Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert E. Barbour
BARBOUR: Ah, there you are, you know much more about it than I do.
Q: I left July 1st, 1974, but the point being that once you get into that action, would you say that this happens...
BARBOUR: You hear them out. Does it become a factor in the policy analysis and evaluation? In that case it did not, because the Clifford operation led to policy level conclusions that had always been present at the working level within the bureau. We always felt, not that the Turks were getting a raw deal, but that we were doing ourselves a great disservice vis-a-vis their strategic situation, vis-a-vis their situation in NATO, and vis-a-vis the Alliance itself. We were doing ourselves a great disservice by keeping them at arm's length on everything that mattered. So we were quite pleased that Clifford reached the same conclusion himself. Nimetz did not. Nimetz was always very critical on the subject of the Greeks and the Turks until Clifford came into the picture. And, of course, as the results of our new policy initiative became clear, the Greeks became even more strident, as I said, and so did the people who had similar views in Congress. That's the opposition I referred that had to be overcome in getting the legislation through. But we would listen to them. The Cyprus ambassador's refreshing attitude toward what he had to do to carry out his instructions, was of course already in our own minds, because some of the things they were complaining about were so outrageous. And then, of course, you had situations where we were doing things in Cyprus in the humanitarian area, economic area, and doing things. Also in Greece. We had a terrible time getting the Greeks to acknowledge that we were in fact being of any assistance to them whatsoever. They were not their best advocates and maybe your four years in Athens causes you to understand.
Q: Before you left in '78 were there any other major issues in your bailiwick? In Spain, Italy, France.