February 23, 1975 - calls to send Military aid to South Vietnam. Kissinger returns from Middle East "hopeful". Ethiopia ask U.S. for arms against militants in Eritrea province. Judge Sirica hands down sentences for Watergate figures. New tensions in Cyprus. Outlawed strikes in Spain go on anyway. Persian Gulf region under scrutiny for continued arms sales. Another lovely day in the neighborhood.
February 23, 2012

"How are things in Eritrea?"

No end to conflicts and potential hot spots, this February 23rd in 1975. Southeast Asia eruptions were continuing with the Mekon river blockade now effectively cutting off Phnom Penh and rebel fighting throughout Cambodia. Likewise in South Vietnam where terrorist attacks were inching closer to Saigon. All this activity triggered calls from President Ford to send military aid to the region. Congress wasn't thrilled. We'd been there. We'd done that. We got the bloodstains to prove it. Still, there were some such as Strom Thurmond who thought we should pour nothing but money into the region in exchange for their oil, if and when they found some.

Elsewhere in the Lovely Neighborhood - Secretary of State Henry Kissinger returned from a tour of the Middle East, saying he was "optimistic" that talks-about-talks-about-talks were looking up. Senator Ted Kennedy introduced legislation asking for a cut-off of military aid to the oil producing Persian Gulf nations, saying instability in the region begged for a hold-off on ordinance for at least six months. His crystal ball, it appears, was in much better shape than a lot of his colleagues.

Ethiopia was asking the U.S. for arms in the wake of increased tensions coming from the northern province of Eritrea and the separatist movement gathering steam there. New tensions in Cyprus between Greek and Turkish elements were springing up. Spain, despite a law prohibiting strikes handed down by the somewhat creaky Franco regime, went on strike over dissatisfaction with the decades-old authoritarian rule.

And back home - Judge Sirica handed down sentences for convicted Watergate figures. It went like this: Mitchell, Haldeman and Ehrlichman all got 2 1/2 years in jail and Robert Mardian got 10 months.

All that and a lot more for news ending the week of February 23rd, 1973 as reported on CBS Radio's The World This Week.

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