I learned a lot this weekend, about a subject that I’ve only been peripherally aware of, and interested in, for the past few years. Allow me, if you would, to regurgitate some of it here for education and admonition…
In the 70’s, during a war we probably had no business involving ourselves in in the first place, the US became determined to stop the supply lines of weapons coming into Vietnam. To that end, under Nixon and Kissinger, two separate bombing campaigns were carried out on Cambodia – a neutral and defenseless country, that had no recourse save that promised to them by communist propaganda. A faceless, unseen enemy – us – dropped over 200,000 tons of bombs on the confused and terrified people of Cambodia, despite the fact that they had done nothing to provoke the attacks. More bombs were dropped on that little country than all of Europe during World War 2. The nation was devastated.
Opportunistic communist guerilla’s used the hatred and fear we inspired in the people to seize control, kicking off a civil war that ended in literal genocide. Between the lives shattered by American bombs, and those wiped out by the communists leaders that American activities had catalyzed, over 3 million were killed. 3 million non-combatant men, women and children, from a country who’s only offense was being located near a country that America was interested in controlling.
Make no mistake, the greater killing (or at least the more personal one) was performed by the communists. But they would have remained little more than thugs and terrorists had the American attack not taken place, forcing the desperate and decimated people to turn to the only organization promising hope and retribution in their country.
But the West wasn’t done raping this little country – literally. When UN aid was finally sent in, UN troops – including those from Canada – took advantage of the desperate people they found, buying little girls to abuse sexually during their off hours, teaching this nation – now devoid of any educator leaders, thanks to the genocide that had taken place – that the quickest way to put food on their table was to rent out their children, as early as 5 years of age, for sex with Western pedophiles. The UN troops brought not just abuse, but sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, sparking a nation-wide epidemic. Directly, and indirectly, my country and yours, dear reader, have on our hands the blood and innocence of an entire country.
We are so proud, in our first world nations, of our great civilization and our great accomplishments. We sit in our comfortable churches, and assuage our guilty consciences with the little tithe we might throw into the offering plate, or that one time that we helped out with a project in our church building or community… while the side-effects of this decadent culture we live in are simply statistics to us. We take no responsibility for the pain in the rest of the world – not even the pain we are responsible for.
Cambodia remains a broken, hurting country, where thousands of children will each be raped literally hundreds of times over this Christmas season – the average child prostitute has sex 8 times per week night, sometimes for as little as $2. Meanwhile, the Bible commands us to do something about it. If you’re accustomed to pausing at Christmas time and considering those less fortunate than you, perhaps you might want to do some reading on the situation in Cambodia in 2009. I know most of us we’re not taught about it in school – it was only in the past year that I’d ever heard the term “Khmer Rouge” – but the injustice continues anyway. And maybe we should spend some of our Christmas money this year, or our time in the coming year, doing something to help.
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. – Isaiah 1:17