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As Lind notes, Laos was the most heavily bombed country during the war, and yet it didn’t descend into killing fields.

The Khmer Rouge were already implementing their lunatic vision in territory they controlled prior to taking over. In his book, “Cambodia: Year Zero,” Father Francois Ponchaud wrote that the catastrophic emptying out of the capital, Phnom Penh, followed “traditional revolutionary practice” — indeed, “the guerrilla fighters had been sending all inhabitants of the villages and towns they occupied into the forests to live, often burning their homes so they would have nothing to come back for.”

They did it out of a profound ideological commitment, not in reaction to Henry Kissinger. The former secretary of state has a complicated legacy, understandably for someone so influential for so long, but he’s not responsible for the unspeakable enormities of fanatics he fought to keep out of power.

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.

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