I just found out that there is a U.S. $500 reward being paid by the Khmer Rouge for
the corpse of an UNTAC soldier, and this forces me to say what I think about the
current "Peace Process".
It is too bad that good UNTAC soldiers have died for what is certain to be a failed
venture. The Paris Peace Accords are nothing more than paper in a country where only
force rules. Since the Khmer Rouge signed on, why not? It gains them time which a
resistance force needs. Leaders of the Khmer Rouge cannot allow the establishment
of an internationally recognized government that would soon allow courts to begin
prosecuting them for the killing of one million people. On the surface the Peace
Accords would seem to grant immunity but certainly no persons in UNTAC or the Khmer
Rouge leadership believes there will be war-crime type trials.
The Paris Accords are flawed since their inception in that the Khmer Rouge are included.
Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge cannot be Khmer in the sense of a "people".
No person can be responsible for the killing of his own nationality on such a scale.
The Khmer Rouge gave up their Khmer people in the Killing Fields and throughout Cambodia
where three million Cambodians died. Certainly the Khmer Rouge are no longer Khmer
and in my mind they may not even be human.
So now UNTAC should not be surprised that the Khmer Rouge play with them, testing
their resolve. The Khmer Rouge know only "force" and use words only as
they case the eventual battles to be fought.
In a very bothering discussion with one of Cambodia's' few remaining scholars I was
told that unless the U.S. or some other Western power rescues Cambodia Cambodians
are destined to "relive the Khmer Rouge experience." There will be no free
and fair elections. Most Cambodians cannot even conceive of the idea and four more
months of harassment by both the Khmer Rouge and the Phnom Penh government will not
clarify the matter.
Meanwhile Khmer society loses. If UNTAC doesn't stop this abuse of the present Phnom
Penh government all will be lost before the elections due to social upheaval. Thieves
and killers are released from prison under the veil of human rights so they can return
to a lawless community. So now they must be secretly executed which leads to further
excesses. Gambling is rampant and tears apart Khmer families. Stealing and prostitution
(often a child supporting her fathers' habit) are too often the end result. UNTAC
must do more, they must finish what they have started. The Paris Accords are fundamentally
flawed and the sooner they are discarded, the better. Only then can a real process
of order be brought to Cambodia for what will be a long, long mission of rebuilding
families, communities and finally a nation.
Good luck to all involved.