BUSH AND CHENEY, WHO AVOIDED THE VIETNAM WAR, ARE PREPARING FOR A NEW U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: AFTER THE MIDDLE EAST DISASTER, GET READY FOR INDOCHINA WAR II.
With three countries -- Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam -- vying for the off-shore oil booty in seas where maritime borders are contested, the Bush/Cheney cartel hopes to achieve a dominant position to exploit the oil reserves for their oil industry friends and backers.
The recent visit of the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet's USS Gary (FFG 51) to the Ream Naval Base near Sihanoukville on February 9, 2007 was billed as the first visit of a U.S. Navy ship in 30 years. What the Navy and media did not report was that the last U.S. Navy ships to "visit" Cambodia were those in 1975 that pulverized the Cambodian coast in response to the capture of the SS Mayaguez by Khmer Rouge forces.
With the U.S. support for the September 16, 2006 military coup in Thailand that overthrew that nation's democratically-elected government becoming clear (U.S. ambassador to Thailand Ralph Boyce now sports a yellow tie, a show of support for the royalist-backed coup -- yellow being the color of the monarchy), there is speculation that the U.S. will beef up a presence at Thai bases that were once important during the Vietnam War. This includes the base at Utapao, Thailand, a one-time P3-Orion naval reconnaissance aircraft base and US Air Force base used to attack Cambodia over the Mayaguez incident. Since Thailand was never consulted on the use of Utapao in the attack on Cambodia, Thailand ordered the base vacated by the Americans. The Thais never believed the Mayaguez was an innocent merchant vessel but had somehow provoked the Cambodians to seize it in Cambodian territorial waters.
The Thais continue to be wary of U.S. intentions in Cambodia. The Thai-Cambodian border is in dispute and some Khmers make no secret of their desire to take back historically Khmer territory in eastern Thailand.