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Was Pol Pot A Dictator

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Pol Pot once said, “although a million lives have been wasted, our party does not feel sorry.” Pol Pot was the ruthless dictator of Cambodia during the 1970s and was single handedly responsible for millions of deaths and suffering. Pol Pot was considered a dictator because he was the leader of three consecutive parties and governments in Cambodia, and in all of them, he made his own people suffer while trying to make radical changes. His main goals were to completely reshape his country Cambodia, into a communist society based on peasants and agriculture. He wanted to create a new type of Cambodia where the population was made up of entirely workers and peasants, and all evidence of the wealthy classes was removed. Pol Pot wanted an equal society…show more content…
His intentions may have been admirable or respectable in wanting to create an equal agrarian society, but the ways that he carried out these plans are considered to be some of the worst human rights violations of the twentieth century. In order to create an agrarian society, Pol Pot forced all people in the city Phnom Penh, into the countryside and out of their homes, in what is known as Year Zero (“Khmer Rouge”). All non-agricultural workers were forced to leave their jobs and homes, and work in the countryside, to accomplish the goal of a country comprised of only workers. But, the majority of the population was not simply forced to leave their homes, and change their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced into slave labor camps and concentration camps, where they eventually died from starvation, exhaustion and disease. Eventually, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge turned to straight executions of first his former allies, and then of anyone who portrayed the former Cambodian society. It became a complete purge of anyone, citizen, enemy or even ally of Pol Pot, that did not show the new ideals of the Khmer Rouge. In the end, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge had executed hundreds of thousands, but had caused the death of over one million of his own people through labor camps, starvation, exhaustion and disease. Lastly, Pol Pot executed political, social, and ideological experiments on his…show more content…
After Year Zero and the purge of his own people, he lost a large amount of public support. Many believed that he was a traitor “whose hands are stained with blood” because “Cambodians don’t kill Cambodians” (Thayer). He claimed to have committed those crimes to ensure better lives for his people, but he only made them hate him by killing their fellow Cambodians. To make matters even worse, Pol Pot refused to repent or even talk about the thousands of executions or the million deaths that he caused, he only continued to blame the Vietnamese for his actions (Becker). He believed that there were countless Vietnamese agents in Cambodia who “didn’t give rice to the population”, causing widespread starvation (Thayer). He took no personal responsibility for the over one million deaths that he caused and believed that his “conscious is clear”. Somehow Pol Pot thought that he could deny that the mass genocide, that occurred during his own rule, was his fault. Even his old allies turned against him and were the ones to capture him in the end (“Khmer Rouge”). Pol Pot turned on every possible person that could have helped him, and when he was captured he had no one left. But, even with Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge’s known terror, the Vietnamese government that was installed after the Khmer Rouge was led by Khmer Rouge leaders and Khmer Rouge trained communists (Rainsy) . As
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