Thursday, November 26, 2009


40 years is way too lenient for this harbinger of death
Is it me or does anyone else find the prosecution demands for a 40 year prison sentence for Comrade Duch as totally underwhelming and almost a slap in the face of the millions of Cambodians who have been patiently waiting, for 30 years, to see real justice served against the key perpetrators of the Khmer Rouge insanity. Okay, Duch is 67 and if he served the full 40 years, if the judges agree with the prosecution demands, he wouldn't see the light of day again but that's not really the point. This man presided over the deaths of at least 12,000 people, 99.9% of them were fellow Cambodians alongwith a handful of westerners who were also murdered. He made certain, with consumate precision, that many of them were interrogated and subjected to inhumane punishments before they were executed. Despite his protestations, he ran S-21 (Tuol Sleng) as his personal fiefdom and his word was law. This man is guilty, though butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, of managing and controlling one of the worst excesses of torture and murder in modern times. He has the blood of thousands on his hands. So I find the request from the prosecution for a 40-year term of imprisonment as missing the point for many Cambodians. It doesn't seem just or proportionate, and I think many people here will simply not understand why he won't be serving 12,000 life sentences (let alone facing a death sentence). I'm aware that in cases of this nature, the prosecution has to be realistic based on the sample evidence that can be presented in court, which is a fraction of what he's responsible for, but 40 years, with five years already taken off for being a good boy (and don't get me started on his ludicrous final statement), just doesn't cut the mustard with me, and many others.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When could we expect from you a balanced statement regarding the "international community's" role and responsibility for the Cambodian tragedy? Most of your posts on the subject also reveal you have your own agenda, like Duch has his, singling out and stressing only the Khmer Rouge role in it, which I wdn't certainly downplay. Sounds like you are engaged in a mission to revenge some Britons killed at S-21, and that's all.

November 26, 2009 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I never said you would get balanced professional reporting on this blog from myself, instead its a personal blog so I give my personal opinion.
I single out the KR role in the Cambodian tragedy 'cause it was quite central don't you think, and its because I live in the country and the knock-on effect is all around me, every minute of every day. There's no escaping it.
I have no agenda on foreigners killed at S-21 other than to highlight the personal tragedies, when i get the opportunity.

November 26, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duch's sentence should be 12,000 consecutive life sentences, without possibility of parole [or time off for "good behavior"]. The symbolism is in the sentencing: he is as likely to live for the 40 years as the 12,000 life terms, but at least each victim would be symbolically accounted for.

Keep up the good work, Andy!

Judith Mansfield

November 26, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Anonymous HIRAM said...

Maybe Judith, whos most probably an American or an English or an Australian, could calculate as well how long Henry Kissinger, Maggie Tatcher and the Australian PM at the time, to name just three, should stay in prison. In my opinion, they are 12.000 times worse than Duch, had much more power in their hands and grossly misused it. Its always opportune to remind that these powers are the self same who supported the Khmer Rouge for 20 YEARS UP TO 1998! - Hiram

November 27, 2009 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

we are talking about 2 different ends of the spectrum, on one hand we have Duch, with blood on his hands in the literal sense, he was at the coalface of murder and was the man with the thumb up or thumb down at S-21, and then we have the global power-brokers who didn't deal with individual lives but in decisions that most of us would've never been able to make. yes they have many many things to answer for, but we're specifically talking here about Duch.

November 27, 2009 at 1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting reasoning... So Henry Kissinger "didn't deal with individual lives" when he planned, implemented and supervised the destruction of Cambodia from high up, B52 altitudes, resulting in a death toll estimated between 150-300.000 lives. These lives don't enter in your and Judith's account because they were, so to say, surgically and cleanly deleted... At least, Duch had blood in his hands, whereas Americans had just to press a button. Very very interesting reasoning... - Hugo

November 27, 2009 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

you know exactly what I meant (so stop stirring) and as I said this posting was about Duch not the Kissinger's of this world (who as I said have many things to answer for).

November 27, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seemed pretty clear that what Andy had to say was about Duch, and it was that posting I chose to address, and I stand by what I wrote. Just FYI: I am an American, and I detested - and protested against - Kissinger and Nixon, just as I despised other warmongers, such as Robert McNamara [and decades later, Rumsfeld], all of whom I believe had blood on their hands. You shouldn't generalize about all Americans - I have lived in Boston, New York City, and Berkeley, CA, and you won't find too many Kissinger supporters in any of them.


November 27, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Ana Jacqueline said...

There are people whose thinking could be bureaucratically broke up into "chapters", "postings", "spectrums", "individual lives" and other departments. History, however, is a river. - Ana Jacqueline

November 28, 2009 at 1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I'm fortunate enough to live in a country where Dr. Kissinger would be immediately arrested upon arriving. - Celia Cruz del Soto, Buenos Aires, Argentina

November 28, 2009 at 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Duch and the KR owed their existency largely to the USA brutal policy of bombing Cambodia back into the stone age, in my opinion there are no such things as "ends of the spectrum", with due respect to your views. Much more ludicrous than Duch claiming innocence and asking the court to be freed, were the USA demands of "war reparations" from Cambodia made some time ago.
Sincerely, Dagmar Bjornstrand

November 28, 2009 at 2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree with Ms. Mansfield, but I think it doesn't matter Kissinger has few supporters here or there, since he is welcome in the "new" Obama White House. As someone who voted Obama, I couldn't hide my profound embarassment, shame and deception when I learned this. John Sherwood, Sacramento CA

November 28, 2009 at 3:50 AM  
Blogger oasisresort said...

well done Andy,said from the heart from someone who lives here as a choice not a career person who dose a stint here pretending to care then moves on not giving the country a second thought,as most of the reply's are,egotistic people who think they are so right jumping on the USA bandwagon of trying to protest over there politics which are bad but lets not confuse what every country does wrong politically with what happened here under the rouge and still has awful social effects now,your comments are from the heart not the ego,well done.

November 28, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
I couldn't agree more with Judith and you. He deserves to be bludgeoned to death at the edge of a pit in Choeung Ek. However, as we are not made of the same stuff as his, a life sentence would be just fair. He must feel that, where every 12.000 times he signed a death sentence, we chose instead to spare him until the end of his days on earth. - Shakya
PS - Hi Andy, the previous posting I sent had an incorrection, please keep this one, delete the other and this PS

November 28, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duch is a war criminal and must pay for his crimes. But American policy towards Indochina and especially Cambodia ca. 1969-1973 can be put on a same level with the crimes of the SS and the extermination of Jews by the Nazi during WW II. What they did in Cambodia was an abomination.

November 29, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older