Date: Wed, 25 Jun 97 12:57:00 CDT
From: "S.L.Rennacker" <>
Subject: The Forgotten US Role in Cambodia's Tragedy

The Forgotten US Role in Cambodia's Tragedy

By S. L. Rennacker, 25 June, 1997

I sent copies of the following to some of the major US media, but doubt that it will be printed.

Dear Editor:

Recent articles inspired by the possibility of Pol Pot being brought to trial for mass murder do a grave disservice to truth and justice by whitewashing, or omitting entirely, the role the US played in that tragedy.

The US did not approve of Cambodia's popular ruler Prince Norodom Sihanouk because he wouldn't dance to the anti-communist tunes we were calling. The resulting CIA-led destabilization crusade, begun in 1955, was finally successful when Sihanouk was deposed by Surik Matak and Lon Nol when he was out of the country in 1970.

Meanwhile, US B-52s had been conducting intense bombing raids, especially in the eastern part of the country (3,630 such sorties from March of 1969 through May of 1970 alone), continuing even after the 1973 Paris Accords. The resultant destabilization of the Country and the destruction of their countryside provided the compost where Pol Pot thrived!

After the Vietnamese drove the Khmer Rouge from power, the US blocked them from finishing the job in western Cambodia with the threat of a US-supported Thai invasion (because the Vietnamese were allied with the Soviet Union). We continued to support Pol Pot politically in the UN and elsewhere, while the CIA secretly helped see to it that he was kept armed, largely through cutouts in Singapore.

In hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Congressman Pete McCloskey concluded that what the US had, "...done to the country is greater evil than we have done to any country in the world, and wholly without reason..." (14FE75, p.64). Every month scores of men, women, children continue to be killed or maimed stumbling over bomblets and land mines many or most made in or provided by the USA.

The question is not whether we are responsible, but how much.


S. L. Rennacker

S. Rennacker ( Berkeley, California

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