[Background / related]
Re: How Both Sides Got Cambodia Wrong [foreign hubris then, Cambodians suffered; foreign hubris now, Cambodians suffer]
The Daily Beast | 4 September 2016
Max Lucado is a pastor in San Antonio and a bestselling author of 32 books, including the most recent Glory Days. In a 2004 piece, Christianity Today dubbed Lucado “America’s Pastor,” alluding to his broad appeal to mainstream Americans. Part of that appeal can be attributed to his approach to politics: typically, he stays out of it. He never endorsed or opposed a presidential candidate. Then Trump happened.'
The title of the article sent a chill down my spine as I thought, Oh no! Et tu, Max Lucado? I grew up hearing, reading his name and quotes from authors and friends I deeply respect, even as I ashamedly have yet to read one of his 32 books. I've been baffled by Americans--and mortified by Christians!--who support Trump, and thus my deep apprehension in opening Christianity Today to read this large, front-page heading.
(I guess I can try to understand in light of the Cambodian situation re illegal Vietnamese immigration in recent history flowing into the present. Vietnamese demographic and military colonialization has reduced Cambodia to a fraction of its size, with the swallowing up of its territory still in play. The current demographic colonialization continues with the assistance of a puppet regime that is Hun Sen's CPP. Ours is an existential issue and at times we have reacted with repulsive ugliness. Think Lon Nol. Think the Khmer Rouge. What has not been called-out on to account, however, is the blithe, arrogant, condescending actions and reactions of the non-Cambodians in all of this, in pushing the Cambodians to be at times ultra defensive on this most tactile, life-and-death issue of existence. What is dangerous is how Cambodians' opinions and experience throughout recent history have been outright condescendingly dismissed, particularly on the matter of the inundation of Vietnamese citizens--many, the discarded of their society, including the criminal elements--into Cambodia as a matter of political strategy of annexation. The matter would then come into light for the non-Cambodians after the fact when the situation is already too late to do much to counter the invidiousness. Their arrogance and blitheness have blinded and continue to blind the non-Cambodians to the awaiting atrocity. During the US bombings and years immediately before KR takeover, many non-Cambodians were so blinded to the rise of the Khmer Rouge because they expended all their energy, often in the most self-righteous manner, in condemning the US bombings and policy in SEAsia to see and hear what Cambodians were seeing, hearing, experiencing on the ground. Elizabeth Becker was one of the few non-Cambodians who was level-headed enough to listen to the Cambodian voices during this period. Immediately after the Khmer Rouge, many non-Cambodians dismissed refugees' account. Then when this position was no longer palatable in light of the weight of the evidence (human and documentation), they all expended their energy on the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and refused to listen to Cambodians' fear and experience on the ground re occupation, what they were seeing, hearing, experiencing by the occupying forces, to entertain the possibility what occupying forces would, could do to a country, a people as vulnerable as Cambodia, Cambodians then, especially an occupying force with a history of violent annexation and design for further annexation. The impending atrocities to be committed by this occupying power with a history of violent annexation: refusing international aid for the barely surviving, ghost-like Cambodians during the famine of 1979, 1980 -- the 2 years immediately following KR regime -- the K-5 genocide, murdering and imprisoning dissenting voices, and the 10 years of occupation rule under the shroud of darkness with almost complete impunity, ZERO international scrutiny or concern. And the preparation and design for colonialization after UNTAC: the Vietnamization of the military and security forces, civilianizing / "Cambodianizing", e.g. taking on Khmer names, embedding their military and political advisers into key ministries and posts, forcing through with their puppet regime unequal treaties to extract and destroy resources from the Tonle Sap, the jungles and the sea. We are now seeing, feeling, experiencing clearly the impact of these unequal treaties of "friendship". I can see how the Americans and Europeans see the immigration situation as one on a steep slippery slope or sliding scale, but their situation is NO WHERE CLOSE to the danger point of the Cambodia situation. And TRUMP is definitely no answer, except a repulsive one.)
Re the article: my fears were quickly put to rest even if I have only finished the first Q & A with this "America's pastor" with Christianity Today.
Seen and heard on Ms. Theary C. Seng's Facebook accounts: