Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Nixon's resignation from the presidency (yesterday having been the fortieth anniversary of his announcement to the American people of his intent to resign). Although there has been a multitude of myths about the break-in and cover-up that have become the accepted version of history, one thing is clear, the scandal had far-reaching implications that stretched far beyond Washington D.C., or even the United States of America.
For anyone interested in the truth about the Watergate scandal, Robert Gettlin and Len Colodny's book, Silent Coup, is necessary reading. Mike Wallace, of Sixty Minutes fame, called it the best researched book he had ever seen, and almost quit his position when his bosses refused to allow him to do a story on the book and its authors. The problem for Mr. Wallace's bosses was that the truth in the book conflicted greatly with the Washington Post's version, which became the Left's version and consequently became the official historical version accepted by even some on the Right.
Bill Bradley, editor of the Washington Post during the scandal, admitted they printed stories about the scandal they knew to be false for the purpose of making a better case against Richard Nixon. Years later, in defense of Mr. Bradley, Dan Rather stated that, "Richard Nixon was a corrupt president and we (meaning the media) had to do everything we could to remove him from power." No wonder Mr. Rather felt no compunction about falsifying the Air National Guard records of George W. Bush, which lead to him losing his position at CBS news.
But putting aside the Lefts behavior and deceit surrounding the Watergate scandal itself was the deaths it caused in South Vietnam and Cambodia at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Mr. Nixon's greatest accomplishment was winning the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese generals who would write about it years later admitted they went to the Paris Peace talks with their tale between their legs. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received the Noble Peace Prize for negotiating what in essence was the surrender of the communist North.
In the wake of the Watergate scandal, and Richard Nixon's resignation, the Democrats gained huge majorities in both houses of congress in the 1974 mid-term election. In so doing they were able to cut off funding for the support America had promised South Vietnam, and warned the North would be brought to bear if they incurred against the South. Without that support, the South fell to the North and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese were slaughtered. Pol Pot's troops were enabled by the instrument of slaughter handed them by congressional Democrats.
The Democrats lack of sorrow for what they had caused was best summed up by Senator Fullbright, Bill Clinton's mentor and political hero, when in response to how he felt about the slaughter compared it to the University of Arkansas basketball team losing a game. So much for the compassion of Democrats. It was this compassion which caused Prince Sirik Matak of Cambodia's response to the American ambassador there when he offered to airlift the prince to safety after his country was overrun by the communist Khmer Rouge. His response, directed at the United States, was an instrument of Democrat Party politics and lead not only to the death of the prince, but 1.6 million others.
I thank you very sincerely for your letter and your offer to transport me towards freedom. I can not, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it. You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But, mark it well, that if I should die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is no matter, because we are all born and must die. I have only committed this mistake of believing in you.