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The Gecko: 19 December, 2003

The Gecko: 19 December, 2003

With Saddam Hussein hunted down and arrested by American troops in Iraq this week,

the whole issue of state-sponsored murder is once again back in the headlines. But

how bad was Saddam?

Research conducted by Professor R.J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii, and reported

in a recent issue of The Atlantic Monthly, indicates that when considering the entire

Twentieth Century, the Pol Pot regime still takes the cake in terms of percentage

of population killed by a regime in power.

Rummel has come up with the term "democide" to describe a government's

intentional killing of civilians or military noncombatants. This includes death by

induced famine, forced labor, massacres, or full-scale genocide.

The Atlantic Monthly reports: "Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, of course, committed

the vast majority of state-sponsored murders in the twentieth century, killing (by

Rummel's estimate) more than 100 million people. But when it comes to leaders who

have killed large proportions of their own populations, no one approaches the almost

unimaginable toll exacted on Cambodia by Pol Pot, who murdered about a third of his

country's people in only four years. Hitler killed about six percent of the population

of Nazi-occupied Europe, and Saddam Hussein killed about one percent of Iraq's population."

The debate on this unhappy subject will no doubt continue as the Kingdom creeps forward

snail-like on the road to a KR trial, while Nuon Chea continues to live a life of

ease up in Pailin.

**Patch Adams was in town with a half a dozen bozos!!

** The ADB has added a new acronym to the alphabet soup of development jargon that

is designed to keep aid experts on their toes and the general public confused. With

the push towards privatization of state assets, meet an institutional entity somewhere

in between: The PEEC; otherwise known as a "Private Enterprise with Economic

Characteristics."

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