Motives Behind the Vietnamese Occupation

Note: this article is distributed by Dr. Naranhkiri Tith. It is important for us to read some academic paper in creating critical thinking about the fact of January 7, 1979.

Motives Behind the Vietnamese Occupation
Cambodia: A Nation in Turmoil; by Marc Leepson,
(Editorial Research Reports: Congressional Quarterly Inc., Washington, D.C. April 5,
   1985)

Western analysts disagree about the exact reasons behind Vietnam’s occupation of
Cambodia and its goals in that country. But there is near unanimous
agreement in the West that the reasons put forward by Vietnam are, in the
words of former U.S. Representative to the United Nations Jeane J.
Kirkpatrick, “a transparent deception.” 3 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Van Dong,
in an interview published last year in Newsweek magazine, said his
government “could not stand by in good conscience and watch the Pol Pot
clique butcher millions of innocent Kampucheans in cold blood.”4 The
   evidence shows, however, that Vietnam knew of the Khmer Rouge terror for
   years prior to the invasion. “Hanoi showed not the slightest concern for the
fate of the Cambodian people while most of the killing was actually going
on,” Morris said. “On the contrary, Vietnamese Communist Party and
government statements were lush in their praise of Pol Pot and his regime.”
5

Some believe that Vietnam invaded Cambodia because it felt threatened by an
aggressive and unfriendly Khmer Rouge government, which launched raids into
Vietnam late in 1978. “The first thing that drives the Vietnamese is their
own security concerns,” said Linda Hiebert, co-director of the Center for
International Policy’s Indochina Project.6 “They would like to see a very
close relationship between the three countries of Indochina [Cambodia, Laos
and Vietnam! because that will maintain security on many levels – military,
economic, et cetera.” Arnold Isaacs, author of Without Honor: Defeat in
Vietnam and Cambodia (1983), agreed. “What is uppermost in the Vietnamese
minds is their own security,” said Isaacs, who was a war correspondent for
the Baltimore Sun in Indochina in 1972-75 “They feel they should be the
dominant power in the region and … the governments of Laos and Cambodia
should be friendly and not a threat….”
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