Cambodia Furious Over US Demands To Pay Vietnam Era War Debt

"They dropped bombs on our heads and then ask up to repay. When we do not repay, they tell the IMF (International Monetary Fund) not to lend us money,"
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    Almost half a century after dropping 500,000 tons of explosives and killing hundreds of thousands of people in Cambodia, the United States seems to be demanding that the country pay back US$500 million in war debts, a move that sparked outcry across the political spectrum in Cambodia.

    “To me, Cambodia does not look like a country that should be in arrears … buildings coming up all over the city, foreign investment coming in, government revenue is rapidly rising,” William Heidt, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, told the local newspaper Cambodia Daily.

    Since the elections of President Donald Trump, the Cambodian government has been urging Washington to cancel the debt, but the ambassador dismissed any plans to do so by the new administration.

    “I will say that the issue of cancellation … that wasn’t on the table when I was here in the 1990s. It has never been on the table since then. So we have never discussed seriously or considered canceling that debt with Cambodia,” he said, while also calling for a deal to be struck between the two countries for debt payment.

    Speaking at a conference earlier this month, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former commander at the Marxist Khmer Rouge, slammed the ambassador for his comments and recalled the atrocities committed by the U.S. in 1970s.


    “They dropped bombs on our heads and then ask up to repay. When we do not repay, they tell the IMF (International Monetary Fund) not to lend us money,” Sen said according to local media. “We should raise our voices to talk about the issue of the country that has invaded other (countries) and has killed children.”

    In the late 1960s the U.S. had given US$274 million loan mostly for food supplies to the then U.S.-backed Lon Nol government, who had taken over the country in a coup a year earlier. The debt has almost doubled over the years as Cambodia refused to enter into a repayment program.

    As Nol fought against the ultra-Marxist Khmer Rouge between 1970 and 1975, U.S. fighter jets carried out secret carpet-bombings against the group in support of the right-wing government killing more than 500,000 people, many of them women and children.

    After Khmer Rouge took over the country in 1975, more than 2 million people died as a result of political executions, disease and forced labor.

    The idea that Cambodia owed the United States money is being rejected by many including those who witnessed the massacres.

    “He (Heidt) has the gall to demand the “loans” back even though either the Khmer Rouge or the current government have been in power since 1975, that this money was still due,” James Pringle, who served as the bureau chief for Reuters in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City during the invasion of Cambodia, wrote for The Cambodia Daily.

    “Cambodia does not owe even a brass farthing to the U.S. for help in destroying its people, its wild animals, its rice fields and forest cover.”

    © teleSUR

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    • cactuspie

      What sick minds run this country. Not only should the US be paying Cambodia, we should have sent them Kissinger’s head on a plate decades ago.

    • TeeJae

      You’re better off not getting “help” from the IMF, Cambodia.

    • ’46 one time hippy

      Bad enough that we have not created a program to clean Laos of the millions and millions of undetonated cluster bombs we dropped on an innocent people, but to ask Cambodia for “war debts,” is beyond the understanding of any civilized human being.

    • tapatio

      I keep coming back to this article because it so defies credibility, yet, must be believed.

      Cambodia was completely neutral in the Vietnam war – until Washington asked King Sihanouk for air bases in Cambodia. Since that would involve his country in the COLONIAL WAR, the King rightly refused.

      The United States then aided Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in overthrowing King Sihanouk since Pol Pot promised the bases to Washington. Pol Pot, of course, lied. Once in power, his Khmer Rouge slaughtered every educated person in the country and many hundreds of thousands more……….TWO MILLION DEAD BECAUSE THE KING OF CAMBODIA REFUSED TO AID THE COLONIST AMERICANS IN DESTROYING VIETNAM.


      • Krishna E. Bera

        I didnt know you were Vietnam vet. You were following orders if so.

        • tapatio

          I was a dumb kid, right out of university. I was in the US Navy, “riverine patrol” on the Mekong River Delta for 22 months. A wound ended my Naval career.
          I did follow orders, for the most part, and made VERY SURE that neither I or my guys ever violated the UCMJ or any part of the Geneva Conventions or hurt anyone who wasn’t actively trying to hurt us. THAT is my only point of pride for that time. An active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War since 1971.

    • Guy

      How much further into depravity could it get .Sanity has completely gone out the window.I am lost for words….

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    • disqus_UTz9mL2FV9

      Tapatio: Let’s face it, many of our former leaders as well as our present ones are demons (or act like them).You cannot reason with demons, you cannot bargain with them, or plead mercy, or run. That’s how the U. S. can demand payment.

      • tapatio

        It’s infuriating, though.

    • tapatio

      How the heII couldtthe US demand payment.
      Of anything when the US caused the deaths two million Cambodians?

      • Krishna E. Bera

        Money is more important than people, in capitalism.

        • tapatio

          We DO owe Cambodia many billions in reparations. AND we owe the People’s Republic of Vietnam billions for working to restore Cambodia……..not to mention the hundreds of billions we owe for what we did to Vietnam.

          But, money doesn’t cut it. America owes the world decency, kindness, JUSTICE and participation as an ordinary country.

          Today, all Amerika is is the thug for the Rothschild empire.