April 17th 1975

Just in case our wise political commentators here forgot, today marks the twentieth anniversary of the forced evacuation of the Cambodian people from the towns into the countryside by the murderous Khmer Rouge. Spare a thought.


Thirtieth anniversary.

:blush: What a plonker :blush: Well, at least the date is correct. Thanks for that.


Yes and remember the Democrat opposition to supplying the South Vietnamese army that contributed to the collapse in neighboring Vietnam and the deadly silence that followed when the atrocities started in Cambodia. I guess things like the Holocaust can and will be repeated. After all for Noam Chomsky and his ilk, “a little bloodshed is always going to take place during a transfer of power” and he “seriously doubted that the atrocities were as bad as the reports because the witnesses were not credible.” Hurray Noam Chomsky. Another award for you and perhaps another “peace” prize for Carter for all he did when he took office in 1977 to help the Cambodians and the Boat People. Ironically, if the Vietnamese (our enemies) had not invaded in 1979, this may have continued what? another four to five years? That might have been possible.

Fred, are you saying that U.S. military action to stop Pol Pot would have been possible? Please explain what options were available in those days for the U.S. We had no diplomatic presence, so we couldn’t bring much diplomatic pressure on Cambodia. We had no trade relationship with Cambodia, so it was also unlikely that we were going to get much done with sanctions or other economic means. Our military had just pulled out (under the Nixon and Ford administration), so do you think we had any good options for military action starting from scratch?

What I find abhorrent is that the U.S. Administration (regardless of whether democrat or republican) supported a Khmer Rouge presence at the U.N. because Vietnam were the U.S.'s “enemies” and the U.S. was at the beginning of a childish 20-year sulk. Vietnam should have been better supported in their role in ousting Pol Pot and credit should be given by the U.S.


This is another one of those rare instances where I find myself agreeing with Fred (gosh, twice in one week - maybe this should make the 6 o’clock news). Despite all the variouis bullshit I’ve heard over the years about South Vietnam fell because the southerners just didn’t want to fight, it was America’s war, blah blah, the truth is that from 1973 onwards we almost entirely cut off their supplies of ammunition. The Russians and Chinese, on the other hand, sensed victory after the USA pulled out and greatly increased supplies to the North Vietnamese. In a great book “The Fall of Saigon” - the author put it this way: “While we asked the South Vietnamese to do more with less, the North Vietnamese were asked to do more with more.”

I’ve been to Vietnam six times, it’s one of my favorite places. I’m glad the country is united and at peace now, but the fact is that the rotten communists didn’t have to win. The south would have held, but we kicked the legs out from under them just when they were strong enough to stand on their own feet. And it was the leftists in the USA that pushed, pulled and lobbied congress to do this.

The initial strategy in the early to mid 1960’s was just that. Equip the ARVN with superior firepower and provide close air support and MACV advisors to go into battle with them and help them keep their heads when the VC attacked.

Hopeless. The ARVN wouldn’t fight and when they couldn’t avoid it the VC kicked their asses every time.

That’s why the U.S. military took over and shoved the ARVN aside into a ‘supporting role’ from '66 through '70.

Even the U.S. military didn’t want to give the ARVN more weapons after 1973 because they knew they’d just end up losing them to the communists and having them turned back on them in the next stage of the expected domino war.

The only warriors on the anti-communist side that were worth anything were the Montagnards and they hated the ARVN almost as much as they hated the VC.

The people who really know the facts here are those who served as MACV advisors with ARVN units during the Vietnam War.

How about you, Tainan Cowboy? Are you a fan of the ARVN?


You lost the Vietnam war. Get over it. Please don’t usurp a decent post asking for some rememberance of the suffering of the Cambodian people and transform it into a Americo-centric partisan pissing contest about whose bloody fault it was you lost a war.

The only valid reference to the US here would be the one I made about the recognition of the Khmer Rouge at the UN at the US’s insistence; something all of you American politicos in this forum are singularly striving to avoid addressing.

So why did you recognise the KR? Why did the US turn a blind eye to the atrocities? Why did the US not offer credit to Vietnam for belatedly bringing an end to the butchery of the KR?

Why? Because you lost and the US is a bad loser.



You’re right. My apologies.

All sides in American public life failed morally during the Khmer Rouge atrocities. The Left denied it or apologized for it and the Right placed geopolitical goals above its moral obligation to stop genocide wherever it rears its head.

There were no good guys. Just the same morally bankrupt Left and the morally challenged Right which passes for a national conscience today.

So here’s the dirt on the Americans supporting the “evil Khmer Rouge”

In 1981, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said: “I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot.” The US, he added, “winked publicly” as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge.[/quote]

And the brits too

Until 1989, the British role in Cambodia remained secret. The first reports appeared in the Sunday Telegraph, written by Simon O’Dwyer-Russell, a diplomatic and defence correspondent with close professional and family contacts with the SAS. He revealed that the SAS was training the Pol Pot-led force. Soon afterwards, Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that the British training for the “non-communist” members of the “coalition” had been going on “at secret bases in Thailand for more than four years”. The instructors were from the SAS, “all serving military personnel, all veterans of the Falklands conflict, led by a captain”.[/quote]

and the Chinese. heck, who wasn’t in on this, or didn’t know about it.

Broon Ale:

This was discussed before and numerous interesting quotes were provided from Vietnamese officials who admitted that they had lost militarily after the almost total destruction of the Viet Cong (50 percent) during Tet. What they gambled on however and won was the political fight. After Tet, the Americans had won in Vietnam but lost at home and why? Look to the left to understand that.

I know we supported Pol Pot (the Americans) but who made that decision and isn’t it very very VERY fucking ironic that among these was the person who was our “human rights” president? I would have thought such realpolitik would have occurred only under Kissinger and Nixon but under Carter?!!! This is what makes his incredible following among the left so shocking, oh but then that would involve thinking and moral consistency. Okay, I guess I see after all why the left was and is so in thrall to Jimmy Carter. Typical, but not very nice.

This is a very interesting article. I wonder when the Left which did everything it could to sabotage the war effort in Vietnam will apologize for the massive human rights violations and suffering that followed the collapse of South Vietnam.

[quote]THE Vietnam War is universally regarded as a disaster for what it did to the American and Vietnamese people. However, 30 years after the war’s end, the reasons for its outcome remain a matter of dispute.

The most popular explanation among historians and journalists is that the defeat was a result of American policy makers’ cold-war-driven misunderstanding of North Vietnam’s leaders as dangerous Communists. In truth, they argue, we were fighting a nationalist movement with great popular support. In this view, “our side,” South Vietnam, was a creation of foreigners and led by a corrupt urban elite with no popular roots. Hence it could never prevail, not even with a half-million American troops, making the war “unwinnable.”

This simple explanation is repudiated by powerful historical evidence, both old and new. Its proponents mistakenly base their conclusions on the situation in Vietnam during the 1950’s and early 1960’s and ignore the changing course of the war (notably, the increasing success of President Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization strategy) and the evolution of South Vietnamese society (in particular the introduction of agrarian reforms).

For all the claims of popular support for the Vietcong insurgency, far more South Vietnamese peasants fought on the side of Saigon than on the side of Hanoi. The Vietcong were basically defeated by the beginning of 1972, which is why the North Vietnamese launched a huge conventional offensive at the end of March that year. During the Easter Offensive of 1972 - at the time the biggest campaign of the war - the South Vietnamese Army was able to hold onto every one of the 44 provincial capitals except Quang Tri, which it regained a few months later. The South Vietnamese relied on American air support during that offensive.

If the United States had provided that level of support in 1975, when South Vietnam collapsed in the face of another North Vietnamese offensive, the outcome might have been at least the same as in 1972. But intense lobbying of Congress by the antiwar movement, especially in the context of the Watergate scandal, helped to drive cutbacks of American aid in 1974. Combined with the impact of the world oil crisis and inflation of 1973-74, the results were devastating for the south. As the triumphant North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Van Tien Dung, wrote later, President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam was forced to fight “a poor man’s war.”

Even Hanoi’s main patron, the Soviet Union, was convinced that a North Vietnamese military victory was highly unlikely. Evidence from Soviet Communist Party archives suggests that, until 1974, Soviet military intelligence analysts and diplomats never believed that the North Vietnamese would be victorious on the battlefield. Only political and diplomatic efforts could succeed. Moscow thought that the South Vietnamese government was strong enough to defend itself with a continuation of American logistical support. The former Soviet charg