THE COLD WAR: Taking It to the U.N.

In a slablike, loudspeaker-shaped building in Manhattan this week the 81-nation conclave, which romantics like to call "the parliament of man," addressed itself to a historic task. The problem before the U.N. General Assembly—the persistent, nitroglycerin-like instability of the Middle East—was infinitely complex and the potential consequences of another Mideastern explosion were incalculable. Yet, for all that, the great majority of delegates went to the fifth special session in the 13-year history of the Assembly armed with nothing more than what the Japanese engagingly called "a policy of positive wait-and-see."


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