Today’s history lesson
Somebody needs to tell Jay Bullock that his blog is suffering from the contributions of some of his fellow liberals. This one from “bert” is typical. In disagreeing with the President’s recent statement drawing parallels between the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the likely aftermath, “bert” wrote,
But past this arena of debate there are hard facts. To claim that the murderous regime of Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979 happened because the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam does not stand up to any scrutiny.
The history of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 is too complicated to cover here.
If you’re going to provide a refutation to someone’s argument, don’t tell your audience that the answer is too complicated. Since “bert” is feeling a little intellectually insecure, let’s consult with the late Professor Sam Kinison and his teaching assistant Rodney Dangerfield to put the Cold War in a way he might understand:
In all seriousness, to blame the United States for destabilizing Cambodia and/or the rest of Southeast Asia is just ignorant of history. I realize the schools do a really poor job of explaining American foreign policy, but let’s at least remember the North Vietnamese Army and their allies in the south used Cambodia (and Laos) as a sanctuary for much of the Vietnam War, that the Khmer Rouge were actually Chinese clients, and that US policy in Cambodia was in response to unchecked North Vietnamese aggression.
We can debate the strategic necessity of our involvement in the region, but let’s not hide from the fact that our withdrawal from, not our intervention in, the region led to the horrible consequences that followed. We betrayed and abandoned our allies, and the Killing Fields was only one of the resulting tragedies.