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The point of this story is not to argue that these behind-the-scene actions affected the outcome of the 1968 contest.The Vietnam War and public disillusionment with Lyndon Johnson took care of that.
Oleg Kalugin, the KGB station chief in Washington, D. Instead of recruiting spies through ideological solidarity, large sums of cold hard cash were needed to lure greedy Americans into snooping for Moscow--as it was later disclosed in the spy cases involving John Walker and Aldrich Ames.
In his view, American-Soviet relations were at an impasse and something "drastic" was required to break the deadlock.
Believing that Hubert Humphrey would never initiate World War III and fearing Nixon was too staunch an anti-communist (and a scoundrel besides), Dobrynin told Humphrey that the decision-makers in the Politburo looked favorably upon him and he offered to help the cash-starved Democratic campaign.
Humphrey refused, saying it was "more than enough for him to have Moscow's good wishes." After the ballots were counted and Nixon finished a hair's breadth ahead of Humphrey, the Kremlin sent a secret missive via Kissinger congratulating Nixon.
That drastic step was electing Richard Nixon president.
While Kalugin thought Nixon "unpredictable," he also believed that Nixon's long-time anti-communism might be the needed catalyst "to improve relations between our countries, for no one would ever dare accuse Nixon of being soft on communism." Cloaked with a veil of secrecy, Kalugin and his KGB colleagues spun a web of intrigue.For example, a June 1989 poll found two-thirds disagreed with the proposition that "communism is dying out." But Soviet-style communism did die--except in China, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea--and with it expired the political order and public attitudes that were profoundly influenced and shaped by the Cold War.The Structure of American Public Opinion During the Cold War In 1949, Arthur M.Schlesinger, Jr., wrote of the Cold War: "In its essence this crisis is internal." Although Schlesinger believed that the external communist threat was real, he believed that its real danger was the fear it engendered in the minds of most Americans.Schlesinger proved prescient, as and the resultant politics of fear prompted many to contrast their own ideological thinking with communism.For example, a recent search of the Soviet archives produced a 1987 plea from U. Communist Party chief Gus Hall to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev: "I don't like to raise the question of finances, but when the wolf' is at the door, one is forced to cry out." Gorbachev ordered KGB couriers to stuff their suitcases with million in cash.Session VI Seeing Red: The Cold War and American Public Opinion by John Kenneth White Department of Politics, Catholic University of America Washington, D. Introduction Life is lived forward, but understood backward. Both the Czech invasion and the Brezhnev Doctrine met with widespread condemnation. The power brokers in the Kremlin were taking their measure of the candidates, trying to determine which one could best manage the superpower relationship. Only a month before the Soviet Union had invaded Czechoslovakia, ending Alexander Dubcek's brief experiment with "socialism with a human face." After Dubcek's ouster, Communist party chief Leonid Brezhnev enunciated the "Brezhnev Doctrine," the guise under which the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics could correct its fraternal neighbors by military invasion whenever they deviated from Moscow's hard-line.They established a back-channel to the Nixon campaign, using Harvard University professor Henry Kissinger as an intermediary.Through a series of letters addressed to Kissinger, Nixon was informed that Brezhnev and the KGB would welcome his election.