Thailand: Gloom in the Land of Smiles

When embattled Cambodia began casting around for a savior, Thailand, the pro-Western "Land of Smiles," seemed ideally cast. The Thai government, a military regime with parliamentary trappings, had sent its 11,000-man Black Leopard Division to South Viet Nam on a similar mission. General Praphas Charusathien, the country's Vice Premier and army chief, was forever saying: "It is better to fight Communists outside Thailand than at home." Cambodia, whose border is just a three-hour drive from Bangkok, seemed a likely place.

Something happened to the Thais on the way to the rescue. In May,...

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