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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Monday, May 30, 2005

showing no shame

Marxism, the greatest fantasy of the [twentieth] century
Leszek Kolakowski

...and its most brutal nightmare.

The utopian fantasy of Marxists and their fellow travellers found its ultimate concrete expression in the latter part of the 1970s in a formerly insignificant country in south-east Asia. There was revealed Marxism's true face, its fatal flaw, its natural destination and its inherent evil. The history of the twentieth century is the history of how Marxism was tried and found wanting in every way and in every place on earth... but still the dream lives on in ther minds of Leftist elitists in love with "humanity" as expressed in ideas and ideologies rather than any real concern for actual human beings. Pray that the common sense of the common man will ever be on guard against the suicidal instincts of so-called intellectuals.

Welcome to Pol Pot's Cambodia, a place where Richard Dawkin's meme theory, Daniel Dennett's corrosive acid and Noam Chomsky's hypocrisy all materialised together:

Just as the Holocaust expressed the quintessential nature of National Socialism, so did the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia (1975-78) represent the purest embodiment of Communism: what it turns into when pushed to its logical conclusion. Its leaders would stop at nothing to attain their objective, which was to create the first truly egalitarian society in the world: to this end they were prepared to annihilate as many of their people as they deemed necessary. It was the most extreme manifestation of the hubris inherent in Communist ideology, the belief in the boundless power of an intellectual elite guided by the Marxist doctrine, with resort to unrestrained violence in order completely to reshape life. The result was devastation on an unimaginable scale.

The leaders of the Khmer Rouge received their higher education in Paris, where they absorbed Rousseau's vision of "natural man," as well as the exhortations of Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre to violence in the struggle against colonialism. ("One must kill," Sartre wrote. "To bring down a European is to ... suppress at the same time the oppressor and the oppressed.") On their return to Cambodia, they organized in the northeastern hills a tightly disciplined armed force made up largely of illiterate and semiliterate youths recruited from the poorest peasantry. These troops, for the most part twelve - to fourteen-year-old adolescents, were given intense indoctrination in hatred of all those different from themselves, especially city dwellers and the Vietnamese minoriry. To develop a "love of killing and consequently war," they were trained, like the Nazi SS, in tormenting and slaughtering animals.

Their time came in early 1975, when the Khmer overthrew the government of Lon Nol, installed bv the Americans, and occupied the country's capital, Phnom Penh. The population at large had no inkling what lay in store, because in their propaganda the Khmer Rouge promised to pardon servants of the old regime, rallying all classes against the "imperialists" and landowners. Yet the instant Khmer Rouge troops entered Phnom Penh, they resorted to the most radical punitive measures. Convinced that cities were the nidus of all evil - in Fanon's words, the home of "traitors and knaves" - the Khmer Rouge ordered the capital, with its 2.5 million inhabitants, and all other urban centers to be totally evacuated. The victims, driven into the countryside, were allowed to salvage only what they could carry on their backs. Within one week all Cambodian cities were emptied. Four million people, or 60 percent of the population, suffered exile, compelled to live under the most trying conditions, overworked as well as undernourished. Secondary and higher schools were shut down.

Then the carnage began. Unlike Mao, whom he admired and followed in many respects, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, did not waste time on "reeducation" but proceeded directly to the extermination of those categories of the population whom he suspected of actual or potential hostility to the new order: all civilian and military employers of the old regime, former landowners, teachers, merchants, Buddhist monks, and even skilled workers. Members of these groups, officially relegated to the lowest class of citizens and deprived of all rights, including access to food rations, were either summarily shot or sent to perform forced labor until they dropped dead from exhaustion. These condemned unfortunates constituted, potentially, over two-thirds of the population. They were systematically arrested, interrogated, and tortured until they implicated others, and then executed. The executions involved entire families, including small children, for Pol Pot believed that dissenting ideas and attitudes, derived from one's social position, education, or occupation, were "evil microbes" that spread like disease. Members of the Communist Party, considered susceptible to contagion, were also subject to liquidation. After the Vietnamese expelled the Khmer Rouge from Cambodia, they discovered mountains of skulls of its victims.

The peasants were not spared, being driven into "cooperatives" modeled on the Chinese. The state appropriated all the food produced by these communes and, as in pharaonic Egypt, having stored it in temples and other government depositories, doled it out at its discretion. These measures upset traditional rural practices and led to food shortages that in 1978-79, following an unusually severe drought, produced a massive famine.

The killings intensified throughout the forty-four months that the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia. People were executed for such offenses as being late to work, complaining about food, criticizing the government, or engaging in pre-marital sex. In sadism, the brutalities were fully comparable to those perpetrated by the Nazis. Thus on the Vietnamese border

Khmer Rouge soldiers would rape a Vietnamese woman, then ram a stake or bayonet into her vagina. Pregnant women were cut open, their unborn babies yanked out and slapped against the dying mother's face. The yotheas [youths] also enjoyed cutting the breasts off well endowed Vietnamese women.

Cases were reported of children being ordered to kill their parents.

The toll of these massacres was appalling. According to reliable estimates, the population of Cambodia at the time the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975 was 7.3 million; when the Vietnamese took over in 1978, it had declined to 5.8 million. Allowing for the natural population increase during the intervening four years, it should have been over 8 million. In other words, the Pol Pot regime was responsible for the death or population deficit of some 2 million Cambodian citizens, or over one-quarter of the population. These victims represented the best educated and most skilled elements of the nation. The gruesome experiment has been characterized as a "human tragedy of almost unprecedented proportions [that] occurred because political theoreticians carried out their grand design on the unsuspecting Khmer people."

Some Western intellectuals, unwilling to blame this unprecedented slaughter on the Communists, attributed it to the Americans, who in 1964-73 had bombed Cambodia in an attempt to destroy the Vietcong forces that had sought there. It is difficult to see, however, why the Cambodians' rage against the Americans would vent itself in the killing of 2 million of their own people.

It may be noted that there were no demonstrations anywhere in the world against these outrages and the United Nations passed no resolutions condemning them. The world took them in its stride, presumably because they were committed in what was heralded as a noble cause.

Richard Pipes Communism: a History, Random House, 2001 pp132-135

Where were the all the demonstrators who protested so loudly against the US liberation of Iraq, when the real killing fields was going down in Cambodia in the seventies? Where were the peace protestors, the rich Hollywood liberals, the literati, the intellectual elite? Same place they always are when the real villains of recent history are running amok. Same place they were when Stalin's Great Terror was underway in the thirties, Mao's collectivization famine was ocurring in the late fifties and the Rwanda tragedy errupted in the nineties? Making excuses for terror, hating America and blaming America, and all the while serving their gods that failed - Marx and Lenin - and showing no shame.

The horror, the horror

3:35:00 pm