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Khmer Rouge And The West.


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Reading back over the history of the khmer rouge I see a disturbing fact showing up again and again that doesn't seem to get much notice is that the khmer rouge, who perpetrated one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, were recipients of aid and military support from both Thailand and the United States.

U.S. Aid for Khmer Rouge Is Repugnant - New York Times

So why was so much western aid going to a regime who murdered 20-30% of the entire country's population?

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Reading back over the history of the khmer rouge I see a disturbing fact showing up again and again that doesn't seem to get much notice is that the khmer rouge, who perpetrated one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, were recipients of aid and military support from both Thailand and the United States.

Oh... if it was only the aid...

We have to remember that the KR regime was recognized and granted a seat at the UN...

We have to remember that Le Monde (famous french daily) dared to wrote : "Phnom Penh liberated", when the capital felt in 1975.. Oh for sure, the cambodians were furiously "liberated"...

At that time chinese communism was so fashion among western "intellectuals"... Mao, the little red book and all that shit...

And, the drill of Vietnam too, the same year. US defeated... Vietnam liberated too by Ho Chi Minh... How exciting.

The list is endless. So to accuse -only- the US and Thailand is unfair.

The tragedy of Cambodia was collective...

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Reading back over the history of the khmer rouge I see a disturbing fact showing up again and again that doesn't seem to get much notice is that the khmer rouge, who perpetrated one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, were recipients of aid and military support from both Thailand and the United States.

Oh... if it was only the aid...

We have to remember that the KR regime was recognized and granted a seat at the UN...

We have to remember that Le Monde (famous french daily) dared to wrote : "Phnom Penh liberated", when the capital felt in 1975.. Oh for sure, the cambodians were furiously "liberated"...

At that time chinese communism was so fashion among western "intellectuals"... Mao, the little red book and all that shit...

And, the drill of Vietnam too, the same year. US defeated... Vietnam liberated too by Ho Chi Minh... How exciting.

The list is endless. So to accuse -only- the US and Thailand is unfair.

The tragedy of Cambodia was collective...

It was the US that bombed the shit out of Cambodia based on a rumour and led the path for KR. It was also China that backed KR.

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Reading back over the history of the khmer rouge I see a disturbing fact showing up again and again that doesn't seem to get much notice is that the khmer rouge, who perpetrated one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, were recipients of aid and military support from both Thailand and the United States.

U.S. Aid for Khmer Rouge Is Repugnant - New York Times

So why was so much western aid going to a regime who murdered 20-30% of the entire country's population?

Did the USA not support the KR after the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 and refuse to recognise the new government?

The loss in vietnam hurt very deeply - it still rankles among many now and the tumult of books and opinions about how they could have won if only still pour forth.

Just look at how Vietnam features in US Elections - oh it still rankles all right they left with their tails bvetween their legs and the comparisons with Iraq and rewriting of history by the buffoon that is Dubya show that.

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It was a shameful strategy based on the post-VN invasion of Cambodia calculation by the US that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, i.e. the KR (enemy) is opposed to the VN (enemy), therefore the KR are my friends. Evil and hypocritical events like this still occur daily. Just yesterday Bush urged the House not to pass an act calling the Turkish killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians early last century an act of genocide. Reason? It might offend our friends in Turkey. Not to excuse my government's behavior, but the US is not alone in this field. Another mind boggler is the fact that Israel has also lobbied strongly against recognition of the Turkish genocide.

Edited by qualtrough
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Not just the US either. I've read reports of British military training for the KR as well as them being able to retreat to the safety of the Thai border, under the protection of Thai and US forces.

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Not just the US either. I've read reports of British military training for the KR as well as them being able to retreat to the safety of the Thai border, under the protection of Thai and US forces.

Well there are books written about America's troubled history with Cambodia that includes info on both aid and military aid asked for - where is the info on the British training the KR?

Links please or references.

Edit - found a reference in the Pilger article

"In Bangkok, the Americans provided the "coalition" with battle plans, uniforms, money and satellite intelligence; arms came direct from China and from the west, via Singapore. The non-communist fig leaf allowed Congress - spurred on by a cold-war zealot Stephen Solarz, a powerful committee chairman - to approve $24m in aid to the "resistance".

Until 1989, the British role in Cambodia remained secret. The first reports appeared in the Sunday Telegraph, written by Simon O'Dwyer-Russell, a diplomatic and defence correspondent with close professional and family contacts with the SAS. He revealed that the SAS was training the Pol Pot-led force. Soon afterwards, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that the British training for the "non-communist" members of the "coalition" had been going on "at secret bases in Thailand for more than four years". The instructors were from the SAS, "all serving military personnel, all veterans of the Falklands conflict, led by a captain".

The Cambodian training became an exclusively British operation after the "Irangate" arms-for-hostages scandal broke in Washington in 1986. "If Congress had found out that Americans were mixed up in clandestine training in Indo-China, let alone with Pol Pot," a Ministry of Defence source told O'Dwyer-Russell, "the balloon would have gone right up. It was one of those classic Thatcher-Reagan arrangements." Moreover, Margaret Thatcher had let slip, to the consternation of the Foreign Office, that "the more reasonable ones in the Khmer Rouge will have to play some part in a future government". In 1991, I interviewed a member of "R" (reserve) Squadron of the SAS, who had served on the border. "We trained the KR in a lot of technical stuff - a lot about mines," he said. "We used mines that came originally from Royal Ordnance in Britain, which we got by way of Egypt with marking changed . . . We even gave them psychological training. At first, they wanted to go into the villages and just chop people up. We told them how to go easy . . ."

The Foreign Office response was to lie. "Britain does not give military aid in any form to the Cambodian factions," stated a parliamentary reply. The then prime minister, Thatcher, wrote to Neil Kinnock: "I confirm that there is no British government involvement of any kind in training, equipping or co-operating with Khmer Rouge forces or those allied to them." On 25 June 1991, after two years of denials, the government finally admitted that the SAS had been secretly training the "resistance" since 1983. A report by Asia Watch filled in the detail: the SAS had taught "the use of improvised explosive devices, booby traps and the manufacture and use of time-delay devices". The author of the report, Rae McGrath (who shared a joint Nobel Peace Prize for the international campaign on landmines), wrote in the Guardian that "the SAS training was a criminally irresponsible and cynical policy"."

Edited by Prakanong
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Pilger in the New Statesman about Thatchers support

http://www.newstatesman.com/200004170017

"After two and a half years in power, the Khmer Rouge was overthrown by the Vietnamese on Christmas Day, 1978. In the months and years that followed, the US and China and their allies, notably the Thatcher government, backed Pol Pot in exile in Thailand. He was the enemy of their enemy: Vietnam, whose liberation of Cambodia could never be recognised because it had come from the wrong side of the cold war. For the Americans, now backing Beijing against Moscow, there was also a score to be settled for their humiliation on the rooftops of Saigon.

To this end, the United Nations was abused by the powerful. Although the Khmer Rouge government ("Democratic Kampuchea") had ceased to exist in January 1979, its representatives were allowed to continue occupying Cambodia's seat at the UN; indeed, the US, China and Britain insisted on it. Meanwhile, a Security Council embargo on Cambodia compounded the suffering of a traumatised nation, while the Khmer Rouge in exile got almost everything it wanted. In 1981, President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said: "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot." The US, he added, "winked publicly" as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge.

In fact, the US had been secretly funding Pol Pot in exile since January 1980. The extent of this support - $85m from 1980 to 1986 - was revealed in correspondence to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On the Thai border with Cambodia, the CIA and other intelligence agencies set up the Kampuchea Emergency Group, which ensured that humanitarian aid went to Khmer Rouge enclaves in the refugee camps and across the border.

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If you read the link you will see that it is a letter to the editor and that it refers to the US's recognition of a tripartite resistance coalition that included the KR as the government of Cambodia. It does not make any allegation with respect to military suppoirt and aid.

I was on the border from 1980-85 and again 1991-93 and can state first hand that in both policy and fact, the US did not provide any type of aid or material support to the KR. In fact, there was legislation passed in the US Congress that expressly forbade it and there was so much sensitivity around this that even urgent humanitarian aid to civilians under KR control could not be provided by NGOs with US funding.

The US did provide "non-lethal" (money, medical training etc) aid to the "noncommunist resitance", i.e. the other 2 factions (FUNCINPEC and KPNLF) that had a nominal alliance with the KR.

The Thai military did, indeed, provide tactical and military (and probably monetary, but I am not sure on that) support to the KR during those years. In fact, at times Thai soldiers fought side by side with them (these times being ones in which the battles spilled over into Thai territory). The Thai perspective was that this was a necessary means of fighting off what they perceived to be a Vietnamese menace at their borders. They also provided same to the other 2 resistance factions, for the same reason.

The main backer of the KR was China, which provided immense monetary and military support. Thailand allowed the Chinese to send it in such aid via Thailand.

Bear in mind that it was a military government in Thailand at that time. Thailand's involvement and actions were not general public knowledge nor the result of legislated policy.

Regarding the recognition issue, it was not only the US but the UN and its members as a whole, and the reason was objection to the Vietnamese occupation (a point on which the Asean countries were especially, and understandably, vocal). Not saying it was the right policy, but this is what underlay it.

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If you read the link you will see that it is a letter to the editor and that it refers to the US's recognition of a tripartite resistance coalition that included the KR as the government of Cambodia. It does not make any allegation with respect to military suppoirt and aid.

I was on the border from 1980-85 and again 1991-93 and can state first hand that in both policy and fact, the US did not provide any type of aid or material support to the KR. In fact, there was legislation passed in the US Congress that expressly forbade it and there was so much sensitivity around this that even urgent humanitarian aid to civilians under KR control could not be provided by NGOs with US funding.

The US did provide "non-lethal" (money, medical training etc) aid to the "noncommunist resitance", i.e. the other 2 factions (FUNCINPEC and KPNLF) that had a nominal alliance with the KR.

The Thai military did, indeed, provide tactical and military (and probably monetary, but I am not sure on that) support to the KR during those years. In fact, at times Thai soldiers fought side by side with them (these times being ones in which the battles spilled over into Thai territory). The Thai perspective was that this was a necessary means of fighting off what they perceived to be a Vietnamese menace at their borders. They also provided same to the other 2 resistance factions, for the same reason.

The main backer of the KR was China, which provided immense monetary and military support. Thailand allowed the Chinese to send it in such aid via Thailand.

Bear in mind that it was a military government in Thailand at that time. Thailand's involvement and actions were not general public knowledge nor the result of legislated policy.

Regarding the recognition issue, it was not only the US but the UN and its members as a whole, and the reason was objection to the Vietnamese occupation (a point on which the Asean countries were especially, and understandably, vocal). Not saying it was the right policy, but this is what underlay it.

Yes that link was a letter but there are other documents which DO prove the USA did support the KR - the name Solarz comes up a lot.

Take a look at page 140 of this book by a very distinguished academic

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-83fB4b...egacy#PPA140,M1

Edited by Prakanong
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Stephen Solarz was the Congressman who spearheaded the legislation barring US assistance, direct or indirect, of any sort to the KR, and he was active in monitoring its implementation.

He was also instrumental in the policy of aiding the "non-communist resistance".

At various times allegations where made about US assistance making its way to the KR and these were investigated. I am unaware of any found to be true, and my frst-hand knowledge is that it was not the case.

Of course, some people argued that the policy of recognizing the resistance coalition, providing aid to the non-KR factions of it, and also the embargo on aid to the Vietnamese-backed government in Cambodia, were tantamount to supporting the KR. That's not the same, tho, as saying that the US gave aid directly to the KR. The people who held this view believed that these policies could led to the return of the KR (ignoring the fact that many members of the Vietnamese-backed government were in fact former KR).

This did not, in fact, happen. There are plenty of people in the present Cambodian government with past ties to the KR, but all of them date back to the Vietnamese backed regime, not the resistance.

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Not just the US either. I've read reports of British military training for the KR as well as them being able to retreat to the safety of the Thai border, under the protection of Thai and US forces.

Well there are books written about America's troubled history with Cambodia that includes info on both aid and military aid asked for - where is the info on the British training the KR?

Can't find a direct link to the story online but it was published in The Guardian in January 2000, allegations that SAS operatives gave training to the KR or their allies. The claims are based on interviews with Ta Mok, a senior KR official who died in July 2006.

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Not just the US either. I've read reports of British military training for the KR as well as them being able to retreat to the safety of the Thai border, under the protection of Thai and US forces.

Well there are books written about America's troubled history with Cambodia that includes info on both aid and military aid asked for - where is the info on the British training the KR?

Can't find a direct link to the story online but it was published in The Guardian in January 2000, allegations that SAS operatives gave training to the KR or their allies. The claims are based on interviews with Ta Mok, a senior KR official who died in July 2006.

:o look above - I edited my post when I found some info

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So why was so much western aid going to a regime who murdered 20-30% of the entire country's population?

western aid to the fcucking murderous Khmer Rouge bastards was limited to aid from the Greatest Nation on Earth™. that aid was given on the basis "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

:o

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I was on the border from 1980-85 and again 1991-93 and can state first hand that in both policy and fact, the US did not provide any type of aid or material support to the KR.

of course not... if your source is the "National Enquirer".

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I was on the border from 1980-85 and again 1991-93 and can state first hand that in both policy and fact, the US did not provide any type of aid or material support to the KR.

of course not... if your source is the "National Enquirer".

You are a quite blustery misinformed, old fool aren't you?

* Could this be related to the fact that Germany got whipped and you haven't recovered from this?

Edited by keemapoot
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Even being on the border I doubt it would have been easy to detect covert support going on.

Knowing Sheryl personally I would say that she had quite an insight into what was going on at the time and probably more so than the quoted sources.

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Even being on the border I doubt it would have been easy to detect covert support going on.

Knowing Sheryl personally I would say that she had quite an insight into what was going on at the time and probably more so than the quoted sources.

I am sure Sheryl knows a lot but sometimes when working at the coal face ie the operational end it might be hard to see what was going on behind closed door's back in Washington and Whitehall as I am sure Sheryl would agree.

Some of the quoted sources include refernces to US govt documents obtained under the freedom of information act.

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Some interesting links:

The Long Secret Alliance: Uncle Sam and Pol Pot

http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/pol...erpolpotnus.pdf

The author of this particular piece: John Pilger also has a decent documentary call “Year Zero” and a pretty good book “Tell Me No Lies” as well.

U.S. armed Pot Pot, say eye witnesses

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article....RTICLE_ID=19063

U.S. Supports Khmer Rouge

http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/pol/polpotnus.pdf

I would say the distinction between direct and in-direct is a pretty fine line in these discussions, as is discussions about aid to other non-communists groups as compared to aid directly to the Khmer Rouge.

As for the OP – and why the aid was given?

Not surprising really when looking at who/ how the US aid was given in other parts of the world in the “fight against communism”. The support to the Khmer Rouge was to some extent a no-brainer for those making the calls at that time. Not only was it seen as a move to prevent the spread of Russian communism, but a blow to the Vietnamese puppet government running the show in Cambodia at the time.

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So why was so much western aid going to a regime who murdered 20-30% of the entire country's population?

Because it was part of self serving geopolitics, costing the lives of millions.

And not an isolated incident. Read about the ouster of Sukarno in Indonesia, and the secret war in Tibet.

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So why was so much western aid going to a regime who murdered 20-30% of the entire country's population?

Because it was part of self serving geopolitics, costing the lives of millions.

And not an isolated incident. Read about the ouster of Sukarno in Indonesia, and the secret war in Tibet.

I was in Indonesia during that period and from what I can recall it was Megawati and the people who ousted sukarno (of course apart from the dodgy elections).

Edit: sorry i was thinking of Suharto.

Edited by stevenjm
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Going off at a tangent.

Something that comes through in accounts I've read by a number of former Thai communists active in the lower Isan area, is that they tend to have positive memories of KR troops and find it hard to reconcile their jungle experiences with the atrocities committed by the KR on their own people. The KR were consistently the only ones of all the factions milling around in the Cambodian/Laos border areas that they could exchange assistance, food, medical treatment etc. with when they ran into them. Others, for the most part, would simply attack.

It leaves them with a lot of warmth towards the KR soldiers, though this was well away from the officials and policy makers of course.

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China was the biggest supporter of the Khmer Rouge both when they were in, and out, of power. China went to war with Vietnam in 1979 in order to 'punish' Vietnam for its successful invasion of Cambodia. I forget how the events developed but it went something like this:

1978: Cambodian troops stage attacks against Vietnam

1978: Cambodia gets aid from China

1978: American President Carter invites Teng Hsiao-p'ing to visit the U.S., and indicates the U.S. will recognise the People's Republic of China over Taiwan (am a bit unclear about this since Nixon promised the same, but I think this time it would include the exchange of ambassadors in Washington and Peking).

Nov. 1978: In response the Soviet Union and Vietnam sign a Friendship Treaty that worries China

Dec. 1978: America announces that Teng will visit the U.S.A.

shortly after Christmas 1978, Vietnam invades Cambodia and occupies Phnom Penh. Worst fears of Cambodians is realised as the hated 'yuon' occupy the palace and put up Ho Chi Minh's portrait.

1979: Teng arrives in the U.S. and criticises Vietnam, which he calls the Asian Cuba, and tells the American President that China will carry out a limited attack on Vietnam. Probably, the U.S. notifies the Soviet Union so that a world conflict will not develop out of China's war of punishment and chastisement of Vietnam.

Feb. 1979: Less than two weeks after Teng returns to Peking, China launches their limited invasion of Vietnam. Shortly thereafter, China retreats back across the border without forcing one regular troop to leave Cambodia for the defence of the Vietnamese homeland. China loses influence in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

So this is a regional conflict with world power implications. China, the U.S.A, Canada and other western countries give verbal and material aid to the Khmer Rouge, the client of China, because they are resisting Vietnam, the client of the Soviet Union. To give a better image to the resistance to Vietnam, Sihanouk and Son Sann cobble together fighters that provide little other than a platform for Sihanouk to speak. The first chance he got, by the way, he defected from his Khmer Rouge handlers.

This facade is kept up until the Soviet Union collapse when they can no longer provide Vietnam with the financing needed to maintain their troops in Cambodia. Sihanouk becomes the front man for a coalition government that includes, or was supposed to include the Khmer Rouge, the Vietnamese backed Cambodians and so on. Pol Pot has by now declared for democracy and turned his back on violent revolution. Clinton, I think, had okayed an operation to kill Pol Pot just before the latter's death.

What a mess!!! It was all part of power politics. The Soviet Union, the Americans and Pol Pot had all tried to fit Southeast Asia into their theories of politics. The Cambodians suffered as the mass killers in Moscow, Phnom Penh and Washington tried to force the population to fit theories, which, of course, did not work.

Thailand must have been persuaded by Washington and Peking to give sanctuary to the Khmer Rouge, as well as use their territory by the Cambodian border to permit medical supplies and weapons to reach the forces of Pol Pot, Sihanouk and Son Sann.

This is a bit of a rambling missive but I would not be inclined to just point a finger at the USA for the mess that is/was Cambodia. China, the Soviet Union, Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge all had roles to play in this tragedy.

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I was on the border from 1980-85 and again 1991-93 and can state first hand that in both policy and fact, the US did not provide any type of aid or material support to the KR.

of course not... if your source is the "National Enquirer".

You are a quite blustery misinformed, old fool aren't you?

* Could this be related to the fact that Germany got whipped and you haven't recovered from this?

i am sure you are right little poor boy. old german fools like me carry the heavy burden that Germany got whipped with them till they die. it's especially hard in the mornings when i open my eyes and my first thought is "why did Germany get whipped?"

:o

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Reading back over the history of the khmer rouge I see a disturbing fact showing up again and again that doesn't seem to get much notice is that the khmer rouge, who perpetrated one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, were recipients of aid and military support from both Thailand and the United States.

U.S. Aid for Khmer Rouge Is Repugnant - New York Times

So why was so much western aid going to a regime who murdered 20-30% of the entire country's population?

I've got to vote with Sheryl on this, no DIRECT aid to the KR by the U.S., altho there was most likely some spill over from U.S. aid to the non-communist factions and to the Thai military.  Also spill over of the U.S. $$$ that went to UNBRO for food to the refugee camps and populations along the border.

Here's a pretty comprehensive www site on the border camps:  http://www.websitesrcg.com/border/

Mac

U.S. Embassy, Refugee Section, '75-'83

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Plenty of proxy support by the looks of it though.

The Times editorial of June 24 recognizes a small problem in pursuing Pol Pot, arising from the fact that after he was forced out of Cambodia by Vietnam, "From 1979 to 1991, Washington indirectly backed the Khmer Rouge, then a component of the guerrilla coalition fighting the Vietnamese installed Government [in Phnom Penh]." This does seem awkward: the United States and its allies giving economic, military, and political support to Pol Pot, and voting for over a decade to have his government retain Cambodia’s UN seat, but now urging his trial for war crimes. The Times misstates and understates the case: the United States gave direct as well as indirect aid to Pol Pot—in one estimate, $85 million in direct support—and it "pressured UN agencies to supply the Khmer Rouge," which "rapidly improved" the health and capability of Pol Pot’s forces after 1979 (Ben Kiernan, "Cambodia’s Missed Chance," Indochina Newsletter, Nov.-Dec. 1991). U.S. ally China was a very large arms supplier to Pol Pot, with no penalty from the U.S. and in fact U.S. connivance—Carter’s National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski stated that in 1979 "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot...Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him but China could."

It would be interesting to see Carter explain what he knew about the situation.

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There is a skein of ruthlessness permeating US foreign policy in post second world war history that manages to be both cynical and devoid of any morality which possibly owes its origins to an almost Teutonic sense of self belief, a delusion not easily reconciled with the lofty democratic ideals enshrined in a constitution lauded as the best money can buy.

I have pondered this paradox from time to time seeking an explanation as to why it should be so and have come to the unhappy conclusion that US foreign policy is really nothing more than the crude expression of its society's neurotic quest for a safe and secure ' world order ' to be achieved at any cost provided the pain is suffered by others not within Uncle Sam's borders. Casualties of this policy abound and the catalogue ever lengthens but the capacity to learn from bitter experience seems to be beyond the American ken. One would have thought that VietNam, Cambodia,Laos,Salvador etc might have impinged upon the national conscience to the point that the current Iraq shambles could have been avoided but evidently not.

Frankly, American policy has much in common with that of Nazi Germany and really that should come as no surprise. After all, the USA is an immigrant country fostered by the diverse national characteristics its peoples display. Perhaps it just took in too many Huns for its own good?

My thesis may be a little fanciful but the antics of Rumsfeld goes some way to prove a point.......

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I don't mean to continue the trend of pointing the finger at US (foreign policy) but just to add to post 28 by the gent, it is not only in post WW II that it was so.

Remember, if you will, that Panama did not even exist as a country, until the US saw fit to help(take over?) construction of the "Panama" canal. All that territory belonged to Columbia back then. That's a lot of land.

not to mention their involvment with several central american countries, of which I know more about Guatemala where it was in the US's Foreign Policy "interests" to cause 7 levels of hel.l in order to protect a bleedin' banana company. Although only made official in 1944, relations with US "visiting business men" had been on going for years. Long term result: Despot after despot wasa groomed and sponsored to replace despot after despot. And of course, the people suffered, with an ongoing 35 year civil war, lack of any stability, mass exodus, and oh! btw, the US now had a legion of over a million - many unrgistered, low paid workers.

Venezuela, to protect oil discoveries, etc... and so on and so forth.

I'd always learnt that Pol Pot had been aided into power by the US, as had Saddam, as has most every tinpot despot over the past hundred years or more.

Edited by kayo
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China was the biggest supporter of the Khmer Rouge both when they were in, and out, of power. China went to war with Vietnam in 1979 in order to 'punish' Vietnam for its successful invasion of Cambodia. I forget how the events developed but it went something like this:

1978: Cambodian troops stage attacks against Vietnam

1978: Cambodia gets aid from China

1978: American President Carter invites Teng Hsiao-p'ing to visit the U.S., and indicates the U.S. will recognise the People's Republic of China over Taiwan (am a bit unclear about this since Nixon promised the same, but I think this time it would include the exchange of ambassadors in Washington and Peking).

Nov. 1978: In response the Soviet Union and Vietnam sign a Friendship Treaty that worries China

Dec. 1978: America announces that Teng will visit the U.S.A.

shortly after Christmas 1978, Vietnam invades Cambodia and occupies Phnom Penh. Worst fears of Cambodians is realised as the hated 'yuon' occupy the palace and put up Ho Chi Minh's portrait.

1979: Teng arrives in the U.S. and criticises Vietnam, which he calls the Asian Cuba, and tells the American President that China will carry out a limited attack on Vietnam. Probably, the U.S. notifies the Soviet Union so that a world conflict will not develop out of China's war of punishment and chastisement of Vietnam.

Feb. 1979: Less than two weeks after Teng returns to Peking, China launches their limited invasion of Vietnam. Shortly thereafter, China retreats back across the border without forcing one regular troop to leave Cambodia for the defence of the Vietnamese homeland. China loses influence in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

So this is a regional conflict with world power implications. China, the U.S.A, Canada and other western countries give verbal and material aid to the Khmer Rouge, the client of China, because they are resisting Vietnam, the client of the Soviet Union. To give a better image to the resistance to Vietnam, Sihanouk and Son Sann cobble together fighters that provide little other than a platform for Sihanouk to speak. The first chance he got, by the way, he defected from his Khmer Rouge handlers.

This facade is kept up until the Soviet Union collapse when they can no longer provide Vietnam with the financing needed to maintain their troops in Cambodia. Sihanouk becomes the front man for a coalition government that includes, or was supposed to include the Khmer Rouge, the Vietnamese backed Cambodians and so on. Pol Pot has by now declared for democracy and turned his back on violent revolution. Clinton, I think, had okayed an operation to kill Pol Pot just before the latter's death.

What a mess!!! It was all part of power politics. The Soviet Union, the Americans and Pol Pot had all tried to fit Southeast Asia into their theories of politics. The Cambodians suffered as the mass killers in Moscow, Phnom Penh and Washington tried to force the population to fit theories, which, of course, did not work.

Thailand must have been persuaded by Washington and Peking to give sanctuary to the Khmer Rouge, as well as use their territory by the Cambodian border to permit medical supplies and weapons to reach the forces of Pol Pot, Sihanouk and Son Sann.

This is a bit of a rambling missive but I would not be inclined to just point a finger at the USA for the mess that is/was Cambodia. China, the Soviet Union, Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge all had roles to play in this tragedy.

the above is quite interesting. i will only add that POSSIBLY the Chinese duped both the Americans and the Russians at the same time. also with Laos in the picture, we can ask ourselves, who did eliminate the Royals?

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