Raoul Jennar's views on "Vietnam's continued interference in Cambodian affairs,"
reported in your Dec. 4-17 issue, seem unfortunately calculated to reinforce the
racism which is being used for partisan gain by some people.
Jennar proposes to forestall a "racial cleansing" by having ethnic Vietnamese
return "home" voluntarily! Aside from the fact that many ethnic Vietnamese
may have been resident in Cambodia for generations, Jennar deserves recognition for
having invented what we might call "preemptive racial cleansing": save
racists the trouble of driving you away.
Jennar's principle, extended, would clearly make the world a more orderly place:
following it, black people in the United States would have lynched themselves; Jews
in Nazi Germany would have reported voluntarily to the concentration camps (maybe
first doing voluntary labor to construct them); and Jennar's native Belgium would
have vanished as its Walloon and Flemish people "returned home" to France
and the Netherlands.
Does anyone really need to be reminded that the current "concern" about
a "Vietnamese problem" originated with the Khmer Rouge? The KR plan for
a "cleansed" Cambodia resulted in the murder not only of Vietnamese, but
also of Chinese, Cham, Thai, Lao and other minorities, and more than 1 million Khmers
before it was interrupted in 1979 with the aid of Vietnamese "interference."
This "concern" is repeated by certain political parties which appear to
have decided that racism is more likely to appeal to voters than a political program
that addresses real problems. Besides, blaming Cambodia's problems on the Vietnamese
might help to justify these parties' decade-long alliance with the Khmer Rouge.
I know of no evidence for or against the existence of the Vietnamese government's
"intelligence network" in Cambodia, about which Jennar knows so many details
that one can only assume he is being fed secrets directly from the Hanoi Politburo.
If this network exists, the question arises: does the Vietnamese government have
legitimate reasons to be concerned about developments in Cambodia?
That might be answered by another question: do France, Poland, etc., have legitimate
reason to be concerned about the rise of neo-Nazism in Germany? Would they have even
more reason if the neo-Nazis were armed, if the German government was prevented by
the United Nations from responding to their attacks, and if parties considered to
have a good chance of winning the next elections had, until recently, been militarily
allied with the neo-Nazis?
- Allen Myers