Posts Tagged ‘Pol Pot

07
Jan
09

On This Day, 1-7-2009: Pol Pot

January 7, 1979

Pol Pot overthrown

On January 7, 1979, Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, toppling the brutal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge.

The Khmer Rouge, organized by Pol Pot in the Cambodian jungle in the 1960s, advocated a radical Communist revolution that would wipe out Western influences in Cambodia and set up a solely agrarian society. In 1970, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, Khmer Rouge guerrillas began a large-scale insurgency against Cambodian government forces, soon gaining control of nearly a third of the country.

By 1973, secret U.S. bombings of Cambodian territory controlled by the Vietnamese Communists forced the Vietnamese out of the country, creating a power vacuum that was soon filled by Pol Pot’s rapidly growing Khmer Rouge movement. In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, overthrew the pro-U.S. regime, and established a new government, the Kampuchean People’s Republic.

As the new ruler of Cambodia, Pol Pot set about transforming the country into his vision of an agrarian utopia. The cities were evacuated, factories and schools were closed, and currency and private property was abolished. Anyone believed to be an intellectual, such as someone who spoke a foreign language, was immediately killed. Skilled workers were also killed, in addition to anyone caught in possession of eyeglasses, a wristwatch, or any other modern technology. In forced marches punctuated with atrocities from the Khmer Rouge, the millions who failed to escape Cambodia were herded onto rural collective farms.

Between 1975 and 1978, an estimated two million Cambodians died by execution, forced labor, and famine. In 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia, capturing Phnom Penh in early 1979. A moderate Communist government was established, and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge retreated back into the jungle.

In 1985, Pol Pot officially retired but remained the effective head of the Khmer Rouge, which continued its guerrilla actions against the government in Phnom Penh. In 1997, however, he was put on trial by the organization after an internal power struggle ousted him from his leadership position. Sentenced to life imprisonment by a “people’s tribunal,” which critics derided as a show trial, Pol Pot later declared in an interview, “My conscience is clear.” Much of the international community hoped that his captors would extradite him to stand trial for his crimes against humanity, but he died of apparently natural causes while under house arrest in 1998.

“Pol Pot overthrown.” 2009. The History Channel website. 7 Jan 2009, 10:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6769.

On This Day

1558 – Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was recaptured by the French.

1610 – Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter’s moons. He named them Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

1785 – French aeronaut/balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully made the first air-crossing of the English Channel from the English coast to France.

1789 – Americans voted for the electors that would choose George Washington to be the first U.S. president.

1932 – Chancellor Heinrich Brüning declared that Germany cannot, and will not, resume reparations payments.

1935 – French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed the Italo-French agreements.

1942 – The World War II siege of Bataan began.

1959 – The United States recognized Fidel Castro’s new government in Cuba.

1979 – Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that authorized $1.5 billion in loans for the bail out of Chrysler Corp.

January 7, 1953

Truman announces U.S. has developed hydrogen bomb

In his final State of the Union address before Congress, President Harry S. Truman tells the world that that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.

It was just three years earlier on January 31, 1950, that Truman publicly announced that had directed the Atomic Energy Commission to proceed with the development of the hydrogen bomb. Truman’s directive came in responds to evidence of an atomic explosion occurring within USSR in 1949.

“Truman announces U.S. has developed hydrogen bomb.” 2009. The History Channel website. 7 Jan 2009, 10:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=2539.

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17
Feb
08

On This Day 2-17-08: Indochina

1979: China invades Vietnam

In response to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, China launches an invasion of Vietnam. Tensions between Vietnam and China increased dramatically after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

Attempting to expand its influence in Indochina, Vietnam established a military presence in Laos; strengthened its ties with China’s rival, the Soviet Union; and toppled the Cambodian regime of Pol Pot in 1979. Just over a month later, Chinese forces invaded, but were repulsed in nine days of bloody and bitter fighting.

Tensions between China and Vietnam remained high throughout the next decade, and much of Vietnam’s scarce resources were allocated to protecting its border with China and its interests in Cambodia.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_February_17.php

1801 – The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.

1865 – Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.

1878 – In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.

1897 – The National Congress of Mothers was organized in Washington, DC, by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It was the forerunner of the National PTA.

1933 – “Newsweek” was first published.

1944 – During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.

1947 – The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

1964 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)

1992 – In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison.

1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat the IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” in Philadelphia, PA.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Thomas Jefferson

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson

15
Dec
07

On This Day 12-15: The Price of Hegemony

he·gem·o·ny /hɪˈdʒɛməni, ˈhɛdʒəˌmoʊni/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[hi-jemuh-nee, hejuh-moh-nee] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun, plural -nies.

1.
leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation.

2.
leadership; predominance.

3.
(esp. among smaller nations) aggression or expansionism by large nations in an effort to achieve world domination.


[Origin: 1560–70; < Gk hégemonía leadership, supremacy, equiv. to hégemon- (s. of hégemn) leader + -ia -y3]Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hegemony1791 – In the U.S., the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect following ratification by the state of Virginia.1877 – Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1890 – American Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, SD, during an incident with Indian police working for the U.S. government.

1938 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt presided over the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

1944 – A single-engine plane carrying U.S. Army Major Glenn Miller disappeared in thick fog over the English Channel while en route to Paris.

1944 – American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines.

1961 – Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death in Jerusalem by an Israeli court. He had been tried on charges for organizing the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.

1961 – The U.N. General Assembly voted against a Soviet proposal to admit Communist China as a member.

1965 – Two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, maneuvered within 10 feet of each other while in orbit around the Earth.

1970 – The Soviet probe Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to land softly on the surface of Venus. The probe only survived the extreme heat and pressure for about 23 minutes and transmitted the first data received on Earth from the surface of another planet.

1978 – U.S. President Carter announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China on New Year’s Day and sever official relations with Taiwan.*

1992 – El Salvador’s government and leftist guerrilla leaders formally declared the end of the country’s 12-year civil war.**

*A Diplomatic Mission had been opened under the Nixon administration.  The deal with China to get full diplomatic relations not only included severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it also meant supporting a Chinese incursion into Vietnam.  The Chinese incursion into Vietnam was meant to draw the Vietnamese out of Cambodia, China’s ally.  The Carter administration also agreed, as part of the deal, to give military, medical, and economic aid to Cambodia.  The Cambodian government at that time was led by Pol Pot.  With the Vietnamese gone from Pol Pot’s Cambodia, he was then able to continue his genocide of his own people.  It is estimated that Pol Pot killed between one million and four million Cambodians.

**This was a very brutal war.  For more information lookup El Mozote’ or follow this link to read Mark Danner’s account:  http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people/Danner/1993/truthelmoz01.html.  This ain’t for the faint of heart.




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