Thursday, December 28, 2006

President Gerald Ford won’t be remembered for much.....


...except for being the only president of the US never to win a presidential election...

...and wasn't he the bloke after Richard Nixon and the one before Jimmy Carter? But can you remember anything he actually did?

Except, that is, for saying in a presidential debate against Carter that:

"There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford Administration…I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union."

Er...um...well...

He said that only five months after strikes had broken out in many cities in Poland after a 60% rise in the price of food, made by the ever incompetent, Soviet backed, communist authorities. And the strikes of June 1976 were ruthlessly broken up by the ZOMO militia, with the backing of the (dominating) Soviets in Moscow.

Nuff said.

End.

20 comments:

roman said...

He pardoned Nixon, saving the country months, maybe years, of partisan wrangling and endless legal actions that would have tied up the court system. This would have led to ever more divisiveness and chaos.
"An ounce of prevention.."

geez said...

Maybe Kaczynski should pardon Jaruzelski, et. al., too?

opamp said...

Apparently the presence in Poland of between 200 and 300 thousand Soviet troops with helicopters, planes, tanks, artillery and nuclear weapons had absolutely no effect on the Polish government.

Ironically, though, it appears to me that some people still believe that...

jannovak57 said...

Ford wasn’t a bad guy; he just wasn’t prepared for the presidency. He made the right decision with the Nixon pardon; they needed to end the turmoil after the defeat in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. Ford was no expert on foreign affairs and was relatively uninformed about Eastern Europe.

jannovak57 said...

geez said “Maybe Kaczynski should pardon Jaruzelski, et. al., too? “

Forget the bureaucracy, turn him over to the families of the nine miners killed at the coal mine in Katowice

opamp : “Apparently the presence in Poland of between 200 and 300 thousand Soviet troops”

Actual number was closer to 60,000 with around 300,000 in the GDR. The PRL only existed because of Soviet military force; once the possibility of Soviet intervention was formally renounced it ceased to exist. The PRL was the equivalent to General Government under the Nazis; the difference was Polish traitors administered the PRL.

Anonymous said...

Jannovak

"The PRL was the equivalent to General Government under the Nazis; the difference was Polish traitors administered the PRL."

Just to think, how quickly has the Polish nation degenerated after WWII. They lived under GGII and yet: no Home Army, no uprisings... Shame.

opamp said...

The PRL only existed because of Soviet military force

My point here was that saying that PRL was "backed" by the Soviets is somewhat misleading, because one could think that it was "backed" in the same way that, say, Pinochet was backed by the U.S. In fact, it was not only backed but also tightly controlled in order to insure that Soviet interests would not be compromised.

Regarding the number of Soviet troops: there was indeed nominally about 60,000 of them, however, the Soviets never informed the Polish side what was the actual number. There were 300,000 right after the war and about 50,000 in 1989.

Nick's Son said...

Yeah, pardoning Nixon was a great service to democracy. Who wants justice if it will cost "months of wrangling" that might "tie up the court system"?

beatroot said...

Ford never recovered from the ‘pardon’ to a crook like Nixon and the remark about Poles not being oppressed by Soviets.

I mean: how would any candidate lose an election to a peanut farmer?

geez said...

geez said “Maybe Kaczynski should pardon Jaruzelski, et. al., too? “

jannovak responded: Forget the bureaucracy, turn him over to the families of the nine miners killed at the coal mine in Katowice. Ford wasn’t a bad guy; he just wasn’t prepared for the presidency. He made the right decision with the Nixon pardon;

Geez enjoinders: Or maybe Ford should have turned Nixon over to the Vietnamese. A few more than nine families would have had a bone to pick with him. Or even to the families of Americans whose sons died during that war.

roman said...

nick's son,

After the nightmare of Vietnam and Watergate, let's take an impeached president who resigned in disgrace and prosecute him to the full extent of the law and thus continue the nightmare into perpetuity? A time of national healing was needed and Ford acted appropriately. Let's see, what's more important? Healing a nation? Or have nick's son and like-minded individuals satisfy their rightious indignation by repeatedly beating a "dead horse" over and over?

beatroot said...

A time of national healing was needed and Ford acted appropriately.

When Ford pardoned Nixon he made sure he was remembered for something....as the Man Who Pardoned a Crook. It didn;t heal anything. It took Hollywood another 5 years before it felt they could tackle the war as a subject. Before that sobody would touch the subject. And I don't think the US is 'healed' now...or, if it was, then all the old wounds have been opened up by the latest Iraq disaster....(something even Ford was against).

geez said...

How is national "healing" accomplished?

"Beating" dead horses like Nixon and Jaruzelski, et. al.?

Was Nixon more disgraced than Jaruzelski is now?

sonia said...

the only president of the US never to win a presidential election

John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Chester A. Arthur weren't elected president neither...

Under Ford's watch, Saigon and Phnom Penh fell to the Communists. He wasn't a great president, that's for sure...

beatroot said...

Never heard of em'. How about: only president THIS CENTURY not to be lected?

Jannovak57 said...

geez said... “How is national "healing" accomplished?
"Beating" dead horses like Nixon and Jaruzelski, et. al.?
Was Nixon more disgraced than Jaruzelski is now? “

In those days with the Watergate scandal and the defeat of the US in Vietnam, the US public was shell shocked and bitterly divided. To have the crisis of an impeachment and lengthy legal and constitutional disputes occur concurrently was dangerous. American society was dangerously close to its capacity for political turmoil. Ford took a decision that killed his political future but ended the national agony.

It should be pointed out that Nixon inherited the Vietnam War from his predecessor and it was his administration that found an exit notwithstanding whether we find that exit to have been honourable or otherwise.

There is no basis to a Nixon and Jaruzelski comparison, as we would be dealing with apples to oranges comparison.

sonia said...

Jannovak,

his administration that found an exit notwithstanding whether we find that exit to have been honourable or otherwise

It was the most dishonorable exit in US history, leaving their allies to be slaughtered in Vietnamese's concentration camps and Pol Pot's killing fields... Just for that, Nixon (and Kissinger) should have hung alongside Saddam Hussein...

geez said...

Apples and oranges can be compared as well as differentiated.

Agony? All I remember was a lot of people cheering, myself included, when Nixon resigned. Nixon Agnonistes, a very interesting book by Garry Wills, though.

And I've experienced more political agony the past seven years with the banality of Bush than in doze daze.

ISTM too that some people are more like Pol Pot than they'd admit.

Frank Sellin said...

FYI, this might interest you. Jim Lehrer asked Ford in November 1989 why he made that famous debate claim. Ford replied:

"There's no question I did not adequately explain what I was thinking. I felt very strongly, and I, of course, do so today, that regardless of the number of Soviet armored divisions in Poland, the Russians would never dominate the Polish spirit. That's what I should have said. I simply left out the fact that at that time in 1976, the Russians had about 10 to 15 divisions in Poland. Well, of course the presence of those divisions indicates a domination physically of the Poles, but despite that military occupation of Poland by the Soviets, it never in any way ever destroyed the strong, nationalistic spirit of the Polish people. And I felt, and of course, I'm pleased now the Poles are going to throw the Russians out And the quicker they do it, the better. And I'm proud of what they're doing, and, of course, I get a little satisfaction that maybe I was right in 1976."

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/debatingourdestiny/interviews/ford.html

Food for thought, is all. :-)

Keep up the good blogging!

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