June 13, 1979 - SALT And Somoza


Another day the world went slightly askew. June 13, 1979. U.S. policy towards Zimbabwe/Rhodesia went flying into reverse as the the Senate voted 52-41 to repudiate the Carter administrations call for sanctions against the still-White Minority ruled former colony. Carter promised a veto for their trouble. Speaking of Jimmy, preparations were underway for his first face-to-face with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and the signing of the SALT II peace treaty in Vienna in a few days. It was still getting blasted by the likes of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, who said signing the treaty would leave the U.S. inferior to the Soviets. No doubt that bit of "wimp baiting" may have been a factor in Carter's vow to "whip his ass" when asked about a possible challenge in 1980 from Senator Ted Kennedy for re-election to the White House at a dinner the previous night.

Speaking of howls of disgrunt, the Annual Conference of Mayors in Pittsburgh had a few choice syllables to say about the coming "Austere 80's", which were just around the corner. The words were no doubt unprintable but the sentiments left nothing to the imagination. More of the same, less of everything and don't drop the soap.

And it wasn't a fun-filled day for the Somoza regime in Nicaragua either as Sandanistas were romping towards Managua at break-neck speed in that "preview of coming attractions" imbroglio to topple the Military government. And a 28% rise in gas prices caused a major flip-out in Panama as riots ripped up the scenery and more than a few Mobil stations. Funny, we just shrug our shoulders when that happens here - the gas prices, not the riots.

And Cambodia was wondering what to do with the Welcome Mat as Thailand packed up and sent thousands of refugees back home, now that Pol Pot was over. The sight of endless bus convoys probably soiled more than a few border guards shorts, but the trudge back home was non-negotiable.

And you thought the dewey-eyed notion of history was an attack of the warm and fuzzies? Hate to burst the bubble but . . . no.

And so went the spinning Earth from the CBS World News Roundup on this June 13th in 1979.


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