Brother Number One Questions
- Do you think Pol Pot’s name change was done on purpose to distance himself from his past and make his actions easier to do?
- Why do you think Pol Pot never kept in touch with his family?
- Do you think the French Communist Party should hold any responsibility for what Pol Pot did?
The book Brother Number One wasn’t the most compelling book I have ever read. I wish it talked more about the genocide rather than Pol Pot. It begins by telling about Pol Pot’s former life. His real name is Saloth Sar and he was a former school teacher. He then became the secretary of the central committee of the CPK. After that, he became prime minister. Jean La Couture, a French author, coined the term autogenocide to describe what happened in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s time. Pol Pot was xenophobic, and he was introspective. The thing that shaped his beliefs the most was foreign influence. His family had ties to royalty through different relationships like his cousin. This allowed him to get opportunities that he otherwise would not have had. Nagara Vatta was an influential newspaper that reported the activities of elites. While Saloth Sar was in France, he became a member of the French Communist Party. In February of 1950, the Indochina Communist party ordered the creation of an independent Laos and Cambodian armies to participate in the liberation movement. The Democrats winning the election, Thanh’s return, and the assassination of the French High Commissioner in Phnom Penh started the acceleration of Cambodia’s armed struggle. The Geneva settlement in July partitioned Vietnam at the seventeenth parallel. Those who fought with the Vietnamese in the south could either disarm and become civilians again, or they could come together in the north. Most Cambodians who fought returned home but thousands of them were evacuated to northern Vietnam. The election in 1955 was the first time that there was a vast amount of options available to voters. Sihanouk won which began a fifteen year period of one man rule. In April of 1970, Sar’s forces entered into a military alliance with Vietnam. Vietnam eventually entered into a ceasefire with the U.S. and left Cambodia. On April 17, the Cambodian communist troops converged into the center of Phom Penh. I personally was not a huge fan of this book. I didn’t feel like I learned a lot about the genocide. It was an ok book overall but definitely not one of my favorites.
Genocide: A World History Chapter 8 Questions
- How did Naimark’s description of the Rwanda genocide differ from that of Gourevitch?
- Should there be more foreign aid today to help those who are displaced in Darfur?
- Do you think the Serbs got the idea for Omarska from the concentration camps during the Holocaust?
Genocide: A World History Chapter 8 was about genocide in the post-cold war time. It talked about the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the genocide in Rwanda, and the genocide in Darfur. It began by talking about the establishment of the R2P or the Responsibility to Protect. It then talked about what happened after the death of Josip Broz Tito in 1980. His death set off a chain of events that led to the genocide. Slobodan Milosevic was a former communist banker that became the leader of the nationalist turn in Serbs. Franjo Tudman pushed Croatian nationalism. Alija Izetbegovic was a Bosnian Muslim leader and used Bosnian nationalist rhetoric in order to grow the party of democratic action. The war between the Serbs and Croats showed the first signs of genocide. Vukovar was taken over by the Serbs on November 20. The ethnic cleansing that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina involved 3,600 towns and was done by Bosnian Serbs. They wanted to get rid of Muslims that they believed were in their territory. Omarska was a prison camp where 6,000 people were held. Zeljko Mejakic was the commander of the camp. Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica wanted to completely eliminate the Bosnian Muslim population. The next genocide that was discussed was the Rwanda genocide. This was an easy read because I just finished a book about the Rwanda genocide. It pretty much said the same stuff as that book. Something that this book mentioned that I found very interesting was that between April 6 and July 18, 1994, more than 800,000 people were killed which mean 8,000 people were killed a day. That is an astounding figure. The last genocide that was discussed was the Darfur genocide. Darfur is the western part of Sudan. The Janjaweed are groups of Arab pastoral nomads, and the black Africans were agriculturalists. Insurgents attacked the Sudanese military in the Spring of 2003. As a response to this, the president Omar al-Bashir called for an all-out war against black African tribes. This led to nearly 1.65 million people being internally displaced. What is so unfortunate about this genocide is that it was never truly resolved. I thought this chapter was interesting and an easy read. I liked learning about the Darfur genocide especially because I had never heard of it, and it is still an issue today.
Genocide: A World History Chapter 7 Questions
- Why do you think there was American involvement in all three of the genocides mentioned?
- Why are these three genocides never talked about?
- What was a similarity between all three of the genocides besides they were anti-communist?
Chapter seven of Genocide: A World History was about three different anti-communist genocides. The three that were addressed were Guatemala, Indonesia, and East Timor. What was fascinating about this chapter was that I haven’t heard about any of the genocides mentioned. I have actually never even heard of East Timor. The first genocide mentioned was in Guatemala. Younger Guatemalans, leftists, and labor activist all joined to form an insurgency against the government. The government launched a major counterinsurgency campaign in response. A special commando unit formed in January of 1967, and they carried out abductions, street assassinations, bombings, and executions of communists and alleged communists. During the Panzo massacre of May 29, 1978, special forces fired on a peaceful protest of mine workers and their families. 150 people were killed. There were more than 30,000 people killed between 1966 and 1981. The Mayans suffered the most during the genocide. The genocide in Indonesia was against the PKI and Gerwani. The killing of the communists took place once troops moved into the various localities. Local vigilantes would often decapitate and mutilate people and display their body parts. The U.S. embassy gave a list of 5,000 names of communist cadres. This was useful because the Indonesian military was targeting communists for their killings. The genocide in East Timor was from 1975 to 1999. The people who carried it out were mostly Javanese Muslims. The victims were mostly Roman Catholic Timorese. Jakarta wanted to absorb East Timor into Indonesia. The decline of Portugal’s will to maintain its colonial empire posed difficulties for East Timor. Fretilin, a left-wing party with some communists rose to power and wanted an independent East Timor. They declared independence hoping that it would stop Indonesia from invading. It did not, and the Indonesian military invaded East Timor in Operation Komodo. Timorese of all ages were killed. Fretilin fighters were sent to transit camps and then settlements. The Santa Cruz massacre of November 12, 1991, was when 2,000 young people marched through Dili to the grave of a young person killed by the pro-Indonesian militia. They were surrounded by Indonesian soldiers and were fired upon. 270 people were killed. On May 21, 2002, East Timor finally gained independence. I found this chapter very eye-opening because I knew absolutely nothing about any of these genocides. It was also interesting to hear about U.S. involvement.