Killing Fields


Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Killing Fields - Phnom Penh Cambodia
155   July 19, 2004 - UPDATE - Travel Newsletter
LOCATION: Phnom Penh Cambodia
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Killing Fields



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Here I am in Phnom Penh, Cambodia laying around first in one hotel
talking with friends, then moving to another hotel to eat and sit around
talking, I lay around in my bed reading books, then working on my
newsletter or researching the Encyclopedia on my computer trying
to find something to do in Cambodia. I am completely lost, I have
almost zero idea what to do in Cambodia.

I feel very happy to be here, and the people are very friendly, warm,
and appear to enjoy their lives, they are quick to talk and joke around.

I suppose the Motorcycle Taxi Drivers may be over the top as a
traveler here is asked I would guesstimate a minimum of 50 times
per day if they want a Motorcycle, with the question of Smoke second,
and various other questions like lady, Killing Fields, or anything they
think they can try to sell. So there is a funny overwhelming feeling walking
around Phnom Penh, but mostly I just feel lost.

I want to learn where I am, so I can go where I am suppose to go.
I have done all the major things on the list and it took only one day.

1. Killing Fields
2. Genocide Museum
3. Shooting Range
4. Russian Market
5. Main Market

I suppose I could figure out where the sex tourism is going on,
but I really do not care, so I cannot be bothered.

I am hanging around with Oren a Jewish Canadian Kid and two
older than normal Japanese travelers, I suppose Oren is also
older than normal at age 29. The two Japanese are 35 and 30
or something like that, I am normally talking to an age bracket of 20-25
so I am almost talking to adults right, I suppose for sure the Japanese
couple are adults, and Oren is very enlightening in moments
on his analysis of people.

The group of us did the above list in an Cambodia version
of a Thai Tuk Tuk. It is a motorcycle with a 4-seat
like wagon compartment connected or a motorized version of some
bicycle taxi. Very fun way to travel because you are just hanging
around in the wind and you can touch the world very easy.

The big activity for all of the lost souls in Cambodia is to watch two movies…

Ooops, I am wrong, the number one thing to do is to smoke pot,
also known as Marijuana, being that I do not smoke pot,
I sometimes forget that is what everyone is doing.

The second popular pastime is to watch one of two movies.

1. The Killing Fields

“The Killing Fields, British motion picture about the
Khmer Rouge’s takeover of Cambodia in 1975,
based on the writings of Sydney Schanberg. Released in 1984.”
Encyclopedia Encarta

2. Fahrenheit 9/11
by Michael Moore
I am not sure, probably released this year 2004

Historical movies or historical books are always trendy to read
while in the country of the movie or book so the movie the Killing
Fields is a required movie for Cambodian travelers.

I am not going to explain Fahrenheit 9/11 because I got up
and walked out of the movie because I do not participate
in this level of inane or wish to justify the existence of such a stupid movie.

But I have finally got my mind around what is really stupid about
the movie.

Europe does not despise America for our foreign policy
because the average traveler does not know what this means and if
they do, the only thing they can say is they want us to leave Israel
and let them get killed by all the Arabs, so this is really another asinine
type way of dealing with the Palestine / Israel problem. The most
common reasons I receive or they attempt to abuse the USA or me are…

1. Americans are fat.
2. We do not know geography.
3. We have no culture.

The Hero of Europe is now Michael Moore.
A Fat American from Flint, Michigan where another Hero of Europe,
Bill Clinton who help to pass NAFTA and moved all the jobs in Flint
to Mexico.

Where is Flint, Michigan? (Geography)
Population 53.3 Black 41.4 percent white.
A city of unemployed auto workers just like Mike.
I am sure the best cultural representation of America.

So if you want to go stupid, go stupid well.
Michael Moore and Europe, what a team.


I hate to talk about things where really a history lesson is needed
for me to understand or a reader needs to understand, plus it is
hard to care about a bunch of people on the other side of the
planet that kill each other.

I went to see this place they call the Killing Fields
and a Museum devoted to the torture of Cambodians by
Pol Pot and his Khmer regime.

Pol Pot a man from Cambodia that was educated in France
and spent time in Europe took over power in Cambodia after Vietnam,
China, Russia, French, USA, South Vietnam, and Thailand were basically
running around in Cambodia. Pol Pot to me represents the essential
underlying aspect of poor people nations in that poor people want to abuse
the other poor people, and if they got the chance, there are not against
the person that is abusing them and taking their money, they want to be
the person that receives the bribe and be the person that gets to extort,
corrupt, or abuse the people below them.

I am not going to try to explain Pol Pot, I have decided to let you read the
what Encyclopedia Encarta has to a say. If you want to learn about the
History of a country, read them boring history books or the Encyclopedia,
if you want to find a hotel room read a guidebook, but do not read
a guidebook to learn history.

Pol Pot (1925-1998), Cambodian political leader, whose radical
Khmer Rouge movement controlled the government of Cambodia from
1975 to 1979. Under Pol Pot’s totalitarian regime, about 1.7 million
Cambodians were killed and Cambodia fell into economic ruin.

Pol Pot was born Saloth Sar in Kompong Thom Province. At that time
Cambodia was a Buddhist kingdom under French control. His parents
had royal connections: his cousin was one of King Sisovath Monivong’s
wives, his sister was a consort, and his brother Loth Suong made a career
in the palace. Sar had a strict, sheltered childhood. In 1934 he joined his
brother at the palace compound in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital,
and spent a year in a royal monastery followed by six years in an elite
Catholic school.

In 1948 Sar went to study radio electricity in Paris, where he joined the
French Communist Party. He kept company with Khieu Ponnary, the first
Khmer (ethnic Cambodian) woman to receive a bachelor’s degree,
and they were married in 1956. Sar’s student friends included Khieu
Samphan, Ieng Sary, and Son Sen. Each person in the group adopted
a pseudonym. Sar chose “Khmaer Da’em,” meaning
“Original Cambodian,” while the others chose more modern code
names such as “Free Khmer” and “Khmer Worker.” Later, in the
mid-1970s, Sar adopted the pseudonym he is most widely known
by: Pol Pot (which has no particular meaning).

Pol Pot failed his courses in Paris and returned to Cambodia in 1953.
A movement for independence from France had been gaining strength
since the end of World War II (1939-1945), and Pol Pot joined the
Cambodian and Vietnamese Communists who were fighting the
French in a common cause. The Vietnamese taught Pol Pot how to
organize peasants for resistance, but he felt that this assignment
was a patronizing slight for someone raised in the palace. His
resentment of the Vietnamese was exacerbated when they failed
to quickly promote him to a leadership position despite his
overseas experience.

France granted Cambodia independence in 1953, and the
government of King Norodom Sihanouk was recognized as the
country’s sole legitimate authority at the Geneva Conference the
next year. Pol Pot and other radicals who had fought the French
alongside Vietnamese Communists went underground. Pol Pot
moved to Phnom Penh and resumed working to establish a
Communist government in Cambodia. Pol Pot rose in the ranks
of the Workers Party of Kâmpŭchéa (later renamed the
Communist Party of Kâmpŭchéa, or CPK). In February 1963 he
became the CPK’s secretary general, or top leader, after his
predecessor, a former Buddhist monk, mysteriously disappeared.

In July 1963 Pol Pot left Phnom Penh to establish a rebel base in the
mountains of northeastern Cambodia. Under his leadership, the
CPK began to wage guerrilla attacks against the government in
1967. It was during this time that the Khmer Rouge—the name given
to CPK members by Sihanouk—emerged as a major force. Once
rural, Buddhist, moderate, and pro-Vietnamese, the Communist
leadership became became urban, French-educated, radical,
and anti-Vietnamese under Pol Pot’s influence.

After eight years of guerrilla warfare, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge
movement took over the Cambodian government in 1975.
Declaring the state of Democratic Kâmpŭchéa (DK), Pol Pot
cut Cambodia off from the world. He banned foreign and minority
languages and attacked the neighboring countries of Laos, Vietnam,
and Thailand in an attempt to regain ancient “lost territory.” Seeking
to restore the “purity” of the Khmer race (the ethnic majority in Cambodia),
Pol Pot eliminated foreign-educated people (with the exception of his
Paris group) and non-Khmers living in Cambodia, especially the
Vietnamese. Despite food shortages, rice was exported to China
along with rare wild animals in exchange for weapons. An atheist,
Pol Pot suppressed Cambodia’s Buddhist religion: monks were
defrocked; temples and artifacts, including statues of Buddha,
were destroyed; and people praying or expressing other religious
sentiments were often killed. In an effort to rebuild the powerful,
agriculture-based economy of the medieval Ângkôr kingdom,
the government emptied the cities through mass evacuations and
sent people to the countryside. Cambodians were overworked and
underfed on collective farms, often succumbing to disease or
starvation as a result. Spouses were separated and family meals
prohibited in order to steer loyalties toward the state instead of the
family. About 1.7 million Cambodians, or about 20 percent of the
population, were worked, starved, or beaten to death under
Pol Pot’s regime.

The Vietnamese army overthrew Democratic Kâmpŭchéa on January 7,
1979, in retaliation for Khmer Rouge attacks on Vietnam. Pol Pot
and the remnants of his forces fled to the Thai-Cambodian border
and began a long campaign to retake power. In the late 1980s
Pol Pot remarried and had a daughter with his second wife. In 1996
the Khmer Rouge army began to break up when Ieng Sary, Pol Pot’s
brother-in-law and the former deputy prime minister of DK, defected
to the Cambodian government. In 1997 Khmer Rouge leaders detained
Pol Pot, staging a show trial and placing him under house arrest
Pol Pot died in April 1998; in May the Cambodian government
claimed that its troops had captured the last of the Khmer Rouge’s
positions along the Thai-Cambodian border.


Contributed By: Ben Kiernan
Thank you Encyclopedia Encarta, I will probably get sued for that…
oh well, better to try to tell you the facts.

WHERE I GO? (Proper Asian English)

I will leave tomorrow for Snuol, Cambodia by bus, I will then try to go
to Sen Monorom, Cambodia to see if the UNHCR is really up there
in the area or they are in Phnom Penh smoking joints. I would expect
them to be in Phnom Penh smoking joints, and not up in this area
doing something. But the situation of the Montagnard a Frenchie
word that means “Mountain Dwellers” is intriguing, so I am going up
there to be snoop around, then try to cross the border in the mountains
to Vietnam. I am told the border is closed, but they always tell me
the border is closed.

I like border towns and primitive mountain people, plus there has to
be something of interesting Cambodia and the guidebooks and the
travelers are just too stoned to know. I will go find something.

I will then cross the border or bounce of the border then go to Saigon.
I will eventually find an opening, they normally let me leave.

Andy a

United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

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Article written by Andy the
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