DIPLOMACY: Traffic Jam

In the White House driveway there was something close to a traffic jam. Scarcely had the Shah of Iran driven away in his flag-bedecked limousine than Australia's Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pulled up to the door. Yet even as Whitlam walked out the door, he could see that disk-of-the-sun flags were already flying for the next official guest, Japan's Kakuei Tanaka.

For Richard Nixon, the visits were an opportunity to indulge in his favorite subject, foreign relations, and perhaps also to divert his attention—and the public's—from the roiling problems of Watergate. Indeed,...

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