Monthly Archives: March 2010

Randy Ford Author- A LOVELY WAR Snapshots of History 1st Installment

      The train reached West Bahnhof Station untypically late.  Indeed, considering the circumstances and the unexpected delays, they were lucky to have reached Vienna at all.  Having boarded the second class section early that morning near the Serbian border, they were coming from an extended holiday in the mountains.  Since they were use to traveling with ease, it had been very strenuous.  Train after train, filled with troops, caused their delay.
      
      As war ignited the Balkans, many more men would join the army. The spark came from the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo. Diplomacy failed because of a hundred years of antagonism between the Slavs and the Teutons.  Austria had just declared war on Serbia, and all sides were primed for a short and glorious struggle. Men everywhere were eager to go.
       Apparently in deep thought, the father of the boys sat silently.  His wife, on the other hand, waved and smiled at the soldiers that filled the trains heading in the opposite direction.

       As evident by the enthusiasm, the initial shock and anger over the assassinations had subsided.  At this early stage only a few shots had been fired.  What was there to worry about?  War?  War, war, war, and there was going to be a war, and it wouldn’t amount to much.

       Along the route the family’s train had to wait on sidings.  Troop trains had a higher priority.  Now and then, through open windows, toasts and then wine bottles were exchanged.  Pauline felt proud of this display of military strength.  She had no reason not to trust the military machine, while her husband Fritz knew differently.  He dreaded having to report back to his unit.

       Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, Rutheniums, Italians, Bosnians and Croats, all of these nationalities made up the ranks of the Austrian army.  Out of all of those nationalities, who could be trusted?  Why trust anyone?  But with the declaration of war, everyone was expected to declare his loyalty.   That meant some of them had to make up their minds whether they’d change sides or not.

       Young Fritz knew he’d have to put his life on hold.  He didn’t have an option.  Already a family man, he’d hoped to find security in a firm with a pension at the end.  Having attended the Gymnasium, and among the best scholars of his form, he had easily landed a job.  He hoped he’d secure his future by working hard.  Love of German literature from Goethe to Schiller also helped.  With enthusiasm and diligence and devotion to duty, he’d secure for himself a reputation that seemed well tailored for his position. Besides that, he had excellent connections; and his income seemed generous for the times.  Now all of that had to be placed on hold.

       Fritz felt indebted to his wife and to his detriment placed her on a pedestal.  In those days, he enjoyed her companionship.  Having come from a wealthy family, she introduced him to the good life.  In turn, he showed her his love.  Hence, there was nothing surprising about the two of them, with their two sons and a nanny, returning home from an excursion.

       From the outset of the war, without notice or without apologies, the army commandeered trains.  For the first time in their lives, the family had been bumped to second class; and having been delayed time and time again, Fritz sat in his seat impatiently.  They had been scheduled to reach Vienna at 2:18 in the afternoon.  However, the train was so delayed that it was after dark before it arrived.

       The activity at Westbahnhof Station resembled a beehive.  Normally it was a crowded, busy place, but now it was even more so.  Upon arrival, the family immediately stepped down from the train but, due to the crowd, could only take a few steps at a time.  In a hurry, they pushed their way passed couples kissing and holding each other, hoping to delay the inevitable goodbye.  The clinging, the kissing, the waving, and the crying, the whole process seemed more hurried than it had to be.  Many plans had to be interrupted.  Lives had to be placed on hold.  Promises were hastily made without any guarantee that they could be kept.  Wives had to be strong.  Sweethearts would have to wait without ever knowing whether their lovers would return or not; but in spite of all the uncertainties, on the whole, most of the soldiers were able to say goodbye with some degree of optimism.  Many of them had not thought about the danger.  Suddenly they were thrust into something bigger than any individual.  Soon they would be fighting to win the war to end all wars.

      When his time came, Fritz would wait with great anticipation for letters from home.  “The beauty of our hearth,” the beloved mother of his children would write to him about home.  With a word about herself and their boys, upon whose love he depended, she would try to reassure him; but her words left him unconvinced.  Naturally enough, the hurried manner in which they said goodbye only contributed to his anxiety.

      While the Kaiser continued to gather his army, Pauline had nightmares, some of which involved her children; others involved the destruction of the world.  She saw a game for which no one bore any responsibility.  Add to this scene Kaiser Franz Joseph, conspicuously dressed in wine-stained civvies.  Just as he stepped down from his carriage, Pauline’s fascination focused on his long whiskers.  It would be hard for her to forget the gaze with which she felt maligned her.

       She took lovers, hoping to forget her sorrow; but memories of her last lover only compounded her grief.  More and more often she found that she couldn’t sleep.  The radiance of her lover’s face acted as a lamplight, as she relived their carriage ride through The Prater.  As the cycle of loss turned into a pattern, she found little incentive to live.

       It was shortly after midnight when Fritz’s loneliness seemed most acute.  At last, silence; and with no more artillery fire came less apprehension.  Fritz, and the troops on both sides tried their best to sleep.  It was a night for wearing galoshes, and to wear them not only to protect your feet but to also feel civilized.

       Snow fell all night.  Near daybreak, in the trenches, no one escaped the wet and the cold.  Each morning the watch surveyed a new landscape, since violent fusillades during the night tore up the land without regard for houses or trees.  With open land sloping down from the trenches, it was an excellent position.  To help fortify it, barbed wire was strung along in front of the trenches.  This morning Fritz had the task of digging a deeper hole for himself.  Suffering from misery and fear, he’d be condemned for months to burrowing as an animal.

       Fritz had enlisted to fight a lovely war and, at first, had been trained to fight from a horse.  To him, a sign of his fall came when he had to dig a hole to survive.  If he had suddenly been killed on a horse, imagine the difference that would’ve made.  Here was an example of how hysteria and insanity preyed on a soldier’s inner defenses.

       Before long certain designated men climbed out of the trenches and, shortly thereafter, returned with the day’s provisions. It was a good meal, soups or a stew of some sort. By nine the day’s tedium would’ve begun with the precise and scientific struggle of the artillery.  Field batteries and siege guns generally sent shells whistling over their heads and were unmistakable for the lesser report of their explosions.  Exploding contact shells were far more impressive.  Shrapnel, shattering trees, snapped good size trunks as if they were twigs, while the sniping went on all the time.

       Packed elbow to elbow in the trenches, and as one became habituated, one could expect to spend the whole day standing.  Too often, they also thought that the war was harder for them than for anyone else.  It was surely unfair.  But in the middle of all the discomfort, Fritz longed for an attack, the barbed wire, the baronets, and the rifle butts, anything for a change.  In fact, along with the monotony, he felt as if he were cheated.  But he quickly realized that there was nothing noble about the war.

      Death he already knew well.  He had seen the worse side of humanity, as they still talked about the glories.  There were cowards among them.  They were men everyone knew, recognizable even before they’d seen any action.  Cowards were everywhere, as the fraternity of cowards grew.  The possibility of having to depend on one then was pretty certain.  Then, as a means of defense, one had to rely on them.  The enemy might’ve been superior; though counted among them were many cowards too.

       The whole battlefield, which Fritz never had an opportunity to see, once had been poor rocky farmland and wasn’t worth a single life.  It was true that since the stalemate, there didn’t seem to be a reason to attack.  With nothing critical at stake, it seemed as if all of the parties had agreed to allow the artillery to do most of the fighting.

       It had been different in the Balkans.  But few fighters could match, as a whole, the Turks.  No one could equal them in the open field or with bayonets.  Having first fought in the Balkans, Fritz fretted over inaction.  “In the name of Civilization, let’s get on with it,” he cried, but the truth of the matter was that he had forgotten many of the reasons why he was fighting.  But desertion would’ve been impossible.  It would harden him. He never had the strength to either endorse the war, or to walk away from it.

       “But after all,” Fritz would say with a serious tone, “there are very few great men left.  Nine times out of ten, it’s the weak that stay alive. And if it weren’t for my dearest Pauline, there wouldn’t be a reason to live.  Perhaps, before long, we’ll all be back in Vienna, with no more than colds.  And when the sun comes out, we might even get to dry our socks out and start feeling half civilized again.”

       It was the winter of 1915, a year full of fire and smoke.  “Those swine over there, which we never see, would just love to smash us; but not today!”

       In reality, nothing prepared him for the boredom.  He had time on his hands, time to be philosophical.  Time to piece together fragments of thought.  Time to feel sympathy. Time to think about those he loved.  He came up with a condensed version of living, which was in contrast with his memories of living in Vienna, or more specifically those first months with Pauline.  Along with a shovel, he also clung to a small volume of Goethe called, Zarathustra.  From it, he gleaned ideas about feeling superior.  With these distractions, Fritz could ignore the dangers around him.

       Fritz fooled himself into thinking that suffering proved that he was alive.  It would’ve been cruel to tell him the truth.  He was as sensible as he could be, but the reality of war drove him deeper and deeper into the realm of insensibility.  He tried to disguise it, but he couldn’t hide from it for very long.

      The night sky offered Fritz the same array of moon and stars he had often observed in Vienna.  The stark beauty of that night extended way beyond the vast tracks of the barren wasteland.  Then the order came to give up their position, which broke his heart.

       The enemy may have gotten the trenches, but at least they hadn’t been defeated.  In fact, movement gave them renewed hope, for conditions couldn’t have been worse.  In so large an operation, the loss of some men was compensated by a change of scenery.

       Their retreat couldn’t have escaped notice.  If nothing else, the constant grinding of motors would’ve given them away.  With the moon flooding the hillside with light, there was no effort made to fool the enemy.  The big question then was why had the enemy permitted so much?

       It seemed as if fools led the army, or else they wouldn’t have made so many mistakes.  Or perhaps their retreat was a mere gesture, inviting an attack.  But not a round was fired.

       Rations were distributed to all of the troops.  Everybody got his share of wine.  Nobody would consider celebrating the Kaiser’s birthday without some.  They rightly expected trouble.  Why not settle accounts on the Kaiser’s birthday?  It would be the best time Fritz had since he left Vienna.

       The schloss had been mostly gutted; but in spite of the damage, it still reflected its owner’s wealth and taste.  The palace was given to the soldiers for their use.  Here there was what remained of a library and a few shelves of books, remarkably untouched by fire.  It was here that Fritz found relaxation in the works of Kant, Heider, Schiller, and Humboldt, all of whom seemed to point the way to an ideal civilization.

       Fritz appropriated as many volumes as he could carry.  As much as he could, he dove into them.  They offered an escape and fed into his intellectual side.  He happened upon Goethe and chose to read about evil.  For instance, in Goethe he found all the imaginable things that gave meaning to a God-forsaken world.  He read aloud verses about tragic sacrifice.

       All of the authors were German.  Fritz was ready for the poem “Wandrers Nachtlied.”  In his heart, he knew that Austria fought for an ideal and not so much for territory or even principles but for honor.  The poem thus gave meaning to misery and reasons for the mundane.  It also gave a rationale for not giving up.

       The night seemed short, while Fritz slept a long stretch.  Some of the men tended fires.  Others were on sentry duty, while each of them would have a turn at that.  Most of his unit enjoyed an unaccustomed degree of comfort.  Before going to sleep, Fritz proposed a toast to the Kaiser from what he had left from a bottle of wine and celebrated the progress of the campaign.  But in spite of the camaraderie, each man felt he was fighting a private war.

      Fritz couldn’t stop thinking about Pauline and their sudden separation.  So many things were left unsaid.  In the most general terms, he wanted to reassure her.  He wanted to tell her that he planned to return in one piece.  However, he knew he couldn’t control his destiny.

      Pauline also knew about risks.  As her sympathies shifted, her feelings for her husband cooled.  By this time, she had become her own worse enemy.  She hadn’t foreseen this, nor could she avoid it.

      As he thought of recent victories, Fritz managed a smile.  Again, everyone thought in terms of a short conflict, in terms of months rather than years (and forgetting that it had already been a year).  But rather than jinks everything, he returned to Goethe’s “Zarathustra.”  As he read phases such as “whirling wind and dried up dirt,” the imagery was as clear as the morning.  With luck, maybe he could keep the shadows away.  He seemed determined to not let the reality of his situation affect his mood.

      Randy Ford

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Randy Ford Author- POL POT Snapshots of History 7th Installment

      We soon learned that our fellow Khymers had something totally different in mind.  I don’t know what details to give here.  I’m not sure how I survived.  Don’t try to tell me that Angkor had our welfare in mind.   When people yielded as much as we did, they couldn’t be trusted again.  But I realized that I had lost my will to resist and lost my self-respect, and my life had become filled with death and terror.  Very soon I began acting the same as a slave.
     
       I’ve always stood by my story, though ghosts have contradicted me.  Whenever something gets too painful, I take long walks.  I go into the jungle and get into such a state that it would be dangerous to bother me.  Some days I isolated myself entirely.
      Nothing was right in Kampuchea.  The Vietnamese invasion changed nothing.  I was in exile but was unaware that I was.

      On January 7, 1979, we were surprised by Vietnamese troops.  There was only enough time to slip through the Vietnamese lines on a motorcycle.  Across northern Cambodia toward the Thai border raced our enemy’s tanks but just ahead of them I rode into the most superb sunset.  From Phnom Penh, I headed for Mt. Aural in the west.  I hoped from there to somehow reach the border.       

       Vulgar Vietnamese were turning our people into fish paste.  They buried peasants up to their necks or set them on fire.  It was incomprehensible.  It reminded me of the Nazis and Hitler.  But what comes from such comparisons?  Nothing!  It was inexcusable.  When you’ve talked yourself out, you must come back to that.

      I changed into a peasant’s uniform and thought the blue scarves would make it easier for me to blend in with the thousands of people who jammed the roadways.  I disguised myself to escape vengeance.  I traveled mostly in the daytime and slept in the jungle at night.  On reaching the border area, I looked for comrades and regretted that I couldn’t be open about it.

      I heard of Pol Pot’s escape and heard that he was in Thailand.  The news depressed me.  My destiny was determined for me.  I wanted nothing to do with him.  I knew the mess I was in.

      Having escaped certain death, I entered a situation equally dangerous.  To stay alive, I drank my own urine.  This I’ll never forget.  It was a valuable lesson.  I must here mention starvation.  Many people arrived at the camps with swollen bellies.  In fact, we grew to expect it.

      There were no more fields of rice, just abandoned fields full of cactus.  Nothing equaled my despair, as I looked for former comrades.  I don’t know why I continued to walk in the boiling sun.  I became emaciated.  I don’t know why I was eager to find a familiar face.  I also dreaded it.  I trembled all the time.  As I trudged along, a simple prayer came to me, “Neak mo puthir yak. Meak a-uk, meak a-uk.  Neak mo puthir yak…. neak mo puthir yak….”

      Let me go back ten or eleven days to when my motorcycle ran out of gas.  Instead of sticking with the crowds then, I plunged into the jungle.  I soon lost my way and wandered around for days.  I even suffered through the pain and the delirium of snakebite.  And that was what led me to pray.

      Exhausted, weak and filled with despair, I found myself strengthened by adversity.  There also was no sign of the supreme Angkor.  Fortunately, I knew enough to walk toward the setting sun.

      Traveling at night required great concentration.  I would no more descend a hill than I’d have to climb one again.  Stumbling along, I headed back to the road without thinking that it could lead me to danger.  I thought of myself as a wild animal.  Such a delusion would’ve made my old friends howl.  I said to myself that with the eyes of an owl and the teeth of a tiger, I wouldn’t need to worry.

      The invasion of the Vietnamese, together with all the talk about genocide, greatly concerned me.  But when the culture succumbs, the nation is dissolved.  As a symptom, I’d be the first to admit that I used to find the sexual exploits of our prince exciting.  I also used to be quite potent.  As the prince took his various consorts to bed, the fun for us all began.  In those days, we all loved to talk about le sport!  And the frenzy of our passions approached the intensity of our orgasms.  “C’arrive!  It’s happening,” we’d say.

      The next thing we knew the bombs started falling.

      Gentlemen, we all knew that the killing had precedent elsewhere.

      It was perfectly magnificent, gentlemen, to see all of our people working day and night to reconstruct our country.  Kampuchea looked the same as one immense anthill.  Perhaps it was the only case on record when the total population of a country was mustered for one purpose.  Our motto was, according to Pol Pot, “When we have rice, we have everything.”  But city people didn’t know what farming was, didn’t know what a cow was, and didn’t know what harvesting was.  The workers…. the fields…. Cambodian people frozen on film…. reminder enough of the penalty of weakness.

      Sensationalism sells newspapers!  I’m impatient with sensationalist.  Our Chinese friends wished us a speedy revolution, as well as everything else connected with our independence.

      My next stay was at a dangerous place called Nong Chan.  It was the worse place I’d ever been.  When asked, “where do you come from, Comrade,” for good reasons I would never mention Tuol Sleng.  Instead, I would make up something.  If pressed, I could well have said, “Comrades, we know Tuol Sleng was invented by our enemies.  In fact, Nokorbal (security) never had to resort to the extreme measures often attributed to our regime.”

      Our laws were exact.  Our laws didn’t take into account friendship. Given the circumstances, contact of this nature was extremely dangerous. I’ve always known when to hide my identity.

      The excuses I gave were numerous.  I tried to be friendly.  My good humor was so infectious and so constant that no one would’ve guessed that I had another side to me.

      Randy Ford

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International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature-WORLDS OF WORDS

       International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature

      WORLDS OF WORDS

      The University of Arizona.  College of Education 

      Open Reading Hours Saturdays  9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. 

      Room 104 College of Education 

      Visit our Web site at www.wowlit.org

       Language & Culture Kit for Arabic-Speaking Countries 

      THE BREADWINNER, Deborah Ellis

      ROSES IN MY CARPET, Rukhsana Khan, Ronald Himler (illus.)

      BENEATH MY MOTHER’S FEET, Amjed Qamar 

      THE CARPET BOY’S GIFT, Pegi D. Shea, Leane Morin (illus.)

      ALIA’S MISSION: SAVING THE BOOKS OF IRAQ, Mark Alan Stamaty

      THE LIBRARIAN OF BASRA, Jeanette Winter

      SILENT MUSIC, James Rumford

      TASTING THE SKY: A PALESTINIAN CHILDHOOD, Ibtisam Barakat

      SAMI AND THE TIME OF THE TROUBLES, Florence P. Heide & Judith H. Gilliland, Ted Lewin (illus.)

      THE SHADOWS OF GHADAMES, Joelle Stolz

      THE BEST EID EVER, Asma Mobin-Uddin, Laura Jacobson (ills.)

      MY NAME IS BILAL, Asma Mobin-Uddin

     MUHAMMAD, Demi

     TRAVELING MAN: THE JOURNEY OF IBIN BUTTATA 1325-1354.  James Rumford

      19 VARIETIES OF GAZELLE: POEMS OF THE MIDDLE EAST.  Naomi Shihab Nye

      MUSLIM CHILD,  Ruchsana Khan

      MY ARABIC WORDS BOOK, Iman S. Juma

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Evelyne Tannehill Author- ABANDONED AND FORGOTTEN: AN ORPHAN GIRL’S TALE OF SURVIVAL IN WORLD WAR II

      ABANDONED AND FORGOTTEN: An Orphan Girl’s Tale of Survival in World War II

     by Evelyne Tannehill

(Wheatmark 2007)
 For more information go to http://www.laurahird.com/newreview/abandonedandforgotten.html

      “Brings American life into proper prospective.  Deeply moving!  An essential read!  An absolutely vital companion read for The Diary of Anne Frank.  Tannehill’s masterfully written account provides mature readers a beautiful, yet in your face experience; sweeping them into time and place as if a permanent fly on the wall.  The child Evelyne seems to be always within arm’s reach and her life’s struggle become a salient, dirstrubing reality for the reader.  Her short lived joys and affections, as well as her suffering, fear, and anguish become those of ther reader’s.  Personally, this book exponentially deepened my own understanding of the East Prussian history, and the devastating effects of the Russian conflict.  It provided me knowledge of historical events that I realize now were sadly absent even in my college History instruction.  The reading of this autobiography has provided me as a bridge of knowledge concerning histgorical events that are seemingly too abandoned and forgott; I am awed by Evelyne Tannehill’s ability to humbly, yet powerfully, bring this part of the past to the surface for re-examination; a true literary gift.  This book pulled me out of an ocean of ignorance and now I stand on a firm land of insight.”  From a reader in London

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Susan Lowell Author, Illustrated by Stacy Dressen-McQueen- THE ELEPHANT QUILT: STITCH BY STITCH TO CALIFORNIA, a Children’s Book

      THE ELEPHANT QUILT: STITCH BY STITCH TO CALIFORNIA

      by Susan Lowell, illustrations by Stacy Dressen-McQueen.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux

      “‘Slow, slow, slow go the wagon wheels.  But my little needle flies quicly, quickly, quickly.  We are going to California in a wagon train.’  So begins Lily Rose’s account of her family’s 1859 journey along the Santa Fe and Gila Trails.  To commemorate this great undertaking, Lily and her grandma are making a quit from patches of fabric and their memories of joy and sorrow along the way.  Always, Lily Rose anticipates seeing ‘the elephant,’ a metaphor for the new, impossible-to-imagine life awaiting her.  Accomplished storyteller Susan Lowell has outdone herself this time!  Her choice of words is exquisite , and character development she achieves is extraordinary in a picture book.  This is well-imagined pictures by Stacey Dressen-McQueen.”- Cathy Jacobus

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Randy Ford Author- POL POT Snapshots of History 6th Installment

      But not all those purged were killed.  I’d hope I’d simply be suspended or expelled from the party.  I hope my personal loyalty to Deuch would be my salvation.  Still, what I’m forced to do makes me angry, so much so, that I’ve considered covering my tracks and seeking exile in another country.      Thea bounced back with surprising stamina.  He survived my interrogation.  He held his head up, in spite of being deprived of sleep.  His defiance was a reaction to torture.  It had no meaning.  We knew he couldn’t last much longer.  At this stage, I carried out the torture myself, and he started to confess.  I hit him repeatedly in the head.  I wanted to keep him off balance.

      During the next rounds, Thea begged me to forgive him and spare his life.  Then I whispered something into his ear that sent him through the ceiling.  It was my private opinion about what would happen to his wife and children.  I saw the agony on his face.  From then on, I had it my way.  And when it came time to slit his throat, he lay in a ball on the floor.

      I told him, “you’re guilty of treason.”  He confessed to me without any passion.  “I am,” he said.  To keep the worms out we had to patch the holes in our organization.

      Never mind logic.  People easily forget how our enemies exploited us.  They forget how we suffered. What an astonishing stimulus hunger was.  Our people knew what it meant to be without medicine.  So severe was the oppression that we grabbed our guns.

      Pol Pot said, “to achieve self-reliance and independence, it is essential to wipe the slate clean. It’s unfortunate that the ax has had to fall on some of our best people” (to which we might add old friends and young intellectuals).

      Brother Number One regrets each death.

      As for the majority of us who work at Tuol Sleng, we’re basically good people.

      With respect to Thea’s execution, for me it was the saddest and most difficult of them all.  It supports my contention that we’re all human.  I often cried over what we had to do at Tuol Sleng.

      After Hou Yuon was sacked from the cabinet, he continued to growl.  “God will correct this mistake…. God surely will!”  Crowds applauded him.  He had a tremendous following.  His face was universally known throughout the country.  We had to do something.  I could mention many other names.

      A close friend suddenly changed and expressed his dissatisfaction with Angkor.  He spoke out and said the Center had made mistakes.  Undoubtedly, this was treason.

      So much for the individual.  I’ve many things to say about rot in society and rot in the Party.  In respect to both the rot in society and rot in the party, there are fine examples in the Tuol Sleng archives (1976).  For the purpose of this confession, I must say that

      I have no regrets.  My ambition doesn’t come into play here.  I take full responsibility for all I’ve done and will remain loyal until the end.

      Ninh Chea

      On the afternoon of 6 January 1979, workers were ordered to assemble at Phom Penh railway station for immediate evacuation.  Perhaps evacuation was not an accurate description of the chaos.  Unless you were in a comatose state, you couldn’t help but see how desperate the people were.  Emptying the city to prevent a Vietnamese victory was how we described it.  We never acknowledged defeat.  We knew when to run.

      The Vietnamese surrounded the city and were moving very fast.  Defeat had never been pretty.  Shades of defeat were not any different.  You may blame this or that, and say another thing publicly.  Well, would you believe Prince Sihanouk left on the last plane out of the capital?  We arranged that for him.  At the same time we heard that Pol Pot and his aides had fled to Thailand.  Both events generated a great internal struggle.  My prospects indeed seemed grim.

      During a speech before a national congress of the Party in 1978, Pol Pot outlined a new four-year plan for opposing the Vietnamese.  Only we didn’t have four years left.  By that time, much of what Pol Pot said was simply wishful thinking.  But between his speech and his everyday manner, he hooked us.

      I always followed his mandates, or, all too often ignored my conscience.  But in light of Vietnamese aggression, it all seemed justified.  We held out hope that the righteousness of our cause would in time be recognized.  We expected a major reversal.  We recognized that there were flies everywhere.  If you knew the whole truth, you would see how unforgiving the world has been.

      My weaknesses were apparent.  It was difficult during this time to maintain a balance between pacifism and violence.  I’ve always been for peace and come from a gentle land.  But I was among the thousands of people who wrapped white handkerchiefs around our arms, emblems of surrender, and welcomed the communist into the city.  What startled me, however, was that the conquerors started routing people out of their homes.  For the most part there was no resistance.

      Randy Ford

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Tom Kirkbride Author- GAMADIN, Sci-Fi Adverture Book Series

      GAMADIN

      by Tom Kirkbride 

      Sci-Fi adventure Book Series 

      www.Gamadin.com 

      At Bookstores Everywhere

      Finally, the Boys have a series the Girls love to read! 

     Now the fate of the galazy rests with a couple of Southen California surfers!

      Book I GAMADIN: WORD OF HONOR 

      Sixteen-year-old Harlowe and Riversone are bodysurfing killer waves when their fun is interrupted by a yacht capsizing off the California coast.  After rescuing, a movie star and a half-alien sociallite, Fate sends the boys on the journey of their lives looking for the galaxy’s most powerful weapon: an ancient Gamadin spaceship;.  If you think finding a spaceship; in the middle of the desert is cool, wait till you get a load of what Harlowe and his friends dig up! 

      And She still works! 

      ISBN: 978-1-93472-06-1      $21,95   Hardcover 

      Young Adult Sci-Fi/ Adventure

       Book II GAMADIN: MONS 

      Millayanda has parked Harlowe and his friends on a planet with no life, no breathable atmosphere, and no In-Out Burgers at the dge of the solar system’s largest extinct volcano.  They’re broken, hungry, and lost, with no knoweledge and skills as to operating the most powerful weapon in the galaxy.  If that were not enough, a military presence conscripts their souls, while back home, their must contend with…

      A goverment that wants its property back! 

      ISBn: 978-0-9840643-0-4      $24.95, Hardcover 

      Young Adult/ Sci-Fi/ Adventure

      COMING OCTOBER, 2010

      Book III  GAMADIN: DISTANT SUNS 

      Homesick and eager to find a date and catch a few waves, Captain Harlow Pylott and his new Gamadin crew are minutes from touchdown, when their homecoming is interrupted by a distress call that sends them on a perilous journey light-years from home.  The empire that crushed Neeja, the planet he made an oath to save, is now on the verge of seizing the entire galactic quadrant!  The only things that stand in its way are the Gamadin, the love of a girl, a lone ship; from the distant past and a of white tigers you’ll never forget. 

      www.GAMADIN.com

      ISBN: 978-0-9840643-1-1  $24.95

       Young Adult/ Sci-Fi/ Adventure

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