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Unworthy tactics

Unworthy tactics

Maud Sundqvist asserts in your pages that I have "a hidden agenda", and

asks, ingenuously, why I am "trying to trivialize the crimes that Pol Pot and

Co. committed". The same Miss Sundqvist wrote to me privately a few weeks earlier

and told me what a fine book I had written - in her own words, "fascinating"

and "meticulously documented". Which Miss Sundqvist am I supposed to believe?

Of course we can hold different views about Cambodia and have different perspectives

on the abominations that the Khmers Rouges wrought. But is it really "trivializing"

their actions to state, as I do in my book, that they committed crimes against humanity?

Innuendo and the parodying of opponents' views are unworthy tactics. If Miss Sundqvist

has now suddenly decided that I have a hidden agenda, let her say openly what it

is. She cannot, because I have none.

I confess to a certain lassitude. Almost 30 years after the Khmer Rouge victory,

it is apparently still not possible to discuss Cambodia's history calmly and rationally.

That might be understandable for Cambodians, who suffered in the flesh. Among foreigners,

who were not tried in the same way, it is very odd.

Philip Short

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