The Cambodian Genocide was a slaughter of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge who was led by Pol Pot, from 1975-1979. Pol Pot who was the Prime minister of Cambodia at the time killed Cambodians by execution, forced labor, and famine. Pol Pot renamed the country Democratic Kampuchea. The reign was ended after 4 years when Vietnam invaded and caused the collapse of the regime. The Cambodian Genocide was the result of a social engineering project by the Khmer Rouge, attempting to create a classless agrarian society. When the regime had finally ended over 1.7 to 2.5 million Cambodians had been killed, over 21% of the population was killed by this genocide.
The genocide started because Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge, used his power as a social engineering project to get rid of the Cambodian people after being trusted by the Cambodian people to protect them. He changed the name of the country to show his power over the Cambodians. “The name of the new nation was Democratic Kampuchea” (Schanberg). The United States also played a role in the rising of the Khmer Rouge. The United States bombed most of the countryside of Cambodia. They also influenced the politics of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge used the United States’ actions to recruit followers and as an excuse for the brutal policies they exercised when in power.
“A communist group known as the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, seized control of Cambodia and made the Cambodians work in forced labor camps” (Schanberg). Many cambodians were executed, while many died to famine from the lack of food that was given to them. Pol Pot abused his power when taking control of the Khmer Rouge. “The Khmer Rouge guerrilla movement was founded in 1960” (World Without Genocide). This enabled him to change to Cambodian people and the whole country. Pol Pot used the United States bombing and political influence to get himself in a position to take over the country and cause the genocide.
The Cambodian genocide could have been prevented. The U.S. bombings and political influence caused the Khmer Rouge guerrilla movement to be made and to rise to power of the country with Pol Pot. If this group was not allowed to rise to power so easily and the U.S. did not get involved the genocide could have taken a different turn and could have been stopped. “The US bombings aided the genocide by killing many Cambodians” (Prevention). The bombings by America caused many Cambodians to flock to the Khmer Rouge who promised they could protect them. If other countries were more observant and conscious to the events happening in Cambodia they could have stopped the terror of the Khmer Rouge.