Whatever happened to Vietnam’s forgotten veterans

On Christmas Day 40 years ago, 150,000 Vietnamese troops crossed the border into Cambodia and launched a bloody campaign to drive the murderous Khmer Rouge regime from power. Decades later, the men who fought against Pol Pot’s forces remain haunted by their memories, forgotten by their nation and distrusted by many of the Cambodians they freed.

For two weeks in April 1978, black-clad cadres from Pol Pot’s ultra-nationalist Khmer Rouge regime unleashed hell on earth. They drove whole families from their homes, gunned down men, women and children, broke babies against the brick walls of the homes that had once sheltered them. In less than a fortnight, almost 3,000 civilians in a quiet village were dead.

But this massacre – one of the worst by Pol Pot’s forces in more than four years of violent revolution – was not committed on Cambodian soil, or even against Cambodians. His forces had stolen across the border into Vietnam’s Ba Chuc commune to lay waste to a village of both ethnic Vietnamese and Khmer. It was this raid, one of a campaign of violent massacres in Vietnam that has long been overshadowed by Pol Pot’s crimes against his own people, that laid the ground for the Vietnamese assault on Cambodia that would finally drive the Khmer Rouge from power.

In full: https://sea-globe.com/vietnams-forgotten-veterans/

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