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Saturday, January 30, 2010

WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT CAMBODIA




Most of you already know that Angelina Jolie in 2002 adopted Maddox in Cambodia. He is now 8 years old. She made Tomb Raiders here and a tree at Ta Prom has been given both the movie's and her name.


Many of you are familiar with King Norodom Sihanouk, Pol Pot and the Killing Fields. I’ve never quite understood what was happening in Cambodia, but you need to be there to get closer to the truth. Those Wikipedia and BBC articles don't quite report the reality. The following is my analysis of what affected the state of affairs in this part of the world. I don’t remember ever reading much of the following, most coming from the mouths of the people here.



The Cambodian people don’t trust Viet Nam, China and Russia. They “like” America. If this doesn't floor you, the rest will.


The Cambodian government is essentially communism, about the same as Viet Nam. They vote, and there are 30 parties, but the winners are always as dictated. Keep in mind that we are talking about two totally different points of view: the official party position and the hearts/minds of the masses.


Here is the difficult part to accept. They (meaning the people) believe there was a Chinese conspiracy to take over Asia, although, with the end of the Cold War, this might not today be true.


Pol Pot was, ethnically, a Chinese Han, something rarely mentioned in any article. How he gained authority in Cambodia, his birth country, is incredible. However, according to local beliefs, he eagerly took on the leadership role, orchestrated by China, to eliminate Cambodians, thus, the Killing Fields. This was a first step (yes, there was a domino plan), for China to replace the population of Indochina (not including Indonesia, for the present), with Chinese Han, as an initial step to take over the world. What is happening in western China is just another example of this strategy.


Let me stop here, for I've said a lot. Let the above the sink in and appreciate what happened in Cambodia over the past few decades, for there has been a kind of resurrection, in that some element of stability has actually occurred in this society. If you always wondered why a Pol Pot could so maliciously eliminate millions (anywhere from 200,000 to 3 million, depending on who you ask--hint, it is, really, on the higher end), now, you can barely comprehend the reason.


In a way, this hypothetical Chinese strategy (again, not necessarily today, but you got to wonder), is not much different from America to democratize the world, for my chapter 1 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, courtesy of Professor Rudy Rummel, reported that, over the past two centuries, no two democracies have ever fought a major war against each other. Thus a possible Chinese strategy to have only Chinese was, certainly, one way to attain world peace.


The world has changed, and such a monumental and irrational policy cannot today be real. However, much of the above reasonably well explains what happened in Cambodia over the past few decades. Amen.


In passing, Ta Prohm was my favorite temple (over Angkor Wat) and Bayon was okay. Tomorrow, the Chiang Mai Four Seasons, an oasis compared to the Raffles in Siem Reap. Oh, I should also add that they accept the US dollar in Cambodia, so don't bother exchanging money. I found my visit to Cambodia fascinating!


At Raffles Le Grande, dinner with Steve (former political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley) and Patricia Weiner, with Curtis Lee and a bottle of Chateau Margaux.








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Read the right column for the Dow Jones Industrials and price of oil, which is sliding awfully close to $70/barrel.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ask the current people of Tibet if the Cambodian's Han Chinese hegemony idea was off the mark...

Patrick Kenji Takahashi said...

Thank you for bringing me up to date, for you are absolutely right. I'm now in Chiang Mai and can be a tad braver about my attitude. I mostly danced around the obvious just in case anyone in these communistic governments actually took my blog too seriously.