Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cambodia and Truth

Folkbum has a guest opinion up this morning which maintains that the US pulled the rug out from under the licit government of Sihonouk, (thus) allowing Pol Pot to do his thing--which was killing around 2 million Cambodians.


Here's what William Shawcross has to say (see asterisk, P. 57) quoted by Schoenfield:

"[T]hose of us who opposed the American
war in Indochina should be extremely humble
in the face of the appalling aftermath: a
form of genocide in Cambodia and horrific
tyranny in both Vietnam and Laos. Looking
back on my own coverage for the [London]
Sunday Times of the South Vietnamese war
effort of 1970-75, I think I concentrated too
easily on the corruption and incompetence
of the South Vietnamese and their American
allies, was too ignorant of the inhuman
Hanoi regime, and far too willing to believe
that a victory by the Communists would provide
a better future."

And in Schoenfield's analysis:

cannot be emphasized enough that,
as Kissinger acknowledges only in
passing in this volume, any chance
the United States had to ensure the
survival of Cambodia and South
Vietnam was destroyed by the Watergate
burglary and the subsequent
efforts to cover it up.
Nixon's petty
decisions in the Watergate affair not
only lost him his own tenure in office
and divided our own country
but ended up costing the lives of
millions in faraway lands, men and
women like Sirik Matak whose only
mistake had been to take America at
its word.

Which is to say, it was Dick Nixon and/or the Congressional and popular reaction to his vain and petty actions.

Contrast Folkbum:

To claim that the murderous regime of Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979 happened because the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam does not stand up to any scrutiny.

So I suppose that one can take the word of "Bert" or the opinion of Kissinger and Schoenfield.


1 comment:

AutismNewsBeat said...

Pulling out of Vietnam may not have seemed wise at the time, but I think history will vindicate the decision, just as history will vindicate President Bush's unique management of the Iraq War. Today, Vietnam is peaceful, and the US enjoys amicable diplomatic relationships with Hanoi. Over time, Vietnam will continue to prosper, and serve as a beacon of liberty for all of southeast Asia.