The United States was not the first major power to dream up the idea of destroying a country to “save” it. But in the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon and his tiny brain trust of one—policy henchman Henry Kissinger—elevated this brutally cynical approach to the status of all-encompassing strategy. What began as the destruction of individual hamlets in Vietnam turned into a saturation bombing campaign of neighboring Laos and Cambodia that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.
In the end, the United State didn’t “save” any of these countries. Vietnam unified under Communist rule as U.S. soldiers withdrew in 1975, the Lao People’s Liberation Army took over Laos the same year, and the Khmer Rouge set about creating its own “killing fields” in Cambodia. Unlike the Korean War, where a stalemate prevailed, the United States decisively lost the Vietnam War.
Kissinger, however, won. All the blood on his hands did not prevent him from accepting a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for helping to negotiating a ceasefire in the very war that he’d prolonged and expanded. His reputation as a great statesman didn’t appear to suffer.
Nearly 50 years later, the “great statesman” is again talking about the necessity of a ceasefire in …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies