Rob Hamill testifies in Cambodia

[Frog: I received this post from the Green party’s own mark Servian in Cambodia last evening, along with the transcript of Rob’s testimony. All I can say is, this guy has got guts. Good on ya, Rob.]

I watched Rob’s incredible performance via closed circuit TV from the media room in the courthouse of the Extraordinary Court Chambers of Cambodia (www.eccc.gov.kh/english).  Here was a man of incredible endurance and fortitude – he did win the Transatlantic rowing race – showing that he was both so very vunerable but strong enough to stand up to the man in the dock – Duch, one of the horriblest monsters of the 20th Century.

It had been a frantic day as we had expected Rob to testify today, Tuesday, and only got the call yesterday that he was likely to be on mid-morning. At the time I was with Rachel, Rob’s wife and Ivan, his two-year-old son, visiting Tuol Sleng or S21, the terrible death camp that Duch presided over and where Rob’s brother, Kerry, was tortured and murdered in 1978.  It is a truly gruesome place – I’ve been to Hiroshima and visited Sri Lanka soon after the tsunami, but this is on entirely other level of unpleasantness.

For anyone who wants to claim that ‘waterboarding’ is not torture, rest assured that the Khmer Rouge, who sought to perfect the science of deliberate infliction of human pain, included it in their arsenal.  Their method was to have a cut oil drum with steel shackles bolted within so the prisoner could be locked with their head inside as the water came in through a pipe.  There sitting in a room is the device, in front of a painting of the process, done by one of the camp’s seven survivors.

15,000-20,000 people were tortured in this former high school before being taken away for execution at the local Killing Field, and yet it covers a relatively small area that, even with the horrible makeshift brick cells built in each classroom, can’t have housed more than a few hundred at a time.  Duch and co were terribly efficient.

Rob was already in the court room when we arrived there with the ‘Brother Number One’ (http://bno-documentary.blogspot.com/) doco crew. We weren’t allowed to take Ivan into the court itself, so we sat in the media room next door.  When a break came in proceedings, Alain, Rob’s Swiss lawyer suddenly appeared, saying Rob was concerned that Rachel wasn’t inside, we told him to see if we could get Ivan in but that was to no avail, so Rachel handed Ivan to me, waking him in the process and raced inside.  I comforted the raucous toddler and he soon calmed down and sat on my knee for the rest of the proceedings.  When Kerry’s picture appeared on the screen, he called out ‘daddy’, mistaking the uncle he’ll never meet for his father.

After Rob emerged we were all taken to a side room so he and Rachel could debrief with the doco crew rolling.  Sambath Reach, a court official who like seemingly everyone here lost family to the Khmer Rouge, expressed his deep thanks to Rob for saying things that have not been heard in the court room and for standing up to Duch in a way no one had yet dared.  After the media scrum, he took us to the court’s Buddhist shrine nearby, so that, in the late afternoon tropical sun, Rob give make an offering for Kerry.

Now I know what Frogblog’s comments section can be like, so before all those boys who make the blogosphere such an unpleasant place for compassionate, unselfish people start up with their predicatable claims that this is what *the left* leads to, let me say this – every political and religious creed that has allowed any form of violence to be part of its agenda or methodology has at times created the sort of madness that Pol Pot let loose.

The real underlying human attribute that set the Killing Fields, and the Holocaust, and Inquisition, and 9-11 and Abu Ghraib et al in action, is certainty, certainty on a scale that will impose its will through violence.

For us in the West what we have to get our heads around is that the Khmer Rouge learnt their ideology in Paris and were able to seize power because Richard Nixon personally ordered a secret bombing campaign that killed half a million.  And that US foreign policy, in particular their determination to never forgive anyone that drives them off, allowed the Khmer Rouge to occupy Cambodia’s UN seat until 1993 rather than the government installed by the Vietnamese invasion that ended their rule.

That outrage alone is a major reason why its taken so long for a sailor from Whakatane to have his story told and see justice, a day that finally came yesterday.

103 Comments Posted

  1. “Why should I retract the comment when Chomsky talks of “alleged” atrocities?”

    Where? When?

    And you should retract the comment because you claimed that Chomsky said Khmer Rouge atrocities were entirely CIA propaganda – and he didn’t.

    “Are you denying that there were quite a few Western academics sympathetic to the Khmer Rouge?”

    No – I was talking about Chomsky – not some unamed and unidentified group of people.

    “Are you denying that Chomsky essentially blames the US for death in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge being almost a sideshow and with not the slightest mention of China’s role?”

    Chomsky certainly blames the US for deaths in Cambodia – if random bombing by B-52s didn’t kill anybody it would be surprising. But his primary claim is that the US media ignored deaths due to US action and played up deaths caused by the Khmer Rouge.

    “avowed radical anti-capitalist anti-american syndicalist, who has spent much time publicising atrocities by non-Marxist regimes”

    Mostly true – though he’s hardly “anti-american”, I believe he married one. He’s clearly stated that he considers it sensible to focus on atrocities committed by his own government – and the states it backs. I’d do the same. I’m in a much better position to comment on what the New Zealand government does, than say, what the Japanese government does.

    Demanding that somebody shut up unless they comment on everything is ridiculous – should I tell you that you are not entitled to comment on Cambodia as you haven’t condemmed the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the atrocities of the regime in Algeria and the invasion of Parihaka, so are therefore not balanced?

    “He is a linguist polemicist who funnily neglects to note that so many of those he sympathises against the West wouldn’t let him have one second of freedom to publish whatever he likes if they were in power”

    Actually does note this – referring to western Communists who fight for free speech and human rights in the west while backing dictatorships elsewhere. He also slams Marxism as “organised religion”.

    “As a result he is a popular pinup among those on the left who like to swallow flavours they expect and seek.”

    Actually most on the left read Chomsky highly selectively – approving his comments on US foreign policy and ignoring his anarcho-syndicalism and anti-Marxism.

  2. try this http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/cambear1.htm all sections of this thesis.

    Why should I retract the comment when Chomsky talks of “alleged” atrocities?

    Are you denying that there were quite a few Western academics sympathetic to the Khmer Rouge? Are you denying that Chomsky essentially blames the US for death in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge being almost a sideshow and with not the slightest mention of China’s role?

    Chomsky plays a cunning slithering little game where he takes an eternal truth, that all journalists and media outlets, including himself, take a particular line and emphasis – all the time pretending he is immune from this, when most of his career he has been an avowed radical anti-capitalist anti-american syndicalist, who has spent much time publicising atrocities by non-Marxist regimes, whilst minimising or ignoring those from Marxist regimes. As a result he is a popular pinup among those on the left who like to swallow flavours they expect and seek.

    He is a linguist polemicist who funnily neglects to note that so many of those he sympathises against the West wouldn’t let him have one second of freedom to publish whatever he likes if they were in power – he uses the freedom he enjoys in the USA to provide succuour to those who would destroy both that freedom and pillage its wealth.

  3. “In fact it was de riguer for Western academics to be wholly sceptical of claims of mass murder inside Cambodia, Noam Chomsky famously claimed such reports as CIA propaganda ”

    Having read the article you cite – there seems no evidence whatsoever of the claims you make above. It’s largely media analysis, Chomsky does not assert that there was no mass murder – in fact he suggests there was – and there seems no mention of the CIA at all.

    Can you give another source or will you retract the comment?

  4. “What did the Khmer Rouge propound, individual diversity (which is the reverse)?”

    The Khmer Rouge did not propound equality – they were highy hierachical, authoritarian and had massive inequlaities in power – as is blatantly obvious even at a cursory glance. That does not mean they advocated “individual diversity” either – the world seldom works in dichotomies.

    Sorry – busy – would like to answer other comments – maybe later.

  5. Chomsky wrote, with Edward S. Herman, published a review article, “Distortions at Fourth Hand.” http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19770625.htm “What filters through to the American public is a seriously distorted version of the evidence available, emphasizing alleged Khmer Rouge atrocities” is one quote.

    The whole quote provides additional context:

    We do not pretend to know where the truth lies amidst these sharply conflicting assessments; rather, we again want to emphasize some crucial points. What filters through to the American public is a seriously distorted version of the evidence available, emphasizing alleged Khmer Rouge atrocities and downplaying or ignoring the crucial U.S. role, direct and indirect, in the torment that Cambodia has suffered. Evidence that focuses on the American role, like the Hildebrand and Porter volume, is ignored, not on the basis of truthfulness or scholarship but because the message is unpalatable.

    Do you doubt this type of media distortion occurred?

    What did the Khmer Rouge propound, individual diversity (which is the reverse)?

    Chomsky and Herman make no such claim of course. Their article was about media distortion and makes a very good case that such happened.

    The technical name for this farce is “freedom of the press.” All are free to write as they wish: Fox Butterfield, with his ideological blinders, on the front page of the Times (daily circulation more than 800,000); and Carol Bragg, with her eyewitness testimony, in New England Peacework (circulation 2,500). Typically, reports which emphasize the destruction caused by the United States and the progress and commitment of the Vietnamese reach a tiny circle of peace activists. Reports that ignore the American role — Butterfield can only bring himself to speak of “substantial tracts of land made fallow [sic] by the war,” with no agent indicated — and that find only “woes” and distress, reach a mass audience and become part of the established truth. In this way a “line” is implanted in the public mind with all the effectiveness of a system of censorship, while the illusion of an open press and society is maintained. If dictators were smarter, they would surely use the American system of thought control and indoctrination.

    A more recent example, also from the New York Times though they were just one of many culprits, is the coverage of the Iraq war, where absolute acceptance of the Bush administration line and ignoring many other sources of contrary information was critical to drumming up support for the war.

  6. There is another issue which falls within the context of Jack Lasenby’s quote about the respective balance between valuing and devaluing our major cultures. And it is exemplified most emphatically, I believe, by the behaviour of our National Museum, Te Papa.

    This excellent institution made an early decision to recognise and provide access to Matauranga Maori — Maori systems of knowledge — alongside Western scholarly conventions; and by so doing to provide the country’s indigenous and Pacific cultures with the major say in how their cultures would be presented in the museum’s displays. Thus notices in the museum ask visitors to respect the values and protocols arising out of those cultures. Thus too those same visitors are asked to remove their shoes before entering the meeting house Te Hau Ki Tauranga. And thus, at the request of New Zealand Samoans, Tongans and other Polynesians, pictures of bare-breasted women taken by European photographers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were not hung in Te Papa’s Pacific section, because such images are offensive to the evangelical-Christian mores of the descendants of those same women.

    So far so good. I have no grounds for wanting to challenge such a policy. But I am made uneasy by the fact that when an issue arose about the mores and sensibilities of a section of our Pakeha culture, Christians who venerated the Mother of Christ every bit as reverentially as Poverty Bay Maori venerated the carvings in Te Hau Ki Tautanga, there was no sign of mutuality of respect. The Virgin In A Condom was allowed to remain on display regardless of the offence that it gave. I was made even more uneasy when, at the very same time, the Waikato Museum of Arts and History decided to withdraw a Dick Frizzell exhibition on the ground that moko on the face of a caricatured Four Square grocer gave offence to Tainui Maori. The message that emerged from the exact conjunction of both episodes was that tangata whenua culture is to be respected by the institutions responsible for New Zealand art and ethnology; but Pakeha culture, our second indigenous culture, is not.

    There was one further episode involving Te Papa that seemed to reinforce this message. Four professional historians (I was not one of them) wrote last year to Te Papa’s Chief Executive Officer, Cheryl Sotheran, complainng that the Moriori exhibit made no mention of the Maori invasion of the Chathams, to which I have already referred. Defending Te Papa’s representation of Moriori history, the museum’s manager of research went on the Holmes [television] programme to say that “a revelation of the truth [in this matter] would constitute a return to a view of history which has overtones of racism.”

    Again, I was left feeling uncomfortable. This defence implied that aspects of the past ought to be suppressed if they gave comfort to rednecks. That, I would argue, is not a sound ground for misrepresenting history. And I’m not sure that I can think of any justifiable reason for doing so. The only healthy way to deal with the past and to understand it, is to have all the relevant incidents and episodes on the table and to be even-handed in the manner in which we deal with them.

    This last episode raises the issue of whether or not, in an effort to compensate Maori for past injustices and misrepresentations, some of us are now presenting history slanted in such a way as to make Maori history and behaviour appear more virtuous than the behaviour and performance of non-Maori.

    The Maori historian Buddy Mikaere has referred to a tendency on the part of Pakeha historians to depict Maori as, invariably, deeply spiritual beings who only ever act on the basis of high-minded principles; and Pakeha as unprincipled rogues or fools whose behaviour is always motivated by racial arrogance, greed and self-interest.

    Mikaere made these comments with specific reference to The Story of New Zealand by Judith Bassett, Keith Sinclair and Marcia Stenson. But the imprint of the approach to history he identifies can be found in Anne Salmond’s book Two Worlds, First Meetings Between Maori aud Europeans 1642-1772 (though interestingly enough not in its sequel, Between Two Worlds). It rests heavily on James Belich’s series of television documentaries on the New Zealand Wars. And it is there in Fergus Clunie’s recent writings on missionary activity in and around the Bay of Islands.

    In the first instance, that of Anne Salmond, it is revealed in a determrnation to expose the more brutal features of seventeenth and eighteenth century European society without acknowledging comparable behaviour by Maori; and to judge every aspect of European activity in New Zealand in the harshest light, and every manifestation of Maori behaviour in the most benevolent and positive way.

    Belich’s documentaries highlight behaviour of the nincompoop variety, whilst potraying Maori as almost always making decisions that were admirable and strategically sound. And Fergus Clunie sees early missionary actions as being designed, not to give Maori the benefit of European technology in such areas as food production and house construction, but solely to make Maori dependent on the technology with a view to advancing the process of colonisation and parting them from their land.

    Same as above

  7. Are we squeaky clean:

    “One is that I don’t believe in the Old Testament notion that the sins of the fathers are to be visited on successive generations. That is a prescription for the kind of payback culture that has crippled such places as the Balkans and Northern Ireland for centuries. Further, if one accepted such a principle, it would also be a recipe for continued conflict between Maori and Maori as a consequence of the musket wars of the early nineteenth century. Then there are the potential difficult implications for those who are both Maori and Pakeha in descent.

    It is in that latter circumstance, however, that we have a precedent for a way forward and out of a culture of revenge. In the pre-musket, pre-Contact years, when Maori iwi or hapu fought other iwi or hapu and one side achieved clear dominance, the descendants of both victor and vanquished were married, so that their descendants could whakapapa back to both sides. And that was a prescription for ending the distinction between victor and vanquished and thus removing grounds for future conflict. In this way did Ngati Mamoe absorb Waitaha in the South Island; and then were themselves absorbed by Ngai Tahu; and in this way too most Ngai Tahu descendants now trace their descent from all three iwi.

    The “sins of the fathers” model also loses validity if one takes it literally, case by case. When North Island Maori were being attacked by Imperial and then colonial government forces in the middle of the nineteenth century, my immediate ancestors were grappling with the effects of the Irish famines; and my Tierney grandmother always asserted that we, with four hundred years of oppression of our language, our culture and our faith, had more reason to hate the English than those who had survived the decidedly more mild consequences of nineteenth century colonisation.

    That is not to say that one should devalue or underestimate the effect on Maori of the British colonisation of Aotearoa. I have researched and documented the pain and the grief of that process in half a dozen books; and done as much as I can to make the negative effects of that colonisation visible to my Pakeha brothers and sisters; and argued forcefully that it created imbalances of opportunity in our national life than can and ought to be compensated for and remedied. Which is one reason that I am fully supportive of the Treaty-based claims process and applaud the fact that it returns economic and social resources to people who had had those things illegally or unethically taken from them.

    But that is not the same as saying that Maori people or Maori culture are ethically or morally superior to Pakeha because of the European colonisation of New Zealand. That is a notion I wholly reject. The process of colonisa1ion is about the application of power on the part of those who have it, onto those who do not. And it is almost inevitably corrupting, as Lord Acton reminded us when speaking of the absolute variety. And it brings with it, as part of its baggage, notions of racial and cultural superiority.

    Note that I say that it is the process that brings these things, not simply people of one kind of ethnic background or another. In pre-European Contact days, tribal Maori interacted only with each other. And those people, Nga Iwi o te Motu, while there were small variations in their language and kawa, recognised a broad tikanga that was intelligible to and accepted by people from Te Rerenga Wairua in the north to Rakiura in the south.

    In the first half of the nineteenth century, however, individual iwi considered carrying their martial culture beyond the shores of New Zealand. At least three expeditions of conquest were planned: to Samoa, to Norfolk Island, and to the Chatham Islands, which did not become part of New Zealand until 1842. All these proposed expeditions were dependent on finding transport to those places: and that meant finding a European ship’s captain whose vessel was available for charter; or it meant Maori commandeering a vessel for the purpose.

    In the event there were no expeditions to Norfolk Island or to Samoa because the necessary transport was not secured. But there was an invasion of the Chathams Islands. Two Taranaki tribes then based in Wellington, Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga ki Poneke, hijacked a European vessel in 1835 and had themselves—a total of 900 people—delivered to Chatham Islands. There they takahi’d or walked the land to claim it; ritually killed around 300 Chatham Moriori out of a total of around 1600, and enslaved the survivors—separating husbands from wives, parents from children, forbidding them to speak their own language or practise their own customs, and forcing them to violate the tapus of their culture, whose mana was based on the rejection of violence.

    Was this a superior form of colonisation to that imposed by European on Maori? Did it respect the dignity and customs of the colonised? Did it acknowledge the mana whenua of the tchakat henu or indigenous people of the Chathams? It did not. It was what might now be called an exercise in ethnic cleansing. When Bishop Selwyn arrived in the islands in 1848, it was to discover that the Maori called Moriori “Paraiwhara” or “Blackfellas”; and it was to report that the Moriori population continued to decline at a suicidal rate as a consequence of kongenge or despair. Moriori slaves were not released and New Zealand law was not established on the islands until 1862, twenty years after they had become part of New Zealand. And it is that twenty years of neglect of fiduciary duty on the part of the Crown that is the basis for the Moriori claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, heard in 1994, but still not reported upon.

    The point in raising the Chathams experience is not to use it as a stick with which to beat Maori—especially in view of what I have been saying about not visiting the sins of the fathers, or mothers, onto subsequent generations. I draw attention to it in the spirit of a historian who says, Take care. The evidence of history is unanimous on only one point. It shows us that no race or culture is inherently superior or inferior to another; and we all have skeletons in our ancestral closets that represent instances of behaviour of which we cannot be wholly proud by today’s standards of ethics and morality. ”

    Allegiance to One’s Origins:
    The Consequences of Belief
    Michael King, Historian
    A paper delivered to the Sea of Faith Network (NZ) Conference
    “Beyond Belief—Putting Faith Into Practice”
    Havelock North, 8 October 2000

  8. Trevor,
    Interesting, though is it not the spelling rather than the pronounciation that matters? The pronounciation does, after all, vary much by speaker.

    Not so much an intentional thread hijack as a thought arising from a rereading of my 12:17 am post.

  9. Interesting question Sapient. Most speakers say “one” the same as “won” and therefore proceed either with “a” rather than “an”. Therefore “a ‘1’” but “an ‘8’”.

    Trevor.

    PS: one of the more imaginative thread hijacks?

  10. Question:
    Should an ‘a’ before a digit such as ‘1’ (which would otherwise start with a vowel) actually be an ‘an’?

  11. Sam Buchanan: Chomsky wrote, with Edward S. Herman, published a review article, “Distortions at Fourth Hand.” http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19770625.htm “What filters through to the American public is a seriously distorted version of the evidence available, emphasizing alleged Khmer Rouge atrocities” is one quote.

    What did the Khmer Rouge propound, individual diversity (which is the reverse)?

    I would disagree about justice for those “impacted” by violence, but would agree about those who are direct victims.

    However – the fundamental is the use of violence to achieve goals. The Khmer Rouge did so on a grand scale, but almost all politicians seek to do so as well. The Greens more than some in the NZ political environment.

  12. Greenfly,

    Are we squeaky clean then?

    As a 1/32 decendant of the indiginous people of NZ, apparently I am; atleast in this respect.

  13. ” the question is what is decolonisation and why?”

    Oh God, jh, so you’ve been banging on for ages about decolonisation and how terrible and dangerous it is, and only now are you asking what it is?

    I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m too tired now.

  14. Try asking them (without lacing your questions with slights).

    jh has had many answers over the last few years, but has ignored them, persisting with what he wants to believe instead. Its not answers he seeks, but a platform to spout his own false fears.

  15. ” The Federated farmers Farm Day will return next year
    with the theme of ‘The Green Farmer’.

    … Don Nicholson .. blah, blah.. it’s appropriate our theme is The Green Farmer.
    ” Non-farming New Zealanders don’t always understand the effort responsible farmers make in respect to the environment.”

    Blah, blah, blah…

    Southern Rural Life newspaper.

  16. Basic paradigm issues? You’ve hit the nail on the head. Of course there are significant issues. that’s what underlies the whole political spectrum/debate.

  17. jh says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand where the left …are coming from..

    Try asking them (without lacing your questions with slights).

  18. Kahikatea,
    Yes, it is arbitary, but so is the opinion that we should align the arbitary structure so as to maximise peace. I dont disagree with that goal, but it is none-the-less entirly arbitary (as any ‘ought’ is).
    The state is very much an embodyment of the ‘might makes right’ concept, the entire functioning of the state, including its ability to police, being derived from the citizens whom are the states powerbase.

    Sam,
    You can try, if you do manage to take it however I can have charges brought and thus reclaim my stereo and compensation. Remember that ultimatly the group is nothing but a conglomeration of individuals and rules within that group are enforced through the shared force of those individuals. In the context of your theft of my property that group is the nation, its force conglomerated in the form of the state. By stealing my property you would be breaking the rules of the group and thus the force held by the group, larger than my own, may be utilised in your repremand.
    It is thus that the laws of this state, and its actions, are legitimate without regard to what those laws or actions are so long as those laws or actions do not result in a larger power conflicting with that of the state or in the states powerbase disapating and supporting another.
    This theory of force ultimatly acts to legitimise the status quo, whatever that status may be.

  19. I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand where the left (in this case the “red greens”) are coming from but there seems to be a difference in some basic paradigms.

  20. jh won’t engage on an honest level – ignorance is bliss. He’s here all alone with a computer and an attitude.

  21. jh, at least half of what you say above isn’t even true. Remember, just because few respond to your latest tripe, doesn’t make it so.

  22. # bigblukiwi Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    jh – what really quite evil tripe you speak ! To even imagine a likeness between the Green Party of New Zealand, any of it’s adherents or certainly it’s MP’s – is quite mad and despicable. I’t people like you who bring shame on the description ‘ right wing looney’

    Well why would I make a connection hmmmm?For a start we sometimes have these feelings/ associations and then a little thought (mentoring) and you realise it was silly. But there is some basis (I think):

    It is a matter of grouping or DNA of the far-left (as I see it) or he’s one of your left-wing ferals.

    1. extreme social change. Kymer Rouge ideology represented a form of extreme social change (into uncharted territory). With extreme change comes discontent and with discontent comes the need for represion. Pol Pot (aparently) had a paranoid personallity.

    2. Radicals and radical ideas. Sometimes these are accepted by society and sometimes they are never and seen as bonkers.
    The Greens seem to have gone to the bottom of the pot when it comes to their choice of MP’s and the radical ideas they hold: “decolonisation”; “ti tirritti” fundamentalism (I perceive a madness there); supporting state benefits over and above what working people receive. The truth is that the public will dig their toes in if parliamentarians forget who they work for so MMP aside there will be a backlash from the general population but (as a metaphor) if you have unprotected sex you’ll get something bad.


    # bigblukiwi Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 9:00 am

    jh -Pol Pot had absolutely nothing to do with Socialism in any form whatsoever. Period – any assertion to the contrary is false & shows ignorance of the issues

    Not even a feral variety?

    http://tinyurl.com/luue2z

  23. “Conquest is legitimate for the force mustered by one party exceeds that the other party is willing to, or able to, exert to maintain their possession of that which is under attempted conquest.”

    OK – I’ll be around to steal your stereo later. We’ll see if you can stop me.

  24. Sapient Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    > Conquest is legitimate for the force mustered by one party exceeds that the other party is willing to, or able to, exert to maintain their possession of that which is under attempted conquest.

    It seems to me the whole point of having a concept of legitimacy in the context of governments or land ownership is to provide an alternative to the idea of ‘might is right’. It will become arbitrary because there will always have been force used to install government or land ownership sometime in the past, but we should try to create our arbitrary definitions of legitimacy in a way that encourages peace and fairness.

  25. Sam,
    I appologise for my late reply, I had forgotten about our discussion. 😛
    The world is ruled by force, if you define legitimacy as conformity to rules then you must realise that the rules are set by those whom hold the largest exerted power.
    Conquest is legitimate for the force mustered by one party exceeds that the other party is willing to, or able to, exert to maintain their possession of that which is under attempted conquest. It was, and is, perfectly legitimate that the europeans (and other Maori signatories) confiscated the lands and rights of the non-signatory Maori, just is it is legitimate for the USA to intervene where it has the power, or for the world to unite and overthrow the USA. Force makes legitimacy, this is a fact and anyone seekign to benefit society would do well to remmember this; our entire society is based on force, no society can exist without its coercive nature. Humanitarianism mearly serves as a useful way to prevent conflict by diminishing the force held by the powers as that force ultimatly relies on the smaller units whom are able to exert it. There is a very good reason that democracy is called the tyrany of the majority.

  26. “he claimed it was in the thousands and that it was areas brutalised by American killing. Yes he said it was propaganda. ”

    Where? When?

    “You cannot have everyone having equal physical, intellectual (or material) capabilities or property, unless you do a Khmer Rouge of course.”

    The Knmer Rouge did not propound equality – quite the reverse.

    I think you missed my point in saying: ““why should those who used violence to gain a benefit now tell us we aren’t allowed to do the same?”. I was refuting the point made about Maori losing rights due to being conquered. As soon as you justify a situation resulting from an incidence of violence, you will find those seeking to use violence in return (as you discuss). Thus the need to pursue justice for those who have been impacted by violence, and not sweep it under the carpet.

    Retributive violence in South Africa ceased when people believed that justice would come by other means (whether that continues to be the case is to be seen). Of course, Mandela did pursue violence, but largely failed.

  27. Kahikatea: We can argue over who is in the same league as the Khmer Rouge, Nazi Germany and militarist Japan both engaged in genocide, and we know what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds. You make a fair point about whether war to overthrow is better than the evil regime in place, but I guess it depends on where you are. North Koreans have lived in a gulag state for over 50 years being in constant fear of whole families being thrown into gulag camps to be slave labourers, they have been constantly told how lucky they are, how it is best to sacrifice for the leaders, how infallible the leaders are, and how they are constantly about to be attacked. Millions have died there over the years, and most of those living there barely subsist and are stunted. Arguably wiping out that regime in the 1950s and sticking to it would have saved more lives – but that’s just an example. However, it is a fair position to take to weigh up the benefits and costs of engaging in war to overthrow evil, for while there is no obligation on free countries to do so, there is certainly no moral reason against undermining and assisting the overthrow.

    Sam Buchanan: he claimed it was in the thousands and that it was areas brutalised by American killing. Yes he said it was propaganda. A bit like Nazi apologists for the Holocaust say the numbers of Jews killed was grossly exagerrated.

    yes collectivism CAN be voluntary, but anything involving the state imposing it obviously is not.

    People can have equality of power over their own bodies and property, anything else involves power over other people and their property, that isn’t freedom of course. You cannot have everyone having equal physical, intellectual (or material) capabilities or property, unless you do a Khmer Rouge of course.

    ““why should those who used violence to gain a benefit now tell us we aren’t allowed to do the same?” quite simply because you will see what Gandhi described. If the whole world takes an eye for an eye we’ll all be blind. Nelson Mandela could have done that, and South Africa would have seen rivers of blood. The Balkans has been all about that. Every sectarian, nationalist and other conflict of tribes is about that, because everyone can point to something unfair someone else’s ancestors did. After WW1 Germany was pillaged for reparations, had the same happened after WW2 in Germany and Japan, WW3 would have followed not long after.

    At some point people have to be responsible for their own lives and what they make of it, and not rely on the suffering of their ancestors to justify doing violence to the descendents of those they think are lucky.

    Most wars appear to be either about settling scores between ancestors, or imposing visions of what people should be like upon others. Only when people start treating each other as individuals and judging what they do, not their background, and respecting choices that don’t initiate force or fraud against others, will humanity rise above this destructiveness.

  28. and if a system doesn’t work as in workers say “S*tuff U” then you need an electric prodder or something.

  29. “One of the conservatives successes is to reduce wages to levels below which beneficiaries receive.”

    In socialism, everybody would have free access to the goods and services designed to directly meet their needs and there need be no system of payment for the work that each individual contributes to producing them.
    http://www.worldsocialism.org/articles/what_is_socialism.php

    I think this must be why the red greens (yeah right) continually slide past the issue of beneficiaries receiving more than working shmucks: under socialism if you need more you get more!

  30. “Try going to our foreign sources of tourists and demanding that they choose the more expensive tour.”

    Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing – all that high value, high wage, high tech, info economy mantra?

  31. @ Sam
    Beats me what point you are making in that lengthy post, jh.

    Not much point to the last bit but I thought it would be interesting to read the Kymer Rouge Manifesto.

    “In all, that is, the aim is of building reflexes of our youth toward the overall good and increasing their understanding and desire for manual activities; that is to say, changing their old worldview progressively and causing the adoption of a new, revolutionary worldview as a replacement.”

    seems quite benign doesn’t it.

    “One of the conservatives successes is to reduce wages to levels below which beneficiaries receive.”

    Try going to our foreign sources of tourists and demanding that they choose the more expensive tour. 🙄

  32. Beats me what point you are making in that lengthy post, jh.

    One of the conservatives successes is to reduce wages to levels below which beneficiaries receive.

  33. One of the progressives successes is to raise benefit entitlements to levels above which lower paid (open market dumb shmucks) receive and to make unsupported parenthood a career.
    Those who seek fundamental change aren’t necessarily the smartest people in the room.

  34. “Kotare School* anyone?”

    I went there once and we talked about community gardening – I hate to disillusion you, but I didn’t see much Stalinism, marching up and down or shrines to Mao.

    How the Kotare School Was Conceived and Why
    Below is verbatim article from “Common Ground”, March 1995, newsletter of Sue Bradford’s, People’s Network. The article is unsigned, but “Sue and Karen” of the Auckland People’s Centre are listed as contacts. These were almost certainly, Sue Bradford and Karen Davis.

    We aim to use participatory educational methods which acknowledge the worth of each person, as we seek to empower people to take democratic leadership towards fundamental change.

    To provide residential and outreach training for people who are already part of a group or community in struggle.

    To be actively involved in local and regional efforts to work towards de-colonisation, to build genuine political and economic democracy and to maintain and develop links with national and international organisations which share our kaupapa.

    To use cultural work to and participatory research to strengthen our programmes.

    To actively promote equity in our work and in society.
    http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2006/04/how-kotare-school-was-conceived-and.html

    I’m sure I would be a Fail 🙁
    +++++

    MANIFESTO OF THE PERIODICAL

    REVOLUTIONARY YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN

    (From Yuvachun Nung Yuvaneari Padevat,

    No.1 August 1973,

    pp. 1-7.)

    In our revolutionary movement today a great mean young men and women have actively sought to join together in both the Alliance of Yuv.K.K. [Communist Youth of Kampuchea] and in patriotic organizations. And these numbers are continually growing in an orderly way. Today, all over the country, the membership of he Alliance of Yuv.K.K. counts by tens of thousands of people. In the offices and departments there are tens of thousands of young men and women. In the armed forces of all three categories (village militia, regional forces, regular forces) there are also a great many young men and women. Therefore, if we add them together all over the country, the number of young men and women in our revolutionary ranks adds to hundreds of thousands of people, whether Yuv.K.K troops, in offices and departments both at the front lines and the rear ranks.

    In sum, all young men and women in our revolutionary ranks have all received continuous constructive education from the party. Therefore, so far, the movement of young men and women has progressed forward both in building each individual and in building a movement of revolutionary struggle. Our many young men and women have joined in revolutionary activities on all battlefields both at the front lines and in rear areas in overflowing numbers.

    In order to explode and push the movement of young men and women toward greater strength in accordance with the actual situation, in accordance with our revolutionary movement which is bounding ahead, our Communist Party of Kampuchea, even though pressed by other matters, nevertheless definitely needs to build an organ to educate-construct-nurture the principle of revolutionary political consciousness in our young men and women following the direction and the policy approach of the party in order that [this principle] becomes more clearly defined. That organ is this periodical Revolutionary Young Men and Women which appears monthly. This periodical is an organ of revolutionary youth and is under the aegis of the party.

    The intentions of this periodical aim to serve revolutionary young men and women, taken together, but also to serve all progressive young men and women in the ranks, too. This periodical has a direction toward building our young men’s and women’s political consciousness and their implementation of assignments which will serve the movement to fight and strive in the front lines and the rear areas as well as in the offices and departments.

    Therefore, this periodical is a periodical to lead, explode and push the movement of young men and women to do the concrete work of building-nurturing the principle of political consciousness of the party into the revolutionary youth organization and to acquire [ for the youth movement] and spread experiences both in the matter of political consciousness and regarding the job of implementing various assignments of the revolutionary youth organization. That is to say [this periodical]:

    Politically, aims to disseminate, educate, nurture, orient political principles, strategic and tactical; the approach to people’s war of the party; the party’s economic approach; the party’s socio-cultural approach and the party’s foreign policy goals through concrete execution and with experience of building the force of revolutionary young men and women.
    Mentally, aims to disseminate, construct, nurture a revolutionary consciousness such as:
    — class consciousness, class struggle, diivision into classes so that our youth have a proper class philosophy;

    — righteous revolutionary principles;

    — national pride, a proper patriotic spirrit. Proletarian nationalism and internationalism of our revolutionary movement in order to explode the national principles of the working class, of the party;

    — precepts of unremitting struggle both wwith the enemy and with nature and in building oneself in order to fulfill duties, large and small, which the party assigns in order to have maximum victory;

    — a spirit of serving the nation and people, especially the people of the bas areas;

    — revolutionary heroism in the task of fighting the enemy at the front lines, increasing production in the rear area, in fulfilling duties well in offices, etc.

    — high spirit of collectivity, ridding oneself of individual interests in favor of the whole, etc

    3. In implementing assignments, aims to:

    At the front lines explode and push young men and women who are combatants, who are messengers, who are medics, who carry ammunition, food, the wounded, etc., to overcome to fight, rushing to fulfill their individual duties to the maximum; to fight and strive as strongly as possible and always firmly.

    In the rear areas explode and push the movement to increase production; the problem of solidarity with the people in general; the problem of doing a job with the people of the bases:

    — increasing pride in the work of manual activities to become closer to the people of the bases;

    — exploding the spirit of the collectivitty; spirit of economizing of collective goods and of time in the officers and departments and worksites and individual jobs.

    In all, that is, the aim is of building reflexes of our youth toward the overall good and increasing their understanding and desire for manual activities; that is to say, changing their old worldview progressively and causing the adoption of a new, revolutionary worldview as a replacement.

    To summarize, the periodical Revolutionary Young Men and Women has a direction toward building a stand of the political consciousness and implementation of assignments of the party and exploding the movement of young men and women so that it becomes increasingly vigorous and strong in the interest of serving the movement to fight and strive onward both at the front lines and in the rear areas. It also builds reserve strength for perpetuating the leadership of the revolutionary movement generally in the future by taking the revolutionary movement concretely, both at the front lines and in the rear areas and offices, and building it by means of the aspects of political consciousness and the task of implementing various assignment.

    Therefore, the periodical Revolutionary Young Men and Women wishes success to the brave young men and women of Kampuchea wishes good health and strength and a quick intelligence as well as a strong principle of revolutionary consciousness in order to raise the battle standard to fight and strive against the enemy on all front to be as strong as possible and continually gain new great victories.

    Long Live the brave young men and women of Kampuchea!

    Long Live the periodical Revolutionary Young Men and Women! http://khmerrougehistory.blogspot.com/2007/08/manifesto-of-revolutionary-men-and.html

  35. “Noam Chomsky famously claimed such reports as CIA propaganda”

    Where? When? So far as I know he claimed reports were exagerrated for propaganda effect – not that no mass murder was taking place.

    “All collectivism is underpinned by violence”

    rubbish – collectivism can be voluntary.

    “Our central theme in public advocacy has been the promotion of human freedom….”

    So easy to say, so meaningless without a commitment to equality of power – otherwise you are merely privatising authoritarianism.

    “I only see violence as essential in self-defence, not as an initiator of change.”

    Fine – but was the invasion of Cambodia self-defence? Self-defence is not an easy concept to define.

    “Kotare School* anyone?”

    I went there once and we talked about community gardening – I hate to disillusion you, but I didn’t see much Stalinism, marching up and down or shrines to Mao.

    “only those iwi whom signed had their lands guaranteed, the rest rightfuly lost their land through war/conquest and as such have no rights to the greivances.”

    It’s dangerous to suggest that war and conquest are legitimate means of stealing land as it provides a justification for others doing the same in the future. Nor is is reasonable to say “the rules have changed” – any party can then say “who says the rules have changed?” (and cite numerous examples of current governments of all shades using violence to achieve their objectives) and “why should those who used violence to gain a benefit now tell us we aren’t allowed to do the same?”

  36. Libertyscott,

    the examples you give were all nasty governments, but not quite in the same league as the Khmer Rouge.

    War is hell, and can easily be a worse hell than the regime it is designed to overthrow. In most cases you would have better results for human rights by negotiating with the government, bribing it, or even waiting for the dictator to die and hoping that the successor was not as bad. IMHO the Khmer Rouge’s plan to kill 3/4 of Cambodia’s population made them a rare example of a government so bad that the war caused by invading them could not be worse then the consequences of not invading. Vietnam, Afganistan and Iraq are all examples where I would argue the cure has been worse than the disease.

  37. jh -Pol Pot had absolutely nothing to do with Socialism in any form whatsoever. Period – any assertion to the contrary is false & shows ignorance of the issues

  38. jh – what really quite evil tripe you speak ! To even imagine a likeness between the Green Party of New Zealand, any of it’s adherents or certainly it’s MP’s – is quite mad and despicable. I’t people like you who bring shame on the description ‘ right wing looney’

  39. # wat dabney Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    “there is nothing in that about morality!?”

    Exactly. Unlike the Khmer Rouge, the Bolsheviks, the North Vietnamese, the Chinese Communists, the Nazis, the Fascists and the Greens.
    —-
    just because there’s a murder in a house down the street it doesn’t justify unethical behaviour in the local real estate market. I’ve noticed attitudes in comments sections such as (for owners of leaky homes) “it’s their own fault for not checking” etc. The logic seems to be that we are all game players of equal rank and resources and the ones who appear on top (Goldman Sac’s, Richmastery) deserve everything they can get their mits on.

  40. Kahikatea: Humanitarian intervention is an interesting concept, and could be justified in so many cases, but is typically not because the opportunity and positive benefits for those paying the cost of intervention are rarely there. In other words, you don’t want to readily spill the blood of your own military in order to save others unless the cost to you is light and the cost of not intervening is heavy indeed. Somalia has been the tragic mistake of good intentions in that.

    I’d add to that list:
    – Japan in World War 2, which treated Korea and China as slave camps.
    – Korea, there being little doubt that Kim Il Sung would have extended his gulag slave state to South Korea without US intervention. Remember half of Cambodia’s deaths were due to starvation and the prohibition on health care. The UN Police Action has saved the lives of millions since, including millions that would never have been born.
    – No-fly zone over northern and southern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, both of which protected the Kurds and Marsh Arabs from aerial assault, and left part of “Iraqi Kurdistan” under control of anti-Hussein insurgents.
    – Selective airstrikes in Bosnia, though the EU and NZ both opposed this.

    There is also little doubt that overthrowing the Taliban has saved lives from a brutal totalitarian theocracy, and likewise in Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s criminal gangster state. The fact the Taliban haven’t been eradicated (and the successors are better but not as better as many would like), and Iraq was conducted appallingly have made them more costly than they could have been – but the long term prospects for Iraq are far more positive than they were under Hussein (as long as Islamist insurgents are defeated).

    Vietnam was not motivated by protecting the human rights of Cambodians, given it ran a heavily authoritarian dictatorship itself, it was a positive spinoff of the invasion. However, it is clear that Tanzania’s invasion of Uganda to overthrow Idi Amin WAS motivated by humanitarian concerns, which is why the world turned a blind eye to it.

  41. “there is nothing in that about morality!?”

    Exactly. Unlike the Khmer Rouge, the Bolsheviks, the North Vietnamese, the Chinese Communists, the Nazis, the Fascists and the Greens.

  42. # libertyscott Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    > Oh and I presume you opposed the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia on the same basis that you oppose US invasion of anywhere? Or is invasion ok when it is done by one-party Marxist-Leninist states?

    The honest truth is that I never took a position on the matter. I was too young and immature (I was 3 at the time).

    With hindsight, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia was justified because they stopped an attmepted genocide that was actually taking place. I would support any US-led invasion that brought to a halt a similar mass-killing that was actually taking place The last time the US was actually involved in such an invasion was the invasion of Germany at the end of World War 2, though there were some claims of attempted genocide in Kosovo in 1999.

  43. “Our central theme in public advocacy has been the promotion of human freedom….it underlies our opposition to rent control and general wage and price controls, our support for educational choice, privatizing radio and television channels, an all-volunteer army, limitation of government spending, legalization of drugs, privatizing Social Security, free trade, and the deregulation of industry and private life to the fullest extent possible.“

    there is nothing in that about morality!?

  44. Well i’d argue that this statement “every political and religious creed that has allowed any form of violence to be part of its agenda or methodology has at times created the sort of madness that Pol Pot let loose”

    is curious. The Green Party does have violence as part of its agenda. I don’t. Some anarchists don’t either. I only see violence as essential in self-defence, not as an initiator of change.

    Therein lies the fundamental difference between a libertarian and a statist.

  45. “The real underlying human attribute that set the Killing Fields, and the Holocaust, and Inquisition, and 9-11 and Abu Ghraib et al in action, is certainty, certainty on a scale that will impose its will through violence.”

    Precisely.

    All collectivism is underpinned by violence. The entire Green/Left agenda can only be realised through an absolute readiness to initiate violence against anyone and everyone who doesn’t hand over their earnings for “redistribution”, or who ignores any of their various bans on smoking, free speech etc.

    Contrast that with the words of a dangerous right-wing radical, Rose Friedman, who died yesterday: “Our central theme in public advocacy has been the promotion of human freedom….it underlies our opposition to rent control and general wage and price controls, our support for educational choice, privatizing radio and television channels, an all-volunteer army, limitation of government spending, legalization of drugs, privatizing Social Security, free trade, and the deregulation of industry and private life to the fullest extent possible.

  46. There’s one all important factor in all this that mustn’t be overlooked and that is the important part played by striving for a false (socialist) utopia: the fact that the regimes were based on false premises exacerbated the paranoia of the ruthless rulers.
    Kotare School* anyone? 😉

    * frog mentions certainty doesn’t he?

  47. Drakula: I’m not backing the Vietnam War, but one can make a case for backing the non-communist ROV against the communist DRV incursions. The mistakes in not backing Ho Chi Minh as anti-colonialist in the 1950s are palpable, and there were parallels drawn with Korea which were inaccurate.

    Can you justify Chinese and Soviet involvement? Or do you keep one eye shut on the other protagonists? Had China not backed the Khmer Rouge, it would have failed – and the Lon Nol regime would have faced significant pressure after the end of the Vietnam War to reform. Certainly Lon Nol as corrupt and dictatorial as he was wouldn’t have created the mass starvation and executions of the Khmer Rouge.

    Oh and I presume you opposed the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia on the same basis that you oppose US invasion of anywhere? Or is invasion ok when it is done by one-party Marxist-Leninist states?

  48. Funny how the Greens, who resist any Western back wars to overthrow the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, suddenly embrace Vietnam’s invasion (Vietnam was motivated by imperialism, concern over the treatment of ethnic Vietnamese and knowledged of the weakness and horror of Democratic Kampuchea).

    Good point.

  49. And even more so from your mate Winston, whose National govt supported the KR long after Keith had renounced them.

    Point to you!

  50. Frog: I am glad that you mentioned Richard Nixon but it was also on the advice of Henry Kissinger who was the US attourney general at the time.

    They are the ones just as culpable in creating a monstrous antithesis.

    Libertyscott; On what evidence did the US get involved in Vietnam in the first place?

    The Gulf of Tonkin incedent which was a total fraud, a set up. Then to carpet bomb behind the boarder into Cambodia (flaunting international law) is asking for trouble.

    It will take you a whole encyclopidia of rhetoric to justify US involvement and even then you will fall short of the truth.

    This is why I think that Kennedy Grahams bill is so important, governments will have four thoughts in entering a war.

  51. According to Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century
    By Benjamin A. Valentino
    What makes for less violent communist regimes/
    1. Smaller population (fewer to kill)
    2. degree of radicalisation.
    3. the degree to which those dispossed by the communisation can flee the country
    4. leaders don’t have an ultra paranoid world view (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot)

  52. Pol (or is it Pot) was more likely to get a Christmas card from Keith Locke than me greenfly.

    And even more so from your mate Winston, whose National govt supported the KR long after Keith had renounced them.

  53. Not me! I point it at everyone. Despite the fun that could be had casting trite responses at the twisted attempts by jh and oob to tar the Greens with the Khmer Rouge brush, I’ll not succumb. The idea they are pushing; that a Khmer Rouge-type event could happen here because of the Greens, is too idiotic to entertain, even for fun. I’ve spent a lot of time with Green supporters and I’ve spent a lot of time with survivors of the killing fields and in my opinion, jh and oob are speaking to us through their foo-foo valves.
    I’ll crouch in wait of better grist.

  54. Yes, not saying the US is innocent in Cambodia, but:
    1. It did not cause or back the Khmer Rouge;
    2. The ends sought (good) did not justify the means. A better option would have been to invade Cambodia and control the borders, but that would have been wholly impractical.

    However, it is very notable that after seven subsequent US administrations, so many on the left think USA should still carry collective guilt over Cambodia, but nobody points fingers at China or Russia.

  55. Libertyscott adds:

    The US role? Yes, it carpet bombed border areas of Cambodia, with horrendous loss of life

    Oh.

    Picking my quotes, sure,

    but,

    oh!

  56. Oh dear oh dear, the Khmer Rouge was the fault of the US, silly me and I thought that the US funded and supported the corrupt Lon Nol regime that was overthrown by the Khmer Rouge.

    Why did the US bomb Cambodia? Because that vile corrupt leech Norodom Sihanouk (great long standing friend of Kim Il Sung, Sihanouk lives in a gradious palace in Pyongyang, paid for by the slave state of North Korea) was so “neutral” he let PRV forces use Cambodia as a staging post for its war against the ROV. Had Cambodia refused, then it wouldn’t have been bombed. Sihanouk then allied himself with the Khmer Rouge, who were implementing the Killing Fields in areas it conquered before they reached Phnom Penh. There are some stark photos of people dressed the same with Saloth Sar (Pol Pot), Sihanouk and the other murderers in China Pictorial magazine of the early 1970s, approvingly of course as Mao helped arm and fund the Khmer Rouge (but you couldn’t mention China as being to blame could you? No, damn the USA always).

    “that US foreign policy, in particular their determination to never forgive anyone that drives them off, allowed the Khmer Rouge to occupy Cambodia’s UN seat until 1993 rather than the government installed by the Vietnamese invasion that ended their rule”

    Yes, I don’t believe any of you lot at the time were campaigning for Vietnam to invade and occupy Cambodia. In fact it was de riguer for Western academics to be wholly sceptical of claims of mass murder inside Cambodia, Noam Chomsky famously claimed such reports as CIA propaganda (you can’t have it both ways, claiming the US supported the Khmer Rouge and opposed it), which he deftly slithers out of nowadays. The tragically laughable tale of Scottish academic Malcolm Caldwell, who wrote rapturously about the Cambodian revolution, visited to meet the killers and got killed himself.

    Vietnam’s invasion, of course was quite moral, SRV is no bastion of individual freedom or human rights, but was a far lesser evil than Democratic Kampuchea. The US (and China, and indeed ASEAN) resisted recognising the Vietnamese puppet state in Phnom Penh for fear it would justify similar Soviet backed (which it was) expansion into neighbouring countries.

    Funny how the Greens, who resist any Western back wars to overthrow the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, suddenly embrace Vietnam’s invasion (Vietnam was motivated by imperialism, concern over the treatment of ethnic Vietnamese and knowledged of the weakness and horror of Democratic Kampuchea).

    The US role? Yes, it carpet bombed border areas of Cambodia, with horrendous loss of life, as part of the Vietnam War – but Cambodia’s absolute monarchy was no innocent in that war. No, it did not fund or arm or provide any succuour to the Khmer Rouge – indeed it funded and armed the previous government (awful though it was). It also funded FUNCINPEC (royalists) and KPNLF (anti-communist) factions in the civil war against the Vietnamese backed government. Bear in mind the USSR funded the Vietnamese government and China backed the Khmer Rouge.

    The end of the Cold War meant this nonsense could stop, China withdrew support from the Khmer Rouge, and the end of Soviet support for Vietnam saw the peace process begin.

    Oh and the real human attribute that sets in place the Killing Fields, Holocaust and 9/11 is the belief that human beings can be sacrificed for some “greater good”, than the sanctity of the individual is second to “society”. That human beings are a means to an end, not individual ends to themselves.

  57. # greenfly Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    jh – you have some inner knowledge of the workings of the mind of Pol Pot?
    Certainly he attracts you, just as his regim fascinates oob. He stirs you both somehow. Perhaps you should reflect upon the fascination he holds for you (both) before advertising it.
    –=-
    Pol (or is it Pot) was more likely to get a Christmas card from Keith Locke than me greenfly.

  58. jh – the little yellow face you embellish your comments with – is that some sort of Asian allusion?

  59. jh – you have some inner knowledge of the workings of the mind of Pol Pot?
    Certainly he attracts you, just as his regim fascinates oob. He stirs you both somehow. Perhaps you should reflect upon the fascination he holds for you (both) before advertising it.

  60. JohnCarter syas:
    Now in these times, clearly the indymedia crowd are deeply feared by you… and they deeply fear you and yours.

    actually I don’t fear them at all because they aren’t going anywhere (witness the current referendum as an example- people will tell them where to go), they are just waste of time. Bradford, Delahunty & Co utopia will never happen as they have no workable vision, they are wasters.

  61. # greenfly Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    rimu – tares and wheat?

    One day, there’ll be a great sorting-out.

    No doubt Pol Pot said something similar. 😯

  62. As Rob Hamill testifies to Kaing Guek Eav’s warcrimes trial. It’s important for all of us to reflect upon the suffering Kerry Hamill endured as he was tortured to death over many months at Tuol Sleng.

    A suffering he endured along with many, many millions of Cambodians, the victims of the ideology of the Khmer Rouge.

    It’s a propitious moment to take a hard look at the Green Party. Look at who they are. Look at their individual backgrounds. Consider the ideology that they espouse and adhere to.

    Extrapolate the ramifications to New Zealand of these people and of that ideology.

    Don’t vote Green.

    Their socialist utopia is our Cambodia.

  63. Sam,

    Why? If these are to be settled through the legal system, what does the Treaty have to do with it?

    Because I was refering to land disputes and only those iwi whom signed had their lands guaranteed, the rest rightfuly lost their land through war/conquest and as such have no rights to the greivances.

    What is just or unjust is entirly subjective and varies massivly with time, so the best way to establish if an injustice took place is to establish that the laws which victimised maori were an affornt to the rest of the accepted legal structure of the time. Its kind of like how in america if a law contradicts the constitution it is invalid.

    In guaranting the land and possessions the right to sell is also guarantied and thus it is important to establish what belongs to whom and was sold to whom.

    As to the people of New Zealand, I agree that this was probally the case but I contest that, as is a long tradition in english law, in lack of a specific clarification it must be taken in its litural sense. This interpritation removes many of the nuisences of a otherwise unworkable treaty and allows us to move on. Though there would still need ot be compromise made, this interpritation offers a way foward.

  64. Sapient, I suspect that in its day, the term “the people of New Zealand” was seen as referring to Maori (commonly referred to then as “New Zealanders”). In particular, it would have made little sense to establish a commission to verify pre-Treaty purchases of land by settlers, had the Queen already guaranteed their land and possesions.

    “Those claims that would need to be sorted through legal means can only come from iwi whom were signatory to the treaty and which occured after the treaty.”

    Why? If these are to be settled through the legal system, what does the Treaty have to do with it?

    “As to cultural, linguistic, and judical domination, almost entirly by legal declaration, this may be argued according to whatever laws existed at the time of occurance here and in brittan to which these laws would be inconsistant and thus reperations may be sought if a violation took place. ”

    If one seeks to argue that the imposition of one culture’s laws was unjust, it makes no sense to be required to find violation of these same laws.

    “Though there would be no grounds for the claims of lingustic domination and certain instances of cultural domination as these were infact campeigned for by the maori parliment and latter by the maori populas itself.”

    Not sure what you are talking about – do you mean the Kotahitanga parliament? There was never a recognised ‘Maori parliament’ that represented the whole Maori people.

  65. “It’s not the politics thats bad. Its the mutual fear and mistrust.”

    Hmmm… yes – that’s bad, but it’s the politics as well. Frog said:

    “every political and religious creed that has allowed any form of violence to be part of its agenda or methodology has at times created the sort of madness that Pol Pot let loose.”

    I disagree. To do what Pol Pot did one must have both madness and means. While all have commited crimes, I’m not sure that left social democrats, federated tribal groupings or anarchists, nor for that matter Greens, have ever comitted a genocide comparable to Pol Pot.

  66. Sam,
    The sentance to which we are refering is cited in Green party documents and all the documents covered in the large part of my psychology course dedicated to matters Maori as:

    The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs, to the tribes, and to all the people of New Zealand, [tino rangatiratanga] of their lands, of their homes and all their treasured possessions

    I substiture tino rangatiratanga here as it designates more than any single european word here could, though i would suggest ‘self-detirmination’ as the best substitute based on my understanding.

    The important part here is “The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs, to the tribes, and to all the people of New Zealand”. Specifically “the people of New Zealand”. At the time of signing there were already Pakeha settlers in NZ and even if there was not there were many allowed in by Maori. By settling here they become “people of New Zealand”, esspecially having established a lineage. Therefore this paragraph guarantees government to this body which includes the Pakeha settlers but by no means does it designate a form. Read this way the treat guarantees that the queen will not impose her will apon the people of NZ but that NZ itself will make such decisions. Of course even to this day it is technically the Queen that makes all decisions, but due to her refrainment from interfarence this promise is essentially realised.

    Those claims that would need to be sorted through legal means can only come from iwi whom were signatory to the treaty and which occured after the treaty. These claims are entirly against the state and given that the state is still a body legal those which were hit with costs for receiving stolen goods would have a right to sue the state for costs incurred due to disception and void contract, so one might aswel just skip the whole process like we do presently (essentially) and go dirrectly against the state legal.
    As to cultural, linguistic, and judical domination, almost entirly by legal declaration, this may be argued according to whatever laws existed at the time of occurance here and in brittan to which these laws would be inconsistant and thus reperations may be sought if a violation took place. Though there would be no grounds for the claims of lingustic domination and certain instances of cultural domination as these were infact campeigned for by the maori parliment and latter by the maori populas itself.

  67. JH sayeth…“I must say though I always react to those pictures as the being the result of a sort of political madness and do associate it with the radical element in the green Party.”

    Your reaction reminds me strongly of “red’s under the bed” political madness of the cold war era that produced such circular and self-fulfilling extremism. The yanks so deeply feared communism… that they did many totally inhumane things. The communists overtly and covertly under attack did totally inhumane things.

    Who started it? Who cares. Everybody right left and center suffered terribly.

    Now in these times, clearly the indymedia crowd are deeply feared by you… and they deeply fear you and yours.

    Starting to get a feeling of deja vu? It’s not the politics thats bad. Its the mutual fear and mistrust.

    There simply isn’t anything more appropriate to this thread than Dan Heymann’s song “Weeping”.

    Listen to it on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeecXiqNzWA

    I knew a man who lived in fear
    It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
    Behind his house, a secret place
    Was the shadow of the demon he could never face
    He built a wall of steel and flame
    And men with guns, to keep it tame
    Then standing back, he made it plain
    That the nightmare would never ever rise again
    But the fear and the fire and the guns remain

    It doesn’t matter now
    It’s over anyhow
    He tells the world that it’s sleeping
    But as the night came round
    I heard its lonely sound
    It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping

    And then one day the neighbors came
    They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
    They stood around outside the wall
    But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
    “My friends,” he said, “We’ve reached our goal
    The threat is under firm control
    As long as peace and order reign
    I’ll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
    Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain”

  68. Sapient,

    My point was the lack of logic of citing the supposed unfavourability of the Treaty to Pakeha as a reason for canning it.

    You are correct that the Treaty doesn’t guarantee Maori sovereignty – it guarantees tino rangatiratanga, i.e. it protects the political systems of Maori. I can’t see how this can be translated into supporting the settler state.

    While some points of dispute are violations of property rights, others are issues of cultural, linguistic and judicial domination by one cultural group. And it’s no simple matter to solve the property rights violations through normal legal means. I suspect there would be an outcry if numerous landowners get dragged into court charged with “receiving stolen goods”.

  69. Sam,
    While i do not neccasarily agree that the treaty should be canned, your arguement as to bank robbery doe not follow in the slightest.

    As I see it, ti tiriti does not guarantee Maori sovereignty over New Zealand independant of the settler state but the sovereignty of the New Zealand state independant of the Queen. In this respect the treaty is almost recognised and can only truely be recognised with a move to a republic.
    The remaining points of conflict need to be settled through the legal system as they are violations of the agreed laws of state not of an intra-state treaty; that is, they are violations of property rights.

  70. “what you ignore frog is that the treaty is unfavourable to Pakeha”

    So it must be canned then? Presumably the law against robbing banks should also be canned as its unfavourable to me – it stops me, and my fellow New Zealanders, robbing banks.

    ‘Chris Trotter refers to “a series of tribal cantons.”‘

    Yes, but Chris says lots of stupid things, doesn’t he?

    In the same article he describes Tama Iti as a “Maori nationalist” and a supporter of “a series of tribal cantons”. A couple of moments thought would have been enough for him to realise that one cannot be both.

  71. One thing about the Vietnam War that people have to keep in mind was the example of how communism operated as in Stalins purges, the show trials, 100% control of media and the example of North Korea. In rescuing countires like Vietnam you were preventing them being locked down in a cult-like situation never able to free itself.

  72. # frog Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    It is not the Green Party which advocates the Maori version of the Treaty, it is a thousand years of English common law which advocates most strongly for that position. Pity we want to rubbish our entire legal history in order to cover up a recent mistake.

    Contra Proferentem says that the party who screwed up the authoring of a contract (read Treaty) pays the price for the ambiguity.
    ——–
    what you ignore frog is that the treaty is unfavourable to Pakeha* and in our present world drastic to say the least. It was the result of distance, good (but naive intentions), and a demographic where Maori were estimated at 60 to 70,000 and Pakeha 2000 and Europeans who were not trained as diplomats or particularly interested in the task, nevertheless had to get it done or never finish it.

    Your solution is ideal for anyone who “despises European empires and “colonialism”” or hates the “system” (as in Blame the System- Fight” observed on wall behind Sue Bradford interview) so that anything which will upset it (the system) is preferable.

    *Chris Trotter refers to “a series of tribal cantons.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4392654a1861.html

  73. It’s a shame, oob, that you feel obliged to pop in and make emotive attacks rather than engage with the topic of the thread.

  74. Well oob, I do feel that it’s a shame to see you here and I recall that many of your comments in the past have been shameful, so yes, I suppose I do have a sense of what shame is.

  75. greenfly wrote: I parented 12 Khmer orphan children here in New Zealand for a year, listening to their stories and meeting members of the Khmer community also living here.

    And yet you support the Green Party. How could you look those children in the eyes? No sense of shame?

  76. “Articulating a deep inferiority complex, it despises European empires and “colonialism”, and therefore naturally sides with radical Maori interpretations of the Treaty.”

    I noticed David Round’s own book jacket described him as a “controversalist” or some similar non-existent word – which suggests one who stirs up issues for the sake of it.

    This sort of tosh quoted fits nicely in that role – pop psychology mixed with history mixed with law in imprecise, but academic, language. If you oppose historical injustice committed by people from your own culture, you are “articulating a deep inferiority complex”.

    I’ve long advocated that silly antics are fun and rewarding for participants – but it’s also annoyed me that the media is much more likely to give coverage to people indulging in them that to serious thought.

  77. I parented 12 Khmer orphan children here in New Zealand for a year, listening to their stories and meeting members of the Khmer community also living here. Those death camps were appalling beyond belief, but so were the many, many atrocities that occured outside of them, in the countryside and towns of Cambodia. Amazing though, the ‘green shoots’ that those children represented and the stories of ordinaryness that continued while the killing fields were in operation. I heard some funny stuff amongst the awful stories.

  78. It is not the Green Party which advocates the Maori version of the Treaty, it is a thousand years of English common law which advocates most strongly for that position. Pity we want to rubbish our entire legal history in order to cover up a recent mistake.

    Contra Proferentem says that the party who screwed up the authoring of a contract (read Treaty) pays the price for the ambiguity.

  79. # greenfly Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Frogblog links to Indymedia … and therefore can be equated with the Khmer Rouge, says jh.

    jh comments on Frogblog and can therefore be closely linked to Pol Pot?

    Idle thoughts …
    …………….
    if Indymedia was pox, the green party would have pox.

  80. It’s all very well to disdain violence but but Green party pundits are rock looseners. Behavioural psychology teaches that we must not “awfull-ise” or be devils advocate when it comes to negative ideas however Catherine delahunty tells us it doesn’t matter that a Maori is ethicnically more pakeha as it is a matter of “cutural identity” and therefore they are fully entitled to agrievement emotions etc.
    Green party is much more likely to take the side of Ranganui Walker over a more concilliatory Michael King no?
    Yes.
    :mrgreen:

  81. These crimes against “humanity trials” are always show trials.

    How exactly does the brother prove/disprove the guilt of the accused.
    Hasn’t the accused already admitted guilt and since cambodia doesn’t have the death penalty just sentence him to life already, their really isn’t any need for the show trial.

  82. I would express my disapproval of such hypocritical show trials and the validity of this witness but I dont know enough about the kidnapping case to really risk much of a comment.

  83. The first part of the post is very moving and one of the most moving features to come out of the Khymer Rouge reign are the pictures of the prisoners before they were killed.

    I must say though I always react to those pictures as the being the result of a sort of political madness and do associate it with the radical element in the green Party. Given the nature of the MP’s up there must be quite a few who judge that sort as wise.
    As David Round put it in The Press:

    “There is a serious threat, though, the more serious because more insidious and slow. It lies in what Julien Benda called the “trahison des clercs” (the treason of the educated classes). It is a common problem wherever the blessings of civilisation are taken for granted and insufficiently appreciated.
    Articulating a deep inferiority complex, it despises European empires and “colonialism”, and therefore naturally sides with radical Maori interpretations of the Treaty. It is rife in universities and the bureaucracy, where career success is often difficult without regular admiration ofTreaty principles. It has even infected some judges, who should be foremost in their defence of our laws and liberties.”

  84. Frogblog links to Indymedia … and therefore can be equated with the Khmer Rouge, says jh.

    jh comments on Frogblog and can therefore be closely linked to Pol Pot?

    Idle thoughts …

  85. Thanks for this.. you read pretty well informed.. would you by any chance have an online look-up for me in regard the KR-Nixon connect described..?

    US Republican et al yes I can see this kind of thing.. even as Nixon their prez.. Nixon himself would be a surprise.. or is it that your statement means the Nixon administration..

  86. Very moving post. Yet the very first person fails to be able to say anything nice at all. Watching Rob on the news was simply stunning to see the determination in his voice and his actions.

  87. “the Khmer Rouge learnt their ideology in Paris”

    But not everyone would have responded in that manner. Every society has a nut case element. It is the green party which supports tino rangitiratanga and wants to validate the literal Maori Version of the treaty of Waitangi; it was Keith Locke who turned a blind eye to “very disturbing events” in the Ureweras; it is Frogblog which links to Indymedia Aotearoa. Honeker was an ordinary school teacher.

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