Seld-defeating US foreign policy

Will Morton macavity at
Thu Oct 21 08:22:25 PDT 2004

Tyler Durden wrote:

> What if the US had not followed such an aggressive policy towards the 
> PRC? Chinese history gives us a clear indication: They would never 
> have backed the Khmer Rouge. (Sihoanouk regularly traveled to China 
> before and after that time, BTW, and was moderately friendly with Jong 
> Nan Hai.) In addition, the notion of having to hide Chinese industry 
> from the Americans could never have been used as a credible reason for 
> lauching the Cultural Revolution.
> In the end, our policies in SE Asia likely caused millions to be 
> killed, and in the end were self-defeating. A complete fiasco. And the 
> same thing is happening in the Middle East.
    I certainly wouldn't argue that US policy in Indochina was anything 
other than a fiasco, nor that the current misadventure in the Middle 
East will be spared the same fate, but the Chinese had another very 
important reason to back the Khmer Rouge against Vietnam - Russia.

    The Soviets supplied heavy military and financial aid to Vietnam, in 
return for an anticipated naval base through which they could extend 
their power into the South Seas.  They never got the base - the 
Vietnamese played them like a fiddle - but the threat was enough for the 
PRC to view Vietnam as an enemy-by-proxy, and so to back the Khmer Rouge.

    In addition, the whole of Indochina was (and is) a clusterfuck of 
rivalries and feuds going back centuries.  The (relatively) sudden 
appearance of a bunch of new regimes, all with revolutionary mindsets 
through which to apply their old vendettas, probably made the bloodshed 
inevitable - although US intervention undoubtedly made it worse.


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