Khieu Samphan was president of Cambodia in the late 1970s, when a quarter of the population was murdered by his regime, but he was “not aware” of his nation’s “great suffering”.
Or so he claimed to the court he appealed to against his sentence to life imprisonment.
He only learnt what was happening to his nation from news reports, like President Obama?
The story comes from Daniel Greenfield (to whom we owe much gratitude for many an interesting post). He writes at Front Page:
One of the Khmer Rouge’s top surviving leaders on Wednesday (Feb 18) challenged his life sentence for crimes against humanity and said he had only fought for “social justice” in Cambodia, in rare comments made to a UN-backed court.
Pause to gasp at the news that a UN-backed court would consider trying such a monster! Most unusual. Most irregular.
He and other other perpetrators of the massive slaughter had been convicted in 2014 …
… for their pivotal role in the communist government that oversaw the deaths of up to two million Cambodians from 1975-1979 – nearly one-quarter of the population.
“What I want to say today and what I want my countrymen to hear is that as an intellectual I have never wanted anything other than social justice for my country,” Khieu Samphan told the court’s seven judges on the final day of the appeal hearing.
Khieu Samphan was a graduate from a fine European university who spent a lot of time hanging out in Paris and talking about what the world should be like. He became a journalist still advocating leftist policies. Then he got the opportunity to make it happen.
When they take over government control, Khieu Samphan becomes the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence until 1975, when he becomes President. He begins putting the ideas from his thesis into practice. He clears cities of their inhabitants, thereby provoking a vast human tragedy with hundreds of thousands of deaths. …
“Two (Khmer Rouge guards) would hold a prisoner tight and another would slit the throat of the prisoner,” said [a witness, Meas Sokha], adding that the Khmer Rouge played music through a loudspeaker “to hide the sounds of the killing”.
The witness added that soldiers killed small children by throwing them against a tree before dropping their bodies into the mass grave at the prison.
He also told the court that Khmer Rouge cadres would eat the gall bladders of executed prisoners after drying them in the sun.
“Whenever there were killings, the guards would drink wine together with gall bladders,” Meas Sokha said.
“I knew these gall bladders were from humans. There were many gall bladders dried in the sun near the fence.”
Gall bladders! Gall is bitter. There’s even a saying: “As bitter as gall.”
Well, it’s suitable. The bitter taste of “social justice”.
Scenes of cannibalism committed by Khmer Rouge soldiers have previously been described by other witnesses at the tribunal during the leaders’ first trial, including of cadres eating the livers of murdered inmates.
During his trial, Khieu Samphan expressed a “sincere apology” but said that he was not aware at the time of the “great suffering” of the Cambodian people. “I was not aware of the heinous acts committed by other leaders that caused tragedy for the nation and people,” he said.
Daniel Greenfield adds this perfectly apt, thoroughly justified comment:
And our great leftist intellectuals, folks like Noam Chomsky, helped cover it up for as long as they could. Don’t think they wouldn’t do what they did in China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, El Salvador and Venezuela [and Cambodia – ed] here if they could.
Here are pictures of the “Killing Fields“, where the bones of millions of Cambodians lay, slaughtered by order of Khieu Samphan and his prime minister, Pol Pot. They were leaders of the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian Communist Party, which came to power in 1975.
Some quotations from Wikipedia:
The new regime modelled itself on Maoist China during the Great Leap Forward, immediately evacuated the cities, and sent the entire population on forced marches to rural work projects. They attempted to rebuild the country’s agriculture on the model of the 11th century, discarded Western medicine and destroyed temples, libraries, and anything considered Western.
Estimates as to how many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge regime range from approximately one to three million; the most commonly cited figure is two million (about a quarter of the population). This era gave rise to the term Killing Fields.
Forced repatriation in 1970 and deaths during the Khmer Rouge era reduced the Vietnamese population in Cambodia from between 250,000 and 300,000 in 1969 to a reported 56,000 in 1984. However, most of the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime were not ethnic minorities but ethnic Khmer.
Professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and teachers, were also targeted, [and people who wore] eyeglasses … as they were seen as a sign of intellectualism.
No one can hate “intellectualism” as much as a Leftist intellectual.
This too is from Wikipedia:
During the 1950s, Khmer students in Paris organized their own communist movement, which had little, if any, connection to the party in their homeland. From their ranks came the men and women who returned home and took command of the party apparatus during the 1960s.
Pol Pot, who rose to the leadership of the communist movement in the 1960s, went to Paris in 1949 to study. He failed to obtain a degree, but acquired a taste for the classics of French literature as well as a taste for the writings of Karl Marx.
Another member of the Paris student group was Ieng Sary, a Chinese-Khmer born in 1925 in South Vietnam. He attended the elite Lycée Sisowath in Phnom Penh before beginning courses in commerce and politics at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.
Khieu Samphan, considered “one of the most brilliant intellects of his generation” … specialized in economics and politics during his time in Paris.
In talent he was rivalled by Hou Yuon who was described as being “of truly astounding physical and intellectual strength“, and who studied economics and law.
Son Sen studied education and literature; Hu Nim studied law.
The doctoral dissertations written by Hou Yuon and Khieu Samphan express basic themes that were later to become the cornerstones of the policy adopted by Democratic Kampuchea. The central role of the peasants in national development was espoused by Hou Yuon in his 1955 thesis, The Cambodian Peasants and Their Prospects for Modernization, which challenged the conventional view that urbanization and industrialization are necessary precursors of development.
The major argument in Khieu Samphan’s 1959 thesis, Cambodia’s Economy and Industrial Development, was that the country had to become self-reliant and end its economic dependency on the developed world. In its general contours, Khieu’s work reflected the influence of a branch of the “dependency theory” school, which blamed lack of development in the Third World on the economic domination of the industrialized nations.
They were wrong. As all Leftist theory is wrong.
But they had the power to act on their wrong theory, and here’s more of what they wrought: