The World: Showdown in Laos

THREE weeks after the attack on the Ho Chi Minh Trail had begun. South Viet Nam's rugged Quang Tri province, the chief staging area, became a major stop on the VIP circuit. Texas Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, new to the Senate Armed Services Committee, flew in by executive jet, only to be waved away from Khe Sanh when Communist mortar fire suddenly thudded in. South Viet Nam's Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, resplendent in his standard field getup—black flight suit, purple scarf and revolver—arrived to visit South Vietnamese marines. "I tried to visit Laos...

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