Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The New Voice

Aggression, Social-Imperialism, Appeasement: Three Enemies of Democratic Kampuchea

First Published: The New Voice, Vol. VII, No. 3, February 5, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Vietnam’s criminal invasion of Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) is an attack on peace-loving and freedom loving people of the whole world. Progressives in every country convey unconditional support to the people and government of Kampuchea in their war for national defense.

All things have two sides, even unprincipled aggression of one country against another. The positive aspect in this case is the exposure of the new tsars of the Soviet Union, puppet-masters of Vietnamese crimes, as vicious imperialists who pose the main threat to provoke a new world war. From here on, no honest person can speak about the “progressive role” of the Soviet Union without choking on his own words.

Even before the liberation of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from U.S. imperialism, the social-imperialists fanned the flame of discord in the area. They egged on Vietnam’s leaders in their chauvinist scheme for an “Indochina Federation,” meaning subjugation of other Indochinese nations to Hanoi. During the war of liberation, Moscow maintained relations with the pro-U.S., reactionary Lon Nol clique in Kampuchea (then Cambodia), earning the justified hatred of the Kampuchean people. After the war, the social-imperialists determined to use their Vietnamese beachhead to push Soviet hegemony over the entire region.

The leaders of Vietnam became willing accomplices in these hegemonist schemes, trading one superpower master for another and souring the great victory of the Indochinese peoples against U.S. imperialism. Vietnam has joined the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), the organization by which Moscow dominates the economies of second and third world nations. Recently, Moscow and Hanoi signed a “defense treaty” which is, in effect, a military alliance guaranteeing Soviet protection for Vietnam’s aggression. Armed to the teeth with Soviet weapons, the Vietnamese ruling clique has become the “Cuba of Asia,” doing social-imperialism’s dirty work so the new tsars can hide in the background.

In Southeast Asia, the various facades that cloak similar Soviet activities in Africa fall apart, revealing nothing but blatant expansionism.

Where is the banner of “aiding national liberation struggles against U.S. imperialism”? The social-imperialists sent the Cubans into Angola. But Kampuchea liberated itself from U.S. imperialism in 1975, and had to defeat Soviet interference to do it. Kampuchea is obviously an independent, non-aligned, developing socialist country. The new tsars want to change all that.

Neither are Soviet propagandists talking much about “supporting progressive countries against reactionary countries,” a cry heard often in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere. Lead by a Marxist-Leninist party, Kampuchea can hardly be labeled “reactionary.” The best that Brezhnev can do is parrot lies about “human rights” violations by the Phnom Penh government–a la Jimmy Carter!

What about “indigenous liberation forces” battling an oppressive regime? Soviet-armed and trained mercenaries operating out of Angola used that excuse when they attacked Zaire in 1977. The Hanoi-based Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation had only one month of life to hide Vietnamese armed aggression against another sovereign state. No one believes that Kampuchean traitors play any role but figureheads; Vietnamese troops do all the fighting, and Vietnamese planes supplied by the Soviet Union or captured from the U.S. do all the bombing.

Vietnamese chauvinist aggression and Soviet hegemonism are two deadly enemies of the Kampuchean people and all peace-loving peoples of the world. But there is a third enemy. In the West, many government officials of the major nations have given Soviet social-imperialism the green light in Asia. On the subject of selling arms to China, German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt whines, “It would not be wise to poke a stick through the cage of the bear.” In spite of a treaty with China containing anti-hegemonist language, some U.S. officials said, “It [Vietnam-Kampuchea] is not our fight.” They condemn the invasion pro forma, but they take care not to expose the Soviet hand directing the Vietnamese army. Other officials like Sen. George McGovern are making no statements and apparently ignoring the situation. This is not surprising. “Saint George,” the 1972 “peace” candidate for president, was last fall calling for an invasion of Kampuchea, because of phony “human rights” violations.

Never fear, appeasers! If Soviet social-imperialism is left alone to run amok in Asia and Africa, soon it will want Europe! Then it will be everybody’s fight.

Appeasers, however, are in the minority in the world today. In the U.N. Security Council on January 15, only Czechoslovakia joined the Soviet Union in voting against a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Kampuchea and immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops. So far only about a dozen countries have recognized the puppet government in Phnom Penh. These include the Soviet Union and Cuba, and some of the Warsaw Pact countries. Seldom has the Soviet Union been so isolated.

At the moment the People’s Republic of China has taken the lead in steadfast support of the on-going Kampuchean struggle for national defense and socialism, and is thoroughly exposing the machinations of Soviet social-imperialism. It does so as Soviet troops and weapons multiply on its border, threatening war if China aids Kampuchea.

The Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway and others have threatened to shut off all aid to Vietnam if it does not withdraw immediately from Kampuchea. Many of these countries also share borders with the Soviet Union.

Each day that China, Kampuchea, and other countries in the third and second worlds face Soviet social-imperialism adds another mark against the appeasers. For the thousands who have died already resisting aggression, as well as the thousands yet to die, their epitaph must name Vietnamese chauvinism, Soviet social-imperialism and Western appeasement as conspirators in their murder.

Despite reports that this or that Kampuchean city has fallen to Vietnamese troops, people’s war will rage until the last aggressor is thrown out. U.S. workers send their heartfelt solidarity, and pledge to fight tooth and nail against the reactionary policy of appeasement within the U.S. Soviet social-imperialism rushes pell mell towards World War III. We must be ready!