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European reporters view America the topic of the eleven hundred and fifty fifth consecutive broadcast of the Georgetown University radio forum. Another in a series of educational and informative programs from Washington D.C. The Georgetown forum was founded in 1946. This is where Alice Fanning is speaking to you by transcription from the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of Georgetown University historic gesture would seat of learning in the nation's capital. Today's discussion will be European reporters view America participating are Mr. Steven Barber chief correspondent for The London Daily Telegraph Mr. John Le Grand national manager Johns France Press and Mr. Wolfgang Noto Washington bureau chief Dorsey pressie. Going to war. At the close of each year it's been customary for the Georgetown University forum to ask reporters to give their reactions to the events of the closing year and to make conjecture on the year
about to begin. In years past form has invited American reporters. Today we have invited reporters from Europe to give us their thoughts on American foreign policy as it is and as it might be under a new administration with ask them to present both views of their governments as well as their own personal reflections. And so gentlemen looking back over the past year and ahead to the impending change in the administration here what is the outlook for American foreign policy as as you see it Mr. Barbary. Well Frank Yeah I do feel and I think we in Britain feel rather apprehensive not so much because of the election of Mr. Nixon in fact hardly that atoll and in spite of the fact that you had this wonderful triumphant moon shot this last just over Christmas which was a glorious triumph for everybody for the whole of mankind. But we were apprehensive because it has been such a dreadful Yeah for
America by any standard that one cannot help but wonder whether America isn't going to become. But Americans generally are not going to desire to turn away from the world and its complications another new era of isolationism isn't about Dawn which will probably be very dangerous in fact certainly very dangerous for the health that I think is the feeling we have very well but I do think like Steve that the problem of isolationism is very important. It is it has started again in the last two or three years let's say. But I think that Mr. Nixon is now wise enough to realize that there is no isolationism possibly in the world that this country cannot leave alone and has to go to to do count with the other parts of the world with the other
countries. And there are so many crises which are already. Coming up and which are existing which years. Mr. Nixon is going to inherit the narrative is going to have them in his hands that the problems are going to be here and the problem of Aser seen in the news and he's not going to be as acute as one may fear. Thank you and Mr. Norton thinking about the outlook for next year one thing strikes me and this is I think it's clearly far easier today to predict the outcome of a flight to the moon than what will happen within the next 365 days as our world is in these days. Young's view on this question of whether there might be a kind of new isolationism.
I just think that the situation is such that this country even if it would like to could not with all to a great degree from the affairs of this world we are living in. And my feeling is that. Nixon to a certain degree with his background and his thinking. It sure is a very great degree of continuity for us following policy and the isolationist Twains which certainly are very clearly visible in this country will probably show themselves in that way that this country will be very very careful to get into new commitments and where it is not so much the case that they will with door form commitments they have entered into when I think I think you're right of Oregon did they would There is a point that the involvement
of these gantry all over the world started with a Republican administration. Mr John Foster Dulles was the one who was at the origin of many of those commitments taken all around the world and I think that the Republican president and the Republican administration coming over in a few days we certainly realized that there were many errors and too many commitments. They want to realize I think that this country cannot for many reasons be the years on Dharm of the world that they have to. To do to participate in the in the affairs of the world but try to reduce slightly in some ways in some parts of the world their commitments and where they have been dealing with the world problems. Well I wouldn't dispute any of that I fear I know that you cannot back out of out-of-work sort of policeman row even if you want to but there is a
distinct difference between being the kind of folk that Americans wear and say 960. When really everything seem to be there to be put to rights there was a sort of feeling of challenge of you dream and today sort of strange thing a kind of wilderness that's kind of the country I'm more concerned with the mood of the nation. And and incidentally we British can sympathize with it very well without trying to be condescending in any way believe me because we've been through pretty much this sort of thing too for years and years and years I remember being kicked solemnly and lectured by my American friends on how we would get British bossing everybody about. Now it's your turn to take the knocks and we know how nasty it is. And I just hope for the mood of the nation will allow Mr Nixon to carry on with the tasks to which he has set himself. He spelled them out he was not backing away from anything in his in his election
speeches. If you read them carefully he made a lot of very sound solid points he's not running away from anything. Yes you're right but I think that Mr Nixon first and realized. The bases of international relations may be the United Nations and he has given a very great importance at least in words to the U.N. and I'm sure he's going to follow that line. The other problems we've come one after another and he has already one or two which are just very hot and they are very he's going to have to deal with those problems and with other countries because they are commitments of the United States but they're going to be solved by us alone. When you're dealing with this specifically I'm if I may interrupt just a moment which which cause this apprehension that you fix brash about about the United States possibly reverting to an era of isolationism. What
specifically causes you to think this or are there specific stories or just a general fear. Well it isn't very important I think to sort of cite specific speeches or statements by leaders but this is the impression one gets. It's very pervasive at all levels. It was particularly interesting says during the election campaign I think all three of us had the good fortune to go all over the country and meet Americans at all levels and kinds and this is after all anybody should remember democracy and it does matter what the man in the street says and thinks and feels. And so it's not a question of what big people are saying it's what the question of the collective national will I feel this is quite quite striking in this regard. Well and I think Stephen it's not really only a war question that's point up service here in this country. I think it is very high up in the mind
often Lask when he leaves his office he is very much afraid of a growing tendency or isolationist thinking here in this country. Well you know I'm not sensitive to this isolationist thinking. Apparently as you are I know that's what I'm trying to get at what specifically causes you just to say it because we are making an effort to get out of Vietnam for example is that it. Well I think. We can all agree on the one thing that Vietnam is a turning point in all of us but prostration with this war is mainly behind birth Smoot in the company of which your Stephen has been talking about. Your opinion that you're perfectly right but that I think there is also the reaction to the internal problems that this country had faced these years which were dominant apart from the Viet Nam purely Vietnam affair. The reaction of the people is we have
our problems inside the country and they are very big they're tremendous. We haven't solved our problems basic problems yet and maybe we ought to get back into our more into our own affairs and deal with the affairs of the others. But you think so Steve. Oh definitely. I mean for instance you would take symbolic things of every big cut down on the on foreign aid Congress the president always ask for more than they let him have and he always asked less each last. Now there is no reason in the world America should pour out foreign aid indefinitely. I quite understand that but this is the response of the Congress to the will of the people. People are always asking me first why don't you people stand on your own feet why do you have to always be coming around to ask for help and so on. This is they very frequently don't realize by the way that most European countries are not.
In the Delta line at any mall. And of course as soon as they do or they discover that they're mediately resent it and say well why don't you doing more to help us in Vietnam etc. etc.. They don't obviously believe what I read was as well look you know I was the villain was in perilous beasts of the past you could scarcely expect us to spoil your fine upstanding activity by associating ourselves with your it was surely so long hands and now there's a coarse measure of insincerity in that but nonetheless the fact is that people do not understand why it is that everybody didn't climb aboard and join euro in say the Viet Nam operation. And let's take the next issue which is to face your take the Middle East. This is this is right in front of us as we said his major problem and I don't know how the new administration is going to bail itself out of that one. After all the Arabs are. Bray right
when they say that the United States practically created Israel so did the United Nations. They're perfectly right in saying that the United States go to bed out of that. I foresee a very very frustrating problem which is going to worry people here in the coming months if not longer and in the end it will be the same of frustration and even better news about the whole thing and almost bizarre to wash your hands of it. Let's face it. You do want to wash your hands of Viet Nam. I mean look at what Senator McGovern is saying. You would really think he wants to change sides. You really think he seems to prefer Hanoi to Saigon. Now this sort of thing is I think the McGovern thing is very symptomatic of the mood. Well I think I think you're right. I think the main problem which is coming is not Vietnam anymore. I think Vietnam. It is a very difficult problem a disease problem that is permanent. At least it was permanent and it is coming up. But the main
problem as you said Stevie is certainly Middle East and that's a that's a very hard but they do if it misses. But are we going to have I think Vietnam to turn has been taken on here that I think the den has been taken in fact it has been taken by President Johnson in March I think the train these are reversible and the president has proved it but to now because he has been following up the trend that he started on the 21st of March. Of course the problem is going to be long the solution is not going to be easy and this country is going to be frustrated in many. And the people the public opinion of this country is going to going to be frustrated of the military victory. He's going to be frustrated of many many things perhaps some people food in this country would be the result of the war in Vietnam of the following up of the Vietnam political situation. So it's the Southeast Asia. But.
At least that wore us on the end. Let's face it. I think the Middle East made me break up into a war which would be very dangerous and I think this is the main problem that the new administration is going to face. However I don't know because as you say the problem of Middle East and Israel in itself is just a problem that has been created by the United Nations with the blessing of the United States I was correspondent at the U.N. when the strain was created and I must say that the main force behind the creation of Israel was certainly the United State. There is one joyful thing about it of course and merit is that it was not whether Russia or the United States recognized Israel first. I think the Russian should be constantly reminded of this fact. So they should be forced into joining with the United States in producing some kind of sane settlement of this terrible tragic situation.
Agree entirely. But the problem is who is going to force them into it. Yes that's quite true but the sheer fear of the catastrophes that could occur. I mean this is one thing living under the cloud of as we all do nuclear annihilation this does crystallize the mind baffling doesn't it. Yes but the emotional aspect of the Middle East situation has always been absolutely tremendous It's always been the you know you talk to the Arabs of the 80s you always have the same feeling of a very great emotional position a very great emotional problem that you can't solve and there is also the emotion means human being in many ways and you have the emotion of the men leads to the Jews who've been in Israel have been making and you can trade theirs and they haven't been easy to deal with. They have created something in the midst of a hostile world which is Europe world and.
This is a very difficult situation and the Arabs also have been against Israel since the beginnings of what is going to happen to how the males are going to react to those emotions that Israel is being creating. Great words absolutely clear to me as an old Middle East hand. You know you've got to move very fast because the longer this thing drags on. Right if we've got to the United States and Russia both as well as the rest of the middle sized countries have got to move very fast to get something settled on this because the longer this thing drags on the greater the hostility is the more the extremists get into the saddle in on both sides of the so-called armistice line and the more impossible is going to be to get a moderate solution. This last summer has Arabs have been telling me Lebanese Unfortunately we're now of course obviously going to be pressed into the extremist campus of thanks to this latest episode of Beirut.
But it was a Lebanese are quite an important one who tell me that really what we want is for the United States and Russia to agree to force us both into a compromise. And there was a feeling that such a solution was in the making. How true this was I'd have but this was desired by the moderates on both sides. Now what chance of that. What can we expect Mr. Nixon to make a very serious move on the highest level to talk about this problem over seriously was the Washington. I think you made some remarks during the campaign that he wanted to kind of see over the years of summit meetings and among the problems he listed high up on the agenda was the Middle East. And yes I and I don't see how at an early stage some general agreement might come out of there. Well there was a proposal for a four part meeting which came from a country
with which I don't know whether the Russians have said years. The British have said nothing. In fact just a wish and said no and Parliament not so long ago and I don't think these country has just taken a position it is not a formal proposal according to what the rate is just a suggestion but that might help I don't know. But because as you say Steve something has to be done quickly to get out of that position that we are now. No I personally. So I meant that maybe that may be the way that I would think that they're meeting up to par for par. Preferably for I guess said we have our farms kingdom as old hands in the area. This is like the Super Bowl. Superpower we've got our friends our clients and the Americans and Russians have manifested a vast military bar. Yes I mean I can understand that Wilson of course wouldn't say yes to anything and if he felt
he'd had the nod from Washington I'm entirely on your side in this John thank you. Both scenarios implied at the beginning that we would get into very briefly a man I ask you how you regard your own country's foreign policies and execution thereof. Well I've always taken it rather as a rule not to be too critical about my own Foreign my own country's policies when I am a broad but you would know that according to the Gallup poll and other sort of public opinion polls Mr. Wilson's government would not stand a very good chance of being returned to office if an election were held today. One of them classifies myself as in the majority view regarding the government in office at the present time. I'm very sorry it got in and sorrier still is too. But I am loyal to it you understand loyal member of a loyal member of the opposition.
I agree with your opening statement and that it's very difficult and personally I've never tried to criticize the foreign policy of my government when I am abroad. The problem you know it demean the goal as a strong foreign policy whether you agree or not it is with it is it has been shaken. No doubt it has been shaken in Europe because of the crises it has been shaken on the financial and military side this pict with the last crisis we had in France in the last month or two. It has been shaken. Also all the not only Europe but won't speak about the Common Market or things like that but when they mean Europe I mean on the Atlantic problem it has been shaken because the cause of a crisis just brought into the open the
fact that the alliance was not exactly perhaps what you would to be perhaps some people criticize the French because the French got out of the a lot of the loans but that piece of the military commitments although although as you know the French Navy and the French air force are still buddies beating him and you lose. Still it has slowed down. No doubt some ideas of some people certainly I don't see a vision of the goal they don't know but getting out of the alliance we didn't know in general in France people don't want to get out of the alliance. I don't know where for Germany this is a special year we are in. We have elections upcoming in September and the big question is what will the two parties who now form the coalition government do in the future. Of
course both are trying very very hard now to get a majority out of the election the outcome is completely open. But what all this means for foreign policy is of course that there's a lot of big going but not too much of substance to be expected in a situation like this. If we think back off Paris we have faired one great disappointment and this was that the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia actually has shattered one important element which chairs the wall in German politics over the last two years and there was a new approach to all the Eastern European countries. Now Billy Bob is still very much determined to continue this policy that he knows that there are no
emetic steps open anymore and that he must be very very careful. Well I don't want to seem sort of reveling in the Czech crisis goodness knows but I can't help feeling that we ought to be quite grateful to the Russians for having brought us up short brought us to realize Asia has always been affective life which we have always chosen to remember which is that the Communists do believe that their side is going to win and that they don't win by free coffee and that they have got this idea of Aust politic of building bridges to the to the east and all that is all very nice indeed and I mean I'm all for it if it will work but what it has shown as schall is that we had better be quite certain we understand who is running the show in the Kremlin.
This is the rule about the. The lesson of the Czechoslovak crisis wasn't so much the military thing as the discovery that we didn't really know who was in charge on the other side and it's high time we did something collectively on our intelligence about that. Seems to me. Yes I think you're right I think there is a point also that has to be brought that the only stick in many was coming East world or at least Europe in coming used word and Moscow could not allow freedom to get into the western most part of it by listing with next door was Germany very economy strong very liberal to the reaction of my scar can be explained in some ways even if you don't use it could be explained to me implicit in what you're saying. From an American point of view it's an admission that maybe your people were growing a little shaft on their regular time when we were saying
it's a mistake to do so. Come along sir. I remember the day you read President Johnson it was all in favor of this Aust polity that is to say that Willy Brandt was well in favor of building bridges are they OK. So was the depending on a lot of it work. President Johnson was does his magic anybody in fact he was the other I would have said it was there but not to the degree of withdrawing from NATO. Well let something else let's let's another point that's withdrawing from the military and commitments of nature not from the body to call alliance that's another point you see because the world was said that the alliances the west in France is a Western power and has to stay with the West. We have just about a minute quarter last remaining and I wonder if in that time together or one of you could tell us what you would like to see us do in our in our foreign policy to
overcome this apprehension your expressed the beginning about possible reversion to isolationism. Let me make one point that we have been. People are discussing the tension about new isolationism of this country but let me conclude on somewhat more positive note there's also some expectation especially in Germany that the Nixon government will turn much more attention to the European scene then the Johnson government under the impact of Vietnam has been doing. Yes you're right and we're going to I'm sorry to interrupt you it's true also in France that there is a great expectation with Nixon no doubt I think that their source said Sure in Britain amongst those who rarely understand what we are sentimental or inclined to be more attached to Democrats I don't know why but we do generally feel that Mr. Nixon is more likely to be consistent and consistency
is the key to policy. Gentlemen let's hope it's internationally a very Happy New Year thank you very much Mr. Steven Barber chief correspondent for The London Daily Telegraph Mr. John Le Grand national manager John France Press and Mr. Wolfgang auteur Washington bureau chief there at your pressie I can Tor. You have attended the weekly discussion program a Georgetown University radio forum broadcaster which was transcribed in the Raymond Rice studio on the campus of historic Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Next week you will hear discussed future scientists and their teachers. Our panel at that time will consist of Dr. Phoebe impling science supervisor Arlington County school system Dr. Morris Lycoming Washington Academy of Science and mr grover Sherman the National Bureau of Standards. This program has been presented in the interest of public education by Georgetown University at Washington D.C.. We welcome your comments and suggestions address the station two
issues to which you are listening. Your moderator. WALLACE fanning this program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Georgetown forum
European reporters on U.S.
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Georgetown University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features Steven Barber, chief correspondent, London Daily Telegraph; Jean Legranges, national manager, Agence-France Press; and Wolfgang Nolte, Washington bureau chief, Deutsche Presse Agentur.
Series Description
Moderated by Wallace Fanning, this series presents a panel of guests discussing a variety of topics. The radio series launched in 1946. It also later aired on WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C. These programs aired 1968-69.
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Global Affairs
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Guest: Barber, Stephen, 1921-1980
Guest: Legranges, Jean
Guest: Nolte, Wolfgang
Moderator: Fanning, Wallace
Producing Organization: Georgetown University
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-51-642 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:13
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