Thursday, August 05, 2010

Anti-American Art: Murder On His Mind

Another poster from Cuba's OCLAE, the Latin American Student Organization, ca. early 1970s for the "Continental Day of Support for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos." The poster shows a harsh caricature of the eminently caricaturable President Nixon, with a cut-away on his heading showing that he has the dead bodies of a lot of Indochinese civilians on his mind.

If the American war of aggression on Vietnam was seeded by Kennedy and started by Johnson, it blossomed into new horrors courtesy of Nixon. Nixon expanded military operations on the ground into Cambodia. The U.S. engineered a military coup in Cambodia, establishing a puppet regime to replace the nominally non-aligned ruler Prince Sihanouk. In 1970 U.S. and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia in pursuit of National Liberation Front sanctuaries. The invasion ultimately strengthened the Khmer Rouge insurgency which gained the support of Sihanouk, then exiled to China. The Khmer Rouge liberated Cambodia from that dictatorship shortly before the fall of Saigon to the People's Army of Vietnam and NLF. That, of course, would lead to several other stories. Here's a thought-provoking essay on how different the world might be had Nixon been tried for his war crimes at War Is a Crime blog.

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