May 20, 2013
Hillary Clinton Celebrates Kissinger While White House Repeats His Mistakes
Posted on Sep 28, 2010
By Fred Branfman, AlterNet
In Laos, where I interviewed more than 1,000 refugees from the Plain of Jars, every single one said their villages had been destroyed by U.S. bombing which escalated tremendously in 1969, and that the main victims were civilians because the soldiers could move through the thick forests largely undetected, while old people, mothers and children were forced to stay near their villages.
In Cambodia, Kissinger told Alexander Haig to undertake "a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies or anything that moves," the clearest possible violation of international law requiring the protection of civilians. Two million people in Khmer Rouge zones, as estimated by the U.S. Embassy, were driven underground by massive U.S. bombing that featured regular B52 carpet-bombing of undefended villages.
Kissinger orchestrated the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, a disastrous miscalculation that led directly to the Khmer Rouge takeover five years later. I visited Cambodia in April 1970, shortly after the U.S. supported Lon Nol in overthrowing Prince Sihanouk. U.S. Embassy officials then estimated there were no more than 100 Khmer Rouge, and were not even sure that Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan or Ieng Sary were alive. As William Shawcross wrote in “Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia,” it was Kissinger’s overthrowing Sihanouk, supporting the corrupt and unpopular Lon Nol regime and massive bombing that created the Khmer Rouge and brought it to power. Kissinger then compounded his brutality by supporting the genocidal Khmer Rouge, telling the Thai foreign minister on Nov. 26, 1975, that "you should also tell the Cambodians [i.e. Khmer Rouge government] that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in the way. We are prepared to improve relations with them. Tell them the latter part, but don’t tell them what I said before."
Kissinger diverted billions of dollars in Food for Peace, meant to feed the starving, to the Thieu and Lon Nol armies. He violated the U.S. Constitution by secretly bombing Cambodia and Laos without congressional authorization. And his representatives regularly perjured themselves before Congress, as when the U.S. ambassador to Laos testified to the Kennedy Subcommittee on Refugees on April 22, 1971, that the U.S. bombed only military targets in Laos.
Who Lost Indochina: Kissinger or Congress?
Kissinger began to try to blame Congress for the fall of Saigon even before April 30, 1975. Sorley’s book contends that the failure of the North Vietnamese spring 1972 offensive in South Vietnam proves that Thieu forces could have prevailed in April 1975. Newsweek, interviewing Sorley, reported that "in 1974, breaking Nixon’s promises of continued support to Saigon, the U.S. Congress cut off all aid to South Vietnam. Without logistical support or air cover, the South Vietnamese army collapsed in 1975 and the communists swept into South Vietnam."
Former Defense Secretaries Melvin Laird and James Schlesinger, along with Kissinger, have consistently maintained the North Vietnamese were receiving more aid from the Soviet Union and Chinese than were the South Vietnamese from the United States.
None of this is even remotely true:
New and Improved Comments