This must be news to the remaining relatives of the estimated 2 million Cambodians who died during the Khmer Rouge’s 1970s reign of terror.
The Khmer Rouge were efficient, cold-blooded murderers.
After they assumed full control in 1975, they ordered concrete poured into Phnom Penh’s sewers. They turned off the water and electricity and emptied the hospitals of patients.
“Dear Leader” Pol Pot’s agrarian revolution required the abandonment of the capital and movement of all city dwellers to the countryside.
Tens of thousands of men, women and children, everyone from the young to grandparents, were marched into the fields. Those who fell by the wayside were shot on the spot. No time for burials. Relatives just had to keep marching.
The Khmer Rouge asked anyone wearing glasses to step to one side. They were shot. In their perverted belief system, anyone with glasses was an intellectual, to be killed.
Soft hands? You were unaccustomed to the toil of the proletariat and shot.
Speak a foreign language? Possess a university degree? Pregnant or carrying a child? All executed by the roadside.
So, in a way, Nuon Chea is right. The Khmer Rouge weren’t “bad people”.
They were far worse. They robbed a country of an entire generation. They deserve to pay for their foul work.
The trial of Nuon Chea continues this week.