“It Gets Into Everything”
Herb Block did not have a high opinion of either the Ford or Carter administrations, which he believed bungled international relations in the Middle East. Oil became the lynchpin of the 1970s, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increasingly controlled the price of oil, affecting the world’s economies and politics. Block questioned Ford’s relationship with the Middle East, citing his willingness to take advantage of countries’ increased oil wealth by selling them weapons. He feared the rise of terrorism, both by officially recognized governments and by groups attempting to undermine the existing political system. He attacked the Carter administration for its inability to take a firm stand on international issues, accusing it of lack of leadership. Although Jimmy Carter triumphed with the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, the hostage crisis in Iran (1979–1981) irrevocably marred his presidency.
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