Saturday, 5 April 2008

One Righteous Against the Thousands of Crazy

By Kok Sap
April 1, 2008

RE: A grand jury recommended that US citizen Yasith should face charges of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, conspiracy to damage or destroy property in a foreign country and engagement in a military expedition against a nation with whom the United States is at peace.

In light of Mr. Brad Adams and Ron Abney accounts, Cambodia remains under the abusive regime which US Department of State is fully aware of and listed it in its Black Book since July 1997. The obvious, the tyrant ruler inflicts intractable pain and anguish upon citizens and world conscience daily.

To the surprise, the justice and human rights advocates had not come out in drove to argue in Citizen Yasith case. Indeed, he was overzealous and openly stated his purpose to fight for the weak. However, that does not excuse him from the accused crimes and charges according to his country of citizenship laws .Today, he is facing witnesses who are selected and sent over to U.S court by Cambodia tyrant ruler.

No way will any of the witnesses speak against their ruler.Other hand many of Cambodians living in U.S were abused and violated to the core of UN human dignity and rights by Cambodia preceding government. That’s the ground that many of us were granted rights to live here. Although years passed and we grown to love and oblige our home country calls of duty. Some of Cambodian children grown up and joined up the U.S armed forces. Yet so many of us remain hurt and share the conviction one day that our former country Cambodia and kin will live free of abuse and fear. Because of that many of us obliged to help and advocate putting a stop on the current government abuses.

In this justice saga, let’s look at Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg ,of Harvard School, argument in light of Dr. Martin L King reasoning’s,” Justice is not a rule or a set of rules but a moral principle. We know it is sometimes right to kill, because it is sometimes just. The Germans who tried to kill Hitler were doing right, because respect for the equal values of lives demands that we kill someone who is murdering others, in order to save lives.”

Cicero said,” The inability to tell good from evil is the greatest worry of man’s life.” Is Citizen Yasith an evil or good? In U.S argument in this, it makes citizens Nixon, Ford and Kissinger doctrine in SE Asia, the world savior.

Inevitably, for the fishermen must use bait to catch fishes. So it goes in arm struggle people get hurt and killed,in this matter how one argues injustice. During US Civil Rights struggle, late Mr. Malcolm X openly said,” in any mean necessary when come to self defense and one freedom. “ Along that line, Citizen Yasith openly advocated breaking unjust laws of his birth country in any necessary mean to seek freedom for his fellows. I am pretty sure what he saw in his action was to save lives and defend justice.

There is a striking similarity in the Bay of Pig invasion event excepted it was prepared and conducted from U.S soil. The goal was to overthrow Cuba government and eliminate Cuba leader Fidel Castro. Cuba was recognized a foreign sovereignty although its leader was not well received by Cubans in exile. I bet there were more causalities than Citizen Yasith private sponsored excursion. Ironically, U.S government waivered its citizenship laws on Cuban fighters.

Also some may still remember the Contra deal and Colonel Oliver North lied to Congress during President Reagan terms. For some reasons, the complexity of Contra involved Cambodia resistance movement that was primarily made up of Democratic Kampuchea fighters during the time too. However, none of the key personalities in both events was facing swift justice and possibly irrevocable penalty like Citizen Yasith today. In light of moral principles and obligation, many citizens are profoundly confused.

But for the sake of one morality and judgment let’s share the quote from Dr. King Letter from Birmingham Prison, in 1965,” One may well ask, how can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others? The answer lies in the fact there are two types of laws, just and unjust. One has not a legal but also a moral responsibility to obey just laws. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just; any law that degrades human personality is unjust. An unjust law is code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal.

I do not advocate evading and defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust law, and willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”

From the Egoism,” the right action in any situation is the one that is most in the individual’s long term best interests.” That seems proving Citizen Yasith is an egoist. That reminds us, a famous egoist line from U.S exemplary, give me death or liberty. Beside him, there are Sixty-four Cambodian Freedom Fighter (CFF) members, mostly peasant farmers, were subsequently arrested by Cambodia tyrant. The group’s name implies clear defined role and mission. Given peasant in Cambodia, in most cases, is illiterate and poor. However in human tuition it’s not hard to recognize freedom and terror. May be that’s why they put themselves at risk of being killed and arrested to fight ultimate fear.

Accustomed to fear of reprisal from old country, this matter is apparent a lightning rod for many Cambodians in U.S. Especially those residents of Long Beach felt deaf and mute over this case. Although, many of them share view and pain with those who live under the tyrant rule. Not only that in Citizen Yasith case, the laws seem justifying the ends meet the means. The failure to see the obvious is unacceptable and immoral. The silence is too deafening

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