by Patrick Buchanan
from Chronicles Magazine
When America is about to throw an ally to the wolves, we follow an established ritual. We discover that the man we supported was never really morally fit to be a friend or partner of the United States.
When Chiang Kai-shek, who fought the Japanese for four years before Pearl Harbor, began losing to Mao’s Communists, we did not blame ourselves for being a faithless ally, we blamed him. He was incompetent; he was corrupt.
When Buddhist monks began immolating themselves in South Vietnam, the cry went up: President Diem, once hailed as the “George Washington of his country,” was a dictator, a Catholic autocrat in a Buddhist nation, who had lost touch with his people.
And so, word went out from the White House to the generals. Get rid of Diem, and you get his power and U.S. support. Three weeks before JFK was assassinated, Diem and his brother met the same fate.
When the establishment wished to be rid of a war into which it had plunged this country, suddenly it was “the corrupt and dictatorial Thieu-Ky regime” in Saigon that was simply not worth defending.
Lon Nol, our man in Phnom Penh, got the same treatment.
“In this world it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, but to be a friend is fatal,” said Henry Kissinger.
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