Top General in Cambodia: 'I Learned From Hitler'

Sao Sokha admires Vietnamese guerrillas, too
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2015 8:48 AM CST
Top General in Cambodia: 'I Learned From Hitler'
Cambodian riot police officers stand guard at a blockade in a main street as teachers stage a protest march in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A word of advice for officials: Leave Hitler out of it. Days after a Texas Republican compared President Obama to Hitler, a Cambodian internal security honcho has praised the Nazi dictator during a speech in Phnom Penh. "Speaking frankly, I learned from Hitler," Commander General Sao Sokha said, arguing Hitler is a great example for any state hoping to maintain social order, Time reports. He said he also admired how Nazi Germany rose to power post-WWI when "not allowed by the international community to have more than 100,000 soldiers." Discussing crushed protests last year, he said he "learned from the Vietnamese guerrillas to take small numbers to fight against the big ... to destroy them," the Cambodia Daily reports.

Time suggests Hitler might have been equally impressed with the regime built by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who the AP reports on Wednesday celebrated 30 years in power. Human Rights Watch links him to "extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, summary trials, censorship, bans on assembly and association, and a national network of spies and informers intended to frighten and intimidate the public into submission." A historian adds he is "intelligent, combative, tactical, and self-absorbed." He also refers to himself in the third person: "If Hun Sen hadn't been willing to enter the tigers' den, how could we have caught the tigers?" he said in a Wednesday speech. (More Adolf Hitler stories.)

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