Tag Archives: khmer rouge

Pheng’s escape: A Khmer Rouge ghost story

young KR soldiers

When we come to the place there are twenty of us, they have our names. The chief of the Pol Pot talks to us, he says the Organisation will provide us each a white suit today. I know this means a cloth for the dead. They start to call us in to the room, one at a time. They don’t want anyone to see, they not want anyone to know. They kill with the ax and the knife. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, Commentary, history, Khmer Rouge, khmer superstition, provinces, village life | Tagged , , , , , ,

Cambodia’s Lesser Traveled Killing Fields: Wat Somrang Knong

2013-08-16 14.46.33

When was the first time you heard about Cambodia? Are you (very) old and remember the ‘Golden Era’, mature enough to remember the Nixon/Kissinger policy of B-52 diplomacy, when most people were concentrating on TV news showing college drop-outs and…

Posted in Commentary, Expat Life, Travel | Tagged , , , ,

A Village Bus Trip to the ECCC


The Extraordinary Chambers of the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) is the venue where leaders of the Khmer Rouge are tried for crimes against humanity and it has an outreach program that brings villagers from all over Cambodia to Phnom Penh…

Posted in Commentary, Expat Life, Travel | Tagged , ,

‘Youen’ and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance


A funny thing went on a couple of weeks ago. Every night I make the trip from town (read bar), back out to Rancho El Pedro and last night, taking the shortcut past the old abandoned cemetery, the electrics on…

Posted in Commentary, Travel | Tagged , , , ,

Cambodia: The Chomsky Problem


Here in Cambodia, Noam Chomsky is without a doubt the guy everybody loves to hate. In expat circles, most have never read either his books, articles or reviews, but they certainly know of him as an apologist for the Khmer…

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , ,

Historical Revisionism and the Contrarian Left: Counterpunch and the Case of Cambodia


“The noble title of dissident must be earned rather than claimed.” “Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence” – Christopher Hitchens Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Hitchens are gone. Contrarianism is alive, but whether it is well is an entirely different matter. The…

Posted in Commentary, Reviews | Tagged , , ,

Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 13: A Wave of the Magic Wand


A phrase I hear so often in Cambodia which drives me mad is, “Don’t think too much!” In hindsight, after reading over my memoirs, I guess I was somewhat guilty of over-thinking things at the expense of seeing the obvious….

Posted in Commentary, Expat Life | Tagged , , , , ,

Ta Mok’s Takeo House to Become a University

ta mok

Takeo Province: As student numbers increase from year to year, Build Bright University Takeo Branch has expanded its facilities to meet the influx of students for the approaching school year (2012-2013). Renovations of the old Ta Mok house in Takeo…

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Killing Time in the Killing Fields


Fifteen kilometers from Phnom Penh a Buddhist stupa sits in the middle of manicured lawns surrounded by heavily-trafficked dirt paths. Throngs of Western tourists, dressed in beachwear and earphones, walk around, treading lightly over the bones of Cambodian people that…

Posted in Commentary, Phnom Penh, Travel | Tagged , , ,

In the Cambodian Clink


Imagine a place so filthy, infested and decrepit that the Khmer Rouge didn’t want to use it as one of their torture chambers, so used it instead as a pigpen. That place was T3 prison, one of the first pieces…

Posted in Commentary, Phnom Penh | Tagged , ,