I just found out that there is a $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
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. Sure the Khmer Rouge signed on, why not? It gains them time which is
what 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 Paris accords would seem to grant immunity
but certainly no persons in UNTAC or the Khmer Rouge leadership believes there will
be no 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 a 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 ease 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 the abuses 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
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.