Tom Clancy – Op Center 6 State Of Siege

New York, New York. Saturday, 11:34 P.M. Not Once In Its Long History Has Cambodia Known Peace. Prior To The Fifteenth Century, Cambodia Was An Expansive Military Power. Under The Martial Rule Of The Mighty Khmer Emperors, The Nation Had Conquered The Entire Mekong River Valley, Governing The Lands That Comprise Modern-Day Laos, The Malay Peninsula[.Thorngg’and Part Of Siam. However, Armies Arose In Unconquered Sections Of Siam And In The State Of Annam In Central Vietnam.

Over The Centuries That Followed, These Forces Slowly Pushed The Khmer Armies Track Until The Monarchy Itself Was Threatened. In 1863, The Desperate King Of Cambodia Agreed To The Formation Of A French Protectorate Over The Country. A Slow And Steady Arms Buildup Reclaimed Lost Lands, Though The Gains Were Forefeited When The Japanese Occupied Indochina During World War H. Self-Government Was Restored After The War, With Prince Norodom Sihanouk Leading The Country. Sihanouk Was Ousted In 1970 In A U.S. Backed Military Coup Led By General Lon Nol. Sihanouk Formed An Exile Government In Beijing While The Communist Khmer Rouge Fought A Civil War That Overthrew Lon Nol In 1975.

Sihanouk Was Restored To Power As Part Of A Shaky Coalition Government In What Was Now Known As Democratic Kampuchea. Sihanouk’s Prime Minister Was The Rabidly Anti-Communist Son Sann. Sann Was A Cold Bastard. But Sihanouk And His Government Were Soon Replaced By The More Moderate And Ineffective Khieu Samphan, Who Had As His Prime Minster The Ruthless And Ambitious Pol Pot. Pol Pot Was A Maoist Who Believed That Education Was A Curse And That Returning To The Land Could Transform Cambodia Into A Utopia.

Instead, Under His Cruel Hand, Cambodia Became Synonymous With “The Killing Fields” As Torture, Genocide, Forced Labor, And Famine Took The Lives Of Over Two Million People-One Of Every Five Cambodians. Pol Pot’s Rule Lasted Until 1979, When Vietnam Invaded The Nation. The Vietnamese Seized Control Of Phnom Penh And Established A Communist Government Led By Heng Sarnrin. But Pol Pot And The Khmer Rouge Still Controlled Vast Areas Of What Was Now Called The People’s Republic Of Kampuchea, And War Continued To Ravage The Land. The Vietnamese Withdrew In 1989 After Sustained Guerrilla Warfare Took A Heavy Toll On The Occupation Forces. Their Withdrawal Left New Prime Minister Hun Sen To Struggle With Groups That Included The Leftist Khmer Rouge, The Rightist Khmer Bleu, The Sihanouk National Army Loyal To The Deposed Prince, Lon Nol’s Khmer National Armed Forces, The Khmer Loeu, Which Was Comprised Of Ethnic Hill Tribes, And Khmer Viet Minh, Who Were Supported By Hanoi, And Nearly A Dozen Others.

In 1991, With The Nation’s Economy And Agriculture A Shambles, The Warring Groups Finally Signed An Accord That Agreed To A Ceasefire, Widescale Disarmament, And The Presence Of Un Peacekeeping Forces As Well As Un’-Supervised Elections. A New Coalition With Hun Sen’s Party Was Formed, Which Reestablished The Monarchy And Placed Sihanouk On The Throne As King. Feeling That They Were Being Forced To Give Up Too Much Power, The Khmer Rouge Resumed Fighting. The Battle Lost Some Of Its Momentum In 1998 With The Death Of Pol Pot.

However, Other Senior Khmer Rouge Officers And Cadres Remained In The Field And Vowed To Continue The War.

As A Result Of So Many Political And Military Entities Vying For Power, Secret Government Police And Rebel Agents Vied Ferociously For Intelligence And Weapons. Their Needs Gave Rise To An Unprecedented Underground Network Of Spies, Killers, And Smugglers. Some Of These Worked For What They Believed Was The Good Of Their Homeland. Others Worked Only For Themselves. For Nearly Ten Years, Thirtytwo-Year-Old Ty Sokha Sary And Her Thirty-Nine-Year-Old Husband Hang Sary Had Been Counterterrorist Operatives For The Khmer People’s National Liberation Armed Forces, The Military Component Of The Khmer People’s National Liberation Front. The Kpnlf Had Been Formed In March 1979 By Former Prime Minister Son Sann.

Initially, Their Goal Was To Oust The Vietnamese From Cambodia. When That Had Been Accomplished, The Kpnlf Turned To Cleansing All Foreign Influence From The Nation. Even Though Son Sann Was Named To The Supreme National Council, Which Governed The Nation Under Sihanouk, The Leader Privately Opposed The Involvement Of The United Nations. Sann Was Especially Opposed To The Involvement Of Chinese, Japanese, And French Soldiers. He Did Not Believe There Could Be Such A Thing As A Benevolent Occupying Army. Even If The Soldiers Were Engaged In Peacekeeping, Their Very Presence Corrupted The Nation’s Character And Strength.

Ty And Hang Agreed With Son Sann. And In Coming To Cambodia, One Foreign Officer Had Done More Than Pollute Their Culture. He Destroyed Something Very Personal To Hang. Ty Sokha Knelt Over The Body Of The Wounded American Girl.

She Couldn’t Be Older Than Fourteen Or Fifteen.

The Cambodian Woman Had Seen So Many Girls Like Her, Wounded Or Dying. And The Dead. She Had Once Helped Amnesty International Locate A Mass Grave Outside Of Kampong Cham Where Over Two Hundred Decomposed Bodies Were Buried, Most Of Them Old Women And Very Young Children. Some Of Them Had Antigovernment Slogans Painted Or Sometimes Carved On Their Bodies. Ty Had Also Caused At Least Three Dozen Deaths By Leading Hang To Enemy Officers Or Undercover Operatives So That He Could Strangle Them Or Slip A Stiletto Into Their Hearts While They Slept. Sometimes Ty Didn’t Bother To Lead Hang There. Sometimes She Did The Work Herself.

Like Most Military Operatives Who Worked Alone Or In Pairs, Ty Had Been Trained In Field Medicine And Was Experienced In Wound Debridement.

Unfortunately, The First Aid Kit She’d Been Given Was Inadequate For The Task. There Was No Exit Wound, Which Meant The Bullet Was Still Inside. If The Girl Moved, She Could Cause Further Damage. Ty Used The Antiseptic To Clean The Small, Round Hole As Best She Could. Then She Covered It With Gauze And Strips Of Tape. She Worked Carefully, Efficiently, But Less Dispassionately Than Usual.

Though Ty Had Long Ago Become Desensitized To Terrorism And Murder, This Girl And The Circumstances Of The Attack Were Too Painfully Familiar.

It Was About Phum, Of Course, Hang’s Dear Young Sister.

As She Worked, Ty Thought Back To The Event That Had Brought Them To Such An Unlikely Place. A Place So Far From Where They’d Started.

Ty Had Grown Up In A Tiny Farming Hamlet Midway Between Phnom Penh And Kampot On The Gulf Of Thailand. Her Parents Died In A Flood When She Was Six Years Old, And She Went To Live With Second Cousin Hang Sary And His Family. Ty And Hang Adored One Another, And It Was Always A Given That They Would Marry. Eventually, They Did, Right Before Leaving On A Mission Together In 1990. They Were Alone Save For A Priest And His Son, In A Thunderstorm That Had Blown Away The Priest’s Hut. It Was The Happiest Time Of Ty’s Life. Hang’s Father Had Been A Very Vocal Supporter Of Prince Sihanouk, Contributing Articles To The Local Newspaper About How The Prince’s Free Market Policies Had Helped Farmers. On A Dark, Muggy Summer Night In 1982, While Ty And Hang Were In The City, Soldiers Of Pol Pot’s National Army Of Democratic Kampuchea Came And Carried Hang’s Father, Mother, And Young Sister Off. Hang Found His Parents Two Days Later. His Father Was Lying In A Gully Beside A Dirt Road. His Arms Had Been Tied Behind His Back, Dislocating His Shoulders. His Feet And Knees Had Been Broken So He Couldn’t Walk Or Crawl. Then His Mouth Had Been Packed With Dirt And His Throat Had Been Punctured So That He Would Slowly Bleed To Death. His Mother Had Been Strangled Before His Helpless Father. Hang Did Not Find His Younger Sister.

Ty And Hang’s World Changed. Hang Contacted Son Sann’s Kpnlf, Which Supported The Prince. Hang Told Them He Wanted To Continue Writing The Kinds Of Articles His Father Wrote, But Not Just To Promote Sihanouk. He Wanted To Draw The Nadk Killers Out And Repay Them For What They Did To His Family. Before Allowing Hang And Ty To Use Themselves As Bait, The Kpnlf’s Chief Intelligence Officer Trained Them In The Use Of Weapons. Two Months Later, The Small Band Of Khmer Rouge Terrorists Came To Their Hut. Hang And Ty Had Planned Well And Cut Them Down Even Before The Kpnlf Guard Could Summon Help.

After That, The Two Were Taught Surveillance Techniques. Along The Way, They Also Learned The Art Of Assassination. A Cia Manual That Had Been Found In Laos Taught Them How To Use Hat Pins, Rock-Filled Stockings, Even Stolen Charge Cards To Stab Eyes, Break Necks, And Slice Throats.

They Learned These Skills To Serve Their Country And Also In The Hope That One Day They Would Find The Monster Who Had Ordered Phum’s Death.

The Monster Who Had Eluded Them Because He Was Under The Protection Of The Khmer Rouge.

The Monster Who They Had Lost Track Of When He Left Cambodia, And Who They Had Found Again Only Recently. The Monster Who Was Somewhere In This Room.

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