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★ Cambodia & Cambodians

Cambodia & Cambodians: see Genocide & Vietnam & War & US Empire & US Foreign Relations & Nixon & Kissinger & Asia

The American Experience: The Presidents TV - Frost/Nixon 2008 - The Trials of Henry Kissinger 2002 - Henry Kissinger - Cambodian Child 1973 - Adam Curtis TV - Jim Howard - Norodom Sihanouk - Christopher Hitchens - Elizabeth Becker - Daily Mirror - John Pilger - Brian Barron - Margaret Thatcher - Noam Chomsky - News Watch - Wall Street Journal - Great Crimes and Trials TV - Linda Mason and Roger Brown - Chester Atkins - Destination Truth TV - Secrets of War TV - Stacey Dooley TV - Vanguard: Forest of Ecstasy TV - Sacred Wonders TV - History’s Most Hated TV - Kissinger at 100: New War Crimes 2023 -       

 

 

 

As Nixon spoke, American troops moved into Cambodia.  His critics were outraged.  The president who had promised to end the war seemed to be widening it.  The American Experience: The Presidents: Nixon II: The Triumph, PBS 1990

 

 

Q) And Cambodia?  An invasion which everybody advised you against.  All the CIA, Pentagon intelligence, suggested it would fail.  So why did you do it?  Frost/Nixon 2008 starring Michael Sheen & Frank Langella & Kevin Bacon & Oliver Platt & Sam Rockwell & & Rebecca Hall & Patty McCormack & Toby Jones & Andy Milder & Rance Howard et al, director Ron Howard

 

 

Less than a month into Nixons presidency he and Kissinger began planning an attack against North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia.  The Trials of Henry Kissinger, 2002

 

Under the US constitution, bombing Cambodia was an act of war and it would require the approval of the US Congress.  In February 1969 in a secret meeting on Air Force 1 Kissinger and his aide Alexander Haig met with Air Force Colonel Ray Sitton to plan for the secret bombing of Cambodia ... Under Kissingers supervision the US flew 3,600 secret missions over Cambodia in fourteen months, dropping 110,000 tons of bombs.  ibid.

 

Nixon decided to invade Cambodia to send a message to North Vietnam.  ibid.

 

Khmer Rouge drew strength from the chaos of the country.  When they seized power in 1975 they forced populations of entire cities back to the countryside.  Then they began a policy of exterminating their enemies in execution grounds that came to be known as Killing Fields.  By 1979 another three million Cambodians had lost their lives.  ibid.

 

In July 1973 the detection of Nixon’s taping system would lead to the discovery of the Watergate cover-up, the indictment of key members of the White House staff and the end of the Nixon presidency.  Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment.  One of the original articles of impeachment addressed the concealment of the Cambodian bombing from Congress.  When the impeachment was dropped so was the investigation into the secret bombing.  ibid.

 

 

[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia.  He doesn’t want to hear anything about it.  It’s an order, to be done.  Anything that flies on anything that moves.  Henry Kissinger 

 

 

The bombs are like falling rain.  Cambodian child 1973

 

 

Their leader Pol Pot had also studied revolutionary theories in Paris.  And he believed that the only way for Cambodian society to reach utopia was to destroy the whole of Bourgeois society and start again back to year zero.  Within hours of arriving in the capital Phnom Penh the Khmer Rouge set about slaughtering all the middle classes, some three million people in the end, because under Pol Pots logic they stood in the way of allowing the rest of the people to become truly free individuals.  Adam Curtis, The Trap, BBC 2007

 

 

Pol Pot also appealed to many Cambodians living in France – intellectuals, professionals, doctors, teachers, to come back to Cambodia in 1975–1976 to help with the new regime, to build a new society.  And many of them when they came back were actually slaughtered.  Murdered actually on the airport when they arrived in the planes.  This was a wanton destruction of any opposition, of any intellectual differences, that the society that Pol Pot was going to build would have no opposition inside or outside of Cambodia.  Jim Howard, Field Director OXFAM

 

 

Cambodia wanted no part of SEATO.  We would look after ourselves as neutrals and Buddhists.  Norodom Sihanouk

 

 

It was a demonstration bombing.  It was a public relations mass murder from the sky.  Christopher Hitchens

 

 

The number of bombs dropped equalled the amount of bombs dropped on Japan in World War II.   Elizabeth Becker, journalist

 

 

Why was they hitting all these civilians and villages?  Elizabeth Becker

 

 

At 7.30 a.m. on April 17th 1975 the war in Cambodia was over.  It was an unique war for no country has ever experienced such intensive bombing.  On this, perhaps the most gentle and graceful land in all of Asia, President Nixon and Mr Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of five Hiroshimas.  The bombing was their personal decision; illegally and secretly they bombed Cambodia, a neutral country, back to the stone age.  John Pilger: Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia, ATV 1979

 

In the Spring of 1969 American B52s had begun the secret bombing of neutral Cambodia.  ibid.  

 

Year Zero: People lived in barracks without walls, families were split up, husbands and wives could meet only once a month.  ibid.    

 

 

A regime of fanatics called the Khmer Rouge led by an Asian Hitler called Pol Pot and underwritten by the government of China.  John Pilger: Year One, ATV 1980  

 

What was done has no parallel in modern times.  ibid.  

 

Last year the United States supported a Chinese motion at the UN in favour of Pol Pot representing Cambodia.  ibid.

 

 

More than a million people, perhaps many more, were killed or starved to death between 1975 and 1979.  John Pilger, Cambodia Year Ten, ITV 1989  

 

The genocide did not begin with Pol Pot.  It began in 1969 when President Nixon launched a secret war against neutral Cambodia upon which American bombers dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas.  Out of the inferno came Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge.  ibid.

 

Western governments condemned Vietnam for driving out Pol Pot.  ibid.    

 

For ten years they have received no help from any international agency.  ibid.

 

All around me are the graves of their victims.  ibid.

 

‘There is much much more reasonable grouping within the Khmer Rouge.’  ibid.  Thatcher     

 

Less than 2% of Cambodians have accept to uncontaminated water.  ibid.  

 

 

Three weeks ago tonight we showed a special report which told the unique suffering of the Cambodia people and the rise again of Asia’s Hitler, Pol Pot.  We told how in the last ten years the United Nations, including the British government, had protected, encouraged, and revitalised Pol Pot and his murderous Khmer Rouge in exile.  John Pilger, Cambodia Year Ten (Updated), ITV 1989

    

 

Fear is like a presence here.  The other day 56 people were taken off two trains and shot dead by the Khmer Rouge simply because they work for the government.  Pol Pots Defence Minister has boasted an enemys list of 2,000,000 people.  When the curfew comes, the night belongs to the second prospect of a holocaust.  John Pilger, Cambodia – The Betrayal, ITV 1992

 

In three and a half years a fifth of the population was put to death.  Not a single western leader has come to the Killing fields of Cambodia to pay their respects.  ibid.

 

The United States began to give secret aid to Pol Pot ... The American aid to Pol Pot was critical in restoring the Khmer Rouge as a military force.  ibid.

 

Here we have children who are suffering, and embargo means denying them the basic needs that could help these children recover so quickly.  Those who sit in the United Nations in great comfort ought to be confronted by scenes like this, and actually stand next to a child in such need.  ibid.

 

The SAS has given secret training to the Cambodian guerrillas for five years ... Britains support for Pol Pot has never been more crucial.  ibid.

 

In the West we are told that the Cold War is over.  But this is not so.  The Cold War was never just about attrition between the two super-powers; it was fought mostly with the blood of far-away people considered expendable.  In poor countries like El Salvador and Panama, Vietnam and Cambodia.  It is surely the cruellest irony of 1990 that as the Berlin Wall is torn down, the Western democracies have rebuilt its equivalent around a nation of people who threaten no-one and with whom none of us have any quarrel.  Indeed, the extraordinary efforts of the Cambodian people to recover from their nightmare ... The Khmer Rouge must be stopped.  ibid.

 

 

This is Cambodia where up to 500 amputations are performed every month, the result of land mines.  John Pilger, Flying the Flag (Arming the World), ITV 1994

 

Throughout the world there are more than a hundred million of them waiting to explode, and yet the British Government has planned a military strategy of scattering mines from the air.  This is often known as MINX or Mines into the next Century.  ibid.

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