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Cambodia Outraged as US Demands Repayment of 'Blood-Stained' War Debt

Cambodia Outraged as US Demands Repayment of 'Blood-Stained' War Debt

Nika Knight, staff writer

The U.S. is demanding repayment of a nearly 50-year-old loan to Cambodia's brutal Lon Nol government, which came to power through a U.S.-backed coup and spent much of its foreign funds purchasing arms to kill its own citizens, according to Cambodia's current prime minister Hun Sen.

If I were Cambodia it would be a big middle finger to the US (Trump-led or any Prez-led government) for making such an outrageous demand.

The IMF is US-backed corporate tool.


Is this a story from the Onion? Surely it must be.


This is surely one of the most obscene things the US government has done in my memory. Bad enough that the US conducted a war against Cambodians along the border with South Vietnam for years, freely crossing over into that neutral country to pursue fleeing Vietnamese fighters, and to attack North Vietnamese bringing supplies down to the south, and ultimately bombing the shit out of much of that region in what became known as Nixon’s Secret War against Cambodia. Bad enough that America’s violation of Cambodia’s neutrality led to the collapse of the country’s government, the installation of a US-backed dictator, Lon Nol, and paved the way for the Pol Pot nightmare that followed his ouster. But to now ask the struggling Khmer people to pay back to the US loans for the very weapons that were used against them by Lon Nol is simply sick.

But then what should be expect from this disgusting government? (And it’s not just Trump. These loans have been kept active by presidents from Ford on down to Obama, instead of being cancelled). What’s next? asking the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to repay America for the costs of the Manhattan Project that developed the bombs that vaporized their cities, and maybe the cost of the fuel for the planes that flew the bombs there?

Dave Lindorff
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net


Kafkaesk, truly.


This just makes me so proud to be an amerikan! (Not!)

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Cambodia is known for the massive numbers of citizens without limbs due to the cluster bombs that remain unexploded all over their country that were never acknowledged by the criminal US empire. Time for the US criminals to be brought to justice. It will happen.


I have some Czarist Russian Bonds that have a better chance of being paid off than this debt. Just forget about it. As for the bombings, It did no good. The North Vietnamese forces that were occupying the eastern third of Cambodia simply moved further into the country and started arming the Kmer Rouge, and we know how that turned out.


Nicely said. Beat me to it. I had not realized we had ever had such a loan arrangement going. I cannot imagine any reason for not writing it off completely. I remember the bombing in Cambodia, having worked in a field as a “computer” (as we called people who computed) which was used for plotting bomb drops (the computations,though my field was in geodetics, not ballistics). And I remember that all those missions didn’t exist officially, until much later. These weapons are still killing and maiming people in Cambodia. They owe us nothing. We owe them a great deal but should probably be barred from direct control over the reparations we owe the Cambodians because “we” would probably use that for some obscene leverage.


Surely, this is another brilliant Bannon ‘Brain Fart.’

" But then what should we expect from this disgusting government? "

Yes, no surprise. Just more proof that Amerika’s foreign policies have been for a long time fascist. America is, and has been for a long time a military dictatorship. The U.S. armed forces have been used over and over again to protect the vested interests of the U.S.economic elites, hegemony; and the trillion dollar budget of the MIC.

500 thousand tons of bombs! I wonder what that equals in $$$$$$$$!


Agreed - part of Bannon’s goal to eliminate foreign aid altogether.

It’s pretty obvious that we owe them everything because of Nixon’s illegal war and the overthrow of the Sihanouk government that we engineered. One of the important parts of the foreign aid to Cambodia that I strongly support is providing help with the deactivation of unexploded mines and bombs from the Nixon era. The idea that 45 years later, we are still killing Cambodians with those mines and bombs is particularly sickening.


It’s “starting” to feel quite unpleasant to have things like this (past and present) done in our name.

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Just can’t make this stuff up…oh, wait, this is the trump regime. Aren’t there any sane people in this idiot government?

I picked up a used set of DVD’s - The American Experience Viet Nam, an American History, and just watched the Laos and Cambodia segment two nights ago. Lon Nol with tacit and overt US support assumed power when Prince Sihanouk left Cambodia on a diplomatic begging tour. (Hate to admit it, but I remember when that was happening in real time.) If there were funds loaned that was over 45yrs ago and that debt should have been shit-canned long ago.

Why is this demand resurfacing? I suspect a bit of arm-twisting by the US to get better terms for something the Cambodians have and the US wants. Let’s see, hmmm, southern portion of South China sea - could it be oil or gas? Look at a map of gas deposits, there’s hundreds of images on google. By the way, where is our impoverished Secretary of State?

Several clarifications to the history alluded to in the article. It was Laos the US bombed the shit out of to try to stop activity on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, under JFK’s orders. Later, Vietnamese supposedly had established bases inside Cambodia (those reports may have been exaggerated) adjacent to the SVN border to be beyond US reach, but Nixon bombed and authorized a large offensive ground incursion into Cambodia without consultation or announcement. (The planners of the ground incursion were stymied for some time because they were not allowed access to up-to-date aerial reconnaissance: when they were allowed to see it, they were astonished to see the Cambodian countryside pocked with thousands of recent bomb craters.)

US behavior has for decades remained amazingly consistent, don’t you think? One most often overlooked fact is this: When the North Vietnamese defeated the French and won independence, by treaty internationally negotiated and witnessed, there was to be a re-unification (North & South) referendum held within 2yrs of that moment. A provisional authority in the south immediately began to collude with the US government to make sure that didn’t happen, and everything follows from there. The tragedy that was visited on Cambodia may never have had to happen, or if the Khmer Rouge did come to power regardless, it wouldn’t have been spurred by US carpet bombing.


Of course…never. My question: when will all the war criminals that slaughtered 55,000 (albeit sophomoric) patriotic and brave Americans, in Vietnam, be brought to justice and incarcerated for lying and for committing murder!

My brother went to Canada when he got his draft notice to go to Vietnam and was called every epithet and expletive you can think of by the brainwashed.

What we need is another wall, a war criminal wall, with the names of the war criminals that were culpable for sending so many patriotic, young, brave men, to die in Vietnam.


“…Cambodia’s brutal Lon Nol government, which came to power through a U.S.-backed coup…” Gotta love them coups. This is similar to the Banana Republic incident.

IMF [International Monetary Fund], what a concept. Create a coup, loan money, and tell the IMF not to lend money. Pretty smart on our part. Don’t worry it’s not a racirt because a politician said so.

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America is a mean country. Mean to its own people and mean to every country it bombed, or destroyed by eliminating their democratically elected government. Mean to everyone else with its nuclear weapons and massive arms exports.


Wow. Outrageous. This history is also the history of, the reason for, the rise of Khmer Rouge. The so-called ‘lesson of Vietnam’ never stops not being learned. Bombs away US of A forever, I guess.

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This article made me think of Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennendys.