Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disowning Morris



Disowning Morris

Disowning Morris

The Editor,

We, the undersigned Cambodia scholars and specialists, wish

to express our concern at Stephen J. Morris' campaign against Professor Ben

Kiernan of Yale University and against Kiernan's leadership of the Cambodian

Genocide Program, funded by the US Department of State.

Mr. Morris'

assault distorts the record to suit his own political agenda. Prof. Kiernan's

detailed responses to Mr. Morris documents these misrepresentations (Wall Street

Journal, April 28 and May 30, 1995). It is true that like many anti-war

activists and observers seared by the experience of misleading propaganda during

the Vietnam War, Kiernan in his early twenties initially saw the guerrillas as

offering hope for positive change, though even then he was hardly uncritical of

the Khmer Rouge. But in 1978 he realized his error and had the courage to

acknowledge it in print.

Since 1978, Kiernan has devoted his career to

documenting the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Far from being an apologist for Pol

Pot, Prof. Kiernan has been an outspoken and untiring opponent of the Khmer

Rouge for seventeen years. (During much of that period, Mr. Morris supported a

coalition government-in-exile which was dominated by the Khmer Rouge).

We

have full confidence in Prof. Kiernan's integrity, professional scholarship, and

ability to carry out the important work of the Cambodian Genocide Program. He is

a first-rate historian and an excellent choice for the State Department

grant.

Mr Morris claims, bizarrely, that Prof. Kiernan is "repugnant to

better Cambodia scholars in the West" (Asian Wall Street Journal, May 13, 1995),

and that "the respected scholars of modern Cambodian history... do not respect

Mr Kiernan's current work" (Wall Street Journal, May 15, 1995).

As Cambodia studies is a small field, and we and our students comprise the

majority who publish in the field, we are at a loss to imagine which "scholars"

Mr Morris might mean. We are certainly not among them, although Mr. Morris has

not been above invoking names without permission. We totally dissociate

ourselves from Stephen J. Morris.

  1. Eileen Blumenthal, Professor of Theater, Rutgers University
  2. Chanthou Boua, Author: Children of the Killing Fields.
  3. Frederick Z. Brown, Author: Second Chance: The United States and

    Indochina in the 1990s.

  4. Nayan Chanda, Author: Brother Enemy.
  5. David Chandler, Professor of History, Monash University, Australia

    and Author: The Tragedy of Cambodian History.

  6. Kenton J. Clymer, Chairman, History Department, University of Texas

    at El Paso.

  7. Sara Colm, former Managing Editor, Phnom Penh Post.
  8. Dith Pran, Cambodian holocaust survivor.
  9. May Ebihara, Professor of Anthropology, City University of New

    York.

  10. Craig Etcheson, Author: The Rise and Demise of Democratic

    Kampuchea.

  11. Lindsay French, Postdoctoral Fellow, East-West Center,

    Hawaii.

  12. Kate G. Frieson, Assistant Professor, Pacific and Asian Studies,

    University of Victoria, Canada.

  13. Linchy Higham, Cambodian holocaust survivor.
  14. Helen Jarvis, Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales
  15. Raoul Jennar, Director, Centre Europée de Recherches sur

    L'Extrême-Orient.

  16. Theanvy Kuoch, Cambodian holocaust survivor.
  17. Judy Ledgerwood, Research Fellow, East-West Center, Hawaii.
  18. Laura McGrew, Cambodia Project Director, International Human Rights

    Law Group.

  19. Thida Buth Man, Cambodian holocaust survivor and co-Author: To

    Destroy You is No Loss.

  20. John Marston, Coordinator, Khmer Language, S.E. Asian Studies Summer

    Institute, University of Wisconsin.

  21. Milton E. Osborne, Author: Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of

    Darkness

  22. Paul Quinn-Judge, Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent, Bangkok,

    1982-1985.

  23. Kelvin Rowley, Senior Lecturer, International and Political Studies,

    Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and co-Author: Red Brotherhood at

    War.

  24. Mary F. Scully, R.N.C.S., Director, Khmer Health Advocates.
  25. Toni Shapiro, Postdoctoral Fellow, East-West Center, Hawaii.
  26. Michael Vickery, Associate Professor of History, University Sains

    Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma