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Brother enemy : the war after the war by Nayan Chanda

By Nayan Chanda

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About the same time that Vietnam began taking the census and preparing the elections for a unified national assembly, it also stepped up its effort to strengthen its position in Indochina by drawing Laos into a closer alliance and seeking to patch up territorial disputes with Cambodia. Hanoi leaders had decided that a unified government and planning apparatus at home and closer ties with its Indochina neighbor were essential conditions for embarking upon the enormous task of rebuilding the war-ravaged country and bringing about Socialist transformation .

Unlike 1953, when he wrested Cambodia's independence from France, Sihanouk was no longer in a position to decide on the timing or how to maneuver. All the skills that he had learned in the 40 Prince Norodom Sihanouk: The Victory thirty-four years since his ascendancy to the throne of Cambodia seemed to be useless . In 1941 the French had chosen Sihanouk, the nineteen-year-old scion of the Norodom branch of the royal family, over the rival Sisowath branch because he was believed to be rather cute.

Before assuming the secretaryship of the Vietnamese party in 1960, he had spent a decade in jail and a number of years leading the revolution in South Vietnam. But unlike his associate Pham Hung, a portly southerner who had long been in charge of the struggle in the South and maintained contact with the Khmer Rouge leaders across the border, Duan was making his first trip to Cambodia. The purpose of the visit was clearly not tourism. The Vietnamese guests were not taken out of Phnom Penh, which had become a ghost city after the brutal evacuation of its entire population in April.

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