|Hun Manet, Hun Sen’s eldest son – the Anointed One, heir-apparent and Messiah, but for whom exactly? [image: google]|
School of Vice
Whether one cries with laughter or laugh with tears and sneer with ridicule at Mr Hun Sen’s recent revelation about his eldest son’s supernatural arrival, it is as well to look beyond the comedy and the theatre put on show for our educated amusement by him, and presumably, for the long term benefit of his council of plotting advisors whose worldly visions and foresights as well as Machiavellian traits, differ very little from those of their ancient, imperial ancestors, and like the latter, continue to make them consummate practitioners in their high art of advising and counselling subdued and aligned nations –eventually – out of their very own respective existence!
It is hard for us to tell, with his provincial, back waters upbringing and backgrounds and his tendency to give way to instinctive – often crude and base – urges before the microphone whether he genuinely believes in such supernatural omens, or whether he is simply and consciously exploiting his own ingrained superstitious inner mindset [something he shares with the vast numbers of Cambodians still] for his own calculated political advantages, or maybe, a combination of both since the false grandeur and illusion of power, having gained their footholds in men’s minds rarely fail then to entangle their hearts with their own tentacles that can be said to be at the same time intoxicating to the senses and injurious to the souls of their victims.
This is altogether quite a revelation given that we also learned previously that, unlike all the modern conveniences and luxuries that money and a local travel agent can arrange, Mr Hun Sen and his then bride had had to spend their honeymoon night in a jungle hut somewhere in the country, constantly fighting off the rude advances of predatory mosquitoes and insects whose primeval need to feed on their bodies were just as great [and desperate] as their own human, carnal urges to feed on one another! And if one adds to this inconvenience and bother all the other ominous supernatural happenings during that night of passion like thunders and lightning strikes, as well as the full moon in the sky, then Mr Hun Manet’s divine conception and announcement can be seen to have more than matched many a biblical miracle tale retold for the salvific benefit of mankind down the ages! Just what exactly the Chosen One or Messiah – Manet, a product of western education and a PhD holder from England, a nation whose enlightened thinkers and foremost philosophers more than their contemporaries elsewhere, are noted for their dry empirical emphasis and leanings – makes of all this is anyone’s conjecture.
|Restless souls: Human skulls on display at the Choeung Ek ‘Stupa’-Memorial [google]|
A son can do no more than obey and follow his own father’s will and footsteps? Really? What was the real purpose of dispatching your children overseas in pursuit of the best schooling and training available if all those years of research and youth spent only to unquestioningly and blindly submit to one man’s archaic, and in many instances, catastrophic leadership visions, even if that one man happens to be your biological father? Or do they have other fathers – other than Mr Hun – we are unaware of?! Who knows what our Vietnamese ‘cousins’ are capable of conjuring up? But that’s another subject matter…
For all her industrious and devoted scholars [‘Nguyen‘ a common prefix of Vietnamese names is said to be used in honour of the social status traditionally granted to one who has attained a certain academic distinction within the state’s Confucius educational strata] Vietnam has produced over the millennium and, for all her collective absorptions of ideas and manners of doing things, including her age-old acclimatisation to Sino-Confucius culture that teaches man to adapt his existence to the constraints born of prevailing social conditions, and for all her outward gestures and compromises made in response to external contingencies and necessities, one constant above all else reigns supreme in her national trait and psyche; and that is the primeval impulse implanted in most living species, ranging from insects and mammals to Man by nature herself. It is an instinct and impulse that have driven a nation to wage prolonged wars and – when expedient – enforce peace; forge military alliances with ancient enemies – when expedient – and betray allies – again, when necessary. In our pre- and post-modern eras revolutions and ideologies had come and gone, but Vietnam’s rulers from Ming Mang to Ho Chi-minh had stayed true to this core evolutionary impulse that demands complete subordination of all else, including collective liberty and individual freedom, to the imperative of organic cohesion of the State with its own unrelenting, insatiable thirst for political power and imperial expansion as its raison d’être and motivating driving force.
Ho himself had had to submit himself to this demand, and perhaps, not unlike many of his compatriots now and contemporaries then, assumed – literally – varying roles at various times in obeisance to that all-imposing objective. He was at successive phases, an anti-colonial activist-agitator, a canteen boy on a foreign ocean-crossing ship, a self-employed portrait photographer in Paris, a self-appointed representative of ‘Indochina’s anti-colonial movement’ in Europe, a member of the Comintern [The Communist International], affiliate of the Chinese Communist Party, a hotel chef, a saffron robe-donning monk in Thailand [Ho Chi-monk!], an ally of the Japanese against the French, a CIA recruit . . . No wonder even some of his most ardent supporters and comrades felt uneasy about his shifting alliances and sudden u-turns, some of whom had gone even as far as openly accusing him of treason, a charge he would always try to rebut by way of reminding them of his own personal sacrifices made in service to his people and the Vietnamese nation. All will be revealed for them, and if it may take a little while, for their children or grand-children to see. To the Russians, the European socialists and Chinese communists Ho preached anti-colonialism and proletarian struggle; to Chinese nationalists and the Americans he preached anti-Japanese strategy; to the Laotians and Cambodians who he had inducted into his Vietnam-led Indochinese ‘struggle’ against the French he preached fraternity, solidarity, class struggle, national independence and self-determination, empowering them with both arms and doctrines to ensure they would succeed in their chosen cause for their co-operation and success could only enhance Vietnam’s age-old designs and fuel her imperial ambition.
For much of the twentieth century and, now into the twentieth first century, Vietnam as a middle-sized power, has been among the foremost military powers in the world, where its conventional armed forces estimated around a million men strong once placed it as the fourth largest conventional power in the world. This might be music to many a Vietnamese ‘nationalist’–adventurist’s ear, but for the overwhelming masses of Vietnam and their forebears over the centuries past, it had meant, and continues to mean ultimately, for them a life ill-endowed of basic human choice and freedom of movement and expression – in brief, deprived of dignity as human life is treated as mere mechanical tool at service of the State and, as economic resources and assets are generated first and foremost to meeting the ever growing national military budget and security priorities. That this is so is all the more paradoxical and bittersweet given the piles of skeletons of ordinary Vietnamese themselves, and of other smaller nations that have fallen prey to the murderous traps set for them by the imperial State, upon whose tragedies and sacrifices this State is built and sustained.
Not that it is impossible to come across physical evidences of this ignominious legacy throughout Vietnam’s imperial sphere, for these are even put on show and their physical visibility or symbolism are built into monument forms for all to witness. However, what is important and relevant is that we the public and the rest of the world see only what the architects and masterminds behind these tragedies desire us to see. Whenever an issue is raised whether the Choeung Ek ‘memorial’ is there for political propaganda purposes and that in accordance with traditional religious practices the physical remains of the victims should have been handed over to religious authorities for cremation or burial, we always hear objecting voices who insist that, first of all, the state is part atheistic and part religious in character; that the Monument itself is erected as a Buddhist stupa!; and that besides, unless a thorough scientific-DNA testing is conducted we would still be clueless as to the surviving relatives [if indeed these relatives have survived!] to whom the remains can then be handed over! Now, just wait a second, there are surely mass graves sites all over Cambodia, and not all of them dug during the Hanoi-manipulated reign of Pol Pot-Ieng Sary. We also have seen evidence of mass graves of slain Funcinpec military officers following the 1997 coup, or have we not? Shouldn’t there be a ‘stupa’ for every one of these mass graves? I still think and feel as a human being that these victims had suffered enough in life already, and deserve a modicum of respect and dignity in death, and not be further exploited for any purpose.
But then again, I along with many others cannot see or perhaps cannot bring ourselves to share the cynical and convoluted mindset of Mr Hun, his advisors and other so-called Khmer leaders who had and have failed to separate truth from fiction; propaganda from superstition, and narrow self-advancement from those of the public realm.
NB: Prior to the Vietnamese all-out invasion of ‘Democratic Kampuchea’ in 1979, Vietnamese agents in the country at the time had also resorted to spreading superstitions among the Khmer populace as a means of destabilising the Pol Pot regime. Villagers had been heard passing rumours of mysterious salvation warriors physically and magically appearing from out of the greens of the paddy fields! Many believed it [the ploy] then, and many could still fall for it now, and although some of us may find it rather amusing, it is Hanoi who may have the last laugh – as usual. I suspect…
Posted By School of Vice to KI Media at 5/07/2013 03:09:00 AM
Posted By kiletters2 to KI-Media2 at 5/07/2013 03:09:00 AM