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September 1, 1970
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4/ Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 (b) (b) Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 (b)(1) (b)(3) Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT 24 August 1970 CAMBODIA'S "MINIMIRACLE"- CAN IT LAST? PNOMPENH An untrained, ill-equipped Cambodian Army, backed by U. S. air power and South Vietnamese ground forces, has�for the moment�created a "minimiracle" in this Communist-threatened land. When American troops pulled out of Cambodia on June 30 after smashing Red sanctuaries, predictions were wide- spread that the Government of Premier Lon Nol would fall in a matter of days or weeks. At the time, Cambodia had a virtual- ly unarmed force of 35,000 men. Hard- ened North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops were unopposed in Northeast Cambodia and moving out across the country. The former dictator, ousted Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was calling for revolution. Encouraging signs. In mid-August, the situation is still critical. But most observers here are vastly encouraged by recent developments. The Government in Pnompenh is stronger than it was six weeks ago. The Army shows signs of developing a back- bone, having withstood two Communist offensives since the Americans departed. And, so far at least, Prince Sihanouk's call for revolt in the countryside has gone unheeded. What accounts for all this? The big factor is morale. Says one American: "I haven't seen this kind of unity since Pearl Harbor." Students, bureaucrats, the middle class, and even peasants, have enthusi- astically joined the struggle against the enemy. The Government called for 200,000 volunteers�and got them. In small but sometimes bloody battles with the Com- munist forces, the Cambodians are throw- ing themselves into the fight. Often, it seems to observers Cambodian tactics have more valor than finesse. The Cambodians are getting help, of course. South Vietnamese troops are har- assing the Beds in Eastern Cambodia. American air power�both B-52 bombing of North Vietnamese concentrations and supply lines, and tactical support of Cambodian troops�plays a big role. One military source says that, without this air support, the Cambodians could not have held on�and would not be able to in the future. �Red problems. The Communists have other difficulties. Their old sea-supply route through Cambodia�which in the past few years supplied most of their ammunition and arms for the fight in Southern South Vietnam �has been cut off. So has most of their rice supply, which used to come of- ficially through Siha- nouk's Government. And Cambodian villag- ers are hostile to the Red invaders, giving the Lon Not forces more intelli- gence than they can use. There are still the equivalent of at least four divisions of Commu- nists inside Cambodia. That means as many as 50,000 fighting men. Their command structure Is intact and they are consolidating in the Northeast, east of the Me- kong River and west of the Vietnamese border. What are Cambodia's chances of sur- viving over the longer run? Much depends on Communist strate- gy. Most observers believe there will be no all-out attempt to bring down the Lon Not Government by massive mili- tary action against this capital. Rather, the Hanoi-Peking strategy appears to be to consolidate in the North- east�which the Cambodians have tem- porarily abandoned. From there, the war against South Vietnam can be continued. Puppet front. A long, hard war of attrition�using the puppet government- in-exile of Sihanouk as a front�has start- ed against Lon Nors Cambodia. Targets of opportunity will be exploited around the countryside, with priorities given to seizing rice and�more important�to re- cruiting Cambodians for Sihanouk. The Government is settling in for a long haul, hoping to maintain the initial enthusiasm and support of the people. The Government hopes to turn 60,000 to 70,000 men into a first-rate fighting force. The rest of the new manpower will be used to guard villages, to police military installations and to counter Red terrorism. More American aid�not only the 8.5 million dollars in arms and equip- ment already promised and arriving�will be needed. So will continued U. S., South Viet- namese and Thai air support. Especially sought will be American economic aid to rebuild Cambodia's economy, which was bankrupted by Sihanouk's policies be- fore he was ousted last March. Peasants hold key. Biggest question is whether or not the Communists can make progress enrolling the peasants in their ranks. The Communists "hold" more than a third of the country�the regions east of the Mekong River. But these are largely uninhabited. The Gov- ernment's challenge is to protect the peasants in more densely populated areas from Communist thrusts south- ward and westward. Confidence may be misplaced, but right now the Cambodians�and many Americans here�believe Lou Nol just might survive. They say that only time will tell if the "minimiracle" of the past weeks can continue. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 ,Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 THE OBSERVER, London 9 August 1970 smile from GAVIN* YOUNG:' Skun, SKUN, Cambodia. 8 August A SCORE of .young Cambo- dians killed in an, ambush a day ago lie in the sun today just down the road from here. They are behind us�on what 8110(0: be our safe' .side. Ahead, round- the: next bend in the road, funnels, of smoke rise from the little red-roofed ,town' of Skun. -.The .crash and rattle of rockets and . machine- guns. extend into the great green- ness around us, even at our backs on the way to Kompong .Chain, the key base. . Cambodian regulars .and volunteers are now fighting hand-to-hand and � house-to- house with Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops who occupied Skutt a week- ago. . I saw American and South Vietnamese jets machine-gunning and rocket,. -ting outside the town. Skun :may be recovered today or to- morrow. It sits on a vital cross- roads on the main northern high, :way only 35 miles from .Phnoni �Penh, but the situation in this important region of Cambodia will still be serious. � I Was plummeted down to the gaies of Skutt by a helicopter manned by South � Vietnamese pilots, cool as ice in slinky black flying suits with 'tiger-head badges, . accompanied by a Vietnamese colonel and the .gentle-looking Cambodian coat- attander, � General In Tam; � two years ago, an unbelievable coin- 'bination of nationalities. . - We landed on a cratered road. �The helicopter soared prudently: away. And something. amazing .happened. Despite the Vietcong milling around in the � undeN ,growth, about 50 sweating 'Cambodian soldiers, in motley 'battle-dress or . khaki' shorts, charged out of their foxholes, lams er e Cambodia, 8 August cheering, clapping their hands 'above their heads,, jumping in ,the air with glee, rushing to ,shake the General's hand. In ,one of thebottest war zones' in ,Cambodia,. we were � suddenly' in, la.sea of damp smiling faces.' . ) r ,Army morale � 'astounding' The high morale 'of Cam- bodia's under-trained :Army is ,astounding. It seethes through 'an increasingly battered country like high-tension electricity:1 These men have been lighting( atouud Skun day and night for 10 days. .Some are - peasants-,. others are students, labourers. teachers. � All are volunteers.: They have been badly knocked about. ',.;rhe North Vietnamese had infiltrated around and behind them. A column from Kompong Cham that was to have relieved them was caught in the ambush that. killed 27. Yet � they had held�with sporadic air support and no heli- copters. Now they proudly, pointed out their battered slit trenches. Some had Vietcong rocket craters only six feet away. All were ripped with bullets. . 'They kept creeping up in the' dark.' a Cambodian corporal said. 'They shouted "Lay down your arms ! "and we opened up on them crouching there only 20 yards away. I saw the blackened' grass and.bushes where Vietcong or Cambodian grenades had !ex- ploded and the traces of 'Viet- cong blood. I asked a boy, beam- ing and clutching his Chinese, sub-machine gun: Are you scared?' He said:' 'I was. But. now I know 'what the Vietcong, are like, not any more.' :He cer- 2 tainly saw a battle here. The General gave each man a. week's, pay, on the spot. General In Tam' is a remark- able man. Over 50, he is an administrator bV profession, now. 'a soldier by choice�. to save the 'country against this foreiga in- vasion.' He is Governor of Kom- pong Cham province where he Was born and which he loves and used to tour regularly. He is balding, looks more like an academic than a soldier, never carries 'a weapon, and has a wrinkled dark face like a friendly walrut. Be could be safe in the capital; his duties as President of the National Assembly could keep him there. He prefers to be with his men. He has already lost a brother and five nephews in a war that is only four months old. Today his staff tried to stop him going to Skun in a vulner- able helicopter--' The general is far too rash.' But he said the soldiers should see him. He said it like a professor talking about his favourite class. He had already spent three ,days and nights under shot and shell with his front-line troops at Skun earlier this week. He had personally extricated an encir- cled battalion. Like all Cambodians, without exception, he complains mildly but with justice of the lack of modern equipment for his men. Earlier, at his base in Kom- pong Chant, which is itself under rocket attack, I asked him if the Cambodians could hold up under the recurrent if limited losses in the meek-old wave of � Vietcong attacks across the country. Oh, yes. With time we can train and reorganise the ridiculous army Sihanouk left us.' When he saw Cambodians killed, did he feel angry at the obvious delay in arms deliveries 'from Cambodia's Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Well, a little of that.' Ile 'But it soon passes. We understand th:at this war hap- pened very quickly. We were all, including our allies, taken rather by surprise. It takes time to bounce back.' . Cambodians have been largely pinned on the defensive in the present hefty Vietcong and North Vietnamese push from the north towards Phnom Penh that has led to heavy fighting around Koni- pong Chain and even inside a major town like Kompong Thom from which the Vietcong have been ejected. There have been setbaces at Vkirirom, battles around Takeo in the south, and shelling of places nearer to the capital. Bridges have been mined. 'Cambodian civilians were killed in a major Vietcong ambush on the main road to the port of Kompong Soot. , � Volunteers , turned away. All the time the Cambodian army�turning away hundreds of volunteers by now�is feverishly training. It is ontroanouvred and :outgunned. But it iseiot collaps- ing It is even hitting back in areas like Skun. And though it �is a small country, Phnom Penh does not seem threatened today. Cambodian soldiers may look raggle-taggle, but they have seldom run away: Here I have met l 5-year-old veterans of two or three battles. And their -morale is higher than any I have seen in anybody's army in 10 years of visiting wars, It is a strange and rare situa- tion. Kompong Chain, the lush' .green second city 'of Cambodia, is cut off from Phnom Penh since Skun was lost last week. This week it was more like a city that welcomes attack more than it .fears it. Two nights ago the crash of Cambodian heavy mortars and the drone of low-ciroline Ameri- can planes dropping flares over the Mekong river made sleep difficult. Every greet corner has its heavily . sandbagged strong point. Men, women-, girls and boys are in uniform, deter- minedly clutching guns. I saw a dienitied oict man of about 60 with white hair and Ho Chi Minh beard being pedalled along in a eyelo, nursing his carbine, In the big lyeee, alreedy twice hit , by long-range Vietcong mortars, while some students play basket- ball or study, others in rotation man well-protected gun emplace- ments in which 'they sleep. A professor, strapped about with ammunition ibelt, grenades, and carbine, pointed to himself and said smiling: 'The; Duke of Marlborough goes to.war, n'est- ce paw ? ' In a small house in a back street flanked by scarlet hibiscus, two French priests, the only foreigners left in the city since it was cut oil, told me: ' There's 'no panic here. The people seem relaxed. They've been expecting an attack for weeks and they're becoming used to it. Much better discipline, too. Before, if a shot went off, everyone in the town would be blazing away. They laughed at the recollection. One does not get the feeling that the Vietcong and North Vietnamese are achieving a major breakthrough in this essen- tial heartland, though as the Viet- namese liaison officer with 'the troops at Kompong Chain says of the situation: It's not 'pretty, eh ? ' The Cambcklian strength is in their will to fight and the fact that this is not a civil war. But there are major North Vietnamese units moving down by river and truck, They are desperate for a really big psycbological viceery. Food prices are beginning to. 'creep up in Kompong Cham. The Cambodians have other disadvantages beside a shortage of weapons, General In Tam, that unusual man, will not allow Napalm in his region. Again. other towns have been destroyed by air attack before beinvetaken from the Vietcong. The general here says: ' I must at all costs protect our civilian lives and pre- vent material damage. So the fighting has been. very hard in ' Skun. ' The enemy gets into the, buildings�even pagodas�and uses them as fire points. We don't 3 want to destroy our own houses and temples, so it takes longer to retake a town and our losses may be greater as a result. I would not allow aircraft to ben* Skun. Meanwhile Skun will be retaken and the main road opened again.' But only tentatively. It will be a risky drive from Phnom Penh to Kompong Chain for sonic time. Today as I stood with the General with his joyful troops cln the edge of Skun, two big trucks encircled by a strongly armed escort were creeping down the road behind us at walking pace. Because of the lurking enemy, it Would take them six hours to'-pick up the poor ambushed bodies, the gay scarves made up from the Cam- bodian and Buddhist flags still around their necks, and deliver them to the incinerators in Korn- pong Chain only 15 miles away. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 BALTIMORE SUN 16 August 1970 Lon Nol Slowly Introduces A Greater Freedom To Cambodia An Increased Pluralism I Over Sihanouk's Era " Is Bringing Support 30 MICHAEL PARKS [Sun Stall Corresponded] Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 15--The new Cambodian govern- inent, which many expected Would quickly become another American-supported military dictatorship, so far seems to be freer, more open and tolerant of, dissent than the regime Of -Prince Norodom Sihanouk was. The government of Gen. Lon Nol, ' the premier, also is pro- ceeding gingerly to broaden its political base, partially, through patronage, partially through community-development pro-, grams but mostly by appealing to the patriotism and soliciting the support of the peasant and laborer. � The efforts are cautious and often tentative, and they can be undercut at any time, of course, by serious military reverses: By most estimates, the Phnom .Penh government controls only a third of the countryside, but perhaps . two-thirds of the pro. government population is con- centrated in the provincial capi- tals and towns. , Within this context, the gov- ernment is firmly in charge within the territory it holds, but even its critics acknowledge it to be more responsive to local needs than was the Sihanouk re- , gime... . . Intellectuals and' Students, Who in most countries would tend to be anti-government, firmly support the coup and new government. � !Buddhist groups, basically now-political here but closer to the peasantry than any other group, also support it. The government's parliamen- tary critics, who had won only a few grudging changes from Prince Sihanouk over a decade, say they have no quarrel with the current government's goals., only its methods. - Generally they feel it is too moderate, too cautious probably reflecting the personality of Lon Nol. So far, the critics have 'Per- suaded the government to end end the practice of concentrat- ing all power in the hands of two or three men,' each running three or four ministries. While Lon Nol has kept the defense portfolio, he and Naj. Gen. Siso- wath Sink Matak, the deputy premier, have given up their other ministries to new Cabinet members including assembly deputies,,an Army general, and -two popular university proles.: sors. They also have created 12 spe- cial commissariats to deal with refugees, veterans, planning and other matters at the sub-Cabinet level. The essential, policy-making powers remain in the hands of Lon Nol and Sink Matak, but neither local nor foreign politi- cal observers here believe that either man wants to be a dicta- tor in the classic sense. . The Cabinet membert andthe officials appointed to rim the new commissariats say they have greater day-to-day operat- ing authority than was ever al- lowed under Prince Sihanouk. Most of this means little so faF 4 to the Cambodian who is not a member of the French-style elite of civil servants, Army offi- cers, university teachers, pro- fessionals and businessmen, al- though the government is mak- ing plans to win the average Cambodian's allegiance lest it :revert to Prince Sihanouk. Elite Approves, Too , Most of the members of the political elite, whose viewpoints range from the near-monarchist to radical socialist, have said 'almost unanimously in ;private Conversations recently that they believe the Lon Nol government has moved significantly toward republican democracy with a dreat deal of speed. Similarly, most Western diplo- Mats here say they are stir- :prised at the stability of the goy- i..ernment and the speed of its :political reforms. "Given that this is a country War, a country occupied by its 'enemy and a country that had an abrupt change of govern- ments five months ago," a polit- ical analyst at a European em- bassy said, "I find amazing sta- bility. Moreover, I think the po-. litical reforms are considerable given the time period.," The current debate among the politically aware centers on when to. declare Cambodia a, re- pulbkc and what form of govern; ment to embody In the new CQII: stitution Which is being drafted. Lon Nol ;said fie expects the -transforrnation from a constitu: Ptionai mpharchy.-with ,Many remnants of angkore,an god0 kings to,Areptiblle,-within twoThe inonth8.-- &sate fi,ov'er whethir the - new govetnment ,,be Modeled _upon the. 0.e:hem* form with a strong president, on whether it will be modeled upon' the old post-war French repuilic with a figurehead president and a basically parliamentary form of government. Predictably, the Lon Nol gov- ernment favors the strong-presi- dent concept and his parliamen- tary opponents favor the other form. Questions of unicameral ver- sus bicameral legislatures, de- centralization . of governmental functions, and the election of al- most all local officials also are. being vigorously debated by polJ iticians.here M a style that they say was never permitted before. Whether this-constitution will be drafted by the present national, assembly or a new constituent assembly has not been deter- mined because of the impossibil- ity of holding elections through- out the country. For the same reason, the government expects to postpone for a year or per- haps two the national assembly , elections scheduled for this fall, a move accepted by alt here as. reasonable. , Another significant change from the Mat Sihanouk years is, the organization of several polit- ical parties now under way. For several years, there had been only the Sangkum party, which had its factions but no external opposition. It was growing dissatisfaction within the Sangkum, however, over the country's stagnating economy and the government's increasing deficits that forced Prince Sihanouk to install Lou Nol as premier last August in.. what the prince called "the gov- ernment of SalvatiOn.", ' Those problems remain, erbated by, the straths,of war. , Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 18 August 1970 VOL. CLXX:VI NO. 35 Turn for the Good? It Has Its Troubles, But Cambodia Proves It's Not Any Pushover Hanoi Said to Be Too Weak � To Fight Two Wars; Meets 'An Unexpected Resistance' A Tale of Two Ferryboats, By PETER R. KANN Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL PHNOM PENH�The Bulgarian embassy here is a modest villa -furnished with couches upholstered in plastic leopardskin. Its walls are decorated with travel posters showing beefy peasant girls harvesting grapes for the pro- duction of wines like "Bulgarpiod." On one wall of the office of the Bulgarian , charge d'affaires is a large road map of Cam- bodia, festooned with several score little red flags. The flags mark scenes of battle, but the map is sadly out of date. There, are no red flags on the towns of Kampot, Kompong Thom, Kirirom or a dozen other sites of recent com- bat. "It is unfortunate," says the . charge d'affaires, "but we have run out of flags." The Bulgarians aren't the only ones who have been unable to keep pace with recent events in Cambodia. Four months ago Cam- bodia was the most peaceful and cohesive little country in Southeast Asia. Today it is barely a country at all. � Within two months of the mid-March coup that toppled Prince Sihanouk, North Vietnam- ese and Vietcong troops had spread across most of Cambodia, even occupying the towers of the ancient Khmer kingdom at Angkor Wat. Today they are in full control of all of north- east and most of northern Cambodia�more than half the country's land area. Sonic Hope What's more, the South Vietnamese effec- tively took control of large parcels of southeast Cambodia. Thailand currently is debating when to move troops into western Cambodia, American and South Vietnamese planes fly bombing raids throughout most of the count as the Cambodian army lumbers from one der', teat to another in Pepsi-Cola trUcks and gaylY painted buses. 5 Most of Cambodia's rural population lives under the control of neither the Communists nor the new Cambodian government of Pre- mier Lon Nol. They live in political vaccuume that are gradually coming to be called "con- tested areas." "We are witnessing the Congolization of Cambodia, a country disintegrating before our eyes," says a European diplomat. He notes that the tough and resilient South Vietnamese have been fighting continually for 30 years, but still , South Vietnam is in better shape than Cambodia, which has been at war for only four Months. But if Cambodia is far worse off than it was tour months ago, most observers here now feel that its prospects of resisting a Communist takeover look a bit brighter than they did two months ago. At that time there was talk here of the siege, and even seizure, of Phnom Penh, and of the hopeless incompetence of the Cam- bodian army. Communist Aim Unclear Now observers speak of the isolation, rather than siege, of the capital ("Lon Nol looks pretty secure as mayor of Phnom Pehn;" says a Western envoy). They still talk of Cambodian military incompetence, but the word "hope- less'i often is dropped ("The Cambodian army used to run on rumors of a Vietcong attack, now it only runs when the VC start shooting," says a foreign military attache). And they now tend to stress the problems and weaknesses of ,the Communists, as well as their strengths. These shifts in attitude may seem overly subtle. But this is a country where the word "uncertainty" takes on a definitive ring, where Westerners resort to humor and cynicism to try to blot out the tragedy, where an "optimis- tic military assessment" translates into more death and destruction for a country that tum- bled almost by accident into the eye of the In- dochina war. It's not entirely clear whether the Commu- nists' aim has been to topple the Lon Nol gov- ernment, to pressure it into a sort of accommo- dation, or simply to gain time while they set about consolidating vast new sanctuary areas in the northeast. "I think Charlie has been hoping to pick up Cambodia on the quick and cheap, and it hasn't quite worlEed," says a Western military at- tache. A Tough Decision This official and others now believe the North Vietnamese face a tough decision. Should they make Cambodia their top military priority and concentrate their 35,000 or so com- bat troops .on conquering the country? Or should they just continue harassnients to keep the Cambodians off balance while concentrat- ing their energy and forces on the war in South �Vietnam'? Few observers here believe that the Communists can, at the same time, take all of Canilbodia and seriously threaten the crucial southern areas of South Vietnam. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Several analysts here think the Communists will concentrate first on Cambodia. They argue that the enemy for months has been scaling down to a low-level "protracted war" in most of South Vietnam and that it's in their interest to lie low there for another year or two until U.S. combat troops are gone. They stress the relative ease with which Communist troops can win victories in Cambodia, to the extent, they contend, of toppling the Lou Nol government if they really try. The majority of diplomats, however, seem to be betting the other way. They argue that Hanoi is committed�both by its ideology and Its nationalism�to concentrating on winning the war in South Vietnam. They suggest that victories over the Cambodian army may be easily won, but lack the impact of defeats of South Vietnamese forces or infliction of heavy casualties on U.S. 'troops. They say the war in South Vietnam's southern corps areas is cur- rently going so badly for the Communists that they must commit more forces there. And they add that Cambodia will inexorably fall to the' Communists if the Thieu government can be defeated in Vietnam. Moreover, there's a growing realization here that Cambodia would be no pushover for the Communists. The dispersal of Communist forces across so much Cambodian territory al- ready is said to be causing supply shortages. More important, the Communists are outsid- ers�and unpopular ones�in Cambodia. Cam- bodians traditionally hate Vietnamese of any sort and have been trying to resist various Vietnamese invasions for centuries. Here the Communists cannot follow Chairman Mao's dictum to move among the people as fish in the ocean; so far they look more like piranhaa in a goldfish bowl. Even diplomatic sources vaguely sympathetic to the Communists set the number of Cambodians fighting on the same side with the North Vietnamese and Vietcong at less than 10,000. Other Western diplomats say even that figure is twice too high. Whatever their problems the Communists are master organizers and have a potent prop- aganda line in reminding the peasantry that in the good old Sihanouk days peace reigned in the rice paddies. And though the Communists are having only marginal success in turning the Cambodian conflict into a real civil war, the Lon Nol government�despite some signs of growing competence�is hardly moving to win mass allegiance in the countryside. The New Helmet The new government has strong support among organized urban groups: Army, civil service, Students, intellectuals, businessmen and, some say,, the Buddhist clergy. Civil ser- vants in, paramilitary dress walk proudly around the city. Nearly everyone in the capital wears some ,scrap of military uniform, includ- ing the teenyboppers who outfit themselves in khaki bell-bottom slacks. It's not unusual to find a portly Cambodian soldier beaming with pride as he sits down to dinner at a French restaurant with a new steel helmet perched on , his head. Other soldiers then wander by his 1 table to admiringly tap the new helmet. . 6 All this esprit fades rapidly as one leaves the capital. Only 20 miles away is the town of Sating, four times battled over and now largely In ruins. All but a few score of its 2,000 inhabi- tants have fled. A Cambodian battalion, com- manded by a major who was teaching primary school three months ago, is based in Saang. Three kilometers down the road the Vietcong are taxing, propagandizing and conscripting villagers. The VC have been there for three months. It is midafternoon and the Cambodian bat- talion has scattered to sleep among the 'charred remains of shops and homes. The pro- prietor of a soft drink cart seems to be doing a booming business selling limeade to the troops, but he says he is scared and plans to leave. Between attacks the Vietcong send small pa- trols to snipe at the Cambodian troops, most of whom are barefoot. The Cambodians also send out occasional patrols, but they never venture farther than two kilometers from Saang. The schoolteacher major seems perplexed when asked why his troops don't venture one kilome- ter farther to harass the enemy. "We are wait- ing for heavy rains so the countryside will flood. Then perhaps the Vietcong will move to high ground, and maybe we can find some boats and attack them," he finally replies. While he talks, a chicken runs across his feet. It is by fax the most animated creature in Saang. Saang notwithstanding, the Cambodian army is starting to dght.better. Observers here are impressed with the personal courage of Cambodian soldiers, willing to go into battle with ancient weapons, inadequate ammunition and negligible training against experienced Communist troops with superior firepower. !Many Cambodian retreats have been incon- testable cases of discretion being the better apart of valor. The Cambodian army is greatly expanded �from 35,000 troops four months ago to about 150,000 now, though fewer than 100,000 have any arms at all and fewer yet have anything approaching military training: But, even at its ,best, the army is fighting a defensive, urban- toriented War, trying to prevent the enemy from 'occupying or harassing towns. Admirable Calmness? Politically, the Lon Nol goverr-aent has dis- played what diplomats consider a. suprising de- gree of internal unity. The national crisis seems to be keeping personal politicking at a every low level, and the Phnom Penh rumor mill is devoid of coup scares. "The coup stage will come later, after the colonels have won a few battles," says one European envoy. Some diplomats also credit the government with admirable calinness in a situation where many men might panic. Other analysts attrilk" ute the seeming composure to simple Cambo- dian inertia. War or no war, government of-, flees still close for the day hy 2 p.m. and cabi- net ministers are easily located in Phnom Penh's few good French restaurants after. dark. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 In its relations with outside world, Cain- bodia has displayed both sagacity and naivete. It has wisely managed to maintain at least the pretense of neutrality by avoiding any formal military alliances with its South Vietnamese and Thai neighbors. The Cambodians, however, have been wildly over-optimistic in their expectations of Ameri- can military assistance. To date the U.S. has provided only captured Communist weapons and $8.9 million worth of radios, trucks, car- bines and other modest equipment. The U.S. presence in Phnom Penh is still so "low pro- file" that there is no American ambassador, and a senior member of the American mission travels by pedicab from the tiny hotel room where he lives to the cramped little office where he works. The U.S. has been so tightfisted that when two Cambodian ferryboats were sunk by the Vietcong and later raised through American ef- forts, they were towed off to South Vietnam. The ferries sat in South Vietnam for nearly two months because some U.S. Navy officials there hoped to trade them back to the Cambodians for an American river patrol boat that the Cambodians had captured inside Cambodia during the Sihanouk days. The total value of the river patrol boat, Which the Cambodians presumably need more than the Americans anyway, is less than go,000. Yet for Om months Cambodian military and civilian traffic was hampered by lack of ferries on the Mekong River. The ferries finally were returned late last month and the Cambodians, it seems, will get to keep the patrol boat�the only one in their navy. American pennypinching is difficult for the Cambodians to comprehend, particularly when they look at U.S. extravagance in Vietnam, where $8.9 million can be expended on artillery shells and bombs in a single day. Cambodian officials who had expected American bases and ;combat troops and a Cornucopian outpouring of airplanes, helicopters and other wondrous Weaponry, now find themselves being turned' down on a request for 100,000 ponchos to keep their troops covered in the monsoon rains. , 1, Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 FOR BACKGROUND USE ONLY September 1970 MIDEAST CEASEFIRE A ceasefire between the UAR and Israel became effective at 2200 GMT, 7 August 1970. An integral part of the ceasefire on the UAR- Israeli front is a military standstill to be effective 50 kilometers wide on each side of the ceasefire line. This arrangement was made only for the Israel/UAR front because the UAR was the only country to repudiate the ceasefire resolutions of 1967; therefore the Suez Canal represents the main military front. On the Jordanian and Syrian fronts the 1967 ceasefire agreements still apply; these agreements have not been renounced by Syria and Jordan. Subsequent to the announcement of the ceasefire U Thant reacti- vated the mission of UN Special Representative Gunnar Jarring to work for a peace settlement under UN Security Council Resolution 242, dated 22 November 1967. Jarring, at this writing, is consulting with the UAR, Jordan and Israel to initiate political talks. The principles of the UN Security Council resolution are: Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories; the right of Israel and other countries of the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area; a just settlement of the refugee problem; and a guarantee of terri- torial inviolability. An irritant to the ceasefire and to political talks will be the activities of the 'fedayeen'. The Ifedayeen' do not want peace, they do not seek peace and to them the idea of a ceasefire is anathema; their aim is to destroy Israel. Nonetheless, in spite of their capabilities for raids and harassment they have no political base and there is some reason to believe Arab governments may ignore military actions between them and Israelis as long as Arab interest in maintaining the ceasefire continues. Nasir has deprived Palestinian organizations in Cairo of radio frequencies and broadcast facilities. Nasir's foreign policy publicist Mohammad Heykal, editor of Al-Al-hram, in his influential Friday column on 7 April, wrote that the Palestinian organizations could not possibly liberate Palestine "from the river to the sea." Heykal discredited the comparison often made between the Palestinian and Algerian situations and said that liberation was possible in Algeria, but was not possible in Palestine. Iraq opposes the ceasefire. Iraq opposes the UAR policy of acceptance of the ceasefire. The USSR has failed to change the Iraqi attitude. Historically, Iraq has always opposed Israel and, technically, has been at war with Israel since the first Arab- Israeli war. Iraq has no common border with Israel and Baghdad is 600 miles from Tel Aviv. Syria has given lip service to opposing the ceasefire but has privately let it be known that it will support Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 the UAR position. Gunnar Jarring is trying to bring Israel and Egypt to a meeting place; Israel wants the talks to be conducted by Foreign Ministers and has suggested Cyprus as the conference site. Jordan and Egypt want negotiations to start at a lower level, an Ambassadorial level with New York as the site and with the option of upping the level of partic- ipation to include Foreign Ministers who will likely be in New York for the UN General Assembly beginning 15 September. 21 September is the half-way point of the ceasefire period. 2 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 September 1970 Distinguishing the Palestinian Commando Organizations All Palestinian commando organizations have the same basic aims: (a) the regaining of all of Palestine, including present-day Israel, and the establishment of a Palestine state which would include Muslims, Christ- ians, and Jews; and (b) the rejection of a peaceful solution of the Arab- Israeli impasse, and the use of armed force as the chief weapon against Israel. The Major Palestinian Organizations: 1. The Palestine Liberation Movement (Fatah), the largest commando organization, has no special allegiance to any particular state or political party. In contrast, other major commando groups are sponsored by either an Arab government or a political party (sometimes both). 2. The nucleus of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) comes from the George Habbash wing of the leftist Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM). The ANM's more extreme Marxist-Leninist faction, led by Nayif Hawatmah, controls the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP). 3. The Vanguard of the Popular Liberation War and its military arm, al- Saiqa, are sponsored and controlled by the Syrian Government and the Syrian Ba'th Party. The Arab Liberation Front (ALF) was created by the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi Ba'th Party. 5, The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964 by the Arab Summit conference as a quasi-governmental organization. It has a regular army of its own, the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), and a commando unit, the Popular Liberation Forces, which was formed after the 1967 Arab- Israeli war. In February 1969, after al Fatah succeeded in taking over its control, the PLO began to fundtion as an umbrella for the various commando organiza- tions and other Palestinian groups. Its Palestine Armed Struggle Command (PASC) coordinates the release of information concerning fedayeen commando operations, and is also to coordinate their military activities. PASC now includes eight commando organizations. The PFLP is the only.major fedayeen group which has not yet joined and which still continues to operate inde- pendently of PASC. Efforts are being made to bring PFLP into both the PLO and PASC, but so far no agreement has been reached.. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Differences between the Commandos: 1. Party affiliations and sponsorship. Arab governments sponsoring commando groups have tended to give their time and effort to their own rather than to Fatah and other groups. They have also been auspicious of commandos sponsored by a rival government or political party and have at. times deported them or curtailed their activities. 2. Nature of cooperation. Disagreements have arisen over reorganizing the PLO and over representa- tion.in that body. Fatah favors proportional representation, depending on the size of the commando organization, and is against equal votes for each commando group because tbe,small groups could then paralyze action with their veto'. 3. Smaller vs. larger groups. Fatah is against the formation of smaller groups because it feels that these are being used to sap the energy of the bigger organizations. In con- trast, the small commando groups feel that they serve a useful purpose and reflect differences of opinion. 4. Class struggle. Most commando groups consider themselves representative of progressive national liberation movements. The PDFLP believes that the commandos should only include the workers and peasants-because of the collusion between im- perialism and the big bourgeoisie. Fatah believes that this class limitation would weaken the movement and that Marx's class breakdown is not applicable to the Palestinian situation anyway. 5. Palestinian vs. Pan-Arab movement. Some groups such as the ALF emphasize the Pan-Arab nature of the struggle. Others such as Fatah consider the conflict as primarily a Palestinian one linked with the Arab revolution. 6. PFLP strategy. Although the commandos sympathize with any attacks against Zionist, im- perialist, and Israeli interests, only the PFLP has engaged in terrorism against these targets abroad. Fatah has registered its opposition to those activities, and at this time the PFLP is alone among the commando groups in undertaking them. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 ( ( Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 (b)(1) (b)(3) Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 R. Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 FOR BACKGROUND USE ONLY September 1970 DATES WORTH NOTING September 6 - 10 Lusaka, Zambia Non-aligned Nations Conference; organized at last session of UN General Assembly to determine, prior to UNGA session in September, common positions among non- aligned states on world issues. Last such meeting was in 1964. September 7 - 17 Fontana, Wisconsin Annual Pugwash International Conference, Brings together Scientists from East and West. September 11 Peking One year ago Premiers Kosygin and Chou En=lai met at Peking airport in attempt to cool tensions between two communist countries. Agreement was reached to begin talks on settling border problems but after a year of intermittent and desultory meetings no solutions have been found. September 15 New York City September 21 - 29 Prague UN General Assembly convenes. This will be 25th session. Celebrations on 25th anniversary will be held 14 - 24 October. About 50 heads of State or Prime Ministers will attend, including Nixon, Kosygin, and Heath. Arab-European Seminar on Middle East, sponsored by communist World Federation of Trade Unions. September 25 - 27 Belgrade Executive Council meeting of communist World Federation of Scientific Workers, September 28 - October 1 Varna, Bulgaria October 1 October 3 2nd International Conference on Problems of Young Workers, sponsored by communist World Federation of Trade Unions. Peking Peoples Republic of China National Day. Paris 25th anniversary of the Founding of World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). Founded Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 in 19-45 as an organization for international labor cooperation, it was subverted by the Communist members who took complete control in 1949 and turned the WFTU into an instru- ment of Soviet foreign policy. The non- communist members withdrew and formed the International Conference of Free Trade Unions. October 10 October 16 - 18 Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China National Day. New Delhi Presidential Committee meeting of the communist World Council of Peace. October 19 Japan Anniversary of the signing of a protocol in 1956 by the USSR and Japan ending the state of war. The protocol, signed in lieu of a peace treaty, left hanging the question of the Kuril Islands which the USSR seized in the closing days of World War II and now refuses to return. 2 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 CO2629375 Approved for Release: 2019/07/03 002629375 Page 4 THE N.47701V4L OBSERVER Monday, July 27, 1970 tli 9 � 41..14 le # a Mediterranean Sea � .4 CYPRUS LEBA ISRAEL POPULATION: 2,900,000 Tel Aviv* SUEZ CANAL Jerusalem Alexandria � Great Bitter Lake 14 FREIGHTERS REMAIN TRAPPED Cairo 6 A:: � �