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Every time the Palestinian resistance is clobbered, or appears to be so, there is new hope in some quarters that the Palestinian component of the Arab-Israeli conflict will somehow disappear from the Middle Eastern scene. Such was the case after the showdown in Jordan in 1970-71, and the Syrian intervention in Lebanon in 1976; such is the case today after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. However, the hope will remain elusive because it is based on a fallacy. This is that the salience of the Palestinian component of the Arab-Israeli conflict is necessarily a function of the organizational strength or military prowess of the Palestinians.
Fourteen people were told beforehand of Nasser's decision to nationalize the Suez Canal in July 1956; only two knew in advance of the decision to expel the Soviet experts from Egypt in July 1972, and then only a few hours before the Soviet Ambassador was informed. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat himself admits that he told no one but his Foreign Minister of his dramatic decision to go to Jerusalem last November.
The leaders of the world's great industrial powers do not always share common views on economic policy issues these days. But on one subject they are certainly agreed: there has rarely been a time when the art of governance was more demanding and the choices of policy more circumscribed.
The sustained and alarming depreciation of the U.S. dollar against some major European currencies and the Japanese yen during 1977 and the early part of 1978 has ushered in a new element of instability in the shaky international monetary system. One of the most critical effects of the dollar devaluation has been a new and unwelcome pressure on the real price of crude oil, which has been steadily shrinking since 1973 (despite the two 10-percent-upward adjustments in October 1975 and December 1976).
After almost five years of breakthroughs, setbacks and mostly stalemate, the Soviet Union and the United States succeeded last September in agreeing on the outlines and some of the details of a new strategic arms limitation accord. Since then, several other details of the proposed SALT agreement have been ironed out. Although it is unclear whether the two sides will be able to complete a new agreement this year, the terms of the proposed accord have already triggered a wide-ranging debate in the United States and among allied states in Western Europe over whether its contents serve American security interests and those of the West as a whole.
By the early to mid-1980s, the United States will be unable to repose confidence in the ability of all save a small fraction of its silo-housed missile force to ride out a Soviet first nuclear strike. The possible implications of this early predictable development, and the policy choices that it poses for the U.S. government, are the subjects of this article.
The policy of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) today is based on the conviction that Italy is in the grip of a very serious crisis and that the labor movement must do everything in its power to overcome this crisis. To transform Italian society in the direction of socialism - which remains our ideal - we must emerge from this crisis.
Latin America is the forgotten part of the world. For all its potential wealth and present predicaments, it attracts neither the world's attention nor its imagination. The world sees a subcontinent with two unattractive poles, Cuba and Chile. It sees a mounting record of repression, of political incompetence and military assertiveness. Unlike Asia, the Middle East or Africa, it is for the moment an area of insulated trouble; the great powers are not actively seeking to upset the present balance. The world is content to have it remain in relative oblivion.
Jimmy Carter has helped make human rights a more important factor in U.S. foreign policy and a matter of greater concern in most countries. What that concern can amount to is another matter. The perennial questions that have plagued the attempted marriage of morality and American diplomacy persist. Whose morality and at what cost to whom?
The Carter Administration's policy concerning the normalization of relations with Vietnam has grown increasingly enigmatic. In the early months of the new Administration, there seemed to be ample evidence of a firm commitment to the rapid normalization of relations. The dispatch of the Woodcock mission to Hanoi and, in May 1977, the initiation of discussions with the Vietnamese in Paris seemed to foreshadow the early establishment of ties with Hanoi.
If one is to credit the participants, the conversations that took place early in May between Prime Minister Fukuda of Japan and senior officials of the Carter Administration went swimmingly indeed. Japanese officials proclaimed the Prime Minister's visit to Washington "a great success." And after a luncheon meeting with Fukuda, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance declared: "The relations between our two countries are excellent. The strength of that relationship is the cornerstone - or pillar - on which our Asian policy is founded and it will remain so."