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happy thanksgiving

CAMBODIA | Thursday, 16 November 2006 | Views [1612] | Comments [2]

by Phong:

We are in Cambodia right now and basically flew through the country in 10 days. Going to the Killing Fields and to S-21 (a prison where over 20000 people where "reeducated" to death) was disturbing--to say the least. Though more Jews died in the Holocaust, Pol Pot killed a greater percentage of his people.

Cambodia became ruled by fear and paranoia--everyone (including supporters of the Khmer Rouge) believed that they could be "sold out" at anytime. In order to save their own lives or advance their place in the regime, family members would tell false stories of villagers, friends and family serving as spies or agents of the CIA.

Some historians say that Pol Pot achieved in Cambodia what Mao failed to do in China. He wanted his people to be governed by the peasants--which meant killing off the educated and returning to the stone age. The Khmer Rouge (KR) would kill teachers, politicians, white collar workers, people wearing glasses, people who spoke multiple languages, foreigners --they also would kill their immediate and sometimes extended families. A sad fact was that the KR recruited 8-10 year old boys and girls and trained them to be his army. They were illiterate and poor. At such a vulnerable and impressionable age, they were trained to torture their elders. Their humanity was stolen from them.

Shockingly, the KR seemed to find it acceptable and necessary to torture their victims before killing them. At the Killing Fields, which is the site of the liquidation of prisoners, there is a stack of 8000 skulls that have been retrieved from multiple mass graves sites. Where the Nazis used gas rooms and crematoriums, the less "resourceful" Cambodians had to resort to garden tools, DDT and burying alive their victims. They actually had loud speakers to drown out the cries from the victims. There were over 2000 deaths to children at this site alone. To see their photographs, then to see their skulls bashed in by blunt and sharp objects can cause one to think whether humanity exists.

Phnom Penh, a city of over 1,000,000 people was reduced to less than 20,000 people during 1975-1979. Like he said, Pol Pot wanted a country ran by the peasants and peasants don't live in the cities. At one point , all his adversaries and their families were killed and all the intellectuals so who was left to kill.

Like a parasite who kills his own host, all that is left is self digestion. Where was the UN, where was the US , where was anybody. It took the damn Vietnamese communist government to stop this genocide. Their motive was not altruistic but fueled by greed. How easy is it to take over a country that has done half the work for you? Who is going to stop the Vietnamese in taking over the country, a bunch of peasant teenagers who only know sadism...who couldn't read an order or coordinate an attack if their life depended on it?

Cambodia today can be said to be a mixture of the new and the old. The Khmer people who live here today are the peasants who survived their holocaust. They are nice people but reserved. They live for today--because only two decades ago no one knew if there would be a tomorrow. This might be attributed to the back stabbing , the conspiracy, the suspicion of others nurtured during the hard times.


to all of our family and friends,

we miss and love y'all! we are so thankful for all of the love and support that you have given us during the past 3 decades (we are getting old!!!) happy thanksgiving! eat lots of turkey and CANNED cranberry sauce (preferably oceanspray) for us.

love lisa and phong

Tags: Culture



Hi, Happy Thanksgiving to you both. You both look well, we miss you and we'll think of you as we are eating our turkey and cranberry sause. Yes its oceanspray is there any other? HA HA what will you be eating? Hope to hear from you soon. Love Ya Aunt Joanie

  Aunt Joanie and Uncle Joe Nov 23, 2006 11:23 AM


Please, can someone tell me how to say Happy Thanksgiving in Vietnamese language????

  Jim POllard Nov 22, 2007 7:18 AM

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