Time Essay: Cambodia: An Experiment in Genocide

The enormity of the tragedy has been carefully reconstructed from the reports of many eyewitnesses. Some political theorists have defended it, as George Bernard Shaw and other Western intellectuals defended the brutal social engineering in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. Yet it remains perhaps the most dreadful infliction of suffering on a nation by its government in the past three decades. The nation is Cambodia.

On the morning of April 17, 1975, advance units of Cambodia's Communist insurgents, who had been actively fighting the defeated Western-backed government of Marshal Lon Nol for nearly five years, began entering the capital of Phnom...

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