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POLITICS FORUM

Who was Angkar Leu from 1973-79? (Part.3)

Posted By: SLK <mailto:taprohm30@hotmail.com?subject=Who was Angkar Leu from 1973-79? (Part.3)> (cache3.net2000.com.au)
Date: Monday, 26 August 2002, at 5:09 p.m.

continued from part2:

Author William Shawcross, who knows how to write the Cambodian History in a very good English, but didn’t know much about Hanoi leaders’ hearts of long-time dream of swallowing up Cambodia into Vietnamization: The war lasted from March, 1970 until April, 1975 was truly an unusual, an extraordinary one. He has given us the Cambodian Victims a lot of information about the destruction of Cambodia, which was created by Hanoi leaders who haven’t given up their long-time dream of an Indo-Chinese federation…is to say that: “The Mystery of the Fabled Khmer Rouge Victory of January 6, 1979”, Socialist Vietnam’s First blitzkrieg in Dk was launched in late December 1978 to early January 1978. Then it fizzled out. The Vietnamese soldiers and their armored units had attacked Pol Pot ’s men on several fronts (Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Kompong Cham, and Prey Veng, Svay Rieng-including the “Parrot’s Beak”- Kandal, Takeo, and Kompot: almost the entire length of the Vietnam-Cambodia border, from the high plateaus to the Gulf of Siam). On the Prey Veng –Svay Rieng Front, the invaders had advanced as far as Neak Luong, on the Mekong River about fifty kilometers from Phnom Penh.

February 1995 (tigers and crocodiles editors):
Today, I am a Cambodian history researcher, happily writing to tell you about the dirty, secret-plans and long-time dream of Hanoi. To tell the world not to misunderstand about the destruction of Cambodia a man-made disaster will be recognized as one of the great crimes of the 20th century, which was created by the mysterious regime of Angkar Leu/Cap Tren of Hanoi," whose wish is to incorporate Cambodia into their "Vietnamization" or indo-Chinese federation. It was not án act of god! It was Ho Chi Minh’s greedy and ambitious wishes and dirty-secret-plan formulas. An ancestral prophecy predicts that one the unfortunate Khmer people will be forced to choose between being eaten by tigers (Khmer Rouge) or swallowed by crocodiles (Vietnamese). Today, we are seeing clearly that prophecy fulfilled in the most tragic way possible. The Kampuchean people are on the brink of extinction.

Cambodians are on the brink of extinction, dying a slow death, murdered in the name of two conflicting types of communism. It is a struggle to the death between Kampuchean and Vietnamese communism; it is also a dispute between the two communists’ giants they represent, China and Russia. The past and the present Hanoi leaders had been [and] are trying every diplomatic and legal means to eliminate the Khmer race by using the secret words of "Angkar Leu/cap Tren" during the terror of war in indo-china from 1970-1979. Hanoi had used only their two secret paramount-Pol Pot and Ieng Sary -on the international levels. But in the country, they had used "mysterious young soldiers of "Angkar Leu/cap Tren" to kill the Khmer innocence brutally.

"The farming people of the base areas who knew nothing of socialist revolution quickly began to love and support Angkar because of its sentiments of openness and friendship." The Cambodian party called itself Angkar, "organization," in the established tradition of the Indochinese communist party and the south Vietnamese communists, who used term "organization" in order to woo the peasants to their political ideas without revealing they were communists. Angkar was credited with nearly mystic omnipotence; its word was law and any attempt to break it was always discovered.

Sarin wrote down an often-heard saying that would become familiar after the Khmer rouge victory: "Angkar has as many eyes as a pineapple and cannot make mistakes." It was this demand for total control that frightened Sarin. He said any problem or mistake was always blamed on the individual, never the organization or its policies. Communist-style criticism/self-criticism session to discuss problems never found fault with the rules of Angkar, only with the poor peasants who could not follow them. They had told him: "the people are cold and need the warmth of the prince [Sihanouk] to save their lives."
Sarin had recorded a party slogan to that effect: "study from the people in order to be like the people…[but] don't let the people lead you by the nose either."

The next stage for Cambodia war was brought by the Paris Peace Accords signed on January 27, 1973, by the United States and North Vietnam. The negotiations had lasted four years, the length of President Nixon’s first term in office, and brought benefits only Washington and Hanoi. The Americans achieved their goals of ending active involvement in the war and winning back the Americans held as prisoners of war. The North Vietnamese won the withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam and an end to American bombing of North Vietnam without having to withdraw North Vietnam troops from the south. A cease-fire was declared in the south.

Lon Nol invited his opponents to join him in a cease-fire, at least. But the Khmer Rouge refused to take part in these negotiations on the assumption that a suspension of hostilities in Cambodia would rob them of their chief strategic advantage-the semi-isolation of Phnom Penh from other Khmer republic-held territory and from its supply points in south Vietnam and Thailand. The united states agreed to end all bombing in Lao once a cease-fire agreement was reached in that country, which was achieved one month later, in February 1973.
Cambodia became the only arena for American bombing jets, and in February 1973, showers of explosive bombs began to fall from Americans B-52s and fighter jets. The North Vietnamese had warned the Khmer communists of this possibility; the Khmer Rouge decided the accords were one more betrayal by their communist allies. But they were silent on the matter in public. On the ground they devised a simple and harsh plan to protect themselves from the bombs and from new "betrayal" by the Vietnamese, a plan to isolate themselves even further, to dig in for the fight of their lives and make any sacrifices necessary.
The cooperative solutions quieted peasant suspicions that these outsiders would draft all their able-bodied men, and many women, and leave them unable to raise the food they needed to survive. With their cooperatives the Khmer Rouge were promising that no one would starve-not the young husband at neither the front nor his parents, wife, and small children at home. What was available was shared more or less equally. There was not enough but the Khmer Rouge believed the people were up to the sacrifice and that it was the only way to win the "rice war" that was being waged parallel to the military operation. The side that could feed its people and army would win Vietcong.

There was also an element of revenge. The Khmer Rouge, the North Vietnamese by signing the accords had released American jets to bomb Cambodia. Now they too would suffer the consequences. North Vietnamese troops no longer traveled through Cambodia freely. They no longer fed on Cambodian rice. "The Vietnamese were the biggest problem [in 1973],” Prasith said, indulging in historical hyperbole. "They would buy the rice. So we abolished money, if the people did not need money, if they lived in a cooperative where everything was provided for them by the state, they would not sell rice to the Vietnamese."
As their neighboring states of Vietnam and Siam grew in stature and appetite for Khmer territory, the people became convinced that their race and culture would disappear. In their culture, there were two answers to such a threat: either accept it as it inevitable or use all measures, regardless of their violence, to prevent it. For those of the left, linkage with the much stronger Vietnamese communist movement was of great important and among those who emerged, as leaders of left-wing bands part Vietnamese parentage was common. This association with Vietnamese communists and the presence of men of mixed Cambodian and Vietnamese ancestry were to have profound consequences the Cambodian left developed over the ensuing decades, but in the immediate postwar years links with Vietnam played a vital part in sustaining the embryonic Cambodian communist movement. However, many of these seem to have been tactical rather than strategic, and essentially of limited duration. Moreover, what passed for political dissidence was often little more than banditry cloaked in political justification. In the unsettled conditions immediately after the war, the long tradition of rural banditry received a considerable impetus. Moreover, as has already been noted, there was a strong Vietnamese input into the radical left that slowly developed after 1945. Some of the radical leaders had mixed Cambodian Vietnamese ancestry. Others, more importantly, accepted the leadership of the Vietnamese-dominated Indochinese communist party (ICP) as representing the only truly revolutionary organization dedicated to ending French rule over all the countries of Indochina. (p.64)

The Cambodian communist movement gained its own identity, separate from ICP, When the latter, Vietnamese-dominated grouping dissolved itself in 1951. From this point on there were three national communist movements in each of the Indochinese states, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The new party in Cambodia called itself the Khmer People's Revolutionary party (KPRP) when it was founded in September 1951. Estimates of the size of its membership at this stage vary. It may have had as many as a thousand in its ranks, but many of these were ethnic Vietnamese rather than Cambodians. Importantly, too, the influence of the Vietnamese worker's party (the successor in Vietnam to ICP) was very strong; some scholars argue that the KPRP'S statutes were first drawn up in Vietnamese before being translated into Cambodian.

The names of the radicals from this period have barely been remembered outside Cambodia. Chief among them was the pseudonymous Son Ngoc Mien, a former monk who had changed his name from Achar Mien with the aim of gaining some reflected glory from the better-known Son Ngoc Thanh. Two other important leaders on the left were Sieu Heng and Tou Samouth. The latter communist movement and then was executed as one of the leftist victims of Sihanouk’s security police.
The future Pol Pot and his best -known associates, Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan, were still not part of the Cambodian political scene. (pp. 64-5)

This idea of a "clean, pure" revolution was the driving force behind the hell that was descending on Kompot and over six million other Cambodians. Overnight, the people were required to become peasants, workers, or soldiers. There was no need for other occupations. They had been abolished on the first day of the revolution. All commerce, private, money and enterprise were abolished; all markets, every shop, and every restaurant were closed; no one was to be paid for his labor. The revolution claimed it would take care of every need of the citizenry.

The state claimed ownership of all property and control over every activity of the citizens. All individual rights were abolished. There were nearly no laws. The people were at the arbitrary mercy of their leaders, who could decide how much food was consumed, whether medicines was available, and how punishment would be administrated.

Cambodia's communist leaders so distrusted foreigners that they cut off the country from the world to build their revolution. This need to pull away, to be the best in the wold, the best in Cambodian history, the best communists, was the result of particular strains in Cambodian history and the twists and turns of communist revolution in Asia. Cambodians felt friends who turned out to be enemies had pushed them to the bottom. They felt so threatened they set out to prove they were one of the superior races and nations in order to save themselves from extinction

From march 29 1970, when the north Vietnamese launched their first major attack in Cambodia, until the middle of 1972, Lon Nol’s small, inexperienced army had to face and was defeated by the best fighters in southeast Asia, the north Vietnamese army. But Sihanouk claimed regularly that it was his front that was defeating the Phnom Penh army. The Lon Nol military suffered the causalities inflicted by the North Vietnamese and grew to hate Sihanouk and his allies as much as the Khmer Rouge did.

The Vietnamese had trained the returnees in a number of valuable military skills. They were sent out to build up the Khmer Rouge army. While SAR refused to accept "mixed" Vietnamese and Cambodian military units were led and directed by the Vietnamese, he was willing to use Cambodians trained by the Vietnamese. Very few returnees were given positions of power; the few who were later diverted of those positions. Most felt isolated, as the survivor said, though in fact, this was the case for all Cambodian communists. "Contacts between the upper levels and lower levels were like contacts between heaven and earth… a comrade only knew about himself and himself alone. There was no question of knowing anything about matters of the situation in which one founded oneself."

He feared the north Vietnam, who, he said,
were trying to treat Cambodians the way they treated to Lao-as subservient revolutionaries. As early as 1970, Lim realized the relation between the Cambodian and the Vietnamese communists were "not good."

Lim also realized early on that prince Norodom Sihanouk was unpopular among the Khmer Rouge, who wore his badge only when they were sent to fill out the ranks of the north Vietnamese army among their own they spoke of the prince with bitterness.
Gradually, Lim gave up hope for a Khmer revolution. He had spent sixteen years in North Vietnam waiting to fight to "liberate" his homeland only discover, he said, that the war in Cambodia was only "for the benefits of the North Vietnam and not the Khmer revolution that he had heard so much about." This was in 1970, one year after he arrived. He and his Khmer Rouge unit had fought a battle in northern Kompong Thom province and been abandoned, he said, by a north Vietnamese army unit that pulled back without informing Lim and the Khmer Rouge.

Lim could not live with the deceits and disappointments. He defected to the other side, Lon Nol’s side, five days after that battle. He was debriefed by intelligence officers in the U.S. embassy, whom he impressed largely with his fear: fear of Khmer Rouge violence, Vietnamese arrogance and ambitions, and the number of victims that would fall in the wake of this confused war where allies were enemies and enemies allies.

Brutal Evacuation of Phum Taprohm

An American bombing was imminent. Everyone has to leave for three days. To arguments and prevarication, the Khmer Rouge had replied quietly and reasonably: "why make a fuss about three days? Why makes a fuss about family? Do not worry about your things. We have lived for years without family to liberate you. Three days is nothing. After that, you will return. Do not worry!

The beginning of "purification"
Qualifications were declared useless. Diplomas were Signabat, "invisible signal". What counted was physical work. That was Signakhoeunh "the visible signal". That was tangible. Therein lay honor.

Martin Stuart-Fox’s “The Murderous Revolution” [PP. 43-35]: in 1975, however, factional differences, which already existed within the Party, were well hidden. In the eyes of the mass of the population Angkar was monolithic and all-powerful, its weaknesses. These became evident only later, even to many within the Party, as contractions in the internal and foreign policies became more apparent. People like BunHeang Ung knew nothing of factions of policy differences. Angkar for them was the entire organization structure of the party, comprising every cadre and every soldier who had fought for the revolution. At another level Angkar referred to the Central Policymaking apparatus, the unknown membership of the Central Committee and its secretariat, and ultimately the all-powerful Politburo. There was a tiny group held power, most of them French-educated teachers and intellectuals. They included Pol Pot, Ieng Sary, Nuon Chea, Son Sen, and Vorn Veth. Khieu Samphan was not a member of the Politburo. Nor were other such leading figures in the party as Non Suon and Hu Nim, both of who held ministerial rank in the new government. But few of these men were even known by the name to those they ruled. Although the Communist party of Kampuchea had announced its existence and leadership of the armed struggle at the end of September 1972, membership of the party was still secret. For everyone, those from the “Liberated Zones” and evacuees from Phnom Penh alike, all identities were hidden behind the impersonal mask of Angkar, the organization whose power was henceforth to direct the lives of every Kampuchean.

Today, the Chinese and Vietnamese governments just don’t want Khmer Rouge leaders are tried by the International Penal/Court of Justice or UN. They are so afraid to lose their faces when all Khmer Rouge leaders are going to confess to the world.

Sooner or later, all Khmer Rouge leaders will go to confess before the International Penal/Court of Justice. And then we can sleep peacefully and quietly in our bed. Then no Khmer fights against Khmer anymore. Khmers will start to love Khmers once again.

Therefore, we the survivors of Angkar Leu, would like to appeal to the world-especially the US Leaders who have power to bring all Khmer Rouge leaders/cadres to the International Penal/Court of Justice to get all the answers from them-Who was wearing secret balaclava to kill more than 2 million Cambodians from 1975-79?

SLK

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