Thursday 10 January 2013

Remembering Cambodia

Today could be said to mark twenty four years since the fall of the Khmer Rouge after the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. The journalist John Pilger was one of the first westerners to enter into the country and witness the aftermath of the genocide that had taken place there, saying:

At the liberation of the Nazi death camp in Belsen in 1945, The Times correspondent wrote: "It is my duty to describe something beyond the imagination of mankind." That was how I felt in 1979 when I entered Cambodia, a country sealed from the outside world for almost four years since "Year Zero".”

John Pilger made several documentaries about Cambodia, the above being the final one of them. It was filmed ten years after the Khmer Rouge fell and documents the cynical geopolitical strategy carried out by China, Britain and the USA to the support the Khmer Rouge as a way of weakening Vietnam. The people of Cambodia were considered expendable.

Most people know about the Cambodian genocide, some know that Richard Nixon killed hundreds of thousands there in a bombing campaign, but not many people are aware of the support given to the Khmer Rouge by Western Governments. This even extended to Margaret Thatcher sending the SAS to train their soldiers, roughly the moral equivalent of training the S.S. That's why I think this history is important. The British and American governments are still successful (although ever less so) in presenting themselves as a moral force for good in the world, history reveals this has never been the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment