After its defeat in Vietnam, the United States withdrew its military forces from the entire Indo-Chinese peninsula, something Chomsky along with the rest of the left had fiercely denied it would ever do. The result was that Cambodia was over-run by the Khmer Rouge—in other words, by the Communist forces that the Vietnamese Communists along with Chomsky and the entire American left had supported until then. Freed from American military interference, the Khmer Rouge proceeded to kill two million Cambodians who, in their view, stood in the way of the progressive “good example” they intended to create. Chomsky earned himself a bad reputation by first denying and then minimizing the Cambodian genocide until the facts overwhelmed his case. Now, of course, he blames its killing fields on the United States.
Chomsky also blames the United States for the fact that “Vietnam is a basket case” and not a good example. “Our basic goal—the crucial one, the one that really counted—was to destroy the virus [of independent development], and we did achieve that. Vietnam is a basket case, and the U.S. is doing what it can to keep it that way.” This is Chomsky’s excuse for the failure of Vietnamese Communism (which is no different really from the failure of every Communist state). It is the all-purpose leftist excuse for every leftist failure.118 The devil made them do it. As Chomsky knows the victorious Vietnamese Communists were Marxists. Marxism is a crackpot theory that doesn’t work. Every Marxist state in history has been an economic basket case. So why not Vietnam’s?
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