Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nixon and Vietnam

Today is the anniversary of Richard M. Nixon's announcement that an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War--"peace with honor" had finally been reached. Of course, this was much the same "peace" agreement that Henry Kissinger reached in October 1972, when he raced back from Paris in time for the fall election claiming that "peace is at hand." Only the "government" in South Vietnam was adamant that the agreement reached was unacceptable, since it left the National Liberation Front (popularly known as the "Viet Cong") intact and in place throughout the south.

Bargainers from North Vietnam with incentive to return to the bargaining table (they expected the US government to prevail upon their puppet regime in the south to accept the deal cut in Paris, and refused to re-negotiate the terms they initially agreed to), "Operation Linebacker II" dropped 15,237 tons of ordnance on the People's Republic of Vietnam between December 18 and 29--which is why the mission is popularly known as the "Christmas Bombing." Both Operation Linebacker I and II are used to justify the concept of "strategic bombing," military operations with "minimal" civilian casulties. Plus, the civilian casulties that result are the fault of the hostile government (in the American view, and the American view is the only one that counts) placing civilian installations too close to military targets.

The end result of this carnage was that the United States got the People's Republic to agree to the same terms they agreed to the previous October, and Nixon then prevailed upon the president of the Republic of Vietnam (the official name for the US-supported government in the south) to accept the terms agreed to by the US and North Vietnam the previous October.

The video above poses the question as to whether Henry Kissinger (and by extension, his boss, Richard Nixon), is a war criminal. The synchronicity between the events in Vietnam, and the largely ignored other news of today are always of interest to those persons looking for such connections.

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