Monday, January 05, 2009

Remember that Britain's SAS trained the Khmer Rouge


At a time when the USA is supporting Israel's actions in Palestine, we should remember that the USA and UK supported Pol Pot and his murderous Khmer Rouge.

The Kmer Rouge killed off around one quarter of Cambodia's population.

Vietnam was pro-Russia.

Pol Pot was not pro-Russia.

So the USA and UK supported Pol Pot.


In 1970, Cambodia's head of state Prince Sihanouk was toppled by pro-American forces.

In the early 1970s, the USA was bombing sections of Cambodia as part of its Vietnam War. This helped win recruits for Pol Pot.

Pol Pot ran the government of Cambodia from 1975 until 1979, although he was influential before 1975.

In 1972, the Vietnamese intervened in Cambodia against Pol pot's group.

"Washington took immediate steps to preserve the Khmer Rouge as a guerrilla movement," according to Jack Colhoun in Covert Action Quarterly magazine, Summer 1990. (US supports Pol Pot)

Zbigniew Brzezinski said, "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. I encouraged the Thai to help the DK (Democratic Kampuchea)."

The USA allowed the Khmer Rouge to use camps in Thailand.

John Pilger, 17 April 2000, wrote in the New Statesman, about US and UK help to Pol Pot. (New Statesman - How Thatcher gave Pol Pot a hand)

Almost two million Cambodians died as a result of Pol Pot.

John Pilger argues that these lives could have been saved if the US and Britain had not helped Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge.


The illegal bombing of neutral Cambodia by President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, between 1969 and 1973, killed an estimated half a million Cambodians, and helped Pol Pot gain recruits.

The Khmer Rouge were overthrown by the Vietnamese at the end of 1978.

In the years that followed, the US and the UK's Thatcher government, backed Pol Pot in exile in Thailand.

Khmer Rouge representatives were allowed to continue occupying Cambodia's seat at the UN.


In 1981, President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said: "I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot."

The US, he said, "winked publicly" as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge.

The US secretly funded Pol Pot in exile.

This was revealed in correspondence to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In November 1980, Dr Ray Cline, a former deputy director of the CIA, made a visit to a Khmer Rouge operational headquarters.

In 1982, the US invented the Coalition of the Democratic Government of Kampuchea.

According to John pilger, the 'Coalition' was dominated, diplomatically and militarily, by the Khmer Rouge.

One of Pol Pot's closet cronies, Thaoun Prasith, ran the office at the UN in New York.

Britain's Special Air Services (SAS) regiment.

In 1989, the British role in Cambodia was revealed.

In the Sunday Telegraph, Simon O'Dwyer-Russell, revealed that the SAS was training the Pol Pot-led force.

Jane's Defence Weekly reported that the British training for the members of the 'coalition' had been going on "at secret bases in Thailand for more than four years".

The instructors were from the SAS, "all serving military personnel, all veterans of the Falklands conflict, led by a captain".

The Cambodian training became an exclusively British operation after 1986.

In 1991, John pilger interviewed a member of "R" (reserve) Squadron of the SAS, who had served on the border.

"We trained the KR in a lot of technical stuff - a lot about mines," he said.

"We used mines that came originally from Royal Ordnance in Britain, which we got by way of Egypt with marking changed . . .

"We even gave them psychological training. At first, they wanted to go into the villages and just chop people up. We told them how to go easy . . ."

Thatcher knew.

On 25 June 1991, after two years of denials, the UK government finally admitted that the SAS had been secretly training the "resistance" since 1983.

A report by Asia Watch filled in the detail: the SAS had taught "the use of improvised explosive devices, booby traps and the manufacture and use of time-delay devices".

The author of the report, Rae McGrath (who shared a joint Nobel Peace Prize for the international campaign on landmines), wrote in the Guardian that "the SAS training was a criminally irresponsible and cynical policy".

In 1992, a UN "peacekeeping force" arrived in Cambodia.

The Khmer Rouge was welcomed back to Phnom Penh by UN officials.

Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot's prime minister during the years of genocide, took the salute of UN troops with their commander, the Australian general John Sanderson, at his side.

The result of the UN's involvement was 'the unofficial ceding of at least a quarter of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge (according to UN military maps).'


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