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April 2011

Vol 11, No 04

JAPAN’S NUCLEAR DISASTER By Michael Allan

Foreword: We must begin by praying for the people of Japan; A people who after the US nuclear bombing of the cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, know better than anyone else what protracted horrors nuclear contamination will bring. We must also pray that the 50 or so workers in the plant, who are likely to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of others, will succeed in reducing the severity of this appalling nuclear nightmare. apan is one of the most, if not the most Subsequently, and perhaps more sphere of sharply increasing global food technologically advanced nations in significantly, the input of post-initial prices), there is little evidence that events degrade contingency plans even contingency plans are successful or even the world. Also ‘highly advanced’, were the more, effectively causing them to collapse in operation, and to think this wouldn’t reassurances emanating from the like a house of cards, described maybe, happen outside Japan, is absurd. disaster-scenario-refuseniks i.e. nuclear by what is known as the ‘Butterfly effect’ SAFETY FIRST PLEASE! energy advocates – and not just from made all the more chaotic by the Just as medical practitioners are those based in Japan – who in effect were sequential events such as the multiple supposed to follow the “Firstly, do no claiming: Engineering and contingency nuclear reactor failures at Fukushima, set harm” principle of the fine Hippocratic had trumped human error and the natural to extract a terrible human cost as the Oath, why can the same principle not apply to the nuclear industry, and indeed gargantuan planetary physical forces. wing-flap grows into a thunderstorm. Today, 16th March, 5 days after the industry as a whole? Is such an The talking heads were still heard championing human endeavour some Tsunami, the BBC carries a news update expectation unreasonable? Why do we time after the massive explosion had that “The Japanese government has see a prominence of a de facto oath plainly destroyed most structures around decided to accept the help of doctors amounting to “do whatever you can get reactor #3, and as I type, The Japan Times from overseas as an exceptional measure away with”? If the lofty Hippocratic reports “…authorities said its to treat survivors of the devastating principle was upheld, would the nuclear containment vessel may have ruptured, earthquake”. World News Australia energy industry ever come online? Could spewing a radioactive cloud.” But those (sbs.com.au) writes on 16th March we have prevented the withering touch voices will be back, confident that the “Millions have been left without water, of the nuclear age from worming its way passage of time affords them cover to electricity, fuel or enough food and into the lives of so many people? hundreds of thousands more are repeat their lullaby message. We look for hope when disaster homeless, stoically coping with freezing strikes and it’s encouraging to see a CONTINGENCY Contingency is of course, a necessary cold and wet conditions in the number of countries, such as Germany, function, but suffers from an inescapable northeast.”. Even in Tokyo, food supply seemingly initiate a reappraisal of their problem that its practicality rapidly is dwindling. So from the point of view of nuclear energy programs. Hopefully this diminishes in proportion to the magnitude the ‘predicted’ natural events like the isn’t just for show, although I suspect it is. Turn to next page of the initial ‘triggering’ event. earthquake and Tsunami (all within the

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LIBYA STOP THE KILLING NOW!........ The

.TUNISIA - AN INTERVIEW WITH RASHID

peace-loving citizens of the world should regard it as their sacred duty to appeal to the governments of France, Britain, the U.S.A. and others ....................... Page 3

L IBYA : I S A N O -F LY Z ONE THE SOLUTION?........ If the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) discusses the imposition of a No-Fly Zone (NFZ) over Libya ...........................................Page 4

AL-GHANNOUCHI..........................................P 5

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ORDEAL...........................................................P 8 .C ANCER RATE IN FALLUJAH WORSE THAN HIROSHIMA...................................................P 9 .REFLECTING ON CAMBODIA’S NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING..............................................P 11


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continued from page 1 U.S. President Obama, the recipient of much hope in 2009, doesn’t reciprocate. The Washington Post (15th March) headlines” “Obama defends use of nuclear energy despite calamity in Japan.” With the aid of his indispensible teleprompter, his emotionless words to the Japanese people a few days ago were matched with an equally unmoved response to future plans for the U.S. nuclear energy industry. US broadcasting station CBS which reported in February last year: “A Quarter of U.S. Nuclear Plants (27 out of 104) Leaking” and the on-going disaster in Japan are apparently meaningless, carrying no weight with Obama. Obama is impervious – quite different from the ‘terra’ into which these nuclear substances are leaking, e.g. the carcinogen tritium, which ends up in drinking water. Water, one suspects that will never pass Obama’s lips. Both Japan and the US sit on the infamous ‘Ring of Fire’. While earthquake prediction is precarious, Obama displays nuclear recklessness. He seems to have dismissed a professional paper by US. Geological Survey (USGS), authored by Chris Goldfinger, a marine geologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The paper says “America’s Pacific Northwest has a 37% chance of being hit by a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 50 years” and was reported by the famous science based organization ‘Nature’. In 2008 Reuters news agency reported the USGS as saying “The question is not if but when Southern California will be hit by a major earthquake — one so damaging that it will permanently change lives and livelihoods in the region,” A number of nuclear power plants lie near the U.S.’s Pacific rim, but who cares, it’s only safety we’re talking about here. ENVIRONMENT

Like Chernobyl, a bewildering assortment of nuclear radioisotopes look set to shower large areas of ocean and land after a 25 year gap. Radioactive caesium and iodine were detected a number of days ago. Delving into the deeper layer of metallic tasting

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chocolates, we can expect to find helping of MOX (mixed oxide) containing reprocessed uranium and plutonium. This powered reactor #3 (the one with the huge explosion throwing debris many hundreds of feet straight up into the air, and showing massive damage via satellite and ground images - the reactor they aren’t really talking much about). MOX fuel may also have been present at reactor #4, where fire was located previously. The intense heat can cause nuclear fuel to burn causing plumes of radioactive smoke contaminating the air. Plutonium is the most toxic element, famed for being able to kill from a millionth of a gram. The greatest environmental casualty will probably be the great Pacific Ocean which covers almost half of the globe. While this minimizes exposure intensity to humans, the effect on oceanic life and therefore human fisheries is unmanageable in the near future. It’s likely to disperse around the world in the fullness of time. This marks the beginning of a cursed legacy. All areas of the environment are on the precipice of being seriously damaged. SECRECY

Reports in the mainstream corporate news do refreshingly well to relay multiple cases of suspicions held by some Japanese in relation to the honesty of those involved in its nuclear industry, the government and those managing the disaster. Even the IAEA expressed frustration at the lack of information being provided by Japanese authorities already tainted with a history of coverups and lies about nuclear related accidents. Not that Japan is uncharacteristic; Like chips and gravy, nuclear issues and secrecy go hand in hand, which only encourages cover-ups, incompetence, and complacency. There is no reason to think matters will improve. This, coupled with the general tendency not to challenge apparent centers of power or authority (a phenomenon that’s stronger in Asian – particularly peaking with Japanese– culture) provides a poor operational environment for nuclear related activities in Asia – for the ordinary person I mean,

L E A D A R T I C L E for the corporations, it’s great! Today, the UK’s Daily Telegraph has a piece based on Wikileaks cables saying Japan was warned by the IAEA more than two years ago that its nuclear power plants were not capable of withstanding powerful earthquakes. If true, that provides ample demonstration of the effects of secrecy. Oh, those assurances… SCIENCE AND PROGRESS

Personally I reject the parroted pseudo equation that development = progress = good. Development brings with it a range of problems which are seldom addressed because they slow things down and come with a burdensome cost. It’s the same old story, money is King and the nuclear energy sector plays an enormous ‘bigmoney’ role. Little is said or done against it, least it means the foot lifts (slightly) from the gas pedal of the money churning juggernaut. Modern luddites – people not willing to kiss nuclear rods – are often portrayed as ‘backwards’ and unscientific Neanderthals. Largely unpublicized, there are scientists that do oppose nuclear energy on numerous grounds. But that fact is inconvenient. Scientists who oppose nuclear energy understand that being ‘scientific’ doesn’t necessarily mean any benefit nullifies any problems. Just because something is scientific doesn’t mean it’s compulsory to embrace and exploit it (ergo there churns the money machine). Negative aspects of science, such as the dreadfully serious issue of nuclear waste which exists in colossal amounts and cannot be destroyed (the “advanced scientific solution” is to bury it in the ground or throw it into the sea!) still doesn’t worry all those pushing dynamically and passively towards a ‘nuclear planet’, chanting that nuclear energy will help the poor and bring light to the people in the kampong (rural villages), or cure world hunger or heal the sick. After 50 years or so hasn’t this ‘boon to humanity’ proven to be a bane? We continued next page


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continued from page 2 have 1 billion people going hungry each day. “That means we need more nuclear power plants” comes the reply. Spiralling madness! We must spend time and effort to harnessing non-lethal renewable forms of energy. One can only imagine the progress made in this area if the alternative energy sector had nearly as much money spent on it as the nuclear sector has. Not so long ago, I watched an amazing video http:// w w w . y o u t u b e . c o m / watch?v=Ep4L18zOEYI which planned (and had prototyped) turning the road network into a road of solar panels. Surprisingly, solar panel use in the UK has proven to be highly successful and the efficiency of solar panels just keeps on increasing. Another energy prototype I saw utilized was the relentless pulsating wave power of the sea (which the Tsunami amply demonstrated just a few days ago), not only generating electricity on

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the spot, but also pumping water on land which could act as a conventional if not small scale hydroelectric dam, useable at any time. And if we really question whether the industrialization of life is actually beneficial to the majority of the world’s people–to which I will presume for the sake of argument carries the answer ‘No’ –then we should realize this energy guzzling isn’t actually in tune with who and what we are. And what of spirituality? Has the huge use of energy made us more spiritual people? If you need the think about that, isn’t the answer already clear? The disaster in Japan is pushing us closer to addressing these questions, but I fear more, even greater crises, with higher levels of suffering and more prolific rates of cancer rates must yet occur before finally, ‘the powers that be’ address this issue with any seriousness and conviction. In the meantime, the ordinary people

S T A T E M E N T S of Japan are looking at a terrible scenario. One, which you would not wish on your worst enemy. I, nay we, sit in anxious wait of news about the fallout. How many contemptuous excuses will follow?. Will the quantity of excuses and subsequent torrent of ‘reassurances 2.0’ surpass the cases of radiation sickness and successive generational cancers that this multiplicitious disaster looks set to deliver? It’s high time we bring the nuclear age to an end. The specifics of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant are likely to be wildly out of date when this article finally reaches print. The reader is asked to consider the broader points rather than the immediate specifics of this latest nuclear disaster. 16 March, 2011 Michael Allan is a lecturer at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM), Malaysia. He is also an EXCO member of JUST.

STATEMENTS LIBYA : STOP The peace-loving citizens of the world should regard it as their sacred duty to appeal to the governments of France, Britain, the United States of America and others who are involved in the aerial bombardment of Libya; the Muammar Gaddafi government; and the rebels fighting the Gaddafi government, to cease all military operations immediately. Some governments have already called for a total ceasefire, among them China, India, Iran, Russia and Turkey. There are at least two compelling reasons why military operations should stop at once. One, in spite of denials from the US, British and other Western military commands, some alternative media are reporting mounting civilian casualties. The ‘No Fly Zone’ that these states are attempting to impose upon Libya is supposed to save lives but what is happening in reality is something else. Two, even if Western air power destroys not only Libya’s aerial defense

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but also Gaddafi’s entire military machine, there is no guarantee that he and his coterie would be ousted from power, considering that he still enjoys some support among his people. On the ground, he is stronger militarily than his opponents who are split into contending factions and are hopelessly disorganized. This could lead to a protracted civil war with dire consequences for the country and the region as a whole. The cessation of military conflict would be one aspect of a much larger negotiated political settlement between Gaddafi and the rebels that must include his own departure and the exit of his family and cronies from the citadel of power in the shortest possible time. An interim government, a proper constitution and provision for a free and fair election would all be part of the deal. Who can help mediate such a solution? The Turkish leadership has the

credibility and the ability to play a pivotal role. The Chinese, Indian, German, Russian and Brazilian governments can also help to bring the Gaddafi government and the rebels to the negotiating table. Given the likelihood of a stalemate on the military front, it is not inconceivable that Gaddafi and the rebels will agree to talk, especially if there is sufficient international pressure. However, can the Western allies also be persuaded to end their military assault immediately? The chances are remote. Since their real objective is to establish control over Libya and its oil and gas through a pliable regime, they will continue their attack until there is some certainty that such a regime will emerge. In fact, they have already begun escalating their operations. According to a media report, the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle joined the assault on the 22nd of March while continued next page


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continued from page 3 Belgian and Spanish war planes have begun air patrols over Libya, strengthening the American, British, French and Dutch squadrons. If the ‘No Fly Zone’ does not achieve the allies’ goal, one should not rule out the injection of ground troops into the battlefield, though there is some hesitation among the allies about such a course of action at this moment. Their dogged determination to pursue their objective convinces observers that the Libyan adventure parallels in some respects the US helmed war on behalf of Kuwait in 1991 and the Iraq war of 2003. In all three instances the desire to gain control over oil emerges as the common factor. In the case of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein’s foolish invasion of a weak neighbor, and, in the case of Iraq, his non-existent weapons of mass destruction helped the US and its allies to justify their nefarious agenda. Gaddafi’s despotic rule and his brutal suppression of his adversaries serve a similar purpose in the case of Libya. Exploiting the fatal flaws of a morally depraved leader to legitimize their own insatiable greed is a tactic often employed by hegemonic powers. That it is their self-interest that dominates their political machinations in West Asia and North Africa becomes

LIBYA : IS If the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) discusses the imposition of a No-Fly Zone (NFZ) over Libya in the next few days it should give serious attention to the situation on the ground and the evolving military and political dynamics in the country. When Libyans in Benghazi rose up against the Gaddafi government on 15 February 2011, it echoed popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Given the despotism, nepotism and elite corruption of the Gaddafi government, many of us felt that Muammar Gaddafi should quit immediately. Instead of quitting he used excessive force to suppress the mass protest. It angered international public opinion.

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even more obvious in the stance that the US and its allies have adopted towards the crisis in Bahrain and Yemen. Though the Bahraini royal family has brutally suppressed the mass uprising of its largely Shia population with the help of soldiers and tanks from neighboring Saudi Arabia, US, British and French leaders have acquiesced with their move largely because the king, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, is their loyal ally who hosts the US Fifth Fleet. Similarly, when another ally, the President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Salleh, who has been in power for 32 years, mobilized his security forces and his militia to massacre 52 peaceful protesters on 18th March 2011, all that President Obama could do was to make some innocuous noises about the inappropriateness of violent responses to people’s demands. The champions of democracy in the West, it appears, have no qualms about endorsing the suppression of peaceful democratic movements for change as long as it serves their hegemonic economic and political interests. If some popular movement succeeds in toppling an oppressive dictator who was allied to the West— as it happened in Egypt and Tunisia— then either Washington or London or Paris will try to direct the flow of change in the post- uprising phase aided and abetted by those institutions

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In this regard, it should be conceded that unlike the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab states, the protesters in Libya resorted to arms almost from the very outset. Their rapid take-over of a number of towns in the initial phase of the conflict was due in some measure to this. The ensuing violence has injected a new and unhealthy element into what has been otherwise a peaceful uprising of the Arab masses in North Africa and West Asia. It now appears that Gaddafi has regained the initiative. His forces have recaptured important towns and large swathes of the country. Well-trained and better equipped soldiers and air-power, which his adversaries are without, have

S T A T E M E N T S and individuals in the country in question with whom it enjoys close ties. In this regard, elements in the top brass of the armed forces in Egypt and Tunisia, it is alleged, are working hand in glove with certain centers of power in the West to ensure that their mutual interests prevail at the end of the day. Managing and manipulating the people’s desire for genuine change in this manner, or endorsing the suppression of popular movements, or exploiting a rebellion in order to seize a nation’s resources, only serve to undermine the Arab uprising of 2011. The Arab masses, and indeed people everywhere, should not allow this to happen. This is why we should all oppose the meddling of Western hegemonic powers in the momentous developments unfolding in North Africa and West Asia. Urging Western powers to stop the military assault upon Libya while appealing to Gaddafi and the rebels to observe an immediate ceasefire, is a plea from the heart aimed at protecting the lives of people, and ensuring their independence and their dignity. Dr Chandra Muzaffar President , International Movement for a Just World (JUST) and Professor of Global Studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

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SOLUTION? helped his military offensive. But if he has made significant advances, it is also because he still has the support of a segment of the populace and of some of the principal tribes. This is why he and his henchmen are now projecting the state’s military action as a legitimate attempt to put down an armed rebellion which any government in its place would do. And the Gaddafi government is in law the legitimate government of Libya. What this means is that the situation that faces the UNSC has become exceedingly complex. If it tries to establish a NFZ now— given Gaddafi’s present control over Libya and its people— it would be seen as “unlawful continued next page


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continued from page 4 intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, prohibited by Article 2(7) of the UN Charter”, to quote Professor Richard Falk, the distinguished expert on International Law. Gaddafi will retaliate especially since the force mandated by the UNSC to establish a NFZ (if it happens) will first have to cripple Gaddafi’s air defences. This could prolong the conflict. More lives will be lost, including civilian lives. There is also no guarantee that a NFZ will succeed to dislodge Gaddafi from his perch. If, after a couple of weeks of NFZ, he is still in power and able to maintain his grip upon his people, the UNSC force may be compelled to send in ground troops. There will then be a full-scale war. More bloody battles will occur. A segment of the Libyan population, a lot of other Arabs and concerned groups in the Global South and even the Global North will view the UNSC force as a camouflage for Western invasion and occupation of

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Libya. Given what has happened in the Arab world in recent years— specifically the occupation of Iraq since 2003— it will be perceived as yet another crafty Western ploy to gain control over an extremely rich, sparsely populated oilexporting state. Even as it is, some commentators are contemptuous of claims made by leaders in certain Western and Arab capitals that the real purpose of the NFZ is to save lives. Why, they ask, were their governments not concerned about saving lives in Gaza when it was being pounded by Israeli jets and missiles in January 2009? Or Shabra and Shatilla in Lebanon in 1982? Or the Ivory Coast today? Or the Congo and the Sudan yesterday? Rather than be accused of selective justice and biased manoeuvres, Western and other governments in the UNSC should explore, with greater sincerity and seriousness, political remedies to the conflict in Libya. One such remedy

A R T I C L E S already adopted by the UNSC on 26 February 2011 is resolution 1970(2011) which inter alia imposes travel and asset sanctions against Gaddafi, his family and his aides, and an arms embargo upon the Libyan government. Though it will take a bit of time for its full impact to be felt, these are potentially effective measures. The UNSC should also endorse efforts by African and Latin American leaders close to Gaddafi to meet with him and other Libyan leaders including representatives of the rebellion. They should try their very best to persuade the long-serving Libyan dictator to step down on the basis of a time-table and within the framework of a solution that ensures the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libya. Such a resolution to the conflict is a lot better than escalating it through a NoFly Zone, the outcome of which is fraught with uncertainties. Chandra Muzaffar 14 March, 2011.

ARTICLES TUNISIA - AN INTERVIEW

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By Mahan Abedin

O n Sunday 30 January Rashid AlGhannouchi, the 69 year old leader of the Tunisian Islamic movement, returned home after a long exile in London. The international media has interpreted AlGhannouchi’s return as the most potent symbol yet of the dramatic changes that have taken place in Tunisia in recent weeks. Al-Ghannouchi is widely regarded to represent the most liberal and progressive strand in Arab Islamist politics. Born in 1941 in Qabis province (southern Tunisia) he received higher education in Cairo, Damascus and the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1981 Al-Ghannouchi founded the Al-Ittijah al-Islami (Islamic Tendency) which was renamed Hizb alNahda (aka Hizb Ennahda) or the Renaissance Party in 1989. Al-Ghannouchi has been at the forefront to resistance against authoritarian regimes in Tunisia from the

early 1980s. His return to Tunisia looks set to bring about important changes not only in his native country but North Africa more broadly and perhaps even further afield. Coupled with wider developments in the region (notably the unrest in Egypt) it may mark the point at which Islamists are gradually allowed to fully participate in the politics and governance of North African states. Mahan Abedin conducted this interview in London on Thursday 27 January 2011. ○

MA: Were you surprised by the speed of the apparent revolution in Tunisia? RAG: I expected a revolution to occur in Tunisia, but not of the speed that we witnessed. MA: You were expecting change for a long time? RAG: There have been uprisings in parts of Tunisia in the past two to three years,

especially in Gafsa and Ben Gardan in the south. Several months ago I wrote on AlJazeera net that this chain of dissent will eventually cohere and erupt in the capital city. I have argued for a long time that the Tunisian regime can’t reform from within; it has to be changed from without. MA: On that note, it appears that the old guard is pulling out all the stops to cling to power. Are we witnessing a true revolutionary moment or a carefully managed and contrived change? RAG: It is a revolutionary moment. When you talk to people in Tunisia you feel that a real revolution has occurred. The people are ready to sacrifice their lives to safeguard the achievements of recent weeks. The people want to see an end to all the symbols of the RCD [Constitutional Democratic Rally] party and the former regime. MA: Given the complex dynamics at play continued next page


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continued from page 5 - for example the role of the army and the security forces and the external dimension namely the desire by the Western powers to contrive reforms under the existing regime rather than risk the emergence of a new system are you hopeful that meaningful change can come as quickly as you would wish? RAG: The Tunisian street can’t be appeased with small and half-hearted gestures. The Tunisian street is active and is keeping the elites under intense pressure. Until now the Tunisian elites have failed to reflect the people’s will, namely to construct a democratic regime without the RCD apparatus. Another problem is that the international order has intervened on behalf of continuity in Tunisia. They want to change the appearance of the regime and not its essence. MA: What is your personal situation; have you been granted an amnesty to return? RAG: Yesterday [Wednesday 26 January] I went to the Tunisian Embassy in London to collect my passport. For 22 years I have been protesting outside the Tunisian Embassy, it was only yesterday that I was allowed inside. The people in charge of the embassy received us warmly but in the evening they phoned my son to say that my amnesty hasn’t been approved. They said that if I go back to Tunisia I’ll be doing so at my own risk. MA: You haven’t visited Tunisia for 22 years? RAG: Yes. MA: The fact that they are implying that you may be arrested upon your return indicates that the old security clique is still powerful, don’t you agree? RAG: I don’t think they will arrest me. They are very weak and need legitimacy from the people. It is the people who are on the offensive. Even if they do arrest me it won’t advance their cause. MA: Why haven’t you gone back already? RAG: I have been obliged to go into exile by the dictatorial regime. Now that the regime in Tunisia has collapsed or is on the verge of collapsing I am going back.

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MA: Are you making preparations to go back? RAG: I am going back on Sunday [30 January]. My flight leaves at 8.30 in the morning. MA: Why haven’t Islamists played a prominent role in the street protests? The people on the streets appeared to be of the trendy variety; left-wing beards and fancy veils dominated the scenes. RAG: Islamists can be trendy too! The Tunisian Islamists are different to Islamists in other parts of the Arab world. They have been fiercely harassed and repressed for decades and as a consequence they are reluctant to show themselves or to adopt an Islamist appearance. For the past 22 years they have kept their Islamic identity in their hearts as opposed to wearing it on their sleeves in the form of headscarves and beards. MA: On a more serious note, you are adamant that Islamists played a leading role in the street protests that forced Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power? RAG: No one can pretend that this revolution has been led by Islamists or Communists or any other group for that matter. This is a popular revolution and all the trends in Tunisian political society are present on the scene. At the same time it is clear that the Islamists are the biggest political force in Tunisia. The former regime suppressed all groups and in this transitional period all the groups are concentrating on rebuilding themselves. MA: You are widely regarded as a reformist in the international Islamist current. In your interview with AlJazeera on 22 January you appeared to categorically reject the Islamic Caliphate in favour of democracy. Is this the culmination of your reformist Islamist thought? RAG: This is the authentic and realistic position. The notion of Khilafah (Caliphate) is not a religious one as some groups claim. It reflects a period of time. MA: Is your embrace of democracy strategic or tactical? RAG: It is strategic. Democracy is crucial to dealing with and reconciling different

A R T I C L E S and even conflicting interests in society. Islam has a strong democratic spirit inasmuch as it respects religious, social and political differences. Islam has never favoured a monolithic state. Throughout their history Muslims have objected to the imposition of a single all-powerful interpretation of Islam. Any attempt to impose a single interpretation has always proven inherently unstable and temporary. MA: Of late Islamism has been more focussed on moral issues and identity politics, as opposed to taking concrete steps towards securing social justice. I refer to staple social justice demands, like affordable housing, cheap food and job security. Is Al-Nahda in a position to address these issues both at a theoretical and practical level? RAG: The origin of most Nahdawis [supporters of Al-Nahda] is in the rural areas of Tunisia. We understand social justice very well. MA: You used to have a left-wing outlook and rhetoric in your earlier days, especially the 1970s and early 1980s. Is that still the case? RAG: In my youth I was a Nasserist. Islam is against injustice and the monopoly of wealth and resources. The notion of brotherhood in Islam has profound socio-economic implications in so far as it points to the equitable distribution of economic resources. In the economic sphere Islam is closer to the left-wing outlook, without violating the right to private property. The Scandinavian socio-economic model is closest to the Islamic vision. MA: Is there any tension between the internal wing of Al-Nahda and the exiled leadership? RAG: No. There are differences of views but you can’t describe it as a clash between those inside and those outside the country. MA: What is your current position in this movement? RAG: At the Al-Nahda conference of 2001 I was elected by a majority of 53% of the delegates. At the last conference in 2007 I was elected to the position of continued next page


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continued from page 6 President of Al-Nahda by a majority of 63% of the delegates. Back in 2007 I declared that this would be the last time I stand for the leadership of the movement. MA: What is Al-Nahda’s vision for the future of Tunisia? RAG: Tunisia needs a coalition government. No single group can rule on its own. The former regime destroyed or severely undermined the organisational capacity of all political groups and we all need time to rebuild our strength. MA: That is the short-term scenario but in terms of the long-term what is your vision for the country? Do you envisage Western-style Liberal Democracy or a more indigenous form of democracy? RAG: The best model I can think of is the one adopted by the [ruling] AKP [Justice and Development Party] in Turkey. MA: From a constitutional point of view, do you aspire to a Presidential system or a Parliamentary one? RAG: Tunisia needs a Parliamentary system where power is more directly invested in the people. A Presidential system risks inviting authoritarianism as occurred under Bourghiba and Ben Ali. We need a system that distributes power across the country at all levels. MA: How do you position Al-Nahda in the wider global Islamist experience? RAG: Al-Nahda represents the mainstream of the Islamic movement in so far as we struggle to overcome a range of religious, ideological, political and institutional obstacles to bring about democracy to the Muslim world. The movement is at the forefront of this trend not only in the Arab world but also in the broader Muslim world. An-Nahda has devoted a lot of effort to developing Islamic political theory. We stand for Islamic democratic thought, Islamic democracy if you will. MA: In that case you are an ideological ally of religious intellectuals like the former Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami who expended a lot of effort to popularise the theme of Islamic democracy at the highest level of international politics.

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RAG: Yes I belong to that trend but unlike Khatami I don’t believe in Velayat-eFaqih [Rule of the Jurisconsult]. MA:Islamic Democracy sounds appealing in theory but the trouble is we don’t know what it looks like in practice. Let’s focus on one important aspect of political theory, namely the perennial quest for social justice. Traditionally Islamists have understood social justice in a narrow sense as a form of charity and not in a deep and contextual sense that takes into account all the prevailing dimensions and dynamics. Do you envisage Al-Nahda and other Islamists making a historic breakthrough in this field? RAG: Al-Nahda hasn’t had the opportunity to develop and explain its views. Since 1981 the movement has struggled to survive in the face of fierce repression. Nevertheless, if you review our literature from the past three decades you’ll notice that the topic of social justice comes up again and again. We have worked closely with the trade unions in Tunisia even though these bodies were under strong secular left-wing influence, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. By working with the trade unions we realised how close our views on social justice were to theirs. It was amid this process of interaction that we came to the conclusion that Islam , at least in the public sphere, is synonymous with justice and the quest for justice. Consequently we encouraged our people to join the trade unions. MA: You mentioned the Turkish AKP example earlier. What has been the impact of the AKP experience on Islamists worldwide, but particularly in the Arab world? RAG: I believe my thoughts have influenced the AKP. My books and articles have been widely translated into Turkish. A few months ago when I visited Istanbul I was approached by many people on the streets, so much so that I joked why should I go back to Tunisia when I can start a political campaign here! The successful AKP experience has influenced Islamists everywhere. The other examples of Islamists in power, for

A R T I C L E S example in Iran, Afghanistan and Sudan, are not associated with success. MA: On that note, what is your critique of the Muslim Brotherhood? RAG: The Muslim Brotherhood is a very big body and it is not easy to change or develop such big organisations, especially when they are assailed and oppressed by repressive regimes. Nevertheless, the Brotherhood has undertaken reform; they have accepted the multi-party system and they play a pivotal role in the trade unions. These days their leaders emerge from inside the trade union movement not from the AlAzhar [Seminary]. This is very important. However, the Muslim Brothers’ last party programme contained some points which I openly criticised. For example, I criticised their statement that Copts and women should be barred from running for the presidency. I also criticised their idea that a body of Ulama should oversee the parliament. But after the attack on the Coptic Church in Cairo the SecretaryGeneral of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim Mounir, agreed to review the Brotherhood’s policy towards the Copts. It appears that the Muslim Brotherhood now accepts the notion of citizenship as the basis of running all political affairs, including election to the highest office. MA: Are you worried by the rise of apolitical and regime-sponsored Salafism in Tunisia and further afield? RAG: There are many categories of Salafis, some of whom are in the service of the dictatorship regimes. They would like to be on friendly terms with all the regimes, even the overthrown regime of Ben Ali. These groups are exploited by sections of the Mukhaberat [intelligence services]. MA: Are you worried by this trend? RAG: No. This trend has no popularity because they are aligned with the regimes. The Muslim and Arab peoples are in revolt against these regimes. The only category of Salafism which may have a social base is Jihadi Salafism. The Jihadi Salafis’ relative popularity is based on their opposition to the ruling regimes. There isn’t necessarily a popular base for continued next page


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continued from page 7 their views on religion and politics. MA: Do you envisage the Tunisian example sweeping across the proverbial Arab street? RAG: The Arab regimes face implosion from within and change from without. This isn’t necessarily a consequence of the Tunisian Revolution but a natural outgrowth of decades of oppression and misrule. There is a similar set of socioeconomic and political conditions in all the Arab countries and the dynamic of change appears unstoppable.

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MA: On that note, what are the key political lessons of the Tunisian Revolution for Islamists? RAG: The main lesson is that Islamists have to work with others. They should totally abandon the view that they can rule on their own. Furthermore, Islamists should relinquish the ambition to monopolise Islam and appear as the only voice of Islam. MA: But does your view resonate in situations where Islamists have come into armed confrontation with the ruling regimes thus triggering a vicious cycle

BRADLEY MANNING TELLS

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By Ed Pilkington

Bradley Manning, the US soldier being held in solitary confinement on suspicion of having released state secrets to WikiLeaks, has spoken out for the first time about what he claims is his punitive and unlawful treatment in military prison. In an 11-page legal letter released by his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning sets out in his own words how he has been “left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of max [security] custody” ever since he was brought from Kuwait to the military brig of Quantico marine base in Virginia in July last year. He describes how he was put on suicide watch in January, how he is currently being stripped naked every night, and how he is in general terms being subjected to what he calls “unlawful pretrial punishment”. It is the first time Manning has spoken publicly about his treatment, having previously only been heard through the intermediaries of his lawyer and a friend. Details that have emerged up to now have inspired the UN to launch an inquiry into whether the conditions amount to torture, and have led to protests to the US government from Amnesty International. The most graphic passage of the letter is Manning’s description of how he was placed on suicide watch for three days from 18 January. “I was stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear. My prescription eyeglasses were taken away from me and I was forced

A R T I C L E S of polarisation, radicalisation and repression? I refer specifically to neighbouring Algeria. RAG: Even in Algeria Islamists are increasingly coming to the conclusion that violence isn’t the answer. Violence entrenches the security state and dims the prospect for the type of reforms envisaged by Islamists. 30 January, 2011 Mahan Abedin is a journalist specialising in Islamic affairs. Source: Countercurrents.org

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to sit in essential blindness.” Manning writes that he believes the suicide watch was imposed not because he was a danger to himself but as retribution for a protest about his treatment held outside Quantico the day before. Immediately before the suicide watch started, he said guards verbally harassed him, taunting him with conflicting orders. When he was told he was being put

on suicide watch, he writes, “I became upset. Out of frustration, I clenched my hair with my fingers and yelled: ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why am I being punished? I have done nothing wrong.’” He also describes the experience of being stripped naked at night and made to stand for parade in the nude, a condition that continues to this day. “The guard told me to stand at parade rest, with my hands behind my back and my legs spaced shoulder-width apart. I stood at parade rest for about three minutes. The [brig supervisor] and the other guards walked past my cell. He looked at me,

paused for a moment, then continued to the next cell. I was incredibly embarrassed at having all these people stare at me naked.” Manning has been charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US government cables, videos and warlogs from Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks. The charges include “aiding the enemy”, which can carry the death penalty. The legal letter was addressed to the US military authorities and was drawn up in response to their recent decision to keep Manning on a restriction order called Prevention of Injury (PoI). It means he is kept in his cell alone for 23 hours a day and checked every five minutes by guards including, if necessary, through the night. The letter contains excerpts from the observation records kept in the brig which consistently report that Manning is “respectful, courteous and well spoken” and “does not have any suicidal feelings at this time”. Sixteen separate entries made from 27 August until the records stop on 28 January show that Manning was evaluated by prison psychiatrists who found he was not a danger to himself and should be removed from the PoI order. 11 March, 2011 Ed Pilkington is the Guardian's New York correspondent. Source: The Guardian


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FALLUJAH WORSE THAN HIROSHIMA By Tom Eley

The Iraqi city of Fallujah continues to suffer the ghastly consequences of a US military onslaught in late 2004. According to the authors of a new study, “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005– 2009,” the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945. The epidemiological study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH), also finds the prevalence of these conditions in Fallujah to be many times greater than in nearby nations. The assault on Fallujah, a city located 43 miles west of Baghdad, was one of the most horrific war crimes of our time. After the population resisted the US-led occupation of Iraq—a war of neo-colonial plunder launched on the basis of lies— Washington determined to make an example of the largely Sunni city. This is called “exemplary” or “collective” punishment and is, according to the laws of war, illegal. The new public health study of the city now all but proves what has long been suspected: that a high proportion of the weaponry used in the assault contained depleted uranium, a radioactive substance used in shells to increase their effectiveness. In a study of 711 houses and 4,843 individuals carried out in January and February 2010, authors Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, Entesar Ariabi and a team of researchers found that the cancer rate had increased fourfold since before the US attack five years ago, and that the forms of cancer in Fallujah are similar to those found among the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors, who were exposed to intense fallout radiation. In Fallujah the rate of leukemia is 38 times higher, the childhood cancer

rate is 12 times higher, and breast cancer is 10 times more common than in populations in Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait. Heightened levels of adult lymphoma and brain tumors were also reported. At 80 deaths out of every 1,000 births, the infant mortality rate in Fallujah is more than five times higher than in Egypt and Jordan, and eight times higher than in Kuwait. Strikingly, after 2005 the proportion of girls born in Fallujah has increased sharply. In normal populations, 1050 boys are born for every 1000 girls. But among those born in Fallujah in the four years after the US assault, the ratio was reduced to 860 boys for every 1000 female births. This alteration is similar to gender ratios found in Hiroshima after the US atomic attack of 1945. The most likely reason for the change in the sex ratio, according to the researchers, is the impact of a major mutagenic event—likely the use of depleted uranium in US weapons. While boys have one X-chromosome, girls have a redundant X-chromosome and can therefore absorb the loss of one chromosome through genetic damage. “This is an extraordinary and alarming result,” said Busby, a professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Ulster and director of scientific research for Green Audit, an independent environmental research group. “To produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened. We need urgently to find out what the agent was. Although many suspect uranium, we cannot be certain without further research and independent analysis of samples from the area.” Busby told an Italian television news station, RAI 24, that the “extraordinary” increase in radiationrelated maladies in Fallujah is higher than that found in the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the US atomic strikes of 1945. “My guess is

that this was caused by depleted uranium,” he said. “They must be connected.” The US military uses depleted uranium, also known as spent nuclear fuel, in armor-piercing shells and bullets because it is twice as dense as lead. Once these shells hit their target, however, as much as 40 percent of the uranium is released in the form of tiny particles in the area of the explosion. It can remain there for years, easily entering the human bloodstream, where it lodges itself in lymph glands and attacks the DNA produced in the sperm and eggs of affected adults, causing, in turn, serious birth defects in the next generation. The research is the first systematic scientific substantiation of a body of evidence showing a sharp increase in infant mortality, birth defects, and cancer in Fallujah. In October of 2009, several Iraqi and British doctors wrote a letter to the United Nations demanding an inquiry into the proliferation of radiation-related sickness in the city: “Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukemias.… “In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies, 24 percent of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed... “Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects, but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003. But what is more alarming is that doctors in Fallujah have said, ‘a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage.’” (See: continued next page


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“Sharp rise in birth defects in Iraqi city destroyed by US military”) The Pentagon responded to this report by asserting that there were no studies to prove any proliferation of deformities or other maladies associated with US military actions. “No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues,” a Defense Department spokesman told the BBC in March. There have been no studies, however, in large part because Washington and its puppet Baghdad regime have blocked them. According to the authors of “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah,” the Iraqi authorities attempted to scuttle their survey. “[S]hortly after the questionnaire survey was completed, Iraqi TV reportedly broadcast that a questionnaire survey was being carried out by terrorists and that anyone who was answering or administering the questionnaire could be arrested,” the study reports. The history of the atrocity committed by American imperialism against the people of Fallujah began on April 28, 2003, when US Army soldiers fired indiscriminately into a crowd of about 200 residents protesting the conversion of a local school into a US military base. Seventeen were killed in the unprovoked attack, and two days later American soldiers fired on a protest against the murders, killing two more. This intensified popular anger, and Fallujah became a center of the Sunni resistance against the occupation—and US reprisals. On March 31, 2004, an angry crowd stopped a convoy of the private security firm Blackwater USA, responsible for its own share of war crimes. Four Blackwater mercenaries were dragged from their vehicles, beaten, burned, and hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River. The US military then promised it would pacify the city, with one unnamed officer saying it would be turned into “a killing field,” but Operation Vigilant Resolve, involving thousands of Marines, ended in the

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abandonment of the siege by the US military in May, 2004. The victory of Fallujah’s residents against overwhelming military superiority was celebrated throughout Iraq and watched all over the world. The Pentagon delivered its response in November 2004. The city was surrounded, and all those left inside were declared to be enemy combatants and fair game for the most heavily equipped killing machine in world history. The Associated Press reported that men attempting to flee the city with their families were turned back into the slaughterhouse. In the attack, the US made heavy use of the chemical agent white phosphorus. Ostensibly used only for illuminating battlefields, white phosphorus causes terrible and often fatal wounds, burning its way through building material and clothing before eating away skin and then bone. The chemical was also used to suck the oxygen out of buildings where civilians were hiding. Washington’s desire for revenge against the population is indicated by the fact that the US military reported about the same number of “gunmen” killed (1,400) as those taken alive as prisoners (1,300-1,500). In one instance, NBC News captured video footage of a US soldier executing a wounded and helpless Iraqi man. A Navy investigation later found the Marine had been acting in self-defense. 51 US soldiers died in 10 days of combat. The true number of city residents who were killed is not known. The city’s population before the attack was estimated to be between 425,000 and 600,000. The current population is believed to be between 250,000 and 300,000. Tens of thousands, mostly women and children, fled in advance of the attack. Half of the city’s buildings were destroyed, most of these reduced to rubble. Like much of Iraq, Fallujah remains in ruins. According to a recent report from IRIN, a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Fallujah still has no functioning sewage system six years after the attack. “Waste pours onto the streets

A R T I C L E S and seeps into drinking water supplies,” the report notes. “Abdul-Sattar Kadhum al-Nawaf, director of Fallujah general hospital, said the sewage problem had taken its toll on residents’ health. They were increasingly affected by diarrhoea, tuberculosis, typhoid and other communicable diseases.” The savagery of the US assault shocked the world, and added the name Fallujah to an infamous list that includes My Lai, Sabra-Shatila, Guérnica, Nanking, Lidice, and Wounded Knee. But unlike those other massacres, the crime against Fallujah did not end when the bullets were no longer fired or the bombs stopped falling. The US military’s decision to heavily deploy depleted uranium, all but proven by “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah,” was a wanton act of brutality, poisoning an entire generation of children not yet born in 2004. The Fallujah study is timely, with the US now preparing a major escalation of the violence in Afghanistan. The former head of US Afghanistan operations, General Stanley McChrystal, was replaced last month after a media campaign, assisted by a Rolling Stone magazine feature, accused him, among other things, of tying the hands of US soldiers in their response to Afghan insurgents. McChrystal was replaced by General David Petraeus, formerly head of the US Central Command. Petraeus has outlined new rules of engagement designed to allow for the use of disproportionate force against suspected militants. Petraeus, in turn, was replaced at Central Command by General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who played a key planning role in the US assault on Fallujah in 2004. Mattis revels in killing, telling a public gathering in 2005 “it’s fun to shoot some people.... You know, it’s a hell of a hoot.” 23 July, 2010 Tom Eley is a writer for World Socialist Website (WSWS.org) Source: WSWS.org


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CAMBODIA’S NATIONAL DAY

The Water Festival is a time of great celebration in Cambodia. It is always celebrated around November but the dates are dependent on the moon. Some say it’s a chance to honour the rivers which replenish the soil for the harvest. Others say it’s to honour the spirits which make the river change direction miraculously and flow in the other direction. Mostly it’s the time where the people from Cambodia’s countryside take over the capital! Phnom Penh is theirs. They sleep along the streets, they cheer on the boat of their district, they stay up all night and enjoy the myriad of free entertainment from fireworks to concerts and traditional dancing. It’s a grand celebration of life! The development of a new island in the river, accessed through such a beautiful bridge decorated with a Naga snake, was this year such a focal point for the celebration. So many went to Diamond Island over the holiday period for the trade show, the fun park, the free concerts, the displays and because so many other people were there to see! Such a focal point of joy and happiness, amongst Cambodia’s rural poor. And therein lies the tragedy. Those that died on the bridge on November 22 were hardly Cambodia’s wealthy. They were yet again the poorest of the poor. Garment factory workers, usually young women out for a good time. Sisters from a tiny village disobeying their mother and running to the capital to join the fun. They were slum dwellers from a nearby slum soon to be demolished. They were moto-dop drivers, garbage collectors, market sellers, rice farmers. And now 395 such people lay dead in the height of the celebrations. No doubt there will much discussion and debate by NGOs and human rights groups in weeks to come. How the government could have protected them. How safety standards are not enforced. But this is not the day for such recriminations. Today a prime minister weeps openly with his people, and the streets are silent. Outside every home, along every street, there are the traditional offerings, candles and incense for those who have passed. TV channels read the names of those who have died, replay the footage of that fateful night and update the death toll hour to hour. It is hard to watch the images without comparing them to so many of the images long associated with Cambodia. It is not a publicity stunt that so many of those interviewed by the media, including Hun Sen’s address to the nation, refer back to the Khmer Rouge years. Not since then has there been such a tragedy in our history, they say. One woman wept, I lost everyone to the Khmer Rouge, and now I lost my son in this stampede. Who will take care of me now? Over the past decade the international

By Emma Leslie

community has tried hard to persuade Cambodia that an international tribunal was necessary to heal Cambodia’s past, to reconcile the nation, to bring closure. To date the tribunal has seemed an alien legal process, far the from reality of everyday lives and certainly not a mechanism for healing deep seated pains and loss. But the events of the past few days have felt very different. In every restaurant, in every market, along the street – people go about their business slowly and silently. People watch tv screens in breakfast shops and cry openly. On Wednesday I watched a military truck slowly make its way down the Monivong, the main road through Phnom Penh, filled with coffins. As it passed shops and houses, guards, pedestrians, passersby, all stood, almost to attention, to pay respect and honour those nameless corpses going by. I drove past the hospital and found people giving out water to the many people camped out there trying to find their family members. A huge billboard displayed the unidentified people still in the hospital, and people clamber over each other to see if they can find their own. While this has been a deep and great tragedy for Cambodia, something else is going on here. This country has become united in its grief. People are coming together to put right, something which was very wrong. They are standing together to mourn their country people, fully aware that those who died were the least among them, and now deserve the highest honour for their tragic end. And of course all of us looking on wonder how they can bear more suffering, more grief and more pain. The late Maha Ghosananda, Cambodia’s peace monk often chanted: The suffering of Cambodia has been deep. From this suffering comes great Compassion. Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart. A Peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person. A Peaceful Person makes a Peaceful Community. A Peaceful Community makes a Peaceful Nation. And a Peaceful Nation makes a Peaceful World. May all beings live in Happiness and Peace. Perhaps Maha understood that it is the yoke Cambodians must bear on behalf of us all. People who come to Cambodia often comment of the smiles of the children, the happiness of the people. They marvel at the sense of fun, and joy in simple pleasures. They speak of the open hearted way Cambodians welcome them, embrace them and

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befriend them. Perhaps this is what Maha speaks of – the joy that is born of suffering. Perhaps Cambodia suffers so much so that compassion can be. For the past 48 hours Cambodian television channels have received donations from around the country for the victims’ families and the injured survivors. No amount is too small to announce on the television recognising the contributions of even the poorest people. From this suffering comes great compassion. One boy told of a man who saw him trapped under the feet of the people on the bridge. He bent down and lifted the boy up and put him on his shoulders so he was above the crowd. Later the boy realised he was riding on the shoulders of a dead man. From this suffering comes great compassion. What we learn through the events of the past few days is that sense of national identity and reconciled togetherness cannot come from outside. It comes from the shared suffering, losses in histories and processes which people experience for themselves. In many South East Asian nations those shared histories are days of liberation, celebrating anti-colonial struggles and the pride of self determination. Cambodia has no such day of celebration or national unity. Cambodia’s unity seems always to come through her suffering. Piles of shoes belonging to the deceased – in the Khmer Rouge years and again today. The mass graves of the Killing Fields, parallel to lines of bodies along the river bank of the past two days. Today is Cambodia’s National Day of Mourning. Today, one after another Cambodians are laying flowers and burning incense at the fateful bridge. This is their time, when they stand together as a nation and grieve. This is not just grief for those who died in this incident. This is truly a National Day of Mourning for all the suffering they have endured. This is the time they rally and unite to put right something which went very wrong. This is their moment of national unity. This is the suffering they bear, from which compassion is born. As a prime minister weeps with his people, Maha’s words echo over this timeless land; “Our journey for peace begins today and every day”. Each step is a prayer, each step is a meditation, each step will build a bridge.” Ironic, yet true. Cambodians will wipe their tears, and continue to build their nation, heal their hearts and show great compassion. Not just to each other, but to the world. Phnom Penh, 25 November, 2010 Emma Leslie is a social activist and writer.


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Just Commentary April 2011