Foreign Aid Underwrites Another Chapter in Cambodia's Bloody History
By Michael Benge
Recently, I watched Florida's Senator Marco Rubio -- who is allegedly short-listed as a vice-presidential candidate -- on TV, dancing around to avoid answering whether he supports Mitt Romeny's position of cutting foreign aid to reduce the budget deficit. While totally ending foreign aid is unnecessary, countries with repressive and corrupt regimes are prime candidates for such a move. First, a diplomatic démarche should be issued with a concrete timetable for ending human rights abuses and theft of aid.
Cambodia is high on the list of problem nations in this regard. Free and fair elections were held for the first and last time in 1993, when the Royalist FUNCINPEC Party (the United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia) won. However, in 1997, Hun Sen, the number-two official in the communist Cambodian People's Party (CPP), backed by 300 Pol Pot Khmer Rouge (KR) fighters commanded by the notorious butcher Keo Pong, led a coup d'état against FUNCINPEC. The new regime then committed extrajudicial executions of around 100 top Army officers and party officials. Since then there have been no free and fair elections, but instead only façades -- rigged elections under control of the CPP. Hun Sen is now prime minister of Cambodia.
Hun Sen stands credibly accused of war crimes. In one eyewitness report, "Hun Sen's troops threw hand grenades and later slit the throats of critically ill patients" in two hospitals in Kompong Cham. Relief troops "discovered hundreds of bodies of men, women and children, young and old, including Buddhist monks who had been first tortured and then killed -- some executed by a gunshot to the back of the head, others chopped to death with hoes, still others strangled to death or suffocated by plastic bags tied over their heads."
Hun Sen was also in charge of enforcing the K-5 Plan, referred to as the "Petite Genocide," during the Vietnamese invasion, in which Cambodians were forced into KR mine fields along the Thai border to plant bamboo thickets, create fields of punji stakes, and lay additional mines. They had to choose between the risk of being blown up constructing the"bamboo wall" and being shot if they tried to escape. Tens of thousands of Cambodians were killed.
Hun Sen has also placed many Khmer Rouge commanders in positions of power in the army and government. His penchant for brutality and use of death threats cow most members of the opposition and intimidate the Cambodian population in general. He routinely uses the CPP's parliamentary majority to strip opposition deputies of their immunity and uses the judicial system to bring defamation proceedings against those who refuse to kowtow to him. These are either imprisoned or driven into exile. The International Genocide Trials of Khmer Rouge leaders have ground to a halt after interference by Hun Sen and his controlled judges resulting in the resignation of three Western judges. Only one war criminal has been tried and convicted, and the remaining indicted and imprisoned KR leaders are said to enjoy special privileges -- reportedly because they have threatened to "rat out" Hun Sen for his real role in the Khmer Rouge killings.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/...#ixzz1xQMpoGDg