Henry Kissingers Rolle hinsichtlich der Bombardierung Kambodschas


Aktives Mitglied
Auch hier habe ich eine Faden erstellt, der die Thematik aus dem Faden Nachrufe ausgliedern sollte.

Und auch hier sollte in der Diskussion hinterfragt werden, welche Motive die USA für die Bombardierung Kambodschas hatten.
Ich habe zu spät gesehen, das schon vorher ein entsprechender Faden eingerichtet worden ist. Dann kann dieser ebenso wie der Nachbarfaden entsorgt werden.
Ne, würde mich schon interessieren.
Die USA bombardieren Kambodscha, und auch Laos, ohne Kriegserklärung, ja nicht einmal mit der Zustimmung des Kongresses, also verdeckt, mit einer Bombenlast, die in beiden Fällen größer ist als die auf Japan und Deutschland im 2. Weltkrieg.
Wie das organisatorisch geht,
wie man eine Operation von solchem Ausmaß der Wahrnehmung einer demokratischen Gesellschaft entziehen kann,
ist eine ganz spannende Frage.
Und die andere Frage ist natürlich, ob überhaupt ein Interesse in der US-Gesellschaft daran bestand.
Oder ob man eine Grundhaltung hatte, die GB bei ihrer Weigerung bei der Friedenskonferenz 1899 an den Tag legte, Dum-Dum-Geschosse zu ächten: Damit schießen wir nur auf Eingeborne.
Er enthält keinen Hinweis darauf, dass „man“ einer demokratischen Gesellschaft eine Wahrnehmung „entziehen“ konnte.
Darauf bezog sich der zugespitzte Hinweis „orchestriert“, den ich dort hineingelesen habe, was aber ein Missverständnis gewesen sein mag. Ausgangspunkt ist zunächst ordinäre militärische Geheimhaltung, und dann…

[Quelle siehe oben, nur ausschnittsweise]

The same mainstream press outlets that revealed the contradictions and violence of Vietnam covered Cambodia, so it is prudent to consider the issues and events that defined the press of the Vietnam era as a context for understanding the press’ relationship to Cambodia. Whereas journalism historians have looked at the American press’ role in the Vietnam War, few scholars have looked at the particular treatment of Cambodia (cf. Hallin, 1989; Horten, 2011; Pac, 2010; Westwell, 2011; Wyatt, 1993). On June 13, 1971, The New York Times published its first article about the Pentagon Papers and revealed to the public information about U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and neighboring countries between 1945 and 1967. For the first time, details about U.S. activity in the region, particularly information about bombings in Cambodia and Laos, was revealed and led to investigations from Congress, protests from citizen groups, and widespread calls for accountability (Prados & Porter, 2004).

Although the Pentagon Papers have been seen as a coup for the press’ watchdog function, the Vietnam-era press has been criticized and revered for the way it reported the war. Hallin (1986) argued that doubt about the war became widespread in the press corps and filtered out through the reporting coming from foreign correspondents and led to a political climate back home less approving of the war. In that same vein, Huebner (2005) argued that a critical strain was present in Vietnam reporting from the beginning and only became more prominently pronounced after the Tet Offensive of 1968. Regardless of a reporter’s critical position, other scholars have argued that the Vietnam War was a golden age of war reporting, where unfiltered news gathered by brave reporters from the frontline presented the American public with an “honest” picture of the war that fed the public’s growing distaste with the war (Maniatay, 2008). Although an increased awareness facilitated by the press may have helped end the Vietnam War, valorization of the press should be cautioned against, as “most U.S. journalists were as late as other U.S. citizens in recognizing the war’s futility” as reporters relied upon official sources and editors expressed doubt about reports of U.S. soldiers committing violence against civilians (Cook, 1998, p. 680). Furthermore, the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations succeeded in preserving public support of the war by keeping many unsavory details out of public view until the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 and congressional investigations into the war in 1973 (p. 678).

Schudson (1992) argued that the bombing of Cambodia quickly slipped out of U.S. memory in part because of the Watergate scandal, but also because Congress and the press at the time were reluctant to question the unilateral exercise of U.S. military power. Since then, other scholars have argued that a mixture of low public interest and cultural politics have prevented an exhumation of Cambodia in U.S. popular media (Laderman, 2010). Although thousands of newspaper reports about Cambodia were printed in U.S. newspapers between the beginning of Operation Menu in March 1969 and Norodom’s Sihanouk’s ouster in early 1970, very few scholars have investigated these reports and what they tell us with the same rigor they have investigated news reports from other theaters of the Vietnam War. In Cambodia, journalists relied on sparse information from the government, the military, Cambodian government officials, and anecdotal reports from refugees and villagers (Herman & Chomsky, 1988). Although it was clear that some form of military action was happening beyond the CambodiaVietnam border, Herman and Chomsky argued that the U.S. government and military tried to obscure the full extent of U.S. military operations and subsequent damages in the country by manipulating the press process and by withholding information.
To say that Time and mainstream press outlets like it provided a hegemonic view of Cambodia, though, misses the important role that the underground press played in offering a sustained and detailed critique of the Vietnam War as well as operations in Cambodia (“Results of the April-May Anti-War Actions,” 1971). Underground and alternative press newspapers ran articles and graphics that reflected an aesthetic consciousness that set them apart from traditional magazines and newspapers while also providing richly sourced and informed analyses of the events surrounding the war (Zald & Whitaker, 1993). …

To bring the discussion to the level of practical experience, the standardized practices of journalism create a cultural practice that is reinforced whenever a news story is disseminated. Luow (2001) offered a cogent analysis of the specific professional practices that surround the creation of media texts and objects. Per his analysis, institutional hierarchies and organizational decision-making practices undergird the creation of media content, thus granting public legitimacy to the reality revealed through media texts. Chris Dent (2008) argued that the “practices of journalists may be best understood as a set of behaviors limited by their understanding of . . . a central Truth to the sum of these practices—a Truth so fundamental to the discursive formation that it could not operate, in the same way, without that truth” (p. 210). Truth becomes an object produced through journalistic practice, and once images, statements, and reports from places such as Cambodia enter this discursive formation, they are understood in relation to the larger narratives and understandings of power that came before. In the case of war and the United States’ international military power, Esperitu (2006) argued that the Vietnam War has served as an important discursive touchstone for the continued deployment of U.S. military power abroad, offering an event that in its media presentation and remembrance often obscures the consequences of U.S. intervention abroad. …

As the following analysis will show, as events and known facts shifted in reporting about Cambodia, the texts worked to preserve the discursive legitimacy of U.S. military power in country through various thematic shifts. As diplomatic and military failures in the country became more apparent, a loci of critique emerged that ultimately settled upon Richard Nixon as a key figure guilty of improperly deploying the United States’ diplomatic and military power. Although political conditions shifted in Cambodia as General Lon Nol ousted King Norodom Sihanouk in a coup and the country descended into civil war between Lon Nol’s followers, Sihanouk’s loyalists, Vietnamese communists, and the nascent Khmer Rouge, in Time these shifts remained ancillary to a central concern: preserving the terms by which U.S. military power abroad could be understood as legitimate (Brinkley, 2011). By relying on accounts from military officials, the reports in Time created a picture of the bombings that was vague in its scope and intensity, semantically reduced to “air operations over Cambodia” (“Cambodia: Now it’s ‘Operation Buy Time,’” 1970, p. 36). It was this vagueness that clouded the violent reality and possible consequences (i.e., the destabilization of Cambodian government and recruitment support for the Khmer Rouge) of these bombings within an air of bureaucratic ordinariness that ultimately reinforced the legitimacy of U.S. power in the region. Furthermore, an overtly American-centric perspective on the country obscured the specific dynamics of Cambodia’s civil war, instead casting the country’s political dynamics as a chaos that either necessitated or precluded a U.S. presence in the country, depending upon the broader dynamics of Vietnam War. …

During Operation Menu, many of the articles in Time were careful to state that any U.S. military activity in Cambodia had the final goal of speeding U.S. troops out of Vietnam by securing the territory where the National Liberation Front could roam without impunity and destabilize South Vietnam after the Americans left. Although Nixon promised that the South Vietnamese would take over their own military operations, the South Vietnamese Army was often depicted as incapable of handling their own defense. The National Liberation Front could “create an unchallenged 600-mile long front opposite to South Vietnam” along the Cambodian border that would have made naught any U.S. efforts in the region (“Cambodia: Now it’s ‘Operation Buy Time,’” 1970, pp. 34–35). Because the People’s Army of Vietnam and National Liberation Front’s presence in Cambodia threatened to undo American gains in the region, their looming specter became the symbolic justification for U.S. attention and military action, although relying on the South Vietnamese to continue U.S. operations proved to be a complicated proposition …
The South Vietnamese Army, often depicted as the “hapless protégé” to the U.S. military, began operations in Cambodia as a “newly ferocious force . . . exulting in their unaccustomed role of conquering heroes” (“Cambodia: A cocky new ARVN,” 1970, p. 34). Articles reported that morale rose among the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) as soldiers plunged more than 50 miles across the border and killed nearly 10,000 North Vietnamese soldiers in the first week of ground operations in Cambodia (pp. 33–35). Here, the ARVN’s military success and jubilation further justified further the incursion into Cambodia. Major General Hal D. McCowan was quoted saying, “Cambodia has been a bonanza for ARVN. Nothing helps like kicking the hell out of the other guy” (p. 35). Although the South Vietnamese army continued to march through Cambodia, over time, its successes were tempered by the reality of waging war as articles cited poor pay, lack of leadership, and bureaucratic corruption as factors that would continue to plague the South Vietnamese once the Americans left (p. 35). As an extension of U.S. power in Cambodia, the ARVN was portrayed as ultimately a lackluster replacement without the resources or training to maintain gains in Cambodia while also fighting Communists inside Vietnam’s borders.
This reported inadequacy, then, served as a strategic justification for the U.S. military’s continued presence, as Southeast Asia was portrayed as the only place where America could demonstrate dominance through military power. …

The United States’ initial justifications for sending troops and bombs into Cambodia revolved around the strategic benefit the country’s neutrality provided the North Vietnamese. Because “huge hunks of Cambodia appear[ed] to be under Hanoi’s control,” and “the Communist Vietnamese still appeared to roam almost at will over much of Cambodia,” the necessity of any military operations in or over Cambodia appeared justified as a response to the particular strategic benefit the country’s neutrality afforded the National Liberation Front as it tried to build sanctuaries and supply lines in the forest along the border (“Cambodia: Toward war by proxy,” 1970, p. 27).

After Nixon sent ground soldiers into Cambodia, strategically dealing with National Liberation Front forces initially dominated the tenor of articles in Time. As “Communist forces seem ubiquitous and unbeatable in the entire third of the country east of the Mekong River,” the sheer incalculability of their presence provided a strategic threat that logically demanded American attention (“Ten days,” 1970, p. 47). As such, Cambodia initially was not presented as a sovereign actor, but as a stage upon which the diplomatic, political, and military operations of the Vietnam War played out. In Time’s coverage, “Defense Secretary Melvin Laird indicated that the U.S. would probably continue to bomb the Ho Chi Minh trail” while also optimistically speaking about the possibilities of a Southeast Asian peace conference (“Indochina’s crumbling frontiers,” 1970, p. 38). Here, the phrase “bomb the Ho Chi Minh trail” obscured the political ramifications of bombing Cambodia and any possible violations of the nation’s sovereignty while the word “probably” off-handedly kept the bombings within the realm of discursive possibility and not bloody actuality. …

If Cambodia can be understood as a particular geographic space where the violence and horror of the Vietnam War had begun to spill over, then the U.S. military was portrayed as a stabilizing force whose purpose was to prevent the horror of war in Vietnam from spreading across the country’s borders. U.S. military strength, as an extension of American moral certitude in Cambodia, amounted to “the worst setback the Communists have had in 20 years of war in Indochina” as “there [was] no sanctuary in Cambodia free of U.S. aerial attack or safe from assault by the South Vietnamese” (p. 18). This portrayal of U.S. military power as a dominant and stabilizing force in the country was initially tied to a strategic ability to push Communist soldiers out of Cambodia, thus revealing an understanding of Cambodia as little more than the geographic space where military operations happened.
However, when Lon Nol deposed Sihanouk in March of 1970, the subsequent destabilization led to an apparent influx of Communist activity into the country, leading to a prolonged civil war between Communist sympathizers, Sihanouk loyalists, and Lon Nol’s new government (Brinkley, 2011). …

Suddenly, the press and the American diplomatic apparatus began to consider Cambodia’s contested sovereignty as a key political condition that could offer an advantage if exploited properly. Kissinger saw Lon Nol as an important ally who could possibly overturn Sihanouk’s longstanding neutrality policy and offer America a permanent ally in the region and provide an important firewall to the spread of communism (Kiernan, 1985).
In Time, the chaos of Lon Nol’s coup and the ensuing civil war replaced the presence of National Liberation Front soldiers as a justification for a U.S. military presence in Cambodia. The country became “the focal point of the Indochina conflict. Many of its towns have been savaged by fighting; half the country has fallen under Communist control and much of the remainder is contested” (“World: Lon Nol and Sihanouk Speak Out,” p.27). When Lon Nol and Sihanouk appeared as quoted sources commenting on the aftermath of the coup and the results of American operations in Cambodia, they gave voice to the arguments supporting and critiquing American involvement in the country. While Lon Nol explicitly blamed Vietnamese communists for inciting violence within the borders of Cambodia, Sihanouk asserted a particularly strong critique of U.S. military operations, stating, “It would be pure hypocrisy to assert that the United States is defending the highest interests of the Indochinese people . . . using for that purpose bombs and napalm and an apocalyptic destruction of the countries and peoples concerned” (p. 29). This was a rare moment of direct critique directed at the U.S. military, but the fact that it comes from Sihanouk and is countered by Lon Nol’s differing opinion reveals the political dynamics of Cambodia as a key strategic consideration tied to American dominance in the region. Furthermore, Sihanouk’s own political machinations were often described in Time as “Byzantine” as he sought Russian and Chinese support in pushing the Vietnamese out of Cambodia (“Danger and Opportunity in Indochina,” 1970, p.34). Regardless of whether critics found the use of U.S. power objectionable, when allies such as Lon Nol supported U.S. military power in Cambodia, these statements articulate the terms for understanding the legitimacy of U.S. military power in the region.

As the invasion of Cambodia marked an ebb in American interest in the region, the event created the terms of military violence by which politics in the region were expressed in Time. When U.S. troops left Cambodia on June 30, 1970, the country descended into further war between the nascent Khmer Rouge, Lon Nol’s national Army, Sihanouk’s own sympathizers, and North Vietnamese soldiers. As American soldiers left the country, “Cambodia, in short, [was] destined to become the first test of the Nixon Doctrine, which encourages Asians to solve Asia’s problems,” although, in Time’s reporting and analysis, the absence of a U.S. military presence all but ensured that the country would descend into violent chaos (“Cambodia: Struggle for Survival,” 1970, p. 29). Coverage in the magazine reflected the diplomatic understanding that a further destabilized Cambodia would lead to a power vacuum that Rampage,” 1970, p. 42; and “In search of an elusive foe,” 1970, p. 42). The words of an “old, half-blind widow” and Vietnamese refugee reflected the growing chaos in Cambodia when she concisely, elliptically, and presciently said, “I am very, very happy to go back to Vietnam. And I am very happy not to be killed” (“Exodus on the Mekong,” 1970, p. 39).
Although no overt critique of American operations in Cambodia emerged in Time, there exists on the surface of the text a sense of foreboding about the country’s future as the Americans slowly leave and the country begins a descent into a chaos that, five years later, would culminate in the rise of Pol Pot and the eventual genocide of nearly a quarter of the country’s population (Kiernan, 1985).
In der Mediathek der ARD, Rubrik Doku & Reportage, befindet sich eine Doku zu Henry Kissinger. Dort äußert er sich auch zu Kambodscha.
Er führt aus, das die USA sich ein Monat mit angesehen hätten, wie der Feind, gemeint sind der Vietcong und die Nordvietnamesen, das Territorium Kambodschas genutzt hatten, um in Südvietnam einzufallen. Auch erwähnt Kissinger, das man auf Proteste aus China, Kambodscha und Moskau gewartet hätte. Da sei aber nichts entsprechendes gekommen. Die Bombardements waren zumindest zu Beginn geheim gewesen und das ein Mitglied der Regierung wohl es an die Zeitung weitergegeben hätte. Mit einen entsprechenden Echo. Auch das Thema Allende wird gestriffen.
Er führt aus, das die USA sich ein Monat mit angesehen hätten, wie der Feind, gemeint sind der Vietcong und die Nordvietnamesen, das Territorium Kambodschas genutzt hatten, um in Südvietnam einzufallen. Auch erwähnt Kissinger, das man auf Proteste aus China, Kambodscha und Moskau gewartet hätte. Da sei aber nichts entsprechendes gekommen.
Verblüffend ist das unglaubliche Ausmaß der Bombardierungen und die geringe Notiz die davon genommen wurde.
Gut 250 Millionen Streubomben nur auf Laos bereitgestellt durch rund 580.000 "missions".
Laos: Barack Obama regrets 'biggest bombing in history'
Sozusagen nebenbei, haut man in ein armes Entwicklungsland mehr Bombenlast rein, wie unter viel bedrohlicheren gegen Deutschland und Japan im Zweiten Weltkrieg.
Ein Triumph der Technik, doch weder des Verstandes noch der Empathie.