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Trump goes abroad. Nixon tried the same thing.

Nixon took off to the Middle East in a strong international position

Rachel Bronson | NYT 

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

President Trump left for the and Europe today, amid a domestic firestorm that is fanned by concerns over intelligence leaks and hints of obstruction of justice. Leaving home for foreign lands may seem to be just what the president needs, and his advisers can be forgiven for believing that a respite from domestic could be useful: Mr. Trump will probably be well received by foreign leaders, particularly those in the

But there are lessons from history that suggest that using trips to quell investigations at home doesn’t work. Indeed, when President Richard went to and Israel in June 1974 to change the domestic narrative and score an victory, it failed spectacularly. He resigned a month later.

took off to the in a strong position. He was making real progress on nuclear arms control with the Russians. The United States and the Soviet Union had recently signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. And during the trip to the Middle East, Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev indicated that Moscow was ready to sign a ban on underground nuclear testing.

The 1973 war in the was over, the United States had weathered the Arab oil embargo, and and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, were consolidating America’s position in the region, by marginalizing Soviet influence and redefining local relationships. Nixon’s trip to Israel, the first of a sitting United States president, came after months of intensive “shuttle diplomacy” to secure peace in the region. In Egypt he received a hero’s welcome and concluded an agreement with Cairo that would help pry Egypt from its dependence on Moscow. In Saudi Arabia, was the king’s guest at a lavish banquet in the president’s honor.

The potential for breakthroughs was tantalizing.

But it was also quite clear that was using his trip to distance himself from the domestic scandals of Watergate and the anti-Vietnam movement, which was gaining momentum.

Like Nixon, Mr. Trump is hoping to reset the narrative by jump-starting peace efforts in the While meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this month, Mr. Trump said that achieving peace may be “not as difficult as people have thought.” There has been little discussion about what role the Russians could or should play, a notable omission given how dominant Russia’s position in the region has become over the past several years.

It is of course possible that Mr. Trump will succeed and gain support that will bolster him at home. But if there is a lesson from history it is this: United States voters care first and foremost about domestic politics, and trips, even successful ones, don’t plaster over problems at home.

There are eerie overtones of the administration playing out as we wade through today’s domestic scandals created by the Trump administration. This week’s trip is just another reminder that history has a way of repeating itself if one doesn’t learn from it.

We should all wish the president the best of luck in restarting peace talks and bringing together the Muslim, Christian and Jewish worlds. That being said, Mr. Trump is not the first to try to divert domestic opprobrium by taking off to the

© 2017 The New York Times New Service

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Trump goes abroad. Nixon tried the same thing.

Nixon took off to the Middle East in a strong international position

Nixon took off to the Middle East in a strong international position
President Trump left for the and Europe today, amid a domestic firestorm that is fanned by concerns over intelligence leaks and hints of obstruction of justice. Leaving home for foreign lands may seem to be just what the president needs, and his advisers can be forgiven for believing that a respite from domestic could be useful: Mr. Trump will probably be well received by foreign leaders, particularly those in the

But there are lessons from history that suggest that using trips to quell investigations at home doesn’t work. Indeed, when President Richard went to and Israel in June 1974 to change the domestic narrative and score an victory, it failed spectacularly. He resigned a month later.

took off to the in a strong position. He was making real progress on nuclear arms control with the Russians. The United States and the Soviet Union had recently signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. And during the trip to the Middle East, Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev indicated that Moscow was ready to sign a ban on underground nuclear testing.

The 1973 war in the was over, the United States had weathered the Arab oil embargo, and and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, were consolidating America’s position in the region, by marginalizing Soviet influence and redefining local relationships. Nixon’s trip to Israel, the first of a sitting United States president, came after months of intensive “shuttle diplomacy” to secure peace in the region. In Egypt he received a hero’s welcome and concluded an agreement with Cairo that would help pry Egypt from its dependence on Moscow. In Saudi Arabia, was the king’s guest at a lavish banquet in the president’s honor.

The potential for breakthroughs was tantalizing.

But it was also quite clear that was using his trip to distance himself from the domestic scandals of Watergate and the anti-Vietnam movement, which was gaining momentum.

Like Nixon, Mr. Trump is hoping to reset the narrative by jump-starting peace efforts in the While meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this month, Mr. Trump said that achieving peace may be “not as difficult as people have thought.” There has been little discussion about what role the Russians could or should play, a notable omission given how dominant Russia’s position in the region has become over the past several years.

It is of course possible that Mr. Trump will succeed and gain support that will bolster him at home. But if there is a lesson from history it is this: United States voters care first and foremost about domestic politics, and trips, even successful ones, don’t plaster over problems at home.

There are eerie overtones of the administration playing out as we wade through today’s domestic scandals created by the Trump administration. This week’s trip is just another reminder that history has a way of repeating itself if one doesn’t learn from it.

We should all wish the president the best of luck in restarting peace talks and bringing together the Muslim, Christian and Jewish worlds. That being said, Mr. Trump is not the first to try to divert domestic opprobrium by taking off to the

© 2017 The New York Times New Service
image
Business Standard
177 22

Trump goes abroad. Nixon tried the same thing.

Nixon took off to the Middle East in a strong international position

President Trump left for the and Europe today, amid a domestic firestorm that is fanned by concerns over intelligence leaks and hints of obstruction of justice. Leaving home for foreign lands may seem to be just what the president needs, and his advisers can be forgiven for believing that a respite from domestic could be useful: Mr. Trump will probably be well received by foreign leaders, particularly those in the

But there are lessons from history that suggest that using trips to quell investigations at home doesn’t work. Indeed, when President Richard went to and Israel in June 1974 to change the domestic narrative and score an victory, it failed spectacularly. He resigned a month later.

took off to the in a strong position. He was making real progress on nuclear arms control with the Russians. The United States and the Soviet Union had recently signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. And during the trip to the Middle East, Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev indicated that Moscow was ready to sign a ban on underground nuclear testing.

The 1973 war in the was over, the United States had weathered the Arab oil embargo, and and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, were consolidating America’s position in the region, by marginalizing Soviet influence and redefining local relationships. Nixon’s trip to Israel, the first of a sitting United States president, came after months of intensive “shuttle diplomacy” to secure peace in the region. In Egypt he received a hero’s welcome and concluded an agreement with Cairo that would help pry Egypt from its dependence on Moscow. In Saudi Arabia, was the king’s guest at a lavish banquet in the president’s honor.

The potential for breakthroughs was tantalizing.

But it was also quite clear that was using his trip to distance himself from the domestic scandals of Watergate and the anti-Vietnam movement, which was gaining momentum.

Like Nixon, Mr. Trump is hoping to reset the narrative by jump-starting peace efforts in the While meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this month, Mr. Trump said that achieving peace may be “not as difficult as people have thought.” There has been little discussion about what role the Russians could or should play, a notable omission given how dominant Russia’s position in the region has become over the past several years.

It is of course possible that Mr. Trump will succeed and gain support that will bolster him at home. But if there is a lesson from history it is this: United States voters care first and foremost about domestic politics, and trips, even successful ones, don’t plaster over problems at home.

There are eerie overtones of the administration playing out as we wade through today’s domestic scandals created by the Trump administration. This week’s trip is just another reminder that history has a way of repeating itself if one doesn’t learn from it.

We should all wish the president the best of luck in restarting peace talks and bringing together the Muslim, Christian and Jewish worlds. That being said, Mr. Trump is not the first to try to divert domestic opprobrium by taking off to the

© 2017 The New York Times New Service

image
Business Standard
177 22