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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-29-11 11:46 PM
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On crimes against humanity
By Pepe Escobar

PHNOM PENH - The undated photo, by the Documentation Center of Cambodia, is as chilling as it is casual; right beside a black Mercedes, senior Khmer Rouge brass - in their trademark black pajamas, sandals and krama around the neck - pose nonchalantly. We see "Brother Number One" Pol Pot, his second-in-command Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Vorn Vet. This is what Hannah Arendt meant when exposing "the banality of evil".
This Monday, in a specially built complex on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the initial hearing of the starkly named Khmer Rouge Tribunal took place by calling some of the most reviled characters in recent history - including "Brother Number 2" Nuon Chea and the relatively sophisticated "Foreign Minister" Ieng Sary, who convinced quite a few diplomats, Americans and Europeans included, that the Khmer Rouge were just trying to build a new, agrarian society; and that entailed the ritual killing over two million Cambodians in a 20th century Asian holocaust.

Sary in fact has previously admitted in secret meetings that the Khmer Rouge wanted to shrink the population of Cambodia from 7 million to 1 million, more than enough for this agrarian dream - conceptualized by Khieu Samphan in a Sorbonne thesis, much lauded by the French at the time - to blossom.

The angel of history intervened by having Vietnam overthrow the Khmer Rouge in January 1979 - much to the displeasure of Cold War Washington, which later presented to the world the sorry spectacle of supporting the Khmer Rouge at the United Nations.

Cambodia is run by a so-called "democratic dictator" - the wily Hun Sen - who has made sure none of his former Khmer Rouge comrades would have to face their crimes against humanity. Moreover Hun Sen - with Cambodia as part of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and subject of massive Chinese investment - will never run the risk of facing North Atlantic Treaty Organization liberation via humanitarian war. He's one of "our" bastards - sort of.

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