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POL POT (1925-1998)

Born Soloth Sar, between 1975 and 1979 he depopulated Cambodia by about 50% and was subsequently awarded the Guinness Book of World Records' title of worst mass-murderer (based on percentage of general population killed).

It was a close call, but consider this: however slight, the other great genocidists/tyrants of the twentieth century all had some sort of good point. Talaat Pasha of the Young Turks initially tried to institute democratic reforms in his country. Lenin opposed Stalin. Hitler backed and helped design the Volkswagen. Stalin helped beat Hitler. Chairman Mao fought the Japanese during WWII. Saddam Hussein and Ruhollah Khomeini fought against each other. As did George Steinbrenner and Ted Turner.

Pol Pot stood out in this regard: he had absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. In fact, this dedicated Maoist (who made a point out of torturing, starving and otherwise killing, among others, anyone who wore eyeglasses) was so vile that the Stalinist North Vietnamese had to intervene to stop him. Even George McGovern of all people wanted to reinvade. In short, Pol Pot never fought the bad guys in any conflict he was involved in. Whoever he was up against became the good guys by default. His regime neither built nor created anything. All it did was kill and destroy. Except on the occasional good day when it would only destroy and kill.

Nevertheless, the Khmer Rouge paterfamilias had the backing of the morally irrelevant United Nations because of his purely technical claims of sovereignty. The American Left ignored this communist's antics until they could come up with some way to blame the genocide on Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

At the end of his life, the Khmer Rouge finally discharged Mr. Pot from his duties, and put him on a videotaped and thoroughly inconsequential "trial" that had all the trappings of a 12-step Intervention (Genocidists Anonymous?), after which he was driven away in a late model Toyota Land Cruiser. Our hero then finally died in his own bed of natural causes.

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