Saturday, October 24, 2009

THE EVIL IS NOT NECESSARILY OVER




Cindy Tilney at chiangmainews.com


Towards the end of the Second World War, when the full horror of the extermination and concentration camps in Nazi Germany became public knowledge, Winston Churchill stated that the world was being brought face to face with 'a crime that has no name.' Historians now call the mass extermination of innocent people ‘genocide’. The term genocide has come to define a systematic killing of substantial numbers of people on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political opinion, social status or other particularity.
(Wikipedia)
One prominent genocide that shocked the world with its inhumane atrocities was the Cambodian genocide led by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. The Cambodian genocide took place only about thirty years after the world witnessed one of the greatest hate crimes ever. It seems as if that laws and public education on tolerance and equality has fallen on deaf ears and as long as the world continues to exist, genocide as a concept may never die.
(Lavinia, Lindsey, Sara, December 6, 2005, at history.ucsb.edu)


Map of www.emersonkent.com/history_notes
emersonkent.com


Digital elevation map of Cambodia, 1990


The Khmer Rouge ascension to power was by no means democratic or by force either. In the 1960s, Cambodia had been governed by a monarchy led by Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Sihanouk has taken to being ambivalent to the chaos and anarchy that was happening across the border in Vietnam between the USA and the Communist forces in Vietnam. As a traditionalist, Prince Sihanouk tended to favor with the Vietnamese rather often and offer them land to build base camps in Cambodia. This angered many in the military as they believed that their Prince was betraying their cause. As such, in "1970, General Lon Nol led a coup d'etat to depose of Prince Sihanouk." The Prince of course was not passive about this and went on to found the Royal Government of National Union of Kampuchea (GRUNK). GRUNK boasted of many neutralists like the Prince and many non-Communists who eventually deflected to form the Khmer Rouge.


Lon Nol, 1970
Prime Minister
universalis.fr


Cambodian military representatives led by Gen Lon Nol
China, end of March – early April 1964
khmerairforce.com


Cambodian delegation led by Gen Lon Nol
Soviet Union, April 1964
khmerairforce.com


Lon Nol now faced enemies in the form of the Communists and the Khmer Rouge, and had to depend on America for financial aid to help build his country's economy and maintain political stability. This however was impeded by American bombings in Cambodia as they tried to kill Communist base camps everywhere in Indochina. The bombings claimed the lives of many innocent Cambodians and many in the rural areas fell victim to these bombings. This as such led many to believe that General Lon Nol was not doing enough for Cambodia if they too were being drawn into the fight between the United States and Vietnam. Historians thus speculate this to be why many eventually were drawn to the Khmer Rouge's propaganda and supported them. Sihanouk was deemed to be part of the Khmer Rouge. Since he was in exile in Beijing, this fact was not clarified, though many Cambodians revealed that they had thought Sihanouk to be part of them which was why they pledged support for the Khmer Rouge.
Through the use of vigorous guerrilla warfare, the Khmer Rouge was able to seize many parts of Cambodia and by 1973, they had "de facto power over the country." The U.S. Congress was naturally displeased with this for the Khmer Rouge was deemed Communist in their eyes, and limited aid to Cambodia to rebuild its economy. However, at the same time, bombings of "Khmer Rouge positions in Cambodia" stopped and it seemed as if Cambodia was back to normal. General Lon Nol too realized that he was fighting a loosing battle as they ran out of ammunition and mass support for the Khmer Rouge grew. Not surprisingly, on 17th April 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh and seized the government.
(history.ucsb.edu)


Pol Pot
Copyright © Top 10 List


Pol Pot
© 2009 Associated Newspapers Ltd


A soldier cries over a dead body in a village
after a massacre carried out by rebels
April-March 1974
Image by Patrick Chauvel/Sygma/Corbis
The Original Mozzy at flickr


A soldier sits by a corpse in a village
after a massacre carried out by rebels
April-March 1974
Image by Patrick Chauvel/Sygma/Corbis
The Original Mozzy at flickr


The dead body of a civilian lies by the roadside
April-March 1974
Image by Patrick Chauvel/Sygma/Corbis
The Original Mozzy at flickr


A survivor is assisted by soldiers in a village
after a massacre carried out by rebels
April-March 1974
Image by Patrick Chauvel/Sygma/Corbis
The Original Mozzy at flickr


Young Khmer Rouge soldiers in 1975
historyplace.com


The young soldiers of Pol Pot Regime
HoboTraveler.com


Pol Pot in Phnom Penh
after the 1975 Khmer Rouge victory
historyplace.com


Thus the "Year Zero" began. the Cambodian genocide dealt with the mass extermination of millions of people from the educated classes. Just looking intelligent could have killed you, or acting as if you are unintelligent could save your life.
(by Lindsey Foster, December 6, 2005 at history.ucsb.edu)
Before the people could settle down and enjoy a few days of peace, the Khmer Rouge began doing the unimaginable: they turned their weapons on the 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 inhabitants of the capital and with angry yelling, shouting, hand-waving, threats of immediate death, and actual shooting, demanded that everyone get out of the city. In this and all other newly occupied cities and towns, their order to evacuate was implacable. Including those in other cities and towns elsewhere, the Khmer Rouge kicked into a largely unprepared countryside near 4,240,000 urban Cambodians and refugees, even the sick, infirm and aged. Even for those on the operating table or in labor with child, the order was absolute: "Go! Go! You must leave!"
Families evacuated any way possible, carrying what few possessions they could grab. The wealthy or middle-class rode out in cars, soon to be abandoned, or stolen from them by the Khmer Rouge. Some left on heavily loaded motor scooters or bicycles, which would also soon be confiscated. The vast multitude of pathetic urbanites and refugees only had their feet, and formed barely moving lines extending for miles. Some ill or infirm hobbled along; some thrown from hospitals crawled along on hands and knees. According to a British journalist who, from the safety of the French embassy, watched the slowly moving mass of evacuees, the Khmer Rouge was "tipping out patients (from the hospitals) like garbage into the streets.... Bandaged men and women hobbled by the embassy. Wives pushed wounded soldier husbands on hospital beds on wheels, some with serum drips still attached. In five years of war, this is the greatest caravan of human misery I have seen."
Failure to evacuate meant death. Failure to begin evacuation promptly enough meant death. Failure of anyone in the mass of humanity that clogged the roads out of a city and in the neighboring countryside to obey Khmer Rouge orders meant death. Failure to give the Khmer Rouge what they wanted--whether car, motor scooter, bicycle, watch, or whatever--meant death.
(hawaii.edu)


Former school in Phnom Pehn used as prison
Cambodians were interrogated, tortured and murdered
Travel Photos of Galen R Frysinger


The cells
Travel Photos of Galen R Frysinger


berkeley.edu


The prison at Tuol Sleng (above), a former high school converted to a genocide museum in 1980, housed thousands of opponents of the Khmer Rouge regime during the 1970s. Inmates of all ages spent weeks or even months here being tortured to provide “confessions,” following which — if they survived their interrogation — they were executed.
(Barry Bergman, Public Affairs at berkeley.edu)




Vann Nath paintings of what went on in S-21
Copyright by Richard S. Ehrlich
scoop.co.n


The incredible killing that took place in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 is different. First, it is an example of large-scale, nongenocidal mass murder, and only secondarily of genocide. Second, this democide was part of an attempt by communists to impose a revolution on the country. They tried to abolish its religion; eradicate its culture; totally remodel its economy; communize all social interaction; control all speech, writing, laughing, and loving; exterminate anyone with any ties to Western nations, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand; and eliminate all who had any connections to the previous government or military. Because of all this, it is necessary to focus on the intended revolution itself to explain how and why this one government, in four years, could and would murder more than one-quarter of its population.
(hawaii.edu)


Photo of how they shackled the victims
HoboTraveler.com


Photos of Some of those killed
Travel Photos of Galen R Frysinger


Mass grave
Travel Photos of Galen R Frysinger


Skulls of the victims
Travel Photos of Galen R Frysinger


The Killing Fields at Chhouen Ek
ihatechristophercolumbus.blogspot.com


The killing fields
mass graves exhumed in 1980 at Choeung Ek
historywiz.com


Satellite Maps with mass grave and prison sites
1975-1979
Cambodian Genocide Program, Yale University


The Khmer Rouge had a draconian plan that attempted to turn Cambodia into a classless society by depopulating cities and forcing the urban population into agricultural communes. Money, private property, education and even religion were outlawed as all Cambodians were rehoused in concentration camps as farmers. History now calls this era the Killing Fields, as more than a million people died. Many were overworked and had to work for almost 15 hours a day non-stop with only one meal. Work lasted from 6am to 9pm, after which they had to listen to classes on the greatness of the Khmer Rouge. Men, women and families were separated and contact with each other was prohibited. One could even be killed for trying to find one's wife or child. Often, Khmer officials would hire nannies to take care of their children on the pretext that the children were orphans who needed a home. Life truly was brutal even for officials and the civilians.
(history.ucsb.edu)
Ironically, it was the Vietnamese who helped rid Cambodia of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Aided by defectors from the Khmer Rouge's main government, Vietnam fought to gain control of Phnom Phenh and finally succeeded on January 7, 1979. Considering that the Cambodians had spent all their lives fighting Vietnamese attack, it was strange that this invasion was more of a blessing than a curse. Pol Pot and his followers were forced to retreat westwards and were granted asylum in Thailand, where they settled on the border of Burma and Thailand-an already politically tumultuous region. The Khmer Rouge was fortunate to have the unofficial protection of the Thai army but this fact was not made public until slightly more than a decade ago when the UN came under pressure to bring the perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide to justice. Pol Pot and his men had been keeping alive through the illegal diamond timber and poppy plant trade, which they used to train young children as future soldiers of the Khmer Rouge.
(history.ucsb.edu)


Pol Pot
anusha.com


Pol Pot
trendsupdates.com



Pol Pot's bunker
Pol Pot's safehouse near the Thai border
Copyright 2007 Gerald Oskoboiny at impressive.net


A very very creepy place
'Striving for the cover of Home and Leisure'
Flickr photo page


Pol Pot's body lies bloating in a spartan shack
cybercambodia.com


Pol Pot's grave
Cremated on a pile of used rubber tires
Flickr.com


"Factional fighting in 1997 led to Pol Pot's trial and imprisonment by the Khmer Rouge itself." Pol Pot passed away in April 1998, and his successor, Khieu Samphan, surrendered to the Democrats in December. "On December 29, 1998 the remaining leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologised for the deaths in the 1970s." By 1999, almost all of the remaining members of the Khmer Rouge had either surrendered, or been captured and by the end of the year, the Khmer Rouge effectively ceased to exist. The Khmer Rouge resistance also collapsed due to military defeat, but also due to internal dissent, frustration at poverty and ideological decay. The group has ended up fighting itself and had less than a 1000 supporters and fighters who are led by General Ta Mok. Ironically, they still have asylum on the Thai border by the Thai army and only serves as an indicator to the world that the evil is not necessarily over.
(history.ucsb.edu)


Almost thirty years after the violence, Khmer Rouge leaders who perpetrated the genocide in Cambodia are quietly being brought to trial. The first formal hearing was held in November, 2007. Cambodian refugee and New York Times photo-journalist Dith Pran passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Pran’s story was documented in the Academy Award-winning film The Killing Fields, which centers around his relationship with NYT columnist and friend Sydney Shanberg.
(forletto.wordpress.com)



Ngor haing in the film "The Killing Fields"
trendsupdates.com


The Rise and Fall of the Khmer Rouge in pictures at time.com:


Royal Seal of Approval
AFP
© 2009 Time Inc.


In 1965, Prince Norodom Sihanouk (above), Cambodia's head of state, asserted the nation's opposition to the U.S.-backed government in South Vietnam by allowing North Vietnamese guerrillas to set up bases within Cambodia's borders. The North Vietnamese had an alliance with a Cambodian Marxist insurgency group, the Khmer Rouge, whose top brass Sihanouk is pictured here with in 1973.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Losing Control
Bettmann / Corbis © 2009 Time Inc.


A Cambodian soldier (above) holds a .45 to the head of a Khmer Rouge suspect in 1973. When Sihanouk was forced out of power in a coup, the new Prime Minister, General Lon Nol, sent the army to fight the North Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Fighting two enemies proved to be too much for Cambodia's army. As Civil War raged from 1970 to 1975, the army gradually lost territory as Khmer Rouge increased its control in the countryside.
(© 2009 Time Inc.


Coming Apocalypse
Christine Spengler / Sygma / Corbis
© 2009 Time Inc.


Survivors sift through rubble (above) after the Khmer Rouge bombed Phnom Penh, the capital city, on January 1, 1975. Four months later, the party took the city, on April 17, 1975, and began their mission of returning Cambodia to an agrarian society, emptying the cities and forcing their countrymen into agricultural labor.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Left Behind
Roland Neveu / OnAsia © 2009 Time Inc.


Days before the occupation of the capital, thousands of Cambodians gather behind a school perimeter fence near the American embassy (above) to watch the final evacuation of U.S. and foreign nationals.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Day One, Year Zero
Claude Juvenal / AFP / Getty Images
© 2009 Time Inc.


Khmer Rouge fighters celebrate as they enter Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975 (above). Prince Sihanouk, the party's early ally, resigned in 1976, paving the way for the now notorious Khmer Rouge founder and leader, Pol Pot, to become prime minister. The country was renamed Kampuchea, and it was the start Year Zero — the beginning of a new history for Cambodia written by Pol Pot.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Pol Pot's Utopia
AFP / Getty Images © 2009 Time Inc.


An undated photograph (above) shows forced laborers digging canals in Kampong Cham province, part of the massive agrarian infrastructure the Khmer Rouge planned for the country.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


A New Occupier
Bettmann / Corbis © 2009 Time Inc.


Fed up with cross-border raids by Khmer Rouge, Vietnam invaded Cambodia on Dec. 25, 1978. By Jan. 7, 1979 shown here (above), Vietnamese troops had occupied Phnom Penh. The Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia lasted for 10 years.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Fearless Leader
Kyodo News / AP © 2009 Time Inc.


The Vietnamese overthrew Pol Pot too (above), driving the leader to the Thai border where he continued to head the Khmer Rouge in the jungles.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Purging the Western Curse
John Bryson / Time Life Pictures / Getty Images
© 2009 Time Inc.


The Khmer Rouge sought to rid Cambodia of all Western influences that distracted its people from their agrarian calling. Cars, abandoned and forbidden, were stacked up alongside the road (above).
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


A Bloody Landscape
An exhumed mass grave, pictured in 1981
David A. Harvey / National Geographic / Getty Images
© 2009 Time Inc.


The Resistance, Feb. 15, 1981
Khmer Rouge guerrillas in the jungle of western Cambodia
they attempted to halt advancing Vietnamese forces
Alex Bowie / Getty Images © 2009 Time Inc.


Running for Cover
Alain Nogues / Corbis Sygma © 2009 Time Inc.


Cambodian refugees, pictured in January 1985 (above), at a refugee camp, near the Thai-Cambodian Border. Some 60,000 people fled to the south as fighting increased between Khmer-Vietnamese troops and the FNLPK (Khmer People's National Liberation Front), one of the three groups making up the anti-communist resistance.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Out from Under the Iron Curtain
Jacques Langevin / Corbis Sygma
© 2009 Time Inc.


Without backing from the Soviet Union, Vietnam could no longer afford to keep its troops in a state of indefinite occupation in Cambodia. In September 1989, Vietnamese troops withdrew from Phnom Penh.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


A Tearful Reunion, August 1989
separated during years of war and occupation
Michael Freeman / Corbis © 2009 Time Inc.


Return the Old Guard
Jacques Langevin / Corbis Sygma
© 2009 Time Inc.


The 1991 Paris Peace Accord that followed Vietnam's withdrawal mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire, but was not fully respected by Khmer Rouge guerrillas. U.N. transitional authority shared power with representatives of various factions, and Prince Sihanouk, shown here (above) at center making his way back to the Royal Palace in November 1991, was reinstated as Head of State.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Forgiven
Romeo Cacad / AFP / Getty Images
© 2009 Time Inc.


U.N.-run elections in May 1993 resulted in a shaky coalition between Sihanouk's son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge guerrilla pictured here (above) at a political rally before the elections. The country was once again named the Kingdom of Cambodia. Hun Sen remains Prime Minister today.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


The Banality of Evil
Bleibtreu / Corbis Sygma
© 2009 Time Inc.


Pol Pot continued to lead the Khmer Rouge party from rural Cambodia until July 1997 when he was arrested. In a show trial, Pol Pot, known as Brother No. 1, was denounced by his own followers and sentenced to house arrest in his jungle home. The press gathered there (above) when he died less than a year later at age 73 on April 15, 1998, never having faced charges.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


A New Chapter
Ou Neakiry / AP © 2009 Time Inc.


Finally agreeing to abandon their fight, the remaining Khmer Rouge soldiers fighters surrendered on Feb. 9, 1999, and donned new uniforms of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (above) during an integration ceremony in Anlong Veng near the Thai-Cambodian border.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


Documenting the Aftermath
David Hogsholt / Getty Images
© 2009 Time Inc.


Contact sheets (above) showing pictures of what is believed to be former prisoners of the S-21 prison, also known as Tuol Sleng, where over 15,000 people lost their lives. Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, was detained for his role as chief of the torture center in 1999.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)


The World Watches, and Waits, for Justice
John Vink / Magnum Photos
© 2009 Time Inc.


A long delayed U.N.-backed tribunal to bring the leaders of the genocide to justice began in 2009. On Feb. 17, Duch's trial began (above). He is the first of five defendants scheduled for trial.
(© 2009 Time Inc.)



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