Diplomacy: A Place to Talk

Like two boxers at the opening bell, the U.S. and North Viet Nam warily circled the ring, each testing the other's reach. Each side was determined to yield nothing in advance, and each was probing for an opening that would lead to a position of strength. Lyndon Johnson characteristically described the situation in the midst of a conversation in his White House office. Striking a prizefighter's pose, he said: "I'm holding my left hand open and out in front of me, saying, 'Come on, let's talk.'

And I'm keeping my right up high...

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