Video: America’s role in the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh

As the invasion of Ukraine continues, some folks on left have been trying to use the media attention on that war, to draw attention to other atrocities going on, particularly the U.S.-backed genocidal war Saudi Arabia is waging on Yemen. In that spirit, I think it’s worth checking out this video from the Gravel Institute, about the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. This was one of many genocides during the Cold War that happened with American support. So many, that while I’ve learned about many, I knew virtually nothing about this one. This happened under Nixon, but this kind of thing is a major part of both Democratic and Republican foreign policy, right along with things like coups, assassinations, CIA black sites, and so on. If we ever want to see a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world, we’re going to need to find a way to end this kind of imperialist activity, and to do that, we have to understand it.

Content warning: Discussion of violence, sexual assault, and racism


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    I’ve read that one of the main reasons Nixon sent arms to Pakistan (in violation of Congress’ sanctions) was to impress China. China was already an ally of, and major arms supplier to Pakistan. Why no mention of China whatsoever?

    Also noteworthy; the Pakistanis couldn’t fly over India to get to Bangladesh, so Sri Lanka let them refuel on the long way around.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    I think Sri Lanka helped Pakistan because they were nervous about their own Tamil separatists.

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