The Great Paradox
Project: The Great Paradox
Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: October/01/2015
Last updated: November/31/2015
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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.
Since the fall of Phnom Penh, International events had been developing around the world that produced negative impact on the young Khmer Communist Party as a hidden entity of the Khmer Rouge Organization. First, the Chinese Cultural Revolution brought a new dilemma to Pol Pot whose own model for Cambodian affair had to pair up with that of China. At the same time, America had already pulled itself out from the Vietnam War to start on a new war-game along with Russia that was already in the revisionist mode. It was not the cold war on ideology anymore that they were fighting for, but a hot War for capitalism. Superpowers once again were building their pyramids through partnership and alliance. In establishing their own spherical influence for economic development, they were looking once again for collaborators to support their disguised colonial drive. In the new game, the unified Vietnam made itself as a potential collaborator for their sectarian economic drive. As the French colonists had done before, the Indochinese State centered in Hanoi would not only be feasible, but at the contrary had already been proved to work during the previous colonial era. In the new game, Hanoi had the option to choose between China, Russia and even America to collaborate with. For Pol Pot who was still believing in the class struggle, the new change of the Cold War caught him in an unexpected surprise. For long, he had consecrated his mind and soul on the new Cultural Revolution in the hope of breaking out Hanoi' s spell. He had high hope that if successful, it would bring Cambodia into a position that eclipsed Hanoi in communism and Cambodia' s problems would be over. His effort gained him some friends who shared his view that a small country could survive its aggressive neighbors through red-hot communism. By doing so, he committed the same mistake that King Sihanouk already had done. For the free world, Pol Pot presented himself as much more dangerous to them that the whole of Vietminh organization ever was. On the International arena, his propaganda again Hanoi failed. For most western observers, the whole dilemma was just the outcome of his personal pride and prejudice. For them, it was natural that Hanoi would capitalize on his mistake to fulfill their own aggressivity (Notes: The Cambodian Paradox). For the next five years, Pol Pot along with his friends would find out that optimism alone would not help them achieving their goal. Bad neighboring still weight very much on the world crisis despite all the apparent effort to promote peace (Notes: The case of Macolhm Cadwell).
The Effect of the World Opinion
In an environment that an opinion is perceived as relative truth, bias statement became the norm of modern politic. Through current books on Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge Organization in general, many conflicting opinions were found to be based on each one of the observer' s background (Cam: Problems of Sources and evidences: The Standard Total View [STV]: P. 39-68). For most western observers, the Khmer Rouge Organization was seen as a fascist organization to be the sole responsible culprit of the genocide pogrom committed during the regime change. The opinion that was formed through interviews with refugees who managed to escape after the fall of Phnom Penh, were at first received with skepticism (Notes: The Atrocity during the Fall of Phnom Penh). Nevertheless, it stayed into becoming a total world view despite King Sihanouk and members of his propaganda team' s presentation to the international community, a different outlook of his government. After the Vietnam' s invasion in 1979, the opening of the correction center S21 to the public as a genocide museum exposed all the atrocity that was carried on its detainees. It became clear now to skeptics that the killings were really committed by the Khmer Rouge during the war with the Lon Nol' s regime. Since then, Pol Pot along with the Khmer Rouge Organization' s reputation went downhill among the world opinion. Pol Pot was then portrayed as the big brother No 1 or the strong man of the sinister organization that was blamed for millions of Cambodian' s died from both starvation and execution. he was seen as an aloof independent mind unwilling to submit himself to any subordination that went far to provoke Hanoi into invading Cambodia. To hideout his own failure, they argued, he blamed Hanoi for all the killings committed during the early phase of the Khmer Rouge regime. While many researchers were pressing for his confession that did not happen, others saw the need to review the whole ordeals in a broader range of information that could be retrieved from the war. An important factor that was missing so far in the western standard total view was the situation that limited Pol Pot to take full control of the Khmer Rouge Organization. Many induced some of the blames to America and China, but omitted altogether the activity of Hanoi in its game plan of building the Indochinese State. With the intervention of all the superpowers of both the free and communist world, evidences show that Pol Pot' s action was very much restricted as compared to that of Hanoi. Many Khmer observers who were themselves victims of the Khmer Rouge regime for the whole time had come out their own opinion. Through their own investigation, their standard total view implicated Hanoi and China for the whole of the Khmer population genocide pogrom. Despite of their apparent bias view on Hanoi' s intention (Notes: Reason of Hanoi Pogrom on Cambodian People), their observations proved to be worthy as the actual eyewitness' s accounts of the killing during the KHmer Rouge regime. The most credible of them were members of Khmer Kambuchea Krom who had been involved with the Vietminh' s organization since the first Indochinese war (Notes: Angkar Chea Nor na [Who was Angkar]?). Theirs finds provided us with crucial information about Hanoi' s secret intervention inside the Khmer Rouge Organization (that was generally unavailable through the western source). We then conclude our own coclusion that all the war crimes committed in each zone of the northern half of the country were done under Hanoi' s initiative (The Indochinese Communist Party: The Fight with Imperialism: The Fall of Phnom Penh). The presence of secret Vietminh troops inside of Cambodia was crucial for Hanoi to carry on the extermination of the Lon Nol' s government as well as other genocidal measures carried on after the fall of Phnom Penh. The same finding moreover show that Hanoi' s Indochinese State' s conviction was real and that its radical measures were actually the causes of all the war crimes committed inside of Cambodia both during the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Nevertheless, we also conclude that China was also responsible for the crimes since Hanoi was operating under its umbrella. On its own, China was responsible for the communist expansion beyond the Indochinese State and the border clashes with Thailand were carried through by its joint venture with Hanoi. Pol Pot and some of his associates were on the other hand responsible for the purging of the Khmer Kammaphibal through the correction center S21 and other killings that were committed after September 1977 when they were in the process of emancipating themselves from the control of Hanoi.
THE AFTERMATH OF THE VIETNAM WAR
Pol Pot had been doing anything to deny Hanoi the credits for assisting him fighting the Lon Nol regime. By ending the Cambodian war ahead of the Vietminh victory, he had hoped to deny the Vietminh the pretext of openly occupying Cambodia to finish off the Lon Nol' s regime. The gap was however too small for him to prevent the Vietminh from interfering into Cambodian next internal affair. Unable to do it openly (like in Laos) Hanoi' s secret organization had served its purpose inside of Cambodia. As they had done before, Hanoi used their established networks inside of Cambodia to launch secretly their new campaign. In that situation, Pol Pot' s fear for the Vietminh Indochinese ambition was actually realizing. In the same argument, we shall argue that Hanoi' s concern about the Khmer Communist Party emancipation also held true. on the other hand, China was seen cohering both parties to let down their difference and to work together forwarding its own Southeast Asian Maoist plan.
Hanoi' s Indochinese Ambition
After the fall of Saigon, Vietnam' s status had changed dramatically. The unification set Vietnam as a nation of fifty million people and the second communist power in Asia. Its military prowess was staggering and Hanoi had no intention to demobilize its army any time soon. In contrast, Hanoi expanded its arm forces until it becomes the third largest in the world to include one million fighters. After the fall of Saigon in April 1975, America and the South Vietnamese government left behind a stockpile of armament for Hanoi as war trophy. Many planes or helicopters used by the South Vietnamese to escape were discarded into the sea after they landed on air force carriers. Apparently America had neither interest in bringing back these equipment home nor that they tried to keep them out of the grab of the Vietminh. Either by fate or by design, the Nixon' s doctrine gave Hanoi plenty of opportunity to achieve their goal. Hanoi deferred all their war trophy and foreign aids toward completing their unfinished war' s plan. Following its insatiable dream, Hanoi shifted all priority toward its military and security affairs (Notes: The Misuse of Foreign Help). The first step toward the goal was not much a challenge. With the fall of the South Vietnamese government in their minds, the non-communist elements of the national government decided that allowing the Pathet Lao to enter power would be better than to have them take it by force (Notes: The last fight with the Pathet Lao). In November 1975, the Pathet Lao took over Laos, abolishing the monarchy and establishing the Lao People' s Democratic Republic. Shortly after, the Pathet Lao signed an agreement with Hanoi allowing Vietnamese troops to station in the country and to send political and economic advisors into the country. Eventually a large numbers of Vietminh soldiers (of 40000 troops) had been stationed in the country and submerged the native Lao army altogether. With that unnecessary high numbers of arm force in Lao, Hanoi' s next step was clear. When the Lao government signed the 1977 friendship treaty with Vietnam, Pol Pot knew that it was now Cambodia' s turn. His attempt to devoid Hanoi' s secret agenda turned out just to be a small setback for the latter. As Pham Van Dong stated it later, nothing was going to change the fate of Indochina, either Pol Pot liked it or not. Thanks to America, the Khmer Rouge had been deprived of any mean to stand against the Vietminh. Beside the problems of feeding the city people, the Lon Nol' s government had not much to leave as trophy for the Khmer Rouge. To make the matter worst, the air raid following the Mayaguez' s incidence in May 1975 at the Kampong Som seaport finished off the only remnant of the Khmer navy from the Lon Nol' s regime, along with major industry of the region. It started during the high border' s conflict between the Khmer Rouge and Hanoi (Notes: The Border' s Conflict). Actually, fights have been erupted between the twos since the fall of Saigon in 1975. After barely winning the war, Hanoi told the Khmer Rouge that they wanted to settle the border now. The most disputed of all was the "Brevie Line" drawn as a colonial administrative line by the French protectorate. As Lon Nol had been done before during previous border' s conflict with South Vietnam, military deployment over the disputed area was a mean to convince Hanoi that the region was actually under Cambodian suzerainty. Acting on their own initiatives, soldiers of the south eastern zone moved to take control of the island of Polo Wai and start to warn ships of not invading Cambodian territory. One of them happened to be an American owned commercial ship named the Mayaguez and by disregarding the warning was captured and kept under the Khmer Rouge' s guard along with its crew' s members. After knowing the incidence, the Khmer Rouge' s center acknowledged their mistake and promised to resolve the conflict as soon as they can. Nevertheless, they failed to carry on their promises timely enough to avoid the American retaliation. When the death-line set by America expired, American troops were sent to rescue the crew of the ship along with the air raid in supporting the ground troops (WWWO: The Ultimate Revolution: P. 209-210). The incidence proved that each zone leader (in this case Ta Mok) worked on his own initiative and for most of the time without prior approval from the Central Committee. Instead of being blamed for creating a high cost crisis to the Center, Ta Mok rose more and more into the central committee' s esteem for standing up to the American aggression. Other incidences involving other zones to clash with the remaining Vietminh inside of Cambodia also received with the same favorable review. With their victory over Saigon, the Vietnamese government were expected to clear the Cambodian border sanctuaries that had been used to fight the American and the South Vietnamese army. The border incidences were involving more or less Vietnamese interference confirms Pol Pot' s strong concern about Hanoi' s ambitious project in regard to Cambodia. The absorption of the Pathet Lao after the fall of Vieng Chan obviously gave Hanoi another boost for its Indochinese State' s project and needless to say, created another setback to Pol Pot' s plan of emancipating the Khmer Rouge Organization.
The Democratic Kampuchea
In July 1975, the Khmer Communist Party moved its headquarters to Phnom Penh. During the first meeting, Pol Pot declared victory and announced his plan to reorganize the party. The critical change was the formation of a central committee (or center) with its own army aimed to defend and to carry on commands from the center. They formed a special contingent from recruits of each zone and placed under the command of the center' s defense minister. In the arrangement, two-thirds of the soldiers were in Phnom Penh and the remaining third was placed under the center' s nominal control but still remained posted in their home zones (WWWO: Cambodia' s reign of terror: P. 213). Evidences show at first that Son Sen had little control on them and still relied on each zone army to carry on major tasks. Another key feature of the change was the diversion of S21 into the direct control of the center (Notes: The Correction Center S21). The reorganization was from the start a part of the center' s plan to take full control of the zones. Nevertheless, Pol Pot had to postpone his plan and had to stay still in the background as another urgent issue took hold of the party. What concerned them the most was the fall of Vieng Chan into becoming Hanoi' s satellite in November 1975. Laos became then a Vietminh incursion' s launching ground against the Democratic Kampuchea. As we had seen, the same situation had also happened in the eastern zone as well. At first, the center tried its best to avoid direct confrontation with Hanoi by providing guidance to each zone leader to resolve the conflict by talk first and kept the military means for the last resort. Seeing that the conflict soon got out of hand, the center ordered the border troops to be evacuated (1500 to 2000 meters) from the conflicted zones (Hkam: Republic Demographic of Kampuchea: About the conflict with Vietnam; who was the Culprit: P. 200). At the same time, meetings were held by both parties in the attempts to resolve the border' s issues. Nevertheless, the difference of objective rendered no concrete result to the talk. While Phnom Penh stood firm on resolving the border' s issues, Hanoi kept insisting to have Cambodia joining with Laos in the Indochinese affair. Seeing no progress, Phnom Penh rejected altogether Hanoi' s invitation for more meeting. With the Chinese intervention, the border' s conflict appeared to quiet down allowing both sides to work on their own day-to-day agenda. In April 1976, the government of Democratic Kampuchea had been reorganized with Khiev Samphan as the president. The nomination of So Phim and Ros Ngim to take the two top positions after Khiev Samphan reflected moreover the direction of the new formed government. It was important to note that the two zone leaders were close friends and were more or less connected with the secret Vietminh troops inside of Cambodia. It led us to believe that Hanoi and Phnom Penh at last came into an agreement under Chinese intervention for the sake of a common project set by China. The formation of Democratic Kampuchea was in fact the same Chinese backed government formed to launch the next joint venture as planned. With the Chinese initiative, Pol Pot once again had to play along with Mao' s Southeast Asian grand scale project. As Prime Minister, Pol Pot assigned task was to take on the Cambodian internal affair. In return, he was expected to accept Hanoi as the top executive for the Southeast Asian affair. As he had made its clear through the center' s internal direction, his top priority was to build his party' s strength as fast as he can to face Hanoi' s next move. In the previous "Royal Government of National Union" government, Khiev Samphan and King Sihanouk were assigned to be the figurehead of the coalition led by China to fight off the imperialist America. This time, it appeared that King Sihanouk was tired of the symbolic head of state' s function and let Khiev Samphan took care of the burden by himself. At the same time, we had the reason to believe that Pol Pot was still conforming himself to his role (set by by both China and Hanoi) to stay more focus on Cambodian internal affair than to participate in the whole Asian affair. As Prime Minister of the new government, Pol Pot was given more opportunity to build his own government infrastructure in Phnom Penh. His top priority was to start his own Cultural Revolution that was needed to carry on his Communist Party into the big leap of the next planned development. With their consulats stationed in the heart of Phnom Penh, we had the reason to believe that both China and Hanoi knew about the next purging of high profile Kammaphibals with CIA' s affiliation at S21 (Notes: Pol Pot' s counter-spy Measure). At the same time, Pol Pot used the southwestern zone (and to the least extend western zone)' s army to do the purging and its old people to replace the low ranking kammaphibals of the purged zones. It is important to note that all these events happened during the high of the Chinese cultural revolution when the Gang of Fours started to emerge themselves after Mao Tse Tung' s career and life had came to the end on September 1976. Hanoi must to notice Pol Pot bold' s move to carry-on not only against the CIA' s affiliated agents but also on its own implanted agents, and to suspect China of backing him up. The new Chinese government was quick to assure Le Duan that despite Pol Pot' s close policy with Chinese Cultural Revolution, they would not wish to see Hanoi split itself from the Chinese alliance. Despite the reassurance from Peking, Hanoi had turned to Moscow for a new partnership.
The Spy Rings
As a proxy of the Cold War, it is expected that the Vietnam War contained many aspects of the modern-time warfare. Becoming the leader of the Khmer communist party, Pol Pot knew very well about the existence of the Khmer Issaraks and the Khmer Vietminh inside the Khmer Rouge Organization. With little resource of his own, Pol Pot' s measure on fighting the spy-rings was radical. His revolutionary view "Enemies were of no benefit if left to be alive and of no lost if taken out" became one of the center' s slogan in the fight against external incursion. Reading through files retrieved from S21, International observers got the impression that Pol Pot was totally lost in his own paranoia. They were referring the detained Kammaphibal to be either of CIA or KGB intelligence agents while there were no evidence that they were in fact employed by the two agencies. A more thoughtful interpretation of the records shows that it was just Pol Pot or Duch' s way of labeling whoever worked (knowingly or unknowingly) for the American or the Vietminh causes. Their confession confirmed that most stand-accused Kammphibal were recruited during the early phase of the first Indochinese War either by Sung Ngoc Thanh or by Sung Ngoc Minh (The Impact of the World War II: Notes: The Khmer Issarak). As described by the confession of Pauk Chay, the Khmer Issarak' s network was incorporated in the Khmer Pracheachon Organization along side the Khmer Communist Party. Lon Nol must to know and had played along to hide-out the CIA connection inside of Von Vet' special zone (The Indochinese Communist Party: Notes: The CIA affiliated Agents). On the other side, it was expected that Pol Pot already knew that his leadership was subjected to both American and Hanoi' s direct but secret intervention. Nevertheless, his top priority was to resolve the old conflict between Ta Mok and So Phim in an effort to secure a united front against the Lon Nol' s regime. By then, he was already well aware (or at least suspicious) that So Phim was part of the Vietminh' s spy-ring. Nevertheless, he continued to favor him more than other zone leaders mostly because of his effectiveness and influence over the whole organization. In the resolution of 1971, he advised each zone leader to treat the Vietminh as a conflicting friendly force (HKam: The Democratic Kampuchea: About a number of aspects that Researchers were wrong or did not understand: P. 241-263). It meant that each zone leader needed to be vigilant to the possibility of the Vietminh' s bad intention, but until then should treat Hanoi as friend. The center' s priority was to keep a friendly term between the zone leaders and Hanoi as long as possible to fight the Lon Nol Regime. It appeared that Ta Mok did not share Pol Pot' s political view and continued to nurture his hostility toward the eastern zone. Being a true veteran of the revolution, he had tried to distance himself from the Vietminh from the start. After the Geneva accord, he was among the few top leaders to stay hidden in Cambodia throughout the fifties and sixties while others went to live at Hanoi (WWWO: The Ultimate Revolution: P. 191). He was no doubt the most vigilant among suspectors of Hanoi' s bad intention and had already eyed So Phim of being one of Hanoi' s spy. Of a poor political background, Ta Mok let his gut feeling taking over the center' s policy and his army started on a constant quarreling with the eastern zone. To resolve the conflict, Pol Pot created a buffer zone between the two conflicting groups. The special Zone was formed by combining administrative members taken out from both Ta Mok and So Phim' s zones and placed them under Von Vet' s leadership. Being a new apprentice, Von Vet was trained along side the central committee and received total confidence from Pol Pot to be out of Vietminh influence. Added to his early credit, Von Vet had proved himself to work well with both So Phim and Ta Mok. Nevertheless, he started replacing local top administrative with his own people who were mostly recruited from the heart of Phnom Penh (Notes: The CIA affiliated Agents). Among the new recruits were Pauk Chhay and Nuan Suon who were jailed during the crackdown of the communist underground by king Sihanouk' s government in 1969. They were freed during the coup of Lon Nol (against King Sihanouk) and joined the Khmer Rouge Organization during king Sihanouk' s call to oust the Lon Nol regime. As Von Vet grew in status, his relationship with Ta Mok was deteriorating. It won't take long for Ta Mok to grew suspicion about Von Vet being of CIA' s connection and watched him closely after he became the special zone leader in 1971 (Notes: Ta Mok' s Paranoia about the CIA Spy-ring). The situation complicated by the apparent link between the CIA and Hanoi' s spy-rings that took affect after the Paris' accord (Notes: Link between the CIA and Hanoi' s Spy-Rings). Pol Pot might already suspected the link by the way that Nuang Suon successfully handled the conflict between So Phim' s group and its rivals in the special zone, but kept quiet along the way. After the fall of Phnom Penh, the center ordered the evacuation of the town people to the county side, apparently to divert external interference through the zone leaders (Notes: The Dispersion of the Town People).
POL POT' S REVOLUTION
It is important to stress out that Pol Pot was given a role in the executive branch only after the formation of the Democratic Kampuchea when he was nominated as its Prime Minister. One of his important responsibility was to oversee the operation of the correction center S21 at Tual Sleng. Fact findings show that Pol Pot and his government were intense and ruthless in handling the S21 Center that reflects the radicalism of his regime (Notes: The Purpose of S21). The impression had led to the premature judgment by International community that Pol Pot was also guilty to other crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime as well (Notes: The Khmer Rouge' s Genocide Pogrom). In this section we shall look at some of them, case by case, that were seen connected to his revolutionary initiative.
Pol Pot' s Cultural Revolution
Through out the history of the Khmer Rouge organization, evidences show that Pol Pot never had direct control over the eastern zone. During the formation of the government of the Indochinese Liberation Front, Pol Pot voluntary step aside to avoid political backlash with king Sihanouk and Hanoi' s agenda. In quality as the secretary of the Communist party of the Khmer rouge, he took the time to finish the Cambodian model of communism for his own party. In that limited role, the most that he could do was to issue guidelines to each zone leader of the party' s policy making. Evidences also show that during this early stage, each zone leader was expected to operate under the strict government of the Indochinese Liberation Front' s agenda. In the case of the Muslim Cham in the eastern zone, there were still misunderstanding among scholars about their history and the way that the Khmer Rouge handled them. Most western historian portrayed the Cham and the Khmer people to be hereditary enemies. We had instead argued that the Cham leadership was also part of Angkor ruling class. Even though there were internal conflict from time to time, Champapura was a part of the Angkorean Empire. After its fall under Tonkin's invasion, many of the Cham communities escaped into Cambodia. Through out the hard time, the Hinduist Cham were mixed with the Buddhist Khmers without any traces while the Muslim Cham preferred to live and practice their faith separately. Through their separation, the Muslim Cham had been successfully living side by side with the Buddhist communities of Cambodia. Reflecting that long past history together, king Sihanouk called them the Khmer Islam. For that, most western observers wrongly suspected the king of trying to integrate the Cham Muslim into the Khmer Society. The reality was that Sihanouk knew quite well that Buddhism and Islam were not compatible in practice and he knew that the Muslim Cham communities were more happy, living separated than to be mixed with the Buddhist Khmers. As one side did not mean any harm to the other, they were along the way at peace with each other. At the beginning of the war in 1970 the Chams were sympathetic to the Khmer Rouge, mostly because of their sympathy for the king. Answering to his call, the majority of them joined the Khmer Rouge and were fighting among their ranks. In 1973 however, they started to rebel against the Eastern Zone and the Khmer Rouge in general. For western observers the motif was clearly about communist central committee' s harsh policy against the minority groups. With the inauguration of cooperatives, they argued, the center saw the Cham' s distinct life-style counterrevolutionary (WWWO: Cambodia' s Reign of Terror: P. 262). The accusation was however without merit. As a true believer of the Communist Doctrine, Pol Pot might have been issuing tougher guideline against all religious practitioners as part of his own cultural revolution and that tradition and religious believes have no place in his communist agenda. Later in his rule, we shall see that Buddhism and other religions were also targeted as well. The crack down on the Cham rebels might have been part of Pol Pot' s policy of converting Cambodia into a secular state, but could never been intended as a part of genocide pogrom against the Muslim Cham. The Buddhist Khmers were obviously less suffering simply because they were less resisting to the policy. During its early stage, the cohabitation was done depending upon the current situation of each community. Due to the decentralization, the Cham cohabitation could have been left to run by themselves in the accommodation to their appearance and diet. On the other hand, the eastern zone was well known to be less cooperative to the center than other zones. Under these conditions, they could protect the Chams from the center' s hash guideline if they wanted to. On the same note, we shall argue that the hash crackdown of the Cham rebels was purely political. It had nothing to do with Pol Pot' s cultural revolution and it was the eastern zone to carry on the crack-down right after the first Paris Peace Agreement that split Pol Pot from Hanoi the first time during the fight against the Lon Nol Regime. While So Phim went to Hanoi, Pol Pot and King Sihanouk got together to continue the war against the Lon Nol regime. The Chams must to know by then that the eastern zone and Hanoi were fighting a different war than that they had been told. The Paris Accord convinced them as well as the king that Hanoi did not actually fight for king Sihanouk' s cause, but for its own hidden agenda. Theirs rebellious activity was due instead to their own sentiment toward the Khmer rouge. Like the displaced Khmer Krom people, they were still holding on the hope of retrieving back their lost country. Needless to say, Hanoi would not tolerate such rebellious activity and it was the eastern zone' army that was instructed to carry on the crackdown (Notes: Hun Sen' s Part in the Crack Down). On the same token, a different policy was seen later carried on the ethnic minorities groups of Rattanak Kiri and Moldol Kiri provinces as well. After the fall of Phnom Penh, unrest was seen emerging among small communities of highlanders following the border' s clash with Hanoi (Notes: Hanoi' s Policy on Minorities).
The Cooperative Cohabitation
Pol Pot' s decision to evacuate Phnom Penh and other cities was the least understood and the most blamed for his accused overall genocide program. For many observers, it was done spontaneously with no reason, The consequence was immediate as millions of hungry new people with no mean of producing were sent to live with the old people who had hardly enough ration for themselves. Others who knew the actual situation during the war could see that his decision was not not a blunt move. Due to condition of the war, rice harvest was not enough to feed the city' s people. Under the Lon-Nol regime, they survived mostly through imported rice bought by loan money. As we had argued, cohabitation was in fact a viable solution in Pol Pot' s view for his model of self-sustainment. Furthermore, evidences show that everything done in the first year had been tried successfully in the liberated zones since the 1973 cooperative movement (WWWO: The Ultimate Revolution: P.195). As early as February 1975, the evacuation and resettlement plans were approved at the Second Congress of the United Front inside of Cambodia (WWWO: The Ultimate Revolution: P. 215). The old people had been told to prepare for the new people one month ahead of the final attack on Phnom Penh. As expected, there was undeniably unequal treatment between the two people from the start. Even though private properties were not allowed and were supposed to be for the common use, original villagers were mostly living in their own houses or dwellers. Many managed to hide their belonging and, even though prohibited, were able to grow some plants around their properties for their own reserve. On the other hand, most new comers from the city had no such privilege or mean to do so (Notes: The New People' s Dilemma). For some of them who were lucky enough to find acquaintance among the old people, the resettlement was a lot less stressful. The rest were often subjected to rejection and the ordeal aggravated as they have to move from one site to another after rejected by the old people. The hardest hit were the people from Phnom Penh who were evicted in different direction with no choice of their own to reach the zone that they had family or friends to accommodate them. The impact varied from zone to zone, depending upon the stock of rice kept in the village to feed them. The Eastern zone (ran by So Phim) and the Southwestern zone (ran by Ta Mok) were seen as the best zones ever for the city migrants to head to. Being long time under the Khmer Rouge, they were ahead of other zones in the establishment of the commune life-style (WWWO: The Ultimate Revolution: P.190). Both zones were known to receive special privilege from the Center because they have been contributing to the party during the fight against the Lon Nol' s regime (Notes: The Southwestern Zone' s Credential). Unfortunately, they were renown for their tough rejection of the new people also. Through the center' s decision, migrants were to be relocated and the northwestern zone was seen as the next best zone of the country. Known as the rice stock of Cambodia, the northwestern zone had basically no old people at the side of the Angkar. After the city' s evacuation, cohabitation communes were under local peasants of the countryside. They were original villagers who, receiving privilege as the old people of other zones, were mostly living in their own houses. Nevertheless, the intensity of the war during the last two years had brought down the rice production and to make the matter worst had to provide some ration for the center also. As each community was saturated with city people, the shortage of rice ration soon was taking toll on the whole community. Many of the new comers who had nothing or little to trade went hungry. As stealing was considered a high crime and could lead to execution, many died either from starving related sickness or being executed by the tough rule. However, most Chinese were at first better off with their hidden treasure brought from the city. Some even managed to make business by establishing their trading network with corrupted Kammahibals. When Pol Pot started on his cleansing program, they were among the first to go along with the northwestern zone officers. The purging started at the middle of 1976, after Ieng Thirith made her trip to the northwestern zone as the new minister for social affairs responsible for the well being of the population. Her report to the central committee was grimmer than what Pol Pot had expected. A conclusion was made that the local cadres were corrupted and did intentionally distort the direction of the central committee (WWWO: Cambodian' s reign of terror: P. 247). To many western observers, the investigation was just part of the Pol Pot' s cover-up on failure that resulted from his unconventional revolution. The evacuation of the City particularly made Chinese people becoming the most suffered of Pol Pot' s communist regime simply because they were in high numbers among the new people evacuated from the cities. Being part of the French colonial legacy (Cam: The gentle Land: P.19), the Chinese ordeal was nothing more than the collateral outcome of the Pol Pot' s red-hot Cultural Revolution.
The Vietnamese Secret Affair
Started during the early phase of the Lon Nol rule, the Vietnamese settlers were rounded up in concentration camps. At first, there were serious attempts by South Vietnamese government to expatriate them to Vietnam but after a while, the effort stopped leaving many of them stranded to live in the camps during the Lon-Nol era. Needless to say, they were enduring the hardship until the war ended in April 1975. After the fall of Phnom Penh, they were transported to Vietnam by boats and by trains, organized by Vitnamese cadres. Some Khmer observers confirm that Khmer kammaphibals were seen taking orders from the Vietming cadres as they were their superiors to help transport these Vietnamese home. Many who lived outside the camps were also allowed to take the trips if they declared themselves as of Vietnamese descended. They were mostly old-timer migrants who, through many years of adaptation, had changed their live-style to fit the modern Cambodian way (more precisely to the colonial way). Hanoi brought them to Vietnam and took the opportunity to recruit and train them into becoming the next Vietminh cadres and sent them back as secret contingent' s troops hidden inside of Cambodia. For western observers who relied on Standard Total View to check on their information, the claim of the Vietnamese cadres' s presence secretly inside of Cambodia was simply out of question. While they were able to acknowledge the presence of the secret Vietminh cadres in Laos of high numbers, they might think that Pol Pot would not let that to happen. Because he was in the same coalition team for the Southeast Asian Maoist project, Pol Pot must to know about the danger that he was facing with, but without troupes of his own he kept his mouth shut and kept smiling at the time being. To emancipate himself from the joint venture, he needed supports from Thailand and members of the ASEAN group to help him standing his ground against Hanoi (Notes: The Rearmament of the Khmer Rouge). The moment apparently came when the border' s clashes with Thailand came to the open. Reports of fighting groups coming from inside of Cambodia to attack Thailand started to reach Bangkok since early 1977, shortly after the formation of the Democratic Kampuchea' s government. As the conflict aggravated through out the year, Thai government started to make contact with Phnom Penh to resolve the situation (WVIC: Local Genesis of the conflict: Foreign Policy of Democratic Kampuchea: P 80-83). Pol Pot took the opportunity to build stronger relationship with Thailand that turned out to be crucial of his government' s survival during and after the invasion of Vietnam. On september 27, 1977 he started his emancipation by openly declaring the existence of the Kampuchean Communist Party as a separate entity from the Indochinese Communist organization, In the party' s resolution broadcasted to the outside world, he announced that it was not the Khmer Communist Party' s intention to take control of neighboring country.
Our conutry is small and has few people. The geographical position and political regime of our Democratic Cambodia do not permit us to commit aggression against any country. A small and weak country cannot swallow a big country....
However, the Cambodian people and Revolutionay Army are determined to defend our independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within our present border.
The first part of his statement confirmed Thailand that Cambodia was not involved in the border clashes along with the promotion of the Thai Communist Party. On the other hand, the second part sent message to Hanoi that he and his party would not condone anymore of Vietminh intervention in Cambodian affair. Interestingly enough, the message was sent after the Khmer Rouge raid in South Vietnam on September 24 1977 that resulted in hundreds of Vietnamese civilians had been massacred. At first, Hanoi wanted to publicize the incidence by inviting a foreign journalist to visit the battlefield, but later appeared to change its mind (Notes: The Tay Ninh Incidence). Since the Thai government already suspected that the attacks on Thai territory were conducted by the Thai communist group through support from a secret organization inside of Cambodia. Pol Pot needed to convince Thailand that it was actually the work of the Vietminh and was coordonated by Hanoi (Notes: The Thai communist Party). Furthermore, the border' s incidence with South Vietnam conveyed to Thailand that Phnom Penh was actually in conflict with Hanoi. To pull off Cambodia from the Indochinese communist agenda, Pol Pot was forced to make a radical move that required him to act swiftly and efficiently. The next crack down on the Vietminh spy-ring through S21 was seen so severe that most western observers mistook him for a mad-man in the history of Southeast Asia. It was in fact one of the crimes that pol Pot and his communist party did not deny. To make the matter worst, the systematic liquidation of the last Vietnamese people inside of Cambodia set the whole of Vietnamese pogrom as by far the most racist motivated killing from the part of the center (Notes: Racism in Cambodian History). To Pol Pot and his associates, kill or being killed was actually the situation that forced them to carry such atrocity against people whom they believed to work for the Vietnamese cause (Notes: The Crime of Humanity against the Vietname People).
THE THIRD INDOCHINESE WAR
What concerned Pol Pot the most was the fall of Vieng Chan into becoming Hanoi' s satellite. Immediately, Laos became a Vietminh incursion' s launching ground against the northeastern zone. The same situation had also happened across Thai Border, but this time it was Thailand that was being incursed upon. It became clear to him that Cambodia was being used like Laos to carry on Hanoi' s next plan for communist expansion against its neighboring state. Like America, Hanoi ran the whole show leaving little to Laos and Cambodia to take on their own initiative. With their own troops inside both Laos and Cambodia, the realization of the Indochinese State' s affair was just a matter of time. The fear of being subjugated by Hanoi and China' s next move was actually helping Pol Pot to establish alliance with Thailand and the ASEAN and to free itself from Hanoi.
The Fight against the Pracheachon Party
During the early phase of the organization' s control, evidences show that Pol Pot had entrusted all the interior affair of each zone to the zone secretaries. It was consistent to the decentralization of the Angkorian model that each zone was allowed to care of their own business autonomously. In the arrangement, all the zone leaders were functioning quasi independently from each other and from the central committee. What Pol Pot lacked in his judgment was assuming that these zone leaders were also good in running state affair as well as their combating skills. As there are still questions of subordination, their aptitude for administrative tasks were very much questionable. Most importantly, the decentralization works well when all local governments were bound to the central authority through a strong unification factor. In the Angkorian period, Buddhism was well placed on every stratum of Khmer society and in fact became the binding factor of the Khmer Cakravatin Empire. In the Democratic Kampuchea, Pol Pot was confident that communism would do even better job than Buddhism. At first, he appeared to be very much trusting of his teaching to each one of the zone leaders. They were in turn expected to carry through the training as well as delegating the center' s guidance down to lower levels of Kammaphibals and finally to the people. In the first two years, many conferences were brought up by lower-level administrators to convey the party' s optimism of the future under the clairvoyance of the Angkar. The message was consistent with the party' s belief that through technological advance, Angkar was on its big leaps to bring the Angkorean might back to Cambodia. The dilemma was that during these first two years, Cambodians were experiencing the worst hardship rarely happened in the history of mankind. A rationale person like Pol Pot would realize that in this situation, any nonsense propaganda only generated negative effect on the audience. Conducted mostly at night, the conferences deprived of the hungry and tired commune workers of the much-needed time to rest. While the Kammaphibals repeated again and again the same Angkar' s slogan, the audience had to make a great effort of not falling asleep in front of them. The propaganda soon stopped as the Central Committee had rather unexpectedly realized of their mistake. As reality settled in, evidences show that Pol Pot shifted his focus on the Kammaphibals. Fact-findings show that most of these zone leaders did not perform according to the expectation of their good class' s nature. Unfortunately, Pol Pot did not see that communist doctrine should also be to blame. Applying to feudalism, the anger that was needed to tear down the class strugle promptly transformed the zone leaders into warlord kings. Pol Pot might already aware of the problem even before capturing Phnom Penh. In the first party history publish in 1973 the Khmer Communist party complained about the problem of "warlordism" that was growing out of the zone system (WWWO: The Ultimate Revolution: P. 187). In a normal circumstance, he might review the measures and set out to make sure that they bear the right result or at least to show their true impact so he could correct them to fit the specific circumstances. The situation confirmed to us that he did not have neither control nor time needed to prevent all the bad thing to happen after the fall of Phnom Penh. The conflict with Hanoi already added a tougher reality that stroked him and all his associated communist party from the start. Hanoi took the opportunity to press for the border' s review of the two countries (Notes: The Border' s Review). Thinking still that his communist model was sound and flawless, he focused his attention to Hanoi' s interference. In his new review of the party' s objective, he rejected the credibility of the People (Pracheachon)' s Party under Sung Ngoc Minh to be of a true Cambodian organization. He argued that Hanoi had full control of the Party from the start and used it mainly for its own benefit.
It was true that the Cambodian people, poor peasants in particular, had joined the Khmer Issarak in the revolutionary struggle against the French colonists, they were nevertheless left orphan after the World War II. Having no correct and clear-sighted guideline of their own, they became preys to the political manipulation of the Vietminh. From the beginning, they fought against the French and later the American occupation along side the Vietnamese Communist party while their party' s objective were eclipsed by the latter' s ambitious project of the Indochinese communist state.(CIUP: Leadership: P. 128)
The statement clearly accused Hanoi of manipulating the zone leaders for all the dirty works committed during the first and the second Indochinese wars. As a high ranking Khmer Rouge official stated it, the fight against the Pracheachon' s party' smembers started (Notes: Thioun Mum' s View on the Organization' s Conflict)
The War with Hanoi
Many western observers opiniated that the border' s conflict got Pol Pot to the bring of his madness against Hanoi. For Pol Pot and associates however, the border conflict was just a start of Hanoi' s plan for its Indochinese state' s ambition. In his last interview, Pol Pot conveys that he had been suspecting all along that a conspiration had been formed by Hanoi to topple him and his communist party from the Khmer Rouge organization since the early fall of Phnom Penh. What Pol Pot meant was that Hanoi would do anything to restore control of the Khmer Rouge Organization to the Hanoi baked Pracheachon Party. As soon as Pol Pot was promoted to the head of the organization in 1963, Le Duan formed secret military units to be incursing into Cambodia territory (From Kingdom to Republic: The Threat of Communism: The Maoists at Work). After the Paris Peace Accord failed to persuade Pol Pot to stop fighting and to stay in the shadow of Hanoi, many of the Khmer Vietminh (including So Phim and Pen Sovann) were brought to Hanoi for a reorganization of the Khmer Pracheachon party. After a few months So Phim returned to his zone and took back his position as the eastern zone leader. Many returnees after him were however killed or left to take on low position of Kammaphibal jobs. It was not clear that So Phim was acting by himself or on Hanoi' s new initiative. Apparently he would not needed them since his new recruits were equipped and trained by the Vietminh cadres. By doing so, Hanoi brought So Phim into becoming the top zone leader of the organization and at the same time exerted full control on him. Evidences also show that through his personal friendship with Ros Nim, Hanoi was able also to infiltrate its secret army deep in the northwestern zone. Pol Pot must already knew of Hanoi' s new strategy, but decided to stay focus on taking over Phnom Penh before the Vietminh did it on their own term. None-the-less, Hanoi intervened and offered to help him achieving his goal by supplying heavy equipment needed to bombard Phnom Penh before the final take over in April 1975. Needless to say, these bombardement were operated by Vietminh cadres. When the time came, Son Sen stood on mount Chitareust (of Oudong) watching the progression of the attack while army troops from designated zones surrounded the capital city in all direction. Eyewitness confirmed later that Phnom Penh fell under different groups and each one appeared to proceed according to its own directive action. The southern part of Phnom Penh that was occupied by the southwestern and western zones stayed mostly quiet during the attack and was the first to evacuate the people out of Phnom Penh according to the center' s direction. The northern part of Phnom Penh was occupied by troops from the northern, northeastern and the eastern zones. It was the hot place where the killing of the top Lon Nol' s administrative cabinet members and official took place, Eye witnesses confirmed that the evacuation of the people was delayed due the breakout of communication with the center. The evacuation of the Battambang City was even more delayed by the execution of all provincial cabinet members and the collection of goods by the Khmer Rouge army. In that setting, we see two different directions that applied to each zone leader. The Southwestern and the western zones appeared to carry on the center' s direction promptly without much incidences. On the other hand, other zones appeared to carry on their own agenda that confirmed Pol Pot' s over all suspicion of Hanoi interference. The Khmer source moreover confirmed the transportation of the war trophy and later of Vietnamese detainees from the concentration camps, all the way from Battambang to South Vietnam by train and by boat through the northern part of Phnom Pehn. It convinced us that Pol Pot had no other choice than to cooperate and worked along side with Hanoi, in order to secure the fall of Phnom Penh. Hanoi continued to exert power on him until he decided to come out to the open and took the organization upon himself. In a risky move, he declared the Khmer communist party as the sole party of the Khmer Rouge organization and free from the Khmer Pracheachon Party. He used his assigned Prime minister' s status and the assistance of Ta Mok to eliminate the rest of opposition groups to his cabinet (Notes: The Purge of the Opposition). Hanoi retaliated by regrouping the old faithful of the Pracheachon Party and push them to rebel in a full scale against the center. As stated by Thioun Mum, the fight between the two groups started to turn deadly. Caught in between were So Phim and his friend whose loyalty to Hanoi became immediately the target of elimination by the center. Looking closely, they were more preoccupying on safeguarding their own personal power and doubtfully had a good understanding about the whole political conflict between Pol Pot and Hanoi. So Phim and other zone leaders that fell under the Vietminh' s sway must to have been told that supporting secret Vietminh troops was a requirement from their part to support the Indochinese war on their behalf. When the center gave So Phim a list of traitors to be purged, he could not carry through the order because they were all his close friends. After his forced suicide, many of his associates escaped to Vietnam and were received warmly by Hanoi to be included in the new formed "government of salvation" against Pol Pot and his cabinet (Notes: The Government of Salvation).
The Changing Face of the Cold War
After Leonid Breznev took office, Russia was already on its way to revise its communist core ideology. The revisionism was nothing else than a disguise term for communist capitalism. As the Cultural Revolution split the communist block into two camps, American policy in Southeast Asia changed. Even after president Richard Nixon was implicated in the Water Gate' s scandal, the Nixon' s doctrine stayed to become the de-facto American policy in Southeast Asia. During the whole presidency of Gerald Ford, America withdrew itself from the conflict and let the two communist camps fighting each other over Southeast Asian affair. From now on, the Cold war had shifted its focus from the war on ideology to the economic based dependency. The same way that the Vietnamization had failed the Lon Nol regime miserably (From Kingdom to Republic: The Fall of Lon Nol Regime: The Effect of the Vietnamization), the changing face of the Cold War caught the Khmer communist party deeply in its core ideology. While the Chinese Cultural Revolution lost all its focus after the death of Mao Tse Tong in 1976, Pol Pot and his Khmer Communist Party lost the only support that they have. The new Chinese leaders, better known as the Gang of Fours, also lost themselves in their own power struggling soon afterward. On the other hand, Hanoi saw the change to be perfectly fit into its foreign affair. While Russia started to make friend with America, a switch to Soviet bloc was always Hanoi' s preference since the Vietnam war started. In the move, Hanoi dragged along Laos and promised Russia to include the Democratic Kampuchea in the consortium as well. When the latter broke its diplomatic tie and started in an escalating military conflict with Vietnam, Hanoi could hardly explain the break-off to Moscow. At the same time, Pol Pot announced the independence of the Khmer Communist Party after receiving support from Thailand and the ASEAN group. Since late February 1978, Hanoi had accused Phnom Penh of receiving assistance from "the Imperialism and international and reactionary". Le Duan assured Moscow that it was Pol Pot' s acting alone and a full blown invasion of Democratic Kampuchea would resolve the issue. To disuave the Thai government from supporting Pol Pot, Hanoi escalated the attacks on Thai' s border by using its secret troups hidden inside of Cambodia (Notes: The Thai Border' s Conflict). The Thai government was on the bring to fall into the scheme and to make a deal with Hanoi if China did not start to intervene. To clarify on the Cambodian-Thai border' s clash, Ieng Sary made a trip to Thailand on July 14 1978 and denounced Hanoi of being the culprit. For western observers who denied or knew nothing of Hanoi' s secret organization inside of Cambodia, the accusation was one of Ieng Sary' s make-up stories as usual. Nevertheless, we have the reason to believe that Ieng Sary could not convince the Thai government to believe in his made-up story if he had no proof to back him up. Evidences in fact show that Pol Pot and the center knew about the secret Vietminh organization deep inside of Cambodia since the start of the Vietnam War (Notes: Mitt Ya' s Confession). Judging from the fact that Thailand and the ASEAN group were seen making alliance with Pol POt and his Khmer Communist Party, Ing Sary' s claim was not wothout merit. He must to convince them that Hanoi' s ambition was clearly beyond the unification of Vietnam and the formation of the Indochinese State was just a start. With Russia now behind its back, Hanoi renewed strength could go along way against the ASEAN group with or withou Chinese support. This change of policy got China off guard and forced Deng Xiaoping to react. On June 7 1978, he told a group of visiting Thai journalists in Beijing that China was reducing its assistance to Vietnam. The reason was because of Hanoi' s unfriendly acts citing among them the expulsion of the Hoa from Vietnam and the resettlement of Chinese residents in New Economic zones as the cause (Notes: The Resettlement of Chinese Residents from the Borders). Following Deng's declaration, China ended altogether economic aid to Vietnam in July 1978. In early September 1978, Le Duan told the Soviet Ambassader in Hanoi that he would solve the Cambodian affair as early as in 1979. In response to the question of internal Khmer support, he listed among the high ranking Khmer Rouge Kammaphibal that supported Hanoi, So Phim, Nuan Chea and Son Sen (WVIC: Local Genesis of the Conflict: Disintegration of "Militant Solidarity" in Indochina: P. 108-109). They referred So Phim as one of their men to count on. At the time.So Phim had already killed himself in May 1978 while being chased by Ta Mok' s secret police. As to the claim of Nuan Chea and Son Sen to be on their side, more evidences from the Vietnamese side are needed to verify the claim. If the claim was true, Pol Pot and Ta Mok were virtually by themselves in theirs fight against Hanoi. Le Duan also stated that there were nine battalions of Khmer troops, trained by Vietnamese who were in a secret operation at the time. Evidences show that these nine secret Vietminh batalions were actually hiding in isolated area and so far evaded Pol Pot and Ta Mok' s craking down. Le Duan knew that he needed to act fast before the twos could find them and establish full control of the whole country. In responding to the Khmer attacks on Tay-Ninh province, In 1978, Hanoi conducted its own incursion deep inside of Democratic Kampuchea, but soon withdrew its troops back into Vietnam. In January 1979, a full-blown attack guided by Soviet advisors on Cambodia finally toppled the Pol Pot' s regime from power.
- Angka:Who was Angka? (Angka Chea Narna?), by Kim Thy Ouy
- PolP: Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, by Philip Short.
- WVIC: Why Vietnam Invaded Cambodia, by Stephen J. Morris
- Gate: The Gate, by Francois Bizot
- HKam: The History of Kambuchea, by Khiev Samphan
- WWWO: When the War was Over, by Elizabeth Becker
- Cam: Cambodia 1975-1982, by Michael Vickery
- PL: Pathet Lao, Wikipedia.
- FS: The Fall of Saigon, Wikipedia.
- CFKR: An Essay on the Khmer Rouge Regime: The Cause of the Short Fall of the Khmer Rouge, by Nou Samnang.
1964-1982: Leonid Brezhnev became president of Russia; 1969: Death of Ho Chi Minh; 1969-1974: Richard Nixon (Republican) became president of USA; 1972: Death of Sung Ngoc Minh; August 1974- January 1977: Gerald Ford (Republican) became president of USA; April 12 1975: The Lon Nol' s regime ended with the fall of Phnom Penh; April 30 1975: The Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon; April 1976: the government of Democratic of Campuchea was formed; September 1976: Mao Tse Tung died; 1977-1981: Jimmy Carter (Democrat) became president of USA; December 1978: Deng Xiaoping took control of China; 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan (Republican) became president of USA;
- The Cambodian Paradox
The Cambodian paradox, which consisted in never being able to admit foreign complicity in the defense of of the nation, and this taciturn people deep-rooted pride, would result, five years later, in the colossal contradiction- an incomprehensible mystery to the outside world-of a nation perpetrating genocide on itself (Gate: Chapter 2: P20.).
- The case of Macolhm Cadwell
Cadwell was a Scottish teacher whose visit to Phnom Penh in December 1978 ended up in being killed by the Cambodian intrigue. In his last conversation with the American journalist Elizabeth Becker, he conveyed that he was a proponent of the Pol Pot' s revolution. It was about a fight of a small country for survival against its bigger hostile neighbor. Cadwell was assassinated that night and his hope for Scotland being free from England did not realize according to his prediction (WWWO: Return to Phnom Penh: P.433).
- Atrocity during the fall of Phnom Penh
By the time that the Khmer Rouge Organization was known to be controlling Phnom Penh after its fall,
many western observers started to see atrocity to Phnom Penh and to Cambodia from day one. It turned out that the conviction was too soon for a sound judgment. While the ordeal of the interviewee was real (despite exaggeration), the implication of the Khmer Rouge Organization as the sole culprit of the crime was obscured by the complexity and the secrecy of the whole affair. It started with the wrong impression that the Khmer Rouge Organization was solely run by Pol Pot.
- Reason of Hanoi Pogrom on Cambodian People
The reason given was that Hanoi wanted Cambodian population to be reduced so it become small enough to swallow the country whole. The fear seams exaggerated, but it was shared by the majority of the Cambodian people. So far, many Khmer leaders-including King Sihanouk, Lon Nol and Pol Pot-had the same opinion. History taught them enough that bad neighboring was primary the cause of current Cambodian crisis.
- Angkar Chea Norna (Who was Angkar?)
Amount a few books so far published, "Angkar Chea Norna" was compiled by Mrs Kin Thy Ouy who was herself a Khmer Kampuchea Krom. It was an outstanding book compiled through her own ordeals and experiences under both the Vietminh and Pol Pot regime and her interview with her own numerous peers of similar background. She was able to take notes when they have chances to meet before and after the fall of the Pol Pot regime. Theirs opinion could not be bias to the latter' s benefit, since they were mostly of Lon Nol' s affiliated background and were themselves victims (many of them were actually executed) during the Pol Pot regime. Speaking Vietnamese fluently, she had also the opportunities to interview many of the defecting Vietminh' s cadres to verify her accounts.
- The Misuse of Foreign Help
The vast majority of nations wanted to help. Within one year, Hanoi had established diplomatic relations with ninety-seven nations and belong to twenty two international institutions, including the World Bank, the international Monetary Fund, and the Asia Development Bank. Foreign countries pledged over $6 billion in aid within the first year for the reconstruction of Vietnam. And in short order Hanoi shifted it priority toward military and security affairs. Laos quickly became a protectorate of Vietnam, the first step toward the goal. The transformation of Laos into a satellite of Vietnam was done quietly. Eventually some 40000 Vietminh soldiers were stationed in the country- a foreign army larger than the native Lao army. Vietnamese models became Lao policy (WWWO:The Silence Ends: P.378).
- The last Fight with the Pathet Lao
Shortly after the Paris Peace accords that ended the US involvement in the Vietnam War, the Pathet Lao and the government of Laos signed in February 1973 a cease-fire agreement. Known as the Vientiane Treaty, the agreement was meant to comply to the Paris Peace Talk in the attempts to keep the Vietminh outside of Laos (PL: 1960s and 1970s). The coalition government envisaged by the treaty did not long outlast it. As the North Vietnamese Army did not leave the country, the Pathet Lao refused to disarm and stopped fighting. With direct assistance of the North Vietnamese Army, the Pathet Lao began attacking government strongholds in 1975.
- The Border' s Conflict
Before the war started, King Sihanouk had made an effort to approach both the Vietminh and the Vietcong to recognize the actual border between South Vietnam and Cambodia. It was one of his conditions to support the Vietnam' s war. As no official map available by the time of the agreement, he used the map drawn by the French colonial rule as a reference because it was closer to the actual frontier than other maps that were available of the time. Other maps, especially the ones that were drawn by American service men and by Hanoi itself were made to suit either Hue or Hanoi' s ambitious drive on Cambodian territory.
- The Correction Center S21
The center was ran by an associate member of the Central Committee Duch, under the direction of the defense minister Sun Sen. It belonged to the Central leader Von Veth before it was transferred to be under the Center. The second in command was later accused and executed with Von Veth accused of taking part of the CIA' s ring. In the September 27,1977' s speech (broadcasted on Rado Phnom Penh Domestic Service), Pol Pot explained the purpose of the correction center: "In our new Cambodia society, life-and-death conflicts still exist, as enemies in the form of various spy rings working for the imperialism and international reactionaries are still planned among us to carry out subversive activities against our revolution".
- Pol Pot' s Counter-spy Measure
Of its secret nature, the spy ring was not made easy to discover. Without the capability to identify its members, purging was the only way to disable the ring. To deal with the CIA agents of his organization, it took only months for the center to destroy the network. Among the first high profile Kammaphibals to be purged were: Hou Yuan on 1975, Keo Meas and Mitt Ya on 9/20/76, Hou Nim on 4/10/77, Phauk Chhay on 7/6/77, Khek Pen (Mitt Sou) on 9/8/77. Through their confessions, we knew that they were accused of toppling the Pol Pot regime through the CIA spy ring (CFKR: CIA ordered Hou Yuan, Hou Nim, Tiv Old and Nuan Suan to assassinate Pol Pot, but were themselves destroyed by Pol Pot: P. 62-64).
- The CIA affiliated Agents
Many of these recruits were later accused by the center to be CIA affiliated Agents and were subjected to be purged by Pol Pot' s Cultural Revolution. According to their own accounts, some of the high profile recruits knew of their CIA' s connection. On the other hands, recruits of lower ranks were generally not aware of the link.
- Ta Mok' s Paranoia about the CIA Spy-ring
In the case of Francois Bizot who was captured because he wondered too close to the Khmer Rouge head-quarter, Duch immediately dismissed him as a possible CIA' s agent. Von Vet and Pol Pot later signed his release because like Duch, they did not believe that Bizot was possibly spying on them. As Bizot portrayed in his book, the only member of the central committee who was paranoia about the whole of CIA' s affair was actually Ta Mok. His persistence however took the upper-hand over both Von Vet and Duch and forced them to kill the two Bizot' s Khmer assistants even knowing that they were innocent.
- Link between the CIA and Hanoi' s Spy-rings
We knew that Ho Chi Minh had worked for the Great Alliance prior to the first Indochinese war. According to the Khmer source, he had approached Sung Ngoc Thanh to include the Khmer Issaraks in the fighting off the French colonists. Despite of Sung Ngoc Thanh' s apparent rejection, there were some sort of agreement between the two about the next formation of the Khmer Procheachon Party ran by Sung Ngoc Minh. During the Vietnam' s war, it appeared that the two groups came into an agreement in working together to rid off their common ennemy Pol Pot and the Khmer Communist Party first and to take care of their own business later.
- The Khmer Rouge' s Genocide Pogrom
Led by Ben Kernan, the study of the Khmer Rouge' s Genocide Pogrom on minorities concluded Pol Pot' s racism as compared to that of Hitler. Other western observers also supported the view. Some even went far to accuse the Khmer tradition of causing his radical measure at S21. We shall instead argue that Pol Pot' s extreme measures in S21 had nothing to do with racism and that hash treatment of minorities were rather the outcome of radical communism instead. Evidences so far show that the same guidance in regard to the new people was given to apply to all the people, regardless of their race. Nevertheless, there were undeniable difference of treatment from one group to another when applied, based upon their class and political background.
- The Dispersion of the Town People
Even though their were no such bombing to take plasce, the dispersion was seen prepared and organized by the center well before the fall of Phnom Penh. By dispersing the Cities, Pol Pot' s plan was to set the Lon Nol' s army in disarray and consequently could not regroup themselves to overrun the Khmer Rouge. He might not know that Hanoi already ahead of him and had their own plan to take care of the lon-nol' s people following the fall of Phnom Penh. While Son Sen was watching from far behind at mount chitareus, armies of all the zone leaders entered Phnom Penh and carried on their own war plans.
- The Purpose of S21
S21 wa transferred from the special zone to the center apparently to rid-off opposition that was suspected of CIA' s affiliation. As we had argued, China and Hanoi must to know about its operation and its purpose from the start. After the fall of Phnom Penh, a series of events convinced Pol Pot that Ta Mok' s suspicion of external spy-ring' s infection was real. Pol Pot brought him up to become his right-hand man in the campaign of next cracking down the "ennemy lines". Kammaphibals were arrested and brought to S21 to make confession and later exterminated. The methods used for retrieving the confession were cruel and inhuman giving to the world community the impression that S21 was of the same nature as the Nazi concentration camps.
- Hun Sen' s Part in the Muslim Crackdown
Hun Sen later admitted that he was assigned to take part of the Muslim crack down but insisted that he did not carry on the command, by pretending to be sick.
- Hanoi' s Policy on Minorities
Prior to their uprising, there were no evidences of mistreatment from the center to the hightlander communities of the northeastern zone. As a matter of fact, their way of life was known to be perfectly fit into Pol Pot' Cambodian model of revolution. It was actually Hanoi' s scheme to set minorities against the center. The rebellion was however cracked down along with the arrest of the northeastern zone leader (Mitt Ya) who was sequested to S21 in September 1976. Taking the opportunity, the Vietminh round-up a number of minority groups and brought them inside Laos for training and returned them back as rebels against the center.
- The New People' s Dilemma
Many western observers of the free world who had the opportunity to interview Pol Pot or his close associates, asked them either or not they felt remorse of the hash treatment to the new people from the city. Pol Pot replied that it was up to history to opiniate but for himself he had no remorse. Being of a radical communist, his action was dictated by the communist doctrine. The fact that he had brought up the peasant class into the limelight was actually a big achievement that he himself acclaimed for. If he won the war with the Vietminh and stayed in power, he would not have to answer the question.
- The Southwestern Zone' s Credential
At the high of the American air war, the Southwestern zone fielded the largest single army recruited from the old people community and grew more rice than any other zone for the rebel cause. The army was also one of the most zealous and suffered some of the worst defeat of the war during its suicidal attack on Phnom Penh in 1973. By 1975 it had lost some of its strength and stature but it was an ardent about transforming its villages into cooperatives as it had been in fighting, and was second only to the Eastern zone in establishing such systems.
- The Rearmament of the Khmer Rouge
In the past, the armament of the Khmer Rouge fighting units were done through Hanoi and were delivered through the Ho Chi Ming trail. In the conflict with Hanoi, Pol Pot needed Thailand's cooperation to ship the arms directly from China through the seaport of Kampong Som.
- The Tay Ninh Incidence
Local Vietnamese commanders had invited the Hungarian journalist Kandor Dura to witness the evidence of atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouges during the attack. He was taking to Tay Ninh province accompanied by workers from the department of agitation and propaganda of the Ho Chi Minh City committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party. On October 1 the situation totally changed. The Vietnamese demanded that Dura hand over all the materials and requested that he does not discuss what he had seen with anyone (WVIC: Local Genesis of the Conflict: Disintegration of "Militant Solidarity: P.100). This change of itinary confirms the Khmer source that the victims were mostly of ethnic Khmer Kampochea Krom. The attacks that were mostly carried on by the eastern zone troups clearly targeted Khmer Krom Villages. The Vietminh took the opportunity to move them out and stationed their troops on their land instead. The next attack from the center was met with heavy artillery and tanks inflicting heavy casualty to the Khmer troops. The land confiscated was later distributed to new city dwellers to form the New Economic zones while the Khmer villagers were scattered away from the border.
- The Thai Communist Party
The first round of attacks killed mostly Thai of ethnic Khmer villagers living along the border. Later attacks often carried on along with the abduction of Thai civilians to be brought inside of Cambodia. They were trained and returned to the Thai communist party to join the fighting force against the Thai government. To recall back, we know that the Vietming formed the Thai Communist Party at the same time and at the same condition of the Khmer Vietminh, as part of the Indochinese Communist Party. The Thai government must to know then that the Khmer Communist Party had no historical link with the Thai Communist Party and most of all had no capability to arm the Thai recruits. In fact, the Khmer communist party needed armament for themselves desperately to fight against Hanoi. The alliance with Thailand was their only hope to secure them with a supply chain of arm transportation from China. Our findings implicates Hanoi to use its secret troops hidden inside of Cambodia to train and arm the Thai Communist fighters in Thailand.
- Racism in Cambodian History
In modern history books, the Cambodian hate against Thai and Vietnamese people were often brought up as the source of conflicts between Cambodia and its two neighboring countries. Wrongly compared with the Nazi racism, the hate was often blamed as a cause of Cambodian self-destruction. In reality, the hate was just a deep fear factor that was the result of many centuries of suffering under Thai and Vietnamese' s constant aggression as bad neighbors. It is in total contrast to the fascist racism that was based on Darwinian super race of the natural selection.
- The Crime of Humanity against the Vietnamese People
Looking closely, the Khmer Rouge was not the only one to commit such high crime against humanity to a selected group of people seen as a threat to the survival of its government. After establishing its control, the Pathet Lao went out to quiet down resistance, as conflicts continued to plague the country (PL). In 1977 a communist newspaper promised the party would hunt down the "American collaborators" and their families "to the last root". The government of Laos has been accused of committing genocide against the Hmong in collaboration with the Vietnamese army.
- The Border' s Review
Since the map drawn by the French colonial administration was drawn for the French administrative purpose, the technical interpretation of the map alone does not solve the border' s conflict. To determine the actual border before the Vietnam War started, both sides needed to find a common ground in determining the actual frontier during King Sihanouk' s era. The review should include a deep past study of the regional historical data in complementing the inaccuracy of the map.
- Thioun Mum' s View on the Organization' s Conflict
Thioun Mum was a member of the Khmer Communist Party from Paris and was considered as one of the top intellectual of the group. His remark on the organization' s crisis was that:
In 1977 there was a violent fight between the patriots who said that Kampuchea must be independent of Vietnam and those who said Kampuchea must be close friends with Vietnam. This battle continued until the middle of 1978 (WWO: The Tiger and the Crocodile: P.309)
- The Purge of the Opposition
In May 1976 the commander of the eastern troops in Phnom Penh Chan Chakrey was arrested along with 200 more kammaphibals of the eastern zone. Following the border' s conflict and the uprising of the highlanders of the Rattanakkiri and the Mondulkiri provinces, the northeastern zone Mitt Ya was arrested in September 1976.
- The Central Control in the Eastern Zone
In early 1977 central established a central government under Cha and Sun Sen. Hun Sen asserted that in March 1977, when Southwest troops attacked Vietnam, he was ordered to take part in the fight, but he refused. In July he escaped to Vietnam.
- The Government of Salvation
Penn Sovan was a Khmer Vietminh who was inducted and trained by Hanoi since he was very young. From 1970, he worked for the Khmer Rouge Organization under Khiev Thirit. He was pulled to Hanoi in 1973 after the Paris Peace accord. He had received high trust from Hanoi and was married to one of Pham Van Dong' s niece. Through his own revelation, Pen Sovann conveyed that he was commissioned to form the government in support for the Vietnamese invasion. Three defecting military figures from the eastern zone, Heng samrin, Chea Sim and Hun Sen were placed in various high positions in the new government.
- The Thai Border' s Conflict
On March 3, Thai Prime Minister suggested that it was Thai Communists who did the attack but small bands of Cambodian soldiers were seen also trespassing into Thai territory. On April 1 1978, the Thai town of Aranyaprathet was bombarded with long range Chines rockets. On Aril 9 another attack on Thai Village in Boriram. During all these times, all the purge of northwestern zone leaders in 1977 already complete. It could not been the northwestern troops to make the attack.
- Mitt Ya' s Confession
During Sihanouk' s trip to the Khmer Rouge controlled zone in 1973, one of the Vietminh high ranking officer who accompanied the prince had approached the northeastern zone Mitt Ya and tipped him about a Vietminh secret organization inside of Cambodia. He advise him to make contact with the organization when needed. He also mentioned that other zone leaders already did (HKam: Democratic Kampuchea: The tip of a high ranking Vietnamese Cadre in 1973: P.221). What he meant was the presence of the Khmer Pracheachon Party, not in Hanoi, but hiding in Cambodian territory with the secret Vietminh troops in support. Of his obligation to China, Pol Pot could not do anything until the complete break off by China from Hanoi in 1978.
- The Resettlement of Chinese Residents from the Borders
As we had seen Tonkin and later Dai-Viet was formed as the Southern Command Post of China. Many Chinese settlers in North Vietnam were actually the remnants of the first Chinese families implanted by the Han Dynasty in the Red Delta region. The Hoa were actually members of the Yueh leaderships that actually started the early Yueh societies of Southeast Asia. In an attempt to hide their tie from their motherland, the Vietminh moved them out of the border zones to the New Economic regions. They then people the confiscated land by civil and military settlements of Vietnamese (WVIC: Internationalization of a Conflict: Collapse of Vietnamese -Chinese Relations: P. 194). Evidences also show that the same policy had been applied to the Khmer Kampuchea Krom communities along the Khmer border as well.