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But there was also the problem of attitudes among the American political establishment. especially among those leaders who might have seemed closest to himself, the Cold War hawks. 

When Solzhenitsyn first arrived in Washington to address Congress in 1975 'the police stopped the traffic at the roundabout and two senators who had taken a particular interest in me - the republican [Jesse] Helms (the one who had proposed me for honorary citizenship of the United States [4]) and the democrat [Henry "Scoop"] Jackson (known as a fierce enemy of the USSR) took hold of me as soon as I got out of my car.' On Jackson he continues: 'Jackson gave the impression that he was experiencing the greatest joy of his life, but his eyes were empty, they even frightened me. What a terrible thing politics is!' (p.278)

[4]  Helms made several attempts to have Solzhenitsyn given honorary citizenship, an honour previously conferred only on Lafayette and Churchill. Although he secured the support of the Senate his efforts were blocked either by the House of Representatives or by Kissinger's State Department.

He seems to have had a higher regard for Helms - later, in 1995, co-sponsor of the Helms-Burton Act which allows the US to punish foreign companies which have dealings with Cuba. Nonetheless there is a hint of other feelings when he says that after he had given his speech to Congress 'we passed into Jackson's office (while at the same time feeling the elastic contact of Helms's elbow) ...' I have had some difficulty understanding the French but I assume he mean that Helms is claiming him as his own property.

Writing about his speeches of 1975 in which he generally spoke very highly of the US as leader of the free world, he says:

'Given the great change that has occurred in me I wouldn't make such speeches today. I no longer feel in America a close, faithful, powerful ally of our liberation as I felt it then. Not at all.

'And if I'd only known! If someone at that time had shown me the shameful law 86-90 (of 1959) of the American Congress in which the Russians weren't named among the nations oppressed by Communism, in which it was Russia, not Communism, that was designated as universal oppressor (of China after the manner of Tibet, of 'Cossackia' and 'Idel-Ural'); and it's on the basis of this law that every year, in July, is celebrated 'Captive Nations Day' (and we, in the depths of the Soviet Union, how we sympathised with this week! How we rejoiced because we weren't forgotten, we, the oppressed peoples). This would really have been the best moment to denounce the hypocrisy of that law! Alas I knew nothing about it and went on knowing nothing about it for the next few years.' [5] (p.272)

[5]  According to the chronology in Lioudmila Saraskina: Alexandre Soljénitsyne, Fayard 2010, Solzhenitsyn wrote this book in 1978. A note referring to some attempts on the part of Russians living in the US to have the law changed is dated 1986.

As he says later in the book:

'Here in the West what are even those places where I have a solid position and where people seem to be listening to me? All that is without any real usefulness and my heart isn't in it. More and more I see that the West of the States [6], and that of the papers and also, certainly, of business, isn't an ally for us. Or rather that to have it as an ally is all too dangerous for the necessary transformation of Russia.

[6]  L'Occident des Etats'. I'm not sure if this refers to the United States or if he means the different national governments in the West.

'In any case my new orientation has already filtered through and it has been noticed in the West. Looking back one can see with astonishment that the unanimous support that carried me so well in my struggle against the Dragon - that of the Western press and that of society, both in the West and in the USSR - the incredible and quite unjustified backing from which I benefited at the time - was based on a mutual misunderstanding. In reality I was as awkward for the high intellectual-political spheres of the West as I was for the leaders and the educated classes of the Soviet Union.

'And then there's another thing: what a dubious, ambiguous position one finds oneself in when one attacks the Soviet regime not from inside but from outside! Who am I looking to as an ally? To those who are at the same time the enemies of a strong Russia, and especially of a national renaissance in our country. And against whom am I protesting? Uniquely the Soviet government, I think - but if that government is wrapped like an octopus round the neck and body of the country, how can one make the distinction? In slashing at the octopus I mustn't slash into my mother's body. For example in my American speeches in 1975 I called on my listeners not to supply the USSR with electronic material or sophisticated technology, but I said nothing of the sort about deliveries of wheat. But whether it was because someone extrapolated from what I said or because it was mixed up with what others had said, Oleg Yefremov, the leading film director of the Moscow Art Theatre, a man I respect, came to New York with the playwright Mikhail Roshchin and they said to Veronica Stein: 'Why has Isayevich called for war and condemned the delivery of wheat? He wants people to go hungry?' My God, but precisely I did not call for war, the American press misreported what I said - and in what a form did it reach my fellow citizens. As for wheat, I never said a word about it, but how now can I hope to make myself heard over there? ...

'Everything, really everything led to the same conclusion: much better that I withdraw into silence, that I cease for a long time to express myself in public ...' (p.370).