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How Were Pol Pot And The Khmer Rouge Able To Maintain Power In Cambodia Between 1975 And 1979?

2264 words - 9 pages

Section A: Aim of InvestigationAfter they seized power in Cambodia in April 1975, Saloth "Pol Pot" Sar and the Khmer Rouge were responsible for the death of 1.5-3 million Cambodian's and were perhaps one of the most ruthless regimes of the 20th century. The aim of this investigation is to evaluate Pol Pot's means of maintaining power from 1975 to 1979. An account of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge's drastic internal reforms including the slaughter of millions, economic reorganization, political restructuring, and the cultivation of social/ethnic groups will appear in section B. External forces including funding from China and the United States and repressive measures such as censorship, torture, and execution will be assessed. This investigation will rely on and evaluate various sources relevant to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge including The Pol Pot Regime and When the War was Over. An analysis of the methods will be weighed and considered in Section D. In section E, a conclusion will reached based on the evidence and analysis presented.Section B: Evidence1. TerrorPol Pot and the Khmer Rouge brutally killed millions of Cambodians through forced labor, torture, and starvation. Those who had previous ties with the former regime, people of the working class including lawyers, doctors, teachers, and even people who wore glasses were eliminated from this "purified Cambodia" (Chandler 58). The Khmer Rouge targeted ethnic Vietnamese, Cambodian Christians, Muslims, Buddhist monks, and twenty other minority groups (News VOA). An estimated 50% of the 425,000 Chinese living in Cambodia in 1975 perished - Muslims were also forced to eat port, those who refused were shot (Gavin).Pol Pot's most infamous form of terror was his forced evacuation of an estimated two million inhabitants of Phnom Penh into the countryside at gunpoint. Pol Pot proclaimed in April 1975 to the people, "You must leave quickly. The Americans are going to bomb the city. Go ten to twelve miles away, don't take much with you, we'll take care of everything until you get back, you'll return in two or three days as soon as we've cleaned up the city" (Ponchaud 7). "In 1976, people were reclassified as full rights (base) people, candidates, and depositees - so called because they included most of the new people who had been deposited from the cities into the communes" (Stanton). Depositees were marked for destruction. Their rations were limited forcing hundreds of thousands to starve. Civilians worked the killing fields on a "diet of one tin of rice (180 grams) per person every two days, where they would soon begin dying from overwork, malnutrition, and disease" (Gavin). The working conditions were horrendous as working days started as early as 4 a.m. and ended as late as 10 p.m. with only two periods of rest throughout this 18-hour day (Becker). Children were taken away from parents and forced into children brigades; the elderly were killed. Furthermore, "young Khmer Rouge soldiers" administered...

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