Cembodia Essay

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Problem Statement: History: Since its infancy, Cambodia has been a country ripe with conflict. Having descended from the vast Angkor (Khmer) Empire, the people of the region were continually at odds with their Thai and Vietnamese neighbors. Continual wars between the kingdoms led to the eventual demise of the Angkor Empire and Cambodia’s inclusion into the Thai Kingdom. In 1887, the region became a part of French Indochina and thus a part of the French colonial empire. During WWII French Indochina was invaded and occupied by the brutal Japanese imperialist army. After the war Cambodia was reinstated into the French colonial empire, until the country finally received its independence in 1953. With the Vietnam War underway, Cambodia’s new leadership chose to align itself with the United States, against the Vietcong. This entailed a US bombing raid in Cambodia as a means to destroy the Vietcong strong holds positioned there. The Cambodian government’s alliance with the United States proved to be one catalyst leading to increased communist sentiment within Cambodia. The Khmer Rogue gained popularity, with their hard-lined communist ideals being a natural rival to the current Cambodian government. As the United States relented in their war effort, the Khmer Rogue gorillas took advantage and captured the capital Phnom Penh. What followed was to be the bloodiest and most gruesome period in Cambodia’s history. The Khmer Rogue regime, under Pol Pot, declared Cambodia to be the site of a new Marxist-agrarian utopia. To accomplish their endeavor, the regime evacuated everyone out of Phnom Penh, marching them into the countryside to work on rural projects. Their mass murders would soon follow. Before the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, it is estimated that the Khmer Rouge regime was responsible for the murders of over 21% of the population, or 1.3 million

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