The Khmer Rouge justified its violence by claiming it was wiping out the urban bourgeoisie and that this was a necessary use of force whose purpose was to achieve a more just society. In other words, the people they killed deserved it. Chomsky may have bought this argument. He certainly hasn’t shied away from it in other cases.

Remember, in terms of motive what the Khmer Rouge did wasn’t hugely different from what most other radical Left regimes have done when they seized power. The major difference is one of scale. That is, in terms of the number of people dead and especially in terms of the percentage of the population that was annihilated, the Khmer Rouge was disproportionately bloodthirsty…