1973: Pierre Trudeau's Brown-nosing Phone Call to Nixon: There Goes the Mythology...

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NDPP
1973: Pierre Trudeau's Brown-nosing Phone Call to Nixon: There Goes the Mythology...

Tape Released of Pierre Trudeau's Phone Call of Support to Richard Nixon in 1973

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/tape-released-of-pierre-trudeaus...

"...The two-minute call was placed on May 11 that year during the height of the Watergate scandal that eventually doomed the Nixon presidency.

Trudeau said he wanted to let Nixon know how 'distressed' he was by 'all of this noise that is going on around the Watergate thing.'

Trudeau added that he had 'great confidence and respect' for Nixon and how politicians realize how an issue like can be 'seized upon and distorted'.

Nixon replied to Trudeau that it was very kind of him to call and referred to the Watergate controversy as a 'deplorable incident'..."

 

Trudeau-Nixon Call: Pierre Trudeau Offered Nixon Support Over 'Watergate Thing' (and vid)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/08/21/pol-pierre-trudeau-rich...

Transcript and Tape

Unionist

Meh... Just heads of state being diplomatic with each other. What was Trudeau supposed to say: "You crook - resign - we don't associate with low-lifes like you"?

I go by policy, not politicking. Trudeau did some pretty awful stuff vis-a-vis the U.S. - like allowing Cruise missile testing. But, like Dief before him (and unlike that puppet Pearson), he did not follow U.S. policy 100% (though the percentage was certainly unduly high). There were no Canadian contingents in the Indochinese wars. U.S. conscientious objectors were welcome in Canada. Even though Pearson had campaigned and beat Dief on his (Pearson's) promise to arm Bomarc missiles with nuclear warheads - at JFK's behest - Trudeau never followed through on that. And Trudeau at least made gestures in favour of reviewing foreign ownership.

I prefer these old revelations:

[url=http://www.ctvnews.ca/trudeau-lectures-rambling-nixon-in-long-lost-recor... lectures rambling Nixon in long-lost recording[/url]

My favourite:

Quote:
When the prime minister later learned that Nixon had called him an "asshole" after the meeting, he quipped: "I've been called worse things by better people."

NDPP

...one man's 'brown-nosing' is another's 'being diplomatic' perhaps. Nixon called him a 'pompous egghead' as well as an 'asshole' and a 'son of a bitch' too.

I was perhaps as interested in the reference to Canada's servile role in Vietnam alluded to at the end of the phone call and note the release of much more material related to that war. Canada's role is somewhat mythologized in that area just as it was in Iraq.

CTV has linked to the complete release of recordings at the Nixon Library:

 

Your Call I Will Always Remember', Nixon Tells Trudeau in Watergate Chat

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/your-call-i-will-always-remember-nixon-te...

 

6079_Smith_W

Given that for all his crimes, Nixon was the president who opened the door to China and the Soviet Union, the popular image of him as the devil incarnate is a bit of a joke.  Johnson didn't fare any better in southeast Asia, and Kennedy (who actually started the practice of bugging the oval office) was far more of an anti-communist idealogue.Yet people still look the other way because he was well-spoken, attractive and died a tragic death.

And it is even more of a joke when you compare Nixon to any of the recent leaders of that country.

I think the die was cast on his public image during the debate with Kennedy. Anyone listening on the radio would have handed it to Nixon.

 

 

NDPP

No question that as far as 'crooks' go, Obama is far, far worse than Nixon ever was. And it was probably detente that ultimately brought him down, not Watergate..

voice of the damned

re: Trudeau and the Americans, it should be noted that while he was not afraid to buck them on this or that policy, he was always pretty steadfast about refusing to criticize them publically. I recall reading an HOC transcript in which Broadbent tried to corner him into denouncing American policy in Central America, and Trudeau replied with what amounted to "Yeah, well your commie friends are doing some bad stuff too, y'know".

From CTV:

Trudeau then says: “I certainly never forgot that you called me when I was…” but he trails off and both men laugh. It’s unclear what Trudeau was referring to.

Well, my curiousity is piqued. From the tone of his laughter, Nixon seems to know exactly what Trudeau is talking about, and considers it very funny.   

 

voice of the damned

I never thought of it till now, but your second point may well be correct.

When Deep Throat was revealed as Mark Felt, I recall reading something to the effect that he was a right-winger angry about the opening to China. One supposes that Woodward and Bernstein were not motivated by the same agenda in collaborating with Felt.   

 

josh

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Given that for all his crimes, Nixon was the president who opened the door to China and the Soviet Union, the popular image of him as the devil incarnate is a bit of a joke.  Johnson didn't fare any better in southeast Asia, and Kennedy (who actually started the practice of bugging the oval office) was far more of an anti-communist idealogue.Yet people still look the other way because he was well-spoken, attractive and died a tragic death.

And it is even more of a joke when you compare Nixon to any of the recent leaders of that country.

I think the die was cast on his public image during the debate with Kennedy. Anyone listening on the radio would have handed it to Nixon.

 

 

FDR was actually the first president to record a conversation.

And these presidential recordings have turned out to be invaluable for historians.

And I think his image was set well before that by his viciious red baiting.

josh

Unionist wrote:

And I agree with Smith about the demonization of Nixon. Kennedy, Johnson, and others have far more subversion and blood on their hands, and not much peace-making to show for.

 

 

Oh please.  Nixon continued the war for four more years.  More than half the U.S. troops killed in Vietnam were killed when he was president.  Not to mention his extending the war by bombing Cambodia, and his Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972.

Not to mention the students killed at Kent State and Jackson State after Nixon demonized anti-war demonstrators.

And, of course, Chile.

 

josh

voice of the damned wrote:

When Deep Throat was revealed as Mark Felt, I recall reading something to the effect that he was a right-winger angry about the opening to China. One supposes that Woodward and Bernstein were not motivated by the same agenda in collaborating with Felt.   

 

Had nothing to do with China.  Felt was angry about Nixon's effort to take control of the FBI.  Not to mention that he was passed over for director after Hoover died.

6079_Smith_W

@ josh

I think we all know he has his share of blood on his hands. My question is why that break-in sets him apart from his colleagues; If Watergate happened today it would be a sideshow compared the criminal and anti-democratic measures that are just accepted as par for the course.

His numerous failings aside, Nixon was in fact a forward-thinking statesman who helped end the cold war - to name his greatest, but not his only accomplishment.

I'm not saying that he doesn't deserve scorn for many of the things he did, but that he is singled out as the worst when others have seen their reputations whitewashed fles in the face of history.

 

 

 

 

Unionist

josh wrote:

Unionist wrote:

And I agree with Smith about the demonization of Nixon. Kennedy, Johnson, and others have far more subversion and blood on their hands, and not much peace-making to show for.

Oh please.  Nixon continued the war for four more years.  More than half the U.S. troops killed in Vietnam were killed when he was president.  Not to mention his extending the war by bombing Cambodia, and his Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972.

Not to mention the students killed at Kent State and Jackson State after Nixon demonized anti-war demonstrators.

And, of course, Chile.

Wow, I needed that wake-up call. Got my history and dates mixed up. I totally retract what I just said.

Unionist

NDPP wrote:

No question that as far as 'crooks' go, Obama is far, far worse than Nixon ever was. And it was probably detente that ultimately brought him down, not Watergate..

I never thought of it till now, but your second point may well be correct. Your first point may well be also.

And I agree with Smith about the demonization of Nixon. Kennedy, Johnson, and others have far more subversion and blood on their hands, and not much peace-making to show for.

ETA: Thanks, josh, for reminding me that my now crossed-out comments were full of crap. I'll leave them there as a reminder to myself.

 

 

josh

Nixon prattles on about two of his favorite subjects:  Jews and Blacks.

 

 

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/08/some-new-comments-richar...

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

I totally retract what I just said.

Regarding his legacy, I don't. And yes, I am taking Chile, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Alger Hiss into account.

And pointing out that he was a racist? Come on... he was a drunk too, and he said "fuck" a lot - as if we didn't know all that decades ago. He was still in some ways a greater president than those who came before him, and far greater than some of the pack we have had to deal with more recently. Even Obama's healthcare reform doesn't come close.

The only thing that makes Nixon the worst of the worst is Watergate - again, something that pales in comparison to George Bush's crimes.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The bombing of Cambodia doesn't make him worst of the worst? 

Look, a lot of later president do leave a lot to be desired, but rehabilitating Nixon is bullshit...and along with his other deeds, Nixon deserves to remain unforgiven because he totally crushed the remainder of Sixties idealism, leaving nothing but cynical soulless moneygrubbing in its wake as a national value.

Nixon made the U.S. a country where it was considered weak and shameful to want a better world or to want to do anything with your life other than to get rich by increasing human misery.

And the ONLY reason he got to open things up with the USSR and China was that the bastard had spent the first twenty years of his political career making it politically impossible for any other president or possible president to do so.  Nixon only got to eat candied bear paws at that twenty-course meal in Beijing because he had built up commiephobia into the strongest and ugliest force in American political history.  And Nixon kept bombing the living shit out of Vietnam and Cambodia even while he was sitting in his comfy chair next to Mao.

Sorry, I give Augustus Milhous no quarter.  Never will.  He was the first grown-up(I was eight when he became president)that I learned to truly hate, and that hatred is still justified decades later.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

On a different note, it strikes me that the transcript of the Trudeau-Nixon phone call could be made into a brilliant piece of found theatre if someone who was used to directing Beckett or Pinter was given the right actors to have play the roles.

I'd suggest Anthony Hopkins as Nixon and Colm Feore as PET.

After all, they're both familiar with the characters already.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

re: Trudeau and the Americans, it should be noted that while he was not afraid to buck them on this or that policy, he was always pretty steadfast about refusing to criticize them publically. I recall reading an HOC transcript in which Broadbent tried to corner him into denouncing American policy in Central America, and Trudeau replied with what amounted to "Yeah, well your commie friends are doing some bad stuff too, y'know".

From CTV:

Trudeau then says: “I certainly never forgot that you called me when I was…” but he trails off and both men laugh. It’s unclear what Trudeau was referring to.

Well, my curiousity is piqued. From the tone of his laughter, Nixon seems to know exactly what Trudeau is talking about, and considers it very funny.   

 

I'd have to guess it was during the October Crisis...Trudeau's most Nixonian moment.

josh

That makes sense.

6079_Smith_W

Ken Burch wrote:

Look, a lot of later president do leave a lot to be desired, but rehabilitating Nixon is bullshit...and along with his other deeds, Nixon deserves to remain unforgiven because he totally crushed the remainder of Sixties idealism, leaving nothing but cynical soulless moneygrubbing in its wake as a national value.

Nixon made the U.S. a country where it was considered weak and shameful to want a better world or to want to do anything with your life other than to get rich by increasing human misery.

What... he was responsible for reaganomics too?

And I thought it was Lyndon Johnson who shattered the 60s dream. He himself cracked and walked out on the mess he made because people were paying more attention to Tet than to his Great Society. Nixon at least went into it recognizing that the war was unwinnable.

And, sorry, but Mao had his hands in that conflict too.

I'm not trying to rehabilitate him; the man was a war criminal, as well as a petty criminal and a paranoid freak, and like many leaders he had no problem with colonialist oppression against smaller countries. The difference is that with respect to China and the USSR he was the one who recognized that the only way forvard was a negotiated peace.

You learned to hate him? Yes, me too, and much of it is justified. The first political cartoons I remember as a child were of him and of Trudeau. Do you think that might have something to do with the fact that he is saddled with all the evils of that era, even things he did not do, while the things he accomplished are forgotten by all except those who actually care to look?