A detailed, scholarly reassessment of developments in Cambodia
since December 25, 1978, when Vietnamese combat soldiers expelled
the ruthless Pol Pot regime. "Genocide by Proxy" is an account of a
country at war and of a people consigned to the role of pawn in
world politics. Michael Haas contends that Cambodia became an arena
for superpower conflict and thus could only find peace when the
superpowers extricated themselves from the country. In providing
perhaps the best explanation of the causes of the Cambodian
tragedy, Haas exposes the narcissism that reigns when one state
forces another to be its pawn. Haas' analysis entails a study in
comparative foreign policies, an exercise that has theoretical
merit for political scientists in search of paradigms of political
behavior. Challenging the conventional view of Vietnam as the
aggressor, this volume vindicates VietnaM's role in the Cambodian
conflict, while at the same time revealing the treachery of U.S.
foreign policy toward Cambodia. Much of the information in the book
is based on Haas' own interviews with more than 100 key
international figures and on primary documents.
In an introductory chapter devoted to the basic facts of how
genocide by proxy began, Haas sets forth the history of Pol Pot's
rise and fall. The first three parts of the book, which deal with
proxy war, proxy peace, and deproxification, are related in the
style of the film Rashomon and detail how each country perceived
events and framed policies to use the conflict for its own ends.
The final chapter suggests an alternative to this world of
superpower chess games. The two appendices contain records of
voting in the United Nations on Cambodia. "Genocide by Proxy"
provides a truly fresh assessment of Cambodia that will prove
invaluable in courses in Asian studies, international relations,
and peace research.
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