1955-1973: The US subjects Prince Sihanouk's reging to years of hostility, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret "carpet bombings" of 1969-70. Washington finally overthrows Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces then enter the fray. Five years later, they take power. But five years of American bombing have caused Cambodia's traditional economy to vanish. The old Cambodia has been destroyed forever.

The Khmer Rouge inflict even greater misery on this unhappy land. The United States supports Pol Pot, militarily and diplomatically, after their defeat by the Vietnamese.

1978- : Invaded by Vietnam in 1978, the genocidal "communist" Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia receives assistance from the US government and which implicit in their rise to power in the first place. Humanitarian aide organizations are pressured by the US into providing assistance to Khmer Rouge guerillas using refugee camps as bases of operation.

In 1989 the US congress passes a bill prohibiting lethal aid to Pol Pot. In response the US administration begins directing arms shipments to the Khmer Rouge through Singapore.