Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Many factors led to Khmer Rouge rise

B-52 carpet bombing
Samdech Head of State Norodom Sihanouk and Premier Pham Van Dong went to the opera "The Statuary" at the Hanoi Municipal Theater; Photo: Samdech Norodom Sihanouk and Premier Pham Van Dong congratulating the Vietnamese artistes after the performance.
Top photo: Khieu Samphan, Nguyen Huu Tho and Ieng Sary

September 16, 2009
A. Gaffar Peang-Meth
Pacific Daily News (Guam)

Cambodia is a very old country. Her recorded history dates back to the first century A.D. But she has a very large young population. One source estimates that one-third of Cambodia's total population of 14 million is below the age of 15 years.

It is no wonder that this young population appears to have little or no sense of why as many as two million people in Cambodia were killed from 1975-1979 by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime.

Yet Cambodians seem receptive of the view that U.S. B-52 bombings of Cambodia resulted in the radicalization of the Khmer Rouge, and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia eventually brought Pol Pot to power.

After all, Cambodians, young and old, frequently hear Premier Hun Sen's reminder: The killings wouldn't have occurred had Lon Nol's coup not taken place. This effective political socialization method has brought now King Father Sihanouk to describe Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party as the "younger sibling" and has diverted attention from KRT's investigation of other "suspects" involved in the Killing Fields. Sen was a Khmer Rouge northeastern regional commander.

The search for truth that presents only one side of the coin is at best an incomplete interpretation of historical facts -- a half-truth, if not a manipulation of facts.

Former Congressman Stephen Solarz said in 1985 that Americans "have partial responsibility, but by no means exclusive responsibility" for the Khmer Rouge's success. He said, Sihanouk, the Khmer demi-god, who in 1970 called on the people to overturn the government that had replaced his own, "had as much if not more to do with the ultimate success of the Khmer Rouge than the American bombing."

Former national security adviser Henry Kissinger wrote that Hanoi brought the war to Cambodia and "made possible the genocide by the Khmer Rouge."

Australian journalist John Pilger's "Cambodia's empty dock," in the Feb. 21 Guardian, said the U.S. bombings provided "a catalyst" for Pol Pot, who came to power because Nixon and Kissinger had "attacked neutral Cambodia." Pilger called the KRT "a farce" if "those who sided with Pol Pot's mass murders" escape trial.

But Australian academic Stephen Morris's "Vietnam and Cambodian Communism" of April 2007 posited, "Without the support of the Vietnamese and Chinese communists, the regime known as Democratic Kampuchea would never have existed," and, "Vietnam played a vital role in the rise of the Khmer Rouge to power."

Readers in Cambodia e-mailed to remind me that the U.S. bombed Cambodia. Recently, a Cambodian who says he was only 7 when Pol Pot came to power, who has lived in the U.S. for 26 years now, wrote on the Internet that he has learned quite a bit: "America is the country that bombed Cambodia in the 1970s, thereby giving strength to the ultra-extremist Khmer Rouge to come to power in 1975 full of thirst for blood."

What do available historical records show?

A "protocol" to the agreement for China's military aid to Cambodia, signed by Cambodia's Lon Nol and China's Lo Jui-ching on Nov. 25, 1965, stipulates Cambodia agreed to Vietnamese communist "command posts," "passage," "refuge," and "protection if necessary," in the frontier region; and "passage of material coming from China" for the Vietnamese.

Read Pyongyang's KCNA News Service Release of April 30, 1972, which lists aid given to the Vietnamese communists by the Cambodian government beginning in 1963: food, medical supplies and commercial agreement; establishment of "small bases" for rest and medical care; free access to the Sihanoukville seaport by ships "carrying arms and military equipment" for the Vietnamese National Liberation Front; and transport by trucks belonging to the royal armed forces from the seaport to the border.
Cambodia's neutrality was thus destroyed since 1963 because of the belief the communists were going to be the future masters of the region.

When Jacqueline Kennedy visited Cambodia on Nov. 1, 1967, George McArthur and Horst Faas of The Associated Press, and Ray Herndon of United Press International, slipped out of Phnom Penh to the South Vietnamese border and found a Vietnamese communist campsite four miles inside Cambodia, in Kompong Cham.

Robert Shaplen's "Time Out of Hand" reported that in the late 1960s, Sihanouk told The Washington Post he wouldn't mind American actions against illegal Vietnamese communist presence in Cambodia's uninhabited areas. Vietnam War critic William Shawcross wrote in "Sideshow" that by that time, U.S. Special Forces teams had already operated 18.75 miles inside Cambodia. In December 1967, the U.S. presented to the Cambodian government, through Australia, findings of a classified project code named "Vesuvius" that documented communists' use of Cambodian land and resources during the Vietnam War.

In "White House Years," Kissinger wrote that Sihanouk, at a May 13, 1969, news conference, talked about "the first report" on "several B-52 bombings," saying he could not protest -- "an affair between the Americans and the Viet Cong-Viet Minh without any Khmer witnesses," as not even a buffalo was killed.
Yet, 10 days after the first series of B-52 bombing strikes three to five miles inside Cambodia, Sihanouk presented to the press corps a detailed map of the location of Vietnamese communist troops "by entire battalions and regions" from northeastern Ratanakiri to the sea in the south -- an area of 3,500 square kilometers. His monthly political magazine "Le Sangkum" placed Vietnamese communist strength along the borders at 35,000 to 40,000 men.

A scholar posited in Foreign Policy Research Institute Online, "History teaches above all that there is no such thing as history, only historical interpretation."

Based on available historical records, how did the Khmer Rouge rise to power?

A Gaffar Peang-Meth, Ph.D., is retired from the University of Guam, where he taught political science for 13 years. Write him at


Anonymous said...

Why Cambodia fighting to lost the land but they are gaining the land. This is telling that our leader are all stupid and idiots. After they got the power then they start saying that they are a GOD and no one is better then them. I still remember there was some rumour in 1983 or 1984 that Heng Somrin (that time was the head of state)was riding a motor taxi (motor dub)and ask the driver that: what do you think about today government? driver reply: All these dick heads are the same (Ah kdor nah kor douch ah kdor nah. It is true and still true.

Anonymous said...

What is your interpretation Dr. Peang-Meth? Let's hear it.

Anonymous said...

the fact is still the fact, history cannot be changed! of course US is part of the blame but what is the real root of the problem, Cambodia was supposed to be neutral, but sihanouk allowed and help the vietcong used cambodia for their sanctuary, without this there would not be coup d'etat by lon nol, there woul be no US bombing! and the khmer rouge never come to power without sihnaouk help! the root of the problem is SIHANOUK!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Gaffa P.Meth, thanks for your researchs showing the historical facts about the rise & Fall of the KR and the killing fields; It's not the fake history like one time mindset people who used to falsify the real facts; instead many prestigiuos scholars prior writing books spending many years in research...
Agreement with your research 100%.
Dr. P.Meth do you think Cambodia in the future will repeat the same history for better or for worse ?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pham Van Dong later on disparaged Sihanouk by calling him "stupid".

Stupid for not comprehending the differences between communism and royalism.

Anonymous said...

The former king play too much game with evil people.
The people of cambodia suffers due to him. He is a very foolish man.

Anonymous said...

The whole sad thing is caused by the "God" king Sihanouk who admitted that he screwed up too. He was the leader of a so-called Neutral kingdom, yet he supported the North VN who fought the war against the US and the South VN. He said that he thought that VN would leave Cambodia alone since they owe him a big favor. After he was deposed by his own PM, Gen. Lon Nol, he joined hand with his enemy, the KR, by proclaiming himself president of the liberation army and called for his mostly uneducated popution to join him. Before the call, the KR is nothing more than a very small Maoist movement who had no chance of winning any major battle field. Sihanoouk was so stupid to think that the KR would restore his power after victory. Why didn't he think about the ideology differences between communism and monarchy? Not only that he screwed up then but; after the UN spent about 2 Billions dollars to have election in 1993, he manged to have the loser, Hun Sen, shared the PM post with Ranaridth. Thanks you to him, the CPP is in control of the poor Cambodia and destroy her for the last 16 years though rampant corruptions and dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

ah pleu Hun Sen thinks that only he knows the facts, therefore he can distort the history as much as he wants. Had it not been the mistakes of then Prince Sihanouk's reckless political game, Cambodia wouldn't be ruined as it is today.

Talking about "the rise & the fall..." There were a lot books about Khmer Rouge written by American and English writers in the mids 1980's. Fifteen years ago, I had one of them. The book's title was "The Rise & the Demise of the Khmer Rouge". Later I lost it.

Anyway, thank Dr A. Gaffa for posting his research on the blog for those who have no knowledge about the real facts of our history which some how different from what Hun Sen has distorted.

Anonymous said...

correction: The Rise and The Demise of Democratic Kampuchea.

Sacrava said...

Hun Xen & Sihanouk had tried very hard to manipulate & discorte the truth facts of Khmer History.
Thanks to Dr A.Gaffa's analysis on Cambodia History.
And also pls write more inside & details of KLPNF which he was one of the top job of it.
How did Mr Clean destroy the biggest
non-communist faction ?
Before he died, he had came to visit Australia and he said that he've got nothing to do with BLDP(?)
Pls enlight everyone the Forgotten History.Thanks.

Ung Bun Heang

Anonymous said...

The royal army signed treaties to protect Viet in 1963 what it mean?
Sihaknuk called USA to bomb illigal Viet Hide out in Cambodia in 1968(illegal Vietcon in Cambodia sic),Sihaknuk called Viet people to help and restore him back to the throne March 1970,the same time called Cambodian people to join Marky jungle to fight with AH KAING CHAO TAH(USA) At the end 2 1/2 million Cambodian killed,Sihaknuk said I do not know I did not get involve with it.
Look at the pictures it talk to it self.
Pol Pot alone who did it sic.
Even the elementary school kid can answer that. Hang Sihaknuk very high and cut his flesh piece by piece you will know what is the answer.

Anonymous said...

There is a saying in Khmer that says "Trau cheik tunn". As soon as someone shows you some mumbo jumbo, you believe it right away without any due research and fact finding on your own. One of the augments, the first one, in here is more or less a spam without much merits, washing hands of any culpability, putting blames solely on King Sihanouk. After all, how often do you see the US apology for any coup d'etat that they involved in and it went astray afterward. Not once. The blame and scapegoat have to be some place, something, someone else.

One doesn't have to go too far to see the discrepancy. Just take a look at the timeline in this article. Where did the military aid to the Vietcong come from? The answer is .........China. Good, you are good. You got the answer right. When did Cambodia's LON NOL and China's Lo Jui-ching sign the military supply agreement? The answer you see in the article is Nov. 25, 1965. Great, you can spot that. Now read down a bit, you should see an excerpt from KCNA saying that the supplies flowed since the beginning of 1963. Wait a minute! Hogwash.....forget about the dates, the years don't even match. They just don't jive. I find this not credible at all.

From what can be found in this article are just excerpts from different sources with different interpretations. They are not necessary true facts. Look, even the article itself ends with a question.....not a conclusive, indisputable fact. That says a lot....

Anonymous said...

6:01 AM,

We don't need extracts from different sources to understand what was going on in Cambodia during 1970-75 period. As people who live through that period, I can testify that is the truth. Without Sihanouk deviation from his neutral policy coup d'etat did not happen and American could not have an excuse to bomb Cambodia. Without Sihanouk collaboration with Vietcong/North Vietnamese the latter did not have an excuse to attack Cambodia in 1970. Without Chinese aid the Khmer Rouge did not have any means to fight. After all Sihanouk had been tricked by the Vietcong/North Vietnamese and Chinese into believing that what they did was to help Sihanouk regained the power back but in reality they cheated Sihanouk without he, himself realized he was being cheated. After the war ended, Khmer Rouge became winner while Sihanouk becamse loser. I wonder why Sihanouk, who always claims that Chinese is his true friend, never feel bitter a bit about being cheated both Vietcong/North Vietnamese and Chinese.

Anonymous said...

601am. changing the date/year would not alter the action of the king during his reign.

The indisputable fact is that Sihanouk had allowed the NVA to use Khmer's territory as sanctuary during the Vietnamese civil war thereby rendering his neutrality claim doubtful.

If you're proud to be a pawn of the chinese, viet, or american then there is nothing to be worry about. You're an expendable piece, ready to be sacraficed by those in play.

Neither the chinese, viet nor american will ever feel sorry for the loss of their pawns. Why should they?

Sihanouk was our leader who was outplayed by eveyone. His purported intelligent and power alone could not stop the viet from taking over cambodia in 1979.

Should I blame the viet for making all the right moves or the king for all the wrong moves?

Thanks to him, cambodia is one big vietnamese province.

Anonymous said...

I love you guy my KHMER brothers/sisters out there all over the world. Keep on writing KHMER script and showed our KHMER people those who don't know how to read/write/speak. Believe me some of those kids that born abroad don't know not even 1 KHMER script. Most kids from abroad speak majority of English, French, German, nor Dutch.

I've learnt so fast every times open this up. I called my dad/mom read it for me. That how I learnt it very fast. GO to YOUTUBE and GOOGLE and you will learn alot more than you think. I taught myself from computer no class has taken.


Anonymous said...

Without Sihanouk, there had been NO Khmer Rouge.

[Sans Sihanouk, Khmer rouge n’existait même pas!]

បើកុំតែ សីហនុ ក៏វាគ្មានអាឃាដករ ខ្មែរក្រហមដែរ!

Anonymous said...

This is a suprise of the century to have such a doctor.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

ah pleu 6:01!

Anonymous said...

9:39 AM
You right, without Sihanouk, there had been no Khmer Rouge regime. We all might have a different travel document, like the Khmer Krom or Khmer Surin.

Anonymous said...

samdac hun sen save all of us should thank to him.

Anonymous said...

3:10pm Are you using wrong packages of the drugs?
Use it again,ah Hun Sen is not saving you but saving his butt and enslave Cambodian people and making easy access for youn to control Cambodia,Laos and kumppuchea krom as of Indochina federation winch Viet Nam is Bong Thom . Please do not break out you brainless in fo is you do not even have one.
Lonalianist kid

Anonymous said...

I would ask some one could assassinate him,he is not the right leader for Cambodia like 5:22 said ,so keep your eyes peel khmer still have long way to go to get what Cambodian ppl need.

Anonymous said...

9:29 PM

BEST! see English
BEST! see French
BEST! see Khmer

Anonymous said...

There you go from your own mouth "We don't need extracts from different sources to understand..." Well, your understanding is quite skewed from all of hearsays. You all are not interested in the truth but for what you want to hear and believe. You don't go far enough beyond the 1970 period; if you did you would find more chronological events and causes that lead to the events in the 1970's. You are so naive and blind.

From the early 1960's, the relationship between Cambodia and the US were not very smooth one. There were lots of up's and down's. Cambodia under the leadership of King Sihanouk just gained her independence from a colonial power, France, less than 10 years before that not interested in being dragged into an imminent conflict which widened to a full scale war years later in South Vietnam. The US was embarking on their Vietnam war in South Vietnam at its early stage. Cambodia was then more concentrating on developing her infrastructure, economy,..., etc. not war. Khmer Rouge was almost none existent. Viet Cong/North Vietnamese were not at the border yet. But at the same time, there were a number of subversive activities originated from South Vietnam and Thailand to undermine King Sihanouk 's rule and peace in Cambodia. It was found out that it was backed by a super power backer. That was why the relationship between Cambodia, namely King Sihanouk, and the US was not very smooth back then. Would you blame him? NO. One wouldn't trust someone who wants to screw him up. Meanwhile Cambodia was at peace and beautiful. The country was developing King Sihanouk was trying to do what was best for the Cambodia's security and interests first and foremost not others' destructive interests. In reality, King Sihanouk never trusted the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. Needless to say by the end of 1960's, the relationship between King Sihanouk and the US began to thaw and he made attempts to reach out to the US. But somehow it never got to the other side. One has to say though that was not always perfect but Cambodia was out of the full scale war until after the stupid coup d'etat in 1970. Even in 1970, Khmer Rouge was still weak and not a major factor until 1973.

For your feeble mind, Robert McNamara/US Secretary of Defend/War Manager commenced the withdraw of the US troops from South Vietnam since 1968 after the Tet offensive. who is in the right mind would join someone's war when they themselves are packing up and high tail from there leaving you hold the bag? King Sihanouk most probably knew that. But moron LON NOL did not. With a bit of money, a promise of war material and logistic supports from the US, he fell for it and started the coup d'etat. With that China and North Vietnamese also up the ante for the Khmer Rouge. It became evident in 1973 when they got stronger and finally overran the Khmer Republic in 1975. Where was the protector? They high tailed so fast and so high back home leaving Cambodian people to die in the hands of the vengeful and murderous commies. And who died? Nobody else but Khmers. The thing is if there wasn't that coup d'etat in 1970, 2.7 millions Cambodians would be still alive today. Country and population preservation. A country without its own population is might as well close to the brink of extinction.

These are just some of the highlights of what had happened. I hope this opens your eyes a bit and not so one dimensional. Yes, there have been a lot of mine fields that Cambodia had to navigate through. Pol Pot was the ultimate destroyer of Cambodia. But what and who led to that. Well, some are already mentioned here. Think for your own country, own people interests, own security first before anybody's else. So stop being so naive, blind, one dimensional, and easily duped. King Sihanouk kept the peace in Cambodia until 1970. The root of the problem is the coup d'etat by Lon Nol backed by the US.

Anonymous said...

King Sihanouk made big mistake believing that Communist China and Vietnam will save him, his people and his country. The reality between April 17th 1975 and January 7th. 1979 proved different and only King, his wife ( Princess Monique )and some of his children were saved. The rest were done with it. This was what he got from China and Vietnam in return for his love and trustful heart during those years. It's the Communist. One must know better that they don't give a crap too much. Deadly or nasty and extremist regime. You bet.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let me flip your own coin. Between your reality dates April 17h, 1975 to January 7th, 1979, where was the US while Cambodians were dying and being murdered? No where to be found. Not a word, silent. I know you, the US, didn't give a crap about Cambodia. Did the US give a crap to the Khmer Republic that they fought loyally and died needlessly? Nooooooo. Cambodia was small and insignificant to the US. Cambodia was toast after being all used up and not useful anymore to you. To add the insult to the injury, the US supported the Khmer Rouge regime up and until the late 1980's or early 1990's. So don't even try to divert all of the blames to others. You are no angle either.

Anonymous said...

1014pm "..The thing is if there wasn't that coup d'etat in 1970, 2.7 millions Cambodians would be still alive today......

...The root of the problem is the coup d'etat by Lon Nol backed by the US."

By your logic, if there is no Sihanouk, then there is no coup d'etat by Lon Nol. You can pick any point in history to start and conclude your argument.

For example, if the french had not colonized indochina, we would not have lost kampuchea krom. Agree?

Or, since you seem to be obsessed with the US, if there are no NVA in khmer territory then the US would not have bomb cambodia. True?

So as you can see I can start at any point and make it the "root of the problem"

Stop condonning the crime perpetrated by the KR. They alone chose to kill khmers for no other reasons than being khmers.

Your attempt to pass the blame to others cheapen the live and dignity of khmers who were murdered and reward those who were guilty of the crime. No one cares more about khmer than khmer.

Anonymous said...

1201am, Boy oh boy, aren't you really stuck in first gear? It is obvious that you can read the words but you CAN NOT comprehend the meanings and what they try to convey. You can not even put your thought process in the right order. My logic seems to be simple enough and chronologically enough but you still don't get it. I suggest you go back and re-read from the very top of my postings.

How about no coup d'etat at all? And if King Sihanouk remained the ruler of Cambodia until 1975 or whenever and the Khmer Rouge still succeeded, then the fault was totally his. But that was not the case.

Now back to reality, King Sihanouk had been running the country legitimately since the 1950's. He had to do what was best for Cambodia and her people. NO war in Cambodia until 1970 as the result. So what the hell are you talking about? It appears that you are really really inept on the regional politics back in that time. Cambodia was walking on a tight rope and in a mine field and trying her very best of not to fall, into the Vietnam war that is. Nobody cared about this tiny little country called Cambodia except its leader and people. You dig? Probably not for you.

I am not going to re-write of what I already laid out logically. I recommend you to go to libraries and archives to read up more from different sources then come back.

You accused me of condoning the wicked KR? Hah, go back and read again. I said "Pol Pot was the ultimate destroyer of Cambodia". Isn't that enough? My close family members and countless relatives died and executed by this SOB, Khmer Rouge.

BOY, you are totally clueless and hopeless.

Anonymous said...

12:55AM come one you full of clue!

First- We are locking for the killer not the cause for the killer to come to the scene of the crime! that would be another matter! ( mudderer crime is difference from the security guy or police mand mal function).

And what is wrong not happen right away but a course of time!

For the duictators who ordered every thing,claim evry thing to be done by him, and than his pickup man went against him, " so it was his (The Dick ) fault!

Fuck the guy who killed all the good people ( Preap Inn, Soa Ngouy, Soa Bory, Soa Bora,and on and on) and made the bad person become general and cause the ciountry to ruine!

Mudderers are a muderers no fucking compromise to only one!

Anonymous said...

Did I say the dude was perfect? No.

But if no coup, no war, then no 2.7 million dead Cambodians. I hope you get that much.

Anonymous said...

The political's program of Pouk Khmers Krohom in France in the year 1970 (RONAKSE ROUB ROM CHEAT KAMPUCHEA)FUNK who created the killing and destruction of Cambodia.Some of these Khmers Krohom are still living and hiding in the nature.For more information asks M.THIOUM PRASITH,CHAN YOURAN,ENTH SOPHEAP ect...

Anonymous said...

138am."..But if no coup, no war, then no 2.7 million dead Cambodians. I hope you get that much." coup ...Sihanouk is still in power. war...are you sure?
The US conducted its bombing regularly at the NVA sanctury while Sihanouk was in power. Do you think the US will stop?

With or without Sihanouk, we were already at war.

What if the NVA move deeper into cambodia, don't you think the american will follow? 2.7 million dead do you know for certain?

How is your king going to tell the families of those who were killed by the US bombs? that we're all should sacrafice for vietnamese reunification?

Give me one good reason why khmer should die for vietnamese war.

Anonymous said...


You can flip the coin all you want. The fact that the American was out of Asia and out of Vietnam, American had nothing to do with us. Zero my friend. You cann't blaim a Nation that say Hey! I quit and all yours Communist men and the fact that Communist China and Vietnam had full responsibility of Cambodia, it's shameful that they did nothing to save 2 millions Cambodian lives and just let them went to hell. Don't you think? What kind of responsibility is that?

Anonymous said...

3:31am, I'm don't even bother to reply to you at length because just like I said before you are ever stuck in the first gear. You can't get out it. Hopeless. Just look at your response. You don't have anything substantial to substantiate and support your point. You just twist and spin my words and plaster them back in. Now go and try to put your thinking cap back on. But then again I doubt you have one.

And you 3:33am, I don't even want to tell you to read my postings but just read your very own. Does it sound ridiculous to you? Probably not because it comes from a hallow head.

What you say is like someone comes to your house. Slap you mother, sister, and wife silly, drink your beer, eat you food, sleep in your bed, then pee in your kitchen sink. After that the dude says to you "now you moron go clean your house and put some bandages on your wife and mother. By the way I did not do or cause it. I have nothing to do with it. It was some other dudes".

Are you out of middle school yet? I can't believe of what I reading and seeing here. Man, you can join the guy on top and sit in the corner together. Oh, don't forget to put the pointy hat on. Shussh!!!!

Anonymous said...

4:21am, you said no war did you not?

The US started its secret bombing of cambodia in march 1969. Are you disputing this fact?

Getting killed by B-52's bombs is not an ordinary accident, don't you think?

My question to your hero king who's still in power during the bombing campaing is this: why in the hell the US bombed us? for what reasons?

According to you, he walks a fine line trying to balance the weight of the superpowers and keep cambodia out of the war. Fine, I am not against that, besides, who likes war?

My second question to your hero king is: if neutrality is what keeping cambodia out of vietnam war, then why did he allowed the NVA santuary? Isn't this action the same as taking side with NV?

May be you should give us your definition of war instead of condescending remarks.

Anonymous said...

You are nut coup detat is Sihaknuk planed,so do not mix with out site look

Anonymous said...

Some people still believe that without coup d'etat in 1970 Sihanouk would still be in power and; hence there would be no Khmer Rouge and since there was no Khmer Rouge, 2M khmers would not die. I believe otherwise. Viets are smart. In the 1970's they cheated Sihanouk and Chinese into helping them and once they won the war Sihanouk and Chinese were discarded by the Viets. Assuming that without the coup in 70's and with Sihanouk's help, Vietcong/North Vietnamese were successful in chasing the American out and took control of South Vietnam. Does everyone believe that the North, after being reunited with the South, will respect our territory and let us live in peace? I don't think so as we all know that Ho Chi Minh's goal was to form an Indochine Federation which comprise of Vietnam, Lao, and Cambodia under the leadership of the Viets. As such one way or other the Viets would take over Cambodia no matter if there was coup or not. As of today the Viets almost complete their missions now. They directly control Lao while they control Cambodia through their surrogate, Hun Sen.

Anonymous said...

5:15 am, No, You are going to drag me into your definition of war game that you are attempting to play here. Then apply it to what happened in 1969.

The key word is "secret" and you even said it yourself in your post. In 1969, the B-52 bombs illegally began falling on Cambodian soils and villages, killed the civilians between 150,000 to 500,000 in the process. This bombing was a culmination of 1) getting the South Vietnamese military some fighting chance against the Vietcong and North Vietnamese that illegally stayed along the eastern Cambodian border. 2) the US was in the process of extracting itself out of that war and implementing the Vietnamization of the war, another word bucking out leaving the war to the South Vietnamese, how convenient! 3) Attempting to get the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese to the negotiation table which did not come to fruition until 1973. And the US needed somebody on the left flank to contain the communist. Therefore Cambodia had to be pulled into play through a coup d'etat which was unnecessary (read more below).

During and throughout the 1960's, the Cambodian military was entrusted to nobody else but guess who.....General Lon Nol to equip and train the troops in order to protect the sovereignty of the nation. But it was far from the expectation. The troops were poorly trained and equipped, wearing flop flops, carrying bolt action rifles from WWI to skirmishes along the Eastern border against the well armed and trained Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. It was his job and he did not fulfilled it. Well that fault was with King Sihanouk too; he allowed that to happen.

So you see, it is not a clear cut of inviting or allowing the NVA sanctuary but rather the government was not be able to confront them effectively. Realizing that, King Sihanouk did reach out to the US but for whatever reasons he was snuffed by the US and it did not pan out to anything except a surprise coup later on. Here, you should ask yourself, why didn't the US support King Sihanouk to rally his people and fight the communist? Why? At the same time, the US was busy bucking themselves out of the war with which they started. Now there again, you should ask yourself a big WHY?

So to sum it up. With all of the illegal bombing killing up to half millions Cambodians in the process, a coup d'etat, a half -hearted support, and they were busy jumping ship and left you with a ship without sails. You should wonder and ask why on that, instead of insisting on a clear cut of neutral or not neutral. You see, the world was full grey color even today.

I said to myself of not reply to you because you seemed to stuck in the first gear. But I hope after this, you should be able to shift into the second gear. If not, I don't what to make of you. May be you are NOT Cambodian at all for all I know. Therefore you don't know the perspective that I am coming from. The more you know, the more your heart will ache and the more your tears just want to flow for CAMBODIA and HER PEOPLE. We deserve better. But you have to realize that nobody will give it to us. So we have to persevere, stand strong and proud, and move on.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think a clear and present enemy is easier to confront with than the one that is hiding behind a puppet or a shadowy, ambiguity enemy? And who doesn't know that Vietnam has been wanting to federalize Indochina and put it under its thump.

If the coup d'etat did not take place, Cambodia became to what it would be minus the Khmer Rouge. Vietnam(s) became to whatever. The two entities remain two separate sovereign states. Now if Vietnam decides to take over Cambodia just to subjugate her into their long dream Indochine Federation, Cambodia would have a clear and present invader just like what and how Cambodia is dealing Thailand today. Another example: Iraq invading Kuwait. It was clear and present and undeniable. And the world would not stand idle and let it slide by in this day and age.

But now the Viets are hiding behind Hun Sen. They had all pretexts that they had been waiting for and needed. Ah Youn, vier leng la-ar nas (sarcasm). Man, that's another can of worms.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the cold war between West and East, the arm races brought down the Berlin wall and the Soviet Blocs and liberate East European to be democratic country.
Sihanouk was so flattering by his close associate only with Chinese Premier Chou Enlay, Phan Van Dong, Sukano, Kim Il Sung... turned his policies close with the East comrade than for cambodia sake; Cambodia was not neutral, non aligned nation Sihanouk ever said speech by speech
Since 1960 the Khmer elite, nationalist were color painted as Khmer Serei, Khmer kraharm and of which only Khmer Serei had been executed one by one by his right hand chief police Kour Run...
The facts were not created or exagerated when Sihanouk himself declared in earlier 1969 that appoximately 40,0000 men in the East side of Khmer border; let be clear that Sihanouk signed agreement in 1965 for Vietcong safe refuge inside Cambodia.
Therefore Shanouk Himself brought war inside Cambodia.
When American Bombing along Vitenam And Cambodia border in 1969Sihanouk declared that not even one buffalo was killed...making joks that American as a Paper Tiger like his boss Chinese and Youn, Phan van Dong...
After Sihanouk exile to peking in March 1970 afterward on 17 March 1970; Sihanouk announced Radio appeal from Pekin to khmer people to join MARKIS without Sihanouk, believe ot not Khmer Rouge were not numbered to topple Lon Nol at all if no Sihanouk on their side; the KR later using him as a scapegoat creating mass killing field...
Now the kiss flattering Sihanouk butt, using by YOUN and puppets, and Chinese...his throne, power.
With the UNTAC election 1993, FUNCINPEC victory over CPP; his chance to save Cambodia was near those days but the throne , the glory, his princess wife dreaming, the throne for her son...
Many elite and nationalist tend to forget the pass about Sihanouh fooling policies only if he can unite Khmers chase YOUN out at this time to rebuild Cambodia independent Country;
Now it was too late for Indochinese Viet confederation in the near future not even one single bullet, there are 140 Vetnamese Association in Cambodia today...

Anonymous said...

Is this a sanitized version of the article posted up there? Sorry, not buying it on "Shanouk Himself brought war inside Cambodia".

Anonymous said...

The fact is the khmer rouge leaders got played by the fuken china. they brainwashed polpot to believe in revolution and kill his own people. This is a tactic china used to kill its people as well. King sihanouk is a stupid king who won't admit to his mistakes, which led to the death of 2 million people. This king still worships his fuken communist boss.