Afghanistan: "We're from the Kremlin. We're here to help".

"We're from the Kremlin. We're here to help".
Afghanistan: “We’re from the Kremlin. We’re here to help”.

– CBS World News Roundup – December 29, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Coming to the frustrating end of a baffling month in a perplexing decade, this December 29th in 1979 was winding up nowhere near hopeful and everywhere near ominous.

With news from the previous day of the Soviet military intervention/invasion/coup in Afghanistan, and the ongoing hostage situation at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the one thing the U.S. and Iran could agree on was that the situation in Kabul was ominous and steps needed to be taken to stop it. Tehran condemned the action as a hostile measure, not only to the people of that country, but against all the Muslims of the world. Iran demanded Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan. Moscow refused response. An emergency meeting at the UN to impose sanctions was gathering support and a much hoped-for approval vote was expected later on in the day.

President Carter assigned two Senior Advisers to deal with the two problems; one in London and the other Adviser in New York and both of them faced plenty of trouble. It was just the way the week was ending up and the way the crises were unfolding.

And since the 1980 Presidential elections were just around the corner, talk of debates were starting up. And already there were bumps on the way to the White House. In what was to be the first major Campaign Debate in Iowa for 1980 before that state’s caucuses was looking doubtful and whether or not it would go on at all was up in the air. Because of the Afghanistan and Iran crises, the White House was giving the debate a pass. Senator Edward Kennedy‘s office said it wouldn’t be useful to have a debate with the President and California Governor Gerry Brown issued a withdrawal from the debate, saying if those two would be there, why should he? However, the debate organizer said no official word on canceling the debate had been given, so as far as he knew, the debate was going on no matter who showed up.

The only hopeful news appeared to come from Rhodesia where word of a ceasefire in that country’s ongoing civil war was holding.

At least something positive was happening on this December 29th in 1979, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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