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equally the will to win as on the other side and this comes from our talking to the people from the generals down through the foot soldiers. We find that the desertion rate has lessened rather than increased as the siege of the city has worsened.
So I personally feel that these people have the will to win, they have demonstrated it, and I think if we give them this help it will carry them at least through to the wet season and then maybe the Lord will give a little help with the water down there and other things might happen.
NEED 105-DAY SUPPLY
Let me explain my difference with Mr. McCloskey on the amount, and it is again degree. He has told you that the computation on the part of the Defense Department has meant the expenditure rate of 450 short tons a day. Mr. McCloskey bases his computation on 75 days and I base mine on 105. The State Department and the Defense Department pled with us to provide for not less than 105 days, so at the expenditure of 450 tons per day this would bring us over the 105 days to a total of $137.7 million rather than the $116.7 million which Mr. McCloskey has suggested.
So I recommend that if we are going to do anything at all, we should provide enough help to do some good. I think our pattern, in trying to help other nations, has been to help too little too late in so many instances. We don't really get the job done so we want to get the food and medicine in there. If we want to buy time for negotiation, to lessen the chance for the bloodbath, then I think we should vote not less than $137.7 million.
Mr. Chairman, there is one other point that I want to mention about negotiation. I think we are prone to underrate the activity of our own State Department in attempted negotiations. All of us know when we enter into a circumstance like that it is difficult to negotiate. We have to do most of it through third parties and this is not always easy but I have assurances from the State Department that they have done everything possible to try to improve the negotiations. They tell us, however, that as long as the other side feels that beyond question it is going to have a military victory they are not willing to negotiate on any kind of a basis.
So we need to pour a little strength into the situation if we are going to give them an opportunity to negotiate, and that is the reason I think the military assistance is so vital. The indications are that the other side is about to exhaust its ammunition and its resources in this area. The indication is that they are going all out during this period of time to win. If they fail in that win, it is very likely that they may fail to win particularly if we provide for the 105 days that I am suggesting and the Departments of Defense and State are suggesting. I believe this can pour enough strength into the situation to give our negotiators at least an opportunity to do a little bit more from at least an improved position of strength,
So I recommend, Mr. Chairman, that we do provide this money. This has not been an easy decision for me. As some of you know, I don't like to spend money as well as some and this is a hard choice for me to make.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you, Mr. Chappell.
I think our final witness from the panel is Congresswoman Fenwick. We look forward to hearing from you.
STATEMENT OF HON. MILLICENT FENWICK, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Mrs. FENWICK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am against any more military aid for Cambodia unless by some extraordinary chance we can believe that negotiations are starting right now, yesterday, last night or tonight.
In my opinion the Lon Nol government, as it now is constituted, is a basket that is falling apart. If we put any heavy stones into it, in the way of aid of any kind or any effort to prop it up or any effort to continue it in office, those stones are going to fall right through the bottom of the basket and hit a lot of people on the way down. I heard on the radio this morning that General Fernandez who is head of the armed forces has been removed and in his place has been put a general who was Prince Sihanouk's armed forces head.
GOVERNMENT FALLING APART
The Lon Nol government is falling apart. The greatest service that we could do to the people of this country-the United Statesand to the people of that poor country in view of our moral responsibility there we have no legal responsibility-would be to move at once to see what arrangements can be made that would stop the shipping of arms from China into that area. That is the reality of the situation.
The basic reality of that country is: To whom will China ship arms? If China continues to ship arms against Lon Nol or against Prince Sihanouk-if he should be in power-there is going to continue to be fighting there. It is not a country, apparently, that China is prepared to leave to us. If we ship arms to one side, China is going to continue to ship arms to the other. The more we pour in, the more they will pour in. And the reality of the situation is that.
If I could be sure that our State Department was operating on any basis other than that of negotiations which include Lon Nol, I would feel less desperate about the situation than I do. I urge this committee and anybody with any authority to speak in this area to find out, if possible, on what basis the State Department is operating.
We got a list of what the State Department had done. They all referred to past, complicated methods of trying to communicate through third parties. I now find that there has been, all this time, a regular representative of Prince Sihanouk in Paris available to all countries. I now find that Prince Sihanouk has cabled to Senator Mansfield, and is in direct contact with Senator Mansfield. Surely this must be known to the State Department.
KHMER ROUGE HAVE REPRESENTATIVES
I now find that there has been in fact, a representative of the Khmer Rouge, the dominant guerrilla group, touring Asia and Africa to drum up support. Surely we could have had contact with him. How is it that our State Department seems to be moving exclusively to involve Lon Nol in the negotiations? I think that has been the sticking point. What has happened? The Lon Nol government has lost 80 percent of the country, of the area. About half the people have crowded into the cities because the atrocities have been terrible. What we have got to do now, in my opinion, is to work out some arrangement for the ordery transfer of power to some person, whether Sihanouk or anybody else who will take over the responsibility for the lives and safety of those people, the refugees and the people who are manning the voluntary agencies which are doing such heroic work in handing out the food that we send.
We cannot continue to pour military aid to the Lon Nol government without any suggestion that this is going to be replaced by something that the Cambodian people will accept and support and that China is prepared to accept so they will stop sending bullets into the area. It really boils down to something as fundamental as that.
LOOK AT AMERICAN INTERESTS
I would like to stop my testimony. I hope you will have questions concerning American interests. What are they? The Defense Department has testified and Mr. Schlesinger has told us privately and publicly that the security of the United States is not threatened by Indochina. There is no security or U.S. interest involved there. If Lon Nol's were a strong government, supported by its people and not corrupt and inept, that would be a different thing if we wanted to send them help, although I think that would still be unwise.
We must also consider what our people are prepared to support. What are the people of the United States prepared to do? Are they prepared to match year after year after year military appropriations for nations far away with no conceivable Defense suggestion that it is necessary for our security? I don't think they are.
So what are we doing? We pour money that we need at home into other countries, into a government that has proven itself incapable of holding more than 20 percent of the country. It is not viable. There is where our prestige suffers. We have been too quick to move into areas far away, without considering what the net result would be: Encouraging Cambodians to fight Cambodians. Why? If one sees the refugee villages and the hospitals with these poor malnourished children and people suffering with terrible diseases, one hesitates to think about what the American responsibility might be.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you, Congresswoman Fenwick.
Congressman Flynt, do you have any further comments you would like to make?
CAMBODIA NEUTRAL UNTIL 1970
Mr. FLYNT. Mr. Chairman, I think that the presentation has been very thorough. I would, however, like to summarize with one state
ment which has not been made. I think it should be pointed out that until about 1970 Cambodia through its then recognized government maintained a scrupulous neutrality. As a matter of fact, when the United States offered aid in one form or another the Cambodian Government under Prince Sihanouk irrevocably rejected firmly any form of U.S. aid. He stated very clearly that he did not want any and that he did not want to be involved in the military operations that were going on in Southeast Asia. He further stated that if he became the recipient of aid, military or economic, that he would soon find himself involved on one side or the other of the military in Southeast Asia.
In 1970, if my recollection is correct as to date, the neutral situation had deteriorated to the point where the North Vietnamese were using Cambodian geography upon which to staff both supply bases and personnel regroupment and replacement bases from which they could begin to and continue to make flanking attacks on the forces of South Vietnam and the forces of the United States from Cambodian bases. When that took place the U.S. Government undertook to believing that Sihanouk was violating his promise of neutrality, undertook to and successfully removed Prince Sihanouk from power in Cambodia.
Following that the bombing began as well as an invasion by U.S. ground forces into Cambodia. So in a way you might say that the United States backed into a feeling and a position of responsibility in what has taken place since.
NEGOTIATIONS NEED TO BEGIN
By way of conclusion, the only statement that I would have to make or add to that of my colleagues and as you can see, while the seven of us who went there are by no means totally unanimous, there is a general consensus among all seven that the difference is in degree and how to proceed to do it. I would state this conclusion that I think is shared by many. It is urgent that some form of negotiations beginunder whose auspices may have to yet be determined-but I think all of us would like to see some sort of negotiations terminate the fighting in this tragic civil war torn state.
Second, if the United States continues to provide economic and/or military assistance between now and the beginning of the rainy season, which will be sometime in June, I think if we can use mathematical figures we might say that there is about a 50-50 chance of effecting these negotiations. On the other hand, if the plug is pulled and if the government goes down the drain between now and June, there will be little chance of either a negotiated settlement or an orderly transfer of power from one side to the other.
LEADERSHIP QUESTION REMAINS
Who would be in a position to be the interim head of government and head of state among the government forces of Cambodia? I confess I don't know, I don't know that anybody knows. However, I do think it is very clear that as long as the present Chief of State, Lon Nol, is in power and stays as head of that government and chief of state that there is little or no chance of any negotiation whatsoever.
I think that at most we would be buying time and very little of that without any help at all.
The estimates are that the Cambodian Government forces could hold out until some time between April 15 and May 1. With some assistance that time might be extended until the rainy season begins sometime between the 15th and the latter part of June. I wish that we had the answer. We have done our best to give you the picture as we have seen it.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Flynt, may I say to you and your colleagues that the subcommittee is deeply impressed with your testimony this morning and the anguish that each of you have felt as you have surveyed this difficult scene, the style with which you have carried out your responsibilities. We appreciate very much the contributions you have made to the thinking of the Congress, not just the subcommittee, on this extraordinarily difficult problem.
Now if you will excuse us just a moment, the subcommittee has an item of housekeeping to attend to. Under the rules of the subcommittee we should take a vote on whether or not to close the afternoon session at which time we will discuss the various options before the subcommittee, and for that purpose I recognize the gentleman from Delaware for a motion.
MOVE TO CLOSE MEETING
Mr. DU PONT. Mr. Chairman, in light of the fact that the subcommittee at 2 o'clock this afternoon will be considering what action to take and in effect marking up our recommendation for the full committee, I move that this afternoon's meeting be closed.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Harrington.
Mr. HARRINGTON. Just a point of parliamentary inquiry, if it is appropriate at this juncture.
In reading the notice given to the membership of two separate meetings and noting that the entire membership of the subcommittee is not present, would it be appropriate to vote now on the matter of the afternoon meeting?
Mr. HAMILTON. I think the vote on this matter has to be taken in a public session, Mr. Harrington, which this is and the meeting this afternoon would not be.
Mr. HARRINGTON. Well, the procedure that has been somewhat ritualistically followed when the Secretary of State appears before us is to have that session begin publicly and then have that motion made. I am just puzzled whether the other members of the subcommittee would want to be heard or want to be able to vote where it was not before us, as I say, for this morning's agenda.
Mr. HAMILTON. Well, we do have five of the seven members of the subcommittee present which is certainly a sufficient number for us to act under our rules.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. I second the motion.
Mr. DU PONT. I move the question.
Mr. HAMILTON. The clerk will call the role.
Mr. VAN DUSEN. Chairman Hamilton.
Mr. HAMILTON. Aye.