Diplomacy: Strong Aftershocks

Reagan's deepening troubles worry friends and delight foes

During the two years of Watergate, many foreigners never really understood its near paralyzing grip on U.S. public attention. They assumed that the scandal was nothing much more than politics as usual. Many Europeans, for example, thought Americans were being unsophisticated, moralistic and, above all, naive to force a President to resign over what looked to them like a minor matter. The scandal now rocking Washington—involving as it does seemingly hypocritical diplomacy, arms deals and the secret funding of a guerrilla army—is much more comprehensible to the rest of the world, even if some of its features seem as bizarre in...

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