The infamous diplomat had the soul of an intelligence boss from SMERSH
I may get some heat for favoring Henry Kissinger. And that is OK. I might even learn from the process. But I never forget his work in WWII and after. The post war occupation was a success and I do not see any training for that work. And how that experience formed their reactions in Vietnam and even the Philippines. For better or worse they have been called our "Greatest Generation" and we can look for other reasons for what they did.
When I was with the First MID (66-67) we knew very little about eastern Cambodia, but we were getting ready to go there before Tet in 1968. That ended that planned move. But my information was that area was NVA camps and very little else. I still do not know why bombing them was illegal. But OK in Laos. My most recent information is from Mark Moyers latest book and next to last of his three book series on Vietnam. My take is that laws have to be tested in court to know what is legal and illegal. But I am not a lawyer.
Excellent article! It reminded me of an instance of my own vis a via Cambodia. I was in the process of recruiting a Cambodia village chief to spy for America on activities along the Ho Chi Minh trail when the question of compensation came up. I indicated that I could provide him with Cambodian riels, American dollars, or if he preferred corrugated metal for roofs in his village. He quickly stopped me saying that he wanted none of these. What he wanted, he added, was advanced warning when the B-52s were going to bomb in his area. Not knowing anything about the bombing, myself, I quickly assured him that the US was not bombing anywhere in Cambodia; only in Vietnam. Is reaction was immediate. He stood up. Looked me right in the face and with considerable determination his voice said: Oh! Yes you are! I'll take the riels. It took me awhile after I returned from the encounter to discover that he knew more about US actions in Cambodia than I did or the vast majority of the American people. Kissinger did much the same thing -- kept the American people and even the Congress in the dark -- on the promises he made to the Chinese before President's Nixon's famous trip to China, but that's a story for a different time.
Such insight, agreed! A contributing factor to prior hesitancy.