O thers can judge whether my article was a "rant" full of "scatter-gun innuendo"
but I wish to make a few factual points:
1. I referred to "17 years of blanket socialist-communist propaganda"
precisely because from April 1975 to early 1992 the only officially permitted
media in Cambodia espoused some form of (however misunderstood) socialism or
communism; something no-one can deny. To impute from this that I see no
difference between the DK and PRK is nonsense, as is the imputation that I am
therefore "in the camp of Stephen Morris" involved "in mischievous attacks on
its director Ben Kiernan". The only point I wished to make, having read much of
this stuff, is that it is extremely difficult to find any significant resonance
of it (DK or PRK variety) anywhere in the post-election, Khmer-language media or
indeed, to the limited extent that I can judge, in the popular perceptions of
ordinary Cambodians, including those who worked many years for the PRK/SoC. I am
not passing any judgment whatsoever on Michael Vickery's work on the PRK or
indeed on the DK.
2. Why Dr. Vickery assumes I, as someone he has never met, cannot read
Khmer is beyond me.
3. FUNCINPEC and CPP very publicly announced an alliance in November
1991, the anniversary of which continues to be celebrated today. The CPP
reverted to state-authorized violence against FUNCINPEC precisely at the point,
exactly a year later, when the informal cooperation between the two sides had,
for whatever reason, broken down. Previously, SoC violence had been concentrated
on the BLDP which was then the one major party unwilling to reach some sort of
accommodation and engaged in outright criticism of the CPP. The level and nature
of (non-DK) political violence thereafter largely followed a nationwide pattern
which strongly suggested some central coordination; the extent of violence
substantially depending on the perceived political threat to the CPP. That local
SoC figures, both in the police and military, were involved in the pre-election
violence is undeniable, as numerous cases from Battambang, where I was then
working, showed. It is also undeniable that SoC failed to take any action
against people identified as involved in such violence and that the SoC police
were routinely and officially involved in the surveillance of "opposition" party
- David Ashley, Phnom Penh