by Brian McAfee
With President Bush recently bringing up the killing fields of South East Asia as justification for the US continuing the war in Iraq , I could not help but think of John Pilger's 1991 film "Cambodia: The Betrayal."  This documentary investigates and outlines the West's, particularly the US's, behind the scenes and ongoing support for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Indeed, this backing began during the Carter administration and it continued throughout both the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.
Betrayal video in Full
After Pol Pot's incursions into Vietnam and the slaughter of hundreds of
Vietnamese civilians in villages just over the border from Cambodia, Vietnam retaliated and managed to expel the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh. Hanoi then put in place a government in Cambodia that was no longer a threat to the Vietnamese. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge then retreated back into the rural areas and, subsequently, carried out actions over the western border into Thailand.
Pilger, who was in Cambodia in 1979 just after the Khmer Rouge were beaten back by the Vietnamese, noted in his documentary that the humanitarian needs of the Cambodian people could not be addressed by the UN at the time because the US and Britain were actively blocking aid from reaching the civilian population.
Instead of providing help, the US was funneling weapons and other supplies to the KR. This warmongering activity apparently went on for over ten years in duration.
According to Pilger, the CIA had fifty people assigned to their project to assist Pol Pot. Rather than assisting the Cambodian people in recovering from the nightmare that was Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, the US sided with the mass murderers and gave them aid. In addition, Reagan demanded that the KR represent Cambodia in the UN.
Indeed, he insisted upon this ratification despite his full knowledge of all the carnage that this regime had carried out during its three and a half years in power.
At the same time, the US also strong armed Thailand in defense of the KR when Thailand attempted to expel its members from Thai bases of operation. Furthermore, the US threatened cutting off trade with Thailand if the Thai government did not agree to allow KR groups to be located inside the borders of Thailand.
All considered, Pilger, in his documentary and numerous article on the subject, can be credited for blowing the lid off of the US criminal support of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. As for the KR, any revolutionary movement that knowingly targets civilians for death or "punishment," immediately and totally, loses all credibility as a socialist or communist movement. Meanwhile, groups like RK has become or always were fake socialists or communists. While their counterparts include Mao and the Chinese Communist Party and Peru's Shining Path, they all together represent abominations of the worst sorts, especially when in collusion with Western imperialist governments. All considered, Bush's misreading of history, whether deliberately done or undertaken out of ignorance, provides an opportunity to investigate and clarify. At the same time, the truth must be exposed in order to again bring rightfully earned credibility to the authentic socialist and communist movements. In a similar vein, the truth concerning brutal US government activities, especially when behind the scenes, must be always bared! For this reason, Pilger has done a great service and his works deserve credit for bringing the genuine facts to light.
 To see Bush's views, please refer to: Bush to invoke Vietnam in arguing against Iraq pullout...  Information concerning this film can be accessed at: ITV - John Pilger - Films / DVDs
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