The SALT I Treaty wasn't the only contribution Nixon made to reducing war tensions during the Cold War. He got rid of biological weapons, as well.
In 1972, the US, USSR, and 70 other nations signed a treaty banning the research, development, and production of biological weapons, and ordered all existing stores of biological weapons destroyed. All available evidence suggests that our country kept this pledge to the letter.
Nixon also signed the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia, thus ensuring that Mutually Assured Destruction would always be both mutual and assured, two necessary components for nuclear deterrence to work (George W. Bush would later renounce the ABM Treaty, the only arms limitation treaty either side ever renounced).
Certainly, Nixon made his share of mistakes, but he also accomplished a lot of good things along the way. I agree with Slayer, he deserves forgiveness and rehabilitation.
"Nixon did not start the war on cancer. Signing an act to increase funding is not a start."
Holy ****! It is generally viewed as the beginning of the war on cancer! Which means only a few *** clowns that don't want give Nixon credit for **** deny it!
Heh, thanks, Slayer. Walt, very cool opening line above, the Ceasar thing.
FWIW, I think Walt's a very smart guy and a formidable debater. I find the vast majority of his posts to be clear eyed and sober.
Where I differ with him is that Walt tends to focus exclusively on winning those debates. While I sometimes get polarized into pursuing that same 'victory at any cost' policy (or too mad to do anything else), I try hard to resist it.
When the better angels of my nature are in charge, I engage in debate to learn new things and better understand the reasons behind points of view different from my own. I suspect Walt views debate more like a boxing match, with each round scored and a winner totalled up at the end of the fight.
1. Back on Nixon Stuff.
Walt, it's important to note that Slayer's only proposing forgiveness, not forgetfulness, about Watergate. He's not saying the Watergate break-ins weren't crimes or that the cover-up was a good idea. He's just pointing out something I agree with: there's two sides to the Nixon ledger, and it seems unfair to consider only the bad side when evaluating the man.
For example, Walt, you and I both admire President Clinton, but I don't think either of us would say he didn't have a two sided ledger, himself. It's just that both of us believe his "bad" side of Monica, lying in a deposition, etc., is dwarfed by his long list of "good side" accomplishments.
If we agree that both sides of the ledger have to be considered when evaluating President Clinton, then wouldn't it be inconsistent for us NOT to weigh both sides of the ledger in evaluating President Nixon?
PS: I thought of another good point for Nixon: His was the final word in determining whether the Israelis or Arabs won the Yom Kippur war of 1973. When the Israelis were in big trouble and screaming for help, he ordered gigantic airlifts of US military hardware, which allowed the Israelis to fend off defeat and then turn the tide. Because Israel kicked such Arab butt in the '67 Six Day War, it's easy to overlook how close they came to losing the '73 Yom Kippur war.
Et tu Brute??? He was guilty of multiple FELONIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His policy of stringing out the war FAILED and led to thousands of American deaths and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese deaths.
And Walrath. I agree with Don that media helped us "lose" that war. On top of that when we left (pretty much no choice, nobody was behind the war anymore) the pictures of the Vietnamese holding on to our choppers when we were leaving was saddening. What occurred to them after we left? And that was the whole reason we were there to begin with.