[Note: This is a subpost linked to by Vietnam, Israel and the Left’s Delusional Narratives. Feel free to comment but the post might not make much sense without the parent post’s context.]
Delusion: The US “expanded” the war into Cambodia in 1970 and did so “illegally”.
Reality: In this delusion, the US overtly launched operations into eastern Cambodia in 1970 merely to expand its imperialistic designs on Indochina in general. The “intellectuals” of the “peace” movement claimed that there were no significant North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia.
The legal reality of this delusion is best summed up in this article about the Kent State shootings [h/t Instapundit].
Perhaps the greatest irony is that the angry students – as so often was the case throughout the war – had their facts wrong. Going into Cambodia was not “illegal.” Like South Vietnam, Cambodia was one of the “protocol states” the United States had solemnly pledged to defend against communist aggression when the Senate in 1955 consented to the ratification of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization agreement with but a single dissenting vote. Cambodia, like South Vietnam, was similarly incorporated by reference in the 1964 statute, by which 99.6 percent of Congress authorized the use of military force to carry out our SEATO obligations.
This “expansion” delusion could be refuted at the time by anyone who could read a map and see where the battles were being fought. When you see large-scale battles occurring in the Southmost corner of Vietnam, right up against the Cambodian border, you don’t have to be Napoleon to see that the North Vietnamese army had to be supplying and basing itself in eastern Cambodia. Clearly, the North Vietnamese had violated Cambodian neutrality on a massive scale. This justified the incursion into Cambodian on both strategic and legal grounds.
Again, post-Cold War evidence would show the “Peace” movement was dead wrong.