“To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.” Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, once said this truly horrifying statement (Cambodian Genocide 1). It is no wonder that he went on to orchestrate the killings of more than two million innocent Cambodians. At the time of the mass killings in Cambodia, the Vietnam War was raging on. It is possible that the Vietnam War masked the true horrors of what was happening in Cambodia. The terrible events left emotional scars and traumatized countless people.
In the 1960’s a group named the Khmer Rouge surfaced, but was with few members. They were led by Pol Pot, a man who would soon bring terror to all Cambodians. Their goal was to bring Cambodia into a primal state, where everyone would work as laborers. When the 1970’s came, Cambodia found themselves in the middle of the Vietnam War and soon found their country facing a civil war (Genocide in Cambodia 1). The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, wanted to overthrow Lon Nol’s anti-Communist government. Eventually, the Khmer Rouge was successful in defeating Lon Nol’s government in 1975. Soon after Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge went on a deadly mission to make Cambodia a communist country, much like Mao’s China, which Pol Pot admired. The Khmer Rouge put all Cambodians to work as laborers at farms. Anyone who refused to work or opposed their opinions was killed. The fields in which the Cambodians were forced to work were labeled the Cambodia killing fields. People that the Khmer Rouge saw as a possible threat were educated people, monks, religious enthusiasts, Buddhists, and Christians. The Khmer Rouge was cruel and heartless with what they did. They even interrogated their own members of treason and often executed them. Since the Khmer Rouge required everyone to participate in intense labor, people who could not work were killed. For the people at the farms, everyday was a struggle to survive. After three years of mass killings and constant labor, the Cambodian Genocide was put to an end by the invasion of the Vietnamese. The impact was definitely felt. Twenty-Five percent of Cambodia’s population was killed. In total, over two million people died and many suffered from psychological illnesses (Walker 1).
The events that happened in Cambodia showed every sign of being genocide. Mass killings took place, emotional scars were left, and cruel treatment was inflicted.
This issue is genocide because of the mass killings that occurred. The Khmer Rouge was brutal and killed anybody that they thought couldn’t work or was in opposition to their ideals. Cambodia lost 25% of its population, with over two millions killed. When more than two million innocent people are killed, it is hard, if not impossible to call what happened in Cambodia, not Genocide. Many people witnessed the deaths of their family and friends, leaving them with nightmares and emotional scars (Carney 1).
Another strong argument that helps prove what happened in Cambodia was genocide was the...