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"Trilateralism"-nature abhors labels but men insist on them-is the latest attempt both to describe and to prescribe for the relationship between the United States and the other principal democratic, industrialized, market-economy states. Under the aegis of the so-called Trilateral Commission-an organization of influential private citizens from these countries-it has been the focus of a well-organized effort over the past four years to propose a set of solutions to many of the principal common problems of international society. Trilateralism has explicitly been embraced by the Democratic candidate for the presidency as a central theme of his foreign policy. Recently it has also become a staple of Secretary of State Kissinger's speeches. Its connotations of symmetry and order-the triangle is one of the most aesthetically satisfying of geometrical forms -contrast strikingly with the pervasive lack of evident order in human affairs.
"Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it." The old saw about the weather might well be applied to America's China policy. After the dramatic events of 1971-73 which initiated the long overdue process of "normalization" of relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, the past three years have witnessed a lull in the relationship. At the start of President Richard Nixon's second term, the establishment of formal diplomatic relations was expected before the 1976 presidential election. The Sino-American joint communiqué of February 22, 1973, authorizing the parties to open liaison offices in each other's capital, and the termination of American military operations in Vietnam in early 1973 seemed to clear the path for a serious effort at normalization.
It is impossible to plumb the depths of the Arab-Israeli conflict, not to speak of formulating proposals for its solution, if no true understanding exists of the full significance of its cardinal characteristic-the extreme asymmetry of its two sides. This asymmetry is manifest not merely in one or two, but in all, of its aspects. It is obvious in such objective data as the comparison between Arab and Israeli territories (of the Arab League states 8,500,000 square miles; of Israel, including presently administered areas, about 28,500); or of the relative population statistics (of the Arab League states 134,000,000; of Israel 3,500,000 citizens); not to mention their contrasting actual and potential wealth.
On November 10, 1976, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution declaring that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." Seventy-two votes were recorded in favor of the Resolution, and 35 against. There were 32 abstentions, and three countries-Romania, South Africa and Spain-for different reasons, were recorded as absent.
Where are America's formal or de facto energy policies leading us? Where might we choose to go instead? How can we find out?
For as long as most people can remember, a glance out of the corner of one's eye to the upper half of North America would bring warm reassurance that things were moving quietly and gracefully somewhere in the world. Alphonse and Gaston could invariably be heard out there bowing and scraping, and toasting their long undefended border. Today, official devotees of this stately two-step are still meeting and greeting, but few take the old shuffle at face value. Instead, private conversations in directors' board rooms, in expensive lunch clubs, in government cafeterias and in faculty lounges have a distinctly worried and wary undertone.
As the nuclear age lengthens and the opportunity for viewing it in perspective grows, its essential features seem increasingly related to successive eight-year American presidential administrations. Measures to control nuclear weapons have been seriously considered in each of the first four postwar "octades," and there has been an acceleration in the number of agreements reached-most notably in limiting nuclear tests, slowing nuclear proliferation, restraining the quantitative growth of the Soviet and American nuclear arsenals, and restricting defenses against nuclear weapons.
The long-range cruise missile has touched off an arms control debate as controversial as the one seven years ago surrounding the MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle). Although it is by no means a "superweapon" which can give its possessor a credible first-strike threat, the new cruise missile's revolutionary characteristics-particularly its accuracy, near-undetectable size, and multiplicity of firing ranges and launch platforms-threaten to undermine the basic principles underlying successful U.S.-Soviet arms control agreements to date. Thus, the cruise missile-even more than the MIRV-puts the immediate future of SALT into jeopardy.
South Africa's external relations since World War II have developed on the basis of an interaction between external and internal factors. The external factors have included the heightened consciousness, particularly in the Western world (and reflected in the United Nations Charter), of human rights as an issue affecting international relations; the anticolonial movement, particularly as expressed in the achievement of independence throughout Africa; and the cold war conflict between the Western and Communist powers. The inability of South Africa's internal political system to adapt adequately to these far-reaching changes in the postwar world caused a progressive deterioration in its external relations, resulting in increasing international isolation on a political level (though not economically).
Southern Africa these days is like a Chinese puzzle. Rhodesia is the first box, exposed on all sides, its lacquer chipped and lusterless. Lift the lid and there is Namibia, waiting its turn. Open up Namibia and South Africa comes into view. Prise the top off South Africa and, a non-Chinese surprise, two boxes lie side by side, one black and the other white. The black box is sealed tight but its shape has been distorted by a series of internal explosions and it no longer rests passively beside its neighbor. The white box also fails to open but that's because it's solid. On it there is an inscription: Afrikaner Nationalism. Therein the muscle and sinew, the visions and the nightmares of Africa's only white tribe are compounded.
In November 1782, during the peace negotiations with Great Britain, John Adams talked with one of the British commissioners about the future relationship of the American republic with the European political system. In his diary he reproduced the exchange.
Like the last streak of lightning in a summer storm, the Chile Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence illuminates the contours of recent relations between the United States and Latin America, even as that landscape is changing. With impressive detail and understated force, the Report not only documents what the United States did in Chile from 1963 through 1973; it also illustrates the hegemonic presumption upon which this country has long based its policies toward Latin America and the Caribbean.