Cambodia's Year Zero: Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge, and the Bloody Madness

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Frances Asanuma
Professor Nathan Stewart
ENG 111-41H
30 June 2012

Cambodia’s Year Zero by our Brother Number One: Pol Pot
Looking back to the early 1970’s many Cambodian lives had no significance to the great Communist nation, and they were told, "To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss." In northern Cambodia remain the victims of one of the worst mass murderers in the world history. Saloth Sar, better known as Pol Pot, was a Cambodian Maoist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge and became the leader of Cambodia on April 17, 1975. Pol Pot was randomly selected as one of the first hundred Cambodian students to study in France. What did set him apart was joining the French communist party, which gave him instant high status among the local communist when he returned home. He had a vision to restore his country’s noble heritage by cleansing Cambodia of all modern influences and creating a pure communist Cambodian society. He believed that the outside influences are destroying Cambodia. Pol Pot then spent years fighting enemies and rising to the top with purge after purge. The combined effects of evacuating villages, forced labor and malnutrition, and executions resulted in the deaths of two million of the Cambodian population during his leadership. As a result, Pol Pot turned against his own Cambodian people and made his country a hell on earth. First of all, Pol Pot first decision was to cut the capital off from contact of outside supply and effectively put the city of Phnom Penh under siege. The Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot’s followers, went to evacuate the entire city. Houses were emptied, the high class citizens left the city, and even the sick people at the hospital were forced to leave. Some victims who are still alive today insist that he forced everyone to leave because the American bombers were coming to bomb the city so people ran away. That was a lie. He wanted to re-create the city, but nothing worked. Jarret B. Wollstein, a founder of the...
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