From Kingdom to Republic
Project: From Kingdom to Republic
Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: September/01/2013
Last updated: November/31/2015
All right reserved.
Since this paper is still drafted, the readers would be advised to ignore any context errors. The content is not final and subjected to be reviewed.
In writing modern history of Cambodia, western scholars often brought up the rise and fall of Angkor as a link to Cambodia' s recent crisis. They presented the fall of Angkor and its aftermath to follow the same pattern of other great societies of the pass. Most looked for sign of internal crisis to explain the course of events that dragged down its civilization into the resent darkness. From curse to self-inflicted problems, Cambodia was portrayed as a typical example of a culturally dysfunctioning country in the modern sense of western culture. They formulated the theory of the failure on Cambodian people' s lack of will to cope with the west. They then concluded that without foreign interference, Cambodia could never be on their own feet (Notes: Colonial view on Cambodia). Otherwise plausible, this bias view was incomplete due to many reasons. Looking for a broader range (of a possible set of causes), we could see that the problem was not totally of Cambodian own doing. We shall prove that Cambodian crisis was in most part, the result of worldly feud brought by the cold war and had little to do with Cambodian people's own past heritage. On the same token, many independent observers had made their attempts to link the crisis with the New World order, but conclusive result had not been made explicitly due to the unavailability of modern historical data. As the quest for transparency is on the rise, we have the reason to believe that historical data would be available soon for the sake of humanity to trace their past history. For the time being, the End Time prophecy reveals that Cambodian crisis was in fact the work of the antichrist. Continued on the Armageddon' s war being brought by the Gog and Magog upon the God Kingdom, we shall argue that Cambodia became next the victim of the Antichrist' s quest for the world' s control. In their own study, many Bible scholars had made attempt to identify which among historical figures is actually the Antichrist of the End Time' s prophecy. Nevertheless, not one of them had been so far satisfactory implicated. The same as the Knowledge of God, the knowledge of Evil is not to be digested in its natural concept of the real world. It was through his evil exploit that the Bible had so far hinted us to look for. A common trait that links to the Antichrist' s main personality was his quest to take control of the whole world. On that characteristic alone, we had identified the antichrists of the past whom, through history, had been already defeated. The same way that we had connected the Khans to the Gog and Magog of the Bible, we also identified him as the first antichrist who along with his southern campaign brought Angkor down to its fall. Continuing his work, we had also identified medieval European rulers, notably Napoleon and Hitler whose quest to conquer the world were well qualified to be the second and third Antichrist respectively of the near past. Nevertheless, Christians believed that the Antichrist's final exploit should come during the End Time. In our own study, we shall explicit the Cold War as the work of the last Antichrist (or antichrists) who, due to his personal ambition, brought destruction to the God Kingdom even more (Notes: The last Antichrist).
The Wars of the Antichrist
Before his entrance to Nirvana, Buddha Gautama had confined to his disciple the future of his religion. He predicted that Buddhism would suffer a setback during its half time in the form of a catastrophic event that drags down the religion to its bottom standing of its existence. It requires the interference from the future Buddha Metreya to restart Buddhism for the last half of Yuga. Circulated in Cambodia, a specific version of the prophecy predicted the emergence of a pious king named " Prah bat Dharmikaraja" to take on the mission. Through his clairvoyance, it is predicted that Cambodia would become again the center of Buddhist expansion. Unfortunately, Cambodia had to incur first a period of spiritual cleansing before that happened. Catastrophic events would bring total destruction to Cambodia during which Cambodians had to suffer the consequence of both their own and the world' s bad karmas. Nevertheless the prophecy provided hints on how to avoid some of the suffering by adhering to righteousness. Another prophecy, known as the Indra' s prophecy describes in details the destruction during the catastrophic event. The prophecy however omits altogether hints on how to avoid the outcome implying that Cambodians in their current situation, will not be able to change their destiny. Both prophecies were first circulated at the same time during the colonial era when the half time of Buddhist religion was approaching. At the time that print shop was not available to the general public, copies were made through hand-writing and passed on from one household to the next. When Cambodia was freed from the colonial rule and had received a relatively peaceful time, the prophecies disappeared. Out of the mainstream of Cambodian life, they were soon forgotten. They started to resurface again during the Lon Nol' s era after the Vietcong started to invade Cambodia. Nevertheless, the two prophecies were too mystified for the general audience to make any sense out of it. Skeptics and believers alike could not comprehend the prediction as they saw no real connection with past or current events that were unfolding during the crises. Only after the Vietnam War ended and the Khmer rouge took over Cambodia that the prophecies would reveal itself to the open (Notes: Indication of the Indra' s Prophecy). Tracing back, the prophecy also hints of a War of a great magnitude prior to the Cambodian crise. We shall identify the prophesied war as no other than the world war II and its subsequent implication to the Cold War and lastly to the Vietnam War that plagued Cambodia with its modern time crises (Notes: The Bloody War). At the same time, we shall identify the last Antichrist to be no other than world superpowers and their subordinators who brought all these modern high impact war on Cambodia. Only then that we prove that Buddha' s own half-time prophecy that fell during the End Time of the Meru Culture, already came to pass for the Bible' s Prophecy of the End Time to complete.
THE THREAT OF COMMUNISM
During both the presidencies of John F Kennedy and later of Lyndon B. Johnson, the Vietcong was facing with tougher fights under the escalating attacks from American troops. After the advent of the Tet offensive, the casualty of the NFL was high. Nevertheless, the communist propaganda had taking a toll on the American voters and forced President Lyndon Johnson from seeking his next term. Taking the opportunity, China had come up with another strategy that would prevent the next American president from taking advantage of the real situation. As the chairman Mao had planned for a long time, Cambodia was the last wild card that changed the course of the second Indochinese war ' s game plan.
The Maoists at Work
It was the Chinese communist doctrine that set the peasants as a revolutionary class alongside the proletariat of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine. Ho Chi Minh had been launching the same concept to the Commintern with no success. Unlike China that could revolutionize itself, Vietnam had no such history of class struggle and needed total support from the Commintern to start its own revolution. As we had argued, North Vietnam was formed as a southern commanding post of China and was set free by the Sung Dynasty (The Construction of Angkor Wat: The Return of the Cholan Legacy: The Secession of Champapura). Since then, Tongkin maintained itself as a military state and survived through war trophy wrested from its neighbors from the south. The fall of Angkor allowed Tongkin to exert its colonial control over Champapura and set up Hue as its southern Command Post. On the other hand, South Vietnam was formed as a French colony on the ground of Champapura and the Khmer Kambuchea Krom. The Vietnamese were later brought by the French colonist to help colonize the country and were not by any mean oppressed. Unlike Russia, China had extensive bad experience with the colonial world that plagued China through the colonialization of Southeast Asia. Helping North Vietnam to colonize the south was not compatible with the original Mao' s Communist doctrine. Through out history, China always considered Dai-Viet as its dependency and never failed to provide protecting role when needed. Nevertheless, leaving the south to be under the influence of America was even more dangerous to China. Moreover, China appeared to view the successful drive of Dai-Viet toward the south as part of its long-term campaign of extending Chinese control of the South China Sea. After Mao Tse Tung established the Communist Party of China in 1943, Maoism soon made its quick spread into Southeast Asia, through Chinese communities. Evidence shows that the Vietminh took the opportunity to infiltrate its communist agents into neutral countries such as Cambodia and Laos, trough the same channels. For the American policy maker, it became clear that the whole of Southeast Asia would soon become prey to communism. As the Vietminh already extended its infiltration into Thailand, neutrality was not enough to prevent Cambodia and Laos from falling into communism. Radical measure had to be implemented, not only against North Vietnam but also against the two neutral countries as well. With that restriction, both princes Sihanouk of Cambodia and Prince Suvanna Phuma of Laos became constrained in their own game plan against the Vietminh. Until now, both were able to exert the control over the Khmer communist party and the Pathet Lao that made the Viethminh isolated in the fight against the American troops. This strategy was well accepted by the French President Charles de Gaulle as the best strategy so far for the two neutral states to survive the Cold War (Notes: President Charles de Gaulle). After the death of Ho Chi Minh in 1969, the Vietminh lost a brainpower that was responsible for most of the party' s original policy. While the party line was delegated to Le Duan, most directive execution was delegated to Pham Van Dong. Taking the opportunity, prince Sihanouk decided to crack down on the Khmer Communist organization in Cambodia. Without adequate intelligence services, both Sihanouk and Lon Nol had never acquired a complete information of the organization. The defection of Sieu Heng from the Khmer Pracheachon Party was on the other hand convenient to the new policy of the prince (Notes: The Defection of Sieu Heng). The Lon Nol' s secret police managed to capture Tou Samouth and executed him immediately after he refused to provide any new information to them. Lon Nol did not know that Tou Samouth' s place was going to be assigned to a member of the Communist Party from Paris named Salot Sar who was better known by his revolutionary nickname of Pol Pot. The organization, long time dormant, was going to wake itself up under the new leadership and Pol Pot himself was to find out a surprise about the organization that he is going to take care. In an effort to forge ahead the next Vietminh mission across Cambodia, Le Duan had to address the situation himself. He surmounted Pol Pot for a meeting and gave him secret achieves to read through. Pol Pot soon found-out what were expected of him and of his organization. He knew now that both the Cambodian and the Lao revolutionary parties were formed as two satellites of the Vietnamese party (Notes: Pol Pot' s View of the Organization). His rise to power was at the specific time that they needed him to be more active in the fight against the Americans. As the Pathet Lao had already joined into the battle, so was expected of the Khmer Communist Party. At the mean-time, Le Duan had already ordered the formation of a secret military unit, composed of Khmer speaking cadres, for an unspecified mission (Notes: A Secret Military Unit). They were formed specifically to take charge of the Vietminh affairs in Cambodia during the start of arm conflicts with the Khmer government. The measure was obviously in accordance to the order from China in the wake to overturn the Vietnam War into the second Indochinese war. Rhetoric aside, the Chinese were no less anxious than the Vietminh to see armed conflict developed in Cambodia.
Pol Pot on the Rise
From his own statement, the second in command Nuon Chea later acknowledged that he supported Pol Pot as the party leader because he conveyed more intellectualism (in communist doctrine) than him (Notes: Pol Pot' s Rise to Power). From many of his acquaintances as Khmer students in France, Pol Pot was far to be a good student in term of scholastic achievement (Pol: City of Light: P. 65). His study at the Radio-Electricity school ended after he failed his second year exam. At the contrary his interest in the communist doctrine commanded respect from many of his peers. Unlike his friends whose high academic achievement restricted their time spent for their interest in politic, Pol Pot consecrated all his time to research on his new devotion. He started to scan through books and books trying to find the solution that he was looking for. Like the rest of his comrade, Pol Pot' s primary interest was to find a (scientific) way, to solve the Cambodian problems. Unlike Ho Chi Minh whose achievement in communism was done trough practical experiences, Pol Pot' s approach was to find his solution through a sound ideological model of communist doctrine. All the books about Marxist-Leninist doctrine that he read were too deep for him to fully understand it, but most of all were written based on European case studies. To apply the concept into an Asian model, Pol Pot hoped that analogy would do the trick as Mao had done before him for China (HKam: Republic Democratic of Kampuchea: The Original History the Kampuchea Communist Party: P. 154). A fair understanding of the Communist doctrine and a good comprehensive view of the country' s history did allow Mao Tse Tong to build successfully a communist model for the Chinese revolution. Pol Pot saw Maoism as an inspiration for him to build a similar model for Cambodia. As Mao had done for China, Pol Pot set out to come up with his own version of modeling the Cambodian revolution. Like China, the current setting of Cambodia could be modeled as an agrarian state where peasants traditionally work on their land under the feudal rule, received less than their fair share of the wealth. An immediate conversion could transform Cambodia into Chinese communist satellite without many hassles. The problem was that Pol Pot and his Khmer communist peers were much more ambitious and could not picture out Cambodia to be a satellite of any country, even China. Through history, they knew that the Khmer societies were achieving a high standard of living during the Angkorean era. Peering through western books, they learned that the Khmer Kingdom was in fact thriving through irrigated agriculture that could be molded into a communist model. To the new progressive minds, there is nothing to stop them from making the same achievement except to change the attitude of the Khmer people. The colonial rule had been exploiting the Khmer resources for years, but left the Khmer rural societies to remain basically the same. To explain the failure, western scholars took on the same view as presented to them by the French colonists that the Khmer Culture was to blame for the Khmer unproductively. After the Meru Culture had been dismantled by the colonial rule, nothing had been changed for the Khmer peasants. According to his radical view, Pol Pot saw communism as the real solution for the dilemma and other Khmer communist members could not agree more (Notes: A faulty Assumption). Optimism settled in after he presented his scientific model that (according to his claim) would transform Cambodia not as a mere satellite of China, but to become a superpower of its own right. The big encouragement obviously came from the Chinese government itself. Even though skeptical, they saw in the Angkorean model as exactly an ideal communist state should be. What they missed in their judgment was that Pol Pot' s model was based on faulty picture made believed by western perception of the Angkorean Empire. Of all the western books about Cambodia, the books about the Angkorean civilization in particular were written on uncompleted historical data. They portrayed the Khmer Empire as an agrarian country with the same people who built Angkor through the same economic setting of today' s Cambodia. From the surplus of agricultural harvest of a fertile land ridden with elaborate irrigation system, and the abundance of fishes found in the great lake, Angkor built itself to become a superpower of Southeast Asia. For the new generation of Khmer intellectuals (Pol Pot included) who were completely cut off from the past by the colonial rule, the misinformation had led to a disturbing reality. It created a false hope among them who see a possibility of recreating the Angkorean success story on the same limited resource and environment of modern Cambodia. The discrepancy, as we shall argue, made Pol Pot' s model fundamentally flawed and needless to say unworkable. As we had argued, Angkor was one of a kind cakravatin empire built through a consortium of states that together was well extended far beyond the Cambodian frontier of today. We had also argued that its economic base was as broad as covering the whole of Southeast Asian territory. By controlling the sea trade of the South China sea, Angkor received tributes from both the Sri Vijayan and the Cholan Empires that contributed a big part to the wealth of Angkor.
Pol Pot as the Leader of the Communist Party
Under the secrecy of the Cold War, the third world was struggling to cope with either the Communist Block or the Free World. To help him managing the complex situation, King Sihanouk invented two terminology that became famous through out the next political crises to come. To avoid further confusion, we shall use the same word as the "Khmer Rouge" to refer any Cambodian movement that served the cause of the Communist Block and the word "khmer Serei" or "Blue Khmer" for the opposite camps to serve the free world. The first known Khmer rouge of the time were, according to King Sihanouk, actually members of the Khmer students that were sent to France by the Cambodian government' s scholarship program. Once in France, they were initiated into the Communist doctrine by the French Communist Party. Through theirs academic years, many joined and became active members of the Khmer communist party in Paris. After finishing their study, they came back home to join in Sihanouk political party, the Sangkum Reast Niyum. While the rest grouped themselves in an underground movement to form a clandestine Khmer Communist Party, most worked in King Sihanouk' s government. He used them mostly to curb corruption and to some degree make connection with the communist world. Of his own word, Pol Pot was not one among the lucky members who landed themselves in the high position inside Sihanouk ' s government. Deprived of higher education and a valid certificate, he mostly earned his living as a teacher in a private school. He took the rest of his free time to involve with the underground movement of the Indochinese Communist Party where he became later a member. He was the first of the Khmer intellectual from Paris to join the organization and later met Noun Chea who came from the Thai communist party. Like Nuan Chea, Pol Pot was not in a position to know what exactly the organization really was. As a member, he was required to attend secret meetings with many assumed Khmer underground communist members. Meetings were mostly held in the heart of Phnom Penh, but the top leader Tou Samuth had to make a trip to Hanoi to meet his superior Sung Ngoc Minh. Like the Pathet Lao of Laos, the Khmer Pracheachon Party was formed by the Vietminh and was operated secretly under Hanoi (he Indochinese Communist Party: The Indochinese Affair: The Khmer Communist Organization). Following Tou Samuth' s death, Pol Pot was assigned to lead the organization. The delegation to Pol Pot who was also a member of the Khmer Communist party from Paris resulted in the merge of the two parties together, after they left Phnom Penh to start on their own arm struggle against Sihanouk government. It was proved to become a catalyst to the change of the Vietnam' s war politic. After the president Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, all efforts to resolve Indochinese crisis according to the Geneva' s accord ended (From Kingdom to Republic: The last Kingdom of Cambodia: In Connection with the Third World Countries). While Hanoi resumed their underground campaign against the South, China saw the turn of event as the opportunity to revive the Communist Indochinese organization back to life. In the process, Mao Tse Tong needed the involvement of the Khmer Communist party in a larger scale not only to fight the American war, but also to undo the Vietminh' s control over both Cambodia and Laos. With the Pathet Lao already submitted, the Vietminh formed the Khmer Pracheachon Party into becoming its puppet. Virtually with no army of their own, the organization operated so far under the Vietminh' s initiative. To Hanoi, keeping the Khmer and Lao factions strictly under their control was actually the top of the Vietminh' s policy. With growing tension along side Russia revisionist policy, China found Hanoi to be an un-trusty ally in the new conflict. To bring up the Khmer Rouge, China had been long waiting for the auspicious moment to forge the needed arm struggle inside Cambodia. Evidences show that Pol Pot knew about China' s intention in regard to Indochinese Communist Party. With or without the consents of Hanoi, he had secured the positions of other members including Iang Sary, Khieu Samphan and the two sisters, Khieu Ponhary and Khieu Thirit into the central committees of the organization (CIUP: Leadership: P. 129). The eldest sister, Khieu Ponhary was married to Pol Pot while the younger sister Khieu Thirit was married to Iang Sary. Other members, including Hou Yuan and Hou Nim, were also communist intellectuals previously working as cabinet members of King Sihanouk. They were mostly known as nationalists whose primary interest was to fight off corruption of the Khmer government through communism. After their arrival, most were left to fend for themselves and from their own accounts, many were mistreated by the Vietminh members. As important decisions had to be made by Sung Ngoc Minh who stayed at Hanoi, delay was unavoidable as it took time to travel through the Ho Chi Minh Trail to Hanoi. In late 1969, Pol Pot made the trip himself to try persuading Hanoi to speed up equipping his troops for escalating the Arm struggle in Cambodia. Le Duan used his commitment to King Sihanouk who was then his ally as an excuse of not helping the Khmer Rouge to bear arm (The Indochinese Communist Party: The Khmer Democratic of Kampuchea: Pol Pot' s Communist Doctrine). He had renewed the promises to the Khmer King just two months ago, during the latter' s trip to attend Ho-Chi-Ming' s funeral. Le Duan instead urged Pol Pot of abandoning the arm-struggle altogether and let the Vietcongs to fight all the battles inside of Cambodia.
THE FALL OF THE MONARCHY
Lon Nol never showed himself as a strong figure of Khmer politicians in the past. Nevertheless, his patriotism was no less than other Khmer leaders including the Khmer Serei Son Ngoc Thanh, the Khmer rouge Pol Pot and the Khmer king Sihanouk who was acting as the leader of the neutral Khmer movement. Except for King Sihanouk who, as a member of the royal family, received privilege from birth, the rest have modest background and for most of their political career kept themselves in low profile. Despite their ideological difference, they admired and respected each other either as a person or as a politician. The Cold War however set them apart and their association to the international parties transformed them in one way or another as enemies. One by one, they fell under the spell of the Vietnam War.
The Fall of King Sihanouk
As Sihanouk regretted it later, the arm and the rice deal with the Vietminh had turned quickly into a sour grape business. Through the deal, Sihanouk apparently was pressured by China to let the Vietcong extending the Ho Chi Minh trail into the eastern part of Cambodia. Reluctantly, Sihanouk agreed to the Chinese demand and he knew that the Vietcong needed more than a supply route. To fight the American troops they needed a stable ground to launch the assaults and when needed, to escape the American attacks. Once occupied, the Vietminh had made its own deal at its own term with the Khmer peasants for the rice supply. To agree with the proposal, Sihanouk saw clearly that he had committed the same mistake that his ancestor King Jaya Chetha II had done in the past (Nokor Champa: The Connection with the Court of Udong: The Reign of King Jaya Chetha II at Udong). Unlike many of Cambodian politicians who still nurture a secret hope to retrieve back Prey Nokor, Sihanouk had long abandon what he considered as the impossible dream. All he concerned about is the suzerainty of Cambodia at its current state. Judging from the circumstantial evidences, it appeared that Sihanouk had counted on China to pressure the Vietminh in conforming to the Geneva accord. He had been all along underestimated the Vietminh' s determination of self-reliance as it comes to international affair. Sihanouk worst fear came out to be true when the Vietminh moved deeper inside of Cambodia showing concern to neither the Geneva accord nor to the Chinese pressure. Along with Lon Nol on his side, Sihanouk tried hard to quiet down uprisings that were caused by peasants in the Vietminh infiltrated area. As we shall see, the situation became more complicated as members of the Khmer Communist Party of Phnom Penh joined in the Arm Struggle against his government. In 1969, Sihanouk decided to reform his government to face the crises. Named it the government of safeguarding, its mission was to safeguard Cambodia from the Vietminh interference. In the hope that Lon Nol could approach America for help, Sihanouk appointed him as the Prime Minister. It was the first letdown of Sihanouk iconic stance against the west in the effort to induce America into pressuring the Vietcong to pull out from Cambodia. He expected America to take advantage of his soft stance to drive the Vietcong out of their hiding ground, which was to him beneficial to both Cambodia and America in the fight against the Vietminh. As the main contact with the American side, Lon Nol became now the carrying-on figurehead of this policy, of which Lon Nol appeared to follow the game plan wholeheartedly at least at the start. He had organized a raid to the Vietcong consulate in a staging attempt to show both Hanoi and America of the Cambodian real neutrality standing. The outcome was nevertheless hardly seen as a simple staging act of protestation. Joint in the raid were right wing students who in real frustration, ransacked and inflicted total damages to the consular. Lon Nol' s trip to Paris to meet King Sihanouk, apparently to explain the incidence, failed to accomplish his goal. Judging from his immediate reaction, Sihanouk was apparently already tipped of the real situation either by his close members of the royal palace or by the Viet Cong themselves. He knew also that a right wing clique was already formed against him and in it was his cousin and apparent rival, the prince Sisovath Sirimatak. Angrily, he rejected altogether Lon Nol' s proposition and denounced the raid as a treachery act against the Khmer monarchy. After Lon Nol came back to Phnom Penh, the national congress summoned its members for a special meeting and king Sihanouk was deposed as the Cambodian head of state in 18 March 1970. Soon after, expeditions to expatriate Sihanouk' s close family members, including the queen mother Kosamak Narirath to France finished off many centuries of the Khmer monarchic legacy. In a close analysis, evidences show that internal fracture with the right wing had already been developed inside Sihanouk single political party since its early start. During his intense fight against America, he had developed a good relationship with the communist block including the Vietminh themselves. At the same time, he befriended with communist' s elements in Phnom Penh by recruiting many of them as members of his government. The clash with the right wing started when these young communist members tried to curb corruption in Sihanouk' s government. To strengthen further his political position with the Communist world, Sihanouk intensified his hostile policy against the west and the rejection of the American military aid soon followed. Replacing American armament were varieties of arm expedenture that were donated personally to him by the communist blocks. Of the military aids received, Sihanouk diverted some of them for his own defense (Notes: Sihanouk' s own Defense). Lon Nol kept quiet for the entire time. After all, they were so far insignificant to be of any good for the national defense.
The Campaign to drive out the Vietcong
Ignoring the resolution of the Geneva accord, the Vietminh had moved openly to take control of all strategic location in the eastern part of Cambodia. To further strengthen their position, they had infiltrated their agents in other parts of the country as well. In Battambang province, they took full control of the Samlaut district creating an economic bad log to the government of Phnom Penh. The uprising of the peasants of this rice stock soon followed suit. Started in 1968, the uprising that was led by the Khmer Rouge spread to the eastern part that prompted Sihanouk to change his policy in regard to communism. With no prospective help from the communist block, Sihanouk saw the American hard military offense as the only solution left to drive the Vietcong out from Cambodia. Unfortunately, the American arrogance came back in a big way under the presidency of Richard Nixon (1969-1974). The adherence to "all or none" subordination became the full force of American foreign policy. They had been portraying Sihanouk as an unstable mind and to keep their view in check they rejected Sihanouk' s partnership at all cost. Lon Nol had no other choice than to comply and as the ousting of king Sihanouk took many months to settle, the Vietcongs were already ahead of the game. Seeing the situation going from bad to worst, Washington then decided to act. Despite the protest of the Lon Nol government, they sent South Vietnamese troops into Cambodian territory. To the big relief of the Khmer people, they were ordered back to South Vietnam after a few months. During their short operation, the rural people had to endure hell on earth from inflicting traumas committed by South Vietnamese troops. Showing off the American superb armament, they did not go to the remote side of the country to face the Vietcong. Instead they went deep into the khmer villages and completely destroyed everything along their path. Except for the poultry and farm animal, the poor Khmer people had not much material lost. Their shelters were mostly built in light material and could be rebuilt in a rather short of time. What they suffered the most were the tremendous psychological trauma inflicted by the Vietnamese forces. Gang rapes were the most accounted for among other humiliating physical human cruelty. To many western observers, the ordeals were justified as seen as a retaliation to the bad treatment of the Lon Nol regime inflicted earlier on Vietnamese settlers in Cambodia. Accusing them more or less as sleeping agents of the Vietcong, many were executed and had their bodies exposed to onlookers (Notes: Suspicion vs Retaliation). The rest of Vietnamese migrants were rounded up in the concentration camps to be expatriated back to Vietnam. With the cooperation of the South Vietnamese government that provided all the mean for transportation, the repatriation of the Vietnamese refugee started but ended in a few years, leaving many concentration camps still open with full of retainers. On the same setting, protests were organized to harass Vietnamese aristocrats that were left out from the concentration camps. With their business destroyed, most left Cambodia to Vietnam by theirs own mean. It was one of the few achievements that the Lon Nol regime took pride as a successful campaign during the war against the Vietcong. While the civilian Vietnamese were driven out from the country, the real Vietcong in military uniform started their mass infiltration into Cambodian territory. As claimed by Cambodian sources, many were recruited from the expatriated Vietnamese migrants by the Vietminh in the planned campaign deep inside Cambodia. Speaking fluently Cambodian, they were often mistaken by western mainstream news as Cambodians joining the Vietcong due the American bombing. They were actually dressed up as the Vietcong cadre and were used as facilitator in making connection with the Khmer people. It was the start of a full blown of Vietnamese infiltration deep inside of Cambodian territory (Gate: Chapter 2: P20). From the incidence of the South Vietnamese campaign and the help of the new recruits, the Vietcong now found themselves at home with the abused Khmer people (Notes: The Vietnamese secret units inside of Cambodia). When the new reached Washington, the bombing of the countryside started. There were conflicting reports that the bombing had destroyed many houses and villages and subsequently many Cambodian lives. As the Vietcong had mixed themselves with the villagers it was the latter who suffered the most during the bombing. From the refugee accounts, it was the air raids by small planes (conducted by South Vietnamese pilots) that created most damages to the villagers. The accounts also claim that the Vietcong had their ways to detect the raids up front and took measure to hide themselves appropriately before the raids started. The massive bombing by the B 52 planes (conducted by the American pilots) were on the other hand less effective in destroying lives but created a lot damage to the farms and the rice fields. A close look would reveal that the damages were mostly done at the open space, suggesting that the massive bombing was not intending to kill the Khmer people, let alone the Vietcong but to destroy the food supply for the Vietcong instead. With their rice fields destroyed, most villagers left for the cities while the rest stayed behind to watch over their properties. Despite their ordeals, evidences show still that during the early stage, only a few Cambodians, mostly of bad temperaments, had joined the Vietcong to form the Khmer rouge fighters.
The Birth of the Khmer Republic
The depose of Prince Sihanouk came as a total surprise to the Khmer people. Even though they knew about the bad business with the Vietcong, the break-up between the prince and his long time associate Lon Nol unexpectedly after the return of Lon Nol from Paris. To the rural people, Lon Nol was nobody as compared to the well-liked prince who received the nickname as "the king father" (Notes: King Sihanouk). Lon Nol would have a tough time to present himself as their new leader. The infiltration of Vietcong in Cambodia however gave him an edge since people saw him as the only military figure, strong enough to drive them out. Among his supporters were westernized intellectuals who blamed the association of King Sihanouk to the communist blocks as the cause of the infiltration itself. After the initial uprising originated at Kampong Cham province was put down by gunfire, the countryside was relatively quiet because the Vietcong was preparing for another attack' s plan. Having no other option, Sihanouk now agreed to join in with them to fight against the Lon Nol regime. Initiated by China, a new front was formed to stand against the Khmer government ' s alliance with America. To sustain his power, Lon Nol tried to show to the rest of the Khmer people that his candidacy for the supreme power was necessary to keep out the communist Party of Indochina. Often enough, he cited the half-time Buddha' s prophecy to Cambodia' s current crisis (Notes: The half-time Buddha' s Prophecy). As a true believer of the prophecy, Lon Nol had organized reforms of the colonial legacies into the so-called Khmer-mon civilization. He commissioned a committee of Khmer teachers to translate textbooks from French into Khmer. All curriculums from the first to the secondary level were taught in Khmer language. There were confirmations that he had also invited hermits from isolated part of the country to join his government as his personal advisors. Among them, a monk in the name of Mam Prum Moni appeared to be of genuine merit and people flocked to see him (Cam: The Price of trusting America: P.102-104). Rumors then started to spread from his internal circle about the future of Cambodia as connected to the prophecies. It is said that the monk had advised to Lon Nol to distance himself from the west or otherwise the destruction of Cambodia would become a reality as prophesied. To western observers, the monk' s advises along with all the prophecies were nothing more than superstitious old practices that dragged Cambodia to its downfall. Lon Nol' s deepening belief with the monk was blamed for his subsequent dissociation from the west. During his rise to become Cambodia' s head of state, Lon Nol never presented himself as a close ally to America. Nevertheless, he allowed his associate free to build up a close alliance with the west on the only reason that the American aid was then crucial to his government' s survival. When asked about the American president, he replied that Nixon is a friend. There was no evidence that the two ever met or had any discussion directly about the fate of Cambodia. All communication was solely done through the American Embassy. As to the American aid, Lon Nol appeared to be content of whatever he received. At the beginning, he could not ask for anything more. Through the American initiative, influx of new recruits from young westernized generation inflated the size of the national army instantly. Most of them were educated intellectuals. During the late development, they were very critical to the Sihanouk' s way of conducting both his personal lifestyle and his flamboyant state affair. Many resigned their previous government post to joint in the army and received immediately military ranking according to their education. They were brought to South Vietnam to be trained by American military personal. At South Vietnam, the recruits were receiving the best training that they ever received at home, even though it was far below the western standard. From their own accounts, they were well disposed to believe in the American cause. Psychologically, they were ready to fight off the Vietcong as liberating Cochinchina from North Vietnam was very much the same dream of all the Khmer people. In the training, the American trainers appear to show true sympathy about the Khmer' s past ordeal under the Vietnamese mistreatment. The advent of the "spilling the tea Ong", for instance, was often heard during the psychological built up session of the training. As the Khmer army kept growing in size, Lon Nol and his generals also kept adding stars to their ranking. In his few appearances to the public, Lon Nol looked grand in his military uniform with all the stars on top of his shoulders. It was the first time of their modern history that the Khmer people started to feel confident of the Cambodian national defense. Optimism had built up its steam and everyone was ready for the war. When the new reached Phnom Penh of the advancement of the Vietcong toward Angkor, Lon Nol knew that he had to act. The operation "Chenla I", also know as "Tang Kauk I" in association to a military strategic location in Kampong Thom province was launched in the hope of retrieving the northern region back into the control of Phnom Penh. The operation reached its destination but accomplished little in setting governmental control to the Vietcong infested territory. It did not stop Lon Nol from claiming however a full victory over his first major battle.
THE FALL OF THE LON NOL REGIME
Amid the enthusiastic claim of the "Tang Kok" operation' s victory, there were again rumors from the internal circle of the monk Mam Prum Moni. This time, it brought out a prediction that the Lon Nol regime would soon collapse. It was a total surprise to the Lon Nol' s supporters and as expected, not many believers were making attention to the prediction. It was the last rumor ever heard from the monk again as no one knew next of his where about. He had vanished mysteriously the same way that he had appeared in the mainstream of the Lon Nol' s political circle. While the Khmer people still retain their optimism, signs of the Lon Nol government' s weakness started to reveal itself out.
The Civil Wars
After the first operation, the Vietcong came back in a big way and started to infiltrate deeper and deeper into the northern part of Cambodia. No resistance from the Khmer army could stop them. In March 1971, Lon Nol suffered a stroke that crippled him to the rest of his life. Lon Nol' s health became since a major concern for his supporters. Adding to the misfortune, the next turn of events regarding the come back of King Sihanouk was more than the Lon Nol regime could take. Ousted from power, Sihanouk did not have many options to his disposition and became immediately prey to the communist block. The Chinese communist chairman Mao Tse Tong had been long trying to convert the prince into a member of the International communist party. Even though of feudal background, Sihanouk had been in touch with the rural Khmer people and was beloved by them more than any democratic rulers of the modern time could claim of such popular support. Mao Tse Tong himself could not miss noticing the natural gift of the King. Without hesitation, he picked the deposed prince up and set him as the head of the " Royal Khmer Government of National Union" (Cam: The Price of trusting America: P. 118). It was formed as a coalition of ancient Khmer Issarak who took shelters in China after the Geneva accord and the modern Khmer communists of Phnom Penh who took refuge in the country side during the rise of the Lon Nol' s regime. To make up for the ground troops, China counted on King Sihanouk to provide the solution. They were mostly of peasantry background who joined the campaign through the call of the King himself. With the support of China, the Khmer United Front took on the fight against the Lon Nol regime. China had just transformed the Cambodian crisis that was due to the infiltration of the Vietminh into Cambodia, into becoming a Cambodian civil war. The maneuver hit Wasinghton at the heart of its core policy. By not tolerating the prince of his insubordination, Washington now had to face the Khmer communist fighters in addition to the Vietcong. To counter the Chinese maneuver, Nixon enforced his own doctrine to convert the Vietnam War into becoming another civil war of its own. Nixon had announced his plan to withdraw Americans troops out from Vietnam in late 1969. Called it the "Vietnamization", the plan was to empower the South Vietnamese government with all American state of the art armament brought to fight off the Vietminh by the American troops themselves. To the despair of Lon Nol, the plan left his government to fend off the Khmer rouge by themselves. With outdated equipment received from the American aid, the Lon Nol' s army had to face the Vietcong fighters, fighting for the liberation front in the name of King Sihanouk. In no time, the civil war between King Sihanouk and Lon Nol took a toll on the intellectual recruits who saw themselves fighting for the wrong cause. While Sihanouk continued on recruiting Khmer rural people for the Khmer rouge army, mass defection depleted the Lon Nol' s army of well-trained fighting soldiers. Many paid themselves out to the corrupted officers who were in command of the troops. Despite the defection, they still kept the full list of the troops to redeem aid from the American embassy. As the Lon Nol government made them to believe, the Khmer people thought that the aid was donated by the American government as free dollars. They knew little that it was in fact loan that the Khmer people had to pay back in future time. By now, the Khmer army existed mostly by the numbers shown on the roster paid full by the loan money. After the new recruits left the army, only Old faithful whose personal loyalty to Lon Nol were undeterred and poor folks who were unable to pay for their own defection stayed to fight the communists. Even though they knew that they were facing with a certain death, their loyalty to the Cambodian cause was unshakable. While the corrupted officers in charge of the phantom army stayed in town, these die-hard soldiers spent most of their life at the battlefield with close family' s members, facing outnumbering and outgunning communist fighters. To maintain their spirit, Lon Nol kept many magical practitioners who continued to supply them with supernatural assistance (Notes: Lon Nol and his spiritual Gurus). With the renewed spiritual strength, Lon Nol decided to launch the operation "Chenla II" in late 1971. It was supposedly to reclaim the control of the province of Kampong Thom. To many observers, it was actually a despaired attempt to restore back the confidence of the Khmer people. The campaign was in a sense a replica of the previous operation "Chenla I". The difference was that this time, the Khmer troops were a lot less confidant and on the verge of a moral break down. On the other side, the Vietcong was well prepared ahead of the time with larger number as compared to the Khmer troups. Like the first operation, the campaign started with insignificant resistance. After arriving at the destination, the Khmer troops soon found out that they were trapped. Besieged by the Vietcong, they had to suffer high casualties while trying to pull themselves out of the harm way.
The Vietnamization and its Effect
As we shall see later, the "Vietnamization" was just a Nixon' s way to withdraw American troops from Vietnam without taking any responsibility for the lost war that was started by America. In another way of saying, it allowed America to wash their bloody hand clean and slipped away from the crime scene without much notice from the international communities. Following the regrouping of the Khmer rouge by Mao Tse Tong, the new American president understood immediately the game plan of China. With king Sihanouk joining their side, the Khmer rouge was supposed to fight the Lon Nol regime along side the Vietminh.
As the American odyssey fainted, Nixon subsequently knew that the turn-around outcome of the War itself was near. Soon after he announced the "Vietnamization", Nguyen Van Thiev and his Southern Vietnamese clique started to prepare for the exit route. On the other side, Cambodian sympathizers to the American cause awoke to a startling reality that they had grossly overestimated the American commitment. They soon realized that they had failed to recognize the difference between their own expectation and America' s real interest (Cam: The price of trusting America: P. 102). Needless to say, the withdrawal of the American troops created an adverse effect to the Khmer coalition forces under the Lon Nol regime. Particularly hit was the Khmer Serei led by Son Ngoc Thanh. Recruited directly from the Khmer people of Kambuja Krom, they were well trained and had extensive experiences fighting the Vietcong. Since the start of Vietnamization, they were soon subject to be expelled by the South Vietnamese government to join the Lon Nol troops. Despite their efficiency, they soon found out that to fight against the Khmer rouge was not the same as to fight the Vietcong. They soon fell into the same corruption scheme of the Lion-Nol regime. Nevertheless, they were withstanding the Khmer rouge army to the last minute after the fall of Phnom Penh. By now, internal feud had taking a toll over the Lon Nol regime and plagued the Khmer Republic for a complete meltdown. The right wing clique that was ran by Lon Nol' s own brother Lon Non and was only consisting of his close internal circle, was mainly preoccupying to safeguard Lon Nol' s position at all cost as the head of state. By doing so, they kept capable contenders, like Prince Sisowath Serimatak or Son Ngoc Thanh, as outsiders. To recall back, prince Sirimatak had been strong in the coup against king Sihanouk. At first, he was seen as the second hand man of the Lon Nol regime to start on the Khmer Republic. His status soon gradually fading and stayed mostly in the background. Expelled from South Vietnam, Son Ngoc Thanh was first seen as a new strength to the Nol Nol regime. Early in his arrival in Phnom Penh, Lon Nol appointed him to be the Prime Minister of his government. His position has been changed later to become Lon Nol' s counselor. When asked about the demotion, he replied that his responsibility and contribution to the khmer cause was no less important now. For Khmer observers, this unselfishness was taken as a show of his patriotism for Cambodia. Nevertheless, indications show instead that he was assisting the American embassy to infiltrate members of the Khmer Issarak CIA affiliated agents Pauk Chhay and Nuan Suon into the Khmer Rouge Special Zone (The Great Paradox: The Third Indochinese War: The Spy Rings). As time went by, he became less and less noticeable in the Lon Nol regime. Like prince Sirimatak, he became the next victim of the right wing' s internal warfare and after barely escaping a plot to assassinate him, his political career alongside the American government in Phnom Penh apparently ended. Leaving everything behind, he left for his birthplace at Kampuchea Krom where he still considered as home. Considering that his return to South Vietnam was too risky for a high profile anticommunist like him, the choice was more likely due to the new situation of the Khmer Rouge development. In 1972, one of Phnom Penh' s school inspectors Ith Sarin was able to infiltrate himself into the Khmer Rouge camp in the special zone. His book about his stay with the Khmer Rouge ranks provided clear information that the Organization was alive and well (Notes: Ith Sarin' s Investigation). For foreign observers, it was a deathblow to America that saw the rise of the Khmer Rouge as a threat to Southeast Asia. It forced President Nixon to reach out to the Communist Bloc for a negotiation (WWWO: Habits of War: P. 354). In 1972 he made his first trip to Peking giving American recognition of China twenty-three years after Mao' s victory. Nixon also visited the Soviet Union that year and signed the SALT arms treaty. At the same time, Kissinger was seen active in making deal with Le Duc Tho and together signed the Paris Peace Accord in 1973 that upset both King Sihanouk and the Khmer Rouge. For Sihanouk, it was the same maneuver that he had concerned all along in the past. Instead of recognize him for his ingenuity, he was accused of being a communist sympathizer. For the Khmer Rouge, it was flatly unacceptable since by signing the accord, the Americans gave the Vietminh full control of the situation.
The Last Negotiation
Kissinger' s intention to keep the Khmer Rouge organization in the shadow of the Vietminh, had apparently worked against the Lon Nol' s government. In a final attempt to save the American legacy in Cambodia, Washington had launched a compromising talk with King Sihanouk for the surrendering of the Lon Nol' s regime. Sihanouk immediately warned it already was to late and that he had actually no authority whatsoever on the Khmer Rouge organization. Still the American authority went on proceeding their plan without dealing with the Khmer Rouge directly. Lon Nol had left Phnom Penh in early April 1975, but most members of his clique stayed. The Ambassador Jonh Gunther Dean had already started evacuating the last of American personal from Phnom Penh. In extending the American courtesy toward its subordinators, he also made available to some khmer dissidents the depart to America. Most of whom who were invited took no time to leave the country with or without family members. It was after all a rare opportunity to escape a trouble land for a better lifestyle that only Americans can afford. Wealthy families also left the country ahead of time. For the one who stayed behind to watch on their business, most left during the fall of Phnom Pehn by theirs own mean. Many of the Lon Nol' s governmental members also stayed trying to work out a final negotiation with the victors. Among them was Prince Sisowath Sirimatak, the co-conspirator of Lon Nol coup' s against King Sihanouk. Before the fall of Phnom Penh, he had flatly turned down the American Ambassador' s invitation to leave the country. In the reply, the prince had clearly expressed his disappointment to the American policy.
I cannot, alas, leave in such cowardly fashion...
(Cam: The Price of Trusting America: 1970-1975: P 114)
In a show of personal honor, the refusal of Prince Sirimatak was a heroic act only seen among a few politicians of modern days. To elaborate further on his decision, he added to his statement on what he regretted the most from his experience with the American government.
I have committed only one mistake, that of believing in you, the Americans.
It reflected the same sentiment of most Cambodian patriots who died during the Vietnam War as well as later, during the Khmer rouge regime. They were all the victims of the American failed policy in Southeast Asia. For the rural people, it was a strong relief to see that the long destructive war finally ended. They had mentally prepared themselves to accept the Khmer Rouge control, despite the fact that they were communists. After all, they thought, they are Khmers like them. While the Khmer Rouge soldiers were still on their ways, Phnom Penh already fell into a celebration mode for the change of regime. On April 12 1975, white flags were seen everywhere on the street and at the same time soldiers of strange uniforms were seen on the streets ordering Lon Nol' s soldiers to lay down their weapons (Notes: The Fake Khmer Rouge Soldiers). Lon Non and Long Boreth who was the Prime Minister, along with many more of Lon Nol' s cabinet officers and military commanders waited patiently to meet the real Khmer Rouge to arrive. They came silently marching in single file, dressed in black, shod with sandals cut from tires, armed with Chinese made guns AK 47. Theirs no nonsense attitude made them the next horrifying tale of unscrupulousness among foreign diplomats in Phnom Penh. Those who tried to welcome them were soon stroked by their expressionless face. In their quiet way, they presented themselves as the only boss in town (Notes: The Real Khmer Rouge Soldier). There was soon an announcement through the national radio that they were not entering into Phnom Penh for negotiating but to win by force. For this, foreign and local observers alike could not blame the Khmer Rouge for taking advantage of the Lon Nol' s offering for peace to take over the country by force since there was never an agreement from them for the peace negotiation. That sealed the fate of the Lon Nol' s cabinet who was waiting to negotiate with the Khmer Rouge. As the proposition for negotiation was forfeited, other Lon Nol governmental members and theirs families were panic. Theirs last refuge were the foreign embassies where, as they thought, they could find protection under the international law. Theirs hope soon dashed as the Khmer rouge soldiers went to retrieve them back out one after the other. In other cities, the surrendering was pretty much the same as in Phnom Penh. Many refugees who were able to escape brought the horror to the outside world that soon got the attention of foreign observers. Even though some of the stories were exaggerated, the Standard WorldView was already formed to denounce the Khmer Rouge Organization of "the crime of humanity" committed during the fall of Phnom Penh and soon after (The Great Paradox: Introduction: The Effect of the World Opinion). Already deceived by the American policy, the Lon Nol regime was now crushed by the Khmer Rouge Organization.
THE IMPACT OF THE NEW AMERICAN POLICY ON CAMBODIAN AFFAIR
Unlike European colonists who came to Southeast Asia to conquer, America came as a world class superpower to take control of the already conquered territory. After the fall of the Japanese fascist regime, all occupied land of Southeast Asia were free for America to claim. With the support of the European alliance, American venture in Southeast Asia appeared to be a done deal business. As the French Indochina became now in the spotlight of American interest, the Vietminh also made the preparation to take over South Vietnam. Having fought off France, Hanoi' s intention was clear that the whole of French Indochina should become its colony. Now that France was out of the picture, turning Indochina into communism meant another opportunity to extend Vietnam' s frontier southward. Hanoi knew very well that its former allies, China and Russia always have the same secret intention on Southeast Asian affair. China had been known to use communist flag to extend its frontier successfully over its neighboring states. As had been done in Eastern Europe, states were also absorbed into the Soviet Union as soon as they became communist. At the same time that both communist superpowers allowed the Vietminh to take on their own initiative about the Indochinese affair, America formed the South Vietnamese government as a puppet of Washington. In that perspective, the next Indochinese war that set America in collision course with the communist bloc was not the war on ideology alone. Under the spell of the cold war, the congress gave the American president the green light to exercise military intervention in any country that stood in the way to the American interest. In the fight against Hanoi and communism in general, America took on the whole show by itself. By doing so, America repeated the same mistake of the Ming Dynasty of China again. As we shall see, the American policy failed the whole politic of the Southeast Asian native countries from the start. Both American parties committed the same mistake by neglecting local initiative in conducting the war. Unlike the communist block that entrusted total support behind the Vietminh' s drive, America allowed little to their allies to take on their own fight. Like the French colonists, American policy makers found from their Cinicized collaborators total supporting role to quick start their campaign. On that condition, they were willing to pay top price for the support very much needed during the war. They soon found out the hard way that as far as collaboration was concerned, loyalty and effectiveness did not come together. Corruption became the norm while effectiveness took on the back seat. In South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu were hardly effective in the fight against the Viet Minh. Still they were allowed to hold on to power even though their regime was riddled with protest. Their background with the Viet nationalism moreover suggests that theirs collaboration was very much disguised (Notes: Ngo Dinh Diem as a Nationalist). When their loyalty fall below their expectation, they were immediately subjected to be purged. Among Diem' s successors, Nguyen Van Thieu was as ineffective as Diem but he kept his loyalty in check during the short period of his rule. To defend its interest, America went on virtually fighting the Vietcong alone while its South Vietnamese collaborators enjoyed their good fortune in Saigon and abroad. Along the way, the American policy drove off the rest of Southeast Asian leaders from the start. Diem' s fate clearly indicated to them that America could not tolerate any loyalty that is less than a hundred percent (The Southeast Asian Organization: In the Fight against Communist: The Fall of the Diem Regime). For the neutral Southeast Asian countries, their fates were sealed as they were often treated as enemies when total collaboration was not rendered. Nationalist like King Sihanouk of Cambodia and Prince Suvanna Phuma of Laos knew then that their effective drive to keep out communist alone could not impress the American policy makers. During his last attempt to approach Washington, Sihanouk was whacked-out while Lon Nol was chosen to run Cambodia. Son Ngoc Thanh also lost his cause as he was set to be in subordination to the cripple regime of Lon Nol. Even though his effectiveness in the fight of communism was far surpassing that of Diem and of the rest of South Vietnamese military leaders combined, his role in the Vietnam War was very limited. In the fight off communism, his well-trained army of recruits from the Khmer of Kampuchea Krom was highly effective but Son Ngoc Thanh himself was mostly kept aside. His alliance with America was nothing more than a disappointment for the Khmer peoples. From that perspective, it is fair to say that America intended to use the Vietnam War to establish American dependency in the region at any cost, even it meant to get the deal from the enemy. From the Kambuja Krom source, Son Ngoc Thanh died in a concentration camp trying to revoke past accord with the Vietminh about the fate of Kambuja Krom (Notes: The Myth of a Coalition Government).
- SEAPP: Southeast Asia Past & Present, by D.R. Sardesai
- EEC: Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochinchina, Siam and Muscat in the U.S. Sloop-of-War Peacock, David Geisinger, Commander, By Edmund Roberts
- LRW: Last Reflections on a War, by Bernard B. Falls
- WWA: At War with Asia: Essays on Indochina, by Noam Chomsky
- SS: Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the destruction of Cambodia, by William Shawcross
- Cam: CamBODIA, by Henry Kamm
- Pol: Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, by Philip Short.
- Angka:Who was Angka? Part I (Angka Chea Narna?), by Kim Thy Ouy
- VNW:Vietnam: The Necessary War, by Michael Lind
- Gate: The Gate, by Francois Bizot
- HKam: The History of Kambuchea, by Khiev Samphan
- WWWO: When the War was Over, by Elizabeth Becker
1954: The Geneva accords separated the Vietminh' s controlled arear from the south along the 17th parallel; 1955: The Vietnam War started; 1960: Death of Ho Chi Minh; 1959-1969: Challes de Gaulle became president of the French Fifth Republic; 1961-1963: John F Kennedy (Democrat) became president of USA; 1963-1969 Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) became president of USA; 1969-1974: Richard Nixon (Republican) became president of USA; 1969: Lon Nol became prime minister of the Safeguarding government; 1970: King Sihanouk was ousted as Head of State; 1975: The Khmer rouge took over of Cambodia.
- Colonial view on Cambodia
To prove their view, some scholars built up fake nationality for the recent immigrants from South China to justify their aggressivity over Cambodia, as historical facts. Often enough, they down played or ignored altogether their agressivity in the quest for Cambodian resources and most importantly the implication of today' s rising world powers in theirs support.
- The last Antichrist
Either by fate or by design, proponents of the Cold War including Russia, America and China followed the same path of the Mongolian Empire, France and Germany to carry on its own worldly ambition. With the progression of science and technology, all three modern superpowers surpassed the three past Antichrist combined in both military and economic strength. Coupled with the new policy, their eagerness to take on the world through the Cold War made them potentially to be the next Antichrist of modern time.
- FDR' s view on French colonial rule of Indochina
The French had been in control for a hundred years and the natives were worse off than ever before. The French had milked Indochina dry. The people are entitled to something better than that. (LRW: US Policy in Indochina 1940-1960: P. 129)
- MaRa or the eastern Antichrist
Etymologically the word Antichrist (Anti- Christ) is meant to be any entity that acts against Christ. We had argued that MArA in Buddhist tradition also acts against Meru. The use of the letter "A" to change the word "Meru" to "MArA" indicated that MArA was himself a Meru worshipper. Nevertheless his bad practices outside of Meru' s teaching would make him harmful to the Meru Culture. In that sense, Buddha also predicted that Buddhism would face its setback by antagonist forces in the form of MArA in Southeast Asia.
- The Bloody War
According to the prophecy, the war was so intense and bloody as normally described by the Khmer ancient expression " blood reaches the elephant' s belly". The expression just describes a hight magnitude of war with a high number of casualties and deaths.
- Indication of the Indra's Prophecy
Specific passages of the Indra' s prophecy such as
There are houses that no one lives in and there are streets that no one walks on.
became trivial to the eyewitnesses of the Cambodian crisis. The passages described exactly the situation in Cambodia where cities have been evacuated during the ruling of the Khmer rouge and its aftermath of economic backdrop. The situation was so bad that during the ordeal a basket of rice cost could only be bought in the black market and it cost more than an ounce of gold exactly as stated in the prophecy
a basket of rice costs a damling (1.25 ounce) of gold.
- President Charles de Gaulle
After taking power from the Vichy regime in 1944, General de Gaulle spent many years to stabilize French politic. He became president of the French Fift Republic in 1959. His attempts to retrieve back Indochina failed mainly due to the intervention of the Comintern in support of the Vietminh. Nevertheless, he still hoped to maintain French influence in the region and at the same time kept the French Indochina out of the cold war politic. His policy had the support of both king Sihanouk of Cambodia and king Suvanna-phuma of Laos.
- The Defection of Sieu Heng
Sieu Heng was an underground Khmer Issarak of the Samlaut area. He had brought his cousin Nuan Chea who was then a member of the Thai communist Party to join in the organization. His defection created a hard blow to the new regrouped Khmer Pracheachon Party that resulted in the death of Tou Samuth. Nuan Chea did not pardon his cousin for that.
- Pol Pot' s View of the Organization
As he delegated later to the Khmer Communist Party, his trust to Vietnam stopped since then (Pol:Germinal: P.158). It confirms his suspicion that the Indochinese Communist Movement was nothing more than Ho Chi Minh' s own creation to carry on his ambition to form the Indochinese State under Vietnam' s control.
I found that from 1930...to 1965, all the Vietnamese Communist Party documents depicted the Cambodian...and Lao People' s Revolutionary Parties as branches of the Vietnamese Party...Both [parties] implemented the rules, the political line and the strategy of the Vietnamese Party. Until I read these document myself, I trusted and believed the Vietnamese. But after reading them, I didn't trust them anymore. I realized that they set up Party organizations in our countries solely to achieve their aim of the Indochinese Federation. They were making an Integrate Party to represent a single integrated territory.
- A Secret Military Unit
The Vietnamese too, despite their ostensible embrace of the new Cambodian Party Leader, showed proof of a certain caution. After Sar had left, they distributed to the Khmer colony in Vietnam copies of Lenin ' s text Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder', as a warning against Cambodian adventurism; and a secret military unit, code-named P-36, was set up under Le Duc Tho to train Khmer officers, so that if and when armed struggle did break out in Cambodia, Vietnam would have its own force of tried and tested Khmer Cadres, loyal to Hanoi,ready and waiting to assume the leadership of native Khmer communist units. (Pol:Germinal: P.168-159)
- Pol Pot' s Rise to Power
Pol Pot ' s promotion to the head of Party ' s leader was done on stepping up over many imminent members of the organization (Pol: Cambodian Realities: P. 142). Among the four men elected to lead the party, Ieng Sary' s loyalty to Pol Pot was unquestionable through family connection. Noun Chea who was then Tou Samouth' s Deputy Secretary and became later known as the brother # 2 could have been chosen as Tou Samouth' s successor. From his own statement, Nuon Chea later acknowledged that he supported Pol Pot as the party leader because he conveyed more intellectualism (in communist doctrine) than him. On the other hand, there were no evidences that So Phim and other zone leaders had the same insight as Nuan Chea to accept their subordination to Pol Pot.
- A faulty Assumption
The new generation of Khmer intellectuals was taught in westernized school that the Angkorean civilization was a Khmer civilization achieved by powerful Khmer kings of the past. They were also taught that the Angkorean glory time was already long gone. Under the colonial rule, Pol Pot and many of other Khmer intellectuals were led to believe that Cambodian problems could never be solved by Cambodian themselves. Still Pol Pot and many of his compatriots were unconvinced. They still hoped that with the progress of science and technology, Angkor could be revived back again through communism.
- Sihanouk' s own Defense
While the Lon Nol' s army was more constrained to the construction work, which according to general perception was good to the country, national defense was made dependable on Sihanouk' s personal exploit. On he state-of-the-art military equipment, received from China and Russia, trained operators were reporting to superiors of close connection with the palace than to Lon Nol. For instance, the pilots of the few supersonic Mics received from Russia, had more or less family tie with the palace. King Sihanouk showed off some of the planes in his first movie. He then kept himself busy in making more movies, one after the other, to convey to the Khmer people the strength of national security of Cambodia. To make it more convincing, he also starred himself in some of the films.
- Suspection vs Retaliation
With no adequate intelligence service, the suspicion gave way to retaliation. Committed by some military officers, the practice was neither condoned nor confined by the Lon Nol regime. It was one of the most negligence committed in all parties involving in the Cold War. The Khmer rouge used it openly on foreign residents living under their regime and on their own cadre. The South Vietnamese also used it openly on the Khmer people in the Vietcong controlled era. The American army also used it on rural civilian people of South Vietnam.
- The Vietnamese secret units inside of Cambodia
Unlike the South Vietnamese soldiers, the Vietnamese cadres were in their best behavior when dealing with the Khmer rural people. They were well trained to cooperate with their civilian host and were accepted, even though with some restrains, by the latter in their village. The King Sihanouk' s insigna helped them to make contacts with the People. The successful connection meant to them the stable direct supply of rice to support the home front fighting at Vietnam. Evidences show that, they never left Cambodia during the Vietnam war before and after the fall of Phnom Penh.
- King Sihanouk
Even though he had long abdicated the throne to his father, they still revered him as the king. In that sense, we still call him King Sihanouk interchangeably with that of Prince Sihanouk. His leadership role earned him respect and total devotion from them.
- The half-time Buddha' s Prophecy
According to the prophecy, the Buddhist religion would face a catastrophic event during its half time. A pious king would emerge to safeguard Buddhism during the next of its half of Yuga from the attacks of the non-believers. Coincidentally enough, it was Prince Sihanouk who formed the Lon Nol' s government and called it "the government of Safeguarding" in the hope of driving out the Vietcong from Cambodia. He called the communists Tamil (Tamila) which according to Buddhist scripture was known to be the antagonist of Buddhism.
- Lon Nol and his spiritual Gurus
Among them was a native of the Battambang province who after the fall of the Lon Nol' s regime, was killed by the communist troops while trying to escape to Thailand. From his close associate, we knew that he became Lon Nol' s top spiritual associate after he had proved to the latter what he claimed to be. To show off his leadership, Lon Nol volunteered himself to be tested by the guru of his supernatural protection. It was administered in an earlier visit and was guaranteed to be working. In the test, the guru had to strike Lon Nol' s exposed back with a sharp sword and Lon Nol should not suffer any harm. In front of Lon Nol' s close associate, the guru performed the test and to their amazement it worked. There was later confirmation from the guru' s circle that he was not really sure of his supernatural work. Most of what he had done in the past was to treat client using magical art for a fee to sustain his living. In his entire career, he rarely performed the same ritual and never been requested to test it before. With no other option, he performed the test and hoped for the best. He knew that if he did not do it or if he failed, Lon Nol' s associates would not leave him alone. It was to his relief that Lon Nol was not harmed and did not request a second test.
- The fake Khmer Rouge Soldiers
Clips of these soldiers brandishing their pistol in the airs were later shown in western TV as of the real Khmer soldiers when entering Phnom Penh. Looking closely, many of them were carrying the American made guns M16. They were actually people of the right wing clique organizing the surrendering the Lon Nol regime to the Khmer Rouge.
- The Real Khmer Rouge Soldier
In their documentary movie, soldiers of the central committee were shown in the clips having the same expression and appearance. The presentation gives the wrong impression that the Khmer rouge soldiers were all the same. Evidences however show that each zone recruited and trained their own army. The contingents of the eastern zone that were trained by the Vietminh had the look and discipline similar to the Vietminh troops.
- Ngo Dinh Diem as a Viet Nationalist
Diem had his close background connected with the Lycee Quoc-Hoc, a Viet institution that produced the best of Vietnamese nationalists. Among them was Ho Chi Minh who became the leader of the Vietminh (The Communist Party of Indochina: The Struggle against Imperialism: The Freedom Fights).
- News of the Khmer Rouge' s control in Cambodia
In 1971, Francois Bizot, a French director of studies at the Ecole Practique des Hautes etudes, had an encounter with communist guerrillas near Battambang province. He witnessed the presence of north Vietnamese fighters far from the eastern side where the North Vietnamese groups were fighting to preserve the Ho Chi Minh Trails (Gate: Chapter 2: P. 14-20).
- Ith Sarin' s Investigation
Ith Sarin was a school inspector who joined the Khmer Rouge Organization apparently on his own will by curiosity (WWWO: The white Crocodile: P. 155). He joined the organization through the Special Zone of the Khmer Rouge' s organization (Under the leadership of Von Vet). After nine months, he defected back to Phnom Penh and published his own memoir and his stay with the Khmer Rouge. What was interesting was his mentioning of many splits inside of the organization. Lon Nol later banned his book and put him in jail. A general assumption was that Lon Nol was concerned that the book could become a black propaganda for the Khmer Rouge. Nevertheless, he could also be concerning that the book would expose Von Vet' s connection with the CIA as well.
- The Myth of a Coalition Government
From the start, the American President Lyndon Johnson was seen indifferent to the proposition that a national concord should be observed as the solution of the conflict. At the contrary, the Vietminh and Chinese Communist Party alike agreed that South Vietnam should be treated as a union of states. It turned out that the Vietminh' s propaganda was just a game of words (VNW: Disinformation: The new American Policy). After they won the war, they transformed South Vietnam to become no less of a Viet communist state as part of the unified Vietnam.