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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Question for Mr: Jennar on "Racial Cleansing"

Question for Mr: Jennar on "Racial Cleansing"

Editors:

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

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