U.S. troops had landed in Lebanon and two weeks later they were still there—men of many nations might damn that fact or praise it, but that did not change it. More than the blizzard of crisis words that crisscrossed the world last week, the simple fact of power—the physical presence of U.S. forces in the Middle East—shaped the world's thinking. Turkey and Iran, on the rims of the Nasser and Soviet empires, took heart at the news; many U.S. friends elsewhere joined neutralists in condemning the landings.

In general, most of the world...

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