Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Straining at gnats



Straining at gnats

Straining at gnats

The Editor,

The indignation of William Shawcross and Steve Heder (Post, Oct 18-30) in both

cases is characterized by the straining at gnats with which liberal defenders of

the status quo typically try to distract attention from their breakfast of a camel

and a water buffalo or two.

Shawcross reads non-existent "sneers at King Sihanouk" into the letter

of Craig Etcheson of the Cambodia Genocide Program (Post, Sept 20-Oct 3) but that

fiction pales before his description of Julio Jeldres as someone who "has contributed

much to the restoration of civil society in Cambodia."

If true, that would only be compensation of a sort for Jeldres' past role as a supporter

of the Khmer Rouge - before they lost power. (Jeldres was made an "honorary"

- what a word - member of the KR's FUNK in 1971, and was still boasting of this fact

and defending the KR in letters in 1978). Unfortunately, his consistent role in Cambodian

politics since then has been to attack anyone and everyone who appears as a serious

opponent of the KR - often doing so in the guise of "attacking" the KR.

He does this with more fervor than intelligence, thus producing the absurd inconsistencies

of the sort referred to in Etcheson's letter.

Etcheson's mentioning of these inconsistencies is, according to Shawcross, "deeply

unprofessional conduct" and will enhance the "doubts" about the CGP

"which have been voiced". Voiced by whom, Mr Shawcross? Can't you spare

even a footnote? Was it perhaps Julio Jeldres? Or is this a reference to that other

scholar, Stephen Morris, whose previous claim to professional fame was the discovery

in Kremlin archives of "evidence" of US prisoners of war still held in

Vietnam?

For his part, Heder uses a column and a half of your paper attacking the CGP for

not yet having delivered results it promised to produce in 1997. Those of us with

a satirical and "unprofessional" streak would suggest that someone give

Heder a current calender. No doubt Shawcross would praise Heder as "contributing

much to the restoration of chronology".

- Allen Myers, Sydney, Australia.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he