Ambassador: U.S. handed Cambodia to 'butcher' 40 years ago
Twelve helicopters, bristling with guns and U.S. Marines, breached the morning horizon and began a daring descent toward Cambodia's besieged capital. Residents believed the Americans were rushing in to save them, but at the U.S. Embassy, in a bleeding city about to die, the ambassador wept.
Forty years later, John Gunther Dean recalls one of the most tragic days of his life — April 12, 1975, the day the United States "abandoned Cambodia and handed it over to the butcher."
"We'd accepted responsibility for Cambodia and then walked out without fulfilling our promise. That's the worst thing a country can do," he says in an interview in Paris. "And I cried because I knew what was going to happen."