By Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD
I first approached this subject tentatively, as it was an area I was not familiar with (despite the Hollywood film ‘The Killing Fields’, and the accompanying book). I could not understand why it was that in all my years of exposing and deconstructing US Cold War disinformation aimed at the USSR and the Communist Bloc, why was this example apparently ‘correct’? Why did the rule of Kampuchea by the Communist Party appear to result in EXACTLY what the US said had happened? The answer, of course, is that it did not. It has taken me decades of research to work all this out. Nowadays, I can talk with people in Cambodia and they have interesting stories to tell (none of which support the US narrative), and I have met a small number of Chinese Veterans of the PLA that invaded Vietnam in 1979 in an attempt to ‘counter’ this US interference in the region. There was no deliberate ‘massacre’ in Kampuchea carried-out by the Khmer Rouge. However, the United States military, on several devastating occasions, did ‘illegally’ enter Kampuchea and inflict tens of thousands of causalitieseither by blanket-bombing, or trigger-happy ground assaults!
Everyone remembers the Presidency of Jimmy Carter – the peanut farmer – with a general sense of nostalgia – as if he were another Kennedy! Under Carter the US pursued many progressive policies, which included the diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China in 1979 (which had already replaced Taiwan at the UN in 1972). On the surface, things seemed to be going well, but behind the scenes President Carter stayed true to the neo-liberal agenda of attempting to retain White (capitalist) hegemony throughout the world. This is where the narrative gets a little murky. Carter had communicated with the Soviet leader – Brezhnev – about the possibility of a joint US-USSR mission in Kampuchea designed to ‘destroy’ the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge Communist government which had swept to Revolutionary power in 1975! As the USSR was engaged in an embarrassing ideological battle with Communist China regarding the reputation of Joseph Stalin (China supported Stalin and condemned Khrushchev) – Brezhnev tacitly ‘agreed’. Initially, this involved the US and Soviet-backing of the Vietnamese People’s Army as it entered poverty-stricken Kampuchea and attempted to destroy its relatively small people’s militia. Following a military victory – the VPA was to ‘withdraw’. This was as far as President Carter was willing to go – although there was talk of the VPA simultaneously ‘invading’ parts of the Chinese border areas with Soviet (and US) backing. It was this ‘threat’ of military invasion that prompted the Chinese military invasion of Vietnam (the PLA was assisted by troops from Democratic Kampuchea and the DPRK) – which was designed to destroy the VPA forces massing on the Chinese borders. This PLA operation was successful, and the Chinese PLA withdrew back into China, but this did not prevent the VPA carrying-out its planned invasion of Kampuchea.
It must be stressed that Ho Chi Minh was a firm ally of both China, the USSR and Khmer Rouge (balancing all three) and this is why Vietnamese supply lines in the war against US aggression ran through Kampuchea. Although he died in 1969, his policies continued to be followed by the Vietnamese Communist Party until the US defeat and withdrawal in 1975. After this, the VCP quite literally ‘changed sides’ and abandoned the Maoist Thought ideology that had given the peasant army of Vietnam victory over the capitalist US – turning instead to the USSR for support in recovery from the devastating effects of decades of war. China had rejected Khrushchev’s ‘revisionism’ over the reputation of Joseph Stalin and an ideological rift had developed between it and the USSR. Khrushchev, through his lying, confirmed every CIA-produced lie about Stalin that had ever been fabricated! Khrushchev’s traitorous outpourings was the ‘Soviet’ or ‘Russian’ confirmation of all the anti-Soviet lies that had mainstreamed in the Western media and academic system. Essentially, this lying stated that the USSR (under Joseph Stalin) was nothing different to Nazi Germany (under Adolf Hitler) – and that the Red Army had committed similar acts of mass murder for which it had not stood trial! Of course, none of this makes any logical or historical sense, but it is the anti-intellectual waters within which the US government and population routinely swims!
As a consequence, (and following numerous discussions with Cambodian people), it is clear that Kampuchea was awash with CIA, KGB and Chinese Intelligence Agents from at least 1970 – all vying for ideological influence and domination. Indeed, Kampuchea was one of the few places where the CIA and KGB acted ‘together’ as allies against the common enemy of Chinese Communism! This reality is something that can be readily observed through various and numerous Chinese-language historical texts (all easily accessible online through Baidu). Out of this chaos of numerous armed factions, arose the Khmer Rouge whose elected General Secretary was known by his codename of ‘Polpot’. Polpot was an avid follower of Mao Zedong, and visited the Chairman a number of times in the 1970s – including when the Khmer Rouge were in power (1975-1979). Chairman Mao and Polpot continuously discussed how to build a Socialist Revolution within a highly impoverished and culturally backward environment. The anti-racism of the ‘Internationalism’ of Marxist-Leninism was continuously advocated as a means to ‘heal’ the deep (and historical) ethnic wounds that existed in the country (which arose out of tribal and feudal affiliations). The upshot of these discussions was the sharing of all the benefits of the Revolution with as many different groups as possible. There was never any discussion of ethnic cleansing (or genocide) as realistic policies for a Socialist government to follow! This evidence has to be ignored by bias Western scholars because it undermines the ‘preferred’ CIA-generated narrative that Hollywood pursues.
The Khmer Rouge were only in power for four short years. This is a ridiculously short-time to achieve anything. Even though the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, it was not until the end of 1922 that the Soviet Union was formally ‘founded’ – and not until 1936 that the first complete ‘Constitution’ was enacted! The Vietnamese ousted the Khmer Rouge from power in 1979, and the rightwing Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981! The VPA occupied Cambodia from 1979-1989 – and kept the country and population sealed-off. I suspect that President Reagan gave the ‘go ahead’ for the transformation of this peasant country with food shortages and routine droughts – into something resembling a third world Concentration Camp! The model for this mad vision was nothing less than that of ‘Nazi German’ – as if the Khmer Rouge had had access to a vibrant, first world socio-economic base when it took power! The Americans portrayed Polpot as Adolf Hitler in exactly the same way that Joseph Stalin is misrepresented! The problem is that there was only ‘one’ Adolf Hitler and he lived and died as a ‘German’ in ‘Germany’! Polpot (and many ordinary Cambodians) had probably never heard of Hitler or taken much notice of a war that happened thousands of miles way. As matters stand, we are left with the macabre ‘stacking’ of numerous bones of representing the Cambodian casualties sustained during the ‘illegal’ blanket-bombing and ground invasions perpetuated by the United States! As under capitalism, Cambodians live in abject poverty, the museums that continuously ’disrespect’ the Cambodian dead – are lucrative earners in the Cambodian tourist industry – which ironically receives a steady income from fat Americans who waddle around with their cameras! This is why these monstrosities are not shut-down and the bodies properly buried. I am told by ethnic Cambodians that there has been campaigns to respectfully ‘cremate’ these remains – but that the US continuously ‘blocks’ any such attempts because it believes that these horrific displays of US anti-intellectualism actually ‘prevents’ Cambodian people from embracing Socialism and forming an effective Communist Party! In the meantime, there is a steady stream of American men who travel to Cambodia to commit sexual crimes with young children. Poverty is so grinding under US-style capitalism that a poor family will often sell their young daughters for just $10 – which sometimes includes these children being murdered on film! This is just one of the horrendous and ongoing crimes that Cambodia now experiences under US hegemonic control!
Theoretical US Memo in the White House (c. 1979)
The US Mission – Fabricate a ‘Nazi German’ Communist Regime in Cambodia
Objective: Warning – all Socialism is Fascism! The capitalist status quo within bourgeois hegemonic control is the only legitimate regime! Not to support capitalism equates with mass death!
Method: Nazi German methodology of ‘racial science’. The Khmer Rouge are ‘racist’ and anti-Vietnamese and opposed to any other ethnic group. All non-Khmer (I.e. ‘non-Aryan’) must be exterminated. The Vietnamese people equal the ‘Jews’ – therefore, the Vietnamese are the ‘enemy’. The US supports the ‘Vietnamese’ in their justified war against this Chinese-backed ‘Socialism’ (i.e. ‘Nazism’).
Evidence of Atrocities: The Vietnamese will ‘seal’ Cambodia whilst the CIA ‘constructs’ the ‘museums of genocide’. We will have around ten years to complete this project –but no one will notice that the Khmer Rouge were only in power for four years and had nowhere near our resources! We will gather all the bones that litter the countryside and stack them in attractive pyramids. Although this is disrespectful to the Cambodian people, they will have no choice but to comply with our wishes. We will say that the Khmer Rouge ‘murdered’ between 300,000 and 3 million Cambodians because of a racist grudge. We must be vague about actual numbers as we have no idea how many our bombing has killed in reality. It is important that these bones are never scientifically examined and the ‘true’ cause of their demise ascertained. We will pay volunteers to ‘pose’ for Nazi-esque photographs in the tens of thousands whilst we ‘measure’ their heads – as the Hitlerite Germans were prone to do.
Back Story: We shall invent torture cells replete with Nazi German-style chairs, tables and bright lights, etc. This is more for the benefit of other Westerners, so that they believe Polpot is an Asian Hitler – this is exactly what we did to Stalin and are doing to Mao Zedong. Hitler has been a very busy man with the power to change bodies and manifest within completely different regimes and cultural settings! The Cambodians will do as they are told – providing we distribute basic food stuffs and medicine, etc. We can add a bitof humour by saying that in a country with no electricity – the Khmer Rouge routinely ‘torture’ their victims with ‘electric shocks’! Within a culture that does not use Western-style beds, we will say that the Khmer Rouge victims were tied to metal bedsteads! The Khmer Rouge do not have enough food – but they have access to a warehouse full of Western paraphernalia! This will be an absurdity similar to the CIA mission in Tibet – but as we know there will be Westerners who always believe these stories without, hesitation! We must ‘lie’ to protect capitalism and the hegemonic control of the White race!