08-26-2002, 02:43 PM
Sorry, but the Khmer Rouge OVERTHREW the Cambodian government in it rise to power in 1975, but it was a movement before 1970, and some Asian political historians feel the bombing of rural Cambodia in the early 1970's (more bombs dropped there by the US than in all of Japan during WWII and killing 3/4 million Cambodians) helped turn Cambodians to their support of Pol Pot, in a similar way that Japanese brutality in China helped drum up popular support for Mao.
I think most men, in the end, have the basic desires of food and safety for themselves and their families. Once you have killed someone's loved ones, it is going to be pretty hard to win them over later. They don't just go and follow some crazed leader for no good reason.
I know you don't see 'aiki' in looking through another's eyes, but I do and there we will have to differ. I think about how I would feel in the place of these others; think about family you might have, how would you feel if a soldier from an occupying force raped your daughter or sister. If you saw your wife die for lack of medical care, your son dispair because he'd never have a chance for education or a job, perhaps never a chance to marry for want of that job?
Sometimes you have to read more than the popular news to find out the history of something. I was stationed in Korea in the early 1980's, and knew that when I went to Kwangju, I was not allowed into town, and it had to do with 'some sort of riot at the university', related as not really anything to do with the US, and that the citizens of Kwangju were just unreasonably hostile to us for no good reason. Imagine my surprise to later find that in 1980 college protestors against a military coup and establishment of martial law (with closing of the universities, the Assembly, and arrest of political opponents) were met by ROK special forces who used bayonets and flamethrowers on them. Citizens councils in the region rebelled, and asked for US embassy intervention. Instead, the US released the ROK troops from the UN Command that would be used to retake the cities, with the numbers of dead reported between 240 and 3000 dead or injured.
Being American, and being patriotic, does not mean complete and utter denial of any wrongdoing on our part. Sometimes people make mistakes, sometimes nations do, but I think the way to deal with mistakes is an honest apology and a look at how to avoid them in the future. I wish I could say that our country has never made a mistake, and always treated other nations fairly, but I do not beleive that has always been the case; I would like it to be so in the future.
I think America definately makes mistakes and believe me I am no fan of how LBJ waged the war in Vietnam and Cambodia. I personally agree with the decision to go to war in Vietnam but I very much disagree with how it was waged.
But I am also not sure that your description of what happened in Cambodia is accurate, I will have to do some reasearch on the subject to check the facts. If you are correct then of course I would agree with you that the U.S was out of line.