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CHAPTER 10 : Supporting Pol Pot
The Killing Fields...the borders sealed, the cities emptied at gunpoint, a forced march to
the countryside... be ing a professional, knowing a foreign language, wearing eyeglasses,
almost anything, might be cause enough for persecution, execution...or the overwork will
kill you, or a beating, or the hunger, or disease. For whatever reason: shortage of food,
creation of an agrarian society impervious to the economic world order, internal party
power, security...well over a million dead at the hands of the Cambodian Communist
Party, the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot, after ousting the US-supported regime of Lon
Nol...the world is horrified, comparisons to the Nazi genocide mushroom, "worse than
Hitler" is Pol Pot...

Four years later, January 1979, Vietnam”responding to years of attacks by the Khmer
Rouge against ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia and cross-border raids into Vietnam
itself”invaded what was now called Kampuchea, overthrew Pol Pot's government, and
installed a government friendly to Vietnam. The Khmer Rouge forces retreated to the
western end of Cambodia, by the border with Thailand, and later some set up camp in
Thailand itself.

Washington's reaction was not any kind of elation that the Cambodian nightmare had
come to an end, but rather undisguised displeasure that the hated Vietnamese were in
control and credited with ousting the terrible Khmer Rouge. For years afterwards, the
United States condemned Vietnam's actions as "illegal". A lingering bitterness on the part
of American cold warriors towards the small nation which monumental US power could
not defeat appears to be the only explanation for this attitude. Humiliation runs deep,
particularly when you're the world's only superpower.

Thus it was that an American policy took root”to provide the Khmer Rouge with food,
financial aid and military aid beginning soon after their ouster 1 The aim, in conjunction
with China and long-time American client state Thailand, was to restore Pol Pot's troops
to military capability as the only force which could make the Vietnamese withdraw their
army, leading to the overthrow of the Cambodian government.

President Carter's National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has stated that in the
spring of 1979: "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. I encouraged the Thai to
help the [Khmer Rouge]. The question was how to help the Cambodian people.[sic] Pol
Pot was an abomination. We could never support him. But China could."2

In November 1980, Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA, visited a Khmer
Rouge enclave inside Cambodia in his capacity as senior foreign-policy adviser to
President-elect Ronald Reagan. A Khmer Rouge press release said that Cline "was
warmly greeted by thousands of villagers."3 The Reagan administration was apparently
preparing to continue the policy of opposition to the Vietnamese-supported Phnom Penh

Some of the relief organizations operating in Cambodia considered supporting the Khmer
Rouge guerrillas inconsistent with their humanitarian goals, in addition to the fact that
distributing aid to military personnel was impermissible for such organizations as
UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross. But as two American relief
aid workers, Linda Mason and Roger Brown, later wrote: "Thailand, the country that
hosted the relief operation, and the U.S. government, which funded the bulk of the relief
operation, insisted that the Khmer Rouge be fed."4

In the 1979-81 period, the World Food Program, which was strongly under US influence,
gave almost $12 million in food to the Thai Army to distribute to predominantly Khmer
Rouge camps by the border.5

In 1982, trying to remove the smell from the Khmer Rouge, the United States put
together a coalition composed of the Khmer Rouge and two "non-communist" groups
also opposed to the Cambodian gov-ernment, one headed by former Cambodian ruler
Prince Sihanouk.

The coalition became the recipient of much aid from the US and China, mainly tunneled
through Thailand. The American aid, by the late 1980s, reached $5 million officially,
with the CIA providing between $20 and $24 million behind Congress's back.6 The aid
was usually referred to as "non-lethal" or "humanitarian", but any aid freed up other
money to be used to purchase military equipment in the world's arms markets. Officially,
Washington was not providing any of this aid to the Khmer Rouge, but it knew full well
that Pol Pot's forces were likely to be the ultimate beneficiaries. As one US official put it:
"Of course, if the coalition wins, the Khmer Rouge will eat the others alive".7 In any
event, the CIA and the Chinese were supplying arms directly as well to the Khmer

From 1985 on, there was a Federal law prohibiting the government from providing any
money to Cambodia which would have the effect of helping the Khmer Rouge's fighting
capacity, either directly or indirectly.9 After reports appeared in 1990 that aid to the
coalition was getting into the hands of the Khmer Rouge, the Bush administra-tion
announced an official halt to the program.10 Whether this was a serious effort to comply
with the law, or simply an effort at damage control is not known; nor is it clear how long
the halt lasted, if indeed it was halted at all. The following February, the administration
acknowledged to Congress that there may have been "tactical military cooperation"
between US-backed non-communist forces and the Khmer Rouge during an unspecified

The Khmer Rouge were meanwhile using this aid to regularly attack Cambodian villages,
seed minefields, kill peasants and make off with their rice and cattle. But they never
seriously threatened the Phnom Penh government.

The United States also successfully defended the right of the Khmer Rouge to the United
Nations' Cambodian seat, although their government had ceased to exist in January 1979.
They held the seat until 1993. Beginning in 1982, the seat ostensibly represented the
coalition, but the chief UN representative, Thiounn Prasith, was a leading apologist for
Pol Pot's horrendous crimes and played a major role in their cover up. When asked by
Newsweek about reports that a million Cambodians had perished under Pol Pot's rule, he
said: "We estimate between 10,000 and 20,000 persons were killed, 80 per cent of them
by Vietnamese agents who infiltrated our government."12

During the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the United States pressed for the dismantling
of the Cambodian government and the inclusion of the Khmer Rouge in an interim
government and in elections,13 despite still-lingering revulsion against Pol Pot and his
followers amongst the Cambodian people and the international community, and despite
the fact that the Vietnamese withdrew virtually all their forces from Cambodia in
September 1989.

The death of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot has again brought to international attention one
of the most tragic chapters of inhumanity in the twentieth century”senior Khmer Rouge,
who exercised leadership from 1975 to 1979, are still at large and share responsibility for
the monstrous human rights abuses committed during this period. We must not permit the
death of the most notorious of the Khmer Rouge leaders to deter us from the equally
important task of bringing these others to justice.

President William Clinton, April 16, 199814

United States Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction

CHAPTER 11 : Bombings

It is a scandal in contemporary international law, don't forget, that while "wanton
destruction of towns, cities and villages" is a war crime of long standing, the bombing of
cities from airplanes goes not only unpunished but virtually unaccused. Air bombardment
is state terrorism, the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more
innocents in the past six decades than have all the antistate terrorists who ever lived.
Something has benumbed our consciousness against this reality. In the United States we
would not consider for the presidency a man who had once thrown a bomb into a
crowded restaurant, but we are happy to elect a man who once dropped bombs from
airplanes that destroyed not only restaurants but the buildings that contained them and the
neighborhoods that surrounded them. I went to Iraq after the Gulf War and saw for
myself what the bombs did; "wanton destruction" is just the term for it.

C. Douglas Lummis, political scientist 1

The above was written in 1994, before the wanton destruction begot by the bombing of
Yugoslavia, the latest in a long list of countries the United States has bombarded since
the end of World War II, which is presented below.

There appears to be something about launching bombs or missiles from afar onto cities
and people that appeals to American military and political leaders. In part it has to do
with a conscious desire to not risk American lives in ground combat. And in part, perhaps
not entirely conscious, it has to do with not wishing to look upon the gory remains of the
victims, allowing American GIs and TV viewers at home to cling to their warm fuzzy
feelings about themselves and their government.

Washington officials are careful to distinguish between the explosives the US drops from
the sky and "weapons of mass destruc-tion" (WMD), which only the officially-designated
enemies (ODE) are depraved enough to use. The US government speaks sternly of
WMD, defining them as nuclear, chemical and biological in nature, and "indiscriminate"
(meaning their use can't be limited to military objectives), as opposed to the likes of
American "precision" cruise missiles. This is indeed a shaky semantic leg to stand on,
given the well-known extremely extensive damage to non-military targets, including
numerous residences, schools and hospitals, in the bomb-ings of Iraq and Yugoslavia by
American "smart" bombs.

Moreover, Washington does not apply the term "weapons of mass destruction" to other
weapons the US has regularly used, such as landmines and cluster (anti-personnel)
bombs, which are highly indiscriminate.

WMD are sometimes further defined as those whose effects linger in the environment,
causing subsequent harm to people. This would certainly apply to landmines, cluster
bombs and depleted uranium weapons, the latter remaining dangerously radioactive after
exploding. It would apply less to "conventional" bombs, but even with those there are
unexploded bombs lying around, and the danger of damaged buildings later collapsing.
But more important, it seems highly self-serving and specious, not to mention
exceptionally difficult, to try to paint a human face on a Tomahawk cruise missile whose
payload of a thousand pounds of TNT crashes into the center of a densely-populated city,
often with depleted uranium in its warhead.

A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn't have an air force

China 1945-46
Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1961
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Iran 1987
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991
Kuwait 1991
Somalia 1993
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999

China, 1999”its heavily bombed embassy in Belgrade is legally Chinese territory, and it
appears rather certain now that the bombing was no accident (see chapter 25).

Bulgaria and Macedonia, 1999”both hit by US missiles during the bombing of

Pakistan, 1998”at least one missile fell on it during the bombing of Afghanistan.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985”A bomb dropped by a police helicopter
burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small
children. The police, the mayor's office and the FBI were all involved in this effort to
evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

Them other guys are really shocking

"We should expect conflicts in which adversaries, because of cultural affinities different
from our own, will resort to forms and levels of violence shocking to our sensibilities."

Department of Defense, 1999 2

So is nature

What does the media call it when 10,000 persons in Central America die because of a
hurricane? "A great human tragedy."

What does the Pentagon call it when 10,000 persons in Iraq die because of American
bombing attacks? "A medium case scenario."

This was the estimate made during an internal discussion in 1998 by high-ranking
Clinton administration officials on how to respond to Iraq's balking at the extent and
nature of UN weapons inspections.3

The US vs. Osama bin Laden

Something fundamentally peculiar has happened when the US government fires cruise
missiles at an individual, Osama bin Laden. When has a government ever declared war
on an individual?

The survivors

A study by the American Medical Association: "Psychiatric disorders among survivors of
the Oklahoma City bombing":
Nearly half the bombing survivors studied had an active postdisaster psychiatric disorder,
and full criteria for PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder] were met by one third of the
survivors. PTSD symptoms were nearly universal, especially symptoms of intrusive
reexperience and hyperarousal.4

Martin Kelly, publisher of a nonviolence website:

We never see the smoke and the fire, we never smell the blood, we never see the terror in
the eyes of the children, whose nightmares will now feature screaming missiles from
unseen terrorists, known only as Americans.

CHAPTER 12 : Depleted Uranium

“The United States,” wrote international environmental activist Dr. Helen Caldicott
several years ago, “has conducted two nuclear wars. The first against Japan in 1945, the
second in Kuwait and Iraq in 1991.”

We can now add a third. Yugoslavia in 1999.

Depleted uranium (DU) is a by-product of the production of enriched fuel for nuclear
reactors and weapons. It's used in the manufacture of armaments such as tank cartridges,
bombs, rockets and missiles.

Because DU is denser than steel, shells containing it are capable of drilling a hole through


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