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Viet Refugees Rake Kissinger Over the Coals

December 04, 1987|Reuters

PARIS — Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger faced a barrage of hostile Vietnamese interrogators today when he returned to the building where, 15 years ago, he concluded a doomed peace treaty with North Vietnam.

"Why did you desert us, what sort of a man are you?" asked one of dozens of Vietnamese who packed 19 Avenue Kleber, where Kissinger and Hanoi's negotiator, Le Duc Tho, locked horns for four years to try to end the Vietnam war.

"This is the first chance we have had to get at a man who we see as being responsible for maintaining the war in our country and then pulling out the Americans, leaving us alone," one Vietnamese said.

'What Have You Done'

"In the last 12 years, what have you done to bring relief to your involuntary victims?" another questioner chimed in.

Kissinger, now a globe-trotting current affairs analyst, was in Paris to discuss the lessons of the war at a "Committee to Rethink Vietnam" conference organized by opponents of the communist regime.

Many of the questioners were Vietnamese "boat people" who fled their homeland after the communist regime installed itself in South Vietnam in 1975.

Kissinger shrugged off the harsh questioning, saying: "The Vietnamese have a moral right to ask me these questions. I'm a big boy and I can take it.

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