THE GREAT CAMBODIA DEBATE


Before John Arnone and Kurt Heck take the "Great Book Readers" advice on Who Is Who in Cambodia, they may wish to look at the true facts not in the bookstore.

----Many years ago, I chased the current Police Chief of Cambodia around Tay Ninh Province of the then Republic of Vietnam. Though now known as Hok Lundy, he was then named Nguyen Van Son. The actual leader who asked the Vietnamese to intervene was Pen Sovan. He, of course, fell from power and was jailed in Vietnam when the relative of his wife, Pham Van Dong, lost out to the the relative of the wife of Hun Sen; Do Moi. Before this event, Hun Sen was only number 8 in the leadership sponsored by Vietnam.The reason the U.S. Government did not recognize the Government installed by Vietnam was not because it supported the Khmer Rouge, but because true Cambodians had little or no say in that Government and little now.

----Much is made of the U.S. and Thai support for the resistance to Vietnamese occupation. Many have made this to mean support for the Khmer Rouge.The only group not needing U.S. support was the Khmer Rouge. China more than adequately supplied them at the request of then Prince Sihanouk. Many nations assisted the non-communist resistance to Vietnamese occupation.

----The assertion the U.S. bombed and killed 200,000 Cambodians is straight out of the Vietnamese propaganda program. I was captured by the Communist Vietnamese in 1972 in Vietnam and held in Cambodia in Kratie Province. Present with the Vietnamese in that camp, at various times, were those who later were the elite of the Vietnamese faction of the Khmer Rouge. My camp had been over run by three divisions of North Vietnamese straight out of sanctuaries in Cambodia.

---At that time one of the advisers to Pol Pot was Kiet Chorn, now the Finance Minister of Cambodia. If you would like to sell fuel over the Thai border into Cambodia, see Tiep Khunnal, now the Deputy District Chief of Phnom Malai. But I remember him as the secretary of Pol Pot. Even in the early years, Kiet Chorn was known as "The Lucky Man." His father was the man tasked by then Prince Sihanouk to sell rice through NVA General Le Duc Anh to the Communist Vietnamese Army. Did that make the U.S. question the much heralded Sihanouk "neutralist"position? Yes,it sure did.

----Then we have Cabinet Minister Sok An - but I remember him by the name his mother gave him in his birth place of Vietnam; Hoa Van Anh. All these wonderful fellows met as Khmer Rouge under the tutelage of the North Vietnamese Army.

----It is the above and much more, including the fact Tiep Kunnal is married to the powerful former wife of Pol Pot, which truly denies the Cambodian people justice. Then there is the fact that the Vietnamese and Hun Sen allowed former Hun Sen mentor Leng Sary to join Fidel in Cuba, far from the short arm of Cambodian law.

----Before chastising others based on your latest book purchase, I suggest you get some real experience.


Copyright 2005 by Mark A. Smith, DSC,
Major, USA, Retired
7/192 Vipavadi/Rangsit Rd
Soi 36, Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900
02-513-5166
majorzippo@yahoo.com

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