„I am asking the U. S. A and Great Britain if, just for once, they will kindly consider the problem of Cambodia from the viewpoint of the Khmers instead of that of the French... My people will tell you: 'We don't know what communist slavery means. But the slavery imposed by the French we know well, for we are now living under it. If we fight alongside the French against the Viet Minh and the Issaraks, we are simply strengthening the chains of that slavery...' [The problem is that] in Indochina, you are either a communist or a lackey of the French: there is no middle course. We are not allowed to hope for an independence like that of India or Pakistan within the British Commonwealth... The question is: Does French military power on its own have any chance of defeating communism in Indochina? To fight without having the autochtonous population on one's side makes no sense... What is at stake in this struggle, and what will determine its outcome, is the [native] population. The Viet Minh have understood that from the start. If we [who oppose communism] wish to have the population with us, we must... make [our country's] independence... real and unquestionable, so that [no one] will listen any more to the Viet Minh propaganda about 'liberation'... This is the whole problem. It is a political matter. It has nothing to do with the science of war... If France does not boldly face up to [this]... then one day, sooner or later, it will be forced to abdicate from Indochina.“

—  Norodom Sihanouk, Secret memorandum drafted for the American and British legations (1953), as quoted in Philip Short (2004) Pol Pot: The History of a Nightmare, pages 92-93.
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Norodom Sihanouk
1922 - 2012
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