Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 10. 22nd May 1975
More 'Facts' We Omitted
More 'Facts' We Omitted
You have not answered the questions I asked.
1. Are we to believe that the communist regimes (you may call them what you like), are going to implement the 'Programmes for democratic freedoms of the People'. You say that 'Both the PRG and the Khmer Rouge are allowing freedom of movement and speech' but not to those with imperialist friends. If this is your idea of 'democratic freedom' then I would kindly suggest you widen your viewpoint.
As far as religious freedom is concerned, you know quite well that worship is tolerated only as long as it does not present a threat to the communist government.
2. I am not 'somehow blaming the Indochinese people for the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, but rather I am pointing out the fad that we should not accept openly, statements from either side in the war in Indochina.
You point out that 'Time' 'admit' that for at least the last two years the resistance movement has been made up solely of Cambodians'. This is 1975, what about the other three years. You conveniently pasted over this.
3. You say that 'If the mud is supposed to stick because of the fact that they are 'commies' (you misquote me here, I call them communists, not commies), then again it judges people by labels and not by their deeds'. At this stage I conceed that I have pre-judged both new governments. However, you are prepared to elucidate on the question of 'democratic freedom'. Tell us just who judges whether the peasant, opposing communism, has imperialist friends or not. If you are prepared to believe such promises from both governments, then you are very naive.
4. Your arguments that 'all means of coercion were on Lon Nol's side' leaving none for the Khmer Rouge I suppose, and that had it decided the issue 'no one would have joined the Khmer Rouge' teems far fetched. For the benefit of your readers would you please explain in more detail, coercion, and while you are at it provide a detailed account of the support received by the Khmer Rouge by both Hanoi and Peking, and do the job properly and don't leave out information which will point toward blatant communist pressure and control.
Finally, my 'emotional outburst' as you call it, is the result of having read several editions of Salient which protray a definite leaning towards the 'left' through the failure to print both sides of the stories, and through its failure to examine closely the information it receives and to question it thoroughly.
(The demand you make that we print both sides of the story will not be carried out. Firstly, you will be well aware that the other side of the story is propagated day and night by the New Zealand media. Secondly, we don't see it as a matter of there being two sides to a story but that there are two predominant ways of looking at a thing. It takes little commonsense to realise that two contradictory views cannot both be correct in their view of the situation so you must choose one view or the other. That is what Salient has done. We have not made our decision lightly, and our stand on Indochina is particularly well researched. If you would care to come into the office and go through our information. I am sure you will find the answers to all your questions — Ed.)