THE plan yielded little drama and few new answers, but it made nearly all the old questions negotiable. It provided a cautious one-year timetable for ending the Viet Nam war, but assured Americans that no one expected their "unlimited patience" in bringing an end to the longest war in U.S. history. Almost every careful statement became a suit for good faith from two wary audiences: the Communist leadership in Viet Nam and the U.S. public. Between them—and under intense pressure from both—stood Richard Nixon. Last week he addressed those two groups in his first comprehensive statement on the war since...

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