Cambodian Genocide Memorial
The Vietnam War was a very sad and divisive time. Millions of people died, both during the war and in the genocide that took place in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

150 million people were murdered by communist countries in addition to those killed in war

China Mao 1923-483,468,000
North Korea1,663,000

The table above shows the number of people murdered by Communists. This is not death from combat. This is murder by government. Governments murdered far more people than those who died in combat. Communists governments were and are the worst mass murderers in history. Source Professor Rummel of the University of Hawaii.

Communism was everywhere on the attack after World War II. Communism expanded from Russia into Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary,Yugoslavia, Albania, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, China, North Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Tibet, and in a number of other countries. Communists used terrorism, murder and subversion to destabilize countries. Political murder and terrorism was an integral part of “Wars of Liberation.”

Communist countries of the world in 1980. USSR-aligned countries
in orange and China-aligned in red.  


3,800,000 People Murdered

The table to the right shows the 3.8 million people murdered in southeast Asia by Communists. This in addition to those killed in the War. Millions more were imprisoned, enslaved, and ethnically cleansed, escaping on boats or walking out of their country. Source:

American War Protest
The anti war movement changed American policy. They believed that the War was immoral. They contended we were imperialist fascist war mongers. They believed that war is evil and to be avoided at all costs.

They considered Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot to be Freedom Fighters. "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is sure to Win" was one of their slogans. They thought Communism was an excellent system. They believed that Communists were fighting for freedom and self determination. They contended that the war in southeast Asia was a civil war.

I believe an individual and a nation must oppose evil when their avowed policy was to take over the world. We were both moral and right to oppose Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and Pol Pot.

We have largely prevailed over Communism. It has been abandoned in Europe. It is liberalizing and improving in Asia, although China, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam remain totalitarian police states.

I believe that many of the anti war folks were sincere in their beliefs. They sincerely wanted to end the war and the killing. They were successful in their efforts to halt financial and military support for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia which caused their defeat. 

This led directly to genocide with millions of people murdered, tortured, ethnically cleansed and enslaved partly as a result of their success.  It is a clear case of cause and effect.

Brief Time line
Cambodia Genocide Memorial

62-68 Kennedy/Johnson increase support

68-73 Protests Change American Opinion

74 A new anti war Congress is elected

74 Congress withdraws all financial and military assistance

75 Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are defeated

75 Genocide goes into high gear

The Vietnam War was a long and bloody struggle. It would be lost by the first side that gave up. The anti war movement was very important to the NVA, giving them hope throughout the conflict as they watched them denigrate our troops, our allies, and our country.

Lt Calley and his murderers at My Lai committed horrible crimes.  Their actions tarnished all of us who served honorably in Vietnam and enabled the anti war movement to convince many Americans that these atrocities were common and intended by the United States Government.

I served in Vietnam for 18 months with the Marine Corps. Most of us fought an honorable war trying to help the Vietnamese people to avoid a communist takeover and genocide. But you can never tell that from all the lies and exaggerations. This blog is intended to help set that record straight.

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

"This much we pledge—and more. To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder."

Cambodian Communists Took Photos Before the Murders

President Jack Kennedy, inaugural address

The Anti War Movement divided our country and it could not stand. Our Communist enemies knew this by reading the paper and watching TV.  All they had to do was wait.

Quote from Colonel Bui Tin NVA

Jane Fonda with Vietnamese Communists

In 1995 the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Colonel Bui Tin who had served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese army, that included the following exchange:

Q: How did Hanoi intend to defeat the Americans?

A: By fighting a long war which would break their will to help South Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh said, "We don't need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out."

Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?

A: It was essential to our strategy. Support for the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world

news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?

A: Keenly

Q: Why?

A: Those people represented the conscience of America. The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.

Q: What else?

A: We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect.


The American strategy was containment of communism, developed by both Democrats and Republicans. The plan was to do what we successfully did in Europe, Korea, and Taiwan - to help South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos to stay free of communism and create free successful democratic countries. 

The anti war effort changed public opinion and the Congress, who pulled all military and financial support from South Vietnam. The USSR and China continued their support and the result was Communist victory and genocide.

The anti war people of course do not understand or believe this.  It would be too hard to admit that your actions led to this genocide.  They will go to their graves thinking they did a fine thing.

Accurate estimates are of course difficult in a country like Vietnam with no free press or open government. But reasonable estimates have been developed by Professor Rummel of the University of Hawaii. He has published widely on this subject, reviewing all academic studies on the subject, and explaining how he arrived at the numbers.  He developed a high, medium, and low estimate.  He usually concluded that the medium estimate was reasonable. His estimates are shown below:

Total Number of People Who diedTotalPer Cent
of Total
People who died in the Vietnam War from combat882,00018.3%
Murdered by Communists in Vietnam1,670,00034.7%
Murdered by Communists in Cambodia2,035,00042.3%
Murdered by Communists in Laos130,0002.7%
Murdered by South Vietnam90,0001.9%
Murdered by Americans6,0000.1%
Totals 4,813,000100.0%

Never again. Until the next time.

Photos below from the killing fields of Cambodia. Vietnam and Laos were just as bad, but the people who committed the genocide and ethnic cleansing are still in charge and don't publicize what happened after the Communist takeover. There is no free press or open access to records.  

Approximately 4,500 to 5,000 Vietnamese killed by the Communists, targeting teachers and government employees.