Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

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Joon
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Joon » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:52 pm

flying chicken wrote:So what is the apt term when the Yanks dropped millions of bombs in Cambodia during the Vietnam war Pizzalover?
Collateral damage. I'm half-joking.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Pizzalover » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:51 pm

flying chicken wrote:So what is the apt term when the Yanks dropped millions of bombs in Cambodia during the Vietnam war Pizzalover?
First of all, you start a bit too late with the argument. A better point of departure would be: Cambodia was not part of the war. It had never declared war on the US or South Vietnam. From that the question arises: On what legal grounds did the US bomb Cambodia and from which bases did the bombers take of? The second part of the question obviously targets Thailand.

While Cambodia did not and was unable to protect its sovereignty against North Vietnamese incursions, it is more than doubtful that this established enough cause to justify an attack by the US. Put differently, the US attacked a peaceful country in an unprovoked aggression. You will not read too much about this in mainstream US publications for the simple reason that one of the principal criminals, Mr. Kissinger, is still with us and is working in the same line of business until now.

If you start your argument from this point, the question of criminal intent starts with the first bomb dropped and you dont need millions.

Of course, the millions matter as they explain the extremely high death toll. But that is only a first and second step to develop your argument. It is important to identify the areas targeted. Why? Very simple, once you can establish that this aggression targeted certain areas to an extent that survival was impossible you have intent to extermination. Thus, precision is your friend and Kissinger's enemy.
A quick google search produced this map and article:
http://www.japanfocus.org/-ben-kiernan/3380" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; see also: http://japanfocus.org/-Ben-Kiernan/2420" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and:
http://www.yale.edu/cgp/cgpintro.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I do not have enough detailed knowledge on the bombing campaign and do not want to speculate. However, it is pretty obvious to me that both the aggression and the form of bombing are very likely to constitute war-crimes. I am hesitant to call the wiping-out of whole communities genocide because of my lack of knowledge and a general hesitation to use the word as I dont want to use it inflationary.
Prof Kiernan estimates the loss of life during the bombing at 150.000 and during the genocide at 1.7. I dont have the knowledge to discuss these numbers thus I treat them with caution. Michael Vickery might be another interesting author to look at: http://michaelvickery.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There is much more to look at and often the best data is NOT online.

If anyone is familiar with the history of the current regime and the establishment of bi-lateral relations with the US, it would be nice to see whether the US included some clauses in the agreement that absolved the US from any liability.

Unlike the US which has an interest in low numbers of bombing deaths, the Cambodian government has an interest in high numbers. It is a numbers game, many bombing deaths = less genocide victims and vice versa.
This makes the issue so complicated and one is well-advised to be cautious and to read more than one book or article.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by JBTrain » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:39 pm

flying chicken wrote:So what is the apt term when the Yanks dropped millions of bombs in Cambodia during the Vietnam war Pizzalover?
See above indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets could be a war crime but it's not genocide unless it carries that intent. If the US had genocidal intent to destroy Khmer people a few b52 runs on Phnom Penh would have been more effective.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Pizzalover » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:58 am

I m sorry that I am so wordy and pedantic. BUT it is very important to be precise and cautious.

JBTrain's statement is by and large correct and reflects the situation say pre-2007. Most so-called genocide scholars would have agreed to. However, with the Sebrenica verdict things did change. You do not need to clearly state genocidal intent any longer. If you order military action that turns into or units under your command engage in such actions, the command structure is responsible when these actions amount to genocide.
this link might be helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnian_Genocide_Case" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Thus, if the US were planning to destroy the entire area the legal framework of the sebrenica case could apply. I do not see, however, any chance that this will ever happen. The implications would be too far reaching for any major power.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by JBTrain » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:21 pm

From http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/world ... e19884082/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Clarifying policy of KR re Vietnamese :

The Vietnamese parents were killed. So were their children, as well as children of mixed marriages whose mothers were Vietnamese. If the mother was Khmer, the children were spared.

The reason some children were murdered and others not, according to witnesses who spoke to genocide investigators, was because the Khmer Rouge wanted to get rid of those who had shared the umbilical blood and drunk the breast milk of Vietnamese women...

The letter quoted Pol Pot as using the word Yuon, a derogatory Khmer word for the Vietnamese, and stating that he would enter into war so that “the evil Yuon race will be wiped off the face of the earth.”

According to the indictment, more than a third of Cambodia’s Cham population perished under the Khmer Rouges. The indictment also says that all of the 20,000 Vietnamese who remained in Cambodia died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

“The Vietnamese people were not interrogated or detained for long … They were killed within 24 hours of being arrested, by bamboo clubs, and the bodies were put in grave pits and a well. Some witnesses saw the killings and another heard the sounds of them striking the people and heard screaming,” according to the indictment.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by clippy » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:35 pm

if anything, they wanted to wipe out the middle class, and urban lifestyle altogether

merchants, teachers, doctors, bankers etc. were the number one target. so classicide? is that a concept?

and the vast majority died from malnutrition and desesase, so i think Genocide, no. not in the strict definition of the word. more in common with a natural disaster or famine, just a manmade one that was started deliberatly
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Pizzalover » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:27 pm

I guess the discussion is a bit obsolete following today's verdict. Still...

@Clippy.
How on earth did you arrive at this qualifier: "if anything (my emphasis), they wanted to wipe out the middle class, and urban lifestyle altogether"
This is utterly wrong.

The debates around malnutrition and diseases are well-advanced. These two items are regularly brought forward by defendants and deniers. Such generalizing statements are only obscuring and not clarifying things. Famine as an accidental items is not sustainable and historians deconstructed this myth decades ago. Pol Pot was happy to export rice to China while his people were dying of famine. They simply extracted the last energy left in their victims.
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by giblet » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:47 pm

Pizzalover wrote:On the other hand, there seems to be some agreement that for genocide one needs an element of massive killings. This might seem to be a tautology but there is a good reason for that emphasis. in the 1990s, scholars began to argue that genocide had taken place when enough elements from the 1948 definition were present and not necessarily massive killings. Legal practice has clarified this point. Forceful conversion, bodily and mental harm, etc are all important but the element of massive killings is constituent for the application/definition of the term geno-CIDE.
What constitutes massive? Have they put a number on this?
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by bong.kuit » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:55 pm

clippy wrote: so classicide? is that a concept?
:thumb: Michael Mann coined the term. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classicide
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Re: Is calling the Cambodian genocide a genocide correct?

Post by Pizzalover » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:53 pm

@giblet
There cannot be a precise number. I think it has to be in relation to the overall targeted victim group. Again, we need to keep an eye on how such international tribunals rule on different cases.

@bong.kuit
Mann is one of those authors eager to coin new terms. It really does not make such a difference unless these enter the legal sphere. Such attempts at entering a dictionary do not bring further insights. Authors would better do more research than serve their own vanity.
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