Friday, August 19, 2005

Cambodja's greenery vs Middle Eastern deserts

Is that what makes, constitutes and slips us the difference in scale of nonetheless, after discounting that, may well be very possible if not perfectly comparably genocidal mayhem?

You be the judge. .. . .to help you imagine the pictures to go along with variously arrived at viewpoints; heres a few 'vantage' points (by way of LBO-talk list posts from this month; the substance of this post also appears at the bottom of in blazing colour):

----------- Yo, Lance, looking through books on Cambodia yesterday at the Denver PL, legendary Australian Communist journalist, Wilfred Burchett, in a book from the 80's co-published by Vanguard Books (a M-L press) and Zed, the rad left third worldist UK publishers, has chapter headings and repeated usages of Khmer Rouge w/o scare quotes. And I betcha if you trawl though microfilm of the (NY) Guardian, you will find many contemporary usages by the radical left of the phrase Khmer Rouge. You still think that the genocide of the KR was exaggerated?!
Facing death in Cambodia / Peter Maguire. Author Maguire, Peter (Peter H.) Publisher New York : Columbia University Press, c2005.

The China-Cambodia-Vietnam triangle / Wilfred Burchett. -- Author Burchett, Wilfred G., 1911- Publisher Chicago, Ill. : London : Vanguard Books ; Zed Press, c1981. Description 235 p. ; 21 cm.
Title Kampuchea : decade of the genocide : report of a Finnish inquiry commission / edited by Kimmo Kiljunen. -- Publisher London : Totowa, N.J. : Zed ; U.S. distributor, Biblio Distribution Center, 1984.
Cambodia, 1975-1978 : rendezvous with death / [compiled by] Karl D. Jackson. Publisher Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1989
The Khmer Rouge regime took control of Cambodia by force of arms, then committed the most brazen crimes since the Third Reich: at least 1.5 million people murdered between 1975 and 1979. Yet no individuals were ever tried or punished. This book is the story of Peter Maguire's effort to learn how Cambodia's "culture of impunity" developed, why it persists, and the failures of the "international community" to confront the Cambodian genocide. Written from a personal and historical perspective, Facing Death in Cambodia recounts Maguire's growing anguish over the gap between theories of universal justice and political realities. Maguire documents the atrocities and the aftermath through personal interviews with victims and perpetrators, discussions with international and NGO officials, journalistic accounts, and government sources gathered during a ten-year odyssey in search of answers. The book includes a selection of haunting pictures from among the thousands taken at the now infamous Tuol Sleng prison (also referred to as S-21), through which at least 14,000 men, women, and children passed-and from which fewer than a dozen emerged alive. What he discovered raises troubling questions: Was the Cambodian genocide a preview of the genocidal civil wars that would follow in the wake of the Cold War? Is international justice an attainable idea or a fiction superimposed over an unbearably dark reality? Did political expediency allow Cambodian leaders to escape prosecution? The Khmer Rouge violated the Nuremberg Principles, the United Nations Charter, the laws of war, and the UN Genocide Convention. Yet in the decade after the regime's collapse, the perpetrators were rescued and rehabilitated-even rewarded-by China, Thailand, the United States, and the UN. According to Peter Maguire, Cambodia holds the key to understanding why recent UN interventions throughout the world have failed to prevent atrocities and to enforce treaties. Book jacket. -- Michael Pugliese ------------

Yo Mike... There are other cultures of impunity that should concern us:

Results 1 - 10 of about 44,000 for "culture of impunity". (0.04 seconds)

Specifically... but not exclusively:
(We should all repeat that as a mantra... no matter WHAT country we call home, stop pointing fingers at OPP and maybe... just maybe, we'll survive as a species till the next millenium.)

------------ The genocide in Cambodia was when the US air force dropped half a million tons worth of bombs on the Cambodian countryside. The US government/media stopped trying to sell the "KR is evil" story in 1979 when they did a 180 turn and began backing the CPK. Lance ------------

Recently in a source sympathetic to Vickery, your main source from a Cambodianist, I saw the estimate of 375,000 tons of bombs dropped by Nixon's USAF on Cambodia. THE Genocide? There were two, one big, the former you refer to, and the much larger, up to 1.5 million killed by the KR. Googling, I found an interesting thread, w/ this ghoulish subject line, "The Murder Sweepstakes." Which contains the figure Vickery arrived at, KR executions, 200,000-300,000 Total (excess deaths, presumably) 750,000.

James Devine, in his reading of my post w/ the cites on the KR/"Democratic Kampuchea", thought I was slamming the third worldist UK press on the rad left, Zed, specifically the Finnish Inq. Commish, can't through his broken record perception of me, see that I was applauding the Zed book and the judgement of their editors. They came up with the estimate of Finish Inquiry 75,000-100,000, executions, 1,000,000 deaths committed by the KR. Anyone with a good estimate of the numbers killed in Nixon's bombings, either from Shawcross or other source? Would it be anywhere near a tenth of the total killed by the US and French, 2.8 million killed Vietnamese? Anything comparable to what what the KR committed? Or will Lance, for the zillionth time relate the tired line that the KR (before the massive bombings, a sane national liberation movement like the NLF, HEH) was driven kwazy by the bombing?

What troubles me in Lance's pov, besides his inability to see ALL mass murders, as crimes, whether committed by the USG and allied regimes, or regimes and movements, that proclaim their opposition to the USG. (But, those deaths can always be excused w/ Mao's dinner party, and breaking eggs to make omeletes lines.)The left response to Jeanne Kirkpatrick's apologia, "Dictatorships and Double Standards, " article, for authoritarian regimes aligned w/ the USG, was that whether one is shot by a pro-American autocrat or a (formerly, as of post '89-'91) Soviet aligned totalitarian, one is still dead regardless. Only one, "Great Satan, " at a time, eh. mp -- -----

Why can't there be multiple villains? By bombing the hell out of the countryside, the US killed so many people and destabilized the country so much that an insane group like the KR could take over and kill many more people. It's true that after the US killed many hundreds of thousands of people, they don't have a big moral leg to stand on in talking about others' butchery in Cambodia, but that doesn't make the KR any less murderous.

------------ You say the CPK killed many more people than that killed by the US's dropping of hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs, that they were butchers and murderous...yet there is very little evidence to support any of that. Not that there wasn't and isn't a lot of talk about that - then again, there is a lot of talk in the US that POW's are still being held by the Vietnamese. All US post offices are required to fly the POW/MIA flag six times a year. Are you a believer in that too? Is the butchery of the CPK the same as the butchery of the Vietnamese depicted in Chuck Norris "Missing in Action" movies, a butchery of American prisoners supposedly still held by the Vietnamese? I doubt it. Cambodia was aimed at a high-brow audience, POW/MIA at low-brow. When it comes down to it, the people offering the idea that the Cambodian communists killed people on a massive scale have almost nothing to offer. They offer the last census taken in Cambodia - in 1962 as proof (which wouldn't count people killed by the US bombing of course, but that's best left forgotten). Or the testimony of English or French-speaking Cambodians in Thai refugee camps, chosen to talk to reporters by the Thai authorities. That's the story offered - and when compared to something like the records for the Nazi holocaust, is a joke. The story doesn't add up, so it's best not to talk about the story, and talk about the people saying the emperor wears no clothes as crazed or whatever. Which becomes harder when you ask why the US supported the CPK after 1979, why would the US get behind what you term an "insane group". I mean, this is all nonsense, it's a common heritage of delusion between white American yuppies, like heaven and hell are for those who are a class or two down. Lance ------------

So Noam Chomsky is too hard on the Khmer Rouge? Noam said: >I mean the great act of genocide in the modern period is Pol Pot, 1975 through 1978-that atrocity-I think it would be hard to find any example of a comparable outrage and outpouring of fury and so on and so forth. ... ------------

Did you actually read this page? Later he says: "Up until April 17, 1975, it was a gentle land of peaceful smiling people and after that some horrible holocaust took place." Is he actually saying Cambodia was a gentle land of peaceful smiling people prior to April 17, 1975? No, he is being sarcastic, obviously. If you read the whole page you can find out what he thinks. He was not a supporter of the KR, in fact, he didn't like them at all, but he thought, and still thinks, that the reporting of them was overblown. He wrote a book with Edward Herman called "After the Cataclysm" which included a long section on the reporting of Cambodia, especially how things with little or no evidence were printed once and then picked up and reprinted all over the place, often mischaracterized. I see very little difference between the KR hysteria and the POW/MIA hysteria. They seem to be some kind of psychological outlets, sort of like the Dolchstosslegende after Germany's defeat in World War I (which probably had more basis). There's no there there, so obviously this fills some kind of psychological need in the US. Lance

------------ I've always called this "Chomskyan sarcasm." If you read enough of his writing you should get the hang of this tone of voice. The problem is that some of his critics take everything Chomsky says literally. Whatever, they don't matter. Chuck0 ------------ Winter 2000, long article by the AP reporters. The Bridge at No Gun Ri Parts of the Associated Press report reprinted here appeared in many American newspapers last fall, but we didn't see the entire report anywhere. It is a powerful document, an unusual piece of investigative journalism, and one that has had significant political consequences. The U.S. Army is now investigating the allegations made by the soldiers quoted here (after long resistance to similar allegations by Korean civilians). There should be an official report in late spring or early summer of this year. Anticipating the discussion certain to follow upon the report, we include with the AP dispatch comments by Michael Walzer and Marilyn B. Young on the political and moral meaning of the incident at No Gun Ri. Eds. Sang-Hun Choe, Charles J. Hanley, and Martha Mendoza Marilyn B. Young wrote, "The Vietnam Wars; 1945-1990" a New Left volume. Blurbed, "A People's History of the Vietnam War" by a UK SWP'er. Good read esp. for those who might romanticize the North. In a series edited by Zinn for The New Press. -- Michael Pugliese


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