[Peace-discuss] Chomsky on U.S. attack on Cambodia, 1969-70

David Green davegreen84 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 10 18:46:26 CDT 2010

PHILOSOPHER and linguist Noam Chomsky says the United States owes Cambodia not 
only an apology but massive reparations for the B-52 bombing campaign called 
Operation Menu that killed up to a million people.

The campaign lasted from March 18, 1969, to May 26, 1970, destroyed an estimated 
1,000 towns and villages, displaced 2 million people and, Chomsky says, and 
helped bring the Khmer Rouge to power.

Chomsky’s comments come after the US last week ruled out a plea from Cambodian 
Prime Minister Hun Sen to forgive a US$317 million debt to the US accrued by the 
Lon Nol regime during the 1970s. .....

In your reading of history, why do leaders of states go so terribly wrong as to 
slaughter anyone who had ever been to school or who wore glasses? Can you 
imagine the intellectual or emotional basis for how perpetrators of mass 
killings are able to blithely live with themselves as instruments of mass 

It’s a good question. We can also ask similar questions about our own society, 
which we should be able to understand better. Just keep to Cambodia. The intense 
bombing began under President Nixon’s orders, which Kissinger loyally 
transmitted to the US military with these words: “Massive bombing campaign in 
Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.” That’s the kind of call 
for genocide that one rarely finds in the archival record of any state. The 
statement was published in The New York Times, and there was no reaction among 
its mostly liberal intellectual readers, few of whom even remember it. 


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