstrated by the 3,700 hours of his recorded telephone and face-to-face conversations in his office, which highlight his emotional crises, almost paranoid, plotting against real and imaginary enemies. This important documentation pinpoints him as the main author of risky maneuvers, which in mid-Cold War changed the geopolitical design of the world. This material relegates the talkative secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, to mere executioner and not the leader of this new diplomacy--- shrouded in clandestine missions---that laid the foundation for recognizing the People's Republic of China, a better understanding of the new Vietnamese reality, and peace talks with the Soviet Union.
Less fortunate was Nixon's relationship with Latin America, the “backyard” where vile military dictatorships, which perpetuated all kinds of human rights violations, were put in place. Let's not forget that the coup d’état on September 11, 1973 that set up Augusto Pinochet in La Moneda Palace was orchestrated by the CIA, which occurred following orders given to Kissinger by Nixon with this obscenity: "Give him [Allende] a kick in the ass." Prior to that, in 1958, Nixon, then vice president, visited the region and arrived at La Paz, where he rode the streets in a convertible, looking splendid, with President Hernan Siles Zuaso. Then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, when he recommended that necessary visit in a memorandum dated May 6, 1958, noted the trip was "for the singular and important social and economic reform to which the U.S. is strongly committed to and that President Siles, bravely, carried forward."* Nixon’s trip through Caracas was less favorable due to the deluge of spit and stones from a mob of angry citizens. A hostile Nixon was also entrusted, in 1959, with listening to young Fidel Castro, who was visiting the U.S. and had expected to meet President Dwight Eisenhower. This was an unrealized meeting that could have changed the course of history because Fidel, with his pride wounded, turned to Moscow's more receptive ears to propose his social revolution.
I have re-examined Nixon's book "Real War" and in his writing find Nixonian judgments that are solid and that in the present context could be applied to the dynamics of balance of worldwide power.
*Editor’s note: the original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.
About this publication
|Editor||Carlos Orías B.|
|Director||Claudia Benavente P.|
La Razón is a daily newspaper published in La Paz, Bolivia. The newspaper began publication on 1 March 1990.