be careful where you clique
It’s 2009. Nearly 35 years since the Khmer Rouge slithered into power and tried to take the world back to YEAR ZERO- a time when all the wrongs of mankind would be made right, and everyone would be a shining happy farmer forever and ever. In the end, one fourth of the population of Cambodia was murdered…. well, tortured then murdered.
Actually they were tortured, then made to confess all sorts of nonsense like “I joined the CIA when I was 12,” or “i am an enemy combatant”…. then they were tortured some more, and then murdered. Estimates range from 800,000 to 2 million people. Bullets were in short supply, so dirty deeds were done dirt cheap.
And yet only today is any kind of trial underway. Kaing Guek Eav (a.k.a. Duch), the former head of S21 Tuol Sleng Prison has just registered his name and birthday in court. The UN tribunal has only a few witnesses to call- that’s because only 12 people were known to survive their visit to Duch’s prison- a converted school in Phnom Penh.
Back in 1975, aspirations were indeed high and no sacrifice was too great…
In the waning years of the Vietnam war, the Khmer Rouge went from a gang of a few electricians and school teachers to a sloppy band of marauding dystopians, hellbent on playing God. Their initial plan was to create a fresh start, but soon that was amended to first liquidate the entire urban population and all citizens (foreign and domestic) with a university education, then and only then… start anew. Thinking was considered a problem, and as brainwashing wasn’t yet foolproof, it was better to just wipe the slates clean. They started by rounding up anyone with glasses.
The cities were soon cleared, and the farmers moved in; but then something about urbanization made the farmers mercantile, they started getting capitalistic tendencies. And so it was decided to junk cities altogether. Anyone who questioned these ideas would never ask another question. Western Medicine was trashed, the nuclear family was dislocated and people who had previously been secretaries and traffic cops were expected to produce 3 tons of rice per hectare.
The great charge was led by Politique Potentielle (Pol Pot), his real name was Saloth Sar, a socialist interior decorator with a penchant for red. His minions were mostly teenagers looking for a good time. Good times… Pol Pot had been a frequent guest of Chairman Mao during the Cultural Revolution and according to his notes, he thought he could make a better working class with a smaller, more malleable society. Trouble was, Pol Pot didn’t take the time to assess whether the Cultural revolution as a social plan would actually succeed. He simply implemented… with great force, and considerable support from some surprising world leaders and their associated henchmen.
In 1998, Pol Pot either died or commited suicide, never even saying sorry. He lived out his life in the Thai jungle, fighting off asthma and listening to one of his favorite radio stations: Voice of America. Only now the minions are being rounded up and questioned. The country meanwhile lies in a brain-drained cess pool of ruin, poverty and corruption.
It’s episodes like these that prove evolution does not equate to progress