It's the height of hypocrisy, arrogance and amoral audacity for the United States to demand Cambodia — target of one of the most brutal bombing campaigns in world history — to pay back war debt accrued by the pro-U.S. puppet regime in pre-1975 Phnom Penh, but it is very much in keeping with the hypocritical, arrogant and audaciously amoral tone in Washington these days.

The $500 million bill that Uncle Sam has come knocking for is not small change, but it is a pittance compared to the destruction the U.S. wreaked on Cambodia by incessant B-52 bombing during the Vietnam War that left hundreds of thousands dead in its wake, including countless children.

How does one even begin to recompense for a cratered land littered with lost lives? How does one account for the fact that U.S. President Richard Nixon, who ordered the invasion of Cambodia, and his right-hand man, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, who was the architect of the bombing, never saw a day in jail?