The Khmer Rouge: A History of Terror

The Khmer Rouge: A History of Terror

The Khmer Rouge was the communist regime that controlled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. It is considered one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in history.

The Khmer Rouge was founded by Pol Pot, who believed in a radical form of communism called agrarian socialism. This form of communism called for the abolition of money, private property, and all religion. Under Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge killed an estimated 1.7 – 3.0 million people through executions, starvation, and disease (about 1/4 of the population of Cambodia).

The regime was eventually defeated by Vietnamese forces, but there are still some who believe it continues to exist today.

The Khmer Rouge – Start to Finish

Pol Pot was born in 1925 and studied in France before returning to Cambodia in 1953. He became a member of the Communist Party of Kampuchea in 1963. In 1968, he became the leader of the party.

After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, The Khmer Rouge gained strength and were able to overthrow the Cambodian government and take control of the country. They renamed Cambodia to Democratic Kampuchea and forcibly displaced millions of people from the cities to the countryside to work in agricultural communes. They committed mass executions of people who they considered to be enemies of the state. These included intellectuals, religious leaders, ethnic minorities, and political opponents. 

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The Khmer Rouge regime ended in 1979 when Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge retreated into the jungle and continued to fight a guerrilla war against the Cambodian government. They were eventually defeated in 1999.

There are still some members of the Khmer Rouge who are alive today however, Pol Pot died in 1998 before he could be brought to justice (a conspicuously long time). Nuon Chea, the second in command of the Khmer Rouge, was convicted of crimes against humanity in 2018. He died in 2019 while serving a life sentence.


The Killing Fields of Cambodia: A First-Hand Account

As mentioned above, the 1975 Khmer Rouge regime takeover of Cambodia began a campaign of terror that would last for four years. This brutal genocide resulted in the death of millions of people. Journalist Dith Pran was one of the lucky ones – he escaped from the regime and later coined the term “killing fields” to describe what he had experienced. In this first-hand account, Dith Pran tells the story of his arrest and escape from the Khmer Rouge, and provides an inside look at life under their rule.

The Killing Fields is a 1984 film about the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. The film follows Cambodian Dith Pran and American Sydney Schanberg, who were journalists covering the civil war and subsequent genocide in Cambodia.

The film begins with the Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh in 1975. The film follows Dith Pran as he returns to Cambodia to document the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. He interviews survivors and witnesses and records their stories. These stories are then used by the film’s director, Roland Joffe, to create the film’s narrative.

In this first-hand account, Dith Pran tells the story of his arrest and escape and re-arrest from the Khmer Rouge, and provides an inside look at life under their rule. Pran becomes a forced laborer under the “Year Zero” policy. This policy, which was enacted in 1975, aimed to create a completely new society by erasing all traces of the past. Under this policy, all Cambodians were forced to become laborers and attend propaganda classes, where they were brainwashed into supporting the Khmer Rouge regime.

Pran eventually escaped from the Khmer Rouge and made his way to Thailand. There, he was reunited with his family. He has since dedicated his life to documenting the atrocities of the regime, in order to ensure that their story is never forgotten.

American Sydney Schanberg, Pran’s in-country colleague, won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the civil war and genocide in Cambodia. His reporting brought attention to the plight of the Cambodian people and helped raise international awareness of the atrocities being committed by the Khmer Rouge regime.

The Killing Fields of Cambodia is a brutal and heartbreaking account of the horrors of the genocide and a sobering reminder of the atrocities that can be committed in the name of ideology. It is a must-see film for anyone interested in learning more about this dark period in history.

The Khmer Rouge in the western world

It’s hard to imagine, but what if a regime like The Khmer Rouge took hold in the western world? Would they kill anyone who didn’t agree with their extreme views? How would they go about indoctrinating people to their way of thinking?

Yes, If a regime like The Khmer Rouge took hold in the western world, they would kill anyone who didn’t agree with their views.

They would first attempt to convince the people that they are living in a classless society where outcomes should be equal for everyone. They would promise to provide free education, health care, and housing for all. However, once in power, they would force the redeemables into re-education camps but forbid them from practicing their religion or expressing non-approved speech. Anyone refusing to adopt the prevailing government narrative would be executed under the guise of terrorism, sedition, or some other trumped-up charge until they hit critical mass. 

When the people are finally broken, the regime would implement their true agenda; the extermination of entire groups they deem to be enemies of the state. This is what happened in Cambodia and it could happen again if we’re not careful.

We must learn from the failures of totalitarian governments like the Khmer Rouge and make sure that a regime like this never takes hold in the western world. We must be vigilant and stand up for our freedoms or we risk losing them entirely.

What do you think? Could a regime like The Khmer Rouge take hold in the western world? Let us know in the contact us section.


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