So I finally finished my book, Pol Pot by Philip Short. It took me longer than I had planned as other books got in the way, ie Harry Potter, as well as my weekly dose of science via New Scientist.
It was an eye opening book as I didn't really know a lot about Pol. I knew that under his reign of terror over a million people died, but I didn't really know much else. Did you know that under Pol Pot's reign if terror 1/5th of Cambodia's died either of starvation or through execution? For my country, that would be 800 000 people, for Korea 9 million, for the US over 50 million and if you are talking India, 250 million! That's a lot of people to miss. I think the saddest thing about this is that he died of natural causes and never had to suffer like his countrymen under his mismanagement of Cambodia.
As I said in a previous post, this brings up the idea of evil. What is evil? Now, people like my good friend George Bush like to simplify evil as being anyone against his ideals. If that is his definition, then I am sure those against George feel the same way about him. Sorry to break it to you George, but life is not that simple. To me, real, true evil is when someone goes out of their way to hurt or kill others for no reason but for the pleasure of suffering. It is not helpful to blanket people you don't like with the evil tag. Under this definition, your average terrorist is not evil. I think that many of them believe that the only way they can help their country or religion is by attacking the enemy. When all is said and done, what is the difference between a terrorist bomb in a busy market and a bomb from a B52 which falls on a busy market? It is all about which side you are on. Now thinking about US enemy no.1 Osama Bin Laden. I don't know if I can really get inside his head, so I am not sure what he thinking. I do however tend to lean towards agreeing with George (A first folks!). He seems to hold little regard for life and is quite happy to have people kill for him. He seems to care little for those giving their lives for him also... Hitler would be another one who I would class as evil. How else could you consider a man who ordered the killing of millions... As for Pol Pot? I don't think he was evil. I zealot maybe. I have the feeling that he really believed what he was doing was right for the country. He may have been a product of his time and his culture, my mind is still made up.
Basically for me, evil is not a word you throw around. Evil is a rare commodity and we should be happy that this is so! Good people are far more plentiful, yay!
San Nakji for President!