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Cambodia - The Rise of the Khmer Rouge and the Genocide (1976-1978)

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During the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia was turned into a giant labor camp creating a system of terror, genocide, and attempted cultural annihilation-a series of drastic events that the country is still recovering from. The years contained within this regime were devastating for the nation of Cambodia, with the establishment of the Khmer Rouge, a left-wing Communist political party whose actions have had an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on the political, economic and social structure of Cambodia-ruining the lives of millions.

As a strong communist organization with aims for Cambodia that would leave the country in dire need of help, the Khmer Rouge defectively impacted the easy-going life Cambodians knew. With much determination, the Khmer Rouge was an insurgent movement of varying ideological backgrounds developed against the Lon Nol regime in 1960 (Rowat 2006). It began as a left-wing organization made up of a small group of French educated communists, but soon grew to become Cambodia?s leading and most influential political party. Following the establishment of the party, the Khmer Rouge?s revolutionary army grew rapidly, aiming to consolidate its control taking over most of the country (Dennis 1988). Their leader Pol Pot was an admirer of Maoist communism, which is where the group?s strong communist ideas originated. Pol Pot?s ideologies for the future of Cambodia were truly corrupted and powerfully triggered the downfall of the nation of Cambodia (Peace Pledge Union 2007). Pol Pot wanted to wipe out all traces of the old Cambodia and start a new society, one that was strictly ordered and structured by a series of rules. With the Khmer Rouge becoming even more powerful in the very late 1960s, US bombers interfered to st...

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... 30 000 Vietnamese. In December of 1977, the Khmer Rouge broke off diplomatic relations with Vietnam, who retaliated with an attack 30 km into Cambodia in 1978 (Sutherland 1990, p. 158). Upon occupation, the Vietnamese were welcomed at first by the Cambodians as their saviours from the Khmer Rouge extremists (Sutherland 1990, p. 161).

During the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia was turned into a giant labour camp creating a system of terror, genocide, and attempted cultural annihilation, a series of drastic events that the country is still recovering from. The years contained within this regime were devastating for the nation of Cambodia, with the establishment of the Khmer Rouge, a left-wing Communist political party whose actions have had an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on the political, economic and social structure of Cambodia, ruining the lives of millions.
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