Indonesia and East Timor View comments     
1965 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       US supports the Suharto regime's grab for power under the auspices of a Communist plot during Indonesia's independence movement, and assists in the following murder of up to 1 million civilians. The CIA helps by compiling death lists of communists for Suharto to execute.           
1975 CNN article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The day before Indonesia's invasion of East Timor, Kissinger meets with Suharto and approves of the invasion (this fact was denied by the US government until documents confirming it were declassified in 2001).           
1975-1979 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Following the annexation of East Timor, an estimated 200,000 are killed in the violence and the famine that follow.           
1975-1998 Article ( cached )
       During the occupation, the UN passes a number of resolutions condemning the invasion and occupation. However, it is unable to enforce them without the support of the US, British, Australian and Portuguese governments, who continually abstain on the resolutions at the United Nations, whilst continuing to sell arms to Indonesia.           
Nov 1991 Article ( cached )
       Several hundred Timorese are mown down as they attend a funeral in the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili. While nothing exceptional for East Timor, the shootings are by chance filmed and broadcast on world television, and international attention is thus focused on East Timor.           
Aug 1999 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Under UN supervision, and despite intense intimidation from Indonesian troops to discourage voting, East Timor votes overwhelmingly for independence. As a result, the Indonesian military-backed militia goes on a terror campaign. Much of East Timor is destroyed and approximately 200,000 to 300,000 refugees are created. The UN evacuates, leaving the East Timorese to the mercy of the Indonesian forces.           
Oct 1999 Article ( cached )
       The US, UK and others finally stop aid to Indonesia. The Indonesian legislature then ratifies the East Timorese vote on 20 October, allowing East Timor to officially become an independent nation.           
May 2002 BBC timeline ( cached )
       East Timor finally gains independence.           
 Comment on the above topic     

Vietnam View comments     
Pilger book summary ( cached )
       John Pilger writes in 1985 'The constant American government line was that the war was essentially a conflict of Vietnamese against Vietnamese, in which Americans became 'involved', mistakenly and honourably .... The longest war this century was a war waged by America against Vietnam, North and South. It was an attack on the people of Vietnam, communist and non-communist, by American forces. It was an invasion of their homeland and their lives, just as the current presence in Afghanistan of Soviet forces is an invasion. Neither began as a mistake. ... The accredited version of events has not changed. It is that non-communist South Vietnam was invaded by communist North Vietnam and that the United States came to the aid of the 'democratic' regime in the South. This of course is untrue' ... That Ho Chi Minh waited so long before sending a regular force to assist (against) the American attacks seems, in retrospect, extraordinary'.           
1947 Pilger book summary ( cached )
       Ho Chi Minh is leading the Vietminh (a popular movement of Catholics, Buddhists, small businessmen, communists and farmers) in their fight for Vietnam's independence from the French. He appeals for American help, insisting he is not a communist in the American sense. The US refuses to offer help, instead helping the French (even offering France two atomic bombs, which Paris mercifully declined), and he is eventually forced (in 1950) to look for help elsewhere (the USSR and China).           
May 1954
       The French army is defeated May 1954 at Dien Bien Phu.           
1954 Geneva Accords ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       The Geneva Accords temporarily divide Vietnam in half at the 17th parallel, with Ho Chi Minh's Communists ceded the North, while Bao Dai's regime is granted the South. The accords also provide for elections to be held in all of Vietnam within two years to reunify the country. The US opposes the unifying elections, fearing a likely victory by Ho Chi Minh, and refuse to sign the Geneva accords, noting 'if the scheduled national elections are held in July 1956, and if the Viet Minh does not prejudice its political prospects, the Viet Minh will almost certainly win.'.           
Article ( cached )
       Eisenhower admitted that 'I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, a possible 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader'.           
Pilger book summary ( cached )
       Pilger writes 'Ho Chi Minh was the antithesis of other emerging communist leaders in one respect: he wanted his people to open themselves out to other societies, communist, capitalist and non-aligned .... Indeed, so anxious was Ho for American support for his fledgling republic that he addressed twelve separate appeals to President Roosevelt, to his Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, and to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.' pleading 'for understanding, for moral support, for a voice in the forum of western democracies. But the United States would not read his mail'. It is only after being ignored by the US that he finally turns to the other superpower of the time, the USSR, for support.           
Pilger book summary ( cached )
       The CIA installs the fascistic Ngo Dinh Diem into power in the south. At the same time the CIA provides mass propaganda of the horrors that Ho Chi Minh would supposedly impose on the people of the North, urging them to flee to the South. It is hoped this will provide enough justification to raise the good conscious of the American people to demand something be done.           
Article ( cached )
       A curious feature regarding the election of the US chosen Diem was that more votes were cast than the actual amount of voters.           
Article ( cached )
       The CIA's Phoenix Operation, that was responsible for escalation of the Vietnam war, also begins in 1954, using the same methods as in Iran - creating South Vietnam's secret police who dish out live burnings, garroting, rape, torture, sabotage (it is the Vietnamese people defending themselves against these atrocities which the US comes to Vietnam to fight).           
Pilger book summary ( cached )
       An estimated 50,000 South Vietnamese were systematically murdered by assassins working for the CIA's 'Phoenix Programme'. The most decorated American soldier of the war, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Herbert, wrote in his book, Soldier, 'They wanted me to take charge of execution teams that wiped out entire families and tried to make it look as though the VC themselves had done the killing.' Like Agent Orange, the Phoenix Programme was not a 'story' until the war was ending. Or like Operation Speedy Express [an atrocity where the US Ninth Infantry Division had killed 11,000 people, 5,000 of whom were 'non-combatants'], the massacre of between 90 and 130 men, women and children at the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968, was not a story until long after it had happened.           
1956 Timeline ( cached )
       The date for the unifying elections set by the Geneva Conference passes. Diem, backed by the US, had refused to participate (the people would have chosen Ho Chi Minh and the US cannot accept the possibility what they see as a 'communist' Vietnam, even if that would be the result of democracy and would unify the country).           
1957 Timeline ( cached )
       The Soviet Union proposes permanent division of Vietnam into North and South, with the two nations admitted separately to the United Nations. The US rejects the proposal, unwilling to recognize Communist North Vietnam.           
1963 CNN profile ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Buddhist clerics begin setting themselves afire, creating a sensation around the world, to protest against prosecution under the Diem regime.           
1963 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The excesses of Diem (who the CIA installed in the first place) prove too much, and in November 1963 Diem is overthrown by a triumvirate of his generals, organised by the CIA. At the time of his shooting, he had in his hand a briefcase containing 1 million U.S. currency in the highest denominations. A series of military regimes follow Diem which are marked by coups and counter-coups.           
Article ( cached )
       CIA documents declassified in '99 reveal that Kennedy initiated the process to overthrow Diem, contrary to the what the government had previously claimed.           
1964 Pilger book summary ( cached )
       The 'Gulf of Tonkin' incident provides the justification for use of military force - an alleged attack on US spyship USS Maddox which was engineered by the US and that became the pretext for war in Vietnam. This was later known as the 'Gulf of Tonkin Incident' and 'as a direct result, a resolution was sent by the White House to Congress seeking authority for the United States to invade Vietnam. Seven years were to pass before the Pentagon Papers, the official 'secret history' of the war would reveal that administration officials had drafted the 'Gulf of Tonkin Resolution' two months before the alleged attack on the Maddox'           
1954-1975 Timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       According to the DRV some 1 million Vietnamese combatants and 2-4 million Vietnamese civillians are killed in the war (estimated anywhere between 10-20% of the population), with over half the casualties inflicted in South Vietnam whom the US is supposedly there to protect.           
1971 Summary ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       The New York Times releases excerpts from the 'Pentagon Papers', a secret government study of decision-making about the Vietnam War, starting an extraordinary federal court battle pitting the US government against the press, with the Supreme Court eventually ruling that that the government could not block publication of the Pentagon Papers.           
Quotes from Pentagon Papers ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The Pentagon papers revealed a considerable degree of miscalculation, bureaucratic arrogance, and deception on the part of US policymakers. Some quotes:
  • 'In 1956, almost any type of election that could conceivably be held in Vietnam would, on the basis of present trends, give the Communists a very significant if not decisive victory.'
  • 'In 1965, the President of South Vietnam, President Thieu, according to George Ball, believed that "the communists could still win any election held in South Vietnam".'
  • 'South Vietnam (unlike other countries in Southeast Asia) was essentially the creation of the United States.'
Today BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       Vietnamese continue to suffer from Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant used by US forces during the Vietnam war, which has been blamed for huge numbers of birth defects.           
Time article ( cached )
       The US, despite being engaged in a supposed war on terrorism, harbours a terrorist group which has waged a low-level three-year war against the communist government of Vietnam, and are suspected in half a dozen attacks on Vietnamese targets in Europe and Asia.           
Further Reading
 Comment on the above topic     

Laos View comments     
1958-1960 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       CIA sponsors coups at least once in 1958, 1959, 1960 and probably other years as well. "By merely withholding the monthly payment to the troops," wrote Roger Hilsman (whose career encompassed both agencies, perhaps covertly simultaneously), "the United States could create the conditions for toppling any Lao government whose policies it opposed. As it turned out, in fact, the United States used this weapon twice-to bring down the government of one Lao leader and to break the will of another." The aim was generally to prevent the Pathe Lao from holding power, as they were the only sizable group in the country serious about social change, a characteristic which of course tends to induce Washington officials to apply the communist label. However, the Pathe Lao did not consider themselves communists.           
1964 Article ( cached )
       The coalition government, such as it was, was overthrown by the right wing, with the CIA's man Phoumi Nosavan emerging as part of a rightist government headed by the perennial survivor Souvanna Phouma to give it a neutralist fig leaf. The Pathet Lao were once again left out in the cold. For them it was the very last straw. The fighting greatly intensified, the skirmishes were now war, and the Pathet Lao offensive soon scored significant advances. Then the American bombing began.           
1964-1973 BBC timeline ( cached )
       Laos is subject to extensive aerial bombardment by the United States in an attempt to destroy North Vietnamese sanctuaries and to rupture the supply lines known as the Ho Chi Minh trail. It's estimated that more bombs were dropped on Laos than were used during the whole of World War II.           
Article ( cached )
       The CIA also dropped millions of dollars in forged Pathet Lao currency in an attempt to wreck the economy.           
Article ( cached )
       Although US officials deny it vehemently, ample evidence exists to confirm charges that the Meo villages that do try to find their own way out of the war, even if it is simply by staying neutral and refusing to send their 13-year-olds to fight in the CIA army, are immediately denied American rice and transport, and ultimately bombed by the US Air Force.           
BBC article ( cached )
       This all occurred despite the war in Laos not officially existing, and despite Laos being officially neutral.           
Today BBC article ( cached )
       The removal of unexploded ordinances is continuing from such places as the Plain of Jars (which has the unenviable distinction of being the most heavily-bombed place on earth) and is expected to take another 50-100 years.           
UNICEF article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       An estimated 300 Laotians continue to die every year from these bombs, and 1 in 384 people in Laos are amputees. From the end of the war to 1998, 38,248 people were killed and 64,064 injured.           
 Comment on the above topic     

Cambodia View comments     
1960s Article ( cached )
       Cambodia is a peaceful kingdom led by Prince Sihanouk, who naively presumes that his country can remain neutral while the US wages war next door in Vietnam.           
1969-1973 Timeline ( cached )
       US bombs Cambodia - 'The fact is that the United States dropped three times the quantity of explosives on Cambodia between 1970 and 1973 than it had dropped on Japan for the duration of World War II. Between 1969 and 1973, 539,129 tons of high explosives rained down on Cambodia; that is more than one billion pounds. This is equivalent to some 15,400 pounds of explosives for every square mile of Cambodian territory. Considering that probably less than 25 percent of the total area of Cambodia was bombed at one time or another, the actual explosive force per area would be at least four times this level.' - The Rise and Demise of Democractic Kampuchea, Craig Etcheson           
1970 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The military under Lon Nol, and backed by the United States, overthrows Sihanouk. As hatred of the US and the Lon Nol government grows, peasants flood to join the Khmer Rouge army.           
1970 ( cached )
       US and South Vietnamese troops enter Cambodia to attack Communist bases and supply lines. US ground forces are withdrawn by June 30, but South Vietnamese troops remain, occupying heavily populated areas. The actions of the South Vietnamese troops in Cambodia and the resumption of heavy US air bombings in their support, with the inevitable destruction of villages and killing of civilians, alienates many Cambodians and creates considerable sympathy for the 'communists'. The Khmer Rouge increases in number from about 3,000 in Mar 1970, to over 30,000 within a few years. Most of the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops are able to withdraw, leaving in progress a raging civil war fought by Cambodians but financed by the US, North Vietnam, and Communist China.           
1975 Lonely Planet History ( cached )
       Phnom Penh falls to the Khmer Rouge.           
1975-1978 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot's leadership, systematically kills hundreds of thousands of Cambodians (targeting the educated in particular) in a brutal bid to turn Cambodia into a Maoist, peasant-dominated agrarian cooperative. Estimates vary to the number of killings, some say 300,000 is an upper limit while the US media typically claims 2 or 3 million (in contrast, estimates for the number of casualties of the US bombing range between 600,000 and over a million). Currency is abolished, postal services is halted, the population became a work force of slave labourers and the country is almost entirely cut off from the outside world.           
1978 Lonely Planet History ( cached )
       Responding to recurring armed incursions into their border provinces, Vietnam invades Cambodia, forcing the Khmer Rouge to flee to the relative sanctuary of the jungles along the Thai border. From there, they conduct a guerilla war against the Vietnamese-backed government throughout the late 1970s and 1980s.           
1980-1986 Article ( cached )
       Instead of applauding the Vietnamese for ending Pol Pot's genocide, the US and China also insist that Pol Pot, responsible for killing an estimated one in every five Cambodians, has the right to name Cambodia's legitimate representative at the UN.           
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       The US also supports Pol Pot throughout this period, funding the Khmer Rouge to the tune of $85 million. The National Security Advisor of the time, Zbiginiew Brzezinski, admits 'I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot', and adds that the US 'winked publicly' as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge through Thailand.           
1993 Article ( cached )
       UN-administered elections lead to a new constitution and the reinstatement of Norodom Sihanouk as king.           
 Comment on the above topic