Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsKissinger

Kissinger and Vietnam

April 14, 1985

Anyone who has seen the movie, "The Killing Fields," and who knows why those B-52 raids destroyed part of neutral Cambodia must have been appalled to see Henry A. Kissinger's byline in The Times on Easter Sunday.

In his "Tragedy of War in Four Acts" (Opinion, April 7) Kissinger (1) claimed he and Richard Nixon tried to save Cambodia from its horrible fate, (2) said the media collaborated with anti-war extremists and in general were unfair, (3) called the war's political aims "noble," (4) maintained if it hadn't been for Watergate, Nixon could have saved America's honor.

Younger readers, learning the history of those times, need to know that it was Kissinger who encouraged the wiretaps that eventually led to the formation of Nixon's ill-fated "plumber's" unit. Indeed, in this article, he said one lesson of Vietnam is that "a democracy cannot conduct a serious foreign policy if the contending factions do not exercise some restraint in their debate."

A translation for younger readers: if the President and his aides want to conduct an illegal 16-month bombing of a neutral nation, say Cambodia in 1969-1970, they really can't afford to have major newspapers running stories about it. President Reagan and his advisers have learned this lesson well, as we have seen by their censorship in Grenada and attempts to develop new laws for the prosecution of information-leakers.

The true lesson of Vietnam is that the people who created the killing fields of Southeast Asia should be removed from influence before they do the same to Latin America. Instead of signing up Kissinger for a series of these articles, The Times would better serve the public by allowing someone to analyze his role. You are mistaken if you believe younger readers know how to read between the lines, or how to tell whether he or George Ball is telling the truth.

MICHAEL EMERY

Pacific Palisades

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|