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Korean Sex, the Atlantic magazine, and Ted Koppel: What visitors wanted to read in 2013

2 Jan

My 2013 statistics for my blog, natethayer.wordpress.com, have been summarized and broken down. They provide for interesting, sometimes disturbing, sometimes humorous, sometimes enlightening,and to me, fascinating insight into how and why people decide to visit an online site, via what social media networks, from where the readers live, and what topics interest them.

508,000 readers came from 215 countries to read 134 stories published in 2013. The top two stories did not, importantly, involve the area of my professional focus–North Korea and Cambodia– but rather were stories regarding the malfeasance of the corporate media world. They were A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 with 269,765 visitors and How Ted Koppel and ABC TV Tried to Steal my Life Work with 100,123 visitors.

Readers came via scores of referrer sites, but were dominated by Facebook with 92,000, Twitter 74,962, Search Engines 46,786, Reddit 30,368, theatlantic.com 14,228, Hacker News 6,285, and gawker.com 4,231, among many others.

I consider my blog, through a willful act of self delusion, not to be really publishing my professional work but more as a digital personal diary which I share with whoever has an interest. It is rife with grammatical, spelling, design, and other errors.

I do not promote it, save for it automatically links to twitter, my public Facebook page, and LinkedIn. Often, I will post the material on my personal Facebook page, as well.

I do not advertise nor have I tried to make money off of it, although,as of last week, I have now begun to, since it takes up a considerable amount of my professional time. Recently, I had a friend, my tech Guru, put a Paypal button on the site for those interested in supporting my writing.

In 2013, I had 508,000 + people come read my blog. There were 86 new posts, growing the total archive to 134 posts. This is an average of about 1 and ½ stories a week. And there were 580 pictures uploaded–about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was March 5th with 131,748 views. The most popular post that day was A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013.

Below, for those interested in the mechanics of how readers arrive where on the internet, is a detailed view of what stories were popular, which online sites drive the most traffick, where people who read these sort of stories live, and what search engine terms are used to land people on sites such as mine.

These are the most popular posts of the year. Note that not a single one includes a story that is related to my primary professional focus of North Korea or Cambodia.

• 1 A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 820 comments March 2013
• 2 How Ted Koppel and ABC TV Tried to Steal my Life Work 56 comments December 2013
• 3 The Atlantic feels the heat from journalism for no pay business model: “Our Freelance Rates Vary” says Editor James Bennet 34 comments March 2013
• 4 Teenage Daughter of Google Chief Spills The True Story on North Korea Visit: Puts to Shame Free Press, Dad, and U.S. Government 8 comments January 2013
• 5 Happy Chinese New Year in Cambodia: Corrupt Govt Officials Hand Cash to Hundreds of Soldiers 2 comments February 2013

What drove people to read the blog? The top referring sites in 2013 were:
1. twitter.com
2. facebook.com
3. theatlantic.com
4. news.ycombinator.com
5. gawker.com

And then there were search engines. The top terms that people punched in that resulted in them landing on my blog were:
“choeung sopheap”, sophie schmidt google, nate thayer, korean sex, and westboro baptist church phone number.
Here is the complete list of the top stories read in 2013 on my blog, and how many readers visted each story. Note that my area of professional expertise holds relatively little interest for most of my readership:
The top stories viewed this year by rank:
Top Posts for 365 days ending 2014-01-02 from 2013-01-02

Title Views
A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013
269,765
How Ted Koppel and ABC TV Tried to Steal my Life Work
100,123
Home page / Archives
59,944
The Atlantic feels the heat from journalism for no pay business model: “Our Freelance Rates Vary” says Editor James Bennet
6,379
About Nate Thayer
5,539
Teenage Daughter of Google Chief Spills The True Story on North Korea Visit: Puts to Shame Free Press, Dad, and U.S. Government
5,404
Happy Chinese New Year in Cambodia: Corrupt Govt Officials Hand Cash to Hundreds of Soldiers
4,356
Thoughts on the Death of Mass Murderer Ieng Sary:Cambodian Political Culture and North Korea
2,664
BREAKING NEWS: Dark Hand of British Royal Family behind Secret Murder of Kate’s Morning Sickness Nurse
2,216
Nate Thayer–Awards and Honors
2,013
Google Chief’s Teenage Daughter Blog Puts AP North Korea News Bureau to Shame: A Comparative Analysis
1,997
Robot Sex Poll Reveals How I Got Invited–Then Uninvited–As Guest on Huffington Post Live TV Show
1,740
25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy: Rodman trip and history of U.S.-North Korean basketball diplomacy
1,649
Oops….Sorry About that Austin, Texas
1,413
Frequent Flyer’s Guide to North Korean Air: a Review of World’s Only One Star Airline
1,371
ABC News and Ted Koppel owe an apology for soiling the integrity of freelancers and the institution of journalism
1,314
The Plague of Online Plagiarism: A Case Study of the Anatomy of Journalistic Theft from my Facebook Page
1,253
The Night Pol Pot Died: Excerpts from unpublished manuscript “SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: A JOURNALIST’S MEMOIR INSIDE POL POT’S KHMER ROUGE” By Nate Thayer
1,149
Corporate Power, ABC TV and Ted Koppel tried to censor the free speech of a free man in a free country. Fuck that.
1,025
What do Kim Il Sung, Hun Sen Have In Common with Animal Pets? They All Obtained Bogus College Degrees
999
Selected Reviews and Commentary on the Journalism of Nate Thayer
969
Unpaid Newspaper Blogger Says Enough: New No Pay Contract Now Demands All Rights to Photos, Writing Forever
943
Pot Pot Tells China in 1977 that Killings Underway, to Continue
942
Susan Brownmiller and Why I am a Journalist
891
Obama: Support Cambodian Human Rights, Democratic Freedoms, and Those Resisting the Last Murderous Thug Left Standing in South East Asia
886
My Friend, Arthur: Formerly the Planet’s Biggest Dope Trafficker
828
(unknown or deleted)
684
Rape, Child Abuse, and Animal Cruelty: Women’s Sexual Freedom and Respecting My Pal Lamont
681
What Happened to the Khmer Rouge? They are Back in Power. Excerpts from “Sympathy for the Devil: Inside Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge”
672
How to Live and Die With Meaning: The Final Hours of my Friend Buddy, Yesterday
649
Hun Sen and his cabal are murderous, corrupt thugs: No One Disputes that. Obama Should Take a Stand for the Human and Political Rights of Cambodians
640
Westboro Baptist Church Pickets Newton School Funerals: Say Kids Deserved to Die Because America Loves “Fags”
618
Reuters Story on Google Head Visit to Pyongyang Datelined Seoul Devastates AP report from North Korea Bureau
588
One Israeli assassin, a North Korean train explosion, dead Syrian scientists, fake Canadian passports, Dubai and New Zealand arrest warrants, and a poisoned Hamas guerrilla
528
What Did Che Guevera and Kim Il Sung Have in Common? They were both Racist Bigots
504
Boston Massacre: April is the Holy Week for Homegrown U.S. Terrorist Movement
478
The check is rarely in the mail: The dark side of freelance journalists trying to get paid for their work
470
A letter to a young Cambodian-2013: Reflections on a toxic political culture
464
Social Media Frightens Me: The Thoughtful Confessions of a Confirmed Skeptic
456
Dying Breath: The inside story of Pol Pot’s last days and the disintegration of the movement he created
448
Somalia Pirates Hijack North Korean Ship, Then Decide it Isn’t Worth it and Turn Themselves In
411
Love and Sex in the U.S. Foreign Service -Lust, Bombs, Bureaucrats. Writings by James Bruno
371
(unknown or deleted)
362
Sleep With the Angels, Buddy: Photographing the Death of My Friend
352
White Power and Apocalyptic Cults: Pro-DPRK homegrown U.S. terrorist groups are Pyongyang chosen favorites
351
Pyongyang Porn: “Some readers may find the book objectionable” @NKNewsorg
349
Goodbye, my Friend, Buddy. Thank You for Making Me a Better Man
348
“The ethics of not paying writers in exchange for ‘exposure’: A debate #paythewriter
344
I’m leaving, on a jet plane–Edward’s excellent spy adventure
342
Lunching With Mass Murderers: Khmer Rouge leaders explain why they slaughtered their own people, and why it was, really, for the best: Excerpts from “Sympathy for the Devil” By Nate Thayer
337
Musician’s Protest Goes Viral: Corporations offer no payment in exchange for “exposure”
322
North Korean Tourism Dwarfed by Visitors to Elvis,South Korea For Nose Jobs, Thai Sex Change Operations
321
‘See Angkor and die’
304
The Death of Credible Media in the Internet Age: Media More Dead Than Non Existent GF of Sports Celebrity
302
(unknown or deleted)
301
The Night I Lived: Landmines, war and journalism: Excerpts from Sympathy for the Devil
298
A Peak In the Public Mailbox: Debate on state of journalism runs from supportive to, well, very not–with a dash of the amusing and odd.
294
Global Trail of Dead Scientists Price of Illicit Pyongyang-Syria Weapons Collaboration
294
Has the news biz come to this? Freelance journalists required to sign document forbidding writing anything negative about employers or advertisers?
294
Pol Pot Meets Kim Il Sung
286
Memories of a Good and Great Man: Father Pierre Ceyrac
275
Lunching with Mass Murderers: The Khmer Rouge Were Not Communists; They were Cambodians
275
Canadian Sex Advice Columnist Weighs in on Atlantic Kerfuffle Over Pay the Writer
261
French actor Depardieu Moves to Russian Mordovia Where Punk Band Pussy Riot Rots in Jail: Complains in France “anything different must be sanctioned.”
260
Oops. That Hits a Bit Close to Home: Second Thoughts on North Korean Propaganda
241
Google search terms which drove readers to my blog: Alert Homeland Security or throw a block party?
238
Corruption: American Style. U.S. foreign policy leadership for sale to those who give the most cash
235
An Invitation to the Khmer Rouge Controlled Jungles: A travel Itinerary to the World’s Most Clandestine Guerrilla Army
225
How White Are You? And What The Heck is a “Cornball Brother”?: Important Questions in Sports Journalism
217
Unredacted Manifesto of America’s Most Wanted Fugitive: Ex LA Cop Details Why He is on Killing Spree
213
I AM HAZARA TAKING BlOOD BATH IN QUETTA
175
ESCAPES: The Living Fields; Cambodia’s Most Famous War Reporter Retreats to Dorchester County, Md.
161
For Pyongyang, Global Digital Revolution for Foreign Eyes Only:You Tube Bans North Korean Video
159
To my friend, Buddy
157
The Spy Sub, A Poisoned Diplomat in Russia, and a Naked, Drunk American Preacher in Pyongyang
152
(unknown or deleted)
150
Vietnam Era Renegade Army Discovered: Lighting the darkness: FULRO’s jungle Christians
145
Spies and Journalists: Excerpts From Sympathy for the Devil by Nate Thayer
141
Working Third Shift In A Hotel: My Life as a Pimp and Dope Dealer
138
North Korea’s Hall of Mirrors: Fake Global Network of Shell Companies Key to Illicit Arms Exports
138
Why I am a Journalist: Continued….From a Daughter in Exile From her Own History
136
Freelance Investigative Journalist Who is Convinced Rupert Murdoch and Arianna Huffington are Satan
124
“I am scared that tonight I will die” A reporters diary from Baghdad @Nate_Thayer
123
Full Resources of the U.S. Military Tracking Santa Claus: Nuclear and Missile Defence Systems Distracted
121
Fleeting Thoughts on the Death of Human Interaction in the Digital Age
120
Mississippi Elvis Impersonator Terrorist Suspect Claims U.S. Coverup After Finding Body Parts in Refrigerator
113
(unknown or deleted)
112
Golf, Cambodia, and the ‘very cornerstone of morality’
111
How to Make Two Little Old Ladies Happy: A Thanksgiving Story
102
GRATITUDE: Thoughts on being born free
99
Syria’s Chemical Weapons: The North Korean Connection
98
North Korea Falls for Internet Hoax Kim Jong Un named Time Magazine ‘Man of the Year’
95
Black Government Helicopters Zoom Low Over Washington D.C. to Protect Against Terrorist Dirty Nuclear Bomb
94
Mississippi Elvis Cum Terrorist Impersonator Leaves Trail of Social Media Clues
94
“Who is that singer? Johnny Jackson? Like he says, ‘We are the World!’ We are with the West! Let’s join together!” said a Khmer Rouge cadre
92
How Hordes of U.S. Republican Party Apparatchik’s Toppled the Mongolian Communist Descendants of Genghis Khan
91
News headline of the day: Dog owner’s dispute research women more attracted to men with guitars
90
Has Kim Jong Un Had Plastic Surgery? China Says: No Comment: Pyongyang erupts following reports circulating in Chinese media
86
North Korea Erupts at “sordid hackwork by rubbish media”: Vows a “dear price the human scum and media”will “have to pay”
84
Journalist of Mercy: Walt Whitman Remembered
76
The Childhood Education of a Cantankerous Journalist
75
Iraq Between the American ‘Shock and Awe” Assault and Capture of Baghdad
65
U.S. Embassy Bhenghazi Attacked by Mob, Set on Fire–in 1967
64
(unknown or deleted)
64
North Korea Announces 2013 Slogan is “building of an economic giant” as “Space Conquerors”
63
Why Gen. Petreaus Fucking Whomever is Really not my Business
57
North Korean Rocket Launch to Test Capability to Reach U.S. imminent in Coming Days
56
Syrian Chemical Weapons: The odd tale of a lone Israeli spy and North Korea
56
AP Exclusive: U.S. News Agency Sells Reputation to North Korea for Access to Exactly No News
54
Cambodian Border Massacre: American Crosses the Line to Save Lives
54
Thayer Targeted by Dangerous, Volatile Social Media Campaign in Case of Mistaken Identity
51
All eyes on U.S. prisoner during Dennis Rodman return visit to N. Korea
51
North Korean Officials Implicated in Scores of Drug Trafficking Incidents
43
Washington tells bar owner to rename cocktail or face justice
41
The violent consequences of the North Korea-Syria chemical arms trade
39
Websites Hacked of Cambodian Secret Political Police and Supreme Court Charged with both Protecting the Assassins of Political Opponents and Jailing Opposition
37
An Airplane From New York to Tokyo With a Pit Stop In Heaven
36
Out of 7,000 Internet Readers of This Blog Today, Exactly Zero Came From North Korea and Precisely One From China
33
Artist with “Strange Watch” Charged with “Possessing an Explosive Device” at U.S. Airport: Cite “watch itself was on incorrect time.”
33
North Korea Launched Missive Against Foreign media ‘Rat-Like Imbeciles’
32
Mr. X, the Cop, and the Heng Samrin: Why being a Journalist is the Best Job on Earth
30
Dennis Rodman steals ball from U.S. govt as N Korea cancels U.S. mission to free prisoner on eve of Rodman visit
30
America’s Embarrassing Dirty Little Secret: The Loopy Conspiracy Theorists Live Next Door
29
Excerpts from my unpublished book “Sympathy for the Devil: A Journalists Memoir from Inside Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge”
28
New Edition Of ‘Bible Of Psychiatry’ Combines Witch Doctor Hocus Pocus With Boneheaded, Unsupported Diseases in the Service of For-Profit Dope Dealers Industry
27
“Capitalism Has No Future” North Korea Announces: “It is a matter of time for Capitalism to disappear from history.”
27
The Night Pol Pot Died-Excerpts from “Sympathy for the Devil: A Journalist’s Memoir from Inside Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge”
26
Cambodia: Asia’s New Narco-State? Medellin on the Mekong
23
Chinese Official People’s Daily Reports as Serious the Onion’s Spoof Naming Kim Jong Un ‘Sexiest Man Alive’
22
Travels With Vice President LBJ: “Son, if you do this again, I am going to poison your soup.”
20
Analysis of What Topics Interest Readers of My Blog Alarming: Sex, British Royal Murder Plot, CIA Mistress Outperform North Korea, Cambodia, Pol Pot, Journalism
20
All of Kim Jong-un’s men
19
North Korea: The World’s Only Mafia Crime State
18
POL POT: THE END Far Eastern Economic Review
17
Evidence Suggests Readers of Thayer Blog are Certifiably Bonkers
15
‘We are the World!’ Excerpts from “Sympathy for the Devil: A Journalist’s Memoir from Inside Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge”
9
Thai Border: A Wild West of Anarchy
8
North Korea: A Criminal Syndicate Posing as a Government
7
Tycoon Says He Financed Hun Sen Coup
4
North Korea IDs Mystery Woman as Kim Jong-Un’s Wife—But Who Is She, Really?
4
As Sappy an Appreciation of Thanksgiving That Will Ever be Offered from a Grateful if a Bit Loopy American Citizen
4
Drug Suspects Bankroll Cambodian Coup Leader
4
THE CAMBODIAN CONUNDRUM
1
Arrest for Insufficient Mourning at Funeral of Kim Jong Il? Unlikely Media Hype

Among the other notable search terms that somehow had visitors land on my blog included the following. Note the dominance of the theme of sex in search terms. Note also that I have essentially never written about North Korean sex because I essentially know nothing about North Korean sex:
korean sex
freelance journalist
nate thayer blog
koreansex
north korean porn
nate thayer atlantic
korean porn
north korea porn
korea porn
koreanporn
royal family secrets
koryasex
korean sex.com
north korea sex
susan brownmiller thayer
westboro baptist church phone number 2013
nate thayer the atlantic
secrets of british royal family
a day in the life of
korean tube
french actor moves to russia
what is a cornball brother
freelance reporter
“theng bunma”
hun sen fuck girl in facebook
day in the life of a writer
atlantic nate thayer
royal family killed nurse
“nate thayer”
animal women sex
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media ethics in north korea
british royal secrets
khmer sex
what does cornball brother mean
dark secrets of royal family
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north korean women
how to be a freelance journalist
http://www.korean sex.com
korian sex
freelance journalist rates
british royal family dark secrets
google northkoreafreesex
a day in the life of a writer
korean fuck
north korean sex
freelance journalism pay rates
did the royal family kill the nurse
the atlantic freelance journalist
atlantic thayer
life of a journalist
freelance journalist website

animal child sex
secrets of royal family
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pussy actor
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animal and women sex
pyongyang porn
korea sex
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northkorea porn
cornball brother test
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koreansex.com
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fox gay photo traditional couple
joan crawford
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being a paid email friend
north korean porno
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nate thayer + cia
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korien sex
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royal family secret agents
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sick of the royal family
cambodian cock suckers
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sex korea
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nate is the best at getting paul internet, enjoy!!!
korea.porn
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royal family dirty secrets
north korean women hot
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http://www.north korea sex.com
prison+clothing
british monarchy secrets
korea@sex..com
northkoreansex
how to find a connection between myself and journalism
“has anyone ever let a male dog fuck them?”
nate korean sex
www sex khmer.google search
korean sex tube
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khmer..koreansex.com
who has killed the most cops in america
http://www.korea sex.com

fucking hun sen pictures
dog rape women
british royal family murderers
modern day cornball brother
sexkhmer
the dark side of the british monarchy

Visitors came from 215 countries.

Below are the entire statistical details for the year 2013, including the precise number of visitors who arrived via which social media sites:
2013-01-01 to 2014-01-01:

Referrer Views
Facebook
92,000
Twitter 74,962
Search Engines 46,786
Reddit 30,368
theatlantic.com 14,228
Hacker News 6,285
gawker.com 4,231
nymag.com 2,531
Google Reader
1,803
metafilter.com 1,780
aljazeera.com 1,749
bildblog.de 1,573
petapixel.com 1,533
aphotoeditor.com 1,501
slate.com 1,286
jimromenesko.com 1,222
thebrowser.com 1,221
observer.com/2013/04/nate-thayer-disinvited-from-huffpo-tv-appearance/
1,098
parislemon.com 1,068
washingtonpost.com 925
pandodaily.com 915
makingitlovely.com 907
sportsshooter.com 889
hootsuite.com 840
mail.yahoo.com
840
poynter.org 836
blogs.reuters.com 819
jeremyduns.blogspot.se 757
nytimes.com 733
dish.andrewsullivan.com 662
wonkette.com 628
WordPress.com Reader
605
freekorea.us 585
tumblr.com 578
buzzfeed.com 578
guardian.co.uk 568
khmer440.com 538
mediabistro.com 536
theothermccain.com 534
rue89.com/rue89-sport/2013/03/06/rodman-en-coree-du-nord-une-belle-histoire-damitie-de-basket-et-de-dollars
501
grantland.com 492
glpiggy.net 445
whatever.scalzi.com 431
muckrack.com 390
cjr.org 386
ritholtz.com 358
sportsjournalists.com 353
mediagazer.com 346
linkedin.com 337
slog.thestranger.com 334
Google+
324
233grados.lainformacion.com 310
bits.blogs.nytimes.com 281
ilyabirman.ru 275
whopays.tumblr.com 273
loopinsight.com 265
blog.gawker.com 263
gothamist.com/2013/03/05/early_addition_1218.php
263
freelancewrite.about.com 262
WordPress Dashboard
257
virginiasolesmith.com 252
superpunch.net 247
techcrunch.com 241
driftglass.blogspot.com 240
iconfactory.com 237
ericgarland.co 235
phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/09/ive-got-your-missing-links-right-here-9-march-2013/
228
mail.live.com
220
mobile.slate.com 218
tcj.com 201
wnyc.org 200
meedia.de/internet/journalismus-als-gratis-dienstleistung/2013/03/07.html
193
thebiglead.com 182
nubbytwiglet.com 177
ilxor.com 177
Pocket
171
prospectmagazine.co.uk/blog/journalism-freelance-nate-thayer/
167
paidcontent.org 160
en.wordpress.com 158
theamericanconservative.com 157
naturescapes.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=229823
152
washingtonmonthly.com 152
janefriedman.com/2013/03/05/online-journalism/
149
disqus.com 139
neogaf.com 132
trustmeimascientist.com 131
jasonfry.tumblr.com 129
bostonsportsmedia.com 128
lhote.blogspot.com 122
blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2013/03/07/survive-freelance-writer-2013/
119
mikethemadbiologist.com 117
counterparties.com 116
themillions.com 115
freelancesuccess.com 110
itsnicethat.com/articles/weekender-yeah
110
pulse.me
106
overland.org.au 105
espn.go.com/boxing/
103
moviecitynews.com 102
theroot.com 102
rarewire.com
101
vice.com 99
geteducated.com 98
thepassivevoice.com 96
politico.com 96
npr.org 94
jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/topic/16241-race-to-the-bottom-continues/
94
tickerforum.org 90
api.gawker.com 89
pw.org/content/literature_and_burlesque_state_of_freelance_writing_and_more
89
gigaom.com/2013/03/06/doing-that-one-thing/
88
nationalnewswatch.com 85
hckrnews.com
84
b-roll.net 82
ravelry.com/discuss/designers/2497624/1-25
81
instapaper.com 81
georgakopoulos.org 79
readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/16363-focus-frank-rich-rand-pauls-performance-art-
79
storify.com 77
therumpus.net 76
denieuwereporter.nl 76
blogs.payscale.com 74
electricalaudio.com 74
withjokes.com 73
hahien.wordpress.com 72
forumopolis.com 69
niemanlab.org 69
blogs.discovermagazine.com 66
jeremyduns.blogspot.com 64
readability.com 63
bluegraysky.com 63
utsandiego.com 62
Netvibes
62
mashable.com/2013/07/08/harpers-magazine-digital-revolution/
61
brw.com.au 60
edcone.typepad.com 58
dankennedy.net 58
botd.wordpress.com/top-posts/
58
touch.wonkette.com/wonkette/
57
np.reddit.com 57
google.de 57
discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/1640-copyright-thievesgive-em-more-of-this/
56
hyperallergic.com 56
olimannahatta.wordpress.com 56
blog.davidchartier.com 56
diannej.com 55
patthorntonfiles.com 54
irishtimes.com 54
rjkoehler.com/2013/01/23/sophie-schmidts-take-on-north-korea/
53
blog.priceonomics.com 53
oneman.gr/keimena/diaskedash/watchlist/the-weekend-list.2158955.html
53
eenk.com 53
ojr.org 52
thatsoundscool.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/fumbling-for-the-truth-the-freelancing-author-or-will-i-ever-be-paid-again/
52
modelmayhem.com 52
weblogs.swarthmore.edu/burke/
51
americanpowerblog.blogspot.com 51
flickfilosopher.com 50
mediaite.com/online/the-atlantic-takes-heat-for-offering-not-to-pay-a-journalist/
50
mrjam.org 49
planbnation.net 49
popurls.com
48
memeorandum.com 48
pbs.org 48
us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=faa8eb4ef3a111cef92c4f3d4&id=5dbaa99114
48
ilaba.wordpress.com 47
Google 47
d2.guardian.co.uk/discussion/p/3ep65?commentpage=1&orderby=oldest&per_page=50&iframe=true&noposting=true
44
forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2013/03/06/whining-about-unpaid-writing-gigs-isnt-going-to-increase-writers-incomes/
44
thenation.com/blog/173360/veronica-mars-amanda-palmer-atlantic-and-depressing-economics-cultural-production-oh-my
44
erikadreifus.com 43
daily-download.com/nate-thayer-the-atlantic-freelancer-work-for-free-dilemma/
43
npac.ca 43
rokdrop.com/2013/01/20/rok-drop-open-thread-january-20-2013/
42
forum.rpg.net 42
dvafoto.com 41
theclick.us 41
blog.photoshelter.com/2013/03/would-you-work-for-free/
41
quora.com 40
digiday.com 40
martinbelam.com 39
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wahm.com/forum/writing-freelancing-46/688235-more-same-amount-money.html
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the-digital-reader.com 17
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16
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blogtown.portlandmercury.com/blogs/BlogtownPDX/
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16
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16
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15
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15
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15
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14
blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/03/06/why-magazines-should-pay-their-writers-or-die-trying/
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nationalreview.com/tweet
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prexus.yuku.com/topic/24757/How-Ted-Koppel-and-ABC-TV-Tried-to-Steal-my-Life-Work
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mobile.theroot.com/blogs/journalisms/2013/03/17/tanehisi_coates_where_was_solidarity_with_black_freelancers.html
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bymorgancampbell.com/2013/03/05/nate-thayer-and-the-shame-of-page-view-journalism/
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popsci.com/technology/article/2013-03/ways-to-make-journalism-suck-less
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tmtpost.com/21010.html
9
theoldreader.com/posts/all
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StumbleUpon 9
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theconversation.com/can-news-on-a-shoestring-be-a-good-story-15447?utm_term=Can+News+on+a+shoestring+be+a+good+story
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google.com.kh/blank.html
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writerunderground.com 9
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9
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9
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9
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9
ithenticate.com/plagiarism-detection-blog/bid/91995/Nate-Thayer-and-the-Nature-of-Freelance-Plagiarism
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blog.muckrack.com/post/44998379608/muckedup-chat-tuesday-money-journalism
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fr.reddit.com 8
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kimletkeman.blogspot.com/2013/03/harlan-ellison-pay-writer.html
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altweeklies.com/aan/media-oxpecker-splitting-the-pie-with-digital-dimes/Article?oid=6960001
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freelanceadvisor.co.uk/weekly-digest/freelancers-weekly-digest-12/
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blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/18/an_exit_interview_with_aps_first_north_korea_bureau_chief
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formiche.net/2013/09/05/armi-chimiche-pyongyang-nord-corea-siria-damasco/
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thaivisa.com/forum/topic/681803-the-night-i-lived-landmines-war-and-journalism-excerpts-from-sympathy-for-the-devil/
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manyfesto.net
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mypostingcareer.com/forums/shoutbox/
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jeremyduns.net/2013/03/07/nate-thayer-is-a-plagiarist/
7
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7
ynpntwincities.org/blog/2013/4/19/when-people-work-for-little-who-pays-or-what-nonprofit-emplo.html
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live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/freelancer-worries-new-economy/5137630b78c90a6cdb0002f8
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jamiechavez.com/blog/permalink/2013/03/giving-credit-where-its-due/
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nextlevelofnews.com/2013/03/exposure-instead-of-payment-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-freelance-journalist-by-nate_thayer.html
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7
phillymag.com/news/2013/03/07/survive-freelance-writer-2013/
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miamiherald.com/2013/03/24/3301364/who-pays-unpaid-writers-bills.html?goback=.gde_75711_member_226182672
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boardgamegeek.com/thread/953945/see-you-guys-later-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish
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therenegadewriter.com/2013/03/25/if-you-love-writing-should-you-still-get-paid-for-it/
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emilysenger.ca/uncategorized/more-on-the-future-of-journalism-going-digital-and-freelance/
6
reflectionandchoice.org/2013/10/28/muzzling-the-ox-writers-dont-get-paid/
6
jensweinreich.de/2010/07/07/online-gebuhren-ii-uber-den-wert-von-qualitatsjournalismus/
6
jeremyduns.blogspot.ca/2013/03/nate-thayer-is-plagiarist.html
6
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atimes.com/atimes/Korea/NL20Dg01.html
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gphuffman.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/some-die-of-exposure/
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kimletkeman.blogspot.ca/2013/03/harlan-ellison-pay-writer.html

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natethayer.wordpress.com+a-day-in-the-life-of-a-freelance-journalist-2013 28
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20,014

 

These are the visitors who read my blog from each country, with a breakdown of how many from where:

Country Views
United States 293,728
United Kingdom 37,210
Canada 35,054
Australia 19,355
Germany 10,975
France 6,974
Cambodia 6,852
India 4,865
Netherlands 4,573
Ireland 3,817
Spain 3,432
Thailand 3,323
Sweden 3,145
Singapore 2,865
Republic of Korea 2,850
Brazil 2,634
New Zealand 2,580
Japan 2,480
Italy 2,328
Hong Kong 2,299
Finland 2,197
Philippines 2,134
Switzerland 1,949
Belgium 1,782
Viet Nam 1,758
Israel 1,719
Denmark 1,688
Norway 1,645
Malaysia 1,450
South Africa 1,446
Indonesia 1,375
Mexico 1,312
Russian Federation 1,235
Austria 1,161
Poland 1,042
Turkey 1,012
Portugal 899
Greece 873
Romania 827
United Arab Emirates 788
Hungary 637
Czech Republic 624
Bulgaria 548
Argentina 539
Taiwan 523
Pakistan 520
Egypt 514
Slovenia 497
Ukraine 481
Kenya 395
Lebanon 375
Serbia 354
Chile 312
Qatar 299
Colombia 286
Croatia 266
Myanmar 258
Saudi Arabia 246
Peru 215
Bangladesh 193
Nigeria 188
Sri Lanka 182
Uganda 182
Estonia 167
Puerto Rico 161
Iceland 160
Slovakia 158
Jordan 155
Morocco 144
Lithuania 141
Costa Rica 141
Nepal 137
Latvia 137
Luxembourg 135
Ghana 134
Iraq 119
Ecuador 118
Cyprus 116
Bosnia and Herzegovina 116
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 112
Afghanistan 111
Venezuela 111
Malta 106
Kuwait 104
Guatemala 91
Palestinian Territory, Occupied 89
Mongolia 79
Panama 79
Dominican Republic 78
Trinidad and Tobago 75
Barbados 75
Tunisia 73
Jamaica 73
Yemen 71
Belarus 68
Albania 67
Georgia 66
Bahrain 59
Bhutan 58
Uruguay 57
Senegal 54
United Republic of Tanzania 53
Zimbabwe 53
Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 52
Bahamas 52
Côte d’Ivoire 50
Macao 48
Honduras 45
Oman 45
Fiji 43
Haiti 41
Nicaragua 40
Brunei Darussalam 38
Malawi 38
Mali 36
Algeria 35
Libya 34
Ethiopia 34
Zambia 31
El Salvador 31
Guam 31
Moldova 31
Isle of Man 31
Jersey 30
Bermuda 30
Azerbaijan 30
Armenia 29
Kazakhstan 28
Mozambique 28
Mauritius 28
Rwanda 27
Cayman Islands 27
China 25
Belize 25
Bolivia 24
Namibia 23
Liberia 23
Maldives 21
Virgin Islands 21
Cook Islands 21
Tajikistan 20
Cameroon 20
Kyrgyzstan 19
Sierra Leone 18
Paraguay 17
Benin 16
Antigua and Barbuda 16
Réunion 14
Burkina Faso 14
Democratic Republic of the Congo 14
Guernsey 14
Djibouti 14
Montenegro 13
Syrian Arab Republic 13
Botswana 12
Grenada 12
Monaco 12
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 11
Sudan 10
Angola 10
Somalia 9
Turks and Caicos Islands 9
Guyana 9
Uzbekistan 8
Gibraltar 8
Cuba 8
Timor-Leste 8
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 8
Aruba 8
Suriname 7
Papua New Guinea 7
Martinique 7
Lesotho 6
British Virgin Islands 6
Gambia 6
Åland Islands 6
Andorra 5
Northern Mariana Islands 5
Madagascar 5
New Caledonia 5
Guadeloupe 4
French Polynesia 4
Saint Lucia 4
Dominica 4
Greenland 4
Niger 4
Faroe Islands 4
Vatican City 4
Togo 3
Swaziland 3
American Samoa 3
Saint Kitts and Nevis 3
Anguilla 2
Gabon 2
French Guiana 2
Seychelles 2
Vanuatu 2
Cape Verde 2
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 2
Mauritania 2
Solomon Islands 2
Congo 2
Liechtenstein 1
Iran, Islamic Republic of 1
Guinea 1
Micronesia, Federated States of 1
Palau 1
Tonga 1
Samoa 1
Sao Tome and Principe 1

GRATITUDE: Thoughts on being born free

20 Nov

 

 

GRATITUDE

By Nate Thayer

November 21, 2013

I am, I think, most grateful in life for being born a free person. I know many–many of whom are my friends–who were not.

No government, no authority is less flawed than me.  And no person is more flawed than I.

For the most part, the successes and joys and the equally and, crucially, humbling number of failures and missteps I have had in my short life have resulted from my having been blessed with having free choices.

Choices that have allowed me to stumble.

Choices that have allowed me to fail.

Choices that have allowed me to be wrong.

Choices that allowed me to suffer.

Choices I have made that have caused others pain.

Choices that have made me weep in regret or shame.

God knows, I have made choices that have made me do all of these.

These fruits of being a free man allowed me to be able to be a satisfied, happy, fulfilled and, to a small, but important to me, modicum degree, contribute, in a very small way, to a better world.

To have been free to stumble, has allowed me to be free to choose to learn how not to stumble that way again, if I chose not to. I hadand still have that choice.

Choices that have allowed me to fail, have allowed me the choice to better move forward, to learn how to succeed, if I chose to. Failing has blessed me with success.

Being free to choose to fail, has made me free to understand the importance of empathy for others when they, like we all do, fail.

It has allowed me to understand the importance of accepting as a blessing the flaws in others, their different ones and the ones we all share.

To be free to have the choice to be wrong, to be mistaken, has given me the choice to know, better, what was closer to what is right. And then, later, a few times, free to have been right.

Choices I have made that I have suffered from have allowed me to have deeper compassion for others when they, like all of us, suffer.

Choices I have made that have caused others undeserved pain, have graced me with being the recipient of forgiveness and unconditional love.

And have allowed me, as a free man, to understand the vital import of being forgiving to others when they, like we all do, have caused pain to me or others through our choices.

Being free to have caused others pain has made me free to, and the importance of,  forgiving others when they, also, have trod behind me on that same path.

Choices that I have made that have caused me to weep with eternal regret and shame, have allowed me to be less judgmental of others mistakes or sins, to offer an intimate understanding with others in their darker or darkest hours.

This has allowed me to offer unconditional love because I now know better the special beauty of having received unconditional love has been to me.

If, like many in the world,  I had not been allowed to exercise a free mind and free choices, and the blessing of a political system that demanded and protected critical thinking and the rights of all flawed people to be free to be flawed,  I would never have been free to contribute to move, ever so slowly, in at least the right direction of a more perfect man, a better world, a happier child who has come after me.

The right to make choices for each and every one of us, especially the wrong choices, has and remains one of my greatest blessings of being born a free man.

Being free to be wrong has allowed me, occasionally, to know, at least better, what is right.

No government, no authority is less flawed than me.  And no person is more than I am.

Vietnam Era Renegade Army Discovered: Lighting the darkness: FULRO’s jungle Christians

28 Oct

Lighting the darkness: FULRO’s jungle Christians     

Vietnam Era Renegade Army Discovered

By Nate Thayer

(This story appeared in the Phnom Penh Post and  as the cover story in the Far Eastern Economic Review.  I discovered, in the remote Northeastern Cambodian jungles along the Ho Chi Minh trail along the Vietnamese border, an army literally lost in time. Eventually all 398 FULRO fighters and families were given political asylum in the U.S., after the high pressure intervention of their former U.S. army special forces comrades learned they were still, 17 years after the Americans withdrew, fighting the Vietnam War. They are all now settled in the U.S., mostly in North Carolina.

Friday, 25 September, 1992

By Nate Thayer

MONDULKIRI, Cambodia – Accompanied by a chorus of crickets and the steady drumming of rain on the leaf roofs of their huts, scores of Montagnard fighters and their families gather in the jungle darkness each night to pray and sing.

Having long ago fled ideological restrictions in Vietnam for a religious sanctuary deep in the forest, the soldiers are members of FULRO–the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races-which has fought for a separate homeland in Vietnam for their hill tribe people since 1964.

Lamps fueled by chunks of slow-burning tree resin give light to the few shared tattered bibles and hymnals as Christian songs of worship echo through the otherwise uninhabited forest. Familiar gospel hymns are sung in the tribal dialects of the mountains.

For many at FULRO’s scattered guerrilla bases, the ability to pray freely was a main motivation to flee their villages in Vietnam’s central highlands 17 years ago.

Fulro Catholic Priest at Servies in Jungle Church Where They Fled From Religious Persecution in Vietnam

Fulro Catholic Priest at Services in Jungle Church Where They Fled From Religious Persecution in Vietnam

“The communists will not let us pray. They say that Christianity is an American and French religion, so we came to live in the jungle,” said Lt.-Col. Y Hinnie. “In our land under the communists, people pray at home secretly or in the rice fields. They cannot worship together like we do in the jungle. Here we are free.”

Each of the five jungle encampments in the FULRO rear base area have an Evangelical church, while there is a lone Catholic church in the main guerrilla camp. Nearly 40 people share a single bible for the daily Catholic Mass and at weekend services. The church consists of pews of wooden logs lined neatly in a clearing, a towering rough-hewn cross behind the altar.

Similar Evangelical churches, cut into clearings surrounded by 30-meter high hardwood trees, are packed with more than 350 worshipers for the daily two-hour evening service and brief early morning prayers. Each church has its own pastor, and worshipers bring large green leaves as hassocks to kneel on the damp forest floor.

These believers are the legacy of Christian missionaries who lived in the Central Highlands until 1975, when the last of them were expelled by the current government in Vietnam. Many of the missionaries had mastered the local dialects, translating Bibles and hymnals into the region’s Rade, Jarai and Koho languages.

The guerrillas also tune into weekly radio sermons delivered in their native languages by a powerful shortwave radio station in Manila operated by the Christian Missionary Alliance.

A guerrilla congregation reels off the names of “their” missionaries like a litany: “In Pleiku, Mr. Long and Mr. Fleming and in Dalat, Helen Evans, she is from America too. Ken Swain from Darlac, he preaches in our language on the radio every Saturday now.”

FULRO officials say some of the missionaries’ involvement with the Montagnards went beyond simply bringing the scriptures to the area. They said some of them were active in the waning days of U.S. involvement in the early 1970s in running guns to the guerrillas.

Following the collapse of the South Vietnamese regime in 1975, FULRO leaders say, the communists set about systematically dismantling Christian churches. Many of the Montagnards’ religious leaders were arrested and killed after the communist victory in 1975, they say.

“They take our pastors, preachers and Christians and put them in jail,” said FULRO’s military Commander-in-Chief Col Y Peng Ayun. “We don’t hate any one man because we are Christians, but we can never trust the communists,” he added.

Two prominent Montagnard pastors from Ban Me Thuot, Y Ham Nic Hrah and Y Lico Nie, died in the early 1980s after many years of harsh conditions in prison, according to the guerrillas. “Here, we worship no matter what,” said Pastor Budar Su Khong, 52, from Dalat. “Jesus said ‘Come to me whoever is tired, and I will bring you rest.’ We are very tired. Please take a message to Christians in other countries to pray for us, and we will pray for them.”

—–0000——
Vietnam War Era Renegade Army Discovered In Mondulkiri

By Nate Thayer

Abandoned for years by their own leaders and former foreign military backers, an anti-Hanoi Montagnard army based in northeast Cambodia has a plea for protection.

The military combatants of FULRO-the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races-have waged a lonely battle for a separate homeland in Vietnam for their hilltribe people since 1964.

The recent discovery of the Montagnard army in Mondulkiri province prompted Phnom Penh’s Interior Ministry to inform U.N. peacekeeping forces that unless the group-formerly given sanctuary by the Khmer Rouge-is disarmed they would attack them.

Under threat from the Phnom Penh regime, expelled by the Khmer Rouge, and a thorn in the side to Vietnam, FULRO is presenting an interesting if not painful dilemma to U.N. officials in Phnom Penh.

UNTAC-mandated to verify the withdrawal of all foreign forces in Cambodia-may be obligated to ensure the return of the group to Vietnamese soil if they insist on continuing to wage war.

But UNHCR-responsible for protecting people with a “well founded fear of persecution”-may have to offer asylum to the fighters if they are in danger of being sent back to Vietnam, where they certainly would face imprisonment.

That, in turn, could open the floodgates to thousands of requests for political asylum from Vietnamese living in Cambodia.

“We have enough problems in Cambodia dealing with the four factions, and now this army we never even heard of turns up,” said one UNTAC military official.

American diplomats in Phnom Penh and U.N. military officials in Cambodia are urging that UNHCR grant the group refugee status to begin the process of third country asylum, and give them temporary protection from military attack.

But FULRO Commander-in-Chief Y Peng Ayun and his forces are reluctant to accept giving up their fight without first getting U.N. protection.

“If we give up our weapons, they will take us back to Vietnam or the Vietnamese will come get us,” Ayun said. “If I go to the U.S., I don’t want to stay a long time there, because I have responsibility to liberate my country.”

When two correspondents visited FULRO’s remote guerrilla headquarters last month, they found an army unaware of the world around them and desperately seeking instructions and resupply from their leadership.

Col. Ayun and his lieutenants gathered around the reporters, hungrily seeking information. “Please, can you help us find our president, Y’Bham Enuol?” Colonel Ayun asked. “We have been waiting for contact and orders from our president since 1975. Do you know where he is?”

Neither Ayun nor his troops, who gathered around to meet the first journalists to find them since they fled to the jungles after the American defeat in Indochina in 1975, knew that their leader was executed 17 years before by the Khmer Rouge.

They fell silent when informed; some wept quietly.

Situated in a string of five villages carved out of dense forest along a raging river, the group of 407 guerrillas and their families have no access to even the smallest luxury items except from fighters returning from Vietnam.

There is no medicine or schools, and many of the soldiers and their families have only the clothes they wear and rifles. Bamboo huts with roofs of leaves provide shelter.

“The food we get from the forest. The forest belongs to FULRO.” said Lt. Col. Y Hinnie. “We don’t have food or medicine, so it is difficult. But with food and medicine the jungle is a very nice place. We are used to it.”

The rivers nearby abound with crocodiles, huge catfish, and fresh water porpoises and the surrounding jungle-thick with mosquitos-is home to elephants and a host of deadly snakes.

The combatants and their families are traditionally rice eating people, but they are unable to farm rice here with the enemy constantly forcing movement.

A staple of corn, with jungle cucumbers, pumpkins, and hot green peppers are all they have. For part of the year they survive on poisonous potatoes that must be carefully processed for five days to extract a deadly toxin.

“We must eat it slowly until our bodies get used to it or it will kill you,” Hinnie said, “But the poison is also the medicine we use to cure snakebites.” Nearby a soldier lay paralyzed from a snakebite he received three months before.

“This tree has the medicine we use for malaria and this one here we can use to treat diarrhea,” Hinnie said, pointing.

The army has no maps or compasses. “But we can guide ourselves by stars and winds of the seasons. We can tell by which side of the tree is wet during different months exactly which direction we are going,” he said.

Hinnie spoke credible English from his days as a young boy with Christian missionaries, as well as Khmer, Vietnamese, and French, and several tribal dialects, and translated for others who spoke in Rade. His skills have given him the title of “the FULRO Military Delegation’s Representative of Foreign Affairs.”

But his knowledge of world events is spotty. “We would like you to take a message to U Thant,” he said, referring to the former U.N. Secretary-General. Asking about the cold war, he said, “I hear that President George Bush now contacts with the Russians.”

He is charged with listening to the shortwave radio each morning, tuning in VOA, BBC, Christian radio, and Radio Vietnam to keep the group abreast of foreign developments.

Hinnie told amazed fighters of the fax machine: “You take a letter and put it in a telephone and it comes out in one minute in America,” he explained.

The Forgotten Army

A number of soldiers appeared to introduce themselves in English as having fought with the Americans.

“You are the first foreigner I have seen since 1975,” said Bhong Rcam, 47, “The Americans usually call me Tiny.”

Like many of the fighters of FULRO, he worked with the U.S. Special Forces during the Vietnam War. After the U.S. withdrawal he was jailed by Hanoi, before joining FULRO in the jungle in 1976.

During the Vietnam War FULRO was supplied with millions of dollars of U.S. equipment, and before that, used as allies to further the objectives of the French and various Vietnamese regimes.

When the North Vietnamese launched decisive offensives in March 1975, FULRO leaders say that senior U.S. officials in Saigon promised continued support for the Montagnards and pledged to covertly support their fight.

Well equipped with American weapons and promises of more as South Vietnam crumbled in the spring of 1975, FULRO waited for the Americans who never returned, eventually re-grouping in the jungle.

“The Montagnard people and the Americans are like one family,” said Lt. Col. Hinnie. “I am not angry, but very sad that the Americans forgot us. The Americans are like our elder brother, so it is very sad when your brother forgets you.”

FULRO continued to launch attacks on Vietnam for four years after the U.S. withdrawal, fielding a fierce army of 10,000 fighters. But by 1979 they were running low on ammunition and had suffered huge casualties, with more than 8,000 of their fighters killed or captured.

In 1979 FULRO abandoned their bases in Vietnam and moved to the jungles on the Cambodian side of the Vietnamese frontier, switching to underground networks and small guerrilla strikes in their four regions of operations in Vietnam-Quang Duc, Darlac, Pleiku, and Kon Tum.

Previously given sanctuary by the Khmer Rouge in areas under their control, FULRO was expelled from Khmer Rouge zones in January to a remote area of Mondulkiri province. Khmer Rouge officials in Phnom Penh say they had given FULRO sanctuary since 1979, despite having fallen out with their leadership in 1986.

“They had no political vision. Their fighters are very, very brave, but they had no support from any leadership, no food, and they did not understand at all the world around them,” said one senior Khmer Rouge official.

Jungle Christians

Col. Ayun complained bitterly of the treatment of his people by the Hanoi government.

“My people suffer terribly under the Vietnamese communist regime,” he recounted from a thatched hut in the forest. “They came and took our land, and made it theirs. They try to erase our language and force us to speak Vietnamese. They have taken our fertile land and forced us to the bad land.

“They say they have come to build progress for my people, but they have come to kill, arrest, and oppress my people.”

For many at FULRO’s scattered guerrilla bases, the ability to pray freely and practice Christianity was a main motivation to flee Vietnam. Each of the five villages in the FULRO area have an evangelical church, while there is a lone Catholic church in the main guerrilla camp.

“The Communists will not let us pray,” Col. Hinnie said. “They say that Christianity is an American and French religion, so we came to live in the jungle.”

Col. Ayun requested to meet with the American ambassador to seek advice on whether his group would get the aid he said was long promised and to seek proof of the death of their leader.
“We are the troops of President Y Bham Enuol,” he said.

“If he has died, we want proof from the United Nations. The Americans had a whole plan for Indochina. I want to meet face to face with the American ambassador. I have a plan for the future, and they should know clearly our position for the revolutionary struggle. We want to know whether they will help us or not.”

But the chances of U.S. support for Ayun and his forces are dim, and FULRO faces a whole new series of difficulties.

Montagnard leaders now living in the U.S. appealed to Col. Ayun to give up the fight. “Due to unfavorable circumstances, I suggest it is time to stop fighting, to find different ways to reach our ultimate goal,” said Pierre K’briuh in a recent message to the FULRO fighters.

K’briuh is a leader of the former FULRO troops now in the United States and he himself was jailed by Hanoi until the early 1980s.

“President Y-Bham Enuol and his entourage were executed by the Khmer Rouge in 1975,” he wrote.

“Therefore, based on common sense, lay down your weapons and appeal at once to the U.N. for political asylum to join us here. We don’t have any other choice.”

Col. Ayun and his troops say that if they have proof that Y Bham Enuol is indeed dead, they will consider going to the U.S.

“But even if we go to another country, our resistance will continue until we get our own land, until we get back the land that belonged to us before,” Ayun said.

“I don’t want to go to a free nation,” he added. “I want to stay here because this is my battlefield. It is my responsibility. But I have no supplies or help from free countries.”

 

The Childhood Education of a Cantankerous Journalist

28 Oct

The Early Education of a Future Cantankerous Journalist: 7th grade English class papers from a 12 year old

By Nate Thayer

October 28, 2013

I recently moved several hundred boxes of books, papers, and various possessions I have acquired through my decidedly nomadic, itinerant life from a storage unit into the basement of my new flat. I have spent many hours in recent days discovering all sorts of treasures which have brought back many long forgotten memories.

Some of the most special forgotten treasures are from my childhood schooldays that my mother had the foresight to know might be meaningful to me someday, and she surreptitiously secreted away and tucked in boxes to keep safe and give me when I was old enough to know they would be meaningful.

I was a difficult child.

I went to 13 schools prior to graduating high school. Let’s just say I did not leave them all by my own choice. “Nate is very smart and finds academics easy and does well in class. He has a bright future if he would only apply himself. He lacks discipline and appears to have some serious problems with authority,” read one report home to my parents on how I was faring, prior to the school insisting it would be in all parties best interest if I did not return to that institution the following academic year.

That was when I was 14. That was the fifth school I had attended in 3 years.

I made it a point, if one is too appoint a very acrobatically creative narrative, to do original research in my youth of the entire spectrum of educational styles and institutions.I went to fundamentalist Christian missionary schools, private day schools, all boys boarding schools, coed private day schools, Christian coed blue-blood boarding schools, alternative open class room schools, and public high schools. That was prior to college.

Most of them were social penitentiaries for the reproduction of the ruling class.

They were a lot of boarding schools. Their purpose was to ensure one did not attempt to poison one’s mind with the misconception that you could think for yourself. By the time, if they were successful from preventing your escape and you were allowed out on parole to the public at large upon graduation, one was 18 or so, and sufficiently safe to be allowed to experience the real world without threat of diverging from the, by then,  quite effective brainwashing.

I went to 13 schools before I was released into the civilian population at 18.

I was required to wear a coat and tie. I was required to attend church daily.

There were a lot of rules. I broke most of them. For lesser infractions, one would be disciplined with “work hours” as penance and assigned a mundane task to perform as punishment, such as janitorial duties etc. At one school, I accrued 578 work hours—an historical school record which, I am guessing, still stands. That was so many punishment “work hours” that there was no hope I would ever be able to complete them prior to graduating, not that the latter chance was either likely or proved true. But I saw this as a plus and a relief, because it really didn’t matter how many more rule breaking infraction hours I accrued as a result. And, hence, how many more rules I broke in the future.

I am finding all sorts of stuff in these boxes of memories.

Yesterday, I found a box with my 7th grade English class school paper assignments, with the teacher’s comments and my responses to his comments.

It is dated October 28, 1972—41 years ago to the day from today.

I was 12 years old. That is 7th grade for the American school system. It was in an all boy’s Christian boarding school in Connecticut.

Every second was regimented. One of my jobs was to get up at 0600 each day and ring the tower school church bell to awake the entire student body sleeping in dormitories. We had exact times to file in for breakfast. Our bedrooms were inspected for cleanliness each day. Church. Class. Recreation, meals–every minute was regimented. All lights had to be out at bedtime—which was 9:30 PM. Everyone had to be up by 0600, showered, dressed in coat and tie, bed made and room clean for inspection by 0630.

An adult dormitory monitor who lived on the dormitory would inspect each room at precisely the assigned hour to make sure innumerable infractions were not violated.

I lasted exactly one semester at that penitentiary, at the age of 12, before the school and I parted company. In this case, I told them—which was not the usual scenario—that I was leaving.

A solemn meeting was held in the principal’s office where a school psychologist was brought in. The stern duo of headmaster and psychologist did their most somber, almost grave best to try and persuade me to stay.

I had, at the time, the highest grades of any student in the school. I remember, because they would post every student’s grades next to their names on a public bulletin board for all to see. What a horrible thing to do to a child, in retrospect, if one was not performing at their peak for whatever reason.

I remember the exact words of the psychologist that day sitting in the principal’s office when I, 12 years old and 4 feet 11 inches tall, informed them I was leaving their institution because I determined it was not in my interest to continue that relationship.

“If you leave this school, you will be a failure. You will never be a man. Men don’t give up.”

I didn’t like that man in 1972, and I don’t like that man today in 2013.

I suppose I was a contrarian then, which has its downside, i am well aware.

Here is an English paper assignment dated October 27, 1972—41 years ago to the day from when I found it in a box this morning.

It includes my original paper and the notes and comments of my teacher, as well as my responses to his comments on the quality of my writing, which I returned to him for review.

Nat Thayer

English 7-1

October 27, 1972

Teacher: Sir Andy Rutman

“Last summer while in North Carolina, I had a chance to go rock climbing. Now rock climbing is my favorite sport and I always jump at a chance to do it.

A party of eight of us went to a gorge in the middle of the Carolina wilderness where we knew were some good climbs. We practiced on many little climbs until we knew we were ready.

Early one morning we woke up, had a light breakfast, and hiked for about two miles down a very steep path. After about an hour we came upon a huge rock, 350 feet in the air. I could not believe my eyes! It looked like an endless wall bounding up into the clouds. I had no hope of going to the top of this mountain rock.

We got all our ropes ready and within fifteen minutes we had started to climb the rock. At 4:30 in the afternoon we were on the top of the rock eating lunch. I had climbed the rock! At times I was sure I was right on my first conclusion. But I had climbed it. I had done the impossible. I had done a “five dollar job”.

The teacher “Sir Andy Rutman” graded the paper a 95%. He commented at the bottom, in all capital letters: “VERY GOOD. BUT IN SOME PLACES YOU LEFT OUT WORDS, SO IT DID NOT MAKE SENSE. QUESTIONS?”

“Sir” Andy made several corrections and criticisms which I detail un-redacted below.

In the second paragraph, first sentence regarding the phrase “A party of eight of us went to a gorge….” Sir Andy circled the two words “of us” and wrote in the margin: “Not necessary.”

I wrote in the margin under his comment: “Yes it is and does make sense!!!”

In the last paragraph, fourth sentence, “I was sure I was right on my first conclusion” Sir Andy put a big question marked and circled it, indicating he didn’t know what I meant.

I scrawled in the margin next to his circled question mark: “Just what I said!”

I wrote, in a summary of my response to his grading conclusions and skills in the returned paper to him addressing his criticisms and comments: “Your corrections do not make sense. You just want to find something wrong.”

Forty-one years later to the day, this now 53 year-old sticks by my then 12-year old comments as correct.

I was a difficult, problem child, I suppose.

And, reasonable people argue,  I am a difficult adult man.

But I still loathe to this day my early English teachers who did their best to suck the life out of a young child’s imagination, in the stead of nurturing and encouraging it.

We won’t even begin to speak of my 9th grade English teacher who failed me for starting my sentences with the word “and”.

I have made a point of starting sentences with the word “and” in hundreds of stories I have published as an adult professional writer in the ensuing years, and I think of him and smile each time. Well, and say a quiet “fuck you”, to be honest.

How Hordes of U.S. Republican Party Apparatchik’s Toppled the Mongolian Communist Descendants of Genghis Khan

6 Oct

How Hordes of U.S. Republican Party Apparatchik’s Toppled the Mongolian Communist Descendants of Genghis Khan

Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with the Mongolian Voter” was the single largest printed and most widely distributed document in Mongolian History, and Crucial to Overthrowing History’s Second Longest Ruling Communist Government Without Shedding a Drop of Blood:

The  “Contract with Mongolia.”

From the archives of contemporary history.

By Nate Thayer

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The Washington Post

April 6, 1997

On a stool in his portable felt and canvas yurt, Yadamsuren, a 70-year-old nomadic sheepherder, offered a visitor chunks of sheep fat and shots of fermented mare’s milk to ward off the unspeakable cold.

Seventy miles of bleak desert northeast of Ulan Bator and many miles from the nearest neighbor, he spoke glowingly of the work of then U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and the Republican Party. “I read the `Contract With the Voter’ closely. Everybody did,” he said, explaining why he decided to vote for a new government in Mongolian elections last June. “In the contract, they clearly say what society and the people can do for each other.”

American hordes, led by the Republican Party, have invaded the steppes of Mongolia in recent years. Instead of cavalries, they have comprised teams of election strategists and campaign organizers, who mobilized a once ragtag Mongolian opposition to achieve victory in national elections last June 30.

In what was once an impenetrable Soviet satellite, a remarkably young democratic government has taken power, creating Asia’s first successful transition from communism to democracy.

A key element behind the victory, say Mongolia’s new leaders, was a carefully engineered strategy by American Republican political operatives to end 75 years of Communist Party control. And the tool that the Mongolian Democratic Union credits for victory was none other than the “Contract With America,” the platform used in 1994 by revitalized Republicans to sweep into control of the U.S. Congress.

“This form of signing a contract with the people is a new achievement of the Mongolian political system, even of political science,” said Prime Minister M. Enkhsaikhan in a recent interview, smiling in his drab Soviet-built office in the main government square in Ulan Bator.

But today the halls of government in Ulan Bator could be mistaken for a university campus. Of the 50 new Democratic Union coalition legislators who gained power in the elections, 36 are in their twenties or thirties; the prime minister is 41, the parliament speaker is 43, and the minister of defense is 38. “It is an unqualified success of political transformation,” said a Western diplomat here. “But the 50 Democratic Union MP’s and new government have virtually no previous political experience. The phrase `complete chaos’ has been used.”

When the Russians built a capital for their first satellite country, populated by nomadic herdsmen, they named it Ulan Bator, which means “red hero” in Mongolian.

But the winds of political change have swept again across this isolated but strategically important corner of northeast Asia. Mongolia’s new freewheeling democracy has scores of newspapers, dozens of political parties and vigorous debate within the government, achieved without bloodshed or resistance from the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, the once-Stalinist Communist Party in uninterrupted power since 1921. Under the pressure of demonstrations in 1990, the government promised political and economic reforms, and the first multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 1992. The disorganized opposition only garnered six seats, leaving the other 70 — and the government — firmly in the hands of the Revolutionary Party.

In the wake of the crushing defeat, the Mongolian opposition began to work together with Republican advisers to transform itself into a unified force with formidable campaigning skills. Such peaceful transformation stands in stark contrast to the turmoil that has beset Russia and many former Soviet satellites after the collapse of communism.

“For decades Mongolia was under the domination of foreign countries,” Prime Minister Enkhsaikhan said in an interview with the Post . “So really Mongolia itself is a new nation.”

The U.S. Republican Party help to the fledgling Mongolian democratic opposition began in late 1991. “It was a personal request from Secretary of State {James} Baker. He called us up when he returned from {an official visit to} Ulan Bator and said, `I think you need to do something there to help the democratization process,` “ said Kirsten Edmondson, the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI) program manager for Mongolia. IRI — the Republican wing of the congressionally funded National Endowment for Democracy — dispatched staff members to Mongolia. They convinced squabbling groups of opposition forces — political parties, students, activists, nongovernmental organizations, intellectuals and businessmen — to form a united coalition.

IRI then trained candidates and supporters from the newly created National Democratic Union in the science of targeting voters with relevant messages, grass-roots party development and membership recruitment.

As the campaign season began in late 1995, Gingrich sent the authors of the “Contract With America” to Ulan Bator. Working with the Democratic Union, they drafted the “Contract With the Mongolian Voter.”

Even the new Mongolian election law was lifted verbatim from the election law manual of Texas, Mongolian and IRI officials said.

The Contract with the Mongolian Voter called for private property rights, a free press and the encouragement of foreign investment.

It became the most widely distributed document in Mongolian history, according to Mongolian officials, with 350,000 copies printed in 1996.

The Americans convinced the opposition candidates of the importance of hitting the campaign trail — a concept previously unheard of here — personally taking their message to the far-flung corners of this country of 2.5 million people just under the size of Alaska.

And it was voters such as Yadamsuren, who like many Mongolians uses only one name, who put the new government in power. A herder like more than half of Mongolia’s population, he owns 50 cows and sheep, which grazed nearby in minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit weather.

While his wife melted snow on a coal stove for drinking water for the livestock, he talked of giving the young opposition forces a chance to change Mongolia: “People understood that this new government wanted to put Mongolia on the same footing with other countries. We decided to give them the power to do it.”

And it was the contract that persuaded him to vote out the Communists, he said. “We knew before the elections there were promises in the contract that could not be fulfilled, like raising the pensions. But in general, in a strategic sense, {the new leaders} are doing important things. We decided to give the younger generation a chance.”

In dozens of interviews with ordinary Mongolians during a one-month trip through the country, all were familiar with the “Contract with the Mongolian Voter” and every Mongolian nomad living in the vast desert country in their portable tent-like traditional dwelling, known as a Ger, in this 15th largest nation on earth that straddles China and the former Soviet Union, knew who Newt Gingrich was.

On June 30, 1996, dressed in their finest traditional clothing, and traveling by horse, camel and on foot, 91 percent of the Mongolian electorate turned out to vote — -the biggest turnout by far in Mongolian history. The result stunned everyone, including the victors. Baker was on hand to witness the victory, having returned as a private citizen to serve as an official election monitor.

Diplomats and Mongolian officials agree that the Communists grossly miscalculated voter sentiment and the opposition’s organization. All 50 of the newly elected legislators were trained by IRI, according to government leaders. IRI and Mongolian officials said the Communist candidates were offered training and assistance in campaign strategy by the Americans, but turned it down.

But diplomats and Mongolian officials are quick to credit the Communists for the smooth transition. “In many ways they are the unsung heroes. They had the army and the power. They could have just refused to turn it over,” said an American diplomat.

In a July letter, two former leaders of the democratic opposition who suddenly found themselves head of parliament and the majority leader praised IRI and “all of our friends in America”: “The victory of democracy in Mongolia demonstrates that the values of life, liberty, freedom of speech and respect for human rights and justice are not just American values, but universal values inherent in all peoples, including the people of Asia,” they said. “We want to thank our American friends who worked so hard to make this possible. The International Republican Institute stood side by side with us.”

A letter to a young Cambodian-2013: Reflections on a toxic political culture

26 Jun

Cambodia-2013: Reflections on a toxic political culture

A letter to a young Cambodian

If Cambodia is not careful, they will be relegated to selling roadside trinkets along the highway as the rest of properly organized Asia zooms through without stopping  between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City

By Nate Thayer

June 26, 2013

Alright I just expelled my first FB friend.

Cambodia is having a so called election in coming weeks. Hun Sen, the ex Pol Pot military officer who has been running the show in the collapsed, sad nation since he lost the $3 billion UN funded free elections in 1993 and went on a murderous rampage, is still in sole and complete power, 30 years later.

Hun Sen achieved that distinction by systematically murdering, torturing, or otherwise dispatching anyone who didn’t demonstrate absolute obsequiousness, gouging their eyes out while alive, cutting off their penis’s  and stuffing them in their mouths while laughing before killing them, pulling out there tongues with pliers when they failed to utter the right words, yanking their fingernails out before putting a bullet between their eyes, and otherwise humiliating, torturing and murdering the duly elected government that would not submit in supine, abject, mute, loyalty.

He did this, this violent, bloody coup d’etat, in order to solely seize power in 1997. He fled the Khmer Rouge in 1977, well after hundreds of thousands of people were killed by his government, not out of any objection to their policies of mass murder of politically suspect citizens, but rather because he was next on their target list. He was installed in power a few years later by the invading Vietnamese army and served as their puppet leader until the UN arrived in 1991. He lost the 1993 UN election, used violence and threats to compel a power sharing arrangement, and then dispatched of the veneer formalities 4 years later in his bloody putsch.

And now he is running another transparently farcical insult to the concept of free elections , a campaign to get the absurd stamp of legitimacy on his dictatorship once again.

He has once again expelled all elected parliamentary opposition members in recent weeks, which strips them of legal immunity, so he can threaten and jail anyone who says anything he doesn’t like using the entirely controlled judiciary.

Frankly, Cambodia is such a pathetic, myopic political culture, with virtually no sense of common good or nation, that, with the exception of a very few very brave people, almost no one stands up to these thugs.

The dictator Hun Sen’s latest embarrassing rhetoric has him targeting his main opposition figure, Khem Sokkha, accussing him of sleeping with underage virgin prostitutes, and he has threatened to throw him in jail.

For Cambodian’s, they don’t find it sufficient to just murder or destroy the reputation through slander of their opponents. They enjoy publicly humiliating them first. The dirty little secret is that these tactics are prevalent in virtually all Cambodian leaders of all ideologies.

What does it say about the Cambodian political culture that after Pol Pot killed nearly a quarter of the population in 3 years eight months and 20 days in power, his political opposition was so unimpressive that the freshly minted mass murderers was able to rebuild his political organization through genuine popular support and remained the dominating political power broker for two decades after he did what he did?

It doesn’t say anything very complimentary or reassuring.

So when the following message just appeared on my FB page, it pushed my buttons.

“Both Putin & Berlusconi were divorced, no wife, they are enjoying life as bachelors, but now ex-PM of Italian is facing charge for buying sex with many under age girls = Kem Sokha.”

Khem Sokha, the opposition candidate who Hun Sen is gleefully publicly humiliating, after stripping him of his position as an elected parliamentarian, is a decent man. I remember him as a courageous human rights campaigner in a country where such activity would likely make you a statistic, and quickly.

So I wrote the following reply to his pathetic status message:
I am not sure who you are. But I do know this: Life is too important to be sputtering foolish and dangerous untruths. And life is never worth blindly repeating the absurd and false propaganda of any political leader without using your mind to think for yourself and figure out whether it is true.

The allegations against Khem Sokha are so obviously bald political slander created by Hun Sen that not a person on earth outside of Cambodia believes them to be true.

Until people like you stop getting pleasure from viciously attacking without merit political leaders and start demanding your leaders stop stealing the country blind, filling their bank accounts with the proceeds that belong to the nation, selling off Cambodia’s heritage to the foreigner with the most money, and murdering and oppressing through violence and a constant state of fear anyone who doesn’t get on their knees when they enter the room, Cambodia will remain the sad, failed country that is unable to survive without the charity of the properly organized world.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

And you should certainly be ashamed of your country.

Only then, perhaps, will you fight to create a national dignity that is such an historical relic in Cambodian political culture that it is beyond the ability of historians to empirically reconstruct.

Why should the rest of the world care about a country that cares so little about itself that it allows the same incompetent, corrupt, rapacious thugs to run the asylum years and years on end?

It is one thing to not say anything at all because you rightly know if you speak the truth they will do whatever it takes, up to and including murdering you, to make you stop. It is entirely another to take perverted pleasure in destroying the reputation of good people who are trying to change the country.

It is embarrassing and despicable.

OK. I have said what I feel because I am a free man and can. Good luck achieving the same political conditions in your neck of the woods with your pathetic attitude.

And, congratulations. You have the distinction of being the first person I have ever formally blocked and kicked off my FB page. Because you simply are not worth the bother.

Good luck in your upcoming “election.”

And good luck with the future you and your country are rapidly hurtling towards: A sad, pathetic failed nation state that will find itself selling trinkets on the highway between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, as the rest of the region and planet, zooms through without stopping,  as they get on with the program of making life better for their people.

Nate

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