Thursday, June 7, 2007

Involvement of the Khmer Rouge

The events that took place in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 were appauling at the very least. The Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia during April of 1975 and thousands of people suddenly lost all of their rights. Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, ordered his soldiers to displace all Cambodians into agricultural forced labor camps. The purpose of this was to create a new group of citizens to make a new farming based "perfect" society.

The power of the Khmer Rouge was really unchallenged from the time they took control of Cambodia, until around the mid-1990s. Many of the main leaders of this radical goverment were well educated; they attended universities and tech schools in Paris, France. This combination of authority and intellegence made the lives of suffering civilians more difficult. They were told that they were only being moved 2 or 3 kilometers away, and they would be back in 2 or 3 days, because of U.S. bombing raids. Little did the innocent people know, they were being brought to their graves.

The Khmer Rouge's radical plan to create a new perfect communist society used the limitation and violation of their population’s rights. They isolated the country from all foreign influence, closed schools factories and even hospitals. The government also violated human rights by outlawing all religions and stopping all currency and all forms of banking. The Khmer's Rouge justification for the violation of human rights was to create the Cambodian people into a "New People" through agricultural forced labor and the limitations of these rights.

Once the Khmer Rouge came to power in April of 1975, the rights of many minorities in the country were drastically reduced and violated human rights. The Khmer Rouge gained power once they had taken the Cambodian capitol, Phnom Penh. The leader of this group was Pol Pot, and once in power he used his power to create a radical communist state that's main objective was to make the people "new". The government leadership was totally directing this event, the government was the Khmer Rouge and they implemented these conditions on their population.

The Khmer Rouge, the government, setup the conditions for the minorities such as intellectuals, ethnic Chinese, ethinic Vietnamese and many other minorites located in Cambodia. Pol Pot and his followers did not setup laws like the Nuremberg Laws set up in Germnay during the Holocaust. Nobody who was killed in the Killing Fields of Cambodia did anything against the laws set up at the time. In fact, Pol Pot killed thousands of innocent civilians because of his plan to create a classless, "perfect" communist society.

Pol Pot, a massive communist supporter, believed that by forcing the Cambodian people to work in agricultural camps it would create them into a "New People". Pol Pots goal was to create Cambodia into a perfect communist state. The Khmer Rouge attempted to create a classless society by seizing all private property and then forcing them into agricultural labor camps. These people were killed at the agricultural labor camps from various reasons ranging from work exhaustion, starvation and even execution.

Of course, the people who were tortured and killed did not commit any offense or break any law to deseve the punishment they were subjected to. Pol Pot created insane reasons why his own people did not fit his category of perfection. Some of these reasons included a person was educated; someone had a connection to the former establishment government, and even someone who was not sufficiently contributing to the economy. The Khmer Rouge, like the Nazi party, believed these people stood in the way of their path to a perfect race. As a result, millions of innocents died for no reason.

As time went on, and Vietnam won the Vietnam War against the United States, America started to give military support to the Cambodians. Pol Pot gave his Khmer Rouge leadership to Khieu Samphan in 1985, but continuted to be a driving force in the communist’s party. From then on, the killings and torture really started to cease. In 1991, other Cambodian politicans called for a disarment, but the Khmer Rouge would not stop fighting. In 1998, Pol Pot died of a heart attack, and that was pretty much it for the Khmer Rouge. Khieu Samphan surrendured, most of the leaders of the government were captured, and the Killing Fields of Cambodia became history.

Now, the history of the horrors that occurred in Cambodia are not taught to the childern living there. In 2005, 75% of the childern were too young to remember the years of the Khmer Rouge, and those who do know have only heard of it through parents and grandparents. Trials for the remaning Khmer Rouge leaders have yet to start, and they expect to take place sometime in mid-2007. The trials will be conducted by the Khmer Rouge Trial Task Force, a group established in 1997 to leagally oversee the fair trials givin to the fallen leaders.

These horrible events happened between April 1975 and January 1979. The Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh in 1975 and immidiately began killing those that they thought were unfit fot the new society. When the Vietnamese army invaded and captured Phnom Penh in January 1979, the killings stopped, but some members Khmer Rouge stayed in charge as leaders of a Cambodian puppet government. A long lasting civil war and numerous rebelions resulted in the Khmer Rouge's ruling in Cambodia. Millions of people died in and after the killings and many people will never be the same.

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