Kissinger’s Khmer Killing Fields

Kissinger’s Khmer Killing Fields

As published in the Victoria Standard: March 14, 2016

After learning that RCMP officers in Cambodia have been pursuing war crimes investigations concerning three former members of the Khmer Rouge; I couldn’t help but remember Henry Kissinger’s orders to the U.S. Air Force prior to 1973’s massive and illegal bombing campaign against Cambodia and Laos: “…anything that flies on anything that moves.”

A strong case has been made linking the unprecedented savagery of the Nixon/Kissinger aerial assault to the creation of conditions favorable to the ascendancy of the brutal Khmer Rouge. Fortunately for Kissinger, the RCMP’s political bosses have no intention of pursuing or even acknowledging American war criminals although one of the Mounties expressed the sentiment that they hated to leave a job unfinished.

Concerning the punishment of “our” war criminals Chomsky states, “There is a marginal exception, which in fact underscores the force of the rule. Punishment is permissible when it is a mere tap on the wrist, evading the real crimes, or when blame can be restricted to minor figures…” of course, the actual facts of history must be rearranged by pliant academics and journalists to highlight the atrocities of official enemies and inconvenient terrorists.

Kissinger occasionally entertains audiences of elite bureaucrats and business people with tales from the inner sanctum. Although impertinent questions are obviously forbidden at such events; I would ask him how he justified his involvement in planning the carpet-bombing of Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese civilian areas, while simultaneously assisting Indonesia in its genocidal invasion of East Timor; an atrocity minimized in the Western press.

He might well have quoted former U.S. State Department official George Kennan who said in 1948: “We, (the USA) have 50 per cent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 per cent of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period…is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality…we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization.”

Perhaps Kissinger, like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney; limits foreign travel since his name may already be on an international arrest warrant. Hopefully; collective amnesia, historical revisionism and U.S. exceptionalism will fail to sanitize Kissinger’s ugly record as a planner of aggressive war.