Even in the most ardent of ultra-left-wing circles, you will be hard-pressed to find someone willing to fight the corner of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Hitler, Stalin, hell even Enver Hoxha still have their adherents, but when it comes to the Killing Fields, they appear one step too far even for apologists.
But, the internets a fucking weird place and people are a weird old bunch, so we went exploring to see if there were any Nuevo Khmer Rouge out there.
We were not to be disappointed! While there were no stand out groups like the Stalin Society, we were happy to see at least some loons out there.
A slightly weird YouTube channel that tries to rehabilitate the Khmer Rouge regime through a number of videos. The main problem with these guys is that it is almost impossible to tell if they are being serious, or not.
Maoist Rebel News
Jason Unruhe is the host of Maoist Rebel News and has even been used as a talking head by RT. He has released a video saying that the Khmer Rouge weren’t that bad, but I’d balk before calling him a dyed in the Pol Potter.
Famous left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky has notoriously written a lot about how Pol Pot wasn’t all that bad and to give him his credit he’s been saying it for over 40 years. According to him, not only were the killings a fabrication, but the increase in the population of Cambodia actually proves this. You can read his statements here. Many die-hard Chomsky followers have repeated similar things whilst quoting him, but with limited effect on the planet as a whole.
The Khmer Rouge
Finally last, but least the Khmer Rouge themselves. Whilst officially disbanded in 1998 in actuality, the remnants of the Khmer Rouge were given Anlong Veng and Pailin “provinces” as their playthings. Nowadays, both are populated by Khmer Rouge leaders and their descendants. Anlong Veng, in particular is populated by families of the last leaders of the Khmer Rouge as well as plaques and tourist sites linked to the former regime. In some ways, it feels almost as if they never left!
It is amazing how the US has recreated history over its relations with the Khmer Rouge, but that is exactly what they have done. On the face of things, they have supported the war crimes tribunal, but in effect have been denying there long association with the Khmer Rouge as part of their cold war battle with the USSR and Vietnam. If you need a contemporary comparison, look at the “moderate opposition” in Syria. Even China has since said sorry….
And those are the current supporters of the Khmer Rouge in 2020, they might be few, but they are still important when it comes to understanding the legacy of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Most importantly, they paint a very interesting picture when looking at modern politics and our interventions in other countries.