There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Thu, 05 Jul 2018 10:00
In Part Two of Episode 10, Robert is joined again by comedian Caitlin Gill and they continue to discuss the life of the crazy King of Cambodia who made terrible movies and influenced Pol Pot to do terrible things.
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Peace to the planet. I go by the name of Charlemagne the God, and this summer I'm bringing my show back to Comedy Central with a new title and a new podcast. It's called hell of a week. But don't worry, every Friday I'll be keeping that same, calling out the ******** energy, and I'll have some of the biggest names in comedy, politics and entertainment with me. So if the news is terrorizing your timeline and causing your anxiety to rise high and gas prices, don't worry, we got you. Listen to hell of a week with charlamagne the God on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm dua lipa. And I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast tulipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Ebony K Williams, host of Holden Court, and I'm so excited to announce that Holden Court has a brand new home at interval presents. That's right, we're back and better than ever. Season 2 is here and we're bringing you the same in-depth legal analysis and cultural commentary that you know and love. Listen to Holden Court on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. So y'all, let's hold court. Hello friends. I'm Robert Evans, and this is behind the ******** the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in all of history. This is part two of our episode on Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the man who made Pol Pot possible, which I am very proud of myself for saying properly. My guest, as with the last episode, is Caitlin Gill. That is a comedian, writer, and possibly third gunman on the grassy Knoll. There's no way to prove that one. Why did you human cause? It's weird that. Speaking of the 1960s, Prince Norodom Sihanouk starts the 1960s as president and head of State for Life of Cambodia. He has purged the left wing in his own country, the Democratic Party, who threatened to overwhelm Cambodia with moderate liberal votes. So he's he's gotten rid of those guys and he's down in charge. And Sihanouk, let's get into his personality a little bit, because he's the sort of monarch who thinks being king should be a good time. He throws ridiculous, gigantic parties, and he would often help. Cook the meals. He was a gourmet cook, really good at at throwing foods together. He also liked to provide most of the entertainment. One of his relatives at the time described him as quote, an artist lost in politics. An Australian diplomat who met him in 1959 said Sihanouk was one of the few people I have ever encountered who deserves to be described as charismatic. On an individual basis he radiated charm, and for Cambodians in particular he had a striking capacity to enthrall a crowd, for good or ill. The king was famous for performing elaborate song and dance numbers. His parties, including one reported double act with the Indonesian dictator Sukarno. So Oh my God, wouldn't you want to see that? Can you *******. Oh, man. Oh, man. Have you ever seen the movie White Christmas? Yeah. You know that song that the the two ladies do? Yeah, sisters. That they have devoted sisters. And then I imagine it being that with these two guys who have, like, millions of deaths on their hand. Yeah, it's just it's just fun to think about. So I contain multitudes. People are amazing. He's also in a jazz band. Like Bill, like Bill Clinton. He was not on our scenario, but he probably could have been. Betty would have charmed he. I bet he would have ******* killed him. Yeah, absolutely. Here's another quote from that Australian diplomat at a Suarez dansante, which I'm going to guess is a dance party I was lucky to attend at around 1:30 AM. And after the king and Queen had left, he, the Prince, beamed at the rest of us and said, well, their majesties have gone and I suppose the rest of you can go now too, but I am going to play until dawn and I do hope you will stay. And of course we all did. So he's ******* charming. He's great at playing like and that that's the thing. Like you hear about a dictator who makes everyone listen to his music, and you. Boom. It would be a nightmare, but every report is that he was actually a really talented musician and great at entertaining people and a great cook, so he's like the guy you want to party with. He's just also made himself absolute ruler of his country through Max executions and violence. But yeah, but he's a charming guy and his art wasn't limited to weird dances with other dictators. He also produced and starred in dozens of movies. So director, President, Prince, Sienna. Got his start in the 1940s when he made two films called Tarzan among the Koi and double crime on the Maginot Line, which is a solid name. Both of those are strong. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. He's great. At titles from 1960 to 70, he produced 21 films, including nine documentaries, which is a pretty incredible rate for a guy who's also the Prince and the president. Yeah. So these were not just show products like the North Korean film industry with the king gets credit, but really other people do all the work. He seems to have spent substantially more. I'm making movies and actually running his country. He writes and directs almost all of his movies, and he stars in something like half of them. So yeah, real triple threat. We're up to like eight types of threats. So many threats. I found a paper from the University of Leeds that analyzed his filmography. I think he made over 50 films by the time he died, and it argues that he used movies as a way to communicate directly with the peasant masses. So Donald Trump has Twitter Prince, President Sihanouk had a weird *** movies quote from that University of Leeds paper. Sienna took the starring role in his films. Depicting as many fictional characters as he had official roles throughout his political life, this enabled Sihanouk to inhabit multiple roles and personas while still maintaining the integrity of the monarch. So the points made in his movies are not subtle. In 1967, he was having a spat with the Americans who wanted Cambodia to stop it, with all their damn neutrality, and who had tried to have him killed a couple of times. Yeah, the CIA was never good at that part of their job. It's harder than it looks. It is harder than it looks. We'll give the CIA credit. He was also having major domestic troubles. He nationalized all trade and all of the banks, which caused a bunch of people to just smuggle their rights to Vietnam, where they get more money for it anyway and could avoid giving the king a cut. When the king realized what was going on, he sent in the army to force the peasants to sell their rights to him at the price he'd set. This did not make the peasants happy, and at a place called Sam Lau they revolted. The king ordered mass beheadings and something like 10,000 people were dead by the time it was all over. This was bad for the King's image, as you might imagine, so he decided to make a movie, shadows of her anchor, where he plays a heroic Admiral who discovers an international plot to overthrow Cambodia's government. At one point he winds up with the American ambassador, played by his wife. He takes her on a walk and explains how hard it is to be king of Cambodia. They bond over this and fall in love, but then she gets sent away from Cambodia because the US is mean. It's sad, right? Yeah, that's pretty sad. You can really feel the the tragedy. If I saw that, I would forget the death of my uncle and nephew I saw dangling from the hillside that they were hung from. He cut my family's heads off, but I really believe him when he looks into the eyes of his wife playing an American diplomat. Yeah, yeah, I'm feeling that. She's got those bedroom eyes. He does have those bedroom eyes. We'll put some pictures of those up on the website. He's a handsome man, so a number of his films followed the same basic pattern. The King and his wife playing basically the king and some broad go to Ankor Watt and the king gives a monologue. Sanok was able to spend so much time directing because he effectively outsourced all the hard work to the elected officials of Cambodia. So when **** would go bad, rather than take the blame himself, he just scream at some of the Democrats in office and maybe throw a few of them in jail. So there were still some liberals and left wingers. And his political party that he kept there so that whenever anything went bad, like when he massacred 10,000 peasants, he could have them arrested and be like, it was these guys, these guys ****** **. Yeah. I mean, there's never been another politician who's kept a bunch of people around him just so he could fire them to deflect blame from his. No, no, no, no, no. I feel like, yeah, trailblazer. And then when he needed violent deeds done, he would have the Conservatives do it. And then he would fire them after they massacred too many people. So he's, he's really, like, making the most out of democracy. He's dancing, just doing exactly what he wants and firing whoever he has to fire when people get angry at him for what he's doing. So this story from 1957 is kind of typical the way he liked to play local politics. This is a quote from that book, anatomy of Terror. In August 1957 he summoned the leaders of the Democratic Party, whose continued existence afforded a kind of vicarious protection for all of the left wing views, to debate at the Royal Palace before an audience packed with his own supporters, which was broadcast over loud speakers to a crowd of several 1000 outside as they left. After five hours of public humiliation, they were dragged from their cars and beaten with rifle butts by palace guards. So this is Prince President, Director King as it sounds like a director I've been on set. There's a little bit of UVA bowl in him as the 60 startup the Vietnam War does what the Vietnam War did, and suddenly both the US and Vietnam are asking more of Prince Sihanouk. He works at a great solution though, with the Vietnamese can hide whole armies in his country and the US can bomb them. At the same time. He manages to sort of keep a lid on things and dance from fire to fire while making 10s of movies until January of 1968 when the communists launched the start of a Revolutionary War. This prompts Sihanouk to bring back one of those right wing politicians he previously fired, a guy named Law Knoll. So LON Noel calls in the Air Force to bomb rebel areas and cut off their food supplies. Rural citizens are resettled on mass to cut off any source of supply to the communists. See, Hannah starts handing out bounties to his soldiers for every rebel they kill. This backfires because the King soldiers to start decapitating anybody. Yeah, he says. I'll give you a bounty for every head of every rebel you bring me. So they just start decapitating random villagers and bring them in for quick cash. So? Maybe the king could have thought that went out better, but he was busy making his magnum opus, a film called Twilight. Yeah, now this twilight is not about a teenage girl and a vampire pedophile. This twilight is the love story of a Prince, played by the Prince who hosts an Indian Princess played by his wife. He falls in love with her. And the main conflict comes from the fact that the Prince's nurse is also in love with him. Yeah, it's rough. I I found a review of it online with letterbox D this website by by someone named Matt Key, who gave it three stars. Yeah. Interesting. Not too long film. It's a simple drama. About an elderly Prince who falls in love with a guest. Because of this, her nurse, who has been in love with him for years, begins to feel jealous. It features a demonstration of nationalist propaganda in the middle that doesn't add up to the plot. The three stars was generous, and that's what I'm going to say. I told you before the Kings movies had a way of sending subtle messages to his people. The message of this one was I love you no matter how brutal my murder campaign looks, so he's gaslighting his whole country through film, which is amazing. During the movie The Prince realizes he has to dump both women like he can't. He can't be with either woman who loves him because his duties to his country. So there's this monologue at Angkor Wat, and here the Prince tells the Princess about another king of Cambodia who who quote. Offered the illness of his subjects more than his own, and that their pain was the pain of the king. He was. Yeah, yeah. He's really feeling each and every decapitation. Yeah, every decapitation of a peasant is a decapitation of his heart. Yeah, definitely. Anyway, he awards himself an Oscar for this film. Shoot for the ego. He's he's always aiming high, so this plays great for the peasants out in the country. But the educated, middle class people in Nam Pen have access to Hollywood movies. They recognize this stuff is garbage, and they regularly cursed their president Prince for quote his damn film shows and endless radio speeches. Some conservatives were also angry that Prince Sahana could kind of, sort of maybe turn Cambodia from a country with almost no communists to a country that was full of them. One of the things that the the book Pol Pot points out is that there's a word in the Khmer language. The word for terrain for like to be the king of a country translates literally as to eat the Kingdom, which is more or less what Sihanouk does. So his mom and his consort and his relatives are all incredibly corrupt, and they're all grafting the country for shitloads of money, and the whole country basically runs on graft and bribery. Under Sihanouk there's no real rule of law for people connected in any way to the royal family. He recognizes that the corruption is going to bring him down as early as 1962, but he doesn't do anything. About it. Instead he does stuff like spend 1/5 of the yearly budget preparing for the Southeast Asian Games which are supposed to be held in the capital. The games got cancelled anyway due to what Wikipedia calls unsettling circumstances and country like all of the civil war that, yeah, like all the heads in the rivers, the children in the exactly. So thanks to the Kings reforms, he done a great job of reforming education. So hundreds of thousands of people now had educations in Cambodia, but the only jobs available to them were positions. In the Royal ministry, basically squeezing peasants for the government. So he wound up with 100 unemployed students for every actual job and a peasant class who are being shafted off their farms by the corrupt government. So he's ****** *** all of the peasants by taking away their source of livelihood, and he's created a vast class of hundreds of thousands of educated kids with no jobs. Oops. How do you think that ends, slaves? I'm sorry, I just. I'm going to keep coming back to that. It's amazing. That's the last week, everybody. Uh, so the President Prince grows increasingly brutal as resistance to his reign intensifies. He turned to a series of bloody PR stunts in order to distract the populace from his his rampant corruption, the fact that living standards had fallen for everybody, and the fact that a tiny amount of the country is getting ridiculously wealthy while most of the country suffers and starves. In the 1960s, his security forces, quote UN quote, turn a captured young member of the Vietnam cell. They have him go to the US embassy and ask the Americans for help. Assassinating the Prince. Obviously the Americans turned him into the police because they're not dumb. But it made for big, flashy news story that's implicates the Americans, the Communists, and the Vietnamese. This is all to distract from, you know, the fact that the war isn't going super well and that he's he's massacring people. The captured Vietnamese kid who'd been told he'd be released if he cooperated, wasn't said executed on the prince's orders. So he's a great guy. He regularly referred to Cambodia during the 60s as an Oasis of peace. Foreigners at the time remember Cambodia as a paradise. Excess and tropical splendor. This was all true if you never left the capital and were white or rich. But things were bad outside the city and they rapidly got worse after 1968. So like I said, the Communists who are known as the Khmer Rouge now, which is a nickname actually the King came up with for them, launched their revolution in 1968. It gets really bloody and satanic is forced to seed more and more, controlled the Conservatives so that they can fight. The entire world was turning over in 1968. You had student revolutions in France and Mexico there. Nobody was looking like it was a good time. You wanted to turn things over to do it really fast and hard because it was happening kind of everywhere. Yeah. And that's his hope that he can turn over power for a little while. It just seems like you have like 191919451968 and then like 2012 where everything flips over on these kind of predictable every 34 year clocks. And that was just one of those years. Yeah, exactly. So things, you know, after 68 start to go worse and worse for him and he gives more and more power to the Conservatives so that they can fight this war against the communists. There's no longer any kind of a left wing in Cambodian politics because by the late 60s he'd had most of them executed, imprisoned or exiled in various fits of rage. So he'd used them as scapegoats until there were no goats left to escape. So now the only people left are the Communists out in the jungle and the right wing and the Prince at home. And as the right gains power, they start to get more uppity. So, you know, the right. They sort of like the king at first, but he doesn't prove to be super competent, and they can see that his family is basically squirreling away all the country's wealth. And he's letting the communists take over. So, yeah, the right wing is not a big fan of him. So the king, he's also been blaming them for stuff, and he's been blaming them for stuff and firing their elected leaders every time they do what he tells them and keeping leftists around for his own purposes, which, you know, has to bother a true believer who's more conservative. Exactly. So he's not doing great right now. This is like that moment during the movie where, like, you know, our heroes at his lowest point. Yeah, we're at the end of the second act here. Exactly. But I do want you to know. When our President, Prince, Director King, is at his lowest point, he does have his best friend at his side. And you want to guess who his best friend is? A tub of ice cream? Kim I'll sung. OK, yeah. Dictator of North Korea, father of Kim Jong-il. The pair met in 1965 at a conference hosted by Sukarno, the leader of Indonesia. According to an article from the World Tribune, the Indonesian leader put them both in adjoining rooms because he thought they might be buddies. That is so funny. And one dictator looks at two other dictators and is like. You know who you should you guys are gonna be friends. I'm gonna do a little Cupid thing here, and I'm gonna shoot my arrow. And it works. And missile. And it works. For 30 years, they're the best buddies. Does Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, and that would be a great pair to have play them in the movie about this. I mean, that's technically white. That's definitely whitewash is a filmmaker. He made a film called Blazing Saddles, but it was just putting a peasant on a horse that was actually on fire. So it's a little rough. It's it's not the same three stars, though. Any of the three stars. Solid, solid, though the propaganda reel in the middle is a little bit weird. Push the plot forward. But yeah, so despite being a pair of polar opposites, because Kim I'll sung is kind of a kind of a quieter, more introspective sort of dude. He's not really much for talking to the press or performing in front of people, and obviously Seahawks, you know, an extrovert, but they despite this, they get along there. The Kimmel song gives the Prince a giant mansion compound in North Korea, and they hung out regularly for 30 years. Prince Sihanouk always called him my best friend, the great leader, but even with his friends at his back, by the late 60s, things are starting to get really bad. Cambodia Cnex government is ordering mass executions and purging villages every day. At one point after ordering 200 dissidents murdered, CNOOC said. I do not care if I am sent to hell, I will submit the relevant documents to the devil himself. The prince's iron fisted repression of any dissent did more to encourage the Camere Rouge than it did to scare them. So basically he's doing things like having captured rebels separate heads displayed in like the centers of towns, and putting photographs of like piles of their heads and the camera language press he's having. Mer Rouge cadres disemboweled by government soldiers, their mass executing leftists. In one incident near the capital, troops take two children who are alleged to be messengers for the Khmer Rouge and cut their heads off with jagged palm tree fronds, which I didn't know you could do with palm tree fronds. One of those ever hit your car, it'll dent it and it'll cut a kids head off hard enough, yeah, so even people on the right wing start to complain about how ******* brutal the army is getting. Cnnic tells these people who complain on the right that he'll send them to the next World. They keep complaining, so he's basically threatening everybody now, because that's kind of always been his only tactic. But now there's not that many people left to threaten. So up until this point he had been very prophetic in saying the US involvement in Vietnam is doomed. He'd been making his foreign policy calculations based on that. This is why he kept friendly with Vietnam and China. But in 1968 the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive and the US beats them badly. In America, the Ted Offensive is seen as proof that the war is a quagmire, but Prince Sihanouk saw it as a huge win. For America. So he now thinks that the US is in it for the long haul, which if you're ever basing your policies off the US being in anything for the long haul, you are not making the right decision. I don't know, in military conflict. I mean, that's why we still have the longest wars going on. Yeah, but that's only long by our standards. Fair. Not long by going to leave like we did in Iraq. Did we? Did we. We had to come back, yes. But it didn't go well for the people who trusted us. That's where this story started, with the French trying to prop up the Cambodian dictator to preserve their own interests. And we have been doing the same because when I learned from history when we can just do it again. Yeah. Yeah. No. If there's one, like summary of American history, it's we don't learn things. That is that is our national motto in terms of intervention at least. So we're going to get back to. Prince sihanouk's. Big mistake and spoiler alert, a coup. Ohhh yeah, everybody loves a good old fashioned COO. But first, grab you a pile of coins and credit cards. Sell me something products. I want to build a website on a mattress. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. 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Boy, those ads were great. There was some quality, address, so many products, and they were. Now we're talking about Cambodia again, and Prince Sihanouk. So Prince Sihanouk basically changes his calculus after the Tet Offensive, and it's like, no, I think the US is in this for the long haul, and maybe they are a reliable country to be allied with. Never a good decision. So he starts trying to Curry favor with the Americans. He gets his chance in March of 1969, when President Nixon orders the US Air Force to start bombing Cambodia to get at the Vietnamese troops hiding there. The Prince doesn't make a fuss. And since these are meant to be secret bombing raids, the fact that he obliges means that Nixon gets to bomb Cambodia 3000 times without, you know, making a big fuss about it. So Nixon being a good quid pro quo guy extends Cambodia, final recognition of her borders as her award. So that's a sweet trade. Yeah. So you would let America bomb your country 3000 times for recognition of your borders, right? Yeah, totally. I guess you could bomb my guest room if I got to define my fence line. You know why not? Well, I would in the House if I was willing to let it get bombed. That's where the rebels saying that's how you get the good ****. Still let part of it get destroyed. So you get rewarded somehow. Yeah. That always works. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm just jealous of you for having a guest room. No, I don't have a guest room. On. Speaking proverbially about a fake house isn't a metaphor for Cambodia being. Elsewhere, you destroyed part of your own home so you could keep a bigger part of it, never mind leave my analogy behind. I'm still jealous. So obviously this bombing ****** off a lot of Cambodians. And it also hurts the Prince among the Cambodian right wing because they wanted to work with the US to exterminate the communists from the beginning, so they saw this as the Prince admitting that he'd been wrong to turn down America before. So the book poll pot, the anatomy of Terror basically says that this was the point when the Princess strategies finally failed him. He'd wiped out the left wing of his own party, so he couldn't throw them under the bus. Instead, he took the hits and saw his power erode. Parliament refused to drop a corruption inquiry involving a member of his entourage, and he wound up losing face in public, which is a big deal in that part of the world. So in addition to all this, the Prince is trying to figure out how to balance the budget. Rampant corruption and a war had not been kind to Cambodia's finances. Fortunately, he found a quick, easy fix. I'm going to guess what it is. Slaves, man you are. You keep calling slaves. Not yet. It's gamble. Dang it. Gambling, sweet lady. Gambling. So princely. Hannock sells gambling licenses to two casinos for a fee of 80 million francs per year each. This made-up a huge chunk of the budget shortfall and was exactly the wrong thing to do while fighting a civil war against communists who claim that you're letting the elite suck poor people dry. Yeah. So here's a quote from that book, the Anatomy of Terror. Non pin was soon. Live with stories of people committing suicide after losing their life savings. Business activity slumped as factory owners, government officials, shopkeepers, and laborers spent their days and nights quoting ruin at the betting tables. So the right wing takes all of this as evidence that the Prince should not be in power anymore. They start stripping away the things he controls over the next year, boxing him out of decisions and over ruling him. He becomes openly hostile to the parliament. At one point he makes fun of the right wing leader LON Knoll for being out of the country while he was receiving major surgery in Switzerland immediately after making fun of law. All through this, Prince Hannah goes on vacation for a few months in the Mediterranean Europe. Yep, yeah, he goes to fat camp. No, this was a strategy of his when things got hot politically, he would just leave and go to fat camp or go on vacation for a couple of months. And if things got better when he was away, then, hey, things were better. And if they got worse, then he would just blame whoever was in charge while he was away. He hadn't been here, so it wasn't his fault. But this time, while he's away, Parliament votes to withdraw confidence from the Prince and demand that he relinquished his office as head of state. So in March of 1970, while he's ******* around in Europe, he gets cooled out of power now. At this point, he had a number of options. He did have a palace on the French Riviera. He could have just retired, flown there and, you know, hung out between there and with his homeboy Kim Il Sung and just kind of enjoyed life. Or he could try to get back into power. He just chills, right. He just kicks it at the French Riviera. No, he decides that he still wants to be the king of, well, the Prince of Cambodia. He he still wants to be, you know, he wants revenge. Actually, he's kind of more what he's going for because he does not decide to fly back. And fight, you know, in the city, you know at the ballot box to try to to regain his position from the people who overthrown him. He brokers or gets a meeting set up between himself and the cameras rouges, and he agrees that he will support them now if they will back him as being the head of state once they take power. So the king who has spent most of the last decade fighting the Communists is now supporting the communists and is a king that is the figurehead of a communist revolution trying to overthrow. The country of Cambodia. Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance. So he has, he has really just kept swinging around here. So what's interesting to me about this is that at no point does he think he's going to actually be in real power again. The king knows from the get go that the Communists aren't going to let him actually rule the country. He's going to be a figurehead and he's like he's open about the fact they're going to spit him out as soon as they're done with him. So he backs his former enemies not because he's going to get to be in charge again, but because **** the right wing for throwing him out of power. It's just about spite. I love it. So petty. Yeah. Back in Cambodia at the right wing is finding out that kicking the Prince out was not necessarily a great move, because while he had lost the support of the people in the cities, the peasants don't know how to deal with the fact that the Prince who was to them still the king had been fired. One Catholic missionary at the time recalls being asked, how shall we tend our rice paddies now that the king is not here to make it rain? So maybe not a great decision on behalf of the Cambodian right wing. Although if you're them, what do you do with this? ******* guy, yeah, yeah. There's no win for anybody but this ******* guy. Exactly. So the popularity of the cameras rouges explodes now that they've got Cnoc as a figurehead. A writer from The New Yorker at the time noted his name, became the Camere Rouge's greatest recruitment tool, and the most extreme communist movement in history swept to power on royal coat tails. The Civil war lasted five years and killed at least half a million people, so it's on par with the Syrian civil war in terms of Bloodiness already and in a in a shorter period of time. It had been bad before, but the coup ramped things up to nightmare dimensions kind of warfare. That's killing so many people because there's not. This isn't like, it wasn't like there were twenty million soldiers. I really recommend giving a read to the book, Pull Pot, the anatomy of A nightmare, because he talks a lot about, culture, but basically things are very black and white and sort of the the cultural view on good and evil. So there's not like in Maoist China, when they would, when the Communists won, there were people who were executed. But more often than not they try to sort of reform people and make them get them to work with in the new system. They don't really do that here. Well it's like a take no prisoners thing. Exactly. Is this like straight up machete to body or is this, are there chemical weapons? Are there because there's bombs in the country that have been traveling to and fro. There's so many peoples weapons, their own weapons that you're making. So we drop something like I had this written down somewhere before, but we dropped almost as many bombs as we dropped on Europe and World War Two on the US does just on Cambodia during this. So that's a big part of it and there's. Stories from like American military planners at the time, who they would have, you know, they had B50 twos flying over the country. And they would have like a map of Cambodia that laid out where all the villages they knew existed were. And they would have this little box that they would place on the map that would show this is what 1B52 will destroy. And it's noted that, like, you can't put them anywhere on the map without hitting villages. So the bombing wipes out hundreds of thousands of people. And in general, just the war, it's unspeakably brutal. So there's both uprisings that are suppressed by soldiers massacring. People the cameras rouges passed after, like 1973, start massacring people too, like at the beginning of the war there, yeah, it just turns into madness. This is like people dying in all of these fights happening, because there are several wars bubbling in Cambodia at this time, and the Prince had kind of established the precedent of massacring the communist anywhere you found them. There was never any sort of reform or just putting people in jail or whatever it was. We capture them, we massacre them in public. And so that kind of raised the stakes. For everybody. And it it just turned into a ******* bloodbath. There's a number of stories of people having their livers cut out and eaten in front of crowds because that becomes a thing, or had been a thing for a while, but it like. Especially becomes the thing. Now the liver is mysterious and powerful organ. Yeah, exactly. And it's it's mystical power. It's unbelievably brutal. And it's made worse by the fact that a lot of the Khmer Rouge soldiers are like peasants who before the war had started, had, like, didn't have electricity and like didn't use money and just lived like a peaceful pastoral life. And then fire starts falling from the sky and they blame it all on the people in the ******* cities who are the center of the government forces. And so it's it's horrible. The war is horrible. That is a civil war. Eventually the government loses, the Khmers Rouges win, and the Prince is back in his Kingdom. He had succeeded in creating the conditions for and then bringing to power the most radical, unhinged communists in world history. So we'll do a whole podcast in the camera Rouge at some point. But to give you an idea of how nuts things are from the get go, like the first big thing they do when they're in power is make everybody leave the cities like the non pin. The capital had swelled like 2.2 million people by the time they took over, mostly from like. Rural people fleeing in the wake of this war to try to get somewhere safe. So they take all of these city people and all the people who lived in towns, people who are like middle class factory workers, people who were educated people. All those people they make leave the city and March out into the country and start farming. So the death toll from the Khmer Rouge is usually put anywhere between 1.5 million to 3 1/2 million at most. Half a million to a million of those were executions from the government. To actually pull pot in his cronies, saying we need to kill these people and these people, they did a lot of that. But the vast majority of people who died just starved to death. Not because they were trying to starve people to death, but because they just had no idea what they were doing. And had these crazy theories about what would make the country most productive that we could make Cambodia into. Like this engine of agricultural production. If we throw everyone out of the cities and make them farm. And there's stories of them like taking a bunch of former diplomats and stuff and making them like try to grow crops in a basketball court. Like it's it's it's ******* batshit crazy. But these people only get into power because the King first took his country from a place where there was no sort of foothold for the communists, and did everything that you'd want to do to encourage the movement. And then backed them and help them recruit an army so that they could take over the country just for his own petty sunbridge the movement. And then backed them and helped them recruit an army so that they could take over the country just for his own petty. To vengeance so. It's a nightmare. It's possible that as many as three and a half million out of a population of seven million Cambodians died. It's probably the highest proportion of the country ever murdered by their own government. Yeah. When you asked me at the top of the last episode what I knew about this year in history, it's like it's it's hard to jump in cold and be like, well, isn't that where half of a country died? That's what we're talking about, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Killed, like, intellectual, but it was more of a like, anyone who just disagreed with them thing. Yeah. Yeah. OK OK. Well, it wasn't like, that's not even the like, that's what gets like. That's a thing that they killed a lot of intellectuals, but most of the deaths are, again, just because they had no idea what they were. Doing with all that like it was people who. And and like some of it, like it, well, also when you do end up killing your intellectuals, whether or not it's because they are intellectual, because they disagree with you, it is difficult to make new plans. Yeah, it's difficult to to make things work. They do stuff like try to make everybody eat their meals communally in order to encourage a lot of it. Like they make it illegal to hunt and to forage for food. So, like, people starve even more. It's just a nightmare. And it it's like the the last people who should be in charge of a country wind up in charge of a country, but this whole time. The Prince is is writing out his time in a mansion. You know, he's not given any real power and he's not allowed to leave, so he's kind of on house arrest. But in a sick house he has it hard too, and he complains during this time that he regularly is not given enough bananas to make bananas foster. So everyone is suffering in Cambodia right now is the point. OK? The suffering of people. You only need one bananas foster is just a basically banana flame, but you can do one banana. What if you want to cook a lot of bananas foster? Too bad you get one banana. I'm just saying he's suffering as I'm feeling his pain. He's suffering a lot too. You know, one of the things that the Khmer Rouge did at this point in time was because there was a blood shortage, they would suck the blood out of living people until they died. But the king is suffering too. OK, so the Khmer Rouge is in power for 3 1/2 years before they provoke an invasion from Vietnam. The Vietnamese invasion goes well in terms of kicking the Khmer Rouge out of power because they're not great at defending the country. But the occupation turns into a long, bloody ordeal, and if they're like basically the whole 80s, it's vietnams. Vietnam, only, unlike the US, they arguably won because the government that they sort of backed and set up is pretty much still in power today. Seeing up backs the new government, you know, he eventually escapes the camera Rouge. He backs the new government, which quickly turns into a dictatorship which CNX spends the rest of his life complaining about because they very effectively managed to sideline him from any real power and take away all his bananas and take away all his bananas. And 2005 he started a blog so that he could complain about corruption. No, that ***** had a blog. That ***** had a blog. I already did not like him. He had a blog, like a live journal or some **** 2005. It's on his personal website, and it's from long enough ago that the the news coverage refers to it as a web blog. You might say that the Prince was insulated from most of the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime that he helped bring to power. But in 1992, he makes a movie about a love triangle in a hospital filled with land mine victims. So he Oh my God, he clearly understood some of the ****. Yeah. So yeah, in 2000, you imagine being like a background actor, like in the Princess movie. Like you just get your background actor, you get paid whatever, you get paid a day to go sit in the back of a set, and that day it happens to be the Princess set. Yeah. And you have to go pretend to be a bomb victim. Well, no, you're not pretending. Yeah, he probably. You're right. You're playing, you know. Yeah. You're probably a bomb victim. You're right. It's true. Because half the population died, and that does not account the wounded who survived. Yeah. So there's a huge community of people who are limbless and would be excellent extras. Yeah. For such a, you know, I'll say it right now, it's an easy gig to be the casting director in that movie. Yeah. You know, you're not going to have to look as hard as you probably should that you just walk down the street and you're looking for someone who can't walk. Down the street and your job is done. Oh boy. So here's how the website Genocide Watch, who wrote about the Prince's blog, described it. He posts sharp opinions on what he considers the deplorable state of Cambodian society and politics, highlighting corruption, deforestation, and injustice. As often as not, he blames Hun Sen, who's the guy he initially backed into power in a diplomatically indirect manner that does little to disguise his target. So the Prince continued to direct movies through until the early 2000s. In 1997, this man who previously had had thousands of people beheaded. Directed and wrote a movie called Apostle of Nonviolence. I found a plot synopsis. A Buddhist monk preaches nonviolence and forgiveness to rural villagers, rebels, and national Army soldiers in their recent civil war. After the rebels destroy a village, the monk enlists the help of a government official who sends troops to attack the rebels. So even his movie about nonviolence, he's sending troops into attack the rebels. He's a piece of work. Yeah. It's impressive. Yeah. His last four movies were released in 2006. I'm going to read their titles in order. Commander of the Royal Order of Kardong. Which, fine, four wives are not such fun. Oh man, I just pictured like Steve Martin and Queen Latifah on the cover of that one for some reason. How did you guess the cast? Who doesn't have a mistress? And then Miss Ascena, which I'm guessing is about his mistress? I don't know. He died. Does his wife play his mistress? I'm not able to find any real information about this one, so I'm. I'm sorry about that. I'm also curious about his wife. What's her deal? She sticks around the whole time she's here. She died at some point. Yeah, everybody didn't take notes on that because I'm a hack and a fraud, but he does die of cancer in 2012. Now he's dead, which is good, because he's in monster. Yeah. Not, not not a good guy. Here's a picture of him in the 40s. Damn it. Still handsome. Still handsome. Still handsome. You can tell from those little cheeks that, like, he's about to head off to France and, like, cry in a bathroom while he doesn't eat for three days. I don't know, he looks good. I'm just saying he wears it well. Yeah, but you have to see what he sees in the mirror, which is the kid his mom always called Tubby. We'll post this picture on. He's wearing what I hate to say is a fantastic shirt. It is in a really great sash. Yeah. Human biology is so weird. Yeah, because I know what this man has done. You just spent a good deal of time explaining to me how truly terrible he is. Yeah. And yet at the end of that time, you showed me a picture of him. And I'm like, yeah, I get it, I get it. Who doesn't have a mistress? You know what I mean? Yeah. And when he died, millions of people showed up in Cambodia to honor him. Pictures of him went up everywhere. I'm going to guess there's still a lot of pictures of him all around the country. He's still beloved by large chunks of the population today, although there are, obviously. People who also recognize he kind of contributed heavily to, you know, yeah, the worst political disaster maybe in all of history in terms of like 1 nation's life, modern history. It is tough to duplicate. Yeah, a few places are really trying. Like, it's amazing even Hitler didn't succeed in getting that large a percentage of his country wiped out and he was close. I will say if we actually looked at our own history and we're honest about who. Was actually here and who we killed. Ohh. Well, we're pretty, our numbers are are ugly. They're great. It starts before we existed, which is the tough thing. But yeah. Yeah, yeah, that's. But that's a distinction that's, you know, doesn't human lives don't. They were, they were. They were just there. But then you got, yeah, they were like 100 million people in the Americas. And then, no, not so much. I just couldn't help it. So it is easy to look somewhere else and be like, Can you believe it? And then you have to look back in the, you know, mirror and be like, yeah, yeah, I guess I can. We've also, yeah, hoof. Crazy how weird it can get. Yeah, boy, things better. It's just normal to go fishing and move heads out of the way that things get out of hand fast. Yeah, well, that escalated quickly, yeah. It's weird how that's like, that is the way mass killings always kind of work. And in the book I was reading for the podcast we recorded a little earlier about King Leopold of Belgium, oh man, that guy. That guy is a ******. But it's it's just talking about how mass killings start. And it's a little bit like how the flu spreads, where one group of people decides, OK, we're going to massacre anyone who to try to get this finished quickly. We're just going to kill everyone who disagrees with us. And then suddenly. Everybody's murdering everybody. Like, it just spreads like a ******* virus. Yeah, and that's really like, CNOOC wasn't the architect of the Khmer Rouges disasters policies, but he was the guy. Just wanted to stay in power, and he was willing. He's the guy who escalated the violence to the point where past a certain point, even if Pol Pot had died in 1950 and never got, someone would have wound up doing terrible **** in his place because the king had just stacked all these dominoes up like he. He guaranteed something terrible was going to happen. Maybe pull Pot made it a lot worse. Maybe only 30% of Cambodia dies if someone else is in charge, but because of what the Prince had done, something ******* bad was going to happen. I feel like we've all done this to our ourselves with, you know, ice cream and Taco Bell. It's oreos. And a hot dog, and they're like, each of these things individually might have been OK if just one had happened, if only just one had happened. But no, if you've. No, no. I was talking a little earlier about I ate hundreds of rancid muscles recently, and if I had stopped at one, I would have been fine. But instead, I ate 250 and it was a disaster. And that's, you know, life's like that sometimes. Yes. Yeah. A message to all of you. Kings and Princess out there. Stop after the first rancid muscle. Don't let the Khmer Rouge take power. Don't let your rancid muscle be a massacre. Work it back from there. I feel like we've landed on some wisdom that everyone can benefit here. OK, we fixed everything. Yeah. No massacres, no. Good place to start. It's a good place to start and end. Let's just avoid massacres. Yeah, good. That's. You know what? I'm going to do that. I had different plans. For my day. But now I'm gonna avoid. Were you gonna massacre what? I'm not. You know? Come on. It's a Friday. You got me? No. You go out to Pyramid Lake, you cut 10,000 people's heads off. Yeah, and then when you fish, you got to move them out of the way. I'm really stuck on that imagery. Yeah, ****** ** fishing is it's supposed to be boring and relatively peaceful. There is a calm you need to have about you to fish. And if you had to summon that calm while just moving heads out of the way, that's a lot. That's a lot. Gotta feel like, though, you get some really fat fish in that lake and they're probably easy to catch. Yeah, I did eat a fish once that had eaten people and it was a good it tasted good, it was a good fish, like it didn't. Yeah, biology is weird. Yeah, turned it into something else. It was such a tasty fish. Hmm, yeah. But yeah, it had definitely been eating people. I ain't maguana once. Is that what we're doing? Are we just trading? Are we trading now? What did the iguana been eating? Why did you eat iguana? Because they're so huge. There's too ******* many of them. They are just meat. Oh no, for sure. They're just 15. Once you've seen them on one beach, you understand how many of you are and they're like, OK, why raise a chicken? There's lots of cats and we don't eat cats. Personally, they're cute. They're delicious meat. No, chickens are cute. No, they're not. Yes, they are. Chickens are. Chickens are definitely cute. Chickens are ********. Did you just see a goose and think it was a big chicken? Every goose, every every goose is stopping. You know what? Every chicken is Hitler, if I may. That's we conclude this episode. I would like to maybe this new tradition a guest gets to suggest a ******* for the future. OK. No, I I'm a very lazy man. So I am current geese. ******* ******* geese. Try to find me. Boost that. Somebody's like, that goose was my best friend. I like that goose. It never chased me or tried to Peck me in the face. OK, and they're delicious. I could just have a good sign as a guest. Half the episode is like, you know why goose are evil. And then the other half is like, why geese are delicious. Well, that's Caitlin's advice for the week. Take a gander at a goose. Take it or leave it. I recommend leaving it. Thank you so much. Well there I have learned it's only some of the things I wish I didn't know. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Well, don't thank me, thank Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Thanks Prince Norodom Sihanouk. He's isolate that audio. Yeah. Pretty sure we're pronouncing it right some of the times. Not sure I trust you on this one. I apologize to the camera people listening. I don't apologize to the Prince. He was * **** but we gotta plug your plug cables. Oh yeah, yeah, of course. You can find me at caitlingillcomedy.com or at Robot Caitlin on Twitter or at Caitlin is tall on Instagram and you can find me in your heart where I love you. This has been behind the ********. I've been Robert Evans. You can find us on the Internet at behindthebastards.com. I will be listing the sources for this podcast, including the book that was a big part of the research and all the different websites where I learned about his filmography and stuff. That will all be up there. Bunch of pictures will be up there. It's gonna be great. You can also find us on social media at at bastarde pot. You can find me on Twitter at. I write OK 2 letters there and yeah next week we will be back with another *******. So TuneIn then folks. Until then I love like 40% of you. I love you all. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break your handle the hosting creation distribution. And monetization of your podcast go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. 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