By Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman
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Extra info for After the cataclysm, postwar Indochina and the reconstruction of imperial ideology
Given the major and continuing Western role in contributing to misery in Indochina, the barely concealed pleasure over continuing tragedy is as contemptible as the deep hypocrisy of typical Western commentary. S. S. war in Indochina began as one of innumerable examples of counterrevolutionary intervention throughout the world. As a result of the wholly unanticipated level of resistance of the Vietnamese revolutionaries, and later their allies when the United States spread the war to the rest of Indochina, it was gradually transformed into one of the most destructive and murderous attacks on a civilian population in history, as the world’s most powerful military machine was unleashed against peasant societies with extremely limited means of self-defense and lacking the capacity to strike back at the source of aggression.
The conflict between Vietnam and Cambodia, which entered a new phase in January 1979, had its roots in historical antagonisms exacerbated by imperial conquest. S. 19 In the post-1975 period, the border conflict became the focus of these antagonisms, though the dispute ran far deeper. ” With regard to the border issue, Heder points out that it is at once secondary and crucial to the conflict. It is secondary, because it is only a symptom of wider disagreements and because only a relatively small area is in dispute, despite the propaganda charges made at times by both sides.
What its consequences will be, one can only guess. It may succeed in establishing in power a friendly regime that will be accepted by the population, or it may lead to the virtual extinction of Khmer nationalism, or it may set the stage for a long and bloody war, with agonizing consequences for the tormented people of Indochina and serious implications beyond. The United Nations Security Council debate was a depressing scene. ”32 To appreciate the “anomaly,” one must bear in mind that the delegates taking part in the jollity accepted Sihanouk’s analysis that the Vietnamese invasion was comparable to the Nazi invasion of France.