A Boston-residing friend of Jett’s was watching a replay of Fox & Friends around 9:30 this morning and saw a segment in which they got into the Jon Voight thing and in so doing mentioned yours truly two or three times.
If anyone happened to TIVO this segment, perhaps they could capture and post in You Tube and send along the URL? Something along these lines?
Listen to Voight, by the way, tell the Fox & Friends guys that “two and half million people were slaughtered in Cambodia and Vietnam” as a result of U.S. troops pulling out of Vietnam.
Uhhm, wrong. To my knowledge there was no massive slaughter in South Vietnam at all at the hands of the North Vietnamese after the takeover in ’75. The slaughter that did occur — approximately 1.5 million to 2 million people in Cambodia — happened at the hands of the Khymer Rouge, the paramilitary communist force that ruled Cambodia from ’75 to ’79 under the leadership of Pol Pot. It’s been argued, however, that U.S. bombing of Cambodia strengthened the hand of the Khmer Rouge. Voight’s claim that our abandoning Vietnam in ’75 led to two and half million deaths is therefore, due respect, an ignorant understanding.
“The relation between the massive carpet bombing of Cambodia by the United States and the growth of the Khmer Rouge, in terms of recruitment and popular support, has been a matter of interest to historians,” says Wikipedia’s Khmer Rouge page. “In 1984 Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia argued that it is ‘untenable’ to assert that the Khmer Rouge would not have won but for U.S. intervention and that while the bombing did help Khmer Rouge recruitment, they ‘would have won anyway.’ [3]
“However, more recently historians have cited the U.S. intervention and bombing campaign (spanning 1965-1973) as a significant factor leading to increased support of the Khmer Rouge among the Cambodian peasantry. Historian Ben Kiernan and Taylor Owen have used a combination of sophisticated satellite mapping, recently unclassified data about the extent of bombing activities, and peasant testimony, to argue that there was a strong correlation between villages targeted by U.S. bombing and recruitment of peasants by the Khmer Rouge.
“Kiernan and Owen argue that ‘civilian casualties in Cambodia drove an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency that had enjoyed relatively little support until the bombing began.” [4] In his 1996 study of Pol Pot’s rise to power, Kiernan argued that ‘Pol Pot’s revolution would not have won power without U.S. economic and military destabilization of Cambodia’ and that the U.S. carpet bombing ‘was probably the most significant factor in Pol Pot’s rise.’ [5]