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Old 01-02-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Earth
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There is no doubt that the massive number of killings in Cambodia under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge government from 1975-79 were amongst the worst atrocities of the second half of the 20th century, and that the Khmer Rouge government was amongst the worst governments of the 20th century (along with those of Nazi Germany, the USSR, Mao's China, etc.)

In the "Mass Killings And Genocides Since 1492" thread, I'd mentioned that there is some debate over whether the killing fields of Cambodia are considered genocide. The overwhelming majority of the victims of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were of the same race and ethnic group as their killers, which is why the UN does not consider their actions to be "genocide" except for their persecution, interning in concentration camps, and killings of Cambodia's tiny Muslim minority and its small ethnic Vietnamese minority. Most trials of Khmer Rouge leaders for the horrors they perpetrated in Cambodia have been for "war crimes" not "genocide". The official definition of genocide held by the UN does not include persecution of people based on their political views, nor does it include persecution of people for the arbitrary reasons that often got the Khmer Rouge's victims killed (e.g. speaking French, wearing glasses, etc.)

However, Roy Guttman in "Crimes of War: What The Public Needs To Know" classified the Khmer Rouge's actions as "self-genocide" or "auto-genocide" because its victims were primarily Khmer. (This is due to Cambodia being a generally homogenous country, racially and ethnically, with only a small number of ethnic and religious minorities.) I would agree with Guttman - the numbers of deaths WOULD qualify the events in Cambodia as a genocide of some sort even though it does not fit the official UN definition.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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My thought is that there is a fine shade of difference between genocide and war crimes, and most incidents contained at least a little bit of both, and it is not fruitful to go to great lengths to define the words.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:16 PM
 
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My take is if one faction of Cambodia was fighting another faction then it should be war crimes. Using terror to intimidate would be a war crime

If the government was killing it's citizens because they had opinions/beliefs/whatever that ran counter to the governments then I'd say it was genocide.

Either way Pot's government were a bunch of psychopathic killers......
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I dont really make a difference. To me, genocide is just massive killing of large numbers of people, it doesn't matter if bigotry or racism was the motivation.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iPwn View Post
I dont really make a difference. To me, genocide is just massive killing of large numbers of people, it doesn't matter if bigotry or racism was the motivation.
That's how I feel, too.

The reason why the UN's definition is so narrow as to exclude massive killings of people based on politics is because Stalin's USSR objected to including politically based mass murder as part of the crime of genocide. Wonder why?
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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Unfortunately, the killing fields of Cambodia were a direct result and an undesirable consequence of the Anti-War movement's success at ending the war in Vietnam.

Not much is ever said about the murders and re-education camps in Vietnam proper which resulted from the US pull-out either.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoobleKar View Post
Unfortunately, the killing fields of Cambodia were a direct result and an undesirable consequence of the Anti-War movement's success at ending the war in Vietnam.

Not much is ever said about the murders and re-education camps in Vietnam proper which resulted from the US pull-out either.
IMO if you are going to fight a war....fight it. If you are going to *****-foot around in a quagmire then it's time to go so in that regard the anti-war movement were likely on the same page with a lot of professional military guys who were tired of having their hands tied by politicians.

Not to mention that the region seemed more interested in communism so congratulations guys, enjoy! Sometimes I think we just have to let other countries make their own decisions and deal with the consequences.

P.S. Up until the most recent couple rounds of NK "activity" most of the younger generation is South Korea viewed the US as the problem and that if we left it would be all peace and love. Personally, I think we should pull out if they don't want us there and they can deal with their decision.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
IMO if you are going to fight a war....fight it. If you are going to *****-foot around in a quagmire then it's time to go

I will wholeheartedly agree with that. Limited warfare is a ridiculous concept.

I'd say that is the main reason the US Military of today believe in overwhelming force....they were there to see the screw-ups of Vietnam and weren't about to repeat it.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:10 PM
 
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Pol Pot's agenda was to have a clean sheet of paper to write his utopian autocratic society on. He eliminated everyone who had an education, knew a foreign language, even read and write. It wasn't genocide, they were his own kin and countrymen. It was the killing of those with a different belief and way of thinking. The Khymer Rouge will not be the last to try this method of control.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KoobleKar View Post
Not much is ever said about the murders and re-education camps in Vietnam proper which resulted from the US pull-out either.
Because there was actually remarkably little of the feared bloodbath following the victory of the North. It was mostly corrupt members of the Saigon government and war profiteers/racketeers being brought to justice. It is interesting to note that it was the communist Vietnamese that went into Cambodia and stopped the unthinkable slaughter by the communist Khymer Rouge when the entire rest of the world was looking purposely the other way. Similar to Dafur today. Who is trying to stop the slaughter of Christians by Moslems in Sudan? Why do more people know who Lady Gaga is than where Dafur is? Would we be concerned about Dafur if there was oil there or if we needed a pipeline across the Sudan to the Red Sea? Would Tibet still be a free nation if they had oil? Never mind, I'm getting way off track here. The BS in this world just really annoys me sometimes.

Last edited by Bideshi; 01-04-2011 at 11:28 PM..
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