NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
6th November, 1972 : American hopes of peace in Vietnam are rising, in the belief that the intensified US bombing campaign has done so much damage to the North Vietnamese economy that Hanoi will soon be forced to agree to a cease-fire. It is suggested that the damage is so great that President Nixon will be able to win better terms from the Communists than was thought possible before the offensive started. “Even if the bombs don’t coerce the enemy into successful peace talks,” said one officer, “they are destroying his will to fight.” Others dispute this assessment, doubting that the bombing will drive Hanoi to weakness at the conference table.
[On 26th October, 1972 Henry Kissinger declared that “peace is at hand” in Vietnam, and said that a cease-fire could be arranged in just one more session of the Paris peace talks. Mr Nixon has promised he will achieve “peace with honour and not peace with surrender”, but his Democratic opponent, George McGovern, argues that anti-war activists, not Nixon, will be credited with ending the war.]