Tuesday 07 July, 2009 at 3:02 am Ken 0

If only Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s national security adviser and Secretary of State, would follow Robert McNamara’s example late in life and confess that he deceived the American people about Vietnam.

Declassified Nixon tapes and documents prove that Kissinger realized that:

1. The Vietnamization training program would not make South Vietnam capable of defending itself, and

2. The “peace” terms he negotiated with North Vietnam would destroy South Vietnam following a “decent interval” of a year or two.

To conceal the failure of his strategy of “Vietnamization and negotiation, Nixon (at Kissinger’s urging) prolonged the war into the fourth year of his first term — long enough to avoid a pre-election collapse of the South Vietnamese government that would show voters he had lost the war.

You can see and hear the evidence here:


The decision to prolong the war for political reasons cost thousands of American lives, and countless more Vietnamese lives as well. No one deserved to die for the sake of Richard Nixon’s or Henry Kissinger’s career.

There are worse things than coming clean too late, like Secretary McNamara, and one of them is to continue to profit from deception, like Secretary Kissinger.

ETA: I originally posted this in the New York Times comments section but the link no longer works, so I’m reposting it here.

ETA: New permanent link. Click “Recommend” if you do.

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