Page 1

FRANCE SHARES POWER

...

ITALY UNRAVELS

-"-

RUSSIAASBULLY MAYHEM IN ISRAEL

-"...

Asia unleashed

EAST EUROPE'S TYCOONS THE CHOICE FOR BRITAlN ....... ODD MAN IN A survey of Austral ia

"

_

......., .. ..... ,,--"'-


EdItorial Board

Contents

Chief Ediror: Tom Kuperus

Editors: Marc KJumpcr Jaap Rodenburg Enk Jan Keijser

J ason MagazIne Is a blmonthly publlca. ion of the Jaaon Foundation

1

When suffering makes a good story

6

Press and Public Affairs in the Security Area

Rony Bmuman, Les M édecins sans Frontières

Executlve Board Chainnan Vice-Chairman & lOL Secrclary: John Kootstra Treasurer: Bartje Kruitcn

Secretary: Diane de Vries Fundraiser PR-Coördinator: GuiJlaine de B1écourt

JacobM. Bik

General Alfairs, Manhijs de wolr

GeneraJ Board Jhr Mr A.G.F.M. Alûng von Geu~atl Ors F.G.Jt . van den Broek Mr r .C.M . Caris. MBA Drs F.G . Cleton Mr F.A.M. van den Heuvel Orsj.A. de Koning, M. Phil. Drs H.j.C. laseur Mr R.l!. van der Meer Drs F.J.J. Princen Drs C.J,J. Vcldkamp Drs E.J. Weterings

AdvIsory Council Pmf Dr W fH>kker, voorzitter

Media 10 Chinese Ste.!an Landsberger bij BZ: Het 'Klasje' 14 Aanhaken Casp er Veldkamp leave it to the Neighbours 17 Liberia, Les M édecins sans Fronfières

F. de flakker Pror. Dr j.Th,J . van den Berg Prof. Or 11. de Haan Prof. Drs V. I-Ialberstadl Drs G.J,J.M. Hayen C.c. V:1n den Heuvel

20 Ethnicity and Foreign policy The Stanley Foundation

II .A.M. lloefn:tgeb Mr j.G.N. de Hoop Scheffer Ors R.W . Meines

R.D. Pr.l3ning Drs W.K.!\ . Schmelzer Prof. Or J.G. SicCJma

BookReview 23 M. Glenny; D. Hiro; F. Springer

Prof. Dr A. van Staden

Jason ContactpoinlS Leiden: DianedeVries071 - 12S100

Amsterdam: Peter Theunisz 020 - 6254795 Ronerdam: 5tephanie de Blécourt 010 - 4141584 Utrechl: Sandm Genet 030 - 512061 Groningen Frederik SmilS van Oyen 050 - 128509 Maastricht; Erik-Jan Goris 013 - 252161 Nijmegen: Esther Peeters 080 - 558549

J....n FoundatIon laan WIl Mccnlcrvoon 96 Z517 AR 11fE HAGUE Phone 070 - 3605658 Fo: 070 - 363 32 8S

1be Jason Foundation cannol be held accountabJe for opink",,, put fo....ard in con.ributions 10 thIs publlcation Subscriptiol1ll wW be automatlcally renewed, unJess you oen' us a written canceIation berore .be ftrs. of december_ tay-out: Esther de Vrind

Cop yrigh t Heproclucti on o f con tributions to th is peri od ica l is only pcrmitt ed w ith permission of the awh or anel the eelitorial board of j ason Fou ndati on w hen accompanied by a source nOle along th c following Iines, between bracketrs lhe daLa o f the comribution being reproduced : "This comribut ion of [name and title autho rl, was publishcd in j ason Magazine, volu me [volume no.1, number {issue no./. [mo mh , yea rl, w hich had as

John Ysebaen Prinl: f laaS* Drukkerij

a th e m e Ititle]. Jaso n Fo und ation is a bimo n thl y pu b lica tio n of the j ason

ISSN 0165-8336

Foundation fOf Int ern al Affairs, Th e I-Iaguc.


When suffering 1llakes a good story Rony Brauman, Les Mテゥdecins sans Frontiティres

Wby did the Armenian earthquake in December 1988 mobiliz e the media and the public to such a degree when, in the same year, more than 250,000 people had died a lingering death as a result offamine and war in the Sudan?

H

CGuid the extraordinary masquerade of lhe 'Romanian revolution ', with its

OW

no n-existe nt

cha mel-ho uses,

its

imaginary Libyan militia, ilS fake genocide, ilS humanitarian posturing anel テ四s prclc nd democrats, be played out right uncler Dur nases?

Why did the first film of the 1984 fam ine in Elhio pia fail to senel more than a slight shiver do wn the spi ne o f Ihe United Kingdo m while the second, broa dcast three mo mhs later, galvani zed the entire Western \Vo rlel inlO act io n? FOf what

atesting-ground for a ncw brand o f military intervention? Members o f humanitarian orga ni zatio ns, subject Iike anyone else 10 the flucluating moods anel whi ms o f their societies, are by the ve ry nature of their lask consl3ntl y faced with these probl ems -nOl o nl y beca use they need the material and moral suppo rt of the public if (h ey are to aCI freely and effeclive1 y, but also hecause the reacti ons o f governments and Ihe Uniteel Natio ns to major crises are inexIrica bly bound up with public o pinio n, w hethe r they try to keep pa<.:e whl! it ur manipulate it ( 0 ohlain its suppo rt . In practice , these rwo processes aften go hand in hand, with synchroni zation fo llowing o n from manipulalio n . La stly, over and abo ve any internatio nal reac(io n, silence alwa ys feeds o ppression : although knowing abo ul a crisis does nOl solve it, the knowledge does al least pave the way fo r the most basic act o f justice: if the guilty ca nnot be punisheel, al leasl the victims cm be recogni zeel. Th ere is, ho w ever, no uni versal I<lw goveming the process whereby an internal

upheaval becomes an internatio nal event anel th en, perhaps, a crisis 10 w hich the internati onal communテシ y is calleel upo n la rea Cl . '1'0 reali ze lhis o ne has o nl y la reflect lhat such a develo pment depenels o n ph eno mena and interactio ns as co mplex as the collective psyche, Ihe extent 10 w hich a society is prc pared 10 take notice o f issues roreign 10 its immeelial e concerns, the impact o f the media , po litical decisio n-making processes and so

fOl1h.

How 10 ellgilleer all illlenlUUo llal evelll O ur intentio n here is to prov iele food fo r th o ught, not answ ers. D ur experience has led us lO idenlify same of lhe ingredients - necessa ry, bUI nOl yel sufficient needed to turn an upheaval into an internatio nal event : I Pictures, nOl w ords, turn an incident into an evcnt, provideel nowa da ys thaI they are ava ilable as a co ntinuo us flo w to be tapped several limes a ela y fo r cuIllulative efrect - the o nl y w ay to avo iel being d rown eel b y the nood o f extrane-

eanhly re ason did Liberia hit the he adlines fo r several weeks in ] 990 only 10 disappear without (id ee, des pite the continuing war anel lhe presence of a

peacekeeping force? \'(thy are the bloody wars raging in GeorgiJ and ago rno-Karabakh in the Caucasus anel in Tajikislan and Afghanistan in Centra I Asia given such sho rt shrift, whi Ie our humanitarian incursio ns into Bosnia and Somalia are never o ff o ur TV screens? And why , last bUl nOl least, w as So malia largely igno red b y Ihe media until August 1992 when, Iike Ethi opia seven years earl ier, it sudclenl y beC;:lme the center o f Western humanilarian ~Hl e nti o n ancl

jason Mag"zille no . 1, Febru," y 1994

1


information. This alom' is \\'hèn.~ lhè financial resources anti ec!itorial (k~cisi ­ ons ofthe newspapers ("om e inlo pby. OUS

2 The upheava l must he

i~ola t ed

if it is not lO he ousted onee anc! rol' <111 by a parallel eOlulict: a televis ioll service CIIlnot cover two famines ar ollee. The conOict in former Yugos lavia, given simu lraneolls eoverage w irh Somalia , is a notabie exception 10 this rule, c!ollbtless becallse of its geographical position anc! its politica l impl ications.

cleath al lhe same time \\'orld.

~IS

the

I'<..'sl

of the

Everyone has access today to a vast fund of inform<ition on the c1130tic progress of the world; every important evcnt is al least signallecI , even if it is engulfed imll1eelialely aftenvards in Ihe flood of infol1nation constantlyon offer. No famine, na war, na oppressive reg ime has been totally and persistenlly neglected: henee the not ion that horror is a thing of Ihe past , since pictures are the worst cnemy of indi fference anel arbitrary decisions the pillar of thc wurl d consciencc.

aClllally hased on the symbol ic show of strength (Bourelicu) which is l he ve ly recipe for lhe global village. This parabIe, invenled by Marslull McLuhan when lelev is ion was in its in fan cy, was quickly acceptecl as Iruth and gave rise 10 questions in w hich lInive rs~t1 ncighbourhood is taken for grantccl. There ~I re , in fact , few things more qllestionable th an Ih is idea - an elecLro nic version of lhe kingdom of Utopia - which is su rely fired by the hope it bri ngs anel the strength of the h eadline it con tains. The aId adage o f the man and Lhe dog - 'dog biles man' is not news; 'man bites dog' is news - is often qlloteel as evidence Ihat information is synonymous with the lInexpected: tra ins arriving on time are never newswonh y, but may find a niche in advel1ising or propaganda. \X1he re intemational news is concemed , though, the old adage is incomplete and misleading. Each person in a collectivity assimilates the necessaril y elliptical langllage of inform::l tion into the set of feelings, impressions and experiences which make up his or her specific context - into the idea she or he happens to have of lhe way dogs anel men lIsllall y behave. i.e. , the awareness that assaults by men on dogs are rc latively ra re. We have, in other words, a syntax in the sense o f a set o f rules governing the ways in w hich words o r impressions are groupcd , thcir levels of meaning anel the common significance of lhe messa ges reaching us from our surrollndings. The image of the emaciated Somali child gnawing at a roOI. its eyelids covered with Oies, against a background o f food convoys being pi llaged , a scene we have watched a thousand times over, elelivers a message whose primary meaning - a ch ild in distress - is deaL Tile secondaly meanings fit no ordimlry syntax. belonging in~te;.l(1 (0 , I defmdt system huilt up of earl ier impressions: CîJckeel. dried-out eanh, erim inal warlords, tribal warfa re. popllialion cxp losions, swarming illiterate ll1asses, deaelly epidemies - in short, a neo-mediaeva l epic of misely. Such a scena rio leaves na room fur what really goes on in the society concell1ed - its variolIs social structurcs, its power nctworks and hierarchies, its ideas and its culture. T he only fam ilia r lanelll1a rk in this merciless, anachronislic landsca pe is the image of the victill1. \Ve shall return to this central point.

This technologieal optimism, which eqllalCS knowledgc wilh conscience. is

The Vietnam \Xlar elemonstrated the powe r of l he picture - its abil ity to mobil ize

Tht.: ~(Udl'nt re\'olt in Peking. Ihe siegt.: of Sarajevo. the Marine lanelings in Somalia anel the riuts in Los Angeles are served up to us every dav ar mealrimes. giving

3 There must be a medialor - a personality o r avolunleer from a humanilarian organization to 'all th enticate' the vktim. dunnel the emotion generated anc! provide bath distance and a link hetween the spectator anti Ihe viClim. 4 As weil as the seen setting, Ihere

must be a victim w ho is spontaneous ly acccptablc in her or his own r ight, to \Vestem viewers: the lraqi Shi 'iles stand n o more chance of passing this test than do lhe Palestinians in KlIwait or the Ir~1I1ians. rcgardless of Ihe ha relship they may be suffering. This set of rules governs the way in which news is fabricated , nOl the awareness process at work in a society. It works only ir il Gl.Jl shake off the lelevisua l consciousness of lhe \"\·orlc!, which is often mistaken for knowledge. This technologica l oprimism, which eqllates knowledge with consc ience. is ~lctua l ­

credence to the ielea of a universal releprescnce in which time anc! distance no longe I' exist. 'fhis elivine qua li ty of ubiquiry turns the McLuhan galaxy into a k inel of electron ic Olympus. with a control room from which we newly-creatcd goels can wa tch a world \vhose every tremor is scrulinized in real timc anti whosc lIpheavals are instal1lly on uur screens. proclucing 3 worlel conscience ipso facto.

Iy based on ,he 'global vilJage' concept. ElcclronÎC news-gathering and J<lpiel (bta tra nsmission can be said to have reeluced the world to the size of a village in which we are all neighbours. No one in an industrialized counlly lOday can claim not ra know what is happening arOlll1d them , sinee evely house anel cve ly street in thc global village is constantly was hed by electron ic waves broadcasting evenls as they happen. 'Give us 18 minutes and we wi ll give you the universe' was Ihe cla im of lhe Satellite News Cha nnel the day aftel' Leonid Brezhnev's dearh. The Amerieans , along with all those w ith access to an unreslricted info rmation SOllfce, actua ll y hea rd about the death of Ihe Firs{ Secreta!)' to the Communist Palty before the Soviets did. Since then satellites and the constant advances in perfecting anel miniarurizing broadeasti ng and recepl ion techniqlles have 111ult ipl ied the effects of the technological ach ievemenr of wh ich Sarellite News Cha nnel was 50 proud: no stale ca n now claim a monopoly on information, anel a tyrant 's subjects leam of his

2

Jaso11 Magazjne no. 1, February 1994


Elhiopia to ArJl1e~ nb, Cambodia to Afghanistan, for bet~ ter or for \vorse it is the humanirarian et~ hos that now prc~ vails, wirh no mher perspectivc in sight. At the same time, Ihe power of televi ~ sion has become 50 grea t thaI it is now the foea [ point for the news. Since the

deployment of 1roops and th ei r [ogislic support.

early 19805, head li-

The age of th e 路French doctor.,;' rapidly replaced thaI o f heroes in the Illould of Che GlIevara - Ihe [mter more romantic, undollhtedly, bUI disqu~tlified by reason of their en1husiasm fo r gulags. Th e hu~ manitarian voluntee r, a ncw, n ewswot1 ~ hy figure , neither statesman nor guerrilla , but half~ amateur anel half~ex ~ pen , began (0 appear at Ihe l1ashpoints whic h light up Ihc progress of histoly. Bolh actor anel narralor, he has wken over where polilies stoppeeL pbying the front man with a sense of reality wh ich he c<ln reduce 10 a common denoJl1ina ~ tor ~ the victim anel the treatmcnt he will be receiving , whieh immedia tely upsla ~ ges any ot her sodal imagcly cxprcsseel in thc samc tcrms.

nes in the press have [:ugely retlec~ led those of the te~ levision news, anel the latter now shoulders the heavy responsibility for decicling whal is, and wha l is not 'news' - in effect, for creating the news.

public reserves of indignation at a time when the hoped ~ for politica[ solutions had nOl yet been cliscredited. The tlag of Iiberty that General Westmoreland w i s~ hed 10 raise over the villages he had just napalmed waS shot to pieces hy the films and photographs taken by the journa ~ liSIS. Vet the opponems of this empire~ building war were not imerested in the methods by wh ich tile US militia condue~ ted its operations. Whm they wanted was eonfirmation that their positions were justified, and that was provided by the photographs epitomizing the con~ niet: the terror of a smalI, nakecl girl run ~ ning from ::t hurning village and ::I South Viet namese officer gunning down a Vi et Cong sold ier in cold blood. Th ese images did more Ihan reveal hidden tmths: Lh ey ratified an existing argument.

These new changes took place inde~ pendent[y o f each other, but sim uh a~ neously. ThaI coin~ cidence was crucia l to the yea rs which followed, for it was cluring those years rhal humanitarianism really look off, seemingly the o n[ y form of public com1l1iLment still capa ble o f being defended , oeeupying Ihe Icrri(OlY vacated by hard~ line ideology and feeding on ilS vel)' decline. h was with the tlight of refugees from SOllt h ~ East Asia, panicubrly the boal pe~ op Ie of 1979, anel the 1980 famine in Ka~ ramoja (Uganda) Ihat \ve sa\-v the tlrst major Ielevised humanilarian cJ ll1paigns, reslllting uhimaLely in Ihe nrst ever mi l i ~ tary/ hu1l1anitarian operali ons with the

But com1l1unism, allhough wiele ly per~ ceived as intc[[eclually moribund, was slill alive and kicking as a polit ical sys~ tem, :md Easl ~ \Xfcst lcnsions IiITlit cd oper~Hio n s of Ihis type to a few insignifieanl 1crritories. This was nevertheless the moment when the fate of mankind around lhc \-vodd began to form part of the daily lives of \X!eSlerners. vicarious[y through humanitarian aid.

Being a mixture of vehement protest , emergency meelicine anel sheer physica l effon, this new farm of humanilarian ac1ion seems to be ich:al television ncws maleria\. Aftel' ~tli. its three eomponents appeal immedia tely la the emotions. Quick, simpte, anel yieleli ng immcdi ~ ately~visible results (al least in comparison with the political tre~lIlllenl or exolic problems), hllmanilary act ion [13 5 the knack of showing itself in ~I form which is casy 10 undersland and apprec ia1 e: Ihe viclim and his reSClle r have beeoll1e one of the totems of our age. Man , as Marx observecl, only ever seIs himse lf problems he is capable of resolving: Ielevision news only ever brings LI S

Golden agefor hU11lanilaria1lis11l and dark daysfor ideology Since lhe Vietnam \Var, no media tremor has succccded in prodllcing any percep~ ti b[e display of, or change in, public opi~ nion in the industrialized nations. Wh ether th is is a facl LO he rejoiceel in o r deplored , it rell1ains 1rue that only in the humanitarian field ha.'" society really CX~ presscd itselL From LJganJa to Bosnia.

]aso" Magazille no. I , February 1994

3


emotional images we are capable of sublimating. What th is means in practice is that subjects viItually select themse1ves by a two-stage process. First , the physical timing imposed by the length anc! pace of the broadcast, wh ich mie out the presentation of more than two inte rnational crises per news bulletin. Second , the symbolic status of 'victim', whi ch ca n in effect o nly be granted in cases of unjustifi ed or innocent suffe ring. It matte rs Iiule whether the subject is the victim of mother nature's cnl elty, of a senseless war (other peoples'wars are always senseless), of ruthless armed gangs, or of an evil tyrant - the po int is that he must be 100 pe r ce nt victim, a non-paIticipant. This mea ns that the humanitarian doctor is almost in a position of having to apologize, to jllstify h is aclions, whe n ca ught in the act of giving trearmem, in accordance with humanila rian principles, to comba tants.

whe n he ove rstepped th e ]jne which separates po litica l friends from ene mi es. His gassing of 5,000 Kurds in 1988, and the repression lhey had suffered for years befare, were irrelevant to his change of status. Armenia aroused the wo rl d 's

in th is way, we were told. This footage went around the world, inflaming opinion against the monstrous lraqi baby-killer. This massacre of the innocents could not go llnpu nished: Congress, previously divided over Desert Storm, finall y approved the operation by a majority of five . The rest is history.

And w hy not, after all' Welt, simply beca use the inte rview was a fake: the interviewee was no ne other than the daughte r of the Kuwaiti ambassador in Washington, p laying with tale nt an imaginary role. One of Ame ri ca's leading communications agencies, financed by Kuwait, was behind ,his charade, less well-known than the Timisoara scam, bu t far more subde. To depict accu rately the o utlines of your victim, you must first do the same for his oppressor, and Saddam Hussein's profile at the hands of his fonne r protectors was that of the baby-devouring ogre of our fairy-tale nightmares. Two yea rs ea rlie r a MeThe high point in this decins Sans Frontieres lunatie require ment for miss ion to the Kurdish purity of victim status villa ges gassed o n Saddam 's orders had had was provided by the two great communicalittle p ress coverage de'Kurdistan stop suffe ring because nobody is interes ted !' spite the images it tors of the 1980s, Presibrough, back; at ,he dents Ronaid Reaga n compassion in 1988 afte r the ea rth-q uatime, he had been a frie nd to the West, and Mikhail Gorbachev, with the rescue ke, but the same coumry's involveme nt of two ice-trapped wha les off th e coast the rampan containing funda mentalist in the war in Nagorno-Ka raba kh seems Islam with in Iran. A nearly assembied faof Ca nada in October 1988. Lillie attento have proeluced no victims WOIthy of brication in a more receptive climate was tion has been drawn to the significa nce interest. That is because their status is able to outclass the rea lity of earl ier masof th is spect3ClJiar farce's success. Ir was confused by their responsibility for the sacres and oppression which at the time the proto type for othe r rococo events, an conflict. It is difficult to imagine Presihad been consigned to the international object lesson in the unexpectecl capacity dents Reagan and Gorbachev hastening briefs in the inside pages. of a n e mot iona lly-cha rged scena rio to to the rescue anaesthetize the cri tical faClJit ies of the The oppressor, the victim and poplliation at large. He re we had a hostiOf a shoal of sharks or a pack Ie e nvironment in the polar ice, innocent the good Samaritan victims in the whales, a spectacular resofjackals. For years, the civil war and the [amine in cue with the giant helico pters anel the Somalia belonged to th is class of news in blessing of authority in the persons o f The Gu lf crisis provided an admirable showcase for the strength of the image brief, sandwiched fleetingly between the Messrs Reagan and Gorbachev, no less. perceived as truth, and th e hijacking o f birth of quintuplets in Australia and a Whilst alt this was going on, and the emotion as a fonn of knowiedge. Shortly railway crash in India. The human drama front pages of the worl el's press were acbefore the United States Congress voted, trigge red by this politicalupheaval becaclaiming lhe 'rescue of the ce ntu ry', in a television report shook (he nation: a me prope rly vis ible o nly when po litica I southern Sudan an o rganized famine girl (whose identity could not, for fea r of personalities began to show interest. was killing Dinkas by te ns of thousands, reprisa ls, be revealed) sobbing as she reEvents in Somal ia required strong words in the sile nce of genera I indifference. ported the atrocities commined by lhe from the Secre tary-Gene ral of the Un ited Iraqi soldie rs as they invadeel Kuwait Na ti ons, a nd visits by US Senator Na ncy It can be noteel in passing that lhe vicCity. She described the sacking of the Kasselbaum and the Fre nch Min ister for tims of a tyrant o nly become 'vichospita Is' paediatric departments, the deHuma nita rian Action, Or Berna rd Kouchtims'when the tyrant has been perceiveel of incubators, the infa nts left on structio n ne r, befare the tragedy became news, anel labeJleel as such by western governthe floor to die. Three hund reel anel ninewhen the fa mine had already reached me nts. Saddam Hussein beca me a fultyand passed its peak after n10nths of accred ited producer of victims only teen pre mature infants had been killeel 4

Jaso1l Mag az i1le no. 1, Fe bruaty 1994


O nce the victims have been identified as

reaction . BUl th e facl is that the lack o f cJirection we are now witnessing in Somalia results from applying the same mental processes as werc applied in the campaign for baby seals massaered by ruthless hunters on desened iee-fIoes .

bona fide by acknowledged mediators,

And that the problems faced by lhis ope-

they can become the object of our COffipassion, and th eir oppressors th at of our

rat ion resu lt largely from the return of a political reality w hich this simplistic, reassuring imagery was incapable of turning around.

deepening crisis. lt was at that point that Somalia burst onto the \Vest 's consciousness, in images of dying ch ildren and am1ed gangs roam ing a w ildemess.

opprobri um . Thus by August 1992 the scene had been set , th e four criteria had been met, and Act One could begin, with the United Nations' laborio us relief deployment. With ACI Two ca me abnHa l heightening in l he clramatic intensity of events, as lhe Secretary-General 's special envoy resigned. In late November the

figllre o f 80 pe r ce nt of food aid failing to reach the right people began and the Secretary-Ge-

(Q

emerge,

Men, as Machiavelli observed , juclge by what they see. What becomes of their judgement when the eye is replaced by lhe telephoto lens, and a point of view is repla ced by a ca mera-angle? 'Somalia provides the answer: the map is taken to be the grollnd, and Ihe image is taken 10

neral himself took this figure

up, alt-

ho ugh

had

it

no

known factual basis, ancl a fonnight ea r-

lier, all those actually involvecl

estimated

the losses at 30-40 per cent o f lhe tOlal.

Widely acc1aimed except by those actually present in Somalia, the NGOs - as a sel f-evident truth, this 'news' promoted events to the rank of crisis, opening the possibility, of a milita ry humanitarian aid operation. Thus was

the landing of the US Marines on the beaches of Mogadishu . The humanitarian teams, unable to recognize themselves or their mission in the euphoria o f the moment, saw these events as harbingers of trouble; their prcmonilions proved all 100

well-follnded.

No dOllbt the origins o f this escalation la y in the con fu sion which followed th e Gulf War and the impotence of lhe intemational community faced with the Bosnhm war of ethn ic cleansing, alongside other politica I issues. No doub! the tOlal breakdown of state stnlctllres and th e level of vio lence attained reqllired a fjrm

Government, as I-Iobbes pointed out as long ago as the seventeenth ce ntury, is a matter of belief. Hobbes is all the more relevan t in this age of the cathodi c rite the first in history, Regis Debray tells us, in which men actually believe the evidence of (heir eyes. Much o f lhe blame for th is lies w ith Ihe fact that the entertainment ancl co mmunica ti ons inclustry (which th e television companies effect ively are) has a powerful ho ld over the news. But it would be absurd to hold journalists o r media orga ni zat ions solely responsible for the oversimplifications ancl lhe abusively emotional presentation of complex situations: presentation, selection ancl subjectivity are an inevitable pan of journalism : that job can not be reduced to simply recording facl. Alisterity is no guarantee o f tnlth, and the dream of worldwide tï.:lnsparency is no more than a totalitarian nightmare. \Vhat we face here is a problem in society: compassion , otherwise known as solidariry, is tending to degenerate into pity, \-v hen it sho uld be growing into ca Us fo r jusrÎce. Informa tion , frequently distressing, is

lhe way opened for Act Three: Ambassador Sahnoun, the diploma t anempting to renew the politica I dia logue, was replaced by a military command w ith the task of neutrali zi ng rile armed gangs anel warlords responsible fo r the famine . This spectacle wOlild rcach ilS high point on 8 December with

Humallitariall actioll 011 the bridge betweell iliformatioll alld commwlicatioll

subtly rep la eed by 'com-

be reality. Even the sOllnd-bite ca n be taken for image: the principal effect of the statements by Genera l Philippe MorilIon , head of the UNPROFOR in Bosnia, on the establishment of 'safe areas' was to popularize thc expression 'safe areas' and , by a slight shift in emphasis, imply that such areas actually existed, and mat the Bosnians we re thcrefore safe. A high-profile operatio n in Srebreni ca and a close-up of a few I3lue Helmets was'all that was th en needed: through the telescope of the television news, Srebrenica became the who te of Bosnia , anel one instant o f success wipcd out the accumulated deficit of failure .

munication', which is <11ways midelle-of-the-mael. The 'satisfactio n index' and the 'press bock' are deemed to express the reSuilS whos implicit in humanitarian o rgani zations is to be distinguished from th e unfeeling morality which is beginning to mark them. That, in particular, is the price w hich . wi ll have to be paid if humanitarian aid is to retain its respect for the individ uals it secks to help. That is the price which wi ll have to be paid if the ethics implicit in humanitarian orga nizations are ta survive in Lhe \Vorld of the media, <Ind neither give up nor resort l a demagoy. _

Jbis a11ic/e was publisbed ill Ibe recenf~y printed book, 'Life, IJeath and Aid; The Médecins sans Fronlières rep011 on Wor/d Crisis Intetvention : Ediled by François Jean, Roulledge ISBN 0-415-10550-1. 7bis hook offers al7 inleresting, realistic cuul refreshing view of Ibe UN's (i1l) actioIlS, illlenwfional polities alld aid. Read it.

Jaso" Magaz i"e no. 1, February 1994

5


Press and Public Mfairs in the Security Area JacobM. Bik

In a democratic society, no defense policy is acceptable if its goals and means are not seen as rigbt or at least acceptable by a majority oftbe general public. In tbe process of acquiring public support, tbe mass media play an intermediate role. Tbey are tbe major source of inJormation to tbe general public and at tbe same time tbey are often also tbe cbannels tbrougb wbicb existing or planned new policies are criticised or endorsed. Tbeir role bowever must not be overestimated: media can never and sbould never replace politicians in tbeir work of creating and controlling tbe security policy oftbeir nation.

, Ai

long as (he security of a nation , o r a befriencled group of nations,

's threalt:ned. or is widely regarcled as slIch, public support for a poliey [0 derend the national terrilolY, or to acquire the means to do so if the worst (<Ilne to lhe worst, \ViII he relatively easy 10 gel. The same goes for

6

a poliey aim ing at meeting a thre~u in Cl collecLi vcly organizl:d defensc or a group of alliecl states.

NATO The Non h A tla ntic Trcal y Organi zat ion (NATO) is an cxarnple of slich an o rganization. It was, at least until 1989/ 1990,

eviden tl y acceptecl as a necessity by a majority o f the populations of iLS mem-

ber stall!S. The milil,uy power anel the politica I anel ideologieal hostility of thc Soviet Union anel thc Warsaw Pact made a collective ly org;m izeel defense by the Ireary-membcrs selr evident 10 majorities of the electo茂.ltes in NATO-nations. The size anel thc danger or the threal thai was generall y fe it causeel more o r less 'automatic' public support ror ATO路s multinational defense poliey as such. This principle consensus about th e outIines of policy of course elid not mean that puhlic suppon was complete ly homogeneous as far as Ihe strtl ctllre, si ze anel cast o f natiomd securi ty precmnions were la be c1dinecl polit ica ll y. The me<Ins earmarked and budgetec! ror clefense were always the result of ~I politi cal compromise het ween different opinio ns ancl priorilies. Those means we re, and still arc, a compromi sc bet ween variolIs demancIs lhal exist in a modern democratie society. \Veslem Eliropean NATO-partners ror example have always a rgued , even in lhc darkest days or the eold \Var, that Ihei r societies should and would ha ve to maintain a ce ltain quality of their social system, educHion, housing, recrcation anc! olher living circlImstances. Ta make these societi es wort hwhite to defend, sa to speak. This po int of view has never really been questioncd h y th e media . Thc exislcnce o r lhe US as the biggcsI and by far most powerful member state in the alliance, its nuclear weapons. ils armed rorces in Europe and its guardntees for the security or its partners. helped to rea li ze this 路double option' of

Jaso1l Magazi"e no. 1, Febmary 1994

politica I and soda I security in prosperous states. ParJdoxically, the US often were irritated by the unwillingness o f (heir European partners to spend as much money on defense as \Xlash ington saw fi L And - al50 paradoxically - European NATO partners often criticize the low social secllriry standard thc US mainlain.

ThaI Was The1l, This Is N ow Now that the lhreat of th e Soviet Unio n an d tbe \VarS<lW Pact is gone, the Ihreat that helpccl ta unite bath NATO- and EC members, the deh::ne over the desirabie size. organizarion and cast o f anned farces gelS tougher, budgets are dropping, many pcople have lost their interest or regard tax money for defense more as a waste lhan they used to do. The latter may he a trine different in the higger European countries. like Fr:mce and the United Kingdolll , and in the US. where armeel farces traditionally are not only mea11l la derend th e national territory anel independenee bUI also se lve as a means or foreign po licy. O r even, Iike the French nuc1ear ro rce de frappe , as a l11eans to keep the nat ion logelher p sychologica ll y. In these bigger countries. ei ties are full of monuments lhat reminel o f won or at least bravely fought historic haales. In such countries, media aften have one or more fllli time defense correspondents, who work in a likewisc felt national tradition ancl write and report co rrespon* dingly about the transition their anned forces ma y he going through. But elsewherc. especiall y in many sma ller nations, securit y became a min o r editorial topic again, since the tensions between Ea st anel \Vest have finall y come to an end anel man y people wonder what m ilit<:1I)' defense is needed for. My COUlltry, the Net herl ands, is an example of a nat ion that manageel 10 stay peacefu ll y neutral hetween 1815 ancl 1940. I lere and there , Dutch historians h ave al-


ready wondcred wh ether the rclatively short period o f NATO membcrship may only h~l ve heen an interruption of the nation:-. basic, mental and flnancially hased pn..'ferencc for nculrality. Anyway: Western Europe as a ,\"hole is in a state of econom ic recession and knows thaI it w ill have to ~Iss i st Easlern Ellrope in ils democrali c and economic develo pmc nl. The clear East-\'(1esl conflict, wilh its n:slIlting ohviolls ohligati o ns in the si.x:lIri ty ndd. has gonc. TIlt., big At lantic p:JI1ner is reorganizing himself. luoking more and more over the Pacific and Middle and SOlllh America and drastically reducing his presence in Elirope. I lis Europcan panners in the mcantime show their bck of political unity, i.e. in th c Bo:-,nian cris is.

Tbe Role of/be Meditl Al Ihis IXJint it m~ly he usdul 10 underlinl' thai most l1ledb in We:-.lern soek~ ti es ha\ 'e to make money, o r ~It leaM must write thei r fin.meia! rcsult in hbck figu!"l'S in order to survivc. The)' have 10 do tha i amielst ~ I lot of eagcr compctitors, ,,,hieh J11eans t!tal they consulllly h:l\'e 10 try to do better (h~11l these compclitors do. And hettl:r in Ihis field ma)' in many cases mean raster. c asier. cheaper, \V iltier, more to Iht.' t~lslc of thc loet! or regional reader. more !o thc taste or ti red tdevisiun -watchcrs, and hurril'd radiolisteners in their cars. Beller is orten Ihe same as hetlcr-likcd. Thc tcmptation to report whal many pcople wou ld ra rher likl' to rcad. sec or hem inslead of \\"ha l rl'all)' happened i:-. never far a\\"ay.

1I is not in IhL' nrst pbcc the expcnisl' o f thc l1ledb that ('OUl1ts, their expertise ma)' in man)' cases even hl' rdatively modesl compared to thc higher standards of knowlcdgc in the professional ddensc eOllllllu nit y :lIld its oflen very specia lised periodicaIs. No, w ha t eou nl s it. the role of thc media as the main sourel' of constant :lI1d lIndcrsla nebbl e informalion 10 the gl'ncr..d public. And what ~tl so eou nts is their rok :IS inh..'rmediales betwt'l'n tiK' policr makers in government, 1);lrli~lll1('n t , politieal p~lrtics and the L'l ectorat c. Tlut is all the more {rUL' s;nCL', in Ihc si xtics and the sevcnt ies, foreign poliey and defense policy slarted to ;ltlrael wid..:r allenlion uf much higger parts of the poplll~lIion in Illany democratic countries.

AdtlP/tltioll Th e ncw secllril y demands are different. thaI goes for politicians, the media and Ihe generJI publie alikc. Those new demands n:blc 10 ethn ie ~lJ1d nationalist co ntrovc rsie!'; in f~lraway pbces. Thcy ha ve to he met nOl wi lh dcfensテ思c :u mics but w ith modern, vC ly muhile and expensive ncw fo rce:.:s in the kllnework of the United Na tio ns, or in relatively complica ted regiorml orga ni zat ions Iike CSCE and WEU Ihat aim at peaee and talk about co nflicts. Armcd fo rCl~s grow smaller, thc soldiers work gCI$ more .md mo re sophisticated , the devdopmenl from armed men 10 manned arms and from enlisted men 10 professional 501diers gels ncw impulscs. In a nllmber of cOllntries, ro l' instance in Ihe Nelherbnds, prep3r.:llions arc lInder way to bllild an army of professiona ls instead o f conscripts. There is less money available and much more to he explained te bigger groups of the population. ThaI ha s to be done in a society where many previous cerlainties c!isappearcc! , ferme r confj dence in politics sharpl y dropped and soci al fragmentation has grown. Thai makes the role or the media more impo rtant as weil as more difficull. Especiall y since media are not, regardless \Vhm many politicians say, the natural defenders of democracy neilher its last bastion behind thc politica I dikes as a former chairman of the Duteh Second Chamber ( th c Lower Ilouse) once put it. Nor are th e media the truc defenders o f the "right policy", if there we re slIch a thing as the right po licy. That may reel like defending democ ra ey, lhey ma y feel th el1l.selves co-rcs pon sible for the sod al anc! po litical climate in their counuy, and althe greater part o f them does. But Ihey definilely ~I re not c1lOsen po liticia ns, anc! they forget their (rade if they aet differently.

jtlSOll

hlagazi"e no. I , February 199-1

7


Or, to put it in other words, thc making of foreign ;md defense poliey, on the basis of almost-eonsensus and w ith the natura! interest as a guideline, was na langer eonfined to a smaller group of experts in ehalk striped sllits thaI feit quite sure of its ultimate forma! endorsement in parliament. The nationa! debate on foreign and seeurity poliey became broader, a ften more emotiona ! ancl less b ipartisan. New or at least till then less regarded criteria for public acceptance became of grea ter importanee. Like hllman righ ts, development aid, the pro's and cons of nuclear deterrence, the lack of democracy in formally hefri ended states, the ethical meri ts of advocated or

disregarded types of poliey. In short, since the six ties the making of foreign and defense policy became a "no fl11al !1 politica l process, in which governments and politicians had to make a bigger effort to convince party members and the electorale. Likewise the media became more interested in day to day security issues. This development also meant that the info rmal m ies of lhe media-games started 1O play a bigger role in the debate. As you know, media o ften feel that the unexpected, the unknown, the incident if

8

you wĂ&#x17D;sh, is of greater interest lO their reader:;: , listeners and T.V.- Walc hers (han lengthy expertise and solemn lines of contin uity in their articles o r repons. In alhe!' words, media oflen consider a man biting a dog of far greater interest than a dog biting a man . \Vhich - in genera I mayalso mean that govemments and coalition partners o ften have a tougher stand with the media than opposilion pa rti es ha ve to be responsible, have to

do the foreseeab le. The op position and altem ative p ressure grOllps generally want difference, change, the unexpeeted o r simpl y the mo re agreeable sol ut io n IhM they :He nOl accoumahle fo r themselves. Moreover: in the con frontation with governmenr and its vast advantages in knowledge and assistance, the o pposition ma y have the features of David fighting Goliath, which is whm people Iike and what consequenlly many media like or have to Iike,

aclvertisement-income. Another aspect of the b igger role o f (h e mass media is that the "consllmer's va lue" o f matters of securily grew more impon ant. Teil them w hat you, yOllr son, your cousin, your brother o r your neighbour gets pa id being a sold ier. Or how long military service for enlisled men will be, respecliveIy w here it has lO be fu lfilled and under w hal ci rcumstances. Sholild enlisl ed men that bring an offer for their country no t be paid more mo ney? Of course many a politi cian knows that he can eam himself, and his party, more public support if he succeeds in convincing lhe media o f the attraction of his ideas in such favourable consumer areas.

And if his idea is new, he probably also knows what media ca n sell il best, just as weil as he knows where he ca n drop a piece of interesting info rma tion about a matter of secu ri ty po licy that he ca n nOl

ta lk "bout in publie himself. In sueh

Cotlsumer's Value Newspapers and magazines have la he sold, and a television- report must draw the attent ion of as many c1 ients as possib ie, especially because both the newspaper and the T.V.- statio n need an

Jason Magazine no. 1, February 1994

cases the chosen medium and the pa litician make a confjdential deal according ta the line: I will scratch your back jf you scratch mine. The printed olltcome of such a deal may eventuall y inspire lhe same politician to ask the min ister of defense tricky questions about the matter


w itb reference to tbe articlc in thc previo usl y chosen medium. In the rnecli~l ­ circuit such a procedure is ca lled : planting the news.

Hollallditis Tbc elherl and:, have fo r a very lo ng lime been a state in w h ieh the populati o n w as firml y diviclcd al o ng ve rtica l lines o f religion ancl ideology. Children vOleel like their parents and grand parent.'), we nt to thc same church and schoo l .md bec<Jme mc mhers o f the same confessio nall y o r ideologicall y 01'gani zed lracle union . Th ey sta yecl in their pre-w ar closed societal pyramids, at the to p o f which their po litietil lea ders negoliated wÎlh thei r fello w -leaders o f o ther pynl mids abo ut majorities for coalil iongovernments. T he Dutch made qu itt: an art o ut of these pacificalio n-arrangcmem s. w hich made it possib le that an in itsclf di vidccl cou ntry neverthcless managcd lO articul;ue ils securiry and foreign poliey im c resls coherentl y, fo r instan ce in the Euro p can Communit y and in NATO. The postponed emancipatio n of la rge pan s of the DUl ch po ptJl ati o n o ut of th eir traditional religi ous, societal and p o litica I quarters began late, namely in thc second half o f lhe six ti es. But it then sw ept through a previo usly sleep y cou nt ry like a suclclen srorrn , c h;lng in g il holh mc nl all y anel politica ll y in o nl y a couple of years. It was then that the Dutch fo rm time la time ttX>k the role o f an uncommonl y o hstinate partner in NATO. 1101land even started 10 export its newly acquired srubbo rnness, that a elecad e ago anel for a eouple o f years got w eil known under lhe label "ho llanditis". The societal and po litiGIi eman cipatio n o f large pans o f Ihe p opulation , which o f course also left it s marks in the landscape o f tb e media, coincided \\'ilh the new valu c o f secu rit y matters as broacler and profitable po litica I isstJ es. Thm hecame espec i:1l1 y clear in the Jlluch clebateel field o f nucl ea r w eapo ns, against which lhe churches startecl th eÎr ca mpaigns in the six tics. \'V'itho ut be ing to cynic o ne could argue th aI as far as nuclear w eaponry w as concerned the DUl ch security policy got a higher religious p rofile in the seventies and eig hties, ahhough the churches got emptier. And , o f course. the greater pan o f Ihe media went alo ng since they feit bo uncl to follow th e majo r mo vements o f Iheir cuS1Omeni.

Differ ellt Ki"ds Sin ce the sÎx tics anel seventies, the Dutch media -landscape ca n rou ghl y be clifferentiateel into tbrei.: main groups. I will

stiek to Ihe news p~lpe rs here. since I k now them best. T hc re is the large group o f mainl y commerc iall y o pe rating and therefo rc o ften profitabl e new spa pe rs w h ich p rcfe r b ringing sllch articles anel stories th at pco pl e would like 10 read and hea r. Their info rmalio n va lue ma y he du hi ous bUIIheir circulatio n and rCVel1ll eS in mosl c.ases \Viii be good. O ne mu sl not fo rgel Ihat ad ve rtisers Iike these new spapers. :JI1d their satisfied suhscrihers. h est. A second group of new spapers p lays a more missio nary role . These papers are more or less educating Iheir readership hy o ffering news and lelling w hal - in the name a nc o r the otht'r chosen po im o f ideo logy - is good or bad . These newspapers ha ve greatc r difficuhy in making a p rofit and may o ft en ha ve 10 light the lem p talio n 10 silualC Ihemselves between lhe news and the rea dership that has to be eduGued . A third group (ries la bring the news w il hout commercia I or icJeologica l h ias as l1luch as possib ie, but it races the probl em that it will no t easil y re<lch large pOJ1io ns of the reading publi c 3nd th c n.: fore it a ft en has to accept a small commercial basis. These tluee different n1ain groups o f Dut cil l1l.:wspapers pb y an ::Iccoreling role in th c p olitica I fjeld . The commercial group generall y enjoys good relatio ns w ith th e pu litiGIi righl. 1t u e ab w ilh Lhe po litical right aecoreli ngly anel is mostly Ireateel likewise by the pal1ies o f that side of the politica I spectre. The mo re missio na ry newspapers in princip le have a commo n ideologica l basis anel correspo nding gooel reblio ns w ilh lhe po litica l left anel the left w ings o f religio us and o ther groups. Th e third group - o ften dcscribcs as lhc group of qualily papershas to finel a pla ce on Ihe mark et b y addressing the beller eclucated and/ or higher ineoJlle reaelers.

poss ible conseq ucnce. Thi s issue was passio nalely debated in politics. Ihe media anel the nal ion anel mo re o r less immobili zecl the DUl ch seeuril y po licy fo r mo re lhan half a decad e. Even o ne o f the standing esscntial o bjecli ves o f post w ar Dutch fo reign po liey. namely to pb y an acti ve role to help ~lnd keep the German Fecleral Hepuh lie intcgra tecl in NATO and EC, seemed fo rgotlen b y m ~ln y participants in lh l' d eIJate. ThaI was all the mo re remarkahl e, si nce o nc o f the obvio us aspecls o f thc so ca lled IN F-d elxHe w as Ihe struggle ht:tween Moscow anel Wa shingto n abo ut Bo nn's pos ili on . In the Ncthcr!ands, howe vcr, this sec urity issue was cspc<.:i all y a matt er that po liticians and medi' l d ea lt w ilh as if it w ere a lo ng sort of eivil wa r. An internal wa r where good anel b~leI \Vere olw io us, anel w inners and lose rs would in thc end he rcwa rdcd or p unisheel . Ncwspapers and o ther m edi ~1 ve ry c~l ge rl y parti cipated in Ihe clelx ile. T hey d id so in a w a)' that w as never shown be fo re. Th t: po litical left , sayin g "no" 10 the d epl oymenl o f these mi ss iles, anel the right , saying lI yes". al so usecl thc is.·me for a final atlempt 10 di vide or even splil th e hesitant ancl nc rvo us christian demoerats. \Xfith their comfo rtabie pos itio n in the centre o f Dut ch po lit ies. they ha ve uninterrupt ed ly been representecJ in coalitiu n-governments since the beginning o f this cent ury. In po lilics anel in the medb , no post wa r elclx lle has been that pass io nate since the DUl ch had 10 part from Indo nesia J:' Iheir Asian colo nial possession ~md source o f wea lth. In the end. an ~Inti -clim ax fo lloweel. 1t had na relatio n what soever w ith the politica l , societal and ve rba I bloodshecl in the Netherlands and it showecl la the Dutch on ce again ho w smal! their country is in thc fi eld of w o rld ~Iffairs.

Def ellse Co verage

Nelier Milld...

It is no t an exclusively D w cil feature. hut in the secu rity p o liey seclor , these different positio ns lea d 10 elifferent media-roles. The "goocl new sl! from the left side w ill have much coverdge by mo re missionary papers, w hereas thc "good new s" o f the po lirica l right will draw mo re atlention b y right wing media. Anel vice ve rsa, of course. This influences the beha viour o f bOlh po liticians and o f th e media in th eir va rio us positio ns.

In the mid-eighlies, fi ve or si>:: years later, presidents Heaga n and Gorbachow elecieleel to get riel o f lheir respeclive heavil y elebat eel nuclca r wcapo n!)' altogclher. Since then , the Eu ropea n worl el has c hanged d mmaticall y anel the DUICh, lheir po liticia ns anel their media have fo und their way "hack 10 no rmal ", w hich mea ns their country is no t an uncritical but certainl y no lo nger an o hslinate partner in Îls sc.::curit y dealings. Thc impo rtance o f econo m ie d ossiers !1Ccamc o verricling , whereas d efense man ers as "I wh ole ha ve hecome o f lesser interest to the media .

That w as espe<.:iall y ob vious elurin g the lo ng ancl emo ti onal Dutch debate in the eighties abo ut NATO's so call ed"double track " clecision o f d ecember 1979 on th e eventual deploymc nt o f medium range nuclear rocketry (cruise missil es) as a

JClcob M. Bik is a correspondellt j or the NRC 1/cl1ldeLçblad ill Germany.

JaSOIl Mag a z ille no. I . Fc bru ~lry 199"1

9


Chinese Media Stefan Landsberger

De Chinese media, inclusief het publicatie-wezen en de filmindustrie, hebben sinds de stichting van de Volksrepubliek China (VRC) in 1949 altijd een sterk ondersteunende rol gespeeld ten behoeve van de Chinese Communistische Partij (CCP). Volgens de theorie van de Massa Lijn, in de jaren '40 door Mao Zedong geformuleerd, speelden de media immers een belangrijke rol als doorgeefluik van overheidsuitingen; idealiter moesten zij ook fungeren als het kanaal waarlangs de meningen van het volk werden doorgegeven aan de leiding.

p

conserva tieve elementen binnen de CCP om hieraan een halt toe te roepen.

aste verwelko ming daarvan door de grote massa 's va n hel volk.

De rol va" de media

De inhoud va n deze media-uitingen was over hel algemeen saai, didaktisch, voor-

In Chi na geloofde men van oudsher in

de kneedbaarheid van de mens, van uit de veronderstelling dat weten en handelen een eenheid vonnen; men kende een lange traditie van het o mhooghouden van specifieke personen, of specifiek gedrdg, ter imitatie of na volging door de massa's. De Chinese med ia vormden dan ook een belangrijke component van dit paternalistische mechanisme, waarmee

de CCP na 1949 trachlle de bevolking o p te voeden volgens de eisen , waarvan zij meende dat een com munistische samenleving die stelde. Krd nten en (literaire) tijdschriften stonden onder een strakke overheidscontroie, die, naar men ze i, noodzakelijk was va nwege de papierschaarste, d ie tientallen jaren lang bleef aanhouden. Ze bevatten vooral gedragsindica ties op basis waarvan de Chinese burger geacht werd zijn gedrag te modelleren. Naast stich telijke ve rhalen over model-soldaten, -boeren en -arbeiders, w ier grooL'ite vreugde bestond uil het zich opofferen voor het collectieve welzijn, besteedden cle media veel aandacht aan regeringsbesluiten, en de enthousi-

spelbaa r, ernstig gekl e urd door propaganda, en sterk o p binnenlandse gebeurtenissen gericht: gewapend met de laatste slogans was het voor een ieder niet moeilijk ze te begrijpen . Het was echter wel essentieel voor de bevolking o m de kranten en tijdschriften te lezen en de films te zien: subtiele vera nderingen in het gebruik va n slogans en symbolen konden immers het signaal zijn va n een w ij ziging in de po litieke k oers va n dal mo ment. De e1ectronische media , waaronder ik films en radio-uitzendingen reken , b0den evenmin veel variatie. Gegeven het technologisch lage peil van o nrwikkeling, en problematische po litiek e interpretaties, ve rschenen er, behoudens documentaires, niet veel nieuwe films. Radio-uitzendingen werden gedeeltelijk via een netwerk van kabels en luidsprekers over hel land verspreid . Televisies deden in de jaren '50 aarzelend hun intrede, maar het aantal kijkers bleef grotendeels beperk t tot een kleine groep

hoge partij kaders.

s in de jaren '80, toen hel hervormings- en moclemiserings-

proces dat in 1978 door Deng

Xiaoping in gang werd gezet , concrete

resu ltaten begon te boeken, slaagde n sommige media er in zich enigszins los

te make n uit de knellende oma rming van de politiek. Daarnaast leidde de nieuwe aandacht voor snel geld ve rdienen lo t het o ntstaan va n een op

sensa tie beluste roddelpers, die buiten het berei k va n de ove rhe id actief is. Dit kon slechts plaatsvinden o ndanks de verwoede

10

pogingen

va n

meer

jasonMagaz ine no. 1, February 1994

,

Straatvegers in China

.


Her Propaganda Departemenl , dat ressorteert onder het Centraal Comité van de CCP, was ve rantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van de media. Als een instell ing die zowe l beleid formuleert als de uirwerking daarvan coordineert, was de jurisdictie van dit Debuitenpartement gewoon groot. I n wezen omvatte het alle aspecten van 'cultuur. '

responderende publicaties voor sectora-

le doelgroepen. Een belangrijke sector van publicaties was die van de tijdschriften. Deze waren

Dat blijkt ook uit de o nderafdelingen van hel Departement, die zich onder andere bezighouden met wetenschap en technologie; literatuur en kunst; kranten en tijdschriften; het persen publicatiewezen; onderwijs; en volks-

gezo ndheid en spon. Omdat het Depanement beleid moet formuleren dat voor het gehele uitgestrekte

grondgebied van de Volksrepubliek geldig is, kan dit niet anders da n in de breedst mogelijke termen worden gedaan. Het zijn dan ook de Propaganda Afdelingen van de provinciale CCP-comités, waa r de werke lijke besluitvorming p laatsvindt. Hier worden de 'vage' beleidsvoornemens vertaald naar conc reet beleid dat in overeenstemming is met de lokale omstandigheden. De organisatie van de media was ook sterk hierJ.rchisch. Landelijke dagbladen ve rschenen in Peking, en waren gericht

gewijd aan poli tieke onderwerpen en toegepaste kennis, maar het grootste aantal publiceerde vooral literatuur. De oorzaak van de enorme populariteit van de laatste groep was voordl gelegen in de enorme leeshonger van de Chinezen, die we rd aangewakkerd door de moeilijke verkrijgbaarheid van boeken , die meestal in k leine oplagen we rden gedrukt en dikwijls gereserveerd waren voor CCP-bestuurders. Literaire tijdschriften trachtlen bovendien keer op keer de grenzen van de censuur te vermimen .

op specifieke doe lgroepen, Het Volksdagblad (Renmi n Ri bao) was het orgaan

van de CCI'; het Volksbevrijdingsleger Dagblad Qiefangjun Ribao) verscheen ten behoeve van het m ilitai re apparaat; arbeihet ders lazen

Arbeiders (Gongren boeren

Dagblad

knecht bestaan leidden , kwam na 1978 geleidelijk aan een veï.:lnde ring. Dit was primair het gevolg van een politieke koerswij ziging in het verlengde van het besluit lot modernisering, die de invloed va n de CCP op en de bemoeienis met hel leven van de individuele bu rger terugdrong. De obsessie met politieke zuiverhe id en het voeren van kla ssenstrijd werd ingevoor een ru ild obsessie met economische omwikkeling. Doordat d iverse restricties op berichtgeving werden opgeheven en de bevo lking werd o pgeroepen zich in Ie zellen voor de economische modernisering van het land, stonden de media p lotseling bol van de krit iek op de diverse desastreu ze massa-ca mpagnes, die in het recen te ve rl eden hadden plaa tsgevonden, zoals

de 'Culturele Revolutie' 0966-1976), en informatie over en aansporingen voor hel doen slagen va n die 'Vier Moderniseringen'. De dagbladen ve rl oren daardoo r vee l van hun schoolmeester-ach tige saaiheid en neiging tot eindeloze herhal ing. Dat betekende wel , dat men met meer gewapend moest zijn dan een handjevol slogans om ze te begrijpen. Over hel geheel genomen g ingen de journa listen meer de op om straat onderzoekende artikelen te schri jven. Zo werden diverse geva llen van machtsm isbruik door hoge Par1ij -kaders met succes in de media aan

de kaak gestelcl. De

Dagblad Ribao),

het

Boeren

(Nongmin

;

Rihao), en intellectuelen het Guang-

ming Dagblad (Gua ngming Ribao), of de Wenhu ibao. Werkneme rs in de gezondheidszorg waren

noodzaak om emcienter te produceren dwong kranten er ook toe om in het vervolg advenenties op te nemen, iets wa t kort daarvoor natu urlijk alleen gezien kon worden als een poging lot kapitalistische beïnvloeding.

geabonneerd op de Gezondheidskrant Uiankang Bao) en politiek actieve jongeren op het Chinese Jeugd Dagblad (Zhongguo Qingn ian Ribao). qp provinciaal niveau herhaalde deze otga nisatiestruktuur zich, met cor-

Het Moden,iseringsspook Aan deze situatie, waarin de media een door de overheid beschermd, maar ge-

Het waren vooral gespecialiseerde tijdschriften, uitgegeven door zowel de overheid als door ondernemende leden van de doelgroepen zelf, die de afnemers moesten in fo rmeren over metho-

jasonMagazine no. 1, FebruillY 1994

11


den en technieken die d~ produkti e ko nden ve rhogen en zo het inkomen ve rgroten. Po pulaire bl aden als ' H et Tijdperk om Rijk te \Vorden,' '1I u ningbij,' 'Zonneenergie.' 'Nieuwe Landbouw ' en 'Landbouw machine O nderho ud' moesten de boeren b ijvoorbeeld met ra ad en daad terzijde staan bij de conversie va n collectieve naar gepri vatiseerde landbo uw, die aan hel einde van de jaren '70 o p gan g kwam . Met hel afn emen van de po litiek e bemoeienis met het persoonlijke leven va n de bevo l kin g~ en het toestaan van persoonlijke. niet door de po litiek geïnspireerde hobbies en belangstelling, o ntsto nd er een g ro te vraag naar tijdschriften met meer al gemene inho ud . Po pulaire voorbeelden hiervan zijn 'Electrische Apparaten Thuis, ' 'Medische Vrdagbaak,' 'Modern Leven' en di ve rse

pogingen geweest om aan deze 'uitwassen' een hah toe te roe pen. Tegelijkertijd klo nk er met een zek ere regel maat een roep o m grot ere vri jheid van d rukpers en meningsuiting, die tot op heden nog niet is geho noreerd . InregendeeL volgens de inlerpreullie van va ndaag de dag is het de taak va n de pers 0 111 het publiek te onderwijzen, CCP-beleid te o ndersteunen, de massa's te helpen, en te zorgen voor 'sociaal o nderzoe k' en gematigde kritiek o m bet functi oneren van de CCP te ve rbeteren. Hel zijn veeleer de conserva! ieve pogingen tot persbreidel geweest, die enig ko rtsto ndig succes hebbe n gehad . Tijdens de 'ca mpagne regen geestelijke vervuiling' in 1983, bijvoorbeeld, werd o p

bladen die zich bezig-

Tegenbewegingen Doordat conservatieve CCP-bestuurders hierin een bedreig ing zien va n het 'geestelijke welzijn' van vooral jongere Chinezen, zijn er in de jaren '80 diverse

12

Televisies en schotels Televisie en video recorders zijn in de jaren '80 de media geword en die het succes va n de moderniseringen het meest belichamen . liet aantal toestellen steeg va n 10 miljoen in maan 1980 tot 116 miljoen aan het einde va n 1988. Vooîdl in Japan ve rvaardigde kleurentoestellen zijn een eno rm statu s-symbool. Enerzijds geldt TV-bezit dus als een indicatie dat de eigenaar er in geslaagd is een graantje V~lI1 de moderniseringen mee te pikken. Maar anderzijds heeft de TV vooral in de ste-

delijke gebiede n een

ho uden met vliegende schotels en andere types UFO 's. Daarnaast zijn tijdschriften in trek, die w etenschappelijke kennis po pulari.seren, zoals 'Computers voor Jo ngeren,' 'Lezen is Lonend' en 'Wetenschap en Leven.' Net als in de econo mie bleek ook in de media hel moderniseringsspook , eenmaal Uil de fles gelaten , er niet meer in te sto ppen, en zelfs behept te zijn met een eigen dynamiek die de overheid verrasue en keer op k eer ve rbaasde. In het kielzog van deze ve rl evendiging van de media w aren er dan ook ra l van ondernemende Chinezen, die o p eigen gelegenheid en o p commerciële basis kranten en tijdschriften gingen uitgeven. Dergelijke tit els wa ren dikwijls va n ko rtlopende aard (drie tot vijf nummers), en voorzien van alle denkbare tru cs die een snelle verkoop bespoedigden : schreeuwe nde ko p pen die verhalen beloven die er uiteindelijk niet instaan ; sensa tio nele, maar niet nood za kelijkerwijs objectieve, o f zelfs op w aarheid berustende artikelen; en gewa agde foto's va n voora l Westers vrouwelijk schoon . Desondanks, of misschien juist daardoor, zijn deze publikatÎ es zeer po pul air en lo nend, w al velen er w eer toe aanzet o m zelf media-uitgever te w o rden.

pl anning en beheer. Maar zelfs dat beperk te takenpakk et bleek de SMPO niet naar tevredenheid te kunnen ui tvoeren. Als zoda nig kan het Bureau als de laa tste poging va n de oude garde worden gezien o m dc media weer o nder cent îd le controle te krijgen.

mentaal proces in gang gezet, dat een rechtstreekse bedreiging vormt voor de legitimiteit van het CCI)-gezag. Een samenleving die sinds de stichting van de PRe in bijna vo lledi-

ge isolatie had geleefd ,

Muurkrant, stil politiek protest grootse wij ze de strijd aangebo nden l11e t de 'po rn ografi e' zoal s d ie door de sensati e-pers werd aangeboden. Schoolkinderen werden verpli cht om quota 'pornografie ' in te leveren, die dan publiekelijk ko nden worden vernieLigd . Volgens boze to ngen moesten schoolklassen de markten o p om hun quota aan te kunnen schaffen. Dit w as zo lucra tief voor de uitgevers va n dergelijke bl aden. dat ze de vraag nau we lijks k o nden b ijbenen. De conservatieve tegenbeweging culmineerd e in 1987, tijdens de 'campagne tegen bourgeois liI'leîdlisering,' in de oprichting van dc State Media and Publicatio ns O ffice (SMPO), die er o p moest toezien dat de mOîJ!ireit en legaliteit van de media gehandhaafd bl eef. 1n wezen bestonden de activiteiten van de SMPO , die o rgani sato risch als o rgaan van de Staat.'5 raad wa s ingebed , uit niet veel meer dan het o pstellen en uit voeren van weten en reguleringell , het geven van begeleiding ten aanzien van principes en beleid , het onderzoek en van alle pub lic Hies, en het uitoefenen van centrale

]asoll Magazille no. 1, February 1994

heeft immers de mogelijkheid gekregen om de o mringende wereld te zien. Hierdoor is een 'massa cultuur' o ntstaa n, die grotendeels gevoed wordt door buitenlandse televisie programma 's, films, mu ziek en andere media-vooI1b rengselen . Televisie is het belangrijkste ijkpunt gc w o rden wa ardan de bevolk ing haar status toetst en evaIueen . De ideeën en beelden , die door de TV zijn geïntroducee rd , versterkt en gepopulariseerd hebben de po pulaire ve rbeelding gevoed op een wij ze die de verwachtingen va n de overheid, die de invoering va n het medium bevorderde, ver te boven gingen. Televisie moest de bevolking verenigen, de macht va n de CCP bewaren, en de belo ften va n hervormingen w aarmaken . Bovendien moest het medium bijdragen tot de cultivering van een 'geestelijke bescha ving' die harmonieerd e met de veranderende tijden . Hiervoo r moest vennaak worden geboden dal va n 'goede smaak' getuigcle, en dat de door de overh eid gepropageerde ideologie en mo raliteit ondersteunde. Oorsp ronkeli jk w erd cle programmering dan ook gek enmerkt door een sterke nadruk o p propaganda, instru ctie, o nderw ijs, en natio nale cultuur, zoals ook in de gedrukte media.


toenemende male stoOl1 de bevolking, d uidelijk meer wereld-wijs geword en, zich echter aan de overdreven positieve verbee lding va n de werke lijkheid , zoa ls die in overheidsprogramm<l 's te zien is. De opva llend d idakt ische voo rbeelden van modelgedrag, die worden voorgeschoteld, hebben geleid tot een gevoel onder Chinezen dat de overheid wel erg naief is als zij meent dat dergelijke modellen zonder meer worden nagevolgd. Hel zal dan ook niet ve rwonderlij k zi jn dat het nieuwste status-goed in de VHC bestaat Uil de schotel antenne. Hiermee hopen de geluk kige bezitters satellietuitzendingen van meer liberale televisie zenders, zoals de Hongko ngse of Taiwanese, uit de lucht te kunnen prikken. De plannen die de Australische media -magn aat Rupen Murcloch koestert over het opstarten van een op AziÍ gerichte s~Hel­ liet-zender, in samenwerking met I-Iongk o ngse partners als de Kuok -familie , doel de populariteit van cle schotel alleen maar toenemen. Dergelijke grensoverschrijdende vormen van TVaanbod, zonde r enige vorm van overheidscontrole vooraf, zijn echter een gruwel in de ogen va n de Chinese regering. Door mklclel van een aantal wettelijke ~ maatregelen, waaronder toestemming van hogerha nd tot aanschaf en verplichte registratie, tracht men dan ook sinds midden 1993 hel schotel -bezit aan banden te leggen.

Sin/opmerkingen Chinese muur Maar de stortvloed aan beelden die China sinds 1979 is b innengestroomd heeft

gevoede verlangens en ambities die door een ieder worden gedeeld.

daarentegen ee n co rpu s aan alternatieve

komst staat. Kon dat nog worden ge kensc he tst a ls een agrarisch Utop ia, de

De telev isie is er bovendien in geslaagd om bepaa lde fundamentele tekortkoll1in~ gen en contradicties binnen de Chinese sa menleving te identificeren, te benadrukken en aan dc kaak te stellen. Vooral de inhoud van de overv loed aan reclameboodsc happen , die tegenwoord ig door de telev isie wordt uitgezonden, staat dikwijls in schrijnend contrast met de harde we rkelijkheid . Hierdoor worden bepaalde verwachtingen gewekt en de velwarring, Frustraties en ontevredenheid va n de bevolking met de overheid en de snelheid va n hel moderniseringsproces alleen maar versterkt.

stadsbewoner van de jaren '90 ambieert een wet bar waar hij zich, net als J.R. Ewing o f wi llekeurig we lke andere be~ woners va n soap-land, na gedaan we rk een dubbele w hiskey kan inschenken. In wezen is de Chinese bevolking hiermee lid geworden van cle 'globa l village, ' d ie de Am erikaanse m edi a~socio l oog Marshall McLuhan in dc jaren '60 iclentifjceerde: de wereld als 00n gemeenschap, met door de elektroni 'iche med ia

De overheid tracht natuurlijk met man en macht paal en perk te stellen aan deze gevolgen van het Chinese televisie~ gebru ik . Het progra mma aanbod van CCTV (China Centra I Television, de C hi ~ nese NOS) lokt de k ijkers met Chinese soaps, die d ichte r bij de belevingswereld va n de men sen zouden staan en duidelijker gevuld zoude n zijn met een 'gezonde,' didakt isch verantwoorde inhoud. In

visies en een diversiteit aan ( u[lUrele en po litieke sentimenten gecreĂŤerd. Televisie programma's zijn immers niet eenduidig, ma ar polysel1lisch, vol van betekenislagen ; ze zijn moeilijk te gebruiken o m een uniforme ideologie te handhaven. De impon van populaire Amerikaanse series als ' De Man van Atlantis,'

'Star Trek ,' 'Fako n Crest' en andere soaps hee ft de Chinese televisiekijker een

toekomstideaal gegeve n dat diametraal tegenover de vroegere. door de CCP gefo rmul eerde verbeelding van de toe-

Het bovenstaande beziende kan men niet stellen dat de Chinese media direkt hebben bijged ragen aan hel succes va n het moderniseringsslreven . Hel is vee~ leer op het gebied van de bewustwording va n de Ch inese bevolking dat de Chinese media, en dan in hel b ij zonder de televisie, een onuitw isbaar effect hebben gehad. H ierdoor zijn de C hin e~ zen meer dan ooit te voe ren in staat gesteld zich een eigen mening te vormen over de positie va n hun land in de wereld. Tegelijkertijd zijn zij in de gelegenheid gesteld om diverse 'onaantastbare' elementen van hel politieke systeem, zoals het Marxisme ~ Le nini s m e, Mao Zedong-Denken , en de onrwikkelingsstrategie d ie in de jaren '80 en '90 is gevo lgd , te toetsen aan de ~lIternatieve n , d ie de media hen presenteren. Dat de Chinese bevolking hierdoor mondiger is geword en, zich meer bewu st van wat er in de we reld o m haar heen 'te koop' is, en beduidend minder volgzaam, is een situatie waaraa n de CCP weinig za l kun~ nen veranderen. _

Slefan R. Lal1dsberger, sinoloog, is werkzaam op het Sinologisch InsliluU/ van de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden en betrokken bij het hypermedia project Cn inavision.

JasollMagtlzille no. I , Febru ary 1994

13


Aanhaken bij BZ: Het 'Klasje' Caspar Veldkamp

Niemand in Nederland heeft diplomaten ooit zo bejegend als Napoleon zijn topdiplomaat Talleyrand, toen hij hem "de la merde dans un bas de soie" (een hoop stront in een zijden pak) noemde (waarna deze overigens toch het laatste woord had toen hij mompelde: "Wat jammer dat een zo groot man zo slecht opgevoed is ... ''J.

E

en afkeer van bepaalde uiterlijke aspekten van het diplomatieke bedrijf heeft echter ook in

Nederland ahijd bestaan. In onze egalitaire recht-door-zee-cultuuT ergert men zich al snel aan onbegrijpelijke protocollaire plichtplegingen, opzettelijk wollig taalgebruik, vlagvertoon en CD-nummerplaten. Er lijkt een oude

wrok te bestaan tegen de kaste van het Corps LJiplomatique. Deze wrok weerhoudt velen er echter

niet van te reageren op de personeelsadvertenties van het ministerie va n Buitenlandse Zaken door haar eigen

medewerkers steevast "BZ" genoemd en zich aan te melden voor de selectieprocedure voor het 'klasje ', de interne opleiding voor jonge academici (zo'n twintig tQ[ dertig per jaar) tQ[ Overplaatsbaar Beleidsmedewerker. Wat aanmeldingen betreft, springt het klasje van Buitenlandse Zaken er vergeleken met andere ministeries nog altijd duidelijk uit. Niet alleen in aantallen (voor de laatst gehouden selectie reageerden 14

meer dan duizend mensen voor uiteindelijk zestie n beschikbare p laatsen), maar ook qua professionele achtergrond. Waar andere departementen vaak te kampen hebben met een uitstroom naar het bedrijfsleven, melden zich bij BZ iedere keer weer mensen aan met werkerva ri ng bij bedrijven als Van Ommeren of ABN-AMRO Bank, vee lal met een doctoraal in de economie , bestuurskunde of bedrijfskunde. Ook met vele andere vannen van werkervaring melden mensen zich aan.

Verandering Verandering is het laatste decennium éé n van de meest gebmikre woorde n op BZ geweest. Dat sloeg dan niet zozeer op de verhuizing vanuit het oude gebouw op hel Plein naar de inmiddels bekende Apenrots naast winkelcentrum Babylon, maar vooral op de ingrijpende en jarenlang opgehouden samenvoeging van het personeel op het departement (binnen) met de rest van het ministerie (buiten, de Buitenlandse Dienst). Zodra Luns in 1971 zijn hielen had gelicht, werd die integratie door zijn opvolger Schmelzer in gang gezet. Ruim vijftien jaar late r kreeg de samenvoegingsoperatie uiteindelijk haar beslag. He t ve rschil tussen de ambtenaren op het departement ene rzijds, en diplomaten anderzijds ve rdween, de functie van Overplaatsbaar Ueleidsmedewerker was geboren. Resultaat was niet alleen het einde van het gesloten karakter van de diplomatieke dienst; er werd ook een belangrijke kwaliteitsverbetering mogelijk gemaakt. Zo mag het nu bijvoorbeeld niet meer voorkomen dat een ambtenaar zich vanuit Den Haag jarenlang met zuidelijk Afrika bezighoudt , terwijl hij of zij daar nog nooit een stap heeft gezet. Andersom kan het ook niet meer zo zijn, dat SZ-functionarissen tientallen jaren achtereen in verre landen doorbrengen, waardoor zij op den duur minder voeling hebben met Nederland dan de gemid-

jasonMagazine no. 1, Febnlary 1994

delde buitenlandse toerist in Volendam. Bekend is in dit kader het voorbee ld van de Nederlandse diplomaat in den vreemde, die tegen één van zijn net uit het vaderland ove rgekomen gasten de opmerking maakte: IlJuffrouw, mag ik U een prealabele vraag stellen: wat is in's hemelsnaam een strippen kaan?" Na een eerste plaatsing van circa twee jaar worden Overplaatsbare Beleidsmedewerkers nu in principe om de drie à vier jaar overgeplaatst van een binnennaar een buiten plaatsing of andersom. Ook het personeel ten behoeve van de sector Ontwikkelingssamenwerking is nu fonneel met de rest van het departement geïntegreerd. Qua rype personeel lijkt dit de klassieke diplomatie wat m inder behoudend te hebben gemaa kt en de sector Ontwikkelingssamenwerking wat pragmatischer.

Samenstelling Klasje Alhoewel met name door minister Pronk de laatste tijd wel beleidsambtenaren specifiek voor een bepaa lde sector zijn aangetroken (meestal zonder mogelijkheid tot overplaatsing e n met een tijdelijk contract), vormt het klasje nog altijd vrijwel de e nige mogelijkheid om als Overplaatsbaar Beleidsmedewerker bij BZ in dienst te komen. De samenstelling va n het klasje is gevarieerd. Veelal zitten er mensen in die internationale betrekkingen, economie, bestuurskunde o f rechten hebben gestudeerd. Soms kan men echter ook een arabist, een slavist, of zelfs ee n psycholoog of dierenarts aantreffen. Ook worden vaak mensen gerecruteerd die in Wagen ingen studies als landschapsarchitectuur of crop science hebben gesnldeerd en die voora l voor de OS-sector goed van pas kunnen komen . Veel mensen uit het klasje zullen tijdens hun eerste plaatsing met ontwikkelingssamenwerking te maken krijgen, gezien de relatief grote behoefte aan beleidsmede-


we rkers binnen deze seclDr. Wie de formatie van de drie directoraten-generaal va n BZ met elkaa r ve rgelijkt, zal snel inzien waarom . Waar het DireclOraat-Generaal Politieke Za ken over totaal 87,5 fo rmatieplaatsen beschikt (i ncl usief admin istratief personeel) en het Directoraa t-Generaal Europese Samenwerking er 56,5 heeft, beschikt de sector O ntwikkeli ngssamenwerking (het DireClDraa tGeneraal Internationale Samenwerking, afgeko rt als DG IS) mo menteel ove r meer dan 500 formatieplaatse n. Aangezien de 'Grote Efficiency-Ope ratie' d ie momenteel op alle ministeries wo rdt doorgevoerd dit laatste directoraat-generaal nog niet raakt, maar wel de andere o nderdelen van BZ, zal deze verho ud ing in de toekomst nog sterker in het voordeel va n DGIS uitva llen en zullen veel mensen met affiniteit voor ontwikkelingssa menwe rking nodig blijve n.

Geen Studiefreaks e Z-klasjes bestaan uitdrukkelijk niet slechts uit studiefrea ks, niettege nstaande het fe it dat uit mijn eigen klasje bijvoorbeeld di verse mense n maar liefst twee doctoraa lstudies achter de mg hebben, er éé n binnen ko rt p romoveert en diverse anderen reeds boeken of andere pu blikaties o p hu n naam hebben staan. Toch lijken ook zij vooral o p andere zaken geselectee rd te zijn. Vèrder hebben gekeken dan studieboek en vakgroe p is bij de selectie va n belang, of dat nu via activiteiten in ee n studentenvereniging, amateurto neel, meidenwerk , vluchtelingeno pvang, militaire dienst of bijbanen heeft plaatsgevonden. Een goede algemene en culturele o ntwikkeling spreekt vanzelf. Ook talenkennis (met name Engels en Frans) is belangrijk en voldoende bu itenlandervaring zowat een vereiste. Een pragmatisc he ho uding, werkervaring en vaard igheden tikken aan. Het diplomatenleven zal tegenwoordig nu ee nmaa l grotendeels gaan bestaan uit praktische za ken als het helpen lJitvoeren va n een o ntw ikkelingsproject in Bangladesh, het afgeven van visa in Marokko, het helpen verk open van Fokkers in Ve nezuela, het o rganiseren van een ex penbijeenkomst bij de NAVO, het goed laten verlopen van een kunsnlitruil met Fra nkrijk of het nagaa n van door asielzoekers opgegeven gegevens in Mauretanië. Het studieprogramma va n de o ple id ing is pittig, het tempo hoog, de hoeveelheid hu iswerk enorm . Vele o nderwerpen komen in de diverse dee1cursussenen de vele deelexamens aan de o rde, zoals politieke analyse, ex po rt, o ntwikkelingssamenwe rking, consul aire praktijk, milieu, pers- en culturele betrekkingen, accul turat ievaardigheden, o nderhande len en voordl ook economie . Een groot aanmal va n deze onderwe rpen komt aan de

o rde in de Ople iding Internationale Beleidsv raagstukk en op het Instituut 'Clingendael', die speciaal voor het klasje werd o ntwikkeld. Daarnaast wordt les gegeven in m.n. Frans en Engels. De cursusse n en examens worden in samenwerking met andere ministeries en met universiteiten en instituten verzorgd, zoals met 'Clinge ndael'. Ondanks deze stortvloed va n informa tie lijkt het p rogra mma niet zozeer gericht op ve rdiewel op ping van kenn is als kenn ismaking met diverse beleidsterre inen. En wie een aklieve klas treft , heeft veel plezier en maa kt interessa nte nieuwe vri enden.

Brogues Het klasje is ook na de BZ-integratie blijven bestaan, zij het dat in het ploegje nu ook kand idaten voor bele idsfuncties o p het departement worden kla argestoomd. Bovendi en vo nd kort geleden een aa nscherping en herstru cturering va n het hele programma plaats. De mannen en

vrouwe n in de nieuwe klasjes brengen slechts zo'n vijf maa nden in de klas door, maar zullen daa rna twee jaa r op het departement moeten blijven we rken voordat uitzending kan plaa tshebben. In die twee jaar zullen da n nog exa mens plaatsvinden in het staatsrecht, gesc hiedenis en internati onaa l recht ; bovendien wordt ee n cursus in een derde taal gevolgd en wordt een ko rte stage gelo pen. Tot voo r kort was, wa nnee r je na het klasje eenmaa l ee n vaste aanstell ing had veroverd, je toeko mst o p BZ vrij zeke r. Toch we rde n ook toen al, via de nog immer bestaande zgn. bloedraad (het college dar op BZ de voornaamste posten toewijst), zee r strenge selectiecriteria toegepast ten aa nzien van de voo rnaa mste functies, waardoor de bekwaa mste dip lomaten toc h kwa men bovend rijven. De charma nte ca useur d ie het o rga niseren va n ontva ngsten als zijn enige taak zag, heeft het noo it tot ambassadeur bij de NAVO o f EG kunne n b rengen. Op

Het 'Klasje' JaS01l

Magaz ine no . 1, Februa ry 1994

15


die belangrijke momenten helpt zelfs het dragen van corpora le b rogues of een correCl e marine-das niet meer. Nederland hee ft in de loop der jaren dan ook een reeks zeer bekwame en in hel buitenland gewaardeerde diplo maten voortgebracht. Ook ten aanzien va n functies onder de hoogste rangen krijgt de BZambtenaar nu te maken mei een selektiever promotiesysteem , waarin de nadruk meer komt Ie liggen op prestalie en minder op anciënniteit. Ook wa t dit betreft is er op BZ dus her nodige verJ.nderd. Het ligt in de bedoeling dat promotie naar prestatie ook in de wal lagere rangen sterker gaat worden toegepast.

ParttIerproblematiek Of het in de toekomst ook inderdaad vaker gaar lukken de juiste man of vrouw op de juiste plaats te krijgen , zal echter

va n vele factoren afhangen. Daarbij moel ook rekening worden gehouden met de persoonlijke omstandigheden van cle kandidaten. Deze vormen vaak een probleem: sommige plaa tsingen stuiten op bezwaren omda t de kan didaa t in verba nd met de carrière van vriendi n of vriend (of vrouw of man) de voorkeur geeft aan een alternatief. De meeste partners geven niet graag hun eigen goede baan in Nederl and op in ruil voor vert rek naar ve rre landen waar om verschillende redenen het leven niet altijd even makkelijk za l zijn (zoals Libië, Roemenië, Peru o f Iran). In veel landen is zelfs vrijwilligerswerk voor diplomatenpanners verboden , zoda t niet alleen ca rrièreb reuk, maar ook al snel verveling optreed t en het op het eerste gezicht goed lijkende ambtenarensalaris met z' n tweeën moet wo rden gedeeld. De part-

nerproblematiek vo rmt al in het klasje één van de meest besproken thema's. \X1annecr wordt gesproken over 'partners', word t uitdrukkelijk niet alleen vrouwelijke pal1ners bedoeld. Bewu st wordt aandacht besteed aa n het recruteren van voldoe nde vrouwen, die na verloop va n tijd met vriend of man naar het buiten land zullen vertrekken. Het aanta l dames in de hogere rangen van het ministerie is momenteel nog beperkt. \X1anneer men echter cle co mpetentie en ak ti eve houding van cle vele jongere vrouwen op BZ beziet, komt men tot de conclusie dat dit spoedig ten positieve za l verande ren.

Tot slot Inmiddels kan worden gesteld dat het borrel-imago van BZ - en hierbinnen de Dienst Buitenlandse Zaken - op achterhaalde o f louter toeva llige indru kke n bewerk zaamheden op ru st De departement en ambassades zijn de laatste decennia enorm veranderd. De tijd van de Bisma rckiaanse diplomatie is defin itief voo rb ij. De nadruk is van puur boodschapper van de regering meer komen te liggen op o ncielWerpen als o nthandelsbew ikkelingssamenwerk ing, vorde ring en mensenrechten . Dat vïdagt een bepaald soort d ip lomaat en een personeelsbeleid dal daarop is toegespitst. Of de aanpa ssing aa n nieuwe taken en werk zaa mheden met het nieuwe personeel en het nieuwe personeelsbeleid zal slagen, zal de toekomst moeten uitw ijzen. Zoals hel vroeger wa s za l het in ieder geval nooit meer worden. Toen diplomaat en oud-Tweede Kamer· lid H ans G ualthéri e van \Xfeezel zo'n twintig jaar gel eden tot de Dienst toetrad , werd hij bij de minister geroepen. Die zei: "Jongeman , behalve het ledigen va n de ambassadekas is ook het aangaan va n een liefdesrelatie met de vrouw van de ambassadeur niet bevorderlijk voor de ca rri ère. I! Dal was toen alles. Op het gebied va n personeelsbeleid is er inmiddels heel wal veïdnde rd en lijken we wel een eeuw verder te zijn. BZ is wa t dat betreft een moderne en dynamische organisatie aan het worden. Nu de memocultuur nog.. _

Het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken in Den Haag

16

JasonMagaz ine

na, 1, Fe bruary 1994

Caspar Ve/dkamp studeerde bestuurskunde in Rotterdam/ Leiden en in de Verenigde Staten, a/waar hij ook enige tijd werkzaa m was als assistent van Senator Richard Lugar. Na bet vervullen van zijn dienstplicht bij de marine volgde hij il1 1992 het 'klasje ' van het ministerie van Eu itenlandse Zaken. Momenteel werkt hij bij de politieke Directie Europa op bet ministen'e in Den Haag. Hij is tevens lid van bet Algemeen Bestu.u.r van Ja50n '. Hij schreef dit stukje op persoonlijke titel,


Liberia, leave it to the Neighbours Les Mテゥdecins sans Frontiティres

Long before Somalia, Liberia was the first African country to commit 'national suicide'. ft has been ravaged since December 1989 by fighting of extreme cruelty, the initial ph ase of which drove out nearly 700,000 refugees. However, the massacres and atrocities were not enough to reverse the indifference ofthe international community or to provoke a significant reaction from the United States, despite its close involvement with Liberia since the foundation ofthe country.

I

n LI~~ absence. of U~ act ion, with the politIca I and fmancml suppon of the

international

comm unity,

the

count ries of West Africa have been lrying since the Slimmer of 1990 to

manage th is troublespot. This, the first regional peacekeeping iniliative in an African country, certainly put an end (0 the massacres among ethnic groups in the capita l, but it compro mised itself by ilS invo lvement with armed groups

responsible for atrocities a nd ended up by becaming a participant in [he conflict.

The descent into ch sos Fighling in Liberia started on 24 Decem-

ber 1989 with the incursion of a force of about fjfty Natio nal Patrioric Front of liberia (NPFL) rebels from the Ivory Coast. The first battles were followed by bloody reprisals by Samuel Ooe's governmem

troops, resulting in a mass exodus. Within a few months, hunclreds of tho usanels had taken refuge in Guinea ancl the Ivory Coast in camps which 500n be-

came base camps ancl a recmitmc nt cen(c r for the NPFL Meanwhile, in Liberia ilself, lhe rebels made rapid progress towards Monrovia ancl sUITounded the lown in July 1990. In spite of the viole nce of the fighting and the sca le of the

alrocities, lhe conflict provoked no reaclio n from lhe international communiry:

the United States me rely sl31i o ned warships offs hore from lhe capital, protected ilS embassy ancl evacuated iLS citizens; the United Nations, anxious nOl lo become directly involved, looked for a regio-

nal proxy ancl backed the initiatives of the Economie Communiry of West Africa n States (ECOWAS). In August 1990, ECOWAS deployed its Ceaseツキfire Monitoring G roup (ECOMOG) in Mo nrovia, which was also mandated to establish an interim government. The '\Vhite Helmets', landing in a devastated cap ital, empty of diplomats and with o nly a handful of reHef organizations atlempring 10 ca rry on under appalling conditions, stopped the rebels' advance, depri vi ng lhem in extremis of th eir nnal victory. In a besieged Monrovia, crowded with refugees from all over Liberia , living in fear of a final tribal score-settHng, there was a generJI sense of relief. H owever, left without a sufficientl y c1ear mandate, th e regional peacekeeping force eo uld not provide asolulion ro either the politica l causes or the disastrous humanitarian consequences of the conflict. In November 1990, following three months of skirmishes between solcliers of lhe \Vest African force ancl NPFL

fighters, a precarious truce was eSlablished on bath sides of the 'front !ine', a vague noma n 's-land surrounding (h e capita!. The truce held for nearly two yea rs until October 1992, in spite of numerous incidents. Throughout Ihis period, the regional peacekeeping force occupied the capital w here an 'interim government of national unity', led by Professor Amos Sawyer, was set up with ilS suppart. H owever, Charles Ta ylor's N PFL camrolled 90 per ce nt of Liberia . Following painsL:1king negOlialions belween the increasingly numerous LiI:>erian factions and hard bargaining between ECOWAS member slates, ever more divided over Ihe objeclives of (heir action, the 'Yamo ussoukro IV agreement ' was signed in October 1991 in the p o litica I ca pital of the Ivory Coast. It provided for ECOMOG to be deployed lhroughout the country, 3nned fo rces 10 be co nfined 10 camp and multi -pany elections to be held at Ihe end of a ane-year transitional period. However, the fragiIe hopes fo r peace were finally buried by lhe arri va l from neighbouring Sierra Leone of a new armed faction. the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democl"dcy (ULlMO) made up of fam1er soldiers of Samuel Doe and exiles fiercely hoslile ta Charles Ta ylor. ULiMO dislodged the NPFL from the west of th e country, provoking a mass ive NPFL anack on Mo nrovia in October 1992. Thus Charles Taylor ended the process o f no rmali zat ion, denouncing ULiMO as the 'ECOMOG death squad '. Faced with a resurgence of fighting, ECOMOG went on the offensive pounding coastal towns wテ四h its wa rships ancl canying out numerous air attacks on the territory cont rolled by the NPFL, which was al50 subjected to an economie b lockade . The resurgence of fighting further disnlpted a society already torn apan during the flest monlhs of the con nicl: nearly a quarter of the cou ntry's population was forced to remain in wretched ex ile in neighbo uring coun-

jasonMagaz lne n o. 1, February 1994

17


tries and, inside the country, the sh0l1ages resuhing from the hlockaele, the air rJids anel thc cont inuous shifting of the front line forccd lens of thousa nds to tlee their homes, and led to starvalion anel epielem ies. This third phase o f the contlict. w hich started with the arrival on the scene of ULiM O anel eneled in genera l wa r-weariness in the summer o f 1993, seems to have co nvinced all the belligerents that a 'final victoty' was impossible, anel to have reneweel hopes for a negotiated

setll e me nt . 111 Jul y 1993. a ll the factions accepted a new cease-fi re anel a detaileel timetable for transition. For the nrst time the Uniteel Nat ions becal1lc politically involved , deploying ohservers 10 monilOr the cease-fire. The facti on leaders agreed

in principle to dis~lfIn their forces anel confj ne them to camp , but it remai ns Ut1cena in whether these unclertakings wi ll be honoureel: Charles Taylor made similar commitments following the Yamoussoukro agreemenr but soon renounceel them, c1ai ming thai 'his hanel had been fo rced '. Only time w ill teil wheLher this latest cessal ion of hostilities marks the beginning o f a solution or a 1l10mentary

lull in the fighting. Charles Ta ylor does nced arespite, The NPFL endcd a two-year break in the fighling in October 1992, w hen it lallncheel an all-out offensive, th row ing all its farces into the battle w take the capital, Monrovia. During the often su icida llooking 'Operat ion Octopus', as it was

18

calleel, Charles Taylor's supporters, figilling fiercely around Monrovia and in Ihc suburbs, fo rceel more Ihan 200,000 people to nee to thc IOwn center. Another aspect of the wa r was the suicidal brave!)' in strect-fighting of the NPFL Sma l! Boys Unit, a special unit put together ou t of you ng o rphans brutall y conditioneel by the war. Once again, as at the very beginning of the co nflict, Charles Taylor's fightcrs tra nsform eel th e 'Iiberation wa r' into a ca rni val of blood during their victorious march on th e capita !. Constantly drunk o r high on marijuana , wearing w igs, wedeling elresses or welder's goggll!s, they acted o ut the profouncl ielentity crisis into which their shanerccl world has plungeel them . This 'deviant ' behavior, elispla yeel in va!)'ing elegrees by all th e fact ions, has roots that

cnding 133 years of Afro-Amcrican hegemony in this cuu nt !)' founded in 1847 by former Alllerican slaves. The 'master serge~tnts ' coup', which resultccl in President Tolbert 's assassination anel then the execution of the governing elite on Monrovia beach, was welcomed by thc Liberian 'natives' as Ihc fina l rcvenge for the 'black -on-black ' co lonia l-slyle oppression. The excesses of Ihis bluudy 'decolonization' soon became common practice anc! in 1983, anel again in 1985, thc army cOll1 maneler, Bri gadier-General Th omas Q uiwon kpa , tried unsuccessfully 10 prevent the repressive zea l of the new government. After Ihe failure of the seconel <lltemptcd coup, lhe arm y bunched a punit ive expeelil ion inw the rebels' triba l lands, home of the G io anel Mano peoples in north-eastern Liberia.

must be far more complex than that 'tribal war' that has often been ca lied responsible. Thc five European ambassadors, mecting onc last time in Monrovia be fore their evacuati o n from the COUJ1l !)', tcm1eel the nascent chaos 'na tio nal su icide', in a rcfe rence 10 Liberia 's bloody history. \'\fhalever explanati ons are pUI forward Ihe extreme cruel ty o f lhe Liberian co nflict refll!cts thc count1y 's recent past.

Bloody retriblllion was visited upon the region , feed ing a Iasting hatred of the governmenL In December 1989 it (ook just a fcw dozen traineel men crossing the border with neigh-bouring Ivo!)' Coast 10 provoke an immed iate insurrecIion, especially as thc Anneel Forces of Liberb (AFL), made up essentiall y of Krahn , President Samuel Doe's et hnic group, had ca rried oul a new wave of indiscrim inate lribal rep risa ls. W ith the rebels at the gates of the capita l, the hard-p ressed government anny pitilessly pursued Ihe Gio and Mano in Monrovia.

Tbe liberia,. rijt \Vell bcfore lhc start of the present war, which is civil o nl y in tcrms of its victims, Ihc hislOry of Liberia was puncluated with bloodbaths. The massacres stan eel in 1980 \vhen Sa muel Doe look power,

jas01.Magazi"e no. I , Febru ary 1994

On the night o f 29 July 1990, sOllle 600 civilians, inc1uding m~lny women and chilelren, who had taken refuge in Sainl Paul 's ch urch u nder the protection of the Reel Cross, were massacred in cold


b lc)(xJ. NOl la be o utdone, the NPFL executed o r butchered l1lembers of the Kra hn c thn ic group and ... Iso of the Mandingo, Muslim merchants accused of -collusion' w ith Samu el Doe's Government. Deprived of th eir victory w hen (hey had all but entered Mo nrovia, the rebels set abolll 1c)()Iing and terrori zing Ihe territory under their control. Mass grdves, some conlaining hundreds o f bod ies, we re discovered all round the LiIJerian Glp ilal fo llowing tht: relreat of the NPFL None o f Iht: Liberian fact ions escaped th is cycle o f [error, wh ich carri ed th ous~lnds of people inlo a di zzy spiral o f violence ~lnel 3trocities. None of them tried ( 0 limil the looting "md massacres perpetraled by {heir "fightcrs', lel alone punish those respo nsible. Righl up la its fo rmaI d issolulion at the end o f 1992, Prince j ohnson's Independent Natio nal Patriotic Fronl o f Lilx:ria (l NPFL) " clect Wilh l he same cm ehy as Ihe original rebel movement ULlMO, recruiting amo ng farmer AFL soldiers, inherited the meIhOOs of lhe former 'naliona!' anny. Even thc interim govcrnmenl o f Pro fessor Amos Sawye r has bl ood o n its hands, altho ugh la a lesser degree: its 'b lack bereis" a militia force o f some 500 men , is in practice an integral part of wha t remains o f lhe farmer governmenl arm y. fight ing a ft en side uy ~illt: w itl! ECOMOG, w hich has na uni fied cO l1lmand struclure but coordinales its aClions in Ihc fi eld w ith these 'back -up troops', the AFL anel ULIM O we re guilt y of frequent bruta lity and hu man rights vio lations. ECOMOG is also respo nsible for abuses, if not wa r crimes, particularl y since ilS mandale has been inlerprctcd as covcring peacemaking b y direct military engagemenl w idl Charles Taylo r's lroops. Apan from lootin g ancl numerous arbitnlty arrests fo llow ecl b y vio lent interroga ti ons, the West Africa n fo rce is respo nsible for murclero us air auack s resu Jting in many civilian casualries. ECOMOG attempted to obtain a military victory by imposing a bl ockade and ca rry ing oul bombing raicls that broughl them iJllo conflict with thc relief o rganizalio ns lrying to bring aid to those in neecl w itho ut discriminatÎ on . Thi s policy brought Ihem under suspicion ancl they we rc accuscd o f pro lo nging the conflict by p roviding assisumce to rebel-held arcas. Hospiw ls we re bombed o n a I1UIllber o f occasio ns ancl relief convoys, clearl y identifiecl as such, were attacked by lhe-Nigerian air fo rce, w hich sought la prevent all access 10 territory conrrolled b y the NPFL The Uniteel Natio ns, in the person of the Secrelary-General's special envoy, back ed th is positio n, much 10 l he annoyance of the UN agencies, wh ich urged Ihal aid opcrati ons should continue. Il took vigoro us p rolesls from the

relief orga ni zatio l1s for th e p rinci ple of free access to victims to he reamled in Ihe ncw agreement of July 1993. The brutalit y of tbe Liberbn confl ict poses q ueslions abollt thc unelcrl ying causes of such remo rseless vi o lence, wh ich appears 10 be bo th the root ca use and the result o f the emergence o f a new breed o f po litical adventurer. Such peopIe have 'criminalizecl ' the whole country so that it operal es o n the basis of wa r and predatory instinct alone. In Ihis co ntex t, humanitarian aid is eilher impossibic, as a result of the lilerall y 'in sane' state o f insecurity, or manipulaled and looled by the armed factions, o r blockecl b y the very people w ho should Ix: protecting ie In any case, providing aid is always d ifficu lt, due to the lack of reliabl e panners anel the syslcrn31ic vio lalion o f Ihe most elementary rul es of human dignity. Th c Liberian conflict also raises the issue o f regio nal interventio n as a Subsl illne fo r or altcrnative to internatio nal action . In aclcl ilio n to the geopolitica l marginalization of Ihe Afri ca n continent ancl lhe West's lack of interest in the conflict, th ere is a fear thaI material co nsideralio ns panl y expbin th e optio n o f regio mli 'subcontracting': over a thil1ymo nth period, Ihe cleploymenl o f ECOMOG cast a lhird : as much <I:' (he budget allocated by the United Nati ons to its Somalia o peratio n fo r th e last eighl monlhs o f 1993. At a time when an increasing nllmber o f peacekeeping o pcratio ns reqllire ever greater financi al suppo rt from ever more reluctam countries, it is easier to understand the arguments put fo rwa rd b y Edwa rd Perk ins, S Ambassador to lhe United Natio ns: spca king to the Se· cllrity Council on 18 November 1992, he jllstificcl his suppo rt fo r a rcgio nal solutio n by saying that if th e concel1 ed ECOWAS erfo rl in Liberia fail ecl , ECOWAS w o ulel probably withclraw from peacekeeping anel the resolutio n o f regional conflicls, w hich wou ld increase lhe presSUfe on the UN and the United States to take d irect action. Neverthelcss , this kind of regio nal actio n, which has become so po plll ar w ith Ihe internatio nal cO!l1!l1uniIy, is not w ilhout its problems: while there is na denying thai Ihe \'Vest Africa n force 'comained ' the Liberi an l ï.:lged y, it is clear tha t polit ical motives were not absent from lhe decision o f the regio nal power, Nigeri a, la lead th e task fo rce that rapielly beGlme one of lhe panies to the conflict. Anx iou s to avoid any in volvement in Liberia , the internati onal communit y supponed Ihc ECOMOG actio n polilicall y anel fi nancia ll y, at lhe risk of endo rsing and sa ncl ioning it.') reprehensible practices and the q ucsl ionabl e d irectio ns it has laken.

HumallÏlariall aid ill the U"e

offire In Saniquellie, nOl1hern Liberi a, o n 18 April 1993, two ECOMOG Alph" jels altacked a con voy head ing fo r G ant ~1. Fo r several wee ks lhe peacek eeping fo rce hacl been ca rry ing o ul air r.ai cls o n Ierritory cont ro lled by the NPFL. J-l owever, lhe target w as far from bcing a mililaly target: the trucks were clea rl y marked w ilh the MS F symbo l. And MSF was nOl there illegall y: acco reling to ECO\'VAS rules :m cl Securily Council Hesollilio n 8 13, the embargo imposed a few mo nths earlier o n NPFL lerritory does nOl appl y 10 humanitaria n aid; o n Ihe contrdry , it is part o f the White H elmets' lask 10 prOlect it. A complaint was sent 10 Ihe ECOW'AS Prcs iclency ancl requests fo r SUppOl1 were st:m 10 th e UN and Ihe EC. Th eir first reaclions ca me in lhc form of a few po lite letters of sup po rt fo llowed, a rew days later, by decisions Ihal we re 10 bear scrious consequenccs. ECO\X' AS unilalerall y anno unced lhe d osure o f th e ho rcler w ith Ihe IvOJy Coast ancl th e o pening o f a new co rridor, w hich it christened the 'peace corrido r' a nice euphem ism , considering il is supposecl 10 cross the front line anel is therefore tot:1 l1 y ill1passable. NPFL lerritory was lhus encircled ancl a 100a i blockade ill1posed . Unable to reSlo rc peace Ihus faro ECOMOG decidecl lO impase il b y an y ll1ean s and wa s preparcc1 10 break a few p rinciples in the name o f a speedy solutio n. The diplo mats acquiesced , th e po liticia ns gave their consent and all agreed Ihat th e Liberian mess ca lled fo r a b ig clean-up o peratio n. The U Secrelary-Gc neral's special envoy pu t it bluntl y: 'Ccrtain o rgani zali ons ha ve Ihe task o f bring ing relief lO th ose in need . \'Ve have Cl more importani task : bringing peace. If rclief gelS in th e w ay of peacemaking then th ere w ill be no reHef.' Ca rte bla nche? It ce rt ainl y means Ihat the logic of wa r takes over completely: lhe o nl y solulio n wOlild be Ihe dis~lppea ran ­ ce of o ne o f lhe warring factio ns. And so I11l1ch lhe bett er if thai enahles the United Natio ns la <Ivoid getting ca ught up in Liheria. Fo r w ho is bener placed to resolve a regional connict Ihan a regional force? _

7b is al1ide was /Jublisbecl ill Ibe recew~y printecl book: 'Ufe, Dealb cU/cl Aid; 7be Médecins sans Fronliëres rep0l1 0 11 Wor/cl 01sis Intelvenlioll ', Edited by Frcl1lçois Jean, ROlltledge ISBN 0-4 15- /0550- / . 71Jis book affe" al1 illterestillg. realistic a nel refresb illg view of tbe UN's (ill)a etiolls, illiernatiollal polities a m l a id. Read it.

Jasoll Magazille no. I , Februa ry

1994

19


Ethnicity and Foreign policy The Stanley Foundation

The growing diversity ofthe u.s. population will have long-term consequencesin the handling of external affairs. The United States has long prided itself on being a melting pot of culturally diverse peoples, yet this diversity has seldom been rejlected in the foreign policy process. A new era has come, however, in which ethnic diversity will have a greater impact on foreign policy. This is true for three reasons.

F

ifst, a demograph ic revolution is

altering the ethnic composition of the country. Throughout history

waves of immigrants have entered the United States, gradually diversifying the

population. Recent immigrants, of whom

[here ha ve been same eight mill ion since 1960, have differed markedly from ea rlier waves. In the 19605, European immigration,

However, looking at new immigrants only in terms of overall numbers is 50mewhat misleaeling. Immigrants have not spread evenly; different pans of the Un ited States have seen a greate r inflllx than others. As aresuit, new ethnie centers o f power are e me rging. Florida, which alreaely has a la rge Cuban and African Ameriean population, has been inunelateel by irrunigrants coming from Latin America and the Caribbea n. New York, Texas California, anel rIlinois also have received large numbers of immigĂŽd.nts. An indication of the impact of (his trenel is provieled by recent forecasts suggesting that in 20 years 85 pe rcent of the poplilation of Califo rnia wi ll be ethnic. Second, in aelelition to becoming more nllmerolls, members of ethnic groups are becoming more politically consciOlIs. In the past (he re have been major differences in (he extent to which ethn ie grollps defined themselves and mobilized along ethnie lines. Some groups-for exa mple, Polish America ns, lrish Amerka ns, Greek Ame riea ns, and Jewish Ame riea ns-- have o rga nized along ethnie lines and sought to influe nce fo reign poliey, but they have tended to be more the exeeptio n than the rule. Today et hni c mobilization is wielespreael. AIn o ng th e exa mples of growing ethnie assertiveness is the increasingly im portant politieal role played by the U.S. Congressional Blaek Caueus. Another indieation of rising e thnic eonsciousness is (he debate raging in U.S. schools abou t the need to broaden the curriculum to ren eet the roles of ethnic groups in Ame rica n history.

w hich accounted for the majority of

newcomers in (he past, began to decline. In contrast, the numbe r o f Asian a nd Hispank imm igrants increased sharpJy. The number of iUegal immigrants entering

the country a150 has increased subsrantially, especiall y those coming from Mexico, Centra I America, and South America.

This inflllx of new immigrants has altered the nat ion's racia l anel ethnic composition.

20

Some experts feel that for groups who were formerly denied fu ll participation in U.S. polities, ethnic mobili zation provides a way of penetrating the foreign poliey establish ment. EspeeiaJl y for "pe_ o ple o f color," greater access (Q the foreign policy establishme nt is Impo rtant whe ther or not it changes poliey. For othe r ethn ie groups who mainta in strong ties with the ir cou ntries of o rigin, e thnic

Jason Magazine no. 1, Febmary 1994

mobili za ti on is a way of influe ncing U.S. foreign poliey to be nefit those partieular countries. A third change contribllting to the growing impo rtance of ethn ic diversity in the United States is [he increasing role of states and localities in shaping foreign poliey. This trend is mulliplying the ehannels through which ethnie groups ca n influence policy. National interests no longer necessa ril y coincide with local and S(3te inte rests. In response to ime rnal economic pressures, many states are now attempting to e ngage the mselves in the international economic system to develop trade links with foreign countries. For exa mple, several states have established trade missions in Tokyo to attract ] apanese investment. The trend toward globalizatio n in production is foste ring direct economie links between AInerica ns anel o ther socie ties at the no ngovernme ntal level. Anmher set of links is tied to pe rsonal relationships with relatives abroad. Institutio nal ties are also being forged through lhe erea tion o f sister-city programs and othe r cultural orga niza tions. Po liey is inevitably affected as grass-roots ini[Ă&#x17D;atives place more and more America ns m conta ct w ith people abroad. One example of the impact of grassroms invo lvement in the foreign po licy process was the anti-apartheid movement's success in changing U.S. poliey toward South Afrka. In response to pressure from churches, students, and Africa n Americans, states a nel localities d ivested pe nsion funds of investme nts in eompanies do ing business in South Africa. Local officials also established progra ms to assist South Africa's black majority. While (he ge nera I trend is toward grea ter ethnie mobilizatio n around foreign policy Issues, the re are considerable variatio ns in the way {his manifests itself from group to group. It has become obvious


werfti I lobbying group. The f1rst is a his-

Asian America ns enhances their abi1iry to influence the fo reign poliey establishment. The recent Asian immigrants are wea lthier and mo re edllcated than earlier newcomers, anel the established Asiis also an American commllniry becoming mo re affiuent. This means that Asian Americans ha ve a read y supply of funds to contribute to po lit ieal earnpaigns at local ancl natio nallevels.

tory of persecution lhat has imparted a stro ng sense o f commo n religious identity to jews aro und th e w orld . Second, the Ho locaust provided lhe j ewish commu-

Changes in the internatio nal system are also increasing th e do mestic political importance of the Asian American commu-

nity with a po we rful symbol around

nity.

which to mobili ze. Third, the o bjective o f ensuring U.S. suppo rt for lsrael serves as a c1ear focus fo r po liticaI activity. Finall y, the America n j ewish co mmunity is weil positioneel 1O influence policy beca use o f ilS relative affiuence and high degree of politiC'd l panicipatio n. As some have argued , the j ewish community ca n afforel to mak e the question of Israel a primary facto r in ilS domestic po liticaI effo rts in a way th at other groups cannot.

Americans has been enhanced by japan's growing role as an econo mie superpow er. This has reinfo rced the perception thaI japanese America ns ca n serve as a bridge betwee n the United States and japan in fo reign po licy. Amo ng the issues thaI Asian America ns are attem pling to inflllence is U.S. immigralio n po licy.

that the histo ries, intereslS, and agendas

of diffe rent groups va ry eonsiderabl y. AJthough j ewish AmeriC'd ns are not, technica lly speaking, an ethnic group , they constitute lhe most widely discussed model of effecti ve fo reign policy mobiliza tion . Several circumstances have enabled America n j ews to become a po-

Africa n Americans are similar to j ew s in th at they too have a strong sense of ethnic solidariry based on their historica l experience: slavery. The legacy o f slavery has left African Americans at an econo mic and po litica I disadvantage in society. D espite the gains o f the civil righLS movements, African America ns are slill stmggling fo r equal oppo rtunilies and fuller partici pati on in the U.S. politica l system . Their focus is mainly oriented toward domestic issues o f equity.

The

selflmage

of

)apanese

As mentio ned earlier, the Hispanie populatio n in the United States has increased substantially in recent yea rs. In 1970 Hispanics constituted 4.5 percent of the

u.s. populatio n. By 1988 this propo nion hacl risen ta 8 percent. Like the Asian comrnunity, this group is ex tremely diverse, Ihe three largest communilies being Mexiea ns (Lhe most po pulo us group), Cubans, and PlIerto Ricans. Econo mically, lhere are w ide gaps w ithin the Hispanic eommunity, Cliban America ns generdll y being mllch mo re affl uent

than Mex ican Amcrica ns and Pu ert o Rica ns. The d iversiry of Ihe Hispanic commllnity has made it di fficult fo r leaders to mobili ze effectively on foreign policy issues. One nOlablc exeeplion has heen lhe efforts o f Cuban America ns 10 inflllence U.S. policy towa rd Fidel Castro. Fo r the majority af Hispanics, domestie issues such as aeeess to ed ucatio n health ca re, langllage rights, and soci al servi ces rcmain th e main focus o f attent io n. With regard 10 foreign po licy, different Hispanic groups have different agendas. Puerto Ricans are concerned abo lH possible U.S. statehood fo r Puerto Rieo. Mexicans are concernecl al)Qut tracIe ancl immigmtio n issues, espcciall y the trea tment o f il-

legal aliens. The Arab American community also is extrcmely d iverse ethniC:lll y and politieall y. lts loyalties ~l re divided amo ng scveral countries in the Middle Easi and Nonh AfriC'd. Politiealn"lobili za tio n is hinelerecl b y cJass and occllpal ional d ifferences. Relationships betw een Ard b Americans anc! their eountries o f o rigin also vary. The Lebancse, fo r exa mple, have becn excepti onall y effcclive al fund ĂŽd ising fo r Lebano n, w hilc Syrian Ameriea ns have close CUItU ĂŽd l relatio ns but fairly wea k po litica I tics Wilh Syri a. O n the clo mestic level , Arabs w ho have Iived in the United States for some limc consider themselves highl y assimilated ,

In lhe realm o f fo reign poliey, African Ameri ca ns have fo und it difficult to penetrate the system for a number o f reasans. Jn the first pla ce, they lack a commo n issue around w hich to mobi-

lize. This is eompounded by the faet that Afri can Americans cannot identify with a single country o f o rigin , nor( do they have direct personal links with any single country oulside the United States. The situatio n in South Africa, ho wever, has provicled an o pportunity for African Americans to mo bili ze around an issue akin to their historical experience in the United States. The success of the antiapartheid mo vement demo nstrates the potential within the African American communiry to have an impact on the foreign poliey process. Altho ugh there is a tendency to view Asian Americans as a homogeneous ethnic group, in fact lhe community is highl y diverse. j apanese, Chinese, ancl Filipina Am ericans have lo ng histories in the Uni(ed States. In the past, how ever, they avoideel ethn ic po litics. Mo re recent waves o f immigrants from Solltheast Asia have been extremely acti ve po litically. Similar to that o f the American j ewish commllnity, the econo mie affiuence o f

Jas01. Mag azi" e no. 1. Fe bruary 1994

21


especia ll y those who no langer maintain Iinguisti c tics w ith thc ir country o f origin. Though these Arabs do not seek to distinguish themselvcs along ethnic Iines, the- have heen thrust inlo the fo reign poliey debate Iargely as a result of evenLS in the Middle East and increasingly in reaction to the aet ivities of j ewish America ns on behalf o f Israe!. The picture that emerges 0 f AIneriea '5 ethni c poptilation shows diverse sets of groups, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and each with a different base for mohili zing arOlllld foreign poliey issues. This reality makes il ex tremel y difficult 10 ereate a coherent, consistent, integrated foreign po liey. The U.S. foreign po liey establishment has traditiona ll y been the preserve of whire males, bath withi n and outside govern mcnt circles. Over the past rwo decades, this situation has gradually begun (Q change so that there are now more wamen and mi norities involved in making policy. Nonetheless, progress is Iimited. In a rece nt survey of foreign policy experts interviewed by lhe media over the last 10 yea rs, the majority were white , male, and consclvative. Limited access to the fore ign poliey establishment has made it difficult for some ethnic groups to penetrate the system even al the c m!)' level. For economica ll y disadvantaged groups, low-paying, ent!)' level positions and internships in foreign policy o rga ni zations are no t realIy a viabie option. Minorities remain under-represcnted in kcy fo reign po liey institutions such as research ce nters, elite universities, and Ihe fo reig n servi ce. One va lue o f inclus ion is that it introduces new aCLOrs into the fo reign policy process w hose interests and ex periences ma y differ from thase o f the trad ilio nal foreign po licy establishment. For this reason, having a mo re inc1us ive fore ign policy community would be valuable whether or nOl these new acrors fundamenta ll y altered the policy~mak in g process. Including the fu ll range of ethnic com l11unities in lhe foreign poliey com munity would help reinforce the image of an ethnieally diverse counuy within governl11ent as we il as o utside government. Finally, through inclusion in the foreign policy comm unity, ethnic representatives cou ld serve as role modeis for their communities. On the olher hand , inclusion would nOl necessa ril y lead to meaningful change. Alth ough access ca n provid e an en tree into the system , th is ma y nOl translate into meaningful participation. The price of inc1usion could be lhe w ho lesale aeceptance of the status quo ralher than an anempt to change it. Inc1usio n for "sym-

22

bo l ie" reasons alone coukl lead to tokenism, th ercby creating problcms of legitiand cred ibilil y fo r ethnie macy represenlativcs. Funhermore, inclusion may nOL nccessaril y broaden the range o f issues on the foreign policy agenda fo r two reasons: if thc only individuals who were included in the policy-making community were Ihose who held the same views as thc traditi onal foreign policy establishment, or if ethnie repre::.entati ves w ho had a different worlcl view wc rc fo rcecl to supp ress Iheir views fo r politicaI reasons. Although , for ex ample, recent administrat ions have had some African America ns in senio r fo reign po licy posilions, Ihis does nOl seem to ha ve had any impact o n U.S. foreign policy. The role that eLhnic groups play in the foreig n policy process w ill be affected by the relationship hel wee n them and their cou ntries of o rig in. Of course, th is relationship varies from group to group. Among Ihe faclo rs thm are impol1ant are how recently immigrants have come to the Uniled States; w hy th ey left their counllYi wha t the po litical, economie, and strategie atlraclÎo ns o f the countly are; and whethcr its ideology di ffers from that of th e United States. If relations are strong, elhnie mobili zation ea n work toward th e benefit of the home country, as has happened w iLh jewish Amerieans and Israe!. On the olher hand , if relations between immigrants and their country of origin are poor, ethnie mohiliza tion ca n work to the detriment of the home cou ntry. Cubans fleeing Castro's regime ha ve been staunch supporters of U.S. po lieies th at seek to isolate Cuba. Changes in the way that ethnie groups relatc to their cou nlries of o rigin ca n have a significa nt impact on a group's abiliry to influence the fore ign policy p rocess. Previo usly, much o f the contact between ethnic groups and their co untri es o f origin was conducled through informal , personal cha nnels. The creation o f sister-city programs and cu hural o rgani zat ions has helped to fo rmalize, strengthen, and promOle cultuïJ I ties. Curreml y, however, economic and political lies herween ethnic groups and their countries o f origin are beco ing increasingly important. a ften this is with the wcit approval of the home country, whic h hopes to benefit from beller lrade and econo mie oppo rtunities. The japanese government, for example, has deve loped substantial econo-mic ties with California , whieh bas a large japanese Ameriean po pula -tion, providing 300/0 of the state's total fore ign investment. Howcver, these relationships are nO( witho ut their problems for balh sides. The problem for the home country eomes

]aso" Magazi1le no. 1, Febru ary 1994

w hen its cl1ligres demand a grea ter say in the poli tical process of lhe home counlIy. want ing 10 exercise influence on dOll1esLic,decisions. Also <lwkward for the home country is l he risk of being Jrawn into U.S. eloll1eslic quarrels beeause of its relationship w ith an ethnic group. Some African liberatio n 1l10vements have becn keen 10 have the suppon of Africa n America ns. altho ugh thehesitate 10 bccome embroi led in America 's racial situati o n. At th e o ther eXlreme, p roblems also develo p for eth n ic grou ps w ho do not want to fun ction as lobbying o rganizations on behalf of lheir former countries bu t ra[her as U.S. cit izens with pal1icu lar views on foreign poliey matters. Beeause o f their in volvement with japan , j apanese All1ericans fcar bcing seen as japanese ïJther than as U.S. citi zens. o r should an erhnic group's involvement be Iimited ra conce rns abou t its country of origin. Many African Americans fea r that by being too c10sely associated with Africa , lhey cou ld become polilically marginalizeel within the larger foreign po liey community. There is a way in w hieh greater ethni c mobili zarion <lround foreign po licy issues could be dangerous. G ive n the eonfli cting interests and agendas of different ethnic groups, th ere is a risk that ethnic mo bilizalion could turn th e foreign policy process into a wa r 3mong ethnic groups com pet ing fo r limited resources, politica I appointments, and influence. The end o f the Cold War has left a vo id in the forcign policy-mak ing process. No broader superpower framcwork ex ists 10 reconcile eompeling elhnic claims , {hus neating a danger that U.S. ethnic groups will be drawn into con nicts abraad. 11' the Soviet Unio n anel ot her countries eollapse into ri va l elhnic enlitÎes th cir strug~ gles might hc ighten ethni c conflicts in the United Statcs. Therefore, the inclusion o f ncw faces inlO the fore ign poliey communiry cou ld enhance lhe Uniled States' ability 10 play a leadership role in a post-Cold \'(i'ar worle!. Some experts ha ve suggested that Americans and fore igners eou ld mobilize o n the basis of common issues via broadcr society-to-society links. This approach woulcl foster the capac ity of other cou ntries to resolve internal anel regional d isputes. While the endi ng of the Cold Wa r has eliminated one SOUI'ce o f contliet, it could unicash olher regional and ethni c con fli cls with impo rtant do mestie as weil as imernational consequences. A way muSI be fotll1d to combine different ethnic interests ancl agendas into a cohepolicy rent, integïJted U.S. fo reign agenda. _


Bookreview The FaU ofYugos lavia; The third Balkan War All/hor: Ntisba Glel/II)'; Paperback, 194 pages, LOl/dol/ 1992; Pel/g llil/ Books, ISBN 0-14-07 7288-22, p rice $12.99

Cro~ilia

W hen anc! SlovcnÎa dccla red their independenu: inJune 1991 , the fale of Ihe fcueral Yugos lavia was sealed anel a 1110st s:.Ivage war nared again in lhe Balkans. Thc underlying causes go far ba ck to business lef! unfinished hy !x)th lhe Second anel thc Firs! W'orld Wars. Was this latest con nicl (as thc Croats argue) a sirugg\e het\veen a \V'estern freemark ei ckmocracy anc! a Bolshevik aclmini stration in Bclgradei' Or was it (as thc Serbs insist) a war of liberation ag~li n st a revivcd Nazi puppet Sla l e in Zagreb? In this book Glcnny takes a good look at the evc nLS that reawakened lhe enmitics th at lcd r.lpid ly [0 tragedy.

In ihis wcll informeel account Ihe BBC corrcspondent painls portraits of Ihe main pcrsonalilies, with a dislUrbing ~lInounl of highl y p laced psychopaths: "Radova n Karadzie had been the resident psychiatrisl wit h Sarej<.:'vo's football team." Iie offers asobering chronicIe of (he countdown to war: the str.atagell1s of aggression devised by Miloscvi and the federa l army lcadership j thL' crass at-

tell1pl.~ of Ihe Croal aUlhorit ies 10 ill1pose their nation::tI cult ure; the vio lent reaction of Ihe va rÎo us ll1i1itia's in Ihe disputed territeries j th e terrible spread o l" fighting to cities like Dubrovnik; thc international Ihree ring diplomatie circus; anel Ihl: Iragie fate of Bosnia-Ilcrcegovina anel its cap ital, Sa ra jevo.

"The Bosnian Serbs, Croats and ~toslel1ls have been aclorneel with many different cuhural uniforms over the centuries by which (hey identify onc anothcr as the enemy w hen con nicl broke out. Despite Ihis, underneath the d rl:ss they can see thcmselvcs refl ccted - it is thc awful recognitio n that thcse primiti vc beasts o n lhe other sicle of the barricade are [heir brothers which h~1 lcd [ 0 thc violcnce assUll1ing such ghast ly propol1i o ns in 80snia. The only w~ly l lut fighters ca n eleal with this n:aliz<ltion is 10 eXlerminate the opposite cOlnmu nil y. Ilowelse does one expbi n Ihe traelition of facial mutilation in Ihis region? How else ca n wc accoum for the high inciclcnce of wamen anel

child ren being killcd in cold blood' The Orthodox, the Cathelies or thc Muslims ca n only claim victory whe n Ihe heretics have becn wipcel Out or expelleel from homes. Ceasefires brokerl:d hy Ihe Unitcd Nations may come ,ancl go in BosniaHercegovina, the fightcrs on all three sielcs w ill cC I1 ainl y ignore Ihem. The Serhs w ill con tinue uIltil they co ntrol 65 per ce nt o f Bosnian tt:rritOIY; Croat guns

MISHA GLENNY

AUTHOIt Of

THE. 1IE.8"'TH OF HI STOIIY

will not rest lJllIil wcstern I lcrcegovina anel Posavin:1 h ~lve hecome intcgrated into Croat ia; anc! despite thc hest attempts hy thc Serhs to cxte nninate them anc! th e Cro:HS 10 clisenlranchise them politica ll y, Ihe Musli ms will 1ll01lnt <I guerilla call1pa ign againsl which thc struggles in Nerthern Ireland anel th e l3asque country wi ll pa Ie into insignifica nee. Ilistorieally , the o nl y way 10 keep these people apart o ncc Ihc fighting begins has heen for :In oUlsic!e power 10 inlelvenc anc! offer its p ro tecl ion 10 all cil ize ns, in partielllar. from imperi al urges of Croatia anc! Serhia." 11 :Ire these co ml11ancling passages in the hook Ihal give you a look at w hal is tlldy happening in this Waf anel pUI in its historie ancl 'rca l' perspective. Thc rail o f Yugos lavia is a Illagnificent hook ",hieh cve ryone shoulc! rea d w ho is interesled in thc YugosLiv war ancl in war genera ll y.

Title: Lebanon; Îlre and e mbers Alllhor.· Diltp Hiro; Hare/cover, 274 pages, LOl/dali 1993; \'(/eidell-je1d alld Nicolsoll. ISBN 0 297 82 71 64. price/80, 75 T hiS book is a chronological account of the civil wa r whose m ~lj o r ~I cce m ­ plishlllent is 10 relate c lL:arly anel mel hoelically th e bloody seqllence o f cvc nts from 1975 10 1990. lliro iclcnt ifics nine ph ases of the wa r, some more cleslructive Ihan others, same almost pcace ful amict th c ruins. In the enel there were almosl half a l11illion casuaJties - 150.000 eleael - in a country wi lh a popula tion of only duee :lI1d a half millioll . In his book Dilip Iliro cOl11 l11ents SC<lthingly on the misguidcd multinational intervention anel Ihc atlemplS at the S3!ne timc to impose a new politica I realily in the aftennath o f thL' Israeli in vas ion throllgh th c I"utile Lebanese-Israeli peace agreement. The witheIrawal of the \'V'eslern fa rces anel thc co llapse of the Le b~l n ese- 1 8 rae li agreement '\Inclcrl ineel ce ltain basic geopolit ical allel historical facts aboul Lcbanon w hich first hael been ignored firsi by th e Maronite Chrislians (in the ninctecnth centlllY), Ihen by Fr..lI1ce a~ the mandatc power (l1Ctwcen

]asoll MagtlZ ille no. I , Febru ~lI)' 1994

23


the two world wa rs), and latterly by el and America. "

I srd~

Leba non is "an Ara b country in mo re ways tha n one, with Syria as its most s i g~ nificant neighbour; and the woes of Le~ ba non ca n be d issipated only w ithin the larger fra mework of the Arab world. The Israeli plan to turn Leba na n ima a elient state governed by the Phalange party o nly made matters worse. Igna ring Syria was a futile and da ngerous policy, as Washington was made to rea lise by Assad". Dependi ng o n one's po int of view, this judgement may be rega rded as cynical or simply realistic. The who le story o f Lebanon over the past centu ry, Hi ro seems to im ply, slowly but inexorably po ints to Syrian daminatio n. Lebana n was always more o f a geographical expressio n than a natio n. In a ne way o r another, the edds were stacked in favour o f Greater Syria prevailing. Grea ter Lebano n was a crea tion of lhe French ma nda te au th orities after the First \Vorld Wa r. By expanding the Christian heartland of Mount Lebanon ta inel ude predomina nlly Muslim areas which had hitherto looked primaril y to Damascus for leadership, Fra nce sowed the seeds fo r fu ture confli ct. In the worels of the Israeli historian, Itamar Rabinovich, q uoted by Hiro: "The net effect of the creatio n o f grea ter Lebanon was Syrian irredentism and the disruption of the demographie balance in th e new state, resounding in the discord berween the traditiona l Christian ethos, whi ch underlay its creation, ancl the heterogenous composition of its po pulatio n". That cliscord was always evident in independent Leba non. It erupted inta fu llscale civil war in 1975 with the armed Palestinian presence as a catalyst, but in retrospect it is hard to escape that sooner or later conflict was inevitable and tha t Syria would seek to establish mastery. With hindsight, it is deceptively easy to see how civil wars Iike Leba no n's bega n. Witho ut adequate hindsight, it is far more diffie ult to understand why they end - if, indeed, Lebano n's trau ma has ru n its course. "Will the current stretch of peace prove just another long lull before a recurri ng sto nn", Hi ro asks. He thinks not. No do mestic grou p, w ith o r witho ut foreign sup po rt, has the stomach to relight the fire. Moreover, he conel udes, the po litical imbalance w hich gave (he Christian minority a majority status has at last been addressed through mo re equal power-sharing. Vet Hi ro is fo rced [Q ask how long the Muslim community, which fo rms 60 per cent of the total po pulation, ca n be con24

tent w ith a 50 per cent share of power. Was that the o nl y prize for 15 years o f slaughter? Hi ro's narra(Îve e nds before last yea r's pa rliamentaty elections in Lebano n, the first for twenty yea rs. They we re boycotted by an embinered Maronite cammunity. Like the Muslims the Christians are far fro m reconciled to the present dispensatio n. Even without a resumptio n of the civil wa r, it seems evident th at Lebanon's internecine struggle is far from over.

Title: Bandoeng-Bandung A utbor: F. Springer; Amsterdam 1993, Em . Pub/isber: Querido 's Uitgeverij bu, ISBN 90-2 ]48289-4, Price: approx. 20 guilders. 'Mijn petje af voor je toch niet gemakkelijke beslissing om te vertrekken.' Die is d us ook blij dat ik o pdo nde r, dacht Regensberg.

I n this latest short story Springer's tra demark, irony and matter-of-factness, aga in do their splendid work. Chris Regensberg, the elde rly statesman o f an impo rtant Dutch poli tical party, is set aside by his party colleagues all al once. Ve ry mu ch in the way Dutch socialist party chairman Felix Rottenbe rg treats redu ndant alde rmen ('I send them flowers. I write. I call'), the chairman and Prime Minister tries to ease Regensbergs hu rt feelings. He o ffers the position of mayor of a big city. Regensberg does not know if he should accept. His w ife Vera thinks that a trip to Indo nesia, the country where he grew up more than fifty yea rs ago, would be good to e1ear his mind and to come to a decisio n. In fact, that is exactl y how he arrives in Jakarta, ta ki ng palt in a

Jason Mag az ille no. I , Fe bruary 1994

trade and industry mission: with an empty mind, w ithout seeing the impo rtanee o f his own perso nal memo ries of the Indies. Hij besefte dal hij niet één o riginele syllabe had toe te voegen aa n de zogenaa mde terugkeerliteratuur die si nds jaar en dag de Nederlandse boekwin kels uit puilde. Wie had géén goede herinneringe n aan ko rte schooltijden, veel zwemmen, zorgzame bedienden, gehe imzinn ige natuu r. Door duizend ande ren reeds lang smakelijk afgesabbelde souvenirs - meer kreeg hij niet uit zijn pe n. The letters from his parents to his gïd ndfathe r Rege nsberg has ta ken w ith him show the last of the Dutch dancing at the edge of the DUICh East Indies vo1cano in the late thirties. The Indies are in the ferme nt: natio nalism is rising and th e Seco nd World War is coming up. Still , his mother pretends like everything is hunky dory. But when the j apanese take the Indies, the good times are over. Men, women and children are locked in interment camps, suffe ring maltreatment and malnutrition. Still. Regensberg appea rs to have repressed his youm in Band ung and his stay in a Japanese camp altogether. But when the official part of the busi ness trip is over and he has been staying in a hotel for a few days, the memories really start to come back. Springer's protagonist goes through a change. The objective and iro nie obselVer he is in the beginning geLS involved ; he no longe r re presses his memo ries and emotio ns but tries to cope w ith them. Bandung becomes Bandoeng aga in. The conc1usion of the book is too impressive to give it away in this review: read it yourself and become an admirer. _


Wat is Jason? De Stichting Jason is in 1975 door jongeren opgericht om te voorzien in een duidelijke behoefte van jongeren aan evenwichtige informatie over internationale vraagstukken. Jason is niet gebonden aan enige politieke partij en heeft geen levensbeschouwelijke grondslag. Jason informeert op twee manieren. Door het tweemaandelijks uitgeven van dit blad en door het organiseren van activiteiten, zoals buitenland-borrel s, congressen, excursies, fora en uitwi sselinge n. Recente onderwerpen van Jason Magazine waren: De Veranderende Verenigde Naties (Engelstali ge editie), Oude Kolonial e Banden , Oost-Europa in Balans? en Multinationals. Wil j e meer informatie over de activiteiten , van de Stichting Jason, schrijf of bel dan naar het volgende adres of nee m contact op met de Jason Contact Personen in je stad , vermeld in het colofon

Stichting Jason Laan van Meerdervoort 96 2517 AR Den Haag. tel: 070 - 3 60 56 58

Deze publicatie werd mede mogelijk gemaakt door: I

_ 11~ _

~ I

NATO lnformation Service

INGJtà)GROUP

~

PHILlPS

AT&T

delta lloyd

® Royal Dutch/Shell -

ANTWOORDKAART -

Ik abonneer mij op Jason Magazine en ontvang voor

Naam: .......................... ............... .............. ................. ... ..

f30,- zes nummers, èn all e uitnodi gi ngen voor de activiteiten van Stichting Jason.

Adres: ... .............. .......... ....... .......................................... .

CU wordt verzoc ht te wachten met betaling totdat u een acceptgiro wordt toegezonden)

Woonplaats: .. .. ... ........................... ...... ... .. ... ................... . Postcode: ............. .. .. ... .. ................ ........................ ... .... .. .

Deze antwoordkaart in enveloppe zonder postzegel sturen aan: St ichtin g Jason , Antwoordnummer 2 187, 250 I WB 's-Gravenhage.

Telefoon: ......... ............... ..... .. .... ............................ .... ..... . Handtekening: .............. .... ....... .. ........... ... ...... ... ... .... ...... .


Index ]ason Magazine 1992/1993 1993/ 1. Oude koloniale banden Elly Rijnierse

Anch'é Il aakmal

De eigen cultuu r, belemmering of I~vurdering

Ton Klumpcr

Cultuurverschillen en cullllurve randeringen

P..J.A. Lidkens

A society in

Frankrijk!Afrika : macht en onmacht

Nico SchuIIe Nordholt

M . Velt man

Nederlands blinde vlek Indonesië

Lol

De hedendaagse.: betrekking tus-

A.G.D. va n Osch

I long Kong: van Britse kroonkolonie tot Volkrepublikeinse "Special Adminislralion Regioll "

Voldoet dc nieuwe NA VOstr~l1cg i c

sen Suriname en Nederland Slefa n Landsberger

love with tec hniqu e

1993/4. P ~lIcstiin se

slaat

Tom Kuperus

De

D. Leurdijk en.J. Brugman (Interview)

Groot Brinanië en PalcstinJ : Een vergelen gl'sch icdenis

Lech Walesa

Tenets of Polish Sccuriry Po licy

I-lans van der Lee

De Omaanse Renaissa nce

Pieter Kooijmans

'iet Midden-Oosten werkbezoek

S, va n Bcn ncko m

Mient.Jan Falx:r (Intelview)

111Iernalionale Samenwerk ing in Antarctica: successe n en beperkingen

De Europese Leadership crises

1993/2. Oost·Europa in Balans?

M:llcolm Hifkind

Pe'lCe-keeping o r Peace-making

.J amcs Dobbins

·"he T r.:lnsat lantic Helationship

Pil'ter va n Geldrop

In dienst va n cic vrede

II..J. Regeur

lAEA

Jeroen \Varner

\'l:l\er

Sophie Verburgh

Levcn in h ~l r: l kkcn

Marc Klumper

Conflict in voormalig .Jocgosbvië: een historie van angst en nationalisme

Ma rc va n Wees

liet milieu van Oos l - Europ~l onder de loep genomen

Erik-Jan Keijzcr Peter A..J. Broeders

lloe stabiel is Ilongarije? Criminal activili es in Easlern Europe

Lesley d ·lluy

Ilans-Ulrich Seidt Schendingen van Mensenrechten in Bosnië-Heo;egowina : Verkracht - .J acco Kroon ingen en etn ische zuiveringen .J aap Hodenhllrg Trends in thc fOfmcr Soviet Union l.esley d' Hu y Heturn (0 the cold war? Emm:1Muller Centra I Eastern Elirupe and the M:u1ijn Hop process (lr Europt.'a n integr:.l tion .

Tom Ku perus High Noon: Pi et Dankcrt To m Kupcrus

Killed by Other Means

Il erm ~1ll

Als toerist in Ik'puh lica Ilrva tska

Kok

1993/ 5. Aandacht voor Duitsland '['om Kuperu s

Absurd

Chrisl()ph. Dril.'ssen

Philips, drugs en Ikmrix

E. de Roy van Zuydewyn

Germ an arms ex ports

Ursula Mehrlän der & Glinlher Schullze

Immigr:llio n conce pt for Germany

M ilieubeleid in Duitsland Veranderingen in de VN Lebanon & Unifil Oostenrijk en de EG

1993/ 6. WAR SOlllh I.ehanon , Ihc \'Var Cont inuL's

EIllIll:l Mulder

1993/ 3. Multinationals

A ncw sccurity environment Oost -Duit sland in de verkoop

Je:ln-Chrislophe Hufln

Paradoxes or Armed Protection

F.P.H. V, 1Il Nouhu ys (interv Î<.:w)

Eens ve rguisd . nu met open armen ontvangen;

Marc Klumper

Pea cc in War

Theo \'lams

Multinational en het milieu

'fom Kuperus

An Empire D ying

PJ .M . Köhhen

Open markten en versterking

Llszlo Maracz & Erik -Jan Keyze r

Another Perspccti ve is Needed

Scherpenhuijsen Ro m( inl )

De Trilaterale ü>ll1lllissie

Uarlxlr..1 Hijks

Gedragscodes voor Multinationale ondernemingen, opkomende sl;tntb ardcn?

.,

Ihrhara Rijks

Hc~truc turin g

thL' Security

Council Mathijs Ransijn & ):1:111 Rodenburg

Int e rn ~Hi on:ll

Greenhouse Policy

Profile for Stichting Jason

Jason magazine (1994), jaargang 19 nummer 1  

Jason magazine (1994), jaargang 19 nummer 1  

Advertisement