For three days in November, Washington was overrun by thousands of American citizens from all walks of life and all parts of the nation. Beards, bell-bottom trousers, long hair, and idealism as well as enthusiasm were the order of the day. The more radical protesters smashed hundreds of store windows, bringing to the plate-glass industry an unexpected and unwanted windfall. Mr. Nixon, caught in his beleaguered White House fortress, was able to emerge in time to attend the Redskins’ football game the Sunday after the marches were over. Now is the time for a post mortem: What did the moratorium accomplish?

A little more than one-tenth of one per cent of America was there. Did they represent the vast and silent majority of the people? In at least one sense they did: most Americans would like to see the war ended. But how to end it and under what conditions are much more difficult questions. And they become even more complex when viewed within the larger international picture. In Europe there is NATO to be considered. In the Near East there is Israel, ringed by hostile Arab nations that enjoy the support of the Soviet Union. If the United States were to withdraw its support of Israel and cease to supply it with weapons, that small nation would soon have to capitulate to the Arab-Soviet alliance.

The Soviet Union and the United States have started conversations on curbing the nuclear arms race. If previous experience means anything, the talks are likely to be long-winded and unproductive. And if the Soviets do sign an agreement, it is certain to be useless unless it provides for adequate supervision. The unhappy fact is that neither side really trusts the other.

As if all this were not enough, the world faces the continuing ...

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