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Thread: Kampuchea: How two men survived Pol Pots prison where 12,000 were killed

  1. #1
    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Kampuchea: How two men survived Pol Pots prison where 12,000 were killed

    A well written and tragic article about S-21 in Pnom Penh > How two men survived a prison where 12,000 were killed - BBC News
    supersub likes this.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    I couldn't press like to this Kaptainrob

    It was just too inappropiate.

    I appreciate you sharing it with us.

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLandHim View Post
    I couldn't press like to this Kaptainrob

    It was just too inappropiate.

    I appreciate you sharing it with us.
    I never visited S21 although I'm always reminded of the kiwi sailors who inadvertently sailed into Cambodian waters and fell foul of the Khmer Rouge.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    It was a shameful period in history. Helen Clark and other MP's and successive NZ governments supported Pol Pot in the UN.
    To my knowledge they have never faced up and begged forgiveness from the people of Cambodia.

    During a long planned trip to Cambodia we were due to visit S21 and the Killing Fields but we cancelled it as we were both wrought up over it.
    Managed to get through Dachau but S21 was an even worse chapter.

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLandHim View Post
    It was a shameful period in history. Helen Clark and other MP's and successive NZ governments supported Pol Pot in the UN.
    To my knowledge they have never faced up and begged forgiveness from the people of Cambodia.

    During a long planned trip to Cambodia we were due to visit S21 and the Killing Fields but we cancelled it as we were both wrought up over it.
    Managed to get through Dachau but S21 was an even worse chapter.
    Is that true? Why on Earth would she do that?
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Stillearly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distantpeak View Post
    Is that true? Why on Earth would she do that?
    Cambodia was fighting Vietnam and Western Govts concerned about the spread of communism so supported KR I think , Cold War at its finest ....

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stillearly View Post
    Cambodia was fighting Vietnam and Western Govts concerned about the spread of communism so supported KR I think , Cold War at its finest ....
    But Helen Clarke came into power in 1999... well after the war had ended...
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Stillearly's Avatar
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    Not sure then , but many Western Govts were complicit

    https://vimeo.com/17634265

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Taken from New Zealand/Cambodian relations | Brother Number One the story about Kerry, a young Kiwi sailor ...

    While the Khmer Rouge and its leaders aligned themselves with communist Vietnam during the years of the Vietnam war, relations between Cambodia and Vietnam deteriorated during the years of the Khmer Rouge regime, leading to border skirmishes and the collapse of diplomatic relations. Vietnam consequently provided backing for an anti-Khmer Rouge force, known as the Kampuchean National United Front for National Salvation. Operating under the name of this organisation, Vietnam invaded and occupied Cambodia, forcing the Khmer Rouge into hiding. At this point, because the Khmer Rouge was effectively at war with Vietnam, they gained the political support of China, the US and other western nations, including New Zealand. Citing the Vietnamese takeover of Cambodia as an illegal occupation, the US and China put pressure on the United Nations to recognize the Khmer Rouge, then operating as a pro-Cambodian resistance movement, as the legitimate representative of Cambodia. Given that the Khmer Rouge were undoubtedly responsible for genocide and other crimes against humanity in the years 1975-1979, their recognition by the United Nations, and the support of the United States and other nations, is difficult to understand or accept. New Zealand historian Anthony Smith argues that New Zealand’s position regarding the political recognition of the Khmer Rouge as representatives of Cambodia was highly “ambivalent”:
    “On one hand, New Zealand officially supported the ASEAN policy of recognizing the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate representatives of Kampuchea until 1982, when the Khmer Rouge became part of a wider anti-Vietnamese coalition. On the other hand, the documents show that New Zealand's political leaders were unhappy affording support to the Khmer Rouge and were adamant that the Khmer Rouge should not be returned to power in Kampuchea”
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    About the film "Brother Number One" ....

    The Film
    Through Rob Hamill’s personal story, Brother Number One explores one of the “forgotten” genocides of the 20th century, examining how and why nearly 2 million Cambodians could be killed by a fanatical regime known as the Khmer Rouge.
    “Brother Number One” was the name that Pol Pot, the leader of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia, gave himself. Kerry Hamill was also “brother number one” the oldest boy in the large Hamill family of Whakatane, New Zealand. In 1978, the lives of the two “brother number ones” collided.
    Kerry Hamill was on board his charter yacht Foxy Lady with two other men when they anchored at Koh Tang Island to shelter from a storm. His girlfriend Gail had recently left the yacht to visit family in Hawai’i. Unbeknownst to them they had entered Kampuchean waters, neither did they know of the horror story that was unfolding on the mainland.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Using words like "ambivalent" when genocide is going on makes me spew.

    We all knew what was going on but China and Russia were arguing. Vietnam sided with Russia.
    Helen Clark, and the other chardonnay socialists in NZ were all Mao's Little Red Book disciples and supported China so gave their support to the Khmer Rouge, they all knew it was wrong but refused to speak out.

    So millions were tortured and died, at least leaders like Churchill had the guts to always call Hitler for what he was.

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Yet Muldoon and National were in power 1975-1984
    I'd probably blame Helen C for a lot of things but when PP/KM took over 1975 it was 6 years before she even became an MP, for the opposition Labour party while National remained in power.
    Last edited by Hatari; 13th June 2015 at 12:54.

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
    Yet Muldoon and National were in power 1975-1984
    I'd probably blame Helen C for a lot of things but when PP/KM took over 1975 it was 6 years before she even became an MP, for the opposition Labour party while National remained in power.
    I have no recollection of Helen Clark involvement but I seem to recall Thatcher also supported NZ and US via ANZUS, SEATO, or some other alliance. Bit like Iraq invasion, we all knew there were no WMDs yet excuses were manufactured to go along with Bush.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
    Yet Muldoon and National were in power 1975-1984
    I'd probably blame Helen C for a lot of things but when PP/KM took over 1975 it was 6 years before she even became an MP, for the opposition Labour party while National remained in power.
    Clark was a lecturer at Auckaand University and very active in the Labour party at that time.

    Muldoon and National 1975 -1984
    Useless Drunks? Proof that democracy is a waste of time for ignorant voters?
    I hope that was the year I voted Social Credit as a protest vote.

    We have had some appalling leadership
    Last edited by TLandHim; 13th June 2015 at 13:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainrob View Post
    I have no recollection of Helen Clark involvement but I seem to recall Thatcher also supported NZ and US via ANZUS, SEATO, or some other alliance. Bit like Iraq invasion, we all knew there were no WMDs yet excuses were manufactured to go along with Bush.
    Saddam Hussein claimed he had the WMD's
    UN Inspectors thought he had them

    It was the media who hated Bush that gloated when none were found and don't forget Saddam had used them, the chemical weapons on the Kurds so there was proof that some of Hussein's claims were valid.

    "At the end of the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein and his elite military units were still in power and in possession of huge stockpiles of deadly weapons. In April 1991, the U.N. Security Council created UNSCOM, a special commission to find and dismantle this arsenal. The U.N. imposed economic sanctions on Iraq that would be enforced until the country eliminated all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capability.

    Two agencies were charged with the task. UNSCOM would uncover and destroy Iraq's biological- and chemical-weapons and ballistic-missile programs; the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was charged with uncovering and dismantling Iraq's clandestine nuclear program.

    From 1991 to 1998 UNSCOM and IAEA carried out numerous inspections in Iraq, but with varying degrees of success.

    For the first few years, Iraqi officials failed to disclose much of their special weapons programs to the inspectors. In 1995, Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Kamel Hussein defected. He had been in charge of the bioweapons program and revealed to UNSCOM that there was a vast arsenal of weapons they had failed to uncover, including biological weapons, and described how the Iraqis were hiding them. This was a breakthrough for the inspection teams, and they continued their work until 1998, when Iraq blocked further access and expelled UNSCOM."

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    My take on the Iraq invasion coincides with many other experts including the CIA and is based around oil .... WMDs located were ancient relics.

    From Wikipedia >
    In 2006 Fox News reported the claims of two Republican lawmakers that WMDs had been found in Iraq,[56] based upon unclassified portions of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center. Quoting from the report, Senator Rick Santorum said "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent". According to David Kay, who appeared before the US House Armed Services Committee to discuss these badly corroded munitions, they were leftovers, many years old, improperly stored or destroyed by the Iraqis.[57] Charles Duelfer agreed, stating on NPR's Talk of the Nation: "When I was running the ISG – the Iraq Survey Group – we had a couple of them that had been turned in to these IEDs, the improvised explosive devices. But they are local hazards. They are not a major, you know, weapon of mass destruction."[58]

    Later, wikileaks would show that WMDs of these kinds continued to be found as the Iraqi occupation continued.[59]

    Many news agencies, including Fox News, reported the conclusions of the CIA that, based upon the investigation of the Iraq Survey Group, WMDs are yet to be found in Iraq.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainrob View Post
    My take on the Iraq invasion coincides with many other experts including the CIA and is based around oil .... WMDs located were ancient relics.

    From Wikipedia >
    I'm even more cynical
    Oil yes but also the billions that go into arms manufacturing and maintaining a large Army were also a factor.

    The problem with your thinking and your experts is that you are doing your thinking after the act.
    Forget the bull, Saddam Hussein and his mate Chemical Ali strutted the stage and said they had nuclear components and other stuff such as Sarin. A lot may have been said to bluff Iran, but it was said.

    Whether those claims were the real reason or an excuse will probably never be revealed but Hussein made the claims and was crazy enough to use WMD's if he did have them.

    US intelligence was going through that stage on thinking electronics were better than spies on the ground (getting bribes and jobs with defense contractors was easier for handing out electronic surveillance contracts) and really had no clue what was happening.

    Just the same as today when they claim 10,000 ISIS killed by airstrikes.
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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Skull by skull, team catalogues KR killings
    Sat, 6 February 2016

    There were approximately 8,985 bodies found at the “Killing Fields” of Choeung Ek, one of nearly 20,000 mass grave sites where victims of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime were left to rot. More than three decades on, the corpses have gone to bone.

    The skeletons have corroded and fragmented in the tropical climate: femurs separated from hips, fingers from hands, skulls from spines.

    For the past two years, archaeologist Voeun Vuthy and his team of investigators have been combing over the bones at Choeung Ek searching for data they could use to deduct the age, sex and manner of death of the victims.

    For their project, which wrapped up in December, Vuthy’s team examined 6,426 skulls at an on-site lab, the only people ever to do so on such a scale. The fully Khmer team compiled their data in a tome several thousand pages long. Though morbid, the researchers say the book is vitally important to genocide research.

    Vuthy and his team found 17 methods of killing employed at Choeung Ek. One of the more common was striking an iron bar against the base of a victim’s neck. Sometimes a bamboo stick was used instead. Another method involved swinging a hoe into a victim’s temple.

    When a victim was cut, there were two types of knives used. A machete was struck into the head, while a thinner blade was used to slit the throat. Vuthy’s team identified over 6,000 instances of the latter method, which he said suggested that killers must have commonly cut victims’ throats after another trauma in order to ensure death.

    “Nobody has really broken down the demographics before,” said Julie Fleischman, a doctoral student of forensic anthropology from Michigan State University in Cambodia for 10 months on a Fulbright grant, who joined Vuthy’s team towards the end of their Choeung Ek project as part of her dissertation.

    “They are the only people in the entire country who have the skills to do skeletal analysis and also stop them from degrading, which they are all over the country.”

    Along with their forensic gathering, Vuthy and his team have been working to preserve the remains for future generations, using American-made polymers to strengthen and protect them from decay.


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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    More from same article

    To complement the forensic work, Vuthy interviewed several of the killers at Choeung Ek, footage of which will be released as a film next year. One of them was Him Huy, the lead guard in charge of the killing there. The ageing Huy, who has not been tried for his crimes, was frighteningly open during his two-hour interview. “He told us everything,” Vuthy said.

    Huy confirmed most of the murder methods Vuthy and his team deducted, but he added details. On most days, killings started at 6pm and didn’t end until midnight, Huy said. They never killed during the day. The bloodiest year was 1978, according to Huy.

    Many days that year, three trucks’ worth of victims would be transported down the 16 kilometre unpaved road from Tuol Sleng prison to the fields. If they could not finish the killing before sleep, the cadres housed their victims in a smaller prison on-site. “But it was only temporary. Only a day or two,” Vuthy said.

    Vuthy and his team plan to continue their work at a new gravesite – Krang Ta Chan in Takeo province, where over 10,000 bodies have been unearthed.


    The team have published their findings from Choeung Ek in a sizeable book

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