The Vietnam War had just concluded and Americans were in no mood to get involved with another Southeast Asian nation and its problems. We were hearing stories from Cambodia about the Khmer Rouge and their nasty dictator Pol Pot. In the name of communist “cleansing” they were murdering their own people in astonishing numbers.
During a four-year reign of terror … eventually halted by a Vietnamese invasion in 1979 … Pol Pot was responsible for killing an estimated 1.7 million people … about a quarter of Cambodia’s population at the time.
This week, four surviving members of the Khmer leadership … including Pol Pot’s “number two” man … are going on trial for war crimes before a United Nations-backed tribunal in Cambodia. The indictment is more than 350 pages.
This horrible genocide went on during a time and place when war-weary Americans simply did not want to get involved. Those Cambodians might be considered casualties of the Vietnam War, as well as casualties of brutal communist terrorism.
Our thought for today is from Voltaire:
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”