The world's ho-hum response to the Cambodian bloodbath reveals the horrifying subservience of morality to politics.
"Pigs, get out of Cambodia!" demand the red words sprayed on a concrete wall next to the student housing center at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. A passerby might think that the shrill demand referred to the Khmer Rouge, the zealous Marxist revolutionaries who have been feverishly ripping apart the social fabric of Cambodia with no regard for the human cost and who, according to a consensus of news reports, have already rung up the sum of over one million lives on the cash register of human currency. (This deliberate decimation of Cambodia's population should not be confused with the current armed struggle between Vietnam and Cambodia.) But as the phrase comes into clearer focus, its faded paint betrays it as a vestige of the student protests against the now-concluded American involvement in Indochina.
Further inspection of the campus discloses that energetic efforts are still being made to raise the political consciousness of the student body and faculty; fresh political posters and scribblings appear ubiquitously in hallways, in classrooms, on billboards, and on the sides of buildings, with condemnation of such regimes as those in Chile, Iran, and South Africa among the many themes. Nowhere are there to be seen any posters or scribblings protesting the genocide in Cambodia, however.
Far across the ocean in the United States at another major institution of higher learning—the University of California at Berkeley, which also has a reputation for political activity but where political sloganeering is more modestly posted—there is the same glaring absence in the visible signs and posters of any reference to the Cambodian tragedy. Oddly enough, both of these schools have been widely regarded as liberal and progressive and were hotbeds of protest against the killing in Indochina during the sixties.
Of course, indifference to the recent carnage in Cambodia has been the prevailing mood of the world in general and has not been limited to the campuses of these two universities. But it is especially troubling to have to note, as well, how lackadaisical the liberal community on the whole has been in its response to the Cambodia question, for it is this group that has been the most widely identified with the cause of human rights. Furthermore, it is the liberal community that at the present moment in the case of Chile, Rhodesia, and South Africa is expressing the greatest outrage over the abuse of human rights. Certainly, there is no comparison between the scorn and outrage it has heaped on the regimes in these countries and what it has accorded the Khmer Rouge. The question necessarily arises, then: Just what do the terms liberal and progressive mean if they do not indicate active, vocal compassion for such a severely brutalized people as the Cambodians?—a question that must trouble more than a few discriminating minds today.
The foreign secretary of Great Britain, David Owen, recently observed that "the world ought to be more concerned about what's going on in Cambodia," but, regrettably, he has not assumed any responsibility for generating such world concern. Nor have any other of the world's leading politicians, including two of the public figures most prominently identified with the cause of human rights, President Carter and his UN ambassador, Andrew Young. Henry Kissinger did report to the public twice on the atrocities in Cambodia. But as Ernest W. Lefever noted in a TV Guide article, "The Cambodian Blood Bath and the Great Silence": "It took two explicit atrocity reports by Secretary of State Kissinger to get the attention of the networks. His May 13, 1975 statement appeared in several papers. His June 24 report was noted briefly by TV and the papers, but it was not followed up by either."
Two individuals, John Barron and Anthony Paul, have responded passionately to the holocaust in Cambodia. In the Murder of a Gentle Land they have compiled evidence of the systematic elimination of over one million people and presented it to the world in the hope of generating a moral reaction to the carnage. (A condensation appears in the Feb. 1977 Reader's Digest.) Unfortunately, this crucial book has not had the impact on world opinion that it deserves. Indeed, a reviewer for the New York Times, Paul Grimes, was actually offended by the authors' entreaties for some kind of response. His review offers a glimpse of the moral incoherence that is so much a part of our times and has been such an important factor in generating a spiritual devaluation of the Cambodian tragedy.
Mr. Grimes begins by acknowledging the factual credibility of the information supplied in Murder of a Gentle Land.
Evidence abounds that for more than a million Cambodians the aftermath of the 1970-75 war in their country was worse than the fighting. Refugees have provided nightmarish accounts of harshness under Communism: starvation, forced movement of hundreds of thousands of people, and mass slaughter—much of which was indiscriminate and with little if any provocation. For the first time, much of this evidence has been combined in a book for Americans—a major undertaking—and the result is a book of importance.
But at this point, Grimes finds it necessary to express misgivings about this admitted "book of importance." What are these misgivings? Simply that the authors had added to their documentation certain "embellishments," including an "appeal for moral force."
It would have been a better book however, if the authors, two editors of Reader's Digest, had let their evidence stand alone, without embellishment by them.…
So what purports to be—and essentially is—a grinning [sic] documentary is tarnished by a needless, meaningless appeal for moral force.
It is tarnished by the propaganda implicit in the color of the book's cover and dust jacket—red. It is tarnished by the propagandistic language: "master" (page 188) and "pogrom" (page 191) to give two examples. It is tarnished by the title, "Murder of a Gentle Land"; what, indeed, is a "gentle land," and does the commitment of genocide necessarily mean that the perpetrators want to eliminate an entire country?
Yes, they have been brutal, but in their own way the Communists clearly wanted to rebuild Cambodia. In doing this, they felt a need to destroy first, and their methods were horrible. The stories (old by the refugees bring all this out, and there is no need for the authors to add to them.
Embellishment weakens, not strengthens, the book's credibility. The authors are to be censured for exhorting people, as they do in their preface, "to halt the ongoing annihilation of the Cambodian people and to spare the world a repetition of their tragedy."
May Mr. Grimes, just as the straw man in the Wizard of Oz, eventually find a heart, for at the present moment he evidently lacks one. To say that the book is "tarnished by propaganda" because the authors use the words master and pogrom and because the title includes the word murder! Woe, then, to anyone who would describe the brutalization of innocent people anywhere in the world if Mr. Grimes' standards are to prevail! Would it be "propaganda," for example, to describe Idi Amin of Uganda as a murderer, a tyrant, a fearful master? And was President Carter playing the role of "propagandist" not long ago when he said some rather unflattering things about Idi Amin? What are the Khmer Rouge if not "masters" of Cambodia? And what is a "pogrom"? According to Webster's, it is the "organized massacre of a helpless people, spec. such a massacre of Jews." While the term has been especially identified with the massacre of Jews, the implication is that it has acquired the meaning of massacre in general, as well, since pogrom is listed as a synonym for massacre.
Whatever the semantic objections, however, the point is that well over one million Cambodians have been mercilessly massacred, so why are the authors to be reproached for invoking such a descriptive image as pogrom? With regard to the title, Grimes can rightfully object, as it is true, that the entire physical body of Cambodia's population has not been put to death—only one-sixth of it has. But it is unfortunate that his imagination is so limited that he cannot conceive of the spiritual "murder" of a nation, and in this sense Cambodia has surely been murdered or at least disfigured beyond recognition. Perhaps this latter description of radical disfigurement would have tickled the sensibilities of Mr. Grimes to a happier reaction.
He is upset because the authors "appeal for moral force." "Just what do they expect the world to do," he asks, "given Cambodia's almost total self-isolation since the Communists took full control there in April 1975?" Well, it is possible that the world could do more than sit on its hands and, as it is informed about the murder of over one million people, act as if it were blind, deaf, and dumb. What Grimes apparently cannot see is that the authors are appealing to world opinion for an expression of indignation. Could it be possible that he does not understand the elementary fact that outrage is a powerful force in world affairs, that it is world opinion, for example, that has been playing such a powerful role in leading Rhodesia to accept the concept of one man-one vote?
Worldwide outrage over the genocide in Cambodia could generate enough pressure to force the United Nations to at least face the issue and possibly shame the Khmer Rouge into ceasing its brutality. It is one thing to commit a crime in secret, in the darkness; quite another to do so when all the eyes of the world are staring at you angrily. Mr. Grimes cannot seem to accept the elementary moral proposition that we—all of us who consider ourselves human beings—have a responsibility to express moral indignation and generate public pressure in every way that we can to halt the brutalization of innocent people, whoever and wherever they might be. For the authors to make an appeal for "moral force" is hardly an "embellishment" but a summons to the most humanly responsible behavior possible in the face of the monstrous cruelties that have been taking place in Cambodia.
In a Christmas article for the St. Anthony Messenger entitled "Personal Religion Is Not Enough," UN Ambassador Andrew Young made a number of observations about helping the downtrodden of the earth. If his words mean anything at all, then they also apply to the Cambodian holocaust. Diplomatic protests, widespread coverage in the media, a resolution before the UN General Assembly condemning the genocide, like the one recently condemning Chile (perhaps Ambassador Young could sponsor it)—are not these minimum responses to massive human tragedy? But how have we responded to this tragedy?
In his TV Guide article, Lefever discusses the failure of the media and world opinion to resoundingly condemn the genocide in Cambodia. For example, he points out:
…in the first 20 months following the "liberation" of Cambodia, the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows spent a total of four hours and 55 minutes covering Cambodia but only 7 percent on the blood-bath. The three shows combined gave one minute of news a month to the purge that in terms of relative population exceeded the slaughter of Hitler's and Stalin's concentration camps. The attentive viewer—able to watch only one channel at a time—received only twenty seconds a month from the medium American citizens rely on most for their news.
Equally appalling was the skeptical and even apologetic tone of most of the early stories. The May 8,1975 reporting was typical; ABC says blood-bath theory is widely believed by refugees; New York Times newsman Sydney Schanberg suggests Americans have stake in blood-bath theory. ABC and CBS report the Khmer troops are well disciplined.
The near absence of Cambodian blood-bath news on TV was not attributable to a lack of evidence. Among the 50,000 Cambodians who escaped, there are thousands of eyewitnesses. And some enterprising newsmen did interview them.
Lefever goes on to report that the American newspapers didn't perform quite as poorly as television news but that, of 63 stories examined, "it appears that only one hit page one, on Feb. 2, 1976, in the Washington Post. As on TV, only a few press stories carried the blood-bath story without misgivings or apology." He also notes that:
the blood-bath, the very essence of human-interest news—when carried at all—was treated more frequently in signed opinions and editorials than in the news columns. To their credit, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Wall Street Journal reported and condemned the blood-bath. On July 9,1975, The Times compared it to the "Soviet extermination of the Kulaks (and) the Gulag Archipelago." [Is this more propaganda, Mr. Grimes?] The Journal said: "The enormity of this kind of atrocity…is mind-numbing" and asked why the "weak outcry from the usual wellsprings of moral outrage around the world."
In its January 23, 1978, issue, with a cover article entitled "Horror in Cambodia," one of the two largest mass circulation news magazines in the United States, Newsweek, finally accorded the Cambodian tragedy the coverage it deserves—one year after the appearance of the condensation of Murder of a Gentle Land in the Reader's Digest and almost three years after Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's first atrocity report (May 13, 1975). Strangely enough, however, the article makes no mention of the work of Anthony Paul and John Barron. It is as if their extremely important book, which a year earlier had compiled the evidence of genocide (including an estimate of the extent of the carnage, which the Newsweek article did not provide) did not exist.
It is disturbing to have to note that, with all the evidence that has been available for such a long period of time, only belatedly did a major American news magazine decide to broadcast the news in no uncertain terms. What would have happened if Newsweek's front-page coverage had appeared a year earlier, in the same time frame as Murder of a Gentle Land? Certainly Newsweek had the same, if not better, opportunity and means to compile the information about the events in Cambodia that Anthony Paul and John Barron presented in their book.
IN THE NAME OF REVOLUTION
Notwithstanding this much-needed coverage by Newsweek, the "weak outcry from the usual wellsprings of moral outrage around the world" has been and remains very much a disturbing fact with which to reckon. The outcry has simply been too weak when juxtaposed to "the enormity of this kind of atrocity." Consider Newsweek's comment in an earlier issue, in reviewing the diary of Joseph Goebbels and in reference to his calls for the elimination of Jews, that "more than 30 years later, the world still shudders." But why hasn't the world been shuddering about Cambodians? Will it ever really shudder, or will it just shrug its shoulders? When will Ambassador Andrew Young bring the matter up in the United Nations? Or will the world's response be the same as it was during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, when Albert Camus depicted the nations of the world as ones "who would spare [the Hungarians] neither applause nor pious tears, but who would go back at once to their slippers by the fireside like a football crowd on a Sunday evening after a cup final"? That is the question.
The Wall Street Journal has suggested that "the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, even though they dwarf some other state crimes of our time…have attracted less attention because they are inflicted in the name of revolution." There is no doubt truth in this observation, for ever since the French Revolution the world has become conditioned to associate revolutions with the cause of human rights. The French Revolution, the two Hungarian revolutions of 1848 and 1956, and the American Revolution were all popular opposition to reactionary regimes. By 1918 revolution and human rights had become so identified in the public consciousness that in Russia, after the minority Bolshevik Party overthrew the democratically conceived Duma in the name of revolution, the policies of Lenin and Stalin were accorded considerable sympathy for quite some time in spite of the steady leaking out of horror stories.
Times have changed, however, and we should know better. Through the impact of the electronic mass media we live today in a "global village" of sorts, and there is too much information now readily available to evade the whole truth about such a self-styled revolutionary movement as the one in Cambodia. This information cannot be brushed aside as if it emerged from mere rumors, unconfirmed reports, and suspicions. And it is utterly impossible to equate the carnage in Cambodia with the deaths and executions resulting from revolutionary fighting and reprisals in such cases as the French and Hungarian revolutions. In Cambodia, for example, the entire population of the capital, Phnom Penh, including the sick and crippled, was driven into the jungle, where the people perished by the thousands. Only the most callous minds could remain indifferent to such atrocity merely because it was perpetrated in the name of revolution. Has world opinion been callous, then, in the case of Cambodia?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to evade the conclusion that it has been. It thus becomes tempting to offer up a few curses about a "fickle and feeble world opinion," the "futility of world opinion," the "hypocrisy of world opinion," and so on. Following this ventilation of anger, we can shrug our shoulders and return to the pressing problems of our immediate, personal lives. But in order to grasp the full implications of what has been the world's half-hearted response to the genocide in Cambodia, it is necessary to let this chilling truth sink in as well: the juxtaposition of the callous destruction of over one million human beings, with what has been the world's lackadaisical response, assumes such a frightening degree of moral incongruity that only such a term as spiritual horror can capture the essence of what has been taking place.
This "spiritual horror," which is restricted not only to the totalitarian empire but seems to be finding itself increasingly at home in the West, is nothing less than the devaluation of the vulnerable forms of human currency. In the end, it will be all forms. From the social and political standpoint, the currency of human life has historically always existed in denominations of unequal value. In the social scheme of things there have always been lives considered more readily expendable, of less value and significance, cheaper than other lives, with the slave and serf representing the lowest denominations of human currency. But Western civilization, partly under the influence of Christianity, has made remarkable progress in affirming the absolute worth of the individual life, to such a point that "equality" is the predominant social theme today. It comes as a special disappointment, then, to see the West, and the liberal community in particular, compose the music of world politics as if inequality were the leitmotif. If the Nazis could at one time speak of oestliche untermenschen ("Eastern subhumans") as they were gouging into the Balkans and the soft underbelly of the Soviet Union, we may as well speak now of "Cambodian untermenschen"; for they have counted for next to nothing and have played no role whatsoever in today's theater of the absurd that is known as world diplomacy.
Not long ago a scene took place at San Quentin Prison that was reminiscent of the many demonstrations of the sixties against American involvement in Indochina. It was a sunny day, August 23, 1977, a Monday, and they were gathered to protest once again against violence and brutality, against man's inhumanity to man. One of the well-known antiwar activists of the sixties, Joan Baez, was again playing a prominent role—singing, protesting, leading the faithful in refrains of "Kumbaya," and improvising such lyrics as "no more murder, Lord, kumbaya." And just as the antiwar activists had always maintained that their protest was motivated by profound revulsion to the killing of innocent people, so now in a similar spirit fresh moral outrage was once again directed against killing—only this time against those killings that were to take place in California as a result of the reinstated death penalty. And the protesters had every right to object to the prospect of more killing. Whether one agrees with them or not, their humanitarian motivations are admirable. But there was something lacking in spite of everything, in spite of the pretty voice of Joan Baez singing wistful refrains of "Kumbaya" and the sunny sky overhead; for somehow they forgot to make a plea for the killing to stop in Cambodia. Somehow Joan Baez, who had been so active before in protesting the killing in Indochina, could not improvise a refrain such as "no more genocide in Cambodia, Lord." It seems that the Cambodian question just slipped everybody's mind, just as it has slipped by most of the rest of the world.
Almost every day the selective reaction of world opinion and diplomacy to the brutalization of human beings indicates the differing esteem accorded certain denominations of human currency. When five terrorists were executed in Spain by Franco in 1975, the immediate reaction was one of outrage and condemnation. Newspapers all over the world expressed shock, ambassadors were withdrawn, and even the Pope publicly condemned the executions. It is logical to conclude that, in the eyes of many of the world's opinion leaders, the lives of the terrorists were extremely significant—in the language of currency, the denomination represented by these terrorists was highly esteemed. Yet when reports of Cambodian priests being executed found their way to the West, the Pope did not seize the occasion to condemn the Khmer Rouge; nor did world opinion. And just very recently, while thousands of political deviants were being executed in mainland China, there was no sign of protest anywhere. The only conclusion that can be drawn, therefore, is that in the theater of world politics the extinction of some lives is viewed as more reprehensible than that of others; some lives represent less valuable forms of human currency. It could be said that each Spanish terrorist (including the ones who at close range shot a police officer to death) represented to many eyes a gold sovereign, whereas every Cambodian murdered by the Khmer Rouge represented a plugged nickel.
Can any arguments be advanced to excuse public opinion at large for its indifference to the genocide in Cambodia—particularly the liberal community, since it has been so vocal in its support of human rights? There are three possibilities. One is that since the United States is no longer involved in Indochina as an "imperialistic presence," it is no longer necessary or proper for Americans and other activist groups in the West to concern themselves with the events there. Another is that since the borders of Cambodia have been sealed by the Communists, it has become too difficult to acquire reliable information about internal events and to influence the regime. And finally it may be argued that while, admittedly, many people were brutalized by the Khmer Rouge, the aim of creating a classless, agrarian society, liberated from the evil taints of Western capitalism, counterbalances the brutality. A corollary argument holds that it is a mistake to judge the terms of profound agrarian reform in Southeast Asia by the moral standards of the West.
But all three arguments fail. The first fails because so many individuals who view themselves as liberal and who are so viewed by the media don't hesitate to continue passionately condemning regimes with which the United States has nothing more to do. The most notable example recently of such a regime was the minority white government of Rhodesia, which was thoroughly ostracized by the West and repeatedly condemned by world opinion. Why, then, is the same intense and righteous indignation not demonstrated toward the Communist regime in Cambodia for its genocidal policies? Why is it that racism in Rhodesia has commanded more diplomatic attention and stirred more moral outrage among liberals than the wholesale slaughter of over one million people in Cambodia? In terms of human currency, is the denomination of Rhodesian black to be valued more than Cambodian yellow? And why doesn't the liberal community clamor for majority rule in Uganda as fervently as for Rhodesia? Or are blacks in Uganda not as worthy of majority rule as the blacks in Rhodesia? Is the deprivation of human rights for blacks somehow more acceptable at the hands of a black tyrant? Does the currency of life vary in value within Africa? Is the bullet from a black man's gun less lethal to its black victim than from the barrel of a white man's gun? Would having his tongue pulled out be less painful for a black victim at the hands of ldi Amin's goon squad than by white mercenaries? At the cashier's window of human rights, are only select denominations honored—Rhodesian black, but not Ugandan black or Cambodian yellow?
The second argument would absolve the liberal community of any responsibility to dramatize publicly the plight of Cambodia on the grounds that Cambodia has become a closed society, allowing no access to observers and journalists. Therefore, the argument runs, as disturbing as the reports are that have emerged about Cambodian atrocities via refugees, the information available is not sufficient to justify a major opinion campaign. But the response here must be that the information about the atrocities is in fact sufficient. As Mr. Grimes has noted, "Evidence abounds that for more than a million Cambodians the aftermath of the 1970-75 war in their country was worse than the fighting" (emphasis added). The problem is not any alleged sketchiness of evidence but the reluctance of the world to mount an intensive opinion campaign against the Khmer Rouge, even as the evidence of genocide is staring it in the face. World opinion remains a powerful moral weapon when it is roused to righteous indignation, and who else but liberals have proven themselves to be most successful in fueling the fires of world indignation—as they have so abundantly demonstrated during the American involvement in Indochina and in the cases of Chile, South Africa and Rhodesia.
The borders of Cambodia are not sealed so tightly that they prevent abundant evidence about genocide from leaking out; nor is the Khmer Rouge to be exempted from the wrath of world opinion merely because it has declared itself a closed society. In today's global village, the heat of world indignation can penetrate sealed borders, too; and is not the human and responsible course of action to bring as much heat as possible to bear on the cold-blooded, clammy grip that has been strangling the Cambodian people, so that it might be loosened a little? James Reston is one of the few commentators with a more or less liberal reputation who seems to understand this. Recently he wrote a moving column, "The Tragedy of Cambodia," in which he called on the United Nations and President Carter to make some kind of protest on behalf of the Cambodian people.
The last argument, which would see the genocide in Cambodia as a painful but inevitable and necessary step in transforming Cambodia into a classless and therefore just society, is nothing but a reflection of the totalitarian view that the end justifies whatever means. On its very own terms, this view stands condemned from any humane perspective. The genocide may be acknowledged, as in the case of Mao's China, where in the course of agrarian reform anywhere from 25 to 50 million lives were extinguished (depending on which estimates one chooses to believe), but the human cost is held to be an understandable step in a social evolution in which the results justify the means.
Apologists for this view are the bedfellows of the ideologues of the left, who reject humanity in its present state and can conceive of it only within the framework of a Marxist utopia. As Albert Camus observed, for them, man at the present moment, seen as floundering in the capitalistic social contract, is not truly human and will become so only when he is redeemed by the Marxist transformation of society. History has shown that the zealous adherents to this doctrine have deemed it an appropriate policy to burn as much human currency as necessary to ignite the transition to the new social order. Not only party cadres have aligned themselves with this policy, but as George Watson shows in an article in the British magazine Encounter, "The published evidence alone demonstrates that many Western intellectuals in the age of Stalin did believe in extermination, in the sense of wanting it to happen." Mr. Grimes' callousness in his review of Murder of a Gentle Land does not extend so far, but it is possible to catch a hint of sympathy for the view that the end mitigates vicious methods. "Yes they have been brutal," he admits, "but in their own way the Communists clearly wanted to rebuild Cambodia." The word but is significant here. Why but? And if there should be some Marxists here and there who feel impelled to shout indignantly that it is not fair to characterize them as the advocates or apologists for the easy expendability of human life, why has their silence with regard to Cambodia (as, indeed, with the Gulag Archipelago) been so deafening?
When there is an attempt to devalue a certain denomination of human currency, as there was with the Jews in Nazi Germany and the countless victims in the Gulag Archipelago, it is a profoundly tragic event. The only avenue left to somehow redeem this brutalization of human beings becomes to depress the collective consciousness of mankind with the honest account of what took place; so that through grief, outrage, and sadness, the sense of the costliness of their lives may be regained. Mourning and grief thus serve to preserve the sense of the high social value of every human life. But the truly frightening thing, the terrible thing, is to turn away from the distressing scene without being moved and without doing everything possible to help; for in this case the human devaluation is not counterbalanced by a costly social response. The result is that the significance of the victims' lives to the rest of humanity has been lost; a segment of mankind has been disenfranchised of its true worth. But the dehumanizing effect of such an attitude applies not only to those ignored; for those who refuse to answer the call to active compassion deaden the most important part of their humanity, their human hearts.
In a recent article, "What about Moral Sensibility?" Harvard psychiatrist Robert Coles, makes an interesting and relevant comment: "Now the psychohistorians tell us that Abraham Lincoln was depressed. Well he should have been, and a few more should have been who weren't.…It wouldn't be bad if we had a few more obsessions—those things we're all trying to get rid of—and if some of us begin to think it's important to sacrifice, to struggle, to be in conflict, to know pain, even the pain of others, and be moved to struggle on the behalf of others." What does it say about us, what does it do to us, if we ignore the plight of the Cambodian people?
Mr. Segesvary is employed by the Department of Defense to teach high school in Frankfurt. He is presently on a year's leave to study for a doctorate in German literature at Goethe University.
TOO LITTLE—AND TOO LATE
At long last—three years after Henry Kissinger's original reports on the Cambodian genocide—President Carter has acknowledged, and condemned, its existence. On April 21 Carter called the Cambodian regime "the worst violator of human rights in the world today." He also said that the US government supports "the growing international protests against this inhuman regime." In addition, the UN Human Rights Commission at long last called on the Cambodian government to respond to charges of human rights violations through a sub-commission scheduled to meet in August.
Media reaction since the Carter statement has been mixed. Most major papers covered the story—but none considered It front-page news. Three days later, when the House voted 388-0 to support the President's condemnation, only the New York Times even mentioned it, and in only a few lines. On the plus side, Jack Anderson devoted a series of columns to the Cambodian horror in May. And in a May 1 Time Essay on the TV docu-drama "Holocaust," Lance Morrow equated "the Khmer Rouge's homicidal administration of Cambodia" with Hitler's deathcamps.
Yet UN Ambassador Andrew Young still remains silent on Cambodia. He has made no speeches on the subject in the General Assembly, proposed no resolutions to the Security Council. All of which tends to confirm author Segesvary's thesis about the "devaluation" of certain denominations of "human currency," as far as the Carter administration is concerned.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Spiritual Horror".