More from the congressional record
I can't find any speech in 1986 where John Kerry referred to Nixon and Cambodia or his "Christmas incursion", however I did find these words spoken by Senator Leahy from Vermont that may have been conflated with Kerry's speech.
BUT THERE IS ONE IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ALL-TOO-SIMILAR INTERVENTIONIST SPIRITS OF THE EARLY KENNEDY YEARS AND THE LATE REAGAN ONES. IN 1961 THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DIDN'T THINK MUCH ABOUT INCREASING THE NUMBER OF U.S. MILITARY ADVISERS IN VIETNAM, MUCH LESS RESIST THE DECISION. TODAY A LARGE PROPORTION OF OUR POPULATION, PERHAPS A MAJORITY, HAS LEARNED THE LESSON OF VIETNAM DIFFERENTLY FROM ITS GOVERNMENT. TODAY AMERICANS WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE GOVERNMENT THINKS IT'S DOING WITH MILITARY FORCE, AND EXPECTS THE GOVERNMENT TO CONVINCE US OF THE WISDOM OF ITS DESIRES BEFORE IT TAKES ACTION, NOT AFTER.
IT'S A HOPEFUL, IF IRONIC SIGN THAT A SOCIETY CAN MATURE FASTER THAN ITS LEADERSHIP.
THAT LEADERSHIP'S CHILDISH EFFORT TO INFLATE A COMMON BORDER RAID INTO AN INVASION DOES NOT INSPIRE CONFIDENCE IN ITS HONESTY OR GOOD SENSE (RECALL THE 1970 NIXON "INCURSION" INTO CAMBODIA FOR ORWELLIAN RESONANCE). THAT BEHAVIOR IS EVEN MORE DISQUIETING WHEN ONE REMEMBERS THAT NICARAGUA HAS NEGOTIATED A BORDER CONTROL AGREEMENT WITH COSTA RICA, AND OFFERED THE SAME TO HONDURAS, ONLY TO HAVE ANY PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT BLOCKED BY THE UNITED STATES.