President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Bombing of Cambodia

excerpted from the book

Lying for Empire

How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face

by David Model

Common Courage Press, 2005, paper


The United States, apprehensive about Southeast Asia becoming part of the Soviet sphere of influence, were willing to commit whatever resources were needed to incorporate it into the American Empire. American military leaders believed that Cambodian territory was providing a transportation route from North to South Vietnam and a haven where North Vietnam established its headquarters. Despite the fact that in the 1960s and early 1970s, Cambodia was safely in the American camp, its use by North Vietnam was becoming a problem.

In 1969, President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry A. Kissinger, unleashed B-52 carpet bombing for over fourteen months against a people who still tilled the soil with water buffalo. The 3,500 bombing sorties resulted in 600,000 deaths. The American bombing of Cambodia was a closely guarded secret primarily because the U.S. was not at war with Cambodia.

Not only did Nixon and Kissinger not seek the necessary approval from Congress to bomb Cambodia, they tried to conceal the bombing not only from the American public but Congress as well. Nixon and Kissinger believed that these hideous lies were imperative to hold on to South Vietnam as part of the American Empire..

Following the bombing, many peasants were so outraged at the United States and their puppet leader in Cambodia that they chose to join the Khmer Rouge, a marginal revolutionary communist group whose ranks swelled to a major force. After taking power, the Khmer Rouge unleashed a reign of terror killing over one million people.

The French reestablished control over Cambodia in late 1945 but a new spirit of independence posed a challenge to the French. Cambodia was granted autonomy within the French Union on January 7, 1946. Although a Cambodian army was created as a symbol of independence, the French retained control over public order, foreign relations, and public services. France succeeded in maintaining its control until 1953.

Although Prince [Norodom] Sihanouk owed his crown to the French, he was well aware of the growing demand for independence and decided to pursue the route of negotiation rather than armed conflict. As the opposition became more impatient, Sihanouk dissolved the Assembly and declared martial law in 1952. The next step in his campaign was to travel to France to demand independence for Cambodia but he was ignored by the French. The French were preoccupied with their war in Vietnam, a more valuable colony than Cambodia. To embarrass the French, Sihanouk departed for voluntary exile in Bangkok and then Battambang, proclaiming his refusal to return to his palace until Cambodia was independent. The French conceded and Sihanouk returned home to an independent Cambodia. The Geneva Peace Accords proclaimed that Cambodia would be guaranteed the right to remain neutral and non-aligned. It also committed Cambodia to a constitutional monarchy with elections open to everyone.

Despite the growth of his popularity after achieving independence, Sihanouk was apprehensive about his powers if the republican-minded Democratic Party, who was determined to abolish the monarchy, won the next election. His strategy was to abdicate the throne in favor of his father and to pursue his political aspirations. Sihanouk announced that he would establish a truly democratic party and end the rule of privilege. He formed a political movement called the Sangkum Reastr Niyum (People's Socialist Community) and because of his popularity, he had the support of the mass of the peasantry and several other political parties who feared annihilation at the polls. In 1955, Prince Sihanouk was elected premiere.

Over the next ten years, tension between Sihanouk and the United States intensified as American armed forces in South Vietnam made sorties over the Cambodian border and the U.S. attempted to shift Sihanouk's loyalty from pro-communist neutrality to pro-American.

Sihanouk was not really interested in democracy and therefore he ignored the Geneva accords by closing the opposition newspapers and harassing the opposition leaders. His strong-arm tactics did not backfire because of a strong political base among the peasantry.

The United States pressured Sihanouk to join the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which included the U.S., Britain, France, Pakistan, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Washington viewed SEATO as an organization capable of containing China and protecting Southeast Asia from Chinese domination. Sihanouk refused to recognize SEATO because of his policy of pro-communist neutrality.

Other actions on the part of Sihanouk were cause for alarm to the Americans such as his establishing relations with the Soviet Union and Poland, accepting aid from China, and making overtures to North Vietnam. Although he seemed to be courting relations with communist countries, he did not hesitate to criticize them when Cambodia's neutrality was threatened.

The United States employed two strategies to pressure Sihanouk to move more into the American camp. One was the use of aid and the other was to step up military activities along the Thai-Cambodian and VietnameseCambodian borders.

Sihanouk deeply resented the efforts of the Americans to pressure him into abandoning his neutrality in favour of a pro-American position. He was concerned that too many of his generals and ministers were becoming overly dependent on American assistance. After the assassination of Diem in 1963, as an expression of his determination to be independent and neutral, Sihanouk implemented a program of economic reforms and nationalization. He then repudiated American economic and military aid programs and insisted that the United States shut down their aid missions.

The Downfall of Cambodia

Sihanouk's neutrality and his relationship with the two most powerful groups in Cambodia, the urban elite and the officer corps, proved to be his downfall. It also proved to be the downfall of Cambodia as American bombing intensified under his successor and social order disintegrated. T. D. Allman, in Anatomy of a Coup, observed that:

... anti-Sihanouk forces' main complaint-when all the charges boiled down-was that the prince, during almost three decades of one-man rule, had deprived the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie and the army of their traditional slice of the financial action and of their accustomed place in the sun. It was an upper-class coup not a revolution.

Sihanouk's new Prime Minister, General Lon Nol, was not neutral but an enemy of the Vietnamese Communists and therefore, useful to the United States. The political and military elites in Cambodia and officer corps including American-friendly Lon Nol were confident that the overthrow of Sihanouk would meet with American approval.

The American military and CIA considered Sihanouk an enemy and Green Beret teams commanded by Americans conducted forays into Cambodian territory on intelligence-gathering missions which numbered 1,000 in 1969 and 1970 (Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power). A highly secret Special Forces unit was collecting intelligence on Sihanouk before the coup.

Although there has been controversy about the extent of American involvement in the coup to overthrow Sihanouk, there is documented evidence that the United States not only encouraged the coup but offered to support it. Samuel R. Thorton, an intelligence specialist who had been assigned to the U.S. navy in Saigon, has written that General Lon Nol was seeking a military and political commitment from the United States after the overthrow of Sihanouk. Thorton wrote that the United States offered to actually participate in the coup and that the plan was code named "Dirty Tricks." The operation involved the hiring of mercenaries to infiltrate the Cambodian army if military support was needed and a plan to have Lon Nol declare a national emergency calling for American military intervention in Cambodia to destroy communist sanctuaries.

In late February or early March of 1969, operation "Dirty Tricks" was approved by Washington with the message that there was interest in the plan at "the highest level of government," strongly implying that either President Nixon or one of his top advisors had personally approved the plan. Nol objected to the plan on the grounds that neither he nor the Americans would be capable of quelling the popular uprising that would ensue. He suggested that the coup be executed when Sihanouk was on one of trips to France. The Americans responded that their support would be forthcoming but that publicly the United States would have to tread carefully to avert international criticism.

In March 1970, while Sihanouk was in Paris, Lon Nol exploited anti.. Vietnamese sentiment by organizing demonstrations to protest Sihanouk's tolerance of communist sanctuaries in Cambodia in order to discredit his policies. The cabinet cabled Sihanouk in Paris announcing a radical change in military and foreign policy. Sihanouk's efforts to escape the imminent coup failed and on Wednesday, March 18, 1970, the assembly met to terminate an era in the history of Cambodia by voting Sihanouk out of office

Planners of the American war in Vietnam realized that as long as North Vietnam was able to supply its forces down the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Cambodia and at the same time provide sanctuaries for those forces, the war was not winnable. Having identified COSVN (Central Office for South Vietnam-Viet Cong headquarters) HQ facilities in Base Area 353, the Americans deemed it necessary to destroy it even though the area contained 1,640 Cambodians of whom 1,000 were peasants. The decision to bomb Area 353 led to a secret, massive bombing campaign inside Cambodia that has been recorded as one of the major evil deeds of history.

... Richard M. Nixon assumed office in January of 1969 and appointed Henry A. Kissinger as his National Security Advisor, a position which was restructured to transfer extraordinary power to Kissinger which enabled him to devise national security and foreign policy. Alexander M. Haig, Jr. became military assistant and then chief deputy to Kissinger.

During Kissinger's first week in office, the Pentagon reported to the White House that a defector had pinpointed the exact location of COS\TN. The legitimacy of this information was supposedly verified by other intelligence sources. General Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff advocated a "short-duration, concentrated B-52 attack" on COSVN in order to counter an imminent North Vietnamese offensive. ..

... Air Force Colonel Ray B. Sitton, an aide to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Alexander M. Haig were summoned by Nixon to meet with him and Kissinger in Brussels to discuss the proposed B-52 bombing strikes. Sitton, Haig, and Kissinger, while waiting for President Nixon, began discussing the bombing of Cambodia. Kissinger's overriding concern was secrecy. He did not want Congress, the American public, or the world to know that the United States was planning to bomb a country with which it was not at war and violate their neutrality. "'T

To preserve the secrecy of the bombing, Kissinger was prepared to bypass the Strategic Air Command's normal command and control system. His obsession with secrecy was so strong that he did not want the crews bombing Cambodia to be aware of their targets.

Kissinger reported the outcome of the discussions to President Nixon. Nixon then consulted his Secretary of Defense, Melvin R. Laird, and Secretary of State, William Rogers and was warned that there would be intense criticism from both Congress and the press if word of the missions leaked out. Nixon's and Kissinger's obsession with Congress and the media motivated them to ask Sitton to devise a reporting procedure that would ensure absolute secrecy.

The clandestine operation began with a cable from President Nixon to Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker (American Ambassador to South Vietnam) explaining that there were to be no more discussions about the bombing of Cambodia and with full knowledge that despite its top-secret classification, the cable would be read by dozens of senior officers and military clerks.

The plan to destroy Area 353 involved sending 60 B-52 aircraft on a regular bombing mission to legitimate targets in South Vietnam. Forty-eight of them would be surreptitiously diverted to targets inside Cambodia if the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent the signal "Execute repeat Execute Operation Breakfast." Without the signal, all 60 planes would bomb targets in South Vietnam.

Critical to the secrecy of the operation was the dual reporting system created by Sitton. Before takeoff, the B-52 crews were given their normal briefing for targets in South Vietnam, most of which were cover targets. After the normal briefing, the pilots and navigators of the planes heading for Cambodia would be pulled aside by their commanding officer and told to expect special instructions from a ground radar station inside South Vietnam. Computers at the radar station would take control of the navigation system in the B-52s, guide them to their real targets in Cambodia, and compute the precise moment when the bombs should be released. After the bombing had been completed, the bomber's radio operator would call his base to report that the mission had been accomplished and the intelligence division at the base would enter the South Vietnamese coordinates in the official report. Major Hal Knight, commander of the radar crews, would collect any paperwork related to the real targets and burn them.

At the completion of the missions, the pilots would return to their home bases for a debriefing on the cover targets in South Vietnam. The evaluation of the bombing mission would then be reported in the Pentagon's secret command and control system as if the mission took place over South Vietnam.

The men who worked on the ground radar sites in South Vietnam were provided with top-secret target instructions a few hours before each mission by a special courier flight from Saigon. The radar operators in South Vietnam knew the real targets but maintained secrecy until the Watergate hearings in 1973.

When it became clear that Viet Cong headquarters had eluded American bombers, more bombing missions inside Cambodia seemed to be necessary to achieve the objective of destroying COSVN. Once the ice had been broken and the bombing had not been discovered by the media, subsequent missions would not be as difficult. The lack of protest from Sihanouk also facilitated further missions.

The next target selected, Base Area 609, code-named "Lunch," was also suspected of harbouring COSVN, not to mention the 198 Cambodians who lived there. The next target was Base Area 351, or "Snack," where 383 Cambodians resided. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were now committed to destroying all 15 sanctuaries, code-named Menu, where they suspected COSVN to be situated. To escape the repeated bombardments inside Cambodia, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong penetrated further into the interior forcing the bombing missions to expand their base of operations. Nixon and Kissinger had approved a total of 3,530 flights over Cambodia between February 1969 and April 1970 (Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power).

An alarming array of key personnel who would normally be involved in the planning, approval, and execution of an operation such as "Menu" were sheltered from the truth. The list includes the Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Robert Seamans, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General John Ryan, the

Office of Strategic Research and Analysis, all the Congressional Committees responsible for approving the funds and authorizing the mission, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and most of the Pentagon. Not only were these key persons in the chain of command uninformed about the bombing, they were lied to by Kissinger and Nixon. William Shawcross, in Sideshow, affirmed that:

... Nixon, Kissinger, Rogers, Laird, Elliot L. Richardson and other officials continued to assure Congress, press and public, without equivocation, that the United States had scrupulously declined to attack Communist positions in Cambodia before spring 1970.

President Nixon delivered a speech to the nation on April 30, 1970, to announce the use of ground forces in Cambodia. The speech denied any previous American involvement in Cambodia after 3,530 bombing raids. William Shawcross, in Sideshow, reported that:

Ignoring Menu, Nixon began with the lie that the United States had "scrupulously respected" Cambodia's neutrality for the last five years and had not "moved against" the sanctuaries. The falsehood was repeated by Kissinger in his background briefing to the press.

Nixon lied about respecting Cambodia's neutrality in order to grab Southeast Asia for the American Empire. The lie also paid huge dividends when Nixon asked Congress for the authority to send land troops into Cambodia to ferret out the Viet Cong headquarters. While American and South Vietnamese troops marched through Cambodia they committed more war crimes when they destroyed towns and villages. Without the lies there would be no empire. With lies, there are massive war crimes.

Seymour M. Hersh, in The Price of Power, confirmed that:

Nixon wrote much of his April 30 speech himself, but he read his final draft to Kissinger and Haldeman for their approval. Kissinger, as he subsequently told the Kaib brothers [authors, reporters], offered "only small comments." The speech included a number of major lies, notably Nixon's statement that the United States had previously done nothing to violate Cambodia's neutrality.

On April 28, 1970, Nixon authorized the use of American troops for an invasion of Cambodia. The two areas selected for targeting were Area 352 and Area 353 where Abrams believed COSVN was still operating despite the fact that 29,000 bombs had already been dropped there. According to Nixon, the mission would be limited in mission, scope, and duration. The scope limited American ground forces to within 21.7 miles of the Cambodian border and the invasion was to be terminated at the end of June 1970. Not only did Abrams invade Cambodia with ground troops but one week before the Cambodian invasion, the U.S. Air Force was ordered to commence striking Cambodian targets as far as 18 miles inside Cambodia and to officially report that their targets were in Laos. "Patio" was the code name for the 156 tactical air strikes flown over Cambodia under the same secret system as "Menu."

The United States dispatched 5,000 U.S. troops into Northeastern Cambodia, 1,500 into the Fishhook area and opened a new front with another 6,000 troops. By May 7, 1970, there were 25,000 American troops in Cambodia. American B-52 bombers continued to pound areas suspected of being sanctuaries or COSVN.

American and South Vietnamese forces destroyed a number of towns and all their citizens simply because they suspected that there might be communist forces there. For example, about two thousand people lived in the town of Snuol where they thrived by tapping trees for rubber. William Shawcross, in Sideshow, reported that:

When the cavalry came under fire, Lieutenant Colonel Grail Brookshire, ordered his tank crews to fire their 90-mm guns straight into the town and called in air strikes to discourage further resistance. After twenty-four hours of bombardment, Brookshire judged Snuol safe for his men, and the tanks moved into the centre. Only seven bodies could be seen, four of them Cambodian civilians... As they drove past shattered shops soldiers leaped off their tanks to kick down the doors that still stood, and they looted the town.

Dozens of towns, villages, and hamlets were destroyed and burnt to ensure that they could no longer serve as a base or sanctuary for communist forces. There was no attempt to discriminate between innocent Cambodians and the enemy during these assaults. American and South Vietnamese forces Committed acts of rape, looting, and burning to retaliate for the murder of South Vietnamese.

Nixon and Kissinger's strategy backfired because it only served to drive the Communists closer to Phnom Penh and to align the communist forces with disgruntled peasants in Cambodia who resented the American and South Vietnamese incursions into their territory and the continual bombing of their land. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, in Manufacturing Consent, claimed that:

One effect of the invasion was to drive the Vietnamese forces away from the border and deeper into Cambodia, where they began to support the growing peasant resistance against the coup leaders [Lon Nol, et al]. A second effect, as described by U.S. correspondent Richard Dudman, who witnessed these , at first hand after his capture by the Cambodian resistance, was that "the bombing and shooting was radicalizing the people of rural Cambodia and was turning the countryside into a massive, and dedicated revolutionary base." Cambodia was now plunged into civil war, with increasing savagery on both sides.

In Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky noted that:

U.S. bombing continued at a high level after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Cambodia. By late 1971, an investigating team of the General Accounting Office concluded that U.S. and Saigon army bombing is "a very significant cause of refugees and civilian casualties," estimating that almost a third of the seven million population may be refugees. U.S. intelligence reported that "what the villagers feared most was the possibility of indiscriminate artillery and air strikes," and refugee reports and other sources confirm that these were the major cause of civilian casualties and the flight of refugees.

American and South Vietnamese assaults in Cambodia, a country whose neutrality the U.S. claimed to respect, caused massive, unconscionable death and destruction. The Finnish Inquiry Commission referred to the number of deaths as genocidal. According to the Commission, 600,000 Cambodians died out of a population of 7 million and another 2 million people became refugees. Carlyle Thayer, an Australian Indochina specialist, estimated the number of dead at 500,000 of which 50,000 to 60,000 were executions. The CIA estimated that 600,000 had died.

Notwithstanding the Paris Peace Agreements, which were signed on January 27, 1973, and which put an end to the war in Vietnam, the United States actually intensified its bombing in Cambodia in a desperate attempt to impede the Khmer Rouge from gaining control. The Khmer Rouge was a monster which began as a marginal revolutionary movement but whose ranks swelled as more and more peasants became alienated from the Cambodian government which depended on the United States. During March, April, and May, the quantity of bombs dropped on Cambodia was twice as great as in the entire previous year. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, in Manufacturing Consent, explained that the rise of the Khmer Rouge can be attributed to that:

... Cambodia was being systematically demolished, and the Khmer Rouge, hitherto a marginal element, were becoming a significant force with substantial peasant support in inner Cambodia, increasingly victimized by U. S. terror. As for the U.S.-backed Lon Nol regime, Michael Vickery points out that their "client mentality" and subsequent "dependency led them to acquiesce in, or even encourage, the devastation of their own country by one of the worst aggressive onslaughts in modern warfare, and therefore to appear as traitors to a victorious peasant army...

By May 26, 1973, Operation Menu had persevered for 14 months and the bombing continued until Congress forced it to end in 1973. The bombing finally ended on August 15, 1973, after a total discharge of 539,129 tons of bombs on Cambodia.

Despite American efforts to prevent the rise of the Khmer Rouge, the Khmer Rouge were victorious and in April 1975 took control of Cambodia and ruled the country until 1978. The Khmer Rouge created a hell on earth f o,, r the people of Cambodia.

Brutality, carnage, bloodshed, and terror describe conditions under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. The social, political, and economic structure was destroyed by a group of fanatics whose adherence to their sacrosanct doctrine was merciless. William Shawcross, in Sideshow asserted that:

Father Francois Ponchaud, who by then interviewed over a thousand refugees, himself believed that the higher figure [2 million] was more accurate by spring 1978, and that, as a result of starvation, disease and execution, around a quarter of the population had died... Such a massacre is hard to imagine, and the figure could not be verified. But, in a sense, this was not critical. What was important was to establish whether an atrocity had taken place. Given the burden of evidence, it was impossible not to agree with Hanoi's assertions that "In Cambodia, a former island of peace... no one smiles today. Now the island is soaked with blood and tears... Cambodia is hell on earth."

Although the Khmer Rouge are fully responsible for the atrocities which they committed in Cambodia, the United States must at least accept some responsibility for creating the conditions that provided the Khmer Rouge with the opportunity to rise to power. Before the American-South Vietnamese bombing and invasion of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge were a marginal force of about 3,000. The death and destruction resulting from the actions of the United States and South Vietnam drove hundreds of thousands of peasants into the arms of the Khmer Rouge giving them the strength to eventually take over the government.

Nixon's and Kissinger's Lies

The copious lies of both Kissinger and Nixon to the American people and Congress made possible the clandestine nature of and false justifications for the Cambodian incursions. Some of the lies were:

* Nixon and Kissinger decided to keep secret the bombing of Cambodia whose neutrality the administration professed to respect.

* Records were falsified to conceal the fact that the U.S. was bombing Cambodia.

* Nixon and Kissinger assured Congress that the United States scrupulously declined to attack communist positions in Cambodia before the spring of 1970.

* In 1970, Nixon claimed to respect Cambodian neutrality and that the U.S. would not move against communist sanctuaries.

* In 1970, Nixon lied to Congress when he claimed that military assistance to Lon Nol was minimal. o After Congressional approval for raids ending in June 1970 Nixon and Kissinger claimed that the Cambodian operation was a success. o The Cooper-Church amendment limited American bombing and Nixon and Kissinger greatly exceeded those limits.

* Kissinger claimed that the sanctuaries were uninhabited or only lightly populated by Cambodians.
* Kissinger claimed that the decision to bomb the sanctuaries was in response to an "unprovoked offensive" by communist forces in South Vietnam.

* Kissinger's insisted that the protection of American lives was the principal reason for the bombing, but regular American bombing occurred after the "unprovoked offensive" had ended. . Kissinger's memoranda to the defense department claimed L that no Cambodian lives were lost.

* Kissinger claimed on June 11, 1969, that he and President Nixon "fully briefed" Senator Stennis and Russell on the Menu operation.

The enormity of Nixon's lies afforded him the opportunity to commit atrocities in Cambodia bordering on genocide. In the Nixon impeachment hearings, the fourth article of impeachment charged that Nixon:

... had violated his constitutional oath of office in that he "on and subsequent to March 17, 1969, authorized, ordered and ratified the concealment from Congress of the facts and the submission to Congress of false and misleading statements concerning the existence, scope, and nature of American bombing operations in Cambodia and derogation of the power of Congress to declare war... and by such conduct warrants impeachment and trial and removal from office." (William Shawcross, Sideshow)

President Nixon's actions also violated the following clauses in the United Nations Charter:

o Chapter I, Article 2, Paragraph 3 -"All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means...";

* Chapter I, Article 2, Paragraph 4 -"All members shall refrain from the use of force against the territorial integrity of any state" ...

American actions in Cambodia also violated the following clauses in the Geneva Conventions:

* Convention IV, Part 1 ,Article 3, Paragraph 1 -"Persons taking no active part in the hostilities.., shall in all circumstances be treated humanely";

* Protocol (1), Chapter II-"The civilian population... shall enjoy protection against dangers arising from military operations";

* Protocol (1), Chapter III, Article 52, Paragraph l-"Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack...";

o Protocol (1), Chapter III, Article 51, Paragraph 4 "Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are: those which are not directed at specific military objectives..."

The United States also violated the following clauses in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide:

* Article 2-"In the present Convention genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group such as: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing seriously bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part..."

There was no doubt during the bombing of the sanctuaries, the invasion of Cambodia and the subsequent bombing until 1973, that many innocent Cambodians would be killed and that there would be severe damage to the rural areas of Cambodia. Given the number of bombing missions and the tonnage of bombs dropped and the fact that the missions penetrated further and further into Cambodia, it would be naïve to believe that Nixon and Kissinger were not aware of the death and destruction they were causing.

The bombing of Cambodia ranks as one of the most evil deeds perpetrated by any country since World War II. In addition to the approximately 600,000 killed by the bombing, the United States must accept responsibility for the destruction of the country and the estimated two million people murdered by the Khmer Rouge.

Richard A. Falk, in Cambodia: The Widening War in Indochina concluded that:

In essence, then, the Cambodian Operation represents a step backward in the struggle to impose restraints on the use of force in the conduct of foreign relations... The Cambodian Operation is, perhaps, the most blatant violations of international law by the U.S. government since World War II, but it represents only the most recent instance in a series of the illegal uses of force to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign society.

Lying for Empire

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