Friday, November 20, 2009

Off to the seaside

On a previous visit to Kep
I'm rushing out of the door soon as I have to make a whistle-stop visit to Kampot and Kep for the next two nights to check out a few hotels, new and old. Someone's got to do it. The blog will be a mite quiet as a result. Tonight I'm trying out a new guesthouse in Kampot, the Magic Sponge, 'cause its been opened by a friend. I'll let you know the verdict. Tomorrow I'll be rushing around like a blue-arsed fly visiting a bunch of places in both locations, no time for a holiday I'm sorry to say. Then I have to get back for an event at the Cambodiana Hotel first thing Monday morning, its called Hidden Treasures, and its identifying the best of the new community/eco-tourism sites in Cambodia. Again, more on that on Monday night.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
Regardless of his criminal past and the immense suffering he caused to so many people, I must admit I was touched by Duch's admission of guilty before Chum Mey and Bou Meng, and especially his words: "I ask your forgiveness, but I don't ask you to forgive me".
Could we expect the same from other KR leaders awaiting trial at the ECCC? - Thanks for your views, Shandra Roy

November 20, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Shandra,
To be frank, I don't necessarily believe or trust a word that Comrade Duch utters. He has his own agenda with everything he says. There is no redemption for someone who has committed the crimes against humanity that Duch has, in my view. I witnessed him at the KR trial and he was enjoying himself, enjoying the limelight, and using it as his stage.
I don't think we will get anything like the admissions from the others, that we have from Duch. They will deny, deny, deny.
However Duch has admitted some things but left out many others. He tells us what he wants us to hear. No more. I have complete contempt for him.

November 20, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Anonymous J.-P. Laporte said...

"There's no redemption... in my view".
But the Holy Book states:
"Yet the meanest of them all can also be the wisest, provided that he does not pass judgement on others".
Are you a Christian, Mr. Brouwer?
Father Laporte

November 21, 2009 at 2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, people who have studied the KR in-depth and particularly S-21, like David Chandler, as well as others who experienced first-hand the horror that was about to come, like François Bizot, have a more human and lenient view on Duch and even praised him for his cooperative stance towards justice. I have read "Voices from S-21" and it ends with these remarkable words: "To find the source of evil that was enacted at S-21 on a daily basis, we need look no further than ourselves." - Reinhard Flüss

November 21, 2009 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why only bring up the Khmer Rouge leaders? Why not put the Americans, China, Russia, and all external factors that led this regime! The main question that keeps me wondering is how did the Khmer Rouge came to power? Nobody wants to be blame on not the KR Leaders, Americans, China, Russia and you know damn well they all played a part in destroying Cambodia!

November 22, 2009 at 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
How does it feel rushing around like a blue-arsed fly on a brand-new Honda? - ABCB Readers

November 22, 2009 at 3:18 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

In response,
Father Laporte - No I am not.
Reinhard - I do have such a lenient and human nature as the scholars you mention.
ABCB Readers - I am only the passenger on motos driven by motodops. I do not drive myself.

November 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Andy is Kep growing dramatically! Is it true? They should remodel those old french houses and make them into hotels or residential houses! The houses have a lot of history!

November 22, 2009 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Kep is undergoing a building frenzy. On the way out of town on the bus this morning, there was building work taking place at over 20 locations that I counted, and that was just along the main road out past the mermaid.
Many of the disused villas and the land on which they stood is under construction and renovation.
One of the most obvious is the distinctive white building you see on the right-hand side as you approach Kep from Kampot. This is owned by the FCC people and will be a house for rent rather than separate rooms. It include a pool, 9-hole golf course, coastline and tennis court, not to mention what looks like gorgeous decor inside.
Yes, Kep is a changing.

November 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHUM MEY: At first I was ready to accept his (Duch's) request for forgiveness because I thought his apology was honest and unconditional. However, during the course of the trial Duch has denied the testimonies of many civil parties. Even though he has been honest with respect to many of the events that occurred, he has proven to be very calculating, often choosing what to say based on what he thinks is in his best interest. For this reason, my views have changed; at first I was ready to accept his apology but I am no longer ready to accept it so long as he continues to deny many of the important testimonies of the other civil parties.

November 24, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
When will Margaret Thatcher be scheduled for pre-trial hearings at the ECCC?

November 24, 2009 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Alex - I'm up for that (tongue in cheek).MT is no longer really capable of offering any defense these days, so a trial would not be productive.

As for Chum Mey - I can see his point entirely. He has sat through nearly every day of the KR trial. He has seen Duch's performance in front of the court and the public and its left a bitter taste in his mouth. As it did for me and I was only there for 1 day. My contempt for Duch remains unwavered.

November 24, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Lots of press comments these last couple of days regarding Comrade Duch and his trial in PPenh. Closing arguments have now begun and the civil party lawyers had their turn yesterday, accusing Duch of crocodile tears and that his contrition was all a sham - views I adhere to as well.
In my view he has used the trial as his stage, to give the performance of his life, alternating between asking for forgiveness to bullying witnesses whenever he was given his closing questions and remarks (which I still don't agree with, if his lawyers have already had their pop at the witnesses, why should Duch be allowed his chance to have a 2nd attack).
Nevertheless, we will soon have prosecution and then defense lawyers on their feet, and Duch again, no doubt, will be given his opportunity to spout off again, before we will await a few more weeks/months for the verdict. Life imprisonment without privileges would be too good for him. He deserves to pay the ultimate price for his unforgivable actions, but the death penalty is not an option in this court or in Cambodia.

November 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That son-of-a-bitch Henry Kissinger, one of the main architects of the destruction of Cambodia, is now giving advice to the Obama administration. What could we have expected from a bombing campaign that exceeded anything mankind had ever seen in terms of sheer destruction and annihilation? Banality of evil... Insanity... Madness... To say Cambodia was destructed on the grounds of mere interdepartmental rivalries between the US Air Force and Army... used as a field to test more lethal and effective methods and weapons of mass destruction... How would you compare this with the crimes of Duch? At first, it seems theres no common measure at all... Americans have perfected the consummate ideal of inhumanity - WAR WITHOUT HATE. Tours of duty that have left only scars, trauma and bitter resentment, purple hearts lost in a sea of mass individualism - no other country in history has made more and more effective use of BOMBS than the USA. How would you compare this to the crimes of Stalin and Mao? Americans have no past, thats why they have no pangs of conscience in destroying other peoples and cultures, its even done out of sheer resentment.
Nixon feeling snubbed during his 1954 visit to Phnom Penh - because "all" the King would show him were the best cuisine, the best musicians, the best ramvong dancers of the country - of course, that have played a role bigger than most have realized so far in the ulterior course of events.
Long live Cambodia and its people!

November 25, 2009 at 6:23 AM  

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