Before the City Was Emptied

This is what was happening in the rest of the country. A common argument is that the United States bombing inspired many to join the revolution, making the country complicit in the formation of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Operation Breakfast, 1969: In an effort to destroy Communist supply routes and base camps in Cambodia, President Nixon gives the go-ahead to “Operation Breakfast.” The covert bombing of Cambodia, conducted without the knowledge of Congress or the American public, will continue for fourteen months.

A bombardment in which American B52s and other aircraft dropped more bombs than fell on all of Europe during World War II. Up to 30% of those bombs failed to detonate.

These are photos by Cambodian-American photographer Khiang Hei:

“Although officially it never took place, between 1964 and 1973, the United States carried out some of the heaviest aerial bombardment of the war along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Cambodia trying to stop North Vietnamese Army from using the trail to attack American and South Vietnamese Forces in South Vietnam. It is estimated that over two million tons of bombs were dropped- exceeding the entire tonnage of bombs dropped during all of World War II and the equivalent of one planeload of bombs every hour for ten years. Estimates of the failure rate bombs dropped in the region- that is, bombs that have remained unexploded- are as high 30 percent. To this day, bombshells are still scattered everywhere, and have become part of the present day jungle landscape. Unexploded bombs, ammunition, and mines continue to maim and kill people, especially those who collect the scrap metal to sell to Vietnam and Japan.”

Or those who built houses, click image to go to the original image:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: