Red Khmer Thrives – Propaganda Poster


In 1966 Pol Pot returned to the jungles of Kampuchea armed with the ‘Selected Works of Mao Zedong’ – which he studied indepth and found fascinating. This Khmer Rouge propaganda poster reads ‘Red Khmer Thrives!’ (红色高棉茁壮成长). Although no dates are given, it is reasonable to assume that this poster was issued at some point in the history of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979). The narrative generated by the Vietnamese occupiers of Kampuchea 1979-1989 (and supported by the anti-Communist narratives of the West) is that Kampuchea was anything but ‘thriving’ during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. It is interesting that the millions killed throughout Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos by the US are generally never discussed or contextualised for the region in question, just as the casualties caused by the invading Vietnamese in 1979 are rarely acknowledged. For ten years the Vietnamese administered the ‘People’s Republic of Kampuchea’ from 1979-1989 with both US and USSR approval – which saw no Socialist reconstruction of the country – but rather the construction of an elaborate museum complex purporting to record the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. This construction ran parallel with the narrative created by the Hollywood film ‘The Killing Fields’ and must certainly represent the first time a ‘Communist’ country assisted the West in propagandising against the Communist cause. The behaviour of Vietnam is this era is even more incredible when one considers the extent of the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity the US committed against that country – and yet Vietnam is not adorned with piles of unburied skulls and bones, or permeated with US Concentration Camps! ACW (8.6.2019)

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