Cambodian officials are outraged their former allies refuse to forgive their war debt.By Ilana Novick / AlterNet March 13, 2017
The Vietnam War may get all of the attention over 40 years later, but the United States continues to wash the blood of its hands from multiple 1970s era attacks on Southeast Asia, including a secret bombing of Cambodia. Now, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the United States is requesting repayment of loans given to Cambodia following the 1973 attacks, which dropped "500,000 tons of explosives on Cambodia's countryside."
The $500 million in loans "started out as a $274 million loan mostly for food supplies to the then US-backed Lon Nol government but has almost doubled over the years as Cambodia refused to enter into a re-payment program." Why don't they want to repay? It might have something do with the 500,000 Cambodian citizens, including countless children, who were killed in the air raids. The bombings also paved the way for the Khmer Rouge to proceed with a genocide that killed nearly two million citizens through forced labor, starvation, and outright execution.
As war correspondent James Pringle told the Herald, "It felt like the world was coming to an end."