Cambodia Quotes

Quotes tagged as "cambodia" Showing 1-14 of 14
José Ramos-Horta
“As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonize over the use of force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without U.N. or international approval—and in both cases they were right to do so.”
Jose Ramos-Horta, A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq

Loung Ung
“This is what the war has done to me. Now I want to destroy because of it. There is such hate and rage inside me now. The Angkar has taught me to hate so deeply that I now know I have the power to destroy and kill.”
Loung Ung, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

David Mellonie
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, why did God invent captions?”
David Mellonie, Land Mines and Ladyboys: Flirting with Danger in Thailand and Cambodia

Kim Fay
“When Angkorian society began, Paris and London were not much more than elaborate villages. Europe was crawling with barbarians, and here were the Khmer engineering sophisticated irrigation systems and constructing the biggest temple in the world.”
Kim Fay, The Map of Lost Memories

Loung Ung
“As Pa speaks, I know he thinks someone in our family has stolen the rice. The story of the rat is not true and everyone knows it. Convinced that he realises it was me, I hide my eyes from him. Shame burns my hand like a hot iron branding me for all to see; Pa's favourite child stole from the family. As if to rescue me,Geak wakes up and her screams of hunger interrupt the incident.”
Loung Ung, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

Jonathan Glover
“In 1969 the Khmer Rouge numbered only about 4,000. By 1975 their numbers were enough to defeat the government forces. Their victory was greatly helped by the American attack on Cambodia, which was carried out as an extension of the Vietnam War. In 1970 a military coup led by Lon Nol, possibly with American support, overthrew the government of Prince Sihanouk, and American and South Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia.

One estimate is that 600,000 people, nearly 10 per cent of the Cambodian population, were killed in this extension of the war. Another estimate puts the deaths from the American bombing at 1000,000 peasants. From 1972 to 1973, the quantity of bombs dropped on Cambodia was well over three times that dropped on Japan in the Second World War.

The decision to bomb was taken by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and was originally justified on the grounds that North Vietnamese bases had been set up in Cambodia. The intention (according to a later defence by Kissinger’s aide, Peter W. Rodman) was to target only places with few Cambodians: ‘From the Joint Chiefs’ memorandum of April 9, 1969, the White House selected as targets only six base areas minimally populated by civilians. The target areas were given the codenames BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, SUPPER, SNACK, and DESSERT; the overall programme was given the name MENU.’ Rodman makes the point that SUPPER, for instance, had troop concentrations, anti-aircraft, artillery, rocket and mortar positions, together with other military targets.

Even if relatively few Cambodians were killed by the unpleasantly names items on the MENU, each of them was a person leading a life in a country not at war with the United States. And, as the bombing continued, these relative restraints were loosened.

To these political decisions, physical and psychological distance made their familiar contribution. Roger Morris, a member of Kissinger’s staff, later described the deadened human responses:

Though they spoke of terrible human suffering reality was sealed off by their trite, lifeless vernacular: 'capabilities', 'objectives', 'our chips', 'giveaway'. It was a matter, too, of culture and style. They spoke with the cool, deliberate detachment of men who believe the banishment of feeling renders them wise and, more important, credible to other men… They neither understood the foreign policy they were dealing with, nor were deeply moved by the bloodshed and suffering they administered to their stereo-types.

On the ground the stereotypes were replaced by people. In the villages hit by bombs and napalm, peasants were wounded or killed, often being burnt to death. Those who left alive took refuge in the forests. One Western ob-server commented, ‘it is difficult to imagine the intensity of their hatred to-wards those who are destroying their villages and property’. A raid killed twenty people in the village of Chalong. Afterwards seventy people from Chalong joined the Khmer Rouge.

Prince Sihanouk said that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger created the Khmer Rouge by expanding the war into Cambodia.”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

Howard Zinn
“In September 1973, a former government official in Laos, Jerome Doolittle, wrote in the New York Times:

The Pentagon's most recent lies about bombing Cambodia bring back a question that often occurred to me when I was press attache at the American Embassy in Vietnam, Laos.
Why did we bother to lie?
When I first arrived in Laos, I was instructed to answer all press questions about our massive and merciless bombing campaign in that tiny country with: "At the request of the Royal Laotian Government, The United States is conducting unarmed reconnaissance flights accompanied by armed escorts who have the right to return if fired upon."
This was a lie. Every reporter to whom I told knew it was a lie. Hanoi knew it was a lie. The International Control Commission knew it was a lie. . . .
After all , the lies did serve to keep something from somebody, and the somebody was us.”
Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States

Craig  Stone
“Cambodian dust whipped up in the wind and stuck to my clothes like clay. I put a hand between my face and the sun and blinked Phnom Penn dust from my tired eyes. One idea, drink, beamed light in all directions across my dark consciousness.
A slim lady walked toward me with a big smile and a bigger head. Her left hand rested on her waggling hips and her right hand rose above her head, limp-wristed, like she’d just thrown a winning ball toward a basket and was leaving her hand in the shot position. The lady walking toward me was a man. At least that much was clear, but the nature or our relationship was still a fog to me. She wore blue jeans and a white top accentuating her breasts, but her Adam’s apple and cow sized hands revealed more in daylight than she could hide at night.”
Craig Stone, Life Knocks

Lawrence Osborne
“His youth was a wingless Dodo.”
Lawrence Osborne

Jennifer H. Lau
“Mother’s tenderness toward my younger sisters caused more tears to pool in my eyes. I felt too old to be hugged and caressed by her, yet my body yearned for her touch; at least this once. I couldn't recall the last time she had shared the same warmth with me. The countless months of hardship had created an ocean of distance between us. It would be too awkward to hug her now. I sat across from her with tear-stained cheeks, wondering if she could feel my sadness and if she knew I loved her unconditionally.”
Jennifer H. Lau, Beautiful Hero: How We Survived the Khmer Rouge

Wojciech Tochman
“Kaci żyją między ocalałymi. Albo w ocalałych. W jednym ciele i kat, i ofiara. Widują się codziennie. Na ulicy, na bazarze, w pracy, w lustrze.”
Wojciech Tochman, Pianie kogutów, płacz psów

Vaddey Ratner
“A story, I had learned, through my own constant knitting and reknitting of remembered words, can lead us back to ourselves, to our lost innocence, and in the shadow it casts over our present world, we begin to understand what we only intuited in our naivété - that while all else may vanish, love is our one eternity. It reflects itself in joy and grief, in my fathers sudden knowledge that he would not live to protect me, and in his determination to leave behind a part of himself - his spirit, his humanity - to illuminate my path, give light to my darkened world. He carved his silhouette in the memory of the sky for me to return to again and again.”
Vaddey Ratner, In the Shadow of the Banyan

Vaddey Ratner
It’s a gift to imagine heaven, and a rebirth to actually glimpse it.
Vaddey Ratner, In the Shadow of the Banyan

Vaddey Ratner
“It’s a gift to imagine heaven, and a rebirth to actually glimpse it.”
Vaddey Ratner, In the Shadow of the Banyan