The Cambodians didn’t choose either. They had NO CHOICE in the matter – it was genocide and war carried out by a madman!
Questions are important. There are millions all over the internet. But sometimes one has to wonder what’s in these people’s minds and how little they know about the world and history!
Why do people ask such misplaced questions in the first place?
The question is essentially the same as asking if Germany, given a choice, would want to be ruled by the Nazzis again! That would be a pathetic question to ask, no?
Typically, silly questions don’t bother me. But this one did because I’m traveling in Cambodia for a few months. The question is so incredibly misplaced and wrong. It’s also insulting to the Cambodian people I decided to put the record straight with this story.
Cambodians chose neither Pol Pot and The Khmer Rouge nor Vietnam’s occupation
So why would someone ask such a crazy question?
“If Cambodians Had The Choice Again, Would They Choose Pol Pot Or Occupation By Vietnam?”The Question on Quora.com.
There is no AGAIN. Cambodians had no say in the matter. It was a civil war and mass killing of their people by an insane fanatic, Pol Pot, and his radical extremist group.
It happened, as all wars happen — for no reason. Resulting in millions of innocent good people lost their lives.
That man was a fascist dictator mostly operating out of Thailand. His plan was to turn Cambodia from a prospering developing country into a slaving communist union to control the people.
However, his agenda wasn’t only “control” but to kill all educated people! It was to exterminate the intellectuals who may pose a threat and rebel.
They killed everyone with an education above the 12th grade to eliminate intelligent people and make sheep out of the rest.
Plenty has already been written and published about this tragedy, yet it has not reached the vast majority’s minds.
Pol Pot was a ruthless murderer — he was crazy. He killed his people to control a poor country that had already lost so much.
The Cambodians did not choose anything. It was an internal invasion, which, sadly, was supported by America (financially and with weapons) to focus on their war against Vietnam — formerly a part of the Cambodian Monarchy. Later on, the Chinese also started to fund the Khmer Rouge.
Vietnam’s Occupation of Cambodia
As I mentioned above, Cambodian and Vietnamese relations have a long and complex history.
Vietnam didn’t come to Cambodia to invade and occupy.
After saving themselves from the war brought on by America, they came to save and liberate Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge extinction operation across the country.
Why did Vietnam make this decision and take action?
“During nearly four years in power, Khmer Rouge implemented policies that killed about one-third of Cambodia’s population. “They wanted to get rid of an anti-Viet Nam government and put in a pro-Viet Nam government. And in doing so, they got rid of the Khmer Rouge government.”Britannica.com
The Vietnamese, who had undergone years of heavy fighting with America, knew what war was all about. They were hard and willing to fight and help their suffering neighbors.
Vietnam understood the massive scale of atrocities committed by Pol Pot and went in to save Cambodia and Vietnam.
Had the Vietnamese let the mass destruction of life continue, no doubt, The Khmer Rouge would soon have spilled over into Vietnam, as they were already operating out of Thailand.
The Vietnamese withdrew from Cambodia in 1989, which was followed by a peace treaty in 1991.
Please read my related story about my first year traveling in Cambodia:
Vietnam did not intend to take control and occupy Cambodia — Vietnam wanted to save itself.
I also know with certainty that the Cambodian people had no say in either Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge’s genocide or Vietnam’s saving invasion!
Asking the Cambodian people what they would choose today if given a choice of those 2 options is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.
Cambodia is now a fast-developing and thriving country full of young people who love their country and work hard to make it a great success.
Cambodia’s population is again above 16 million from 3.5 million in the 1970s after the genocide.
I salute Cambodia and its incredibly strong-minded, resilient, and lovely people.