Monday, October 15, 2012

King Norodom Sihanouk: Butcher of Cambodia Dies; NY Times Obituary Fanciful Distortion of His ’Killing Machine’.

Today on October 15, 2012 -I read in the NY Times Obituary that King Sihanouk died.  I had known him both personally and professionally.  In 1991,   I was brought back from my private professional world to work specifically on developing  a peace treaty for a war-torn  country ravaged by the Khmer Rouge, the Vietnamese, France, China, and the US.  My expertise was in strategy, tactics, intelligence and development of the foundation for an international treaty.  The other successful treaty that I had worked on was the 1979 Israel-Egypt Camp David Peace Treaty which President Jimmy Carter had personally managed.
I was specifically brought in by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Dr Richard Solomon.  For two years, I worked on disarming the Khmer Rouge, and trying to create a viable government with King Sihanouk.  I helped develop the UN mechanism by which the final treaty was created under UN auspicesHOWEVER,  it was not the UN that created the Treaty- it was Dr Richard Solomon and the U.S. State Department with a little help from me and from a formidable Foreign Service Officer named Charles H. Twining, a proficient French and Khmer speaker.  Together, we spent endless hours flying between Thailand, Cambodia,  and Paris. More often than not, our CIA and intelligence communities were at best faulty and as usual totally ineffective.  At the time, I dismissed both the Station Chief in Paris and Thailand as  ‘incompetent’ and ‘ignorant’.  Why do I say this? 
It is important to understand how poorly our country has been served by our C IA and other intel agencies.  My good fortune was in going into the Jungles of both Thailand and Cambodia , I was able to talk in my native dialect of (Toulouse) French to several of the Anti Communist troop leaders and find out the truth of the situation on the ground and that it had been completely distorted and falsely reported by our CIA.
  In turn,  I created by own intelligence organization  consisting primarily of field military intel officers from the US , Australia, France, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Cambodia as well other countries.
As a result,   I was able to utilize the Perm Five Council of the UN –consisting of France, England, China, Russia, Britain, and the US to accomplish what needed to get done.  The psychological techniques I used are outlined in my novel “Active Pursuit”What I had to do was quite drastic but necessary.  Suffice to say, that my ‘skills’ as ‘professional regime changer’ were well applied. 
Why do I tell you all this right now? Because I just read the most ludicrous obituary about any ‘killer’ with whom I had to work for two unbearable years.  Sihanouk was not ‘cunning’ nor ‘charming’ nor ‘mercurial’,  he was a Sick Killer.  Sick—in the sense that he had bipolar illness that no one, especially the French who had supported him,  ever recognized nor treated.  Sihanouk died a ‘killer’ and ‘abettor’ of Pol Pot and his ruthless Khmer Rouge-assisting them in the first auto-genocide [killing of your own people] in the 2Oth century.  Not only did both NYT’s writers incorrectly describe this ‘monster’ who was pathetic and dysfunctional in all manners both personal and professional but they spun a fairytale that made it sound as if this ‘killer’ was simply a ‘manipulator’ of superpowers and had a ‘talent to align himself’ accordingly. 
They don’t describe Sihanouk’s   three hour tirade at the Kleber Center in Paris,  where he gave an incredible rant to twenty two nations about the importance of “Genocide” and how every country in the room had committed ‘necessary genocide’
  These two NYT  journalists,  Elizabeth Becker and Seth Mydans,  both self-proclaimed ‘asia experts’ had no knowledge how Sec State Baker and I agreed to put HunSen—Ex Khmer Rouge , proVietnamese Leader into power in Cambodia - meanwhile , we would place King Sihanouks’ obnoxious, arrogant , incompetent , Francophile son, into a transitional power base.
So once again, a major murderer of the 20th century, easily equivalent in my experience to Mao [millions killed in the Cultural Revolution],  Stalin [ forty million killed ], etc. gets away with a fluff piece from the NY Times’. 
  Most of you are probably are not surprised that the NY Times has once again failed as they did under the ersatz leadership of the wanting writer Bill Keller, to report on the 9/11 truthfully. 
  Sadly,  I have met and talked to Elizabeth Becker. And I can honestly say that I had never met a more ignorant, disingenuous, manipulative reporter who had been easily ‘worked’ by me and my operatives (about whom she had complained).  Becker has no credence by historical or journalistic standards.   She is a ‘lackey- ingratiating herself with historical figures’.  She has no capability, no understanding ,  nor motivation to probe for the truth. 
As for Seth Mydans, his name appeared to me on several different occasions.  One, he attended Andover Prep School,  a year behind my brother, a famous biochemistry professor,  and in the same class with George Bush Jr.  He has a checkered career in both Vietnam and around the world.  In my role as Counter Intelligence Operative,  I would bet my career that he was and is CIA or some close affiliation to that group.  All you have to, my dear reader, is to look his name up in Wikipedia and you will find nothing about him. Ergo—Bad Cover, Poor reporting.
  Anyway,  another tyrant has died and those who brought him to power are still free of blame.  Let me be more specific. …the French created this imbecilea playboy  with no capacity to do anything other than procreate and at that,  given the nature of his consort  “Queen Monique”, une putan, was singularly unimpressive.  The French allowed King Sihanouk and his henchmen to run a bordello in France which he could not even run effectively with his ‘Queen’.  Then we have President Nixon and my former boss, Henry Kissinger, [whom I personally and professionally detested but that’s another blog for another time] to illegally bomb a ‘neutral’Cambodia.  Then we have People’s Republic of China which consistently encouraged him and Pol Pot to engage in their mass murder machine.  Of course, China will soon find it’s own retribution when the PLA  attempts another military coup against the Central Committee.  Then we have Thailand which in their inevitable disgusting  way , protected Pol Pot and his mercenaries, all the  time denying that he was protected on their soil. 
  History has no memory or desire for accuracy.  It’s merely a narrative concocted by (in this case) two inadequate writers,  perhaps manque novelists,  but it is NOT the experience of this American who soon left State Department  after the1991 Peace Conference On Cambodia Treaty was signed. 
This treaty owes more not to the fanciful tales of  faux journalism but to the incredible professionalism of the Charles H. Twinings of this world.  The last time I saw him was in a bookstore. 
  It’s to him that the honesty of this blog is dedicated and to those other FSO’s and US diplomats who for once and for all have to be recognized for their ‘silent miracles’. 
 Le roi est mort!  Grace a dieux!


  1. Gee, I never thought he was all that great, but I had the general idea that Norodom Sihanouk was the prince of a peaceful Buddhist country who tried to stay neutral and out of the Vietnam War but whose country became part of the battlefield and was bombed all to hell by Kissinger and Nixon and who was overthrown by the U.S. supported Lon Nol, who was in turn overthrown by the Khmer Rouge. This genocidal regime was in power for four years and the Cambodian people were saved by the heroic Socialist Republic of Vietnam. That was how I had it from the anti-war newspapers I was reading at the time. I had no idea Sihanouk was such an evil fellow. After that, as I recall, the Khmer Rouge still existed as a guerrilla group, but a successful peace treaty was eventually arranged between the various contenders for power - I say successful, because I haven't heard much from this part of the world, so I presume things are going well.

    You sound like someone who has retired and is ready to tell the truth in this blog. You say this blog is honest. But somehow it isn't straightforward. Sometimes you say the opposite of what you mean. It's hard to tell whether you are serious or ironic. Why not be completely straightforward? What have you got to lose beside your life? But "he who saves his life will lose it." How much is it worth to live in a world based on lies?

  2. What I take away from this blog post:

    Peace does not necessarily equal justice.

    It's clear the king was deserving of "swinging from the long end of a rope" in public. That would have served the interest of Justice.

    But would that have served the interest of Peace?

    The king apparently had a role in bringing peace to the region in that his cooperation was deemed necessary for a lasting & durable settlement of the conflicts in Indo-China.

    By and large, justice is meted out on an individual basis based on personal conduct, but peace is societal in nature.

    Sure, during the course of conflict individuals are brought to justice for individual acts or after a conflict if there is a total victory or uncondidtional surrender.

    But many times, the conflict is not ended by Total Victory.

    And in the atomic age, Total Victory would likely be pyrrhic in nature.

    Settlement and compromise short of Total War is preferable.

    In diplomacy, leaving your adversary an honorable avenue of retreat is a well-known dictum (even if they don't deserve it).

    (In another example, discussed on this website, Emperor Hirohito was allowed to stay on the "Chrysanthemum Throne" despite his complicity in war crimes, for the sake of a lasting & durable peace.)

    And that can mean letting the guilty go free, so that the innocent may live in peace.

    Peace at a societal level is about protecting the innocent, not necessarily prosecuting the guilty and even more so at the civilizational level, such as the current threat of a "Clash of Civilizations" we see in the Middle East, today.

    Millions had died in Indo-China, the goal was to stop the wholesale slaughter & physical destruction and allow those countries to begin to build healthy societies and the only way to do that was through peace.

    A Peace that admittedly allowed the perpetrators of mass-murder to go free (or delay justice for many years, decades in fact, or not at all, as in the king's case).

    Is this wrong?


    The protection of the innocent is more important than the conviction & punishment of the guilty.

    We, Americans, in our justice system actually operate on this principle with the legal standards: 'Presumption of Innocence' and 'Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt'.

    And the old saying, "Better to have 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man wrongly convicted."

    Yes, some people reject the above quote and its philosophical & ethical underpinnings.

    But isn't it even more true at the societal level, where a successful peace settlement can allow millions of innocent people to live in peace at the expense of letting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of guilty people to go free?

    Still, truth should win out. That means not sugar coating a tyrant's biography after his death (or even when he is still alive).

    Dr. Pieczenik, I appreciate the truth about the king. I, like many others, thought the king was a rather "removed" figure from the mass-murder in Cambodia (if I thought about the king at all).

    That the New York Times would promote fiction about the king is a guide to the general attitude of the Times and elites in general:

    They are not interested in the truth, first, because the truth is not in them, and, second, because the truth is against their interests.

    Peace serves the common man. War, most often, serves the few, the powerful & the corrupt.

    The Truth is our armor & shield, what we do with that Truth is our sword.

    But first we must have the Truth.

    "What is our purpose? Truth, for its own sake."

    Truth is the most valuble commodity in an age of deceit.

    Or to put it more eloquently:

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell

  3. Thank you for a most eloquent comment, my readers get a bonus when they read your commentary in addition to my blog posts.....we are on the same page, those of us that know the truth must tell it to those willing to seek it. Its the only way we can evolve.

  4. I should also add that the phrase "Butcher of Cambodia" is one that I have used to refer to Kissinger ever since these events occurred. It has never occurred to me to designate Sihanouk as such. Until the Vietnam War he had not butchered anybody that I ever heard of. He may have been a weakling and a sycophant, but a butcher?