Intervention and Exploitation: US and UK Government International Actions Since 1945



Prince Sihanouk is yet another leader who does not fancy being an American client. After many years of hostility towards his regime, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret "carpet bombings" of 1969-70, Washington finally overthrows Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. This is all that was needed to impel Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces to 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.

Incredibly, the Khmer Rouge inflict even greater misery on this unhappy land. To add to the irony, the United States support Pol Pot, militarily and diplomatically, after their subsequent defeat by the Vietnamese. [1]

"The fact is that the United States dropped three times the quantity of explosives on Cambodia between 1970 and 1973 than it had dropped on Japan for the duration of World War II. Between 1969 and 1973, 539,129 tons of high explosives rained down on Cambodia; that is more than one billion pounds. This is equivalent to some 15,400 pounds of explosives for every square mile of Cambodian territory. Considering that probably less than 25 percent of the total area of Cambodia was bombed at one time or another, the actual explosive force per area would be at least four times this level." --The Rise and Demise of Democractic Kampuchea, Craig Etcheson [2]

American support for the ouster of Sihanouk (viewed by the rural populace as the father of the country), in a coup by General Lon Nol and the subsequent invasion of Cambodia by U.S. troops in April 1970 prompted a backlash that strengthened support for the insurgent Khmer Rouge (KR) guerrillas. --Phil Robertson, Foreign Policy in Focus, December 1997. [2]

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. [2]