chapter  17
“Dominos,” Dynamos, and the Vietnam War
WithGareth Porter
Pages 6

Every aspect of the revised rationale for the United States intervention in Vietnam is contrary to historical fact. According to the argument, communist control of Vietnam in the mid-1960s would have quickly led to a communist-dominated Cambodia and Singapore, growing insurgencies in Thailand and Malaysia that would have threatened their economic and political development, and a civil war between communists and anticommunists in Indonesia. A Vietnamese diplomat has revealed that the Chinese proposed to divide Laos into three zones—a northern zone under the Pathet Lao, a central zone under the neutralists, and a southern zone under the anticommunist. The insurgency began to disintegrate only in the early 1980s, after China and Vietnam had cut off material support for the insurgents in order to compete for political favor with the Thai government, and after important bases in Pol Pot's Cambodia had been lost.