Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by JBTrain »

flying chicken wrote:I already anticipated your bs response. What is your definition of genocide in that era, JB?
See above. OD quotes the accepted definition and Pizzalover refined it appropriately in the Cambodian context.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Khartoum »

giblet wrote:I've seen the world 'genocide' being thrown around a lot on Facebook lately, and it made me think about why what happened during the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia is commonly referred to as a genocide. My understanding about a genocide is that one group must do it to another, different group. As such, Cambodians killing Cambodians wouldn't be considered a genocide regardless of how many people were murdered. Maybe it would be a democide. What do you think?
I also see it as 'democide', where a person or group of people are murdered by their own government. but within the broader term, 'genocide'


Different Types of Genocides and Politicides


Two major types of state sponsored mass murder: genocides and politicides.

What Are Genocides and Politicides and How Are They Different?

Harff and Gurr focus on mass murders carried out by states (rather than, say, by non-state actors). What distinguishes the two major types of mass murder policies is the way that the state identifies the victims.

Genocides: victims are identified based on their ethnic, racial, national or religious identities. Victims may not necessarily think of themselves in these terms. However, as a matter of identifying targets for murder, the state does.
Politicides: victims are identified primarily in terms of their political opposition to the regime and dominant groups or in terms of their position within the society (for example, peasants, intellectuals, etc).

What these two types of murderous state actions have in common is that they seek to destroy a substantial portion of the identified victim group or groups (often, more than one group is targeted).

These can shade off into each other. For example, a state may carry out mass murders as a way to repress opponents to the regime. It may turn out that members of a particular ethnic group are disproportionately members of an opposition group. In this case, what is primarily a political repression can shade off into a genocidal campaign. This is the case in instances such as the Indonesian campaign against the East Timorese and Ugandan politicides/genocides carried out in the 1970s and 1980s.

How Is the Definition of Genocides and Politicides Different than the Genocide Convention?

Harff and Gurr's definition of genocide is slightly different than the definition contained in the UN Genocide Convention.

The murderous actions are carried out by a state or regime. The Genocide Convention makes no mention of states.
The Genocide Convention only addresses exterminatory campaigns against racial, ethnic, national and religious groups. There is no mention of the extermination of political groups.
Harff and Gurr include “killing members of a group” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part” as criteria for identifying cases. The Genocide convention also includes “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group” as part of the definition. Harff and Gurr do not include this criteria.

How Do We Identify an Episode of Genocide or Politicide?

Harff and Gurr identify instances of state sponsored mass murder in different ways than some other researchers. Rather than examine particular episodes of genocide or politicide and then cull out similarities and differences, they create a set of criteria first and then look to see what episodes fit those criteria. If an episode of state sponsored mass murder meets the criteria, then they count it as an episode of either genocide or politicide.

In order to count as a genocide or a politicide, the state sponsored mass murder must meet the following criteria:

Many non-combatants: this includes groups of people who are killed merely on the suspicion that they support anti-state rebels or policies. It does not include instances where only rebels or combatants were the target of state action.

High death toll: in the thousands or more (except in the case of the Ache Indians in Paraguay where the total population was very small),

Campaign is protracted: >=6 months.

Also, Harff and Gurr look only at state sponsored mass murder after World War II up until 1987. Their analysis does not include the genocides or politicides that have occurred before or after that time.

Types of Genocides and Politicides

Once Harff and Gurr identified all instances of state sponsored mass murder that fit the above criteria, they compared the different episodes and created a series of different types that share certain characteristics. They identify two types of genocide and four types of politicide.

Types of Genocide

In both types of genocide the target groups are defined by their race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.

Hegemonial genocide: the racial, ethnic, national or religious groups are being forced to submit to the authority of the state. This may happen when a new state is formed or when a state expands. Examples of this type of genocide include actions of the USSR against various ethnic groups of the North Caucasus region between 1943 and 1957 and the campaign of the People's Republic of China against Tibetan nationalists in 1959.

Xenophobic genocide: Murder campaigns are part of a state policy of national protection or social purification where victims are defined as alien or threatening. Examples of this kind of genocidal campaign between 1945 and 1988 include the campaigns against the Ache Indians in Paraguay (1962-72), against the Ibo in Nigeria in 1966 and against Muslims in the border region of Burma in 1978.

Politicides

Except in the last case (which is something of a hybrid type), politicides target groups other than racial, ethnic, national or religious groups.

Retributive politicide: Mass murders target groups that formerly held power or were dominant within the state. Members of the group are targeted out of resentment for past privileges or abuses. Hutu violence against the former Tutsi ruling class in 1963-64 is an example of this type of politicide.

Repressive politicide: Mass murder targets groups engaged in some sort of oppositional activity against the state. This may include members of political parties, factions or movements. This is the most common type of politicide following World War II.

Revolutionary politicide: Mass murder targets the political enemies of a state that is pursuing revolutionary ideologies. The politicide that occurred as a result of Mao's Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1975) is an example.

Repressive/Hegemonial politicide: The victim group is an ethnically or nationally distinct group, but is targeted because of some form of oppositional activity (rather than because of their ethnicity or nationality per se). So, it is considered politicide since the policy of the state is to repress opposition to the state, but because the opposition group (or groups) share some communal trait, it has genocidal characteristics. Pakistan's violence directed toward Bengali nationalists in 1971 is an example of this type.

Bottom Line

The goal of genocide is to destroy a racial, ethnic, national or religious group. However, genocide is not the only form of violent state sponsored murder. States may target other types of groups, like political groups or social classes, for murder as well. Researchers Barbara Harff and Ted Robert Gurr call these latter types of mass murders politicides.

Data and Methods:

Data sources:

Primary and secondary historical sources.

Funding sources:

Not reported.

Full Text Availability:
Full text not currently available for free online.

Reference

Harff, Barbara, and Gurr, T. R. 1988. “Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides: Identification and Measurement of Cases Since 1945.” International Studies Quarterly 32:359–371.

Authors
Ted Robert Gurr, Barbara Harff

Other Keytexts from this source
Features of Genocides and Politicides Since 1945
Genocides and Politicides Since 1945
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by OrangeDragon »

flying chicken wrote:Right before I click this thread, I knew there is going to be JBtrain's response; why dont you just admit you are Vietnamese apologist and get it over with. I am also curious what shit books you are reading.

What is your definition of genocide? In my case, my family tree got completely wiped out; the only sole survivor is my mom. Read: Year Zero! while the idea might be noble...their ideology is fucked up, no monitoring or whatever so, thats why most are feeling sorry in their dying age.

And Giblet, Facebook! Really? Those who really suffered dont even know what the internet is. The dumb younger Khmer generations dont know what it is they are talking about!
It's VERY far from an everyday occurrence that JB and I are on the same page with something... so when it happens it's probably a good idea to take note. This is one of those times. You're confusing mass murder with genocide, because of personal and emotional aspects. The Vietnamese didn't wipe out your family tree... your neighbors uncle/cousin/father/grandfather did. If you have anyone to be pissed off at over that happening, Vietnamese would be last on the list. As it is, at least part of your family lines survived (you)... for many of the ethnic Vietnamese they fared much much much worse. And it's still not genocide. Same killing same is, at best, civil war. Though in this case it was just plain mass murder of Khmer by Khmer... which is still not a genocide. Genocide is defined as the killing of the "other"... so unless your family was chinese/vietnamese/monks it would be pretty hard to call what happened to them in particular genocide. Murder, yes. Genocide, no... despite how much it might make you feel better to apply such a powerful word to your personal loss.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by flying chicken »

Soi Dog wrote:
flying chicken wrote:You are dam right I am angry at the Vietnamese. I live here and speak the native language. Phnom Phem, Kampot, Sihanoville, and now 3/4 of Siem Reap are Vietnamese dominance. The only province left in Cambodia Battambong. Should I worry? Yes I do...on behalf of 10 million Khmers.

So Soi Dog?
I was interested in your quick leap from being understandingly emotional about the terrible loss of almost your entire family during the KR era, but then immediately went into anti-Vietnamese feelings...as if the two are related. From what I can gather about that period, the Vietnamese probably saved several million more Cambodians from dying at the hands of other Cambodians (and the KR regime's appallingly ludacris economic and social policies). I admit that I don't know the history of what, if any, harm the Vietnamese may have responsible for as a result of their invasion, as viewed by the Cambodians...which is why I asked.
I am not anti-VN nor any countries. Yes, I am aware that the VN took credit for their intervention, we look at the price of the ordinary Khmers had to pay NOW and everyday. You know what is ironic about it, I am sitting with the Vietnamese as of writing this and speak in their native language.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by flying chicken »

flying chicken wrote:
Soi Dog wrote:You are dam right I am angry at the Vietnamese. I live here and speak the native language. Phnom Phem, Kampot, Sihanoville, and now 3/4 of Siem Reap are Vietnamese dominance. The only province left in Cambodia Battambong. Should I worry? Yes I do...on behalf of 10 million Khmers.

So Soi Dog?
I was interested in your quick leap from being understandingly emotional about the terrible loss of almost your entire family during the KR era, but then immediately went into anti-Vietnamese feelings...as if the two are related. From what I can gather about that period, the Vietnamese probably saved several million more Cambodians from dying at the hands of other Cambodians (and the KR regime's appallingly ludacris economic and social policies). I admit that I don't know the history of what, if any, harm the Vietnamese may have responsible for as a result of their invasion, as viewed by the Cambodians...which is why I asked.
I am not anti-VN nor any countries. Yes, I am aware that the VN took credit for their intervention, but look at the price the ordinary Khmers had to pay NOW and everyday. You know what is ironic about it, I am sitting with the Vietnamese as of writing this and speak in their native language.[/quote]
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

JBTrain wrote:
Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:Where exactly do you get the idea that the above provinces are "Vietnamese dominance"?

Still, JBT's assertion that Vietnamese population in 1978 was zero is slightly laughable depending on how he defines "Vietnamese".
Feel free to prove me wrong. No scholar who has written on the subject disputes the contention. Obviously in theory there may have been Vietnamese who could pass for Khmer and survived but I don't know of them. FC this subject has come up many many times before and the answer is always the same, genocide has a technical meaning and that's what I'm speaking to, I'm not asserting that the murder of Vietnamese is somehow morally more repugnant than murder of Khmers under the KR just that that mass murder doesn't fit the technical meaning of genocide.
That's what I mean. Zero is a very strong number and it all depends on one's definition of Vietnamese. Are Kampuchea Krom Vietnamese? I've read before that many Kampuchea Krom were told to leave or "reeducated" because they had "Vietnamese minds". Surely most that were 100% ethnic Kinh Vietnamese (and who "looked" like it) were long-gone by 1978. They rightfully fled, but I'm sure a lot of mixed blood types (which there must have been a lot of) stayed on. Those with Vietnamese blood (but who might have considered themselves Khmer, or didn't flee when the time was right) would have shut their mouths and could have survived when people were sent to labour camps and neighbours couldn't out them.

flying chicken wrote:I really hope what you writes. It is not my THOUGHT, they are facts. You live in PP right? Why dont you take abit of time in your surroundings, say across the Chba Ompov bride for example. If that doesnt convince you, go look around SHV, Kampot, and Siem Reap! And by dominant I mean the locals are losing their territories.
Yes, I live in PP but I'm 98% sure I've traveled across this country far more than you have. How are they "facts"? Do Viets account for more than 50% of the population there or what? I mostly see Chams and Khmers in Kampot. Same in Sihanoukville (minus some Chams). Even the fishing villages around Kampot mostly have Khmers with a few Kampuchea Krom in the area as well. Anyways, you seem like the excitable Khmers who see two Viet woodworkers in their neighbouhood and think a silent invasion is taking place.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by flying chicken »

OrangeDragon wrote:
flying chicken wrote:Right before I click this thread, I knew there is going to be JBtrain's response; why dont you just admit you are Vietnamese apologist and get it over with. I am also curious what shit books you are reading.

What is your definition of genocide? In my case, my family tree got completely wiped out; the only sole survivor is my mom. Read: Year Zero! while the idea might be noble...their ideology is fucked up, no monitoring or whatever so, thats why most are feeling sorry in their dying age.

And Giblet, Facebook! Really? Those who really suffered dont even know what the internet is. The dumb younger Khmer generations dont know what it is they are talking about!
It's VERY far from an everyday occurrence that JB and I are on the same page with something... so when it happens it's probably a good idea to take note. This is one of those times. You're confusing mass murder with genocide, because of personal and emotional aspects. The Vietnamese didn't wipe out your family tree... your neighbors uncle/cousin/father/grandfather did. If you have anyone to be pissed off at over that happening, Vietnamese would be last on the list. As it is, at least part of your family lines survived (you)... for many of the ethnic Vietnamese they fared much much much worse. And it's still not genocide. Same killing same is, at best, civil war. Though in this case it was just plain mass murder of Khmer by Khmer... which is still not a genocide. Genocide is defined as the killing of the "other"... so unless your family was chinese/vietnamese/monks it would be pretty hard to call what happened to them in particular genocide. Murder, yes. Genocide, no... despite how much it might make you feel better to apply such a powerful word to your personal loss.
I am not confused; that is why I repeatedly asked for your definition of genocide; because to my eyes and family experience, it was a genocide! Do you have reading comprehension skills Dragon? Nobody said in this thread and in most discussion message boards say the Vietnamese are responsible for the killings during the genocide.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

flying chicken wrote:I am not confused; that is why I repeatedly asked for your definition of genocide; because to my eyes and family experience, it was a genocide! Do you have reading comprehension skills Dragon? Nobody said in this thread and in most discussion message boards say the Vietnamese are responsible for the killings during the genocide.
You do realize that genocide and mass killings are not the same? And what message boards do you read?! KI Media? How were the Vietnamese, if they were for the most part kicked out, responsible for killing Cambodians?! How is that even possible? It's an accepted fact that the mass killings, work overload and subsequent famine which killed over a million Cambodians was caused by...*drum roll*... Cambodian leadership!
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by JBTrain »

I give up on FC.

As to this 100% thing scholars are referring to those identified as ethnic Kinh, not Khmer Krom and not those who may have had mixed ethnicity but were accepted as Khmer.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by giblet »

I also wonder if using the word genocide to describe what happened helps perpetuate the idea that it was someone else that killed so many Cambodians (ie. it couldn't have possibly have been Khmer killing Khmer). The term genocide implies one group killing another, different group, so using the word genocide seems to help advance the narrative that Khmers were not responsible for the deaths of so many of their own.

A waitress was just telling me recently that she doesn't believe that the Pol Pot clique were really bad, because Khmer don't kill Khmers. So the Khmer Rouge obviously weren't Khmer.
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