Learning stuff I don't want to know

  • Thread starter tribdog
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Im reading this book called "The Dark Tourist" by Dom Joly. Its mostly a funny book, but he talks about going to Cambodia. Of course I've heard of Pol Pot and I knew about the genocide, but I never bothered to look into the details. I feel bad for not knowing more about it. They actually had a "killing tree" which was used to swing babies heads into. I'm having a dilema as to whether or not I want to know more.
 

Ryan_m_b

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I would urge you to read on. Encountering some of the most horrible aspects of human history is vital for us to learn to avoid it in future.
 
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I've heard of "The Killing Fields" the movie. I've never watched it. Any other suggestions?
 

Ryan_m_b

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Are you referring to the recent expose of the atrocities committed in the Sri Lankan civil war?
 
666
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No, this is the Cambodian civil war. Maybe 20-30 years ago. I don't know any details. Pol Pot is known as one of the most evil men to ever live.
 

Ryan_m_b

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I haven't heard of that one, I agree he was vile.
 
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There were two trees. A "killing tree" and a "magic tree." The killing tree was used to kill babies, the magic tree had a speaker in it to play music so you couldn't hear the babies crying and dying.
 

Disconnected

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I've heard of "The Killing Fields" the movie. I've never watched it. Any other suggestions?
Look into "Enemies of the People". A guy, whose entire family was killed int the killing fields, interviews a bunch of people high up in the Khmer Rouge.
I haven't seen it (I have it on reserve from lovefilm) but I hear it is excellent. I only recently (a couple weeks ago) learned the details of the Khmer Rouge and spent several hours on wikipedia. The most striking details to me, not sure why, were the facts that S-21, the prison which sent many people to the killing fields (in fact, of the 17,000 people sent there, only 12 are known to have survived), was previously the local high school, and the fact that due to a shortage of funds the government could not afford bullets and so issued machettes and iron bars.
 
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There were two trees. A "killing tree" and a "magic tree." The killing tree was used to kill babies, the magic tree had a speaker in it to play music so you couldn't hear the babies crying and dying.
I was in Cambodia last year and stood a few feet from the killing tree. It was a real nightmare to imagine. My hotel receptionist was a 20 yr old guy and he told me his mother lived up a tree nearby for three years and watched kids forced to shoot their own parents. A nightmare beyond all imagining. I was also in Rwanda last year and their genocide was tough to learn about too. Their memorial had a childrens section and it brought me to a teary mess.
 
you can try Samantha Power's book if you'd like to get a chapter or so of several genocides.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Problem_from_Hell:_America_and_the_Age_of_Genocide

i don't think she covered the killing tree, but what i do remember was the Khmer Rouge's campaign against anyone with an education. if you wore glasses, that was enough to single you out.

the other big thing about these atrocities is that they never become real to the public until the pictures show up on either television or in newspapers. we did not get involved in Bosnia until the concentration camp pictures were published, reminding people of WWII. we did not get involved in Rwanda at all, but it didn't even become part of the discussion until bodies were floating down the rivers into neighboring countries. suppression of photos from war zones is about the biggest crime that exists.

most importantly, she covers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Lemkin" [Broken], one of the most important people you've never heard of.

for stuff like Vietnam or East Timor, you may need to go to Chomsky. she tends to avoid stuff we're directly involved in.
 
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Disconnected

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most importantly, she covers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Lemkin" [Broken], one of the most important people you've never heard of.
Thanks for the link. I hadn't heard of him.
 
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