Copyright 1996 by Hugo S. Cunningham
First posted y10216
Latest minor update y10823

A Khmer Rouge chronology
with a sidelight on Noam Chomsky:

Who knew what, and when?

Is it just coincidence that Prof. Chomsky reversed his favorable view of the Khmer Rouge only after Communist Vietnam, a Soviet ally, openly went to war with them?

Note: "(NYT)" means the date something appeared in the "New York Times," not necessarily the date it happened.


18 Mar(NYT) South Vietnam announces abandonment of highlands to Communist (Northern) forces.
17 Apr(NYT) Cambodian government surrenders to Khmer Rouge.
29 Apr US evacuates Saigon embassy.
9 Jul(NYT) First of many "New York Times" editorials denouncing "barbarous cruelty" of Khmer Rouge.


25 Jun In a book review ("Distortions at Fourth Hand" in "The Nation," 25 Jun 1977, pp. 789-94) Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman ridicule atrocity accusations against the Khmer Rouge.
19 Sep(NYT) Khmer Rouge first report military clash with Vietnam, a Soviet ally.
25 Dec(NYT) Major Vietnamese counterattack on Khmer Rouge in "Parrot's Beak" border district. Vietnamese-Cambodian relations continue to deteriorate during the next year (1978).


22 Apr(NYT) President Jimmy Carter calls Cambodia "world's worst violator of human rights."
22 Aug(NYT) Senator George McGovern calls for international force to overthrow Khmer Rouge government.
Last quarter In "Dissent" magazine (Comments on "Vietnam and Cambodia" in "Dissent," last quarter 1978, pp 386-389), Noam Chomsky says that even if (as is highly unlikely) lurid Khmer Rouge atrocity stories were true, it is all America's fault.
20 Nov(NYT) Walter Goodman ("Editorial Notebook") notes Chomsky's continued reluctance to denounce Khmer Rouge.
4 Dec(NYT) Vietnam sets up "National Salvation" government in occupied Cambodia.
8 Dec(NYT) Prof. Chomsky fiercely denounces Walter Goodman in letter to editor of NYT.


8 Jan(NYT) Vietnam captures Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.
15 Jan(NYT) Vietnam holds all major Cambodian cities.

This chronology was originally posted in a Usenet message:
alt.anarchism,alt.society.anarchy,talk.politics.theory, talk.politics.misc,alt.politics.economics,, alt.politics.radical-left,alt.politics.libertarian, talk.politics.libertarian,alt.individualism
Subject: Chomsky's bad faith proven: the Khmer Rouge record
[was Re: Chomsky, was " If the left is understood to include 'Bolshevism,' then I would flatly dissociate myself from the left. Lenin was one of the greatest enemies of socialism, in my opinion, for reasons I've discussed. Re: Ideologies, politics, history (was: The Murder Sweepstakes)
From: (Hugo S. Cunningham)
Sat, 21 Sep 1996 13:17:14 GMT

Return to text of debate

Return to table of contents for debate about Prof. Chomsky and the Khmer Rouge

Go to index of foreign policy articles by Hugo S. Cunningham.