Dith Pran and Year Zero

dith-pran-web-images.jpg 

Dith Pran the man whose life formed the basis of the book “The Death and Life of Dith Pran” by Sydney Schanberg and later the memorable movie called “The Killing fields” died a few days ago.

                              the-killing-fields-small.jpg

I wanted to put out a post about it, because his life left a never ending impression on mine. I was a bit young to read such a book back then, but I did watch the movie, and I was too young to get annoyed  at propaganda. I thought it was a superb movie and of course heart wrenching.

I recall a few scenes (and others are flooding back now that I’m concentrating on it) from the movie, but the most chilling one was when Pran stumbled out into a field only to find it littered with the bones of people. Pran is said to have coined the term “the killing fields”

And when Pran finally escaped, I was overjoyed.

As a youngster, the geography/politics bits (and as mentioned the propaganda) kind of escaped me at the time. I thought at the time it was a Vietnam movie. I thought those portrayed in “Vietnam” movies as “baddies”, were baddies. I didn’t think of questions like who set off the bombs? should Americans be there? How did the ‘baddies’ (the Khmer Rouge) become established and allowed to do what they did.

A German colleague and friend of mine went to Cambodia a few years back. He said the country is desperately poor. He also said they did not smile. I took his words literally and I think he meant them that way, but of course it equally applies to a much deeper sense. After he pointed that out, I recalled all images I’d seen of Cambodians an looked attentively ever since. I was forced to agree with him. Very recently however, I did manage to see some modern footage from Cambodia in which thankfully one or two people did smile. {and it’s great that 3/4 of pics with Prans in them are smiley pics}.

 About some time last year, I hit upon a real gem of a documentary by one of the best journalists on the Planet: John Pilger. The documentary was called “Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia” and it was absolutely chilling. I was a nervous wreck for days afterwards because of the powerful nature of it and its message: “Come, look at how these people are dying. They starving to death NOW in front of your eyes {thanks to US boycotts, unhappy perhaps that Vietnam had helped the millions of remaining Cambodians from the wickedly cruel hands of the Khmer Rouge} They need your help NOW, do something NOW

Pilgers documentary of course beat the socks off the Hollywood movie “The Killing Fields” even though I still retain childhood fondness of the movie. And Pilgers documentary was made in ’79 while the movie came out in about ’85. I have a horrible feeling however that despite Pilgers excellent documentary, within about 60 seconds of having finished watching it at the time (if people bothered to watch it at all) then very few, if any, did actually bother to do anything about it, as is the scenario today with whatever crisis we have, wherever in the world it is being made to happen.

May God have mercy upon us.


UPDATE: 4th April 2008. My dispair may be ill founded” £6 million worth of aid to Cambodia from the British public the follow-up a year later, Cambodia : Year One brought the real horror of the Khmer Rouge legacy into our own living rooms for the first time.

John PilgerPilger, a world-renowned investigative journo and broadcaster, worked for the Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK for 22 years and more recently the New Statesman magazine, amongst many others. He returned to Cambodia in 1989 to film Cambodia : Year Ten and followed that with Cambodia : The Betrayal (1990) and Cambodia : Return to Year Zero (1993). All of these had been produced with his long-time friend and director David Munro “ 
Source:
http://www.btinternet.com/~andy.brouwer/map.htm 

…Until 1989, the British role in Cambodia remained secret. The first reports appeared in the Sunday Telegraph, written by Simon O’Dwyer-Russell, a diplomatic and defence correspondent with close professional and family contacts with the SAS. He revealed that the SAS was training the Pol Pot-led force. Soon afterwards, Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that the British training for the “non-communist” members of the “coalition” had been going on “at secret bases in Thailand for more than four years”. The instructors were from the SAS, “all serving military personnel, all veterans of the Falklands conflict, led by a captain”… and there’s more

Andy’s site maks great reading. What a surprize that the bloody Brits were involved with the extermination of the people. Bastards.  Jealous they were mssing out on breeding torturing scul like the Yanks did at the school of the America’s no doubt. Yet another reason to be disgusted at being British.

http://www.btinternet.com/~andy.brouwer/map.htm 


  will end with some pic sources references but also with some links relating to one of the bastards whose actions enabled the Khmer Rouge to have materialised in the first place. I am of course referring to sado-murderer Henry Kissinger. {P.S. some work exposing Kissinger was done by Chris Hitchens, before his negative reality inversion happened.Rest in peace dear Dith Pran – a man who suffered like no man ever should.
A man whose story we all must learn from.

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Dith Pran Images:

1) top left
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/media/080330/X033004AU.jpg

2) top right
http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/AP_Photo/2008/03/30/1206880658_5824/539w.jpg

3) bottom left
http://www.amny.com/news/local/ny-bc-ny–obit-dithpran0330mar30,0,2505474.story&h=425&w=283&sz=39&hl=en&start=8&um=1&tbnid=jXmZIyL2sz6EgM:&tbnh=126&tbnw=84&prev=/images%3Fq%3DDith%2BPran%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26sa%3DG

4) bottom right
http://www.wnbc.com/2008/0330/15744735_240X180.jpg

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 ICH extract. Taken from

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13769.htm 

Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot / Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country..

A Documentary Film By John Pilger – Runtime 59 Minutes – Produced 1979

 Click Here to watch…
(You may need to download Windows Media Player 10 to view this version of the video. Its FREE. You can hunt the web for other versions if necessessary)

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war crimes 
BBC Four – The Trials of Henry Kissinger   – c/o the dossier
http://www.thedossier.ukonline.co.uk/video_elitesecretsocieties.htm

Assassination, secret bombings and massacre. War crimes committed by Kissinger

Download it (real player format)

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 The Kissinger File.

Wilfried Huismann – The Kissinger File –    – c/o the dossier
http://www.thedossier.ukonline.co.uk/video_elitesecretsocieties.htm 

Pinochet barely got away with it. Milosevic was not so fortunate. He was arrested and then extradited to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. Both one time heads of state stand accused of Crimes Against Humanity – both were dictators. Henry Kissinger, however, could be the first representative of a democratic country to stand before the Hague high court

download: real player

 

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1 Response to “Dith Pran and Year Zero”


  1. 1 StefZ April 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Of course, after the tragedy in Cambodia no-one in their right mind would advocate a ‘Year Zero’ philosophy of forcing everyone out of cities back to a primitive lifestyle and the consequent tyranny, mass depopulation and death that would accompany such a forced change

    well, no-one except a few environmentalists

    Henry K. and his buddies are still busy doing what they were doing 30 or more years ago, they’ve just changed their PR a little

    there are very few new stories in the world…


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