Saturday, January 31, 2004

Recalling Pol Pot's Terror, But Forgetting His Backers

history > killing fields > a reminder
John Pilger reminds us of the events that transpired to bring the dreaded Pol Pot regime in power - and who supported it after it was ousted by communist Vietnam...:

"The genocide in Cambodia did not begin on April 17 1975, 'Year Zero'. It began more than five years earlier when American bombers killed an estimated 600,000 Cambodians. Phosphorous and cluster bombs, napalm and dump bombs that left vast craters were dropped on a neutral country of peasant people and straw huts. In one six-month period in 1973, more tons of American bombs were dropped on Cambodia than were dropped on Japan during the second world war: the equivalent of five Hiroshimas. The regime of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger did this, secretly and illegally.
Unclassified CIA files leave little doubt that the bombing was the catalyst for Pol Pot's fanatics, who, before the inferno, had only minority support. Now, a stricken people rallied to them. In Panh's film, a torturer refers to the bombing as his reason for joining 'the maquis': the Khmer Rouge. What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot completed. And having been driven out by the Vietnamese, who came from the wrong side of the cold war, the Khmer Rouge were restored in Thailand by the Reagan administration, assisted by the Thatcher government, who invented a 'coalition' to provide the cover for America's continuing war against Vietnam."

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