. I'm a big fan of President Nixon because I have huge respect for his achievements and intellect. The opening to China and the effects of SALT I and the ABM Treaty with the Soviets were the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Preserving US qualitative superiority (MIRVs) while giving the Soviets very soft caps on offensive weapons (to allow them to continue to burn money just to have a worthless quantitative advantage
out of fear of a two front war) was brilliant. It's too bad douchebag Reagan had to burn our money needlessly when we would have won regardless because the Soviets actually started their buildup before he took office (undoubtedly in response to the new international alignment Nixon created). I'm also impressed by many of his domestic feats as well.
As for Cambodia, they got the ok to go in from the country's leader...they thought it would help in terms of interdicting Communist supply routes and whatnot. There were casualties to be sure although most scholars agree that it was unforseeable that the bombings in Cambodia would lead to the Khmer Rouge taking over the country and turning it into a hellhole (Melvin Small). Here's where you and I disagree: You are a libertarian, and you don't want US involvement anywhere. I don't care hat US involvement may at times engender ill will. We are guided by our own strategic intersts. It's a cold analysis and I'm good with it. Our job is cold and calculating...pure and simple. They thought it would help to shorten the war, didn't work as well as they hoped, that's fine. I'm not some starry eyed idealist. I believe in realpolitik, I'm fine with that. Moral compass? Strategic interest comes first. That's my moral compass for US foreign policy. If everythign else is equal and we can help people than that is fine, but its not priority one. I'm not going to shudder at that, or getting rid of Allende either. It's a chess game. The purpose is to win, not to be "the better example". People don't make decisions based on "the better example". They make it in their own interests, as they should. I fundamentally disagree with your worldview. To each his own. I'd like to see Morsi get taken out. Having a secular, military-led government there is better for stability. Thats the end of the analysis.
That's also why I'd rather us leave Assad in power in Syria. While he's a huge dickbag and that is killing some of his own people, it would be in the US interest to have a secular leader that is at least surrounded and weakened, rather than having militant Islamic groups take charge (like they did in Egypt and elsewhere).It's a lesser of two evils scenario. There are no good choices in foreign policy, only less bad ones.