- (April 1998)
Pol Pot is dead .
A major embarassment has been removed. A trial
of Pol Pot would have caused major embarassment for at least three groups:
the Thai generals who have protected him (in exchange for illegal and lucrative
lumber and gems trade across the border area controlled by the Khmer Rouge);
China, which probably supported Pol Pot more than it would like to admit (it
would not be a medal on its already despicable record of human rights); and,
last but not least, the thousands of western intellectuals who supported
(morally and financially) the Khmer Rouge regime and who don't like to be
reminded that 2 million innocent people were killed thanks to their moral
and financial support (if you grew up in Europe, you may remember when your
office colleagues or your college buddies came around asking for money in
the name of the Cambodian revolution... each lira or franc or mark you paid
help crucify a human being in Cambodia).
The stupidity of the western intellectuals and the cruelty of the Chinese regime
are no news.
What is regrettable is that the involvement of the Thai military (and the
extent of that involvement) will never be exposed as it should be. What a
convenient death for Thailand. What a coincidence that it should occur just
a few kilometers from the Thai border and that the first soldiers to see
the corpse would be Thai soldiers.
In the meantime, for those who did not notice, Cambodia is ruled by Hun Sen,
who lost the 1993 election to a noncommunist alliance led by Prince Ranariddh,
but forced the Prince to share power with him, and who recently (1997) ousted
His cabinet and his troops include many old Pol Pot affiliates.