Pol Pot and the Year Zero

Topics: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia, Phnom Penh Pages: 3 (1127 words) Published: October 31, 2012
Assess the extent Americas role played, in establishing Pol Pot’s rise to power, in Cambodia’s Year Zero regime? On the 17th of April 1975, after five years of bloody civil war, the Khmer Rouge and their leader Pol Pot marched into Phnom Penh and gained control of Cambodia. During their four year reign the country of Cambodia was thrown into the dark ages, isolated from the rest of the word and subjected to a medievalist regime. What the world forgets or is too ignorant to remember however is that the totalitarian leadership of Pol Pot would never have seen such an extreme rise to power if it wasn’t for the sheer number of bombs dropped on Cambodia in 1969. Causing massive devastation that killed one third of the population. This calls to question then the extent of the role the US had, in affecting the drastic turn of events which caused so much loss of life and destruction in Cambodia’s bloody massacre of the Year Zero regime. Pol Pot has been branded as a man, brutally responsible for overseeing one of the world’s worst genocides of the 20th Century. Based on the ideals and vision of an agrarian utopia the cities of Cambodia were emptied and effectively the whole country was turned into a vast forced labor camp. The Khmer Rouge completely transformed the economic and social structure of the country, abolishing money, private property and religion. The people were forced into rural colonies at gunpoint; that under harsh living conditions and minimal food they were to farm the lands and crops without any means of technology. He was achieving his year zero: the return of Cambodia to a peasant a peasant economy in which there would be no class divisions, no money, no books, no schools and no hospitals. People who had any connection to the previous regime or merely thought to show intellect at all were executed. Because of this and his brutal, futile murdering’s, the radical social experiment of Pol Pot’s Year Zero claimed the lives of one to three million, which...
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