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Happy The Day After Valentine’s Day Is Finally Over: Espionage, Commercialism, and the Betrayal of Love

15 Feb

Happy The Day After, Finally, Valentine’s Day Is Done And Over With: Valentines Day, Espionage, Commercialism, and the Betrayal of Love

“Love is whatever we can still betray…”–John Le Carré 

By Nate Thayer

Happy Valentines Day, everyone. Or, more honestly, Happy The Day After Valentines Day is Done And Over With.

Now that Valentines Day–that capitalist marketing trick we are pressured to prove our love via bald commercialism –is over, I waited a full day to throw in my cynical, curmudgeonly two cents.

While money can not buy love, it does facilitate the business of love, which is what Valentines Day is and what love can not be: The business of love, institutionalized, diminished and soiled.

Diminishing and soiling love by legitimizing the pressures of commercialism is an insidious betrayal. And once love is betrayed, there is nothing else left to betray in life.

Here is my contribution, with thanks to the excellent Portuguese journalist Rui Araújo: Continue reading

Why Journalism is Better than a Real Job: Excerpts from Sympathy for the Devil

10 Feb

Why Journalism is Better than a Real Job: Excerpts from Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil: A Journalist’s Memoir From Inside Pol Pot’s Cambodia

(Copyright Nate Thayer. No publication or distribution in whole or part without express prior written permission from the author)

Please consider donating to support the publication of Sympathy for the Devil. Details on how to show support are on this blog

By Nate Thayer

By 1994, after more than a decade focused on Cambodia and its war, I only had one more objective: To interview Pol Pot. And then, I told myself, I would leave that wicked country forever.

And the opportunity was tantalizingly possible.

Brewing dissatisfaction within the Khmer Rouge ranks were creating cracks in their armor, opening up potential new means for me to access the core of their inner circle leadership holed up deep in the jungles. Where there was turmoil, there was an increased possibility that I could wangle my way into the heart of the Khmer Rouge central command.

I had found that the Khmer Rouge opened up to me when they had difficulties which often left them with issues they wanted to clarify or explain to outsiders. Turmoil and weakness increased the likelihood that they would want to play that card. And I was forever scheming to ensure that the vehicle they used to do so would be me.

I was always encouraging, maneuvering for, and poised to take advantage of increased and higher level contacts within their ranks. I approached it as an endless chess game, requiring long-term strategy and patience and an intimate knowledge of one’s opponent. By the mid 1990’s, obstacles were being removed and I was advancing. I knew from viewing their chessboard that I was closing in, however slowly, on their king—Pol Pot. Continue reading

Why You Want To Avoid Getting Blown Up By A Landmine: From ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ By Nate Thayer

28 Jan New covert anti-tank weapons supplied to the guerrillas used for the first time this day which were responsible for the destruction of 8 government tanks and capturing towns and vehicles as government soldiers fled in fear of the new superior firepower

What Happens When Your Ride Disintigrates After Being Blown Up by Anti-Tank Landmines

By Nate Thayer

These photos were taken of the truck I was riding in after it drove over two Chinese anti-tank mines, in northwest Cambodia, in October 1989.

I was sitting in the front seat of Russian Zil 2 1/2 ton military transport truck which the Cambodian guerrilla group I was traveling with had captured hours earlier after seizing a strategic government town. Most people in the truck were killed, including both of the soldiers sitting with me in the drivers compartment, one on either side of me.

The truck I was riding in after the left front tire, which was less than 5 feet from where I was sitting, detonated two anti-tank mines in the jungles near the Thai Cambodian border

The truck I was riding in after the left front tire, which was less than 5 feet from where I was sitting, detonated two anti-tank mines in the jungles near the Thai Cambodian border

I woke up in the remnants of the engine compartment with a severed leg across my face. It wasn’t mine. Continue reading

Nate Thayer: periodismo, crowdfunding y autopromo

27 Jan
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