Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just when I thought I'd seen it all

Yes, there is actually a website called the Group for the Study of the Theories of Pol Pot. Just what the world needs - glorification of someone responsible for one of the major genocides of the 20th century.

Notes in the margin: I have had friends dating back to my high school years who lived under Pol Pot's regime and who were lucky to escape with their lives. The stories they tell are, to say the least, harrowing.

Also, it's worth mentioning that Pol Pot's regime had plenty of US backing, as I've mentioned before:
...the US government found plenty to love about Pol Pot, in particular the Khmer Rouge's anti-Vietnamese chauvinism, making the the US and Cambodia allies of sorts after the US military finally withdrew its troops from the region. In fact the US government would continue to support Pol Pot even after he was deposed, refusing to recognize the new Cambodian government that overthrew the Khmer Rouge, and denouncing the Vietnamese-backed overthrow as "illegal." [6] Some of your tax dollars went to provide aid to Khmer Rouge camped at the Thai border during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
It would also be helpful to remember that not only was Pol Pot's regime a convenient US ally against Vietnam, but had the US done much of anything tangible to confront the Khmer Rouge's genocide, the US would have had to confront its own genocidal actions in Cambodia just a few years prior to the Pol Pot regime:
...US involvement in subverting Cambodia's government paved the way for Pol Pot to sieze power. Not surprisingly, that omission means that the viewer is not made away of the nature of US intervention in Cambodia. US efforts to depose Prince Sihanouk go back to the mid-1950s, finally succeeding by 1970 when Sihanouk was overthrown in a coup.[1] By the time of the 1970 coup, the Cambodians had already suffered through the Nixon regime's decision to carpet bomb the Cambodian countryside that had started the previous year. [2] By the time Sihanouk had been deposed, the Cambodian social and economic infrastructure was in ruins...
Suggested readings:

Blum, W. (2005). Rogue State (3rd Ed.). Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.

Chomsky, N. (1987). Cambodia. The Chomsky Reader (pp. 289-297). New York: Pantheon Books.

Genocide Watch (2006). Genocides, Politicides and Other Mass Murders Since 1945.

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