Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

1979, Military and War  -   31 Comments
Ratings: 8.56/10 from 150 users.

Year Zero - The Silent Death of CambodiaPresident Nixon and Mr. Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas.

The bombing was their personal decision; they illegally and secretly, they bombed Cambodia, a neutral country, back to the Stone Age.

And I mean Stone Age in its' literal sense.

John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country.

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31 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Joel Breger

    Yes I just visited Phnom Penh last month and prison S21. This is a huge shock for our western way of life very far from this terror. What I don't understand it's why it took ages for western countries USA, UK, France , Sweden, Italy etc... to recognize this massacre and the new government installed with the Vietnamese. Worse during that time the Khmer rouge continues to be the only government to deal with them. And Pol Phot was in Thailand with refugees pouring peaceful days. This is completely immoral, hoping history books will take this into account and explain why western countries are culprit for this genocide and to complicity in failing to help a nation in jeopardy.

  2. Ashdip

    Just that, you have power doesnot give you the right to use them. F*** USA. They starts war everywhere. They dont think about the post-war situation.. how to contain it. Its not about winning/ losing. A war leaves a country scarred.

  3. Ricardo Martins

    What a great documentary, a true and raw display of reality.
    Still the people choose to breath the lies of psychotic murderers moved by power...
    Have we all lost the feeling of empathy and compassion to the point that we allow such atrocities to happen?

  4. Paul

    3rd biggest genocide recorded. Lots of blame being thrown around at different countries but none ever seems to go on the people who actually carried out the acts of execution. Plus no remorse has been shown by any of them since. If your country was bombed would you smash babies heads off of trees in the name of a revolution?! There is blame to be issued to outside parties for certain atrocities but the Khmer Rouge are to blame for the genocide and nobody else and yet they are still free today! Or shall we just say it was Angkor's will and then that's fine?!

  5. Vic Malik

    Spent 2 years working with orphans in Cambodia.... The country still needs our help...

  6. ratko

    Blaice, really? LBGT? That's a fraud. Another fake paradigm that US regime is trying to sell to your people.

  7. Blaice

    I hope Nixon is rotting in hell. He is the American equivalent to Germany's Hitler.

  8. coryn

    The American People are, and have been brainwashed and manipulated from our earliest years, by the schools, the media, and the churches. And it's taken me a lifetime to understand that simple fact, and to see what America has in fact done, what misery it has created in the world. Please go to the documentaries PsyWar and Century of the Self to understand this. John Pilger, I thank you for your dedication, you are a true human being in the fullest sense of the word. We knew at the time that Nixon and Kissinger were liars, and I am thankful that Nixon, before he died, was revealed for who he really was. But nothing changes except the names and the faces. Today we have Rumsfeld and Cheney doing the dirty work, and together with George Bush, all of them lying daily about our relationships with Iraq and Iran and the rest of the world. We're being bought off with toys and cheap gasoline. Americans will be hated around the world for years to come..... So now look at the size of our military forces and the number of bases worldwide. We control land, air and seas, but we're a bankrupt country. How can that not lead to trouble in the future? Shame on these men!

    1. Blaice

      I think my generation (at least the intellectually independent individuals) have/are realizing that America is literally among the most corrupt and greedy nations—or better yet, nation. I do not believe capitalism is a bad thing, per se, but the corporate control of a nation shows us what disgusting and vial things we can do to this world. The countless wars for nothing but greed, profits over health creating a pandemic after WWII because we needed somewhere to pump the extra chemicals (fast-food chains around the world now) contributing to nothing but chronic diseases and psychologically damaging obesity. The list is almost endless, but it is disheartening to focus on it any more than is so evident from day to day. Hopefully my generation can create a better America not founded on intolerance and greed, but it is unlikely....

      LBGT rights is at least one step forward though.

  9. spen4leeds

    theres still an equal amount of bombs dropped in germany unexploded lying in the mud in cambodia and laos killing people today, its the most bombed country in the world, america has commited so many crimes across the world it amazes me they continue to get away with it

    1. nepali hercules

      US has the strongest military in the world. that's why the world continues to tolerate it. it germany had won WWII, no one would dare question germany. germany would find a way to justify every single thing they did, just like US does nowadays. as long its for "democracy", anything is allowed.

  10. spen4leeds

    i hate to say this but i really think the world one day is going to turn round and unleash hell on america and the uk and other allies, money needs taking out of politics in america and it needs to happen fast before theres another world war, presidents with any connection to massive companies like Halliburton needs to happen now, america needs to take its country back and us in the uk need to stop licking arse

  11. PaulBraveheart

    I was in Cambodia and went to S-21 and the killing fields. Such a tragic and hard to put into words, horrific genocide. That country and it's people suffered so much and to know my country had played such a big part saddens me. To also know that the Vietnam war was started because of the Gulf of Tonkin Lie, never happened and is now declassified. So many million had of people had to die so a few rich families could get richer. After all that is all war really is. Really Rich people sending off sons of poor people to die so they can make a lot of money.

  12. Dean Thompson

    man that was some heavy s***. I went to Cambodia a few years ago. You see amputees and f--ked up people everywhere still, a generation later.

  13. Nishan

    i couldn't finish the whole video...**** US AND ITS ALLIES

  14. trlrprkcon

    What a one sided load of pap. For a peaceful, quiet, unassuming people they certainly perfected the art of savage killing very quickly.
    I'm curious, where did the murderers get the AMTRACKS, RPG's mortars, machine guns and all the rest of their weapons from? The USA? I also love the part where the documentary leaves out any mention on the Ho-Chi-Mien trail and makes the impression we carpet bombed the entire country. It sure looked like Pheom-Pene was undamaged.
    Bottom line, WHO created and supported Pol-Pot and his regime of terror?

    1. Bambi L

      China. The Khmer Rouge also used alot of the former Soviet arms.

    2. Don Robertson

      Bottom line - everybody supported Pol Pot. The US supported him after 1979. The UN voted to support him.
      Sihanouk tried to keep the US from dragging Cambodia into the Vietnam war, and walked a fine line between China and the US. He tolerated some incursions by both sides along the borders - not that there was much he could have done anyway. The CIA was implemented in assassination plots against him as well - so he did not trust the US.
      He was ousted by Lon Nol in a CIA approved - if not sponsored - coup, and Lon Nol accepted a huge amount of military aid from the US to fight the Vietnamese. Unfortunately, US backed Lon Nol regime was so corrupt, a lot of this weaponry was sold to the Khmer Rouge, but nobody cared about that. By this time the US were trying to get out of Vietnam as fast as they could.
      The US bombed much of Cambodia - not just to get the mythical 'Central Office for South Vietnam' but also to support the Lon Nol troups. Phnom Penh was not bombed because it was the last city to remain under the Lon Nol governments control.
      At the time of the Lon Nol coup in 1970, there were only about 2000 Khmer Rouge troops. By 1975, they took over the country.
      China deserves much of the blame for what happened in Cambodia as well - nobody comes out of it looking good. But after the tragedy of the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge time, after the Vietnamese had invaded, the US and China collaborated to support the Khmer Rouge resistance and keep the civil war going until the 1990's. The Chinese wanted to punish Vietnam for not toeing the line and getting help from the Soviet Union (and for beating them in a small border war in the late 70's), and the US wanted to punish the Soviets for the invasion of Afghanistan (now there's irony for you).
      The US, it was said at the time, would fight the Soviets until the last Cambodian. The US also reneged on it's promise to pay reparations to the Vietnamese - because they were buddying up to China - and this pushed the Vietnamese into Soviet arms in the first place.
      Yes - there is plenty of blame to go around. But if the US had just kept the hell out of Cambodia in the first place, the Khmer Rouge would probably not have lasted for long after the fall of South Vietnam.

    3. Kimie Chadwick

      We've just got back from our adventure to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The was ended, but we are still responsible for all those victims of the war. I still cannot erase from my mind the beggar on a very hot day, dragging himself with no legs on the bridge plus other forever suffering people. I was even unhappier to see the widening gap of wealth in Vietnam which to me looked more like a country run by a capitalist dictator. I ran through the tear gas protesting against the war during 60's, and have close friends who participated in the war and some opposed the war; both are victims of war, they keep on suffering emotionally, their lives forever traumatized. Economically Vietnam is growing rapidly, I felt deeply disturbed.
      The prince passed away a week before we arrived in Cambodia. The country seemed like a little child of Vietnam.

  15. audiophile

    @ Keith Rogers:
    I can tell that you probably have something interesting and relevant to say but I'm having a hard time understanding you or following your ideas. Try to ease up on the prose and take the time to proofread what you write. Complete sentences, accurate punctuation and functional segue would do wonders in conveying your idea and maintaining your credibility.
    Please don't take this personal, I'm not trying to insult you. I just see a lot of people ranting on things that are relevant but the way they make their point ends up so disjointed and flakey that they end up coming across as unballanced or just stupid. We all know that with right wing conservatives running around with their bullhorns spreading misinformation and malfeasance, the last thing we need is to be written off because of semantics. Just think of hippies..... generally they have some fundamentally good philosophy but they loose their credibility talking, um the way they talk...... I mean, really, who takes hippies seriously? Just watch the documentary "Butterfly" and you'll see what I mean.
    Take care

  16. ItIsI

    I Phisically had pain in my heart looking at this

  17. Elias

    US is a war sick criminal..starting war whenever they like..aids not provide n UN is stupid enough..rules r dead..y they dun jus aid ti cambodians immed..waiting 4 votes n taking thier own sweet time when ppl r dead

  18. Nikola

    Horrible. Simply horrible. What a massacre. And H. Kissinger got a Nobel prize for this massacre???!!!
    John Pilger, the best journalist ever.

  19. karl jansson (sweden)

    re: Robert Haley.
    I've lived in Cambodia, i've seen the places from this documentary. this is not propaganda, it's fact, if you fly from Saigon to Phnom penh you can still se bomb craters in the cambodian countryside. I recomend you to watch the documentary "trials of Kissinger" to ge an idea of the foreign policies of the Nixon administration during the 70's. Norodom Sihanouk was overthrown by the us backed general Lon Nol 1970. Sihanouk was living in exil in China. from China he went out on the radio urging the khmers to "go to the jungle and join the guerilla, the khmer rouge", he belived they could help him defeat Lon Nol and restore his power. the US bombed a neutral country, it's a war crime, and thus makes Kissinger and Nixon war criminals, the UN should put them on trial at the warcrime tribunal in Haag, but sadly the UN didnt behave that nice during this era either. the khmer rouge were allowed to keep their seat at the UN till 1989, even though the world knew of their crimes. And the khmer rouge didn't take Phnom penh in september 1975, they took phnom penh on april 17th 1975, and the vietnamese took phnom penh from the khmer rouge 7 january 1979 (bhramphal makhara). this is a good documentary, not propaganda.

  20. robert haley

    No. It's propaganda. At least the beginning is. I haven't seen the whole thing yet. US bombing of Cambodia ended on August 17th of 1973! The Khmer Rouge took Pnom Pehn in Sept. of 1975. The bombing ended two years before year zero, and over two years before any starvation began. He fails to mention that. In fact, it appears that his mis-impression is quite deliberate. Tying Nixon and Kissinger to the Cambodian genocide is completely gratuitous.

    1. Phearun Chhorn

      Hello Robert, what do you mean by " Propaganda"? 2 almost 3 millions were killed or starved to death i hope you won't think that is a propaganda. However, the Khmer Rouge didn't take over Phnom Penh on Sept but April 17 1975. Yes it was completely gratuitous for Nixon and kissinger to attack Cambodia, both of them should have been brought the ICC (International Criminal Court).

    2. Don Robertson

      By 1973, the Khmer Rouge were in control of much of the countryside. Without the US involvement and the bombing, the Khmer Rouge would have remained a fringe group.

  21. Tyler

    This was very enlightening. I've read "The Killing Fields," which was a nonfiction book about these events, but watching this has been refreshing. It's hard to believe that people can be capable of committing such atrocities.

  22. Der Oberst

    Great documentary because its basis is solid journalism.


    Der Oberst