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The Affect Of The Khmer Rouge In Cambodia

1516 words - 6 pages

How can someone put years worth of suffering into a five-page paper? Is it even possible to communicate the fears, worry, and suffering that an entire race of people endured? I am not sure if these things are possible, but I will attempt to show you what horror the people of Cambodia were subject to during the years of the Khmer Rouge.Cambodia is located in southeastern Asia, between Thailand and Vietnam. 90% of the people in Cambodia are Khmer. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Khmer means a member of an aboriginal people of Cambodia. The other 10% of the population in Cambodia are Vietnamese, Chinese, Samre, and Kuoy. In order to tell you about the horror the Khmer Rouge inflicted on the people of Cambodia, I feel it is important to tell you some of the important moments in the history of this country.In the 1800's France took control of Vietnam and Cambodia, and they renamed these countries French Indochina. From 1941 to 1945 Thai and Japanese forces occupied Cambodia during World War II; and eventually after many long years, France recognized Cambodia as an independent country. In May of 1970, General Lon Nol took the place of King Sihanouk to rule over Camboia. The United States, who formed an alliance with Lon Nol took advantage of the situation and sent secret bombing missions into the country of Cambodia without the consent of Lon Nol. The United States believed that Vietnamese troops and their cargo were being hid in the country, and they attempted to find them. However, the bombs that the United States dropped were not confined to military targets. They hit many civilian areas and caused the death of more than six hundred thousand innocent Cambodian people. The United States also planted many landmines in order to kill the Vietnamese troops, which made it incredibly dangerous, even impossible to grow their own agriculture.The country thought they had seen their fair share of fighting, but they soon learned that they were extremely wrong. On April 17, 1975 Pol Pot, the leader of Cambodia's communist party called the Khmer Rouge, overthrew the Cambodian government. This was just the beginning of years of suffering for the people of Cambodia. Pol Pot began to radically change the country of Cambodia as soon as he took control. He planned for a fierce and powerful government. One of the Khmer Rouge leaders, Khieu Samphan was quoted talking to Pol Pot shortly after their victory, "We have fulfilled all the conditions to be one-hundred-percent Communist. We can surpass even our Chinese brothers. With one giant leap forward we can reach the goal of Communism, and not go through stages of socialism" (Mayotte 14). As well as controlling the country, Pol Pot also renamed the country Democratic Kampuchea. The first contact Pol Pot had with the people of Cambodia was when he ordered all of the citizens living in the villages to leave their homes and belongings and move to villages where they had relatives. Pol Pot's troops then went...

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