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Rusk XXX, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk and Thomas Schoenbaum, Part 2, 1985 May

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:00 - The Six Day War / Rivalries and the Arab world

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Partial Transcript: Okay, go ahead.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses U.S. intelligence and Joint Chiefs of Staff risk assessments regarding the Six Day War and explains that Israel prevailed because of its superior military training and morale. Rusk criticizes an Israeli attack that he claims prevented Egypt from reopening the Strait of Tiran in June of 1967. He talks about U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, conflicts within the Arab world, and Arab disdain toward Israel.

Keywords: Arab; Arab-Israeli War; Arab-Israeli conflict; Israel; June War; Lyndon Johnson; Nasser; Soviet; USSR; sectarianism

00:06:49 - U.S. oil imports in the sixties and seventies

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Partial Transcript: Is that true? What about the Saudis...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses Eisenhower's oil import restrictions and the oil embargo during the Yom Kippur War. He discusses Congress's preference for domestic production in the sixties and tension with ARAMCO over import limitations.

Keywords: Egypt; Martin Hillenbrand; Nasser; Saudi Arabia; Yemen; national security; oil crisis

00:11:04 - United Nations Resolution 242 / U.S. goals for the Middle East

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Partial Transcript: ...near the end I'd like to ask about the mechanics of forming Resolution 242.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about UN Resolution 242 and its binding counterpart, UNSCR 353, both of which addressed peace in the Middle East and called for Jordan's ownership of the West Bank. He claims that the UN partition plan in 1948 would have created a Palestinian state. Rusk refutes claims that U.S. policy toward the Middle East was disjointed.

Keywords: Arab; Arthur Goldberg; Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Chapter 7; Israel; LBJ; Lyndon Johnson; Resolution 353; Security Council; Strait of Tiran; UNSC

00:15:51 - The Liberty / UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg

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Partial Transcript: We had a very painful incident with the--that ship that was attacked.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses Israel's attack on a U.S. naval intelligence ship, the USS Liberty, during the Six Day War. He praises Arthur Goldberg's negotiating prowess, contrasting Goldberg with his predecessor, Adlai Stevenson.

Keywords: Lyndon Johnson; NSA; National Security Agency; Resolution 242; U.S. Navy; United Nations; military

00:20:26 - Continuity in Kennedy and Johnson's Middle Eastern foreign policy

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Partial Transcript: The historians, the experts, say they perceived a change in Middle Eastern policy just looking at the Kennedy-Johnson years.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk argues that there was continuity in U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He claims that the U.S. sought peace for the region rather than political influence. Rusk mentions his rejected eight point peace plan for Egypt.

Keywords: Christianity; Egypt; Judaism; Lyndon Jhonson; foreign policy; religion

00:24:46 - Jordan's involvement in the Six Day War / The future of Arab-Israeli relations

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Partial Transcript: To me, one of the sad things was that we were not able to keep Jordan out of that war...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk recalls Jordan's involvement in the Six Day War, stating that although the war was not in Jordan's national interest, King Hussein participated to maintain honor. He mentions the Rockefeller Foundation's goal of establishing an institute of Semitic studies, which was rejected by Jordanian political leaders. Rusk says another large Arab-Israeli war is unlikely due to the Camp David Accords.

Keywords: Egypt; Hussein bin Talal; Israel; Jerusalem; Mount Scopus; West Bank; Yom Kippur War; ceasefire; territorial dispute