Here is my mini commentary on the Khmer Rouge. The recent death of Ieng Sary (1925-2013), one of the lead architects of Cambodian genocide, on March 14th at the age of 87 prompted me to compare the patterns of genocides in Cambodia and Sri Lanka. A PDF table with 14 comparative criteria which I prepared is shown below.
Genocide patterns in Cambodia and Sri Lanka March 2012
Especially of interest to note in the Cambodian and Sri Lankan situations, is that the major patron of genocide perpetrators was China. And a major sponsor of genocide perpetrators was Uncle Sam! As both China and Uncle Sam hold veto votes at the UN Security Council, they would never indict themselves in the world’s court. Somehow, they will manipulate the events in such a duplicitous pattern that the tribunal for crimes against humanity (if established in Sri Lanka) will be muffled. There will be no objections, if one asserts that the most unprincipled institution, if there is one, should be Uncle Sam’s Department of State! Principled dogmatism can be tolerated, but, unprincipled dogmatism is a curse of American foreign policy. The Khmer Rouge was originally designated as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) on October 8, 1997, along with the LTTE and 26 other foreign organizations. But, the Khmer Rouge was delisted from the FTO list two years later on October 8, 1999! Terrorists with Communist leanings who killed almost 1.7 million within a 4 year rule were delisted. But, the LTTE (with no Communist leanings), responsible for the deaths of a mere fraction (of what Khmer Rouge achieved) in a span of 30 years of civil war still remains listed in Uncle Sam’s foreign terrorist organizations list, as of September 28, 2012. One should not ignore the dirty fact that Uncle Sam acted as a sponsor of the Khmer Rouge (and its associates) at the UN assembly (until 1993) as the ‘government in exile’, to spite Vietnam, his sworn enemy.
When Ieng Sary, the former foreign minister of Khmer Rouge regime, and his gang were perpetrating genocide in Cambodia, President Jimmy Carter turned a blind eye, while preaching human rights from the pulpit. Why? Carter and his national security advisor Zbignew Brzezinski were more intent to normalize political and business ties with China, the major patron of the Khmer Rouge regime, than worrying about Cambodian peasants. Note that diplomatic relations between China and Uncle Sam were established on January 1, 1979, six days before the fall of Khmer Rouge regime.
The first two paragraphs of a commentary by John Pilger, in the Covert Action Quarterly (Fall 1997) with the caption, ‘The Long Secret Alliance: Uncle Sam and Pol Pot’, offers the following details:
“The US not only helped create conditions that brought Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge to power in 1975, but actively supported the genocidal force, politically and financially. By January 1980, the US was secretly funding Pol Pots exiled forces on the Thai border. The extent of this support-$85 million from 1980 to 1986-was revealed six years later in correspondence between congressional lawyer Jonathan Winer, then counsel to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Winer said the information had come from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). When copies of his letter were circulated, the Reagan administration was furious. Then, without adequately explaining why, Winer repudiated the statistics, while not disputing that they had come from the CRS. In a second letter to Noam Chomsky, however, Winer repeated the original charge, which, he confirmed to me, was ‘absolutely correct.’
Washington also backed the Khmer Rouge through the United Nations, which provided Pol Pot’s vehicle of return. Although the Khmer Rouge government ceased to exist in January 1979, when the Vietnamese army drove it out, its representatives continued to occupy Cambodia’s UN seat. Their right to do so was defended and promoted by Washington as an extension of the Cold War, as a mechanism for US revenge on Vietnam, and as part of its new alliance with China (Pol Pot’s principal underwriter and Vietnam’s ancient foe). In 1981, President Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said, ‘I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot.’ The US, he added, ‘winked publicly’ as China sent arms to the Khmer Rouge through Thailand…”
Why blame Jimmy Carter? We know Narasimhan Ram (a journalist with a soft heart for China), in the neighboring India, who read history upside down. In his book, Tamil Tigers were the ‘Pol Potists’, and not the Rajapaksa regime who were the perpetrators of genocide in Sri Lanka. Having been recently appointed as the new Secretary of State, now it’s John Kerry’s turn to check how much Uncle Sam delivered via back door (i.e., Pakistan assist) to Rajapaksa regime for Tamil genocide.
The Religion of perpetrators in both cases is Buddhism . King Ashoka embraced Buddhism after seeing the death and destruction of Kalinga war and here it seems the rulers of Buddhist countries themselves creating more Kalingas . Is there any problem with the Buddhist religion as it is ? I remember LTTE leader Prabhakaran saying in one of his very early interviews to and Indian Magazine that “If Jayawardane was a true Buddhist ,I would not have taken up the Gun ” .
One more question : With respect to SL you have included the Genocide period only with the Rajapakshe regime , what about the earlier regimes right from 1981 when the Jaffna Library was burnt , the 1983 Racial riots etc etc till the Rajapakshe Regime took over to finish it off once and for all .
Krishna is correct in recording that Rajapaksa regime finished, what the previous Sinhalese regimes set upon to achieve. My focus for this short commentary was on LTTE’s armed rebellion against the genoicide regimes, which began after 1983 anti-Tamil riots. Bibliocaust of 1981 preceded LTTE’s armed rebellion. But, I agree totally with Krishna that it was an event which copied the pages from Aryan Nazi-instigated genocide against the Jews in 1933.