Covid Island Discs

List songs by: Artist   Publication Year

Return to Covid Island Discs Page
Playlist Video for Week 46 (click here)

Day 316: Cambodia, Kim Wilde

So the last song of Kim Wilde’s I shared was a comical Christmas song: Rockin’ around the Christmas tree a duet between her and the late great comedian Mel Smith. This song is at the opposite end of the spectrum and captures one of the darkest moments of US history when Nixon ordered the carpet bombing of Cambodia to try and break the stalemate in the Vietnam war as the Viet Cong were using the Eastern part of this neutral country as a place of refuge.

Sadly, the unintended consequence of this military action was the rise of Khmer Rouge which in 1970 resulted in what is described in the Wiki article as follows:

By late March 1970, Cambodia had descended into anarchy as Karnow noted: Rival Cambodian gangs were hacking each other to pieces, in some instances celebrating their prowess by eating the hearts and livers of their victims. The North Vietnamese response was swift, they began directly supplying large amounts of weapons and advisors to the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia plunged into civil war. Lon Nol saw Cambodia’s population of 400,000 ethnic Vietnamese as possible hostages to prevent PAVN attacks and ordered their roundup and internment. One hundred and forty four Cambodian soldiers and civilians then unleashed a reign of terror, murdering thousands of Vietnamese civilians. Lon Nol encouraged pogroms against the Vietnamese minority and the Cambodian police took the lead in organizing the pogroms. On 15 April for example, 800 Vietnamese men had been rounded up at the village of Churi Changwar, tied together, executed, and their bodies dumped into the Mekong River. They then floated downstream into South Vietnam. Cambodia’s actions were denounced by both the North and South Vietnamese governments.

As the lead singer of Midnight Oil Peter Garrett noted, Henry Kissinger (Nixon’s secretary of state and defence advisor) would later be awarded a Nobel Peace prize much to the chagrin of many.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top