Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Comments from an idiot II—Can you tell which is which?

I really do value comments, especially when they're informative. I wish there were more of them, but I suppose that writing about matters as noncontroversial as those that I cover has a chilling effect on the comments section.

On the other hand, occasionally a comment gives me the comfort of knowing that I am not just preaching to the choir, that I really do have a right-wing readership. Such was this comment on my post concerning Kerry's CIA–Khmer Rouge connection—

Yawn. This is news? Gee, I'm so shocked. Utterly appalled! Then again, no I'm not. Nobody cares about cambodia. You may quit whining now.

Since the comment is devoid of content with respect to the topic, we may instead turn our attention to the commenter. Let's see what we have here.

The commenter

I identify the writer as a "right-winger" because of the tell-tale marker "whining." While the verb (verbal, in this case) has its uses, it is greatly and inappropriately overused by the right to characterize any presentation of information that discomfits their world-view.

The comment is signed by one STFU, an abbreviation of "Shut the Fuck Up." This has been a right-wing marker ever since FoxNews immortalized Bill O'Reilly's "Just shut up!" O'Reilly's limited abilities in any type of non-sexual intercourse has, I'm afraid, restricted many of his responses to the drab "STFU." Since he has been quite handsomely rewarded for this behavior, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of STFU wannabes.

I did a little googling and discovered that there is an actual STFU "clique"—which goes to show the need for more employment in this country. I do not know if my STFU is a member, but one suspects that he or she may be interested in fashion, since the writer's email address conjures up "style points."

Ah, Fashion! Always new, always fresh (unless, of course, it's retro)! I try to keep up, but there's just so-o much of it! I've written about it on occasion. And if I can ever work my way through the panoply of genocides past and present that present themselves as topics, I hope to be able to turn my attention to fashion full time.

Now what kind of right-winger do we have here? Religious zealot, good ol' boy, neocon power monger, corporate automaton or idle wealth?

I'm inclined to dismiss the notion of a religious zealot out of hand because of the naughty word in the acronym. However, at the STFU.com website you'll find links to both pornography and Christian Singles. Hand and glove, as they say. Still, the air of ennui, as opposed to fervor, disinclines me to the religious option.

Good ol' boy? Certainly not. Good ol' boys don't use words like "appalled," and if they ever tried, they would mispell it.

Neocon power monger? Neocons don't have time to read my blog. They leave tasks like that to the FBI and local police.

Corporate automaton? This is hard to rule out, since there is plenty of boredom in the belly of the corporate beast—videogames behind closed doors, whimsical tours of left-wing blogs, with maybe a little nappy-poo in between. Yet boredom isn't quite the same as ennui, at least as we use the word in English. Boredom easily arises out of the restrictions of the workplace whereas ennui arises out of something more psychological—a depressed Weltanschauung perhaps. And corporate automatons simply don't have Weltanschauungs, depressed or otherwise.

So that leaves us with Idle Wealth. Here all the elements come together—fashion, ennui, a kind of empty hipness à la Jenna and Babs Bush, and a general disdain for humanity.

The content

I recognize that too often I write elliptically, leaving my readers to connect the dots as they may. This is frequently for no better reason than that I am quite lazy. Except for a tiny remnant of a social conscience, you wouldn't find me anywhere near this blog; I would be sipping a tall drink with an umbrella in it while leafing through the pages of GQ the livelong day.

But the other reason for leaving the dots lying about all disconnected is that in some instances there are just too many permutations. So I toss out a tidbit that seems interesting and presume the readers can form their own damned gestalts.

I would place the Kerry item in this latter category. That the U.S. was arming the Khmer Rouge is not news to me, but that war hero and antiwar activist John Kerry was a participant is.

Here's a little quote from the NY Times 2004 Almanac on Cambodia, to which Kerry's comment on his services to the Khmer Rouge offers an interesting counterpoint—

Shaken by the Vietnam War in the 1960's, Cambodia broke relations with the United States in 1965 because of South Vietnamese incursions across the border. In 1969 relations were restored when Sihanouk charged North Vietnam with arming the Khmer Rouge Cambodian Communist rebels. In the same year, American planes began secret bombing raids in Cambodia. In 1970 Sihanouk was ousted by a coup led by pro-U.S. Gen. Lon Nol; the monarchy was abolished, and Prince Sihanouk went into exile.

Well, I just said that American involvement with the Khmer Rouge wasn't news, but perhaps I misspoke, because it would certainly be news to anyone who relied upon the NY Times Almanac.

Now in fairness to Kerry and the CIA, the Khmer Rouge hadn't really hit its stride in 1969. And since we know from our recent experience in Iraq that the CIA is the last to learn what's going on inside a foreign country, a generous interpretation of American involvement would say that the Americans thought this was a movement to bring democracy to the Cambodians.

The Times Almanac tells us what happened next—

In April 1975 the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, captured the capital, Phnom Penh, and established a new government, the Kampuchean People's Republic. In an ensuing reign of terror, an estimated 3 million people died and hundreds of thousands more fled to refugee camps in Thailand.

All of which makes me wonder if Pol Pot was ever observed shooting prisoners in cold blood with a number of policemen and Americans ranged about. If that were the case, we might have to question the sincerity of the American position.

That seems to be what Anthony C. LoBaido was doing in 2000 in the pages of—can this be true? ...in the pages of the right-wing WorldNetDaily.

Pol Pot and his cadres were responsible for the murder of 1.7 million Cambodians in the Killing Fields genocide perpetrated between 1975 and 1979.

Yet, in the ensuing quarter century, not a single Khmer Rouge soldier or leader has been brought to trial or justice. Pol Pot died in 1998.

Now, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen -- a former Khmer Rouge leader who defected to the Vietnamese side -- is negotiating with the U.N. in an effort to get the world body to approve of Cambodia's handling of the upcoming trials of two Khmer Rouge leaders.

Hun Sen, whose son recently graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is reluctant to give operational control of the trials to the U.N. He points out that the U.N. gave Pol Pot a seat in exile during the 1980s, after Hun Sen's Vietnamese Communist government invaded Cambodia and overthrew the Khmer Rouge. Hun Sen wants a trial, "run by Cambodians to judge Cambodian subjects."

While Hun Sen and Annan spar over legal minutiae at the United Nations meetings in Bangkok, WorldNetDaily continues to piece together the involvement of the British Special Air Service and the U.S. Special Forces in supplying and training the Khmer Rouge.

Between 1985 and 1989, the British SAS trained anti-Vietnamese Cambodians in sabotage and other soldiering skills -- yet never trained any Khmer Rouge killers. Indeed, the British soldiers trained only those Cambodians loyal to the former deposed Cambodian King.

However, recent interviews and research in regard to alleged American involvement with the Khmer Rouge have brought new developments to this twisted tale of genocidal insanity.

Nina Morrison, a former pilot with the CIA front company Air America, refused to undertake any flights to arm and supply the Khmer Rouge.

"The SAS were there doing training in Cambodia all right," Morrison told WorldNetDaily. "Just like they were involved recently in East Timor."

"The world in general has become a lot more complicated. As such, journalism must also adapt and become more thorough and complex to put all of the missing pieces together. In regard to the Khmer Rouge, this is dangerous work indeed," said Morrison. "True history has a way of disappearing into the night." [emphasis added]

Indeed it does.

In regard to the alleged American involvement with the Khmer Rouge, Morrison added, "I do not have words to express my disappointment in our government's position in world affairs, for it does not reflect the foundation upon which this great Republic was created."

Well, this is all fine and good, but in the meanwhile there are war crime trials to be held and justice to be meted out to the evildoers of the world. As former Attorney General Ramsey Clark said so recently on NPR,

You can stop anybody on the street and they can recite to you all the terrible things that all these people have been alleged to have done. But that just doesn't overcome the fact that the truth is hard to find in these matters.

Particularly apt when you think of former U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry ferrying arms to the Khmer Rouge.

Previous post
Speaking of war criminals: John Kerry in Cambodia

Related posts
The magic word: Genocide (9/13/04)
Powell's follow-up on Sudanese genocide (9/15/04)
First comment from an idiot (9/23/04)
Anti-war is in fashion again (10/06/04)

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