The Misconceptions and the Outside Influences of the Genocide in Cambodia

Topics: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia, Vietnam Pages: 7 (2363 words) Published: June 4, 2008
When the people in the outside world were living the life of their dreams, the Cambodians were left all alone with their broken hearts that’s been shattered into pieces. It was the time period between 1975 and 1979, when the Khmer Rouge organized the mission to “reconstruct Cambodia on the communist model of Mao’s China.” (Peace Pledge Union) Many intellectuals and educated people at the time were eliminated, along with their extended family and their affiliates. According to The Angry Skies, “Cambodians that are associated with the Americans were put to death because they were considered traitors of the country.” (The Angry Skies) In addition, many babies and people that had shown tears in front of the Khmer soldiers have been killed because crying was considered a crime to the government. This process has embedded an image of destruction to Cambodians, and some survivors now are still afraid that they may be killed due to their possibilities of testifying against the Khmer Rouges. The few survivors had worked as laborers with no source of income coming from the government, and because of the limited supplies of food, they had to eat whatever they can find to stay on their feet. A documentary, Among the disappeared, counted “1.7 million deaths caused by the Pol Pot, which is a one fifth of the population in Cambodia at the time.” (Among the disappeared)

The communism in Cambodia arose when the U.S. dropped 2 million bombs, approximately 250,000 tons, in Cambodia until 1973. (Among the disappeared) An anti-U.S. group had formed in return of this reaction, and it had given tremendous amount of power to the Khmer Rouge that allowed the genocide in Cambodia. There had been 100 soldiers that were enlisted before the bombing, but afterwards the number had multiplied to 100,000 soldiers. (The Angry Skies) The mercenaries’ reasons of joining the army had been the same, and it was because of their experience of tragic deaths of family members due to the U.S. bombing. The operation “breakfast” had been signed by Richard Nixon in 1969, and it built the tension between Cambodia and United States by destroying Cambodian’s economy. In addition, the operation had given Cambodia the reason to evacuate all the people out of Phnom Penh, and send them to the country side alerting them that there is an another bombing coming from the United States. The Khmer Rouge set this up to turn everybody to become laborers that worked in one huge federation of collective farms, and grasp control over them by limiting the food supplies. The people that were against the evacuation had been killed by the government, including the intellectuals that knew what was happening. Eventually, the number of deaths exceeded over 1.7 million people because the others have died of starvation and diseases with no treatment. This event carries the significance by the elimination of the population, especially the well-educated minds. Although the economy did not develop to its full potential due to the lack of intelligence, the causes to this brutal genocide had been created not because of the government alone in Cambodia, but because of the outside influence that gave the genuine power to the Khmer Rouge.

Operation Breakfast

“On 9th of March in 1969, Cambodia had been carpet bombed for breakfast.” (Before the Holocaust: Nixon’s War) It had been a tragic event for Cambodia; however the action had taken place in response of the South Vietnamese government from the United States. The United States had found about the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) base, Central Office for South Vietnam, Headquarters that was located inside Cambodia, and took initiatives to get rid of it. “General Creighton Abrahms, commander of US forces in Vietnam, was confident that a series of precision B-52 bomber strike would do the job of eliminating the base.” (Before the Holocaust: Nixon’s War) The B-52 airstrike was one of the most fatal non-nuclear assault weapons...
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