1975: Moonbeam lives in the CA Governor's Mansion & Onwards...... Mar 12, 2020 19:01:06 GMT stevep likes this
Post by 49ersfootball on Mar 12, 2020 19:01:06 GMT
8:25 PM, Sunday, June 1st, 1975
Air Force One
(Flying somewhere over Germany)
Air Force One was gliding through the skies of West Germany, carrying the presidential entourage & the accompanying press corps members towards Austria for a major summit that would, potentially, have global consequences. Awaiting the President was Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, the host of the meeting & Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Ford had been eager in completing Nixon's dream of affirming long-standing peace between Egypt & Israel, a goal that both Presidents believed would stabilize the Middle East & also making it easier for Israel & Palestine to come to a final agreement to end hostilities, something that previous US Presidents had tried to push for peace agreements in attempts to ending the hostilities, but to no avail. There were going to be obstacles however, & indeed, there were many in the way, both President Ford & Secretary Kissinger both were hopeful that they were close to achieving this difficult goal.
The President & First Lady had retired to their private quarters; now the US Secretary of State & US SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld sat alone inside Air Force One's presidential office, with only a few HRS left on their journey towards Salzburg. The NATO Summit & subsequent visit to West Germany had been successful, but all eyes were on Salzburg. Air Force One was not alone in the air; there was considerable tension on board.
Since becoming US SECDEF in 1974, Rumsfeld had become increasingly powerful (along with his sidekick White House Chief of Staff Dick Cheney) & his presence quickly became powerful outside the White House, so powerful & influential, that Rumsfeld had attempted to remove US Defense Deputy Secretary William P. Clements, which annoyed Clements. It was noted that Rumsfeld & Clements didn't get along at all: when Rumsfeld was confirmed by the United States Senate & sworn into office as US SECDEF in the Fall of 1974, Clements staunchly resisted efforts to be moved to another department, even going so far as to threaten if removed from his office to hold a press conference & labeling his dismissal as nothing more but a "power play". Though Clements would remain as the Pentagon's 2nd most powerful official, he termed his time under Rumsfeld as "very unpleasant." Clements wasn't the only one annoyed by Rumsfeld's suffocating & powerful influence & manipulative tactics...
Kissinger was also annoyed as well by Cheney too; typically, as White House Chief of Staff, he'd travel with the President & participated in the private conversations of the foreign policy team, which infuriated Kissinger to no end. Since coming to the Pentagon in 1974, a role Rumsfeld aggressively lobbied for, he had become one of the most powerful Cabinet Secretaries in the Ford administration. Kissinger resented this, & knew that Rumsfeld was surely working to isolate him. It was he, the Secretary of State believed, who was most likely responsible for his removal as National Security Adviser, a role that now went to USAF Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft.
"Big day tomorrow" Rumsfeld confidently said aloud as he came in & sat across from Secretary Kissinger in what was supposed to be the President's seat. It was the minor kind of breach of protocol that Rumsfeld arrogantly flaunted openly, fueling the already expanding ego & inflated sense of importance. With the look of annoyance & privately being intimidated, Kissinger gruffly replied "so I've heard." Feeling the tension between them, Rumsfeld took that as a another sign of victory over the US Secretary of State.
"What do you think Sadat's going to demand ?" asked Rumsfeld of Kissinger, knowing surely that he'd be in the loop. Kissinger was horrified & bothered to a degree upon realizing that the man, who engineered the removal of Schlesinger (who was named US Ambassador to NATO) to become US Secretary of Defense was woefully unprepared for the summit, but also not surprised that Rumsfeld was chatting him up like an unprepared college student before an exam. Kissinger was tempted to feed him bad information, but knowing such a move would likely create unnecessary rifts between the State & Defense Departments, decided against feeding him bad advice.
"He will want the Sinai back" replied Kissinger, "but he knows that any deal will have to include recognition of Israel's right to self-defense & existence. This will almost certainly inflame the Muslim Brotherhood in his own country, it'll embolden Islamists in Saudi Arabia, & it will draw Lybia, Syria & Iraq further into Moscow's orbit of influence."
"You know Sadat & Nasser expelled the Soviets years ago" Kissinger continued; Rumsfeld remembered. He was the NATO Ambassador at the time, & had before that served four terms in the US House of Representatives, where he became acquainted with Ford (they served in Congress together). Kissinger underestimated him in his mind, & to some degree, he was right. Kissinger knew that Rumsfeld knew about the basic geopolitical realities surrounding the summit; but that didn't stop him from giving the lecture. It was important that Rumsfeld know that his job was at the Pentagon---Kissinger would set the foreign policy from the State Department, & Rumsfeld's role was to react to whatever decision would be passed down from the State Department.
Kissinger smirked at the thought of this arrangement; he wasn't exactly known for his humility either, after all. The history lecture would continue until the wheels of Air Force One touched down. Rumsfeld regretted asking, "Next time," he thought "I'll go straight to the President."