Saturday, December 31, 2016

"That's like saying no one will judge our Khmer Rouge policy kindly. What choices did we have?"
Major Crispin Burke

I'm not sure what else there is to say.

There is, because people don't know anything.

The still-incomplete database (it has several “dark” periods) reveals that from October 4, 1965, to August 15, 1973, the United States dropped far more ordnance on Cambodia than was previously believed: 2,756,941 tons’ worth, dropped in 230,516 sorties on 113,716 sites. Just over 10 percent of this bombing was indiscriminate, with 3,580 of the sites listed as having “unknown” targets and another 8,238 sites having no target listed at all. The database also shows that the bombing began four years earlier than is widely believed — not under Nixon, but under Lyndon Johnson.

The impact of this bombing, the subject of much debate for the past three decades, is now clearer than ever. Civilian casualties in Cambodia drove an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency that had enjoyed relatively little support until the bombing began, setting in motion the expansion of the Vietnam War deeper into Cambodia, a coup d’état in 1970, the rapid rise of the Khmer Rouge, and ultimately the Cambodian genocide.

...To put the revised total of 2,756,941 tons into perspective, the Allies dropped just over 2 million tons of bombs during all of World War II, including the bombs that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 15,000 and 20,000 tons, respectively. Cambodia may well be the most heavily bombed country in history.

1. Kenton Clymer, The United States and Cambodia, 1969-2000: A Troubled Relationship(New York and London: Routledge, 2004)

2. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discusses the Khmer Rouge regime with Thailand’s Foreign Minister Chatichai, November 26, 1975

Kissinger: “You should also tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in our way. We are prepared to improve relations with them.”

3. Ford and Kissinger discuss Cambodia with Indonesia’s President Suharto, Jakarta, December 5, 1975

4. Former US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, on China and the Khmer Rouge, 1979: 

“I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him, but China could.” According to Brzezinski, the USA “winked, semi-publicly” at Chinese and Thai aid to the Khmer Rouge.

(Elizabeth Becker, When the War Was Over, New York, Touchstone, 1986, p. 440. See also Grant Evans and Kelvin Rowley, Red Brotherhood at War: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos since 1975, London, Verso, rev. ed., 1990.)


The United States will support the seating of Pol Pot's "democratic Kampuchea" regime in the United Nations again this year despite its abhorrent record on human rights, Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie announced yesterday.

Speaking to a news conference, Muskie said the U.S. decision -- the subject of speculation and controversy at home and abroad -- was made at the behest of Southeast Asian allies and after "careful diplomatic soundings" that Vietnam is unwilling to negotiate the withdrawal of its forces from Kampuchea.

A credentials challenge to "Democratic Kampuchea," which currently occupies the U.N. seat, is expected in the early days of the General Assembly session, which begins in New York today. The challenge will be mounted by Vietnam and the "People's Republic of Kampuchea", which is ruling most of Cambodia (Kampuchea) from Phnom Penh under Vietnamese sponsorship. 

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