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Kissinger and Vietnam

April 14, 1985

Former Secretary of State Kissinger's article on Vietnam was the height of ironic hypocrisy.

As the primary architect of the failed "peace accords," Kissinger more than any other person or faction bears the responsibility of the tragic consequences that befell South Vietnam. For Kissinger to suggest that the tragedy was a result of domestic legislative inaptitude belies his sophistication of the body-politic in a democracy. I, for one, do not believe Kissinger lacks that sophistication, therefore there must be an underlying motive in his defensive posturing.

Kissinger lashes out not only at radical critics (of the left?) but also at the right and neo-conservatives, implying that they are to blame for the tragedy of Vietnam, the poison gas in Laos, and the genocide in Cambodia; while he (Kissinger) had "striven to prevent such horror (that) is no shame." The fact is that the illegal clandestine saturation bombing of Laos and Cambodia initiated by Kissinger and Nixon was the primary factor in the downfall of these two formerly neutral countries and the horrors that subsequently followed.

Kissinger's Machiavellian view has ebbed so low that he no longer recognizes that the foundation of a democracy is the free exchange and debate between contending factions, and instead desires (as has every tyrant) the restraint of contending views.

Kissinger's purpose in writing such articles is quite clear. He is playing for history and attempting to change the historical record of his unscrupulous diplomacy and culpability in the Vietnam War. History as well as the public generally recognize that such self-authored articles, books, and statements are self-serving rather than illuminating.

DAVID L. KEELER

Anaheim

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