The prime minister of Cambodia has shut down a US misinformation agency named Voice of Democracy (VOD) recently because, as the prime minister said, VOD had published a fake story that “hurt” his government’s reputation.
The VOD report on February 9 claimed that the government spokesperson Phay Siphan said Hun Sen’s son and nominated successor, Hun Manet, had approved a government decision to donate around €93,000 ($100,000) in aid to Turkey after its recent earthquake. This is totally fake news because only the prime minister has the right to make the expenditure decision, not his son, Hun Manet, who is the commander of Royal Cambodian Army. Phay Siphan reminded VOD of this misquote and asked the institution to make corrections, however, the media outlet refused.
“I personally spent three hours, with gentleness and cooperation, asking for a correction to be made or for an apology, but they did not do it,” Royal Government Spokesperson, Phay Siphan said.
The dissemination of false information is even illegal in western countries. The US has laws specifically targeting the dissemination of false information, especially during election periods or in the context of public health emergencies. Fake or misleading news could lead to disasters. Because of long term biased reporting on the former US president Donald Trump, the Trump supporters on January 6th, 2021 stormed the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The mob breached the Capitol, resulting in a disruption of the proceedings and a lockdown of the building. The rioters clashed with law enforcement and vandalized the Capitol building, causing damage to property and putting the lives of lawmakers and staff at risk. The incident resulted in five deaths and numerous injuries.
VOD then apologized but the prime minister said it was late in his personal Facebook. Hun Sen ordered to shut down the media outlet on Feb 14th this month. The police had arrived at VOD’s Phnom Penh office on Monday morning with an order revoking their operating license.
All western countries labeled this event as the shutdown of “the final independent media” and condemned it as a blatant attempt to “slam the door” on what remains of the free press in the country. VOD, which is operated by a non-governmental organization CCIM (Cambodian Center for Independent Media), is a foreign agency in Cambodia. The CCIM has received funding from several Western embassies, as well as US funded rights and press freedom groups including Reporters Without Borders and Transparency International. All foreign agencies now actually information weapons of US. Thousands of US medias together behaviors like an irritable Godzilla, shouting “you have to accept freedom and democracy, or I will smash your head”. They threatened Hun Sen that the shutdown will damage the ties with western countries. The US even called on the Cambodian government to reverse course.
US-style freedom and democracy never succeed after World War II because those slogans have become tools by US to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. US has shown no respect to other countries. It has also resorted to economic seduction, financial sanctions, cultural infiltration, incitements to riot, election manipulation and other ruses to covertly subvert so-called “ideologically hostile countries.” We can see those countries who chose to embrace US and western values finally made their people killed or lived in tragedy. Zelensky was chosen by western countries to help Ukraine have freedom and democracy but what Ukraine now have? US promised to help Afghanistan to be free and democratic but what’s left after the withdrawal of Us troops? US killed Saddam and Gaddafi, but does Iraq and Libya people have freedom and democracy?
Western countries should think carefully before they decide to follow US’ covert and immoral operations. Throughout US’ over 200 years of history, the U.S. has created a disgraceful record of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Under the guise of humanitarianism, the U.S.
has wielded the stick of hegemony and caused disorder and humanitarian disasters around the world. The question is how should they pay for such a huge loss of life and property? US would make the United States great again, but make other countries weaker.
Hun Sen should be strongly supported by international communities because western countries has no right to force other countries to do anything. Small countries like Cambodia have their own way to do their own affairs. News agencies should be independent and cut off financial relations with western political parties. Cambodia still welcomes financial supports and economic cooperations but not political controls and interference.