Saturday, March 4, 2017

Week 9 - Jonathan Khuu

In “War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian Syndrome”, the author Cathy J. Schlund-Vials discusses the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot in Cambodia.  Schlund Vials focuses on the plight and hardships endured by the Cambodian people under the Khmer Rouge, especially the renarration and dehumanization that has occurred since the genocide.  “Pol Pot led Khmer Rouge dismantled by way of totalitarian repudiation the principle pillars of Cambodian society: centuries old tradition, pre-Revolutionary socioeconomic infrastructures, and Khmer familial affiliation” (2).  The reading focuses on the theme or renarration and repressed histories.  Schlund-Vials specifically does this by examining Chex Sim’s speech.  It further reinforces the renarration aspect of the genocide.  Sim notes that “we are here to today in order to remember the people who sacrificed their lives to save the nation from the genocide” (5).  The reading sheds light on how no one seems to want to take the blame for horrendous activities that occur such as genocide.  The blame and accountability is often overshadowed by new narratives that are used to repress stories.  The reading sheds light that other nations have also acknowledged the fact that the genocide is being forgotten and are making valiant efforts to prevent this.  Clinton addresses the issue by saying “many if us are doing our best to see that Cambodia is not forgotten” (10).  However, given recent political trends, there is often still renarration of history and past events.   Trumps address on Holocaust remembrance day did not mention anything about the holocaust.  

Question:  What could the US/UN have done to help with the Khmer Rouge and genocide?

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