May 17, 1975 – End of a busy week. With the Mayguez incident resolved, with President Ford announcing the two-day crisis was over, it was now time to look at the incident itself and what implications the resolution of that crisis had for the region and world opinion in general. Many, particularly those on Capitol Hill, lauded President Ford for his decisive action in bringing about a swift end – while others, including Thailand, were decrying America’s use of military force to obtain the release of the crew of the container ship Mayaguez, saying the use of force was unnecessary and was upset that one of its airbases was being used by the American military to stage its action. It rejected an expression of regret by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ordered the Thai Ambassador to the US to return home. There were also public demonstrations of protesting U.S. handling of the Mayaguez incident in the streets of Bangkok, which Thai government officials (tacitly approving the demonstrations) could get quickly out of hand. It posed questions as to just how close a relationship the U.S. had with Thailand after all.
Meanwhile, in Egypt – President Anwar Sadat was busy during the week conferring with the leaders of Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and Syria, seeking a united Arab front for the upcoming talks Sadat was scheduled to have with President Ford in the coming month. Sadat indicated he did have the support – observers noted that there was an agreement on the parts of the group that it was no longer realistic to talk of destroying the State of Israel.
Israel signed an agreement with the 9 member Common Market, despite a last minute Arab protest demanding that the Common Market sign similar accords with Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Israel countered that the Common Market proved they were going to be pushed around.
And the Shah of Iran came to Washington for a visit. He was given a formal welcome at The White House and proceeded to engage in talks with President Ford. Later, the Shah told reporters that an anticipated jump in oil prices was anticipated in September because, as he put it; “World inflation had cut the purchasing power of the money the oil producers received”, which he amplified during appearances on several Sunday talk shows.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this week ending May 17, 1975 as reported by The World This Week from CBS Radio.