Indochina RerunIt is interesting how concern for the lives of the 7 million inhabits in Cambodia as the Khmer Rouge approach power is neatly reduced to mere euphemisms like "legalistic niceties" and "diplomatic language." Also, while the NY Times acknowledges that "signed papers" are unenforceable, they are at the same time advocating no "delay" on reaching a "cease-fire agreement" which is itself just an unenforceable "signed paper." This seems consistent with the usual liberal position that reaching "agreement" is far more important than actually solving any problem.
February 17, 1973, Saturday
Page 30, 548 words
The news from Laos and Cambodia is beginning to show distressing similarities to the diplomatic deadlock of December that delayed the Vietnam cease-fire and provoked temporary intensification of the war....
There is one point which the Vietnam evolution these past three weeks has confirmed: no legalistic niceties are worth delaying an agreement on a cease-fire, for no diplomatic language on a signed paper can enforce provisions that one side or the other wishes to evade. [emphasis added]
UPDATE: William Shawcross, former NY Times reporter of Cambodia's "Killing Fields" fame, has learned the lesson about the human cost of US defeat.