Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

I Wor Kuen

Slanders Can’t Hide Kampuchea’s Achievements

First Published: Getting Together, Vol. IX, No. 5, May 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Over the last few months, the bourgeois media in the U.S. has launched an intense barrage of slanders and outright lies against socialist Kampuchea, portraying it as hell on earth. U.S. government officials label Kampuchea as the “number one violator of human rights in the world.”

At the same time, the Soviet social-imperialists, who backed the reactionary Lon Nol clique all the way til liberation in 1975, have also stepped up their attacks on Democratic Kampuchea. They call it an aggressive and expansionist power. These attacks by the imperialist superpowers are designed to obscure the great accomplishments of the Kampuchean revolution (see accompanying article) and try to justify their own oppression of Kampuchea prior to liberation. In trying to make their case, the bourgeois media and the U.S. ruling class have relied on a thin fabric of lies, rumors, and distortions, claiming that torture and murder are everyday facts of life in Kampuchea.

A photograph of an “execution”, carried by Time magazine as evidence documenting the “tragedy” in Kampuchea, was actually posed in Thailand. Time has since acknowledged that the authenticity of the photograph is in doubt and cannot be proven, yet they stand on their outrageous slanders of Kampuchea.

The Christian Science Monitor accused the Kampuchean government of promoting “forced labor conditions in the countryside,” and of slaughtering two million citizens. Their sources? A book review which misquotes the book, and the book itself is based on second and third hand sources. The reviewer has since retracted his assertions, yet the Monitor stands on its lies.

The CBS Evening News recently carried a two-part series on Kampuchea, showing Phnom Penh, the capital, as a “ghost town.” What they fail to mention is that the population of Phnom Penh had been inflated greatly in the space of a few years because of U.S. saturation bombing of the countryside, which uprooted half the population. Now many Kampucheans have left the city and returned to their countryside homes.

CBS further claimed that Kampuchea was a “country of children,” insinuating that most of the adults had been executed. Yet their film clips contradicted their narration by showing hundreds of adults enthusiastically working to rebuild the country. As for the real life decline in adult population, CBS fails to mention that almost 10% of the Kampuchean people were killed by U.S. bombs and aggression.

No amount of lies can cover the incredible devastation from years of imperialist domination. Nor will it hide the present reconstruction by the people of socialist Kampuchea, as they solve the problems that are the legacy of their former domination by foreign imperialism.