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>From: Timothy Chase <email@example.com> > >I don't understand where several list members are getting this idea that >Chomsky "supported" the Khmer Rouge. In fact, it is the reverse. He >specifically states that "The torture of Cambodia during the 'decade of the >genocide' is one of the horror stories of the modern period" (pg 289 of The >Chomsky Reader). List members are getting this idea that Chomsky supported the Khmer Rouge because Chomsky did support the Khmer Rouge. Over the course of the late 1970s he worked pretty hard to misrepresent the evidence on what was going on in Cambodia and to whitewash the genocidal crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime. For example, consider Chomsky's 1979 _After the Cataclysm_: "If a serious studyŠis someday undertaken, it may well be discoveredŠthat the Khmer Rouge programs elicited a positive responseŠbecause they dealt with fundamental problems rooted in the feudal past and exacerbated by the imperial system.Š Such a study, however, has yet to be undertaken." And: ""If a more appropriate comparison [than that of the Khmer Rouge to the Nazis] is, say, [of the Khmer Rouge] to France after liberation, where a minimum of 30-40,000 people were massacredŠthen perhaps a rather different judgment is in order.Š[T]here is a considerable range of opinions on this score among qualified observers, though the pressŠ[is] generally ignoring mere questions of fact." And: As a result of the Khmer Rouge conquest, "the entire population was compelled to share the lives of the poorer peasants.... an atrocity by Western standards, though it is worth noting that the peasants may not regard it as an atrocityŠ" It gets worse. Go back to the _Nation_ of 1977: "...there are many other sources on recent events in Cambodia that have not been brought to the attention of the American reading public. Space limitations preclude a comprehensive review, but such journals as the Far Eastern Economic Review , the London Economist , the Melbourne Journal of Politics , and others elsewhere, have provided analyses by highly qualified specialists who have studied the full range of evidence available, and who concluded that executions have numbered at most in the thousands; that these were localized in areas of limited Khmer Rouge influence and unusual peasant discontent, where brutal revenge killings were aggravated by the threat of starvation resulting from the American destruction and killing..." IIRC, the "analysis" by the _Economist_ is a letter to the editor that the _Economist_ printed. IIRC, the reference to the _Far Eastern Economic Review_ is to an October 29, 1976 story by Nayan Chanda, who is indeed skeptical about refugee stories. But Chanda says that "thousands" (not "at most in the thousands") have been killed and that "the numbers killed are impossible to calculate." IIRC, only the _Melbourne Journal of Politics_ actually says what Chomsky claims it says. So who are the "highly qualified specialists"? Why do "space limitations preclude" even mentioning their names? Chomsky did not write that there was no conclusive evidence that the Khmer Rouge were genocidal butchers. He wrote that there was reliable evidence that they were not genocidal butchers. If someone lies about the available evidence in an attempt to whitewash the crimes of a genocidal regime, that qualifies them as its "supporter". Does anybody believe that Chomsky could possibly have been writing in good faith in 1977 and 1979? Brad DeLong