Most of those reading these words had yet to be born when the horror engulfed the people of Cambodia in a place far away at another time in history. ironically, the regime of the murderers and torturers came to power due to American interference in the affairs of a tiny nation by the 1970s equivalent of George Bush, the infamous Richard Nixon. Cambodia was neutral as war raged in Vietnam, but Nixon and his Secretary of State were obsessed by communists just as Bush could only think about terrorists. America launched an overthrow of the government of Cambodia that drove King Sihanouk from power. In the resulting civil war, a group that has come to be known as the Khmer Rouge gained power in 1975 and unleashed a reign of terror that eventually led to the death of 1.7 million Cambodians. The few remaining members of that murderous group are now standing trial in Cambodia.
The death of 1.7 million people did not register on Americans anymore than the death of thousands of innocent Iraqis has entered their consciousness. We listened to George Bush and never heard the anguished cries of those who died because his drive to kill “terrorists” and install “democracy” was supported by right wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh.
Will those who led to the deaths of thousands of Iraqis ever be brought to justice? Will it take thirty years to finally get at the monstrosity that Bush created in Iraq?