The Nation: Urgent Plea for a Losing Cause

John Gunther Dean, 49, has lost 21 lbs. in the past year. He is the battle-fatigued, frustrated U.S. ambassador in Phnom-Penh who during that period has tried to shore up the Lon Nol government in the hope of eventually achieving what he helped bring about as U.S. chargé in Laos 18 months ago: a coalition between the opposing parties that would end the fighting. While he claims not to be emotionally involved in the situation, he clearly is. In an interview last week with TIME Correspondent Roy Rowan, he pleaded his increasingly forlorn case for continued U.S. military assistance. Excerpts:

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