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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

January 8

US President

In 1973, responding to an earlier presidential request, the Joint Chiefs of Staff present President Richard Nixon with the detailed plans for what they are calling Operation Fullback, an effort to overthrow the newly established Communist government of Cambodia and hunt down the remnants of the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong which are hiding there and in neighboring Laos.

US President - Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

Essentially, Fullback is a modified version of the successful Operations Linebacker and Linebacker II, which in 1970-'71 drove the NVA and its Vietcong allies out of South Vietnam, pursued them northward and then drove the North Vietnamese Communist government from power.

The report contains one significant caveat: "It is projected, based on the results of Linebacker and Linebacker II, that this operation may result in considerable collateral damage, including noncombatant casualties. Your Administration should be prepared to deal with significant political fallout both from U.S. antiwar sources and from the international community".

President Nixon expresses his profane contempt for the international community. As for the antiwar movement, the following day he will issue orders to put into effect operation Garden Plot, a Johnson-era proposal for rounding up political dissidents and confining them in internment camps recommissioned from some of those used to hold Japanese-Americans during world War II Over the last several years, Nixon has secretly had six such camps prepared for use. Nixon believes that the successful expulsion of the NVA and its allies from South Vietnam, and the defeat of the Hanoi regime, proved that he was right all along about the war, and that those who oppose continuing the conflict until the last vestige of Communist insurrection is rooted out are doing so out of treasonous motives and therefore should be treated as enemies of the United States.

© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.