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Cambodian Genocide Paper

1362 words - 6 pages

“I certainly think that another Holocaust can happen again. It did already occur; think of Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia.”- Miep Gies
The Vietnam War, a brutal war that took place but many overlook what happened next to Vietnam. The Cambodian conflict, the Khmer Rouge slaughtered as many citizens as they could find, but was this genocide? The Cambodian conflict took place during the Vietnam War and Cambodia is located to the West of Vietnam. Genocide is important because it is something all of humanity needs to stop. The slaughter of thousands of innocent people is not something that should not be as regular as it is. I was drawn to this topic because I didn’t know much about the Cambodian genocide before I researched it, and this seemed like a unique genocide.
While the Vietnam War was taking place, the Cambodian government allowed the U.S. to bomb suspected Viet Kong hideouts. In the process they killed up to 750,000 Cambodians. Heavy American bombardment led many to join the Khmer Rouge, which was led by Pol Pot. Now Cambodia had its own group of communists, the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge than preceded with a plan to turn Cambodia into a communist country where they believed all civilians would work on farms. They overthrew the government and proceeded with their plan. All intellectuals and educated such as doctors and lawyers were killed, Along with all un-communist aspects of traditional Cambodia. The struggle is that the Khmer Rouge was ready to kill you if you were educated in a field such as being a doctor, lawyer, engineer, and scientist. The ones who were not killed were sent to labor camps. “The imposition of a murderous regime always leaves its leaders afraid: afraid of losing power, failing to prevent vengeance, and facing betrayal by ambitious rivals. The Khmer Rouge repeatedly interrogated their own members, imprisoning and executing them on the slightest suspicion of treachery or sabotage.” (Cambodia 1975.) Religion was banned, music was banned. Minority groups were also targeted; these included ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai, also Cambodians with Chinese, Vietnamese, or Thai ancestry. “It was possible for people to be shot simply for knowing a foreign language, wearing glasses, laughing, or crying. One Khmer slogan ran 'To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.'” (CAMBODIA 1975)
A part of the struggle was trying to stay alive, the Khmer Rouge had documents of jobs of the people, and if you were an intellectual you would be killed. The people had to hide from their former lives, they practically couldn’t talk. If they had glasses, they would have to go without them. Due to all the murder, disease, exhaustion, and starvation well over than 2 million lives were claimed by the Khmer Rouge. An issue was that not many people seemed to do anything about it, the conflict ended when the North Vietnamese invaded the country and took control, using a puppet government that was pro Vietnamese. This showed that...

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