Truth to Power

US aided Khmer Rouge

Ex-prison chief: U.S. policy aided Khmer Rouge

Group would have died out, man testifies at Cambodia genocide tribunal

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The former chief of the Khmer Rouge’s most notorious prison said his group would not have risen to power in the 1970s if it weren’t for the policies of former U.S. President Richard Nixon and his top diplomat, Henry Kissinger.

Duch’s remarks on U.S. influence in the region were part of his account of the years before the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-79 regime. They echoed U.S. critics such as Noam Chomsky, who charged that Washington’s policies ensnared Cambodia in the Vietnam War, destabilizing the country to the point that the Khmer Rouge could take over.

Duch said he believed the Khmer Rouge would have died out by 1970 if the United States had not supported Cambodia’s military-led government following the 1970 coup d’etat that removed Prince Norodom Sihanouk from power and installed Gen. Lon Nol.</em>

I’m currently reading Nixonland, Rick Perlstein’s brilliant summation of the true villainy at the heart of Richard Nixon and his America, and this statement from Duch certainly fits. Nixon was a seriously deranged, amoral scum of a person, unfit to be a dogcatcher, much less President. The Vietnam war was nothing more than political power to Nixon, and he had no qualms about lying about it- or literally everything else- to whomever was standing in front of him. It’s no wonder then that his protégés such as Cheney and Rumsfeld continued the practice of useless wars and wholesale dishonesty with such a vigor.


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