By Richard Mellor Afscme Local 444, retired
“[The U.S.] dropped bombs on our heads and then they ask us to repay. When we do not repay, they tell the IMF [International Monetary Fund] not to lend us money,” Hun Sen said at an Asia-Pacific regional conference earlier this month.”
US imperialism, led by Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon waged an illegal undeclared war in two small countries bordering Vietnam in the early 1970’s, Cambodia and Laos. In addition to the 3 million or so Vietnamese that died in that war, the foray in to Cambodia took upward of 600,000 lives, mostly peasants and rural farmers, the US killed another 400,000 or so in Laos. The US slaughter of Cambodian and Laotian civilians was a genocidal attack by the most powerful military in the world on a defenseless, rural peasant population.
Kissinger and Nixon are war criminals, mass murderers. Nixon has since died but Kissinger, a friend of presidents and politicians, is still alive and a respected American hero. The massive destruction and loss of life in Cambodia and Laos was no accident, no “error in judgment”; it was US policy and had been carried out with gusto in Vietnam. . John Naughton, the Assistant secretary of state in 1967 said of US strategy in Vietnam that, “We seem to be preceding on the assumption that the way to eradicate the Vietcong is to destroy all the village structures, defoliate all the jungles, and then cover the entire surface of South Vietnam with Asphalt.”
As they do today, the US public is kept in the dark about the realities, consequences and decisions of the US war machine. Back then, it was the general rule to count all dead bodies as enemy soldiers. Even if that were the case, and we now know it was not, people defending themselves against aggression, as the Vietnamese were doing, does not make them enemies.
The code names for the raids in to Cambodia and Laos were, as Christopher Hitchins suggested in his book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, “…a menu of bombardment…” with such colorful names as Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner and Dessert. Between March 1969 and May 1970 3,630 raids went across the border in to Cambodia dropping more than 500,000 tons of explosives on Cambodia's countryside. In addition, the US dropped defoliants on the peasants’ food supply that, “…created a massive health crisis which naturally fell most heavily on children, nursing mothers, the aged and already infirm, which persists today.” Hitchens, The Trial…p 35.
With its use of white phosphorous and depleted uranium in Iraq the same scenario is being played out as thousands of Iraqi people are dying from cancers related to the US invasion and deformities among newborns related to the invasion are widespread.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, the architects of the slaughter in Indochnina were celebrating the results of their creative activity. Chief of Staff HR Haldeman’s diary entries explain, “Kissinger’s “operation breakfast” a great success. He came beaming in with the report, very productive.” Haldeman wrote in March 1970 .
A Haldeman entry 22 April 1970 says that Nixon, following Kissinger in to a National Security Council meeting, “turned back to me with a big smile and said K’(issinger)’s really having fun today, he’s playing Bismarck.” Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger.
"Everything that flies on everything that moves" Henry Kissinger on US policy in Cambodia.
According to Hitchens, the US Senate Subcommittee on Refugees estimated that between March 1968 and 1972 “…..more than three million civilians were killed or injured or rendered homeless.” I guess it’s hard to tell when the planes carrying the weapons of mass destruction fly at such altitudes the accuracy and extent of the damage can’t be seen. In the same period, the US dropped more than 4,500, 000 tons of high explosives on Indochina and that doesn’t include the defoliants and pesticides it poured over their food, on the people and even on its own troops.
And the US warmongers want Cambodia to repay a paltry loan it made to them that has doubled due to interest.
The staggering hypocrisy and arrogance of US imperialism.
See: The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens and;
Sideshow: by William Shawcross.