Osama bin Laden og Ayman al-Zawahiri i Afghanistan og Pakistan

De to terrorister, som jeg vil fokusere på, er Osama bin Laden (født 10. Marts 1957 i Jiddah i Saudi Arabien, død 2. maj 2011) og i mindre omfang Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri (født 19. Juni 1951 i Cairo i Egypten).

Fælles for disse to terrorister er, at de har opholdt sig meget længe uden for deres hjemlande. Osama bin Ladens spin på dette faktum er en sammenligning af hans eget liv med profetens. Ligesom Muhammad pendulerede mellem Mekka og Medina under sit hijra, har bin Laden været i eksil i Afghanistan (Bergen s. 161). Profeten endte med at opnå politisk kontrol over sin hjemegn. Bin Laden har endnu ikke opnået dette, men han har forsøgt at gøre Muhammad kunststykket efter.

Med moderne øjne ligner bin Ladens og al-Zawahiris rejsevirksomhed turistens eller globetrotterens i og med at de frivilligt har rejst til fremmede lande på flere længere rejser. Ligesom nogle turister tillægger deres rejser et altruistisk formål kan bin Ladens og al-Zawahiris tidlige ophold i Pakistan blandt afghanske flygtninge karakteriseres som en solidaritetsrejse. Det var gennem deres udviklings- og rehabiliteringsarbejde, hvor bin Laden bidrog som organisator og pengemand og Dr. Al-Zawahiri arbejdede som anæstesi læge, at de opbyggede den hird af kamptropper, som senere blev al Qaida. Deres altruistiske rejse til et sted i det fremmede udmøntede sig altså til en verdensomspændende kamp. Fra 2001 har de prominente arabiske gæster udgjort en stadig større risiko for deres værter i Afghanistan og Pakistan. Bin Laden og al-Zawahiri har hver en FBI dusør på 25 millioner dollar på deres hoved.

At yde statsligt eller ”privat asyl” til eftersøgte personer er ikke uproblematisk. ”Asyl til alle” stod der malet på nogle mindre installationer foran DR byen i København, da jeg cyklede forbi den 6. September. Nogle gæster på længerevarende tålt ophold – som Karl Marx i London – er måske fredelige i deres daglige færden på kort sigt. Opfordringen til at give ”asyl til alle” er måske endnu mere problematisk når princippet udstrækkes til personer som Bin Laden og Zawahiri er fordring er måske mindre klog i tilfældet bin Laden og Zawahiri.

I dette paper forsøger jeg at  angribe disse spørgsmål i klassiske Simmelske termer gennem et studie af forholdet mellem gæster og værter, som opstår, når de indfødte i et eller omfang inkorporerer fremmede, der kommer som turister, solidaritetsarbejdere, hellige krigere, guruer eller asylsøgere med henvisning til forfølgelse. Naturligvis er hverken Bin Laden og Zawahiri den gængse type turist eller udviklingsarbejder.  Alligevel vil jeg her gøre et forsøg på at anskue deres liv og levned i mere universelle og samtidigt ganske hverdagsagtige termer. Vi lever i standardiserings tidsalder, hvor teknologiske produkter og økonomiske processer vurderes ud fra fælles homogeniserede målestokke.[i] Hele kulturer og livsverdener holdes op imod hinanden og sammenlignes som man sammenligner æbler og pærer. Jellingestenen, Tingvellir, Geirangerfjorden, og det sydlige Öland er alle kulturhistoriske og naturhistoriske perler opført på Unesco’s standardiserede World Heritage liste. Så hvorfor ikke se på bin Ladens og Zawahiris liv og levned i skæret af turisternes eller udviklingsarbejdernes eller antropologernes? Ligesom antropologer forlod bin Laden og Zawahiri deres relativt sikre liv i storbyen for at slå sig ned i yderkanten af civilisationen for at bære vidne om forholdene dér og hermed lade omverdenen forstå dialektikken mellem center og periferi.

Kilder

Osama bin Laden og al-Zawahiri har i de sidste mange år været utilgængelige for vestlige journalister og forskere. I marts 1997 interviewede journalisterne Peter Bergen og Peter Arnett og fotografen Peter Jouvenal Osama bin Laden i Afghanistan. Et foto af denne begivenhed findes i Peter Bergen’s The Osama bin Laden I Know med undertitlen An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader. I denne bog samler Bergen egne og andres indtryk af mennesket bin Laden til et kalejdoskopisk livsforløb. Det er bemærkelsesværdigt at meget få afghanere har bidraget til bogen. Den pakistanske journalist Hamid Mir giver sit besyv med. Han er den eneste fritstående journalist, der har interviewet bin Laden efter 11. September. Derudover stammer de repræsentationer af bin Laden, som Bergen viderebringer, mest fra saudier, egyptere og andre arabere, samt fra enkelte vesterlændinge. Billedet af bin Laden tegnes således ikke af de folk, som han har boet iblandt i mange år nemlig afghanerne og pakistanerne. Disse subalterne folk, hvis liv er påvirket af deres arabiske gæster, høres næppe i Bergens bog.

Lawrence Wrights monumentale bog Al Qaida. Vejen til 11. September er ligesom Bergens journalistisk, men Wright formår på en sjælden måde at flette de utallige oplysninger, som han baserer sin bog på, sammen til én lang fortælling om de skæbner, der krydsedes 11. September 2001. Desuden har Wright i et par artikler i The New Yorker formået at give et interessant indblik i Zawahiris liv og levned.

Til trods for at Osama bin Laden og al-Zawahiri har været utilgængelige i en årrække har de ikke været tavse. Deres foretrukne kommunikationsmåde har været videoer produceret af al Qaidas eget propagandaapparat al-Sahab (Skyerne.)[ii] Jeg vil kun i begrænset omfang henvise direkte til disse produktioner. I det følgende vil jeg især benytte Bergen og Wright som kilder.

Fremmede på længerevarende feltarbejde

Antropologiens adelsmærke siges at være det længerevarende feltarbejde. Nu omstunder har antropologer ikke længer tid til unødigt at forlænge afstanden mellem tanke og faktura, men idealet blandt rigtige antropologer er stadig at bo i mindst ét år blandt de fremmede i det fremmede. Det har Zawahiri og bin Laden også gjort. Ligesom antropologer og andre på længevarende feltarbejde har de dermed fået den rolle, som den tyske sociolog Georg Simmel benævnte ”strangers”:

The stranger is thus being discussed here, not in the sense often touched upon in the past, as the wanderer who comes today and goes tomorrow, but rather as the person who comes today and stays tomorrow. He is, so to speak, the potential wanderer: although he has not moved on, he has not quite overcome the freedom of coming and going. He is fixed within a particular spatial group, or within a group whose boundaries are similar to spatial boundaries. But his position in this group is determined, essentially, by the fact that he has not belonged to it from the beginning, that he imports qualities into it, which do not and cannot stem from the group itself (Simmel).

Den fremmede var i Simmels analyse en ”objektiv” person, fordi vedkommende kunne bevare en vis distance. Den fremmede har ofte vundet folks tillid, men han er også blevet udsat for mistænksomhed: ”In uprisings of all sorts, the party attacked has claimed, from the beginning of things, that provocation has come from the outside, through emissaries and instigators” (Simmel).

Hvis lange ophold er mistænkelige i de lokales øjne, er lange fravær mistænksomme i hjemlandets øjne. Antropologer med lange fravær bag sig er ofte blevet beskyldt for at have ”gone native”, at have mistet deres oprindelige identitet. Længerevarende ophold i det fremmede sætter den fremmedes loyalitet over for sit oprindelige hjemland på en prøve. Både bin Laden og Zawahiri er kommet på kant med deres hjemlande. Zawahiri havde allerede været involveret i statsfjendtlige aktiviteter, før han kom til Pakistan for første gang. Bin Laden fik meget lang snor fra Saudi Arabien, som støttede hans projekter, men den Saudiske kongefamilie (som havde gjort bin Ladens far hovedrig) endte med at fratage Osama hans statsborgerskab i 1994 ligesom hans familie samme år (eller først efter 11. September?) slog hånden af ham. På trods af at den fremmede med års udlændighed bag sig kan opnå en privilegeret ”objektiv” position, ses vedkommende ofte på med blandede følelser i både sine gamle og sine nye omgivelser.

Efter Sovjetunionens invasion i Afghanistan i 1979 øgedes antallet af signifikante udlændinge i Afghanistan. Afghanerne blev stillet over for et valg mellem de fremmede. Nogle afghanere allierede sig med Sovjetunionen; andre førte modstandskamp i samarbejde med både Vesten, Pakistan og den øvrige muslimske verden. Ifølge Bergen var en af årsagerne til at bin Laden besluttede at danne egne arabiske enheder i stedet for at lade frivillige indsluse i afghanske enheder, at bin Laden ville forhindre, at de arabiske frivillige blev inddraget i indre afghanske stridigheder eller ”political games” (Bergen, s. 29). Strategien må siges at være mislykkedes: Saudierne og de fleste andre arabere bibeholdt ganske vist en grad af etnisk og social eksklusivitet, men de mistede deres ”objektivitet” og blev inddraget i afghanske modsætninger i den grad, at der opstod et ”Great Game” om loyalitet og indflydelse. Bergen fremhæver to akser: Palæstinenseren Abdullah Azzam, som blev bin Ladens guru, da han først kom til Pakistan, opnåede tidligt en forståelse med den afghanske krigsherre Ahmad Shah Massoud. Zawahiri derimod skabte en tæt forbindelse til krigsherren Gulbuddin Hekhmatyar. Azzam blev myrdet i 1989. Bergen er tilbøjelig til at tro, at Hekhmatyar og Zawahiri lå bag mordet på Azzam (Bergen, s. 93). Hekhmatyar og Massoud forblev fjender indtil Massoud blev dræbt af al Qaida udsendinge 9. September 2001. Forløbet viser at The Great Game om magten over Afghanistan startede allerede kort tid efter at de fremmede var ankommet til regionen, og at spillet delte såvel de lokale som de fremmede. De fremmede kunne ikke oparbejde den neutralitet, som udefrakommende, ifølge Simmel, kan erhverve sig.

Deltager-observation: Deltagelse

Antropologers foretrukne arbejdsmetode er kendt under navnet deltager-observation og bygger på idéen om at man bedst lærer at forstå et samfund ved at indlogere sig tæt på de lokale for at kunne deltage i dagligdagen. De færreste antropologer er vant til at arbejde i marken og det er derfor ofte begrænset hvad de i praksis får udrettet som deltagere (Ovesen 1988: 93). Som terrorist og guerilla-soldat er der desuden naturlige grænser for i hvor høj grad man kan tillade sig at deltage i omgivelsernes daglige aktiviteter. På den anden side er det ifølge Mao kendetegnende for den effektive guerillaenhed, at den oppebærer en høj grad af kontakt med det omgivende værtssamfund: ”the guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea” eller i en anden oversættelse ”The people are like water and the army is like fish” (Mao i Aspects of China’s Anti-Japanese Struggle fra 1948).

Bin Laden var blandt de første arabere, som kom til Pakistan for at hjælpe afghanske flygtninge efter Sovjetunionen gik ind i Afghanistan i julen 1979. Flere tusinde arabere fulgte efter, men på et givet tidspunkt var det kun nogle få hundrede til stede. De fleste arbejdede som nødhjælpsarbejdere (Bergen s 63). Kun et mindretal var soldater. Nogle var på meget korte ophold, hvad en saudisk journalist kaldte ”Jihad vacation” (Bergen s. 41), hvor mere eller mindre velbemidlede entreprenante arabere valgte at tilbringe en kortere periode i farlige omgivelser ligesom turister, der gerne vil være de første på et eftertragtet sted før stedet bliver ødelagt af masseturisme (jf. Damm 1995).

Moderne hensynsfuld eller bæredygtig turisme søger at regulere tilstrømningen og afstrømningen, så den er i overensstemmelse med de lokale forhold. Indtil han blev dræbt i 1989 gjorde Abdullah Azzam et stort arbejde med at kanalisere arabere og andre ind i systemet via et kontor i Peshawar kaldet Services Offices (Bergen s. 92). Som helhed må man dog nok sige, at trods Azzams og bin Ladens organisatoriske evner har mujahideen-markedet været et ret dårligt reguleret marked. Jeg husker selv en dag i begyndelsen af 1992, hvor jeg skulle lave et opkald fra hovedpostkontoret i Peshawar i Pakistan. Postkontoret var fuldt af radikale ”brødre”, der ringede hid og did for at få kontakt med andre ”brødre”, som ofte ikke anede hvem de talte med – et problem der forstærkedes af at alle dengang som nu opererede under en række pseudonymer. Der var allokerings-problemer i mujahideen-sektoren. Det er måske ikke usædvanligt, når folk bevæger sig langt væk hjemmefra. Når studerende tager på feltarbejde ender de oftest et sted, hvor de kan skaffe kontakter gennem deres netværker (deres lærere eller deres medstuderende eller deres arbejdspladser) snarere end et sted tilsagt af faglige overvejelser.

Det har oftest været eksterne faktorer, som har nedjusteret antallet af frivillige og hellige krigere. Iran har aldrig været opmarchland for hellige krigere på samme måde som Pakistan. I lang tid var der stort set fri passage i Pakistan, men efter 11. September begyndte Pakistan at tynde ud i antallet af fremmede krigere. I FATA ledte Pakistans øgede pres på al Qaida efter 2001 til sammenstød mellem pashtuner indbyrdes om hvor lange veksler usbekere og andre skulle kunne trække på gæstevenskabet og den fælles kamp mod de vantro.

Indkvartering

Hvad angår indkvarteringsforhold for de fremmede lader der til at have været tre hovedformer:

Gæstehuse i byer for de nyligt ankomne eller etablerede islamister under udnyttelse af byernes relative anonymitet[iii]

Pensionatslignende former hvor lokale stormænd og krigsherrer – tilskyndet af en kulturel fordring om grænseløs gæstfrihed – tillader udenlandske krigere at bo, arbejde og måske endog at indgå ægteskab lokalt under deres beskyttelse, ofte formodentlig mod pekuniære eller militære modydelser

Befæstede militærlejre i mere eller mindre afsidesliggende områder ofte udelukkende beboet af arabiske krigere

De tre typer kan kombineres: For så vidt som privatpersoner tilbyder hellige krigere  gratis logi, således som Zawahiri har opfordret til, sparer organisationen penge, der ellers skulle have brugt på at leje eller købe egnede opholdssteder.[iv] Hvorom alt er muliggør to af disse bosættelsesformer en grad af deltagelse i det omgivende samfund: Gæstehus-logerende og stormands-gæster kan i visse tilfælde bevæge sig omkring og dermed deltage i det omgivende samfundsliv. Alligevel har de færreste fremmede krigere lært sig pakistanske eller afghanske sprog. Dette gælder også al Qaidas ledere. I sin tale til de pakistanske folk i august 2008 medgiver Zawahiri, at han ikke har lært det charmerende sprog Urdu trods sine mange års ophold i området. Det må have gjort det svært for ham at kommunikere med afghanere og pakistanere, som i reglen ikke forstår hverken talt eller skrevet arabisk. For at nå ud til pakistanerne talte Zawahiri engelsk, hvilket han beklagede. Man må dog lade Zawahiri, at han allerede tidligt nærmere sig afghanerne ved at bære afghansk klædedragt. De udenlandske krigere, som har været flittigst ti at lær lokale sprog er måske usbekerne i FATA, hvoraf mange siges at have lært sig pashtoo. Dette kan hænge sammen med at de har haft tættere relationer til deres værter igennem længere tid.

Udenlandske krigere i lejre kan beskrives som rene ”ex-pat kolonier”. Disse lejre har formodentlig været ydmyge på trods af at bin Laden i tråd med sin entreprenør-baggrund har brugt mange penge på at udbygge infrastrukturen. I kapitel 3 ”From Donor to Holy Warrior” nævner Bergen lejren nær landsbyen Jaji, som var bin Ladens første base i det østlige Afghanistan oprettet 1986-7 (altså et par år før al Qaida blev dannet) kun ti mil fra grænsen til Pakistan. Lejren kaldtes al Masada, Løvernes Hule. Sammenlignet med de ca. 170.000-250.00 afghaneres, som selv bekæmpede Sovjetunionens soldater, var de arabiske soldaters indsats symbolsk, men eftersom bin Laden regnede de arabiske soldater for mere modige, fordi de bevidst søgte martyriet, regnede han en araber for mere værd på slagmarken end en afghaner. Løvernes Hule var således et tidligt eksempel på en ren arabisk lejr.

Hvor Azzam, ifølge Bergen, ville sprede araberne, ville bin Laden at de skulle danne egne enheder. Allerede i 1984-85 var (nogle i) Services Office bevidst om at etablere særskilte gæstehuse for arabere. Bergen citerer algiereren Boudejema Bounoua for at have sagt:

”We have founded this bureau to gather the Arabs and to send them inside Afghanistan instead of going to the guesthouse of [someone like Afghan leader Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar. It’s better to save them from the political games of Afghans. So we need to stay in separate guesthouses. We are here as servants. We are proud to serve the boots of the mujahideen inside Afghanistan. We are not here to guide them, to tell them what to do. We are here to serve them, to liberale their land”. (Bergen p. 29).

I tiden omkring det amerikanske angreb på Tohra Bohra cirkulerede i blandt andet den danske presse historier om befæstede luksuriøse hulebyggerier dybt i bjergets indre. Bergens portræt af Jaji og senere lejre underbygger ikke disse rapporter om luksus. I den årrække, hvor Taliban var ved magten i det meste af Afghanistan, levede bin Laden og hans nærmeste dog et noget mere komfortabelt og sikkert liv som Mullah Omars gæster i Kandahar. Bergen (?) refererer således et besøg aflagt af en gæst, som var i stand til at gå helt ind i bin Ladens gemakker, fordi der ikke var nogen hjemme. Mens han boede i Kandahar var Bin Laden i stand til at tage på udflugter for at skyde fugle eller han kunne tage familien med på picnic, hvor konerne og børnene fik mulighed for at lave lidt ”simple physical exercises” (Bergen, s. 266). Hvilken form for gymnastik de lavede melder Bergen ikke noget om, men eftersom bin Laden havde gået i en fin skole kan man formode, at han havde lært almindelig gymnastik dér. Dertil kom at bin Laden på udflugterne oplærte sine koner i brugen af skydevåben.

Bergens beskrivelser tegner et billede af en ret så kedelig hverdag udlevet i afsondring fra det omgivende samfund. De TV-billedsekvenser vi alle har set, hvor bin Laden ses omgivet af sine skydegale mænd, er i virkeligheden undtagelser. Interviews med vestlige journalister har været få og kortvarige og mit nedtryk er, at bin Laden og Zawahiri heller ikke har frekventeret al-Sahah studiet særligt ofte. Bergen kalkulerer, at bin Laden og Zawahiri har produceret et lydbånd eller videotape hver 6. uge efter 11. September (Bergen, s. 377). Mit gæt er, at de to topterrorister oftest har haft en ret indholdsløs dagligdag med ret få møder, men dog afbrudt af relativt hyppige besøg af beundrere. De to ledere har i hvert fald ikke været gjort til genstand for en større offentlig daglig kult med lange taler og parader. Lederne er i stedet blevet projiceret enten via de trykte og elektroniske medier eller gennem personlige møder. En undtagelse var Osamas søns bryllup, hvor 4-500 gæster (de fleste fra al Qaida og ikke fra Taliban) var inviteret til Kandahar i begyndelsen af 2001. Bin Ladens bidrag til festen for sønnen Muhammad var et lille digt, som næppe vil sikre ham en plads i den orientalske poesis annaler (Bergen, s. 256). Man kan indvende mod denne argumentation, at bin Laden nødvendigvis afstår fra offentlige fremtrædener af sikkerhedshensyn. Det medgiver jeg, men Tv-produktioner er i sig selv også en sikkerhedsrisiko. Bergen er af den opfattelse, at det bedste spor til bin Laden er al-Jazeeras kontor i Pakistan (Bergen, s. 377).

Observation og teori

Flere af de ”tidligt-moderne” muslimske erobrere af al-Hind var gode observatører. Mest berømte var stormogulerne. Dynastiets fremtrædende mænd førte detaljerede dagbøger, hvori de beskrev flora og fauna og meget andet i deres nye omgivelser. Senere britiske erobrere og koloniembedsmænd var banebrydende etnografer, historikere og naturhistorikere. Nutidens arabiske gæster i regionen har indtil videre ikke udvist et lignende talent. Jeg vil hævde, at den stive form for Islam, de har bragt med sig, står i vejen for både observation af og teoridannelse om omgivelserne. Dertil kan man indvende at det eneste form for observation og teori, som militære ledere kan forventes at befatte sig med, er viden direkte relateret til krig og terror og at de arabiske gæster har været innovative på dette område.[v] Ikke desto mindre vil jeg argumentere for, at de teorier eller verdensbilleder, som bin Laden og Zawahiri tog med sig i felten, har bidraget til at befæste deres teoretisk fattigdom selv i de sydasiatiske omgivelser, som kunne give anledning til eftertanke.

Rationaliseringen (forstået i Webers forstand forstået som de måder systematisk tænkning i får samfundet til at rykke fremad) af Islam er ikke særlig vellykket på trods af en stor indsats for at udforme religionen til en konsistent samling påbud og forbud. Zawahiri og bin Laden har af og til forsøgt at underbygge deres aktioner med fatwaer udstedt af religiøse autoriteter for derved at skabe et konsistent handlingsgrundlag, men sådanne blåstemplinger oftest har de udstedt deres egne fatwaer. At gængse autoriteter inden for religionen ofte ikke støtter al Qaida, fortolkes af al Qaida som et udtryk for at disse autoriteter er korrupte. Som det ofte er tilfældet i Islam ender intern debat derfor ofte i gensidige beskyldninger om at modparten ikke er muslim, men en fredløs frafalden (Bergen, s. 74). Denne teoretiske dead-end har medvirket til at isolere al Qaida.

Zawahiri er ellers rundet af en veluddannet familie. Hans slægt tæller en lang række læger og flere skolede teologer. Zawahiri begyndte sin revolutionære karriere i sit hjemland, men tog ligesom bin Laden tidligt til Pakistan. Zawahiri og hans bror Mohammad var tilknyttet gruppen Al Jihad. Da de begyndte at rekruttere deres landsmænd til den afghanske jihad kom de hurtigt på kollisionskurs med ægyptere fra den Islamiske Gruppe (Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya):

Before long, representatives of the Islamic Group appeared on the scene, and once again the old rivalry flared up. Osama Rushdi, who had known Zawahiri in prison, told me that he was shocked by the changes he found in him. In Egypt, Zawahiri had struck him as polite and modest. “Now he was very antagonistic toward others,” Rushdi recalled. “He talked badly about the other groups and wrote books against them. In discussions, he started to take things in a weird way. He would have strong opinions without any sense of logic.” (Wright 2002)

Zawahiri har som nævnt skrevet to bøger. Disse er begge nedslag i den standende debat om den hellige krigs principper. Hans anden bog blev skrevet for at gendrive den dybdeborende kritik af Zawahiri og af al Qaida, som Dr Fadl (egentlig Imam al-Sharif) havde fremført. De to kendte hinanden fra medicin-studiet i Cairo og de havde arbejdet sammen i Peshawar i Røde Halvmåne efter begge at have været involveret i terrorisme i Ægypten. Wright skriver:

Fadl held a low opinion of Zawahiri’s abilities as a surgeon. “He asked me to stand with him and teach him how to perform operations,” Fadl told Al Hayat. “I taught him until he could perform them on his own. Were it not for that, he would have been exposed, as he had contracted for a job for which he was unqualified.”

In the mid-eighties, Fadl became Al Jihad’s emir, or chief. (Fadl told Al Hayat that this was untrue, saying that his role was merely one of offering “Sharia guidance.”) Zawahiri, whose reputation had been stained by his prison confessions [efter mordet på Sadat havde Zawahiri under tortur og manipulation forrådt en af de eftersøgt], was left to handle tactical operations. He had to defer to Fadl’s superior learning in Islamic jurisprudence. The jihadis who came to Peshawar revered Fadl for his encyclopedic knowledge of the Koran and the Hadith—the sayings of the Prophet (Wright 2008a).

I 1988 udgav Fadl The Essential Guide for Preparation en håndbog i jihad, som blev flittigt brugt af al Qaida. Argumentet heri lød:

”The “Guide” begins with the premise that jihad is the natural state of Islam. Muslims must always be in conflict with nonbelievers, Fadl asserts, resorting to peace only in moments of abject weakness. Because jihad is, above all, a religious exercise, there are divine rewards to be gained. He who gives money for jihad will be compensated in Heaven, but not as much as the person who acts. The greatest prize goes to the martyr. Every able-bodied believer is obligated to engage in jihad, since most Muslim countries are ruled by infidels who must be forcibly removed, in order to bring about an Islamic state. “The way to bring an end to the rulers’ unbelief is armed rebellion,” the “Guide” states” (Wright 2008a).

I 1994 begik Fadl The Compendium of the Pursuit of Divine Knowledge, som også er en opfordring til jihad mod snart sagt alle afvigere, herunder muslimer som ekskommunikeres af andre muslimer med henvisning til doktrinen om takfir (Wright 2008a). Zawahiri var yderst tilfreds med denne bog, men han redigerede i den uden forfatterens tilladelse. Blandt andet ændrede han titlen til Guide to the Path of Righteousness for Jihad and Belief og fjernede Fadls kritik af den Islamiske Gruppe, fordi Zawahiri på det tidspunkt var ved at tilnærme sig gruppen. Fadl afslørede Zawahiris manipulationer og fjendskabet mod dem forøgedes til højder, som er akademikere værdigt: ”Zawahiri and Fadl have not spoken since, but their war of words was only beginning”.

I de følgende år tog stadig flere gamle ægyptiske jihadister afstand fra jihad, dels af pragmatiske runde – de ville alligevel ikke vinde – dels af ud fra mere etiske overvejelser. Lange fængselsstraffe og lange debatter i fængslerne bidrog til denne proces. 11. September satte yderligere skub i disse overvejelser, som udmundede i bekendelser, hvor jihadister (som e.g. Karam Zuhdy, en Islamic Group leder) tog afstand fra deres fortid: ”Zuhdy publicly apologized to the Egyptian people for the Islamic Group’s violent deeds, beginning with the murder of Sadat, whom he called a martyr” (Wright 2002).

Fadl selv blev efter 11. September anholdt i Yemen og overflyttet til et ægyptisk fængsel, hvor han stadig befinder sig. Herfra har han fra 2007 udgivet en række revisionistiske artikler startende med “Rationalizing Jihad in Egypt and the World” som udkom på 10-års dagen for massakren på turister i Luxor. Hermed følger Wrights lange opsummering af Fadls argument:

The premise that opens “Rationalizing Jihad” is “There is nothing that invokes the anger of God and His wrath like the unwarranted spilling of blood and wrecking of property.” Fadl then establishes a new set of rules for jihad, which essentially define most forms of terrorism as illegal under Islamic law and restrict the possibility of holy war to extremely rare circumstances. His argument may seem arcane, even to most Muslims, but to men who had risked their lives in order to carry out what they saw as the authentic precepts of their religion, every word assaulted their world view and brought into question their own chances for salvation.

In order to declare jihad, Fadl writes, certain requirements must be observed. One must have a place of refuge. There should be adequate financial resources to wage the campaign. Fadl castigates Muslims who resort to theft or kidnapping to finance jihad: “There is no such thing in Islam as ends justifying the means.” Family members must be provided for. “There are those who strike and then escape, leaving their families, dependents, and other Muslims to suffer the consequences,” Fadl points out. “This is in no way religion or jihad. It is not manliness.” Finally, the enemy should be properly identified in order to prevent harm to innocents. “Those who have not followed these principles have committed the gravest of sins,” Fadl writes.

To wage jihad, one must first gain permission from one’s parents and creditors. The potential warrior also needs the blessing of a qualified imam or sheikh; he can’t simply respond to the summons of a charismatic leader acting in the name of Islam. “Oh, you young people, do not be deceived by the heroes of the Internet, the leaders of the microphones, who are launching statements inciting the youth while living under the protection of intelligence services, or of a tribe, or in a distant cave or under political asylum in an infidel country,” Fadl warns. “They have thrown many others before you into the infernos, graves, and prisons.”

Even if a person is fit and capable, jihad may not be required of him, Fadl says, pointing out that God also praises those who choose to isolate themselves from unbelievers rather than fight them. Nor is jihad required if the enemy is twice as powerful as the Muslims; in such an unequal contest, Fadl writes, “God permitted peace treaties and cease-fires with the infidels, either in exchange for money or without it—all of this in order to protect the Muslims, in contrast with those who push them into peril.” In what sounds like a deliberate swipe at Zawahiri, he remarks, “Those who have triggered clashes and pressed their brothers into unequal military confrontations are specialists neither in fatwas nor in military affairs. . . . Just as those who practice medicine without background should provide compensation for the damage they have done, the same goes for those who issue fatwas without being qualified to do so.”

Despite his previous call for jihad against unjust Muslim rulers, Fadl now says that such rulers can be fought only if they are unbelievers, and even then only to the extent that the battle will improve the situation of Muslims. Obviously, that has not been the case in Egypt or most other Islamic countries, where increased repression has been the usual result of armed insurgency. Fadl quotes the Prophet Muhammad advising Muslims to be patient with their flawed leaders: “Those who rebel against the Sultan shall die a pagan death.”

Fadl repeatedly emphasizes that it is forbidden to kill civilians—including Christians and Jews—unless they are actively attacking Muslims. “There is nothing in the Sharia about killing Jews and the Nazarenes, referred to by some as the Crusaders,” Fadl observes. “They are the neighbors of the Muslims . . . and being kind to one’s neighbors is a religious duty.” Indiscriminate bombing—“such as blowing up of hotels, buildings, and public transportation”—is not permitted, because innocents will surely die. “If vice is mixed with virtue, all becomes sinful,” he writes. “There is no legal reason for harming people in any way.” The prohibition against killing applies even to foreigners inside Muslim countries, since many of them may be Muslims. “You cannot decide who is a Muslim or who is an unbeliever or who should be killed based on the color of his skin or hair or the language he speaks or because he wears Western fashion,” Fadl writes. “These are not proper indications for who is a Muslim and who is not.” As for foreigners who are non-Muslims, they may have been invited into the country for work, which is a kind of treaty. What’s more, there are many Muslims living in foreign lands considered inimical to Islam, and yet those Muslims are treated fairly; therefore, Muslims should reciprocate in their own countries. To Muslims living in non-Islamic countries, Fadl sternly writes, “I say it is not honorable to reside with people—even if they were nonbelievers and not part of a treaty, if they gave you permission to enter their homes and live with them, and if they gave you security for yourself and your money, and if they gave you the opportunity to work or study, or they granted you political asylum with a decent life and other acts of kindness—and then betray them, through killing and destruction. This was not in the manners and practices of the Prophet.” ….

The most original argument in the book and the interview is Fadl’s assertion that the hijackers of 9/11 “betrayed the enemy,” because they had been given U.S. visas, which are a contract of protection. “The followers of bin Laden entered the United States with his knowledge, and on his orders double-crossed its population, killing and destroying,” Fadl continues. “The Prophet—God’s prayer and peace be upon him—said, ‘On the Day of Judgment, every double-crosser will have a banner up his anus proportionate to his treachery.’ ” (Wright 2008a)

Zahwahiris svar kom i form af et 200-sider langt ”brev” med titlen The Exoneration, Frikendelsen. Heri fremturer Zawahiri mod Islams mange indre og ydre fjender, men han kommer også ind på de argumenter Fadl rejser punkt for punkt:

To dispute Fadl’s assertion that Muslims living in non-Islamic countries are treated fairly, Zawahiri points out that in some Western countries Muslim girls are forbidden to wear hijab to school. Muslim men are prevented from marrying more than one wife, and from beating their wives, as allowed by some interpretations of Sharia. Muslims are barred from donating money to certain Islamic causes, although money is freely and openly raised for Israel. He cites the 2005 cartoon controversy in Denmark and the celebrity of the author Salman Rushdie as examples of Western countries exalting those who denigrate Islam. He says that some Western laws prohibiting anti-Semitic remarks would forbid Muslims to recite certain passages in the Koran dealing with the treachery of the Jews (Wright 2008).

Wright ender med at påpege hvad ham kalder Islams ”rotten intellectual bits and pieces”:

Zawahiri’s argument demonstrates why Islam is so vulnerable to radicalization. It is a religion that was born in conflict, and in its long history it has developed a reservoir of opinions and precedents that are supposed to govern the behavior of Muslims toward their enemies. Some of Zawahiri’s commentary may seem comically academic, as in this citation in support of the need for Muslims to prepare for jihad: “Imam Ahmad said: ‘We heard from Harun bin Ma’ruf, citing Abu Wahab, who quoted Amru bin al-Harith citing Abu Ali Tamamah bin Shafi that he heard Uqbah bin Amir saying, “I heard the Prophet say from the pulpit: ‘Against them make ready your strength.’ ” ’ Strength refers to shooting arrows and other projectiles from instruments of war.” And yet such proofs of the rightfulness of jihad, or taking captives, or slaughtering the enemy are easily found in the commentaries of scholars, the rulings of Sharia courts, the volumes of the Prophet’s sayings, and the Koran itself. Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the Egyptian Grand Mufti, has pointed out that literalism is often the prelude to extremism. “We must not oversimplify,” he told me. Crude interpretations of Islamic texts can lead men like Zawahiri to conclude that murder should be celebrated. They come to believe that religion is science.”

The War on Terror er måske ved at være slut i dens nuværende fase. The War on Error er ikke slut. Hvis Zawahiri er en teoretisk forarmet stivstikker kan det samme så siges om bin Laden eller har bin Laden nogle formidlende karaktertræk?

Bin Ladens formidlende karaktertræk?: Ydmyghed

Bin Ladens far var en meget succesfuld entreprenør. Han fik ca. 54 børn, hvoraf flere er veluddannede. Osama fuldførte ikke selv en længerevarende boglig uddannelse. I sine yngre år i Peshawar var han ret så tavs. Til gengæld giver Bergens kilder indtryk af, at bin Laden var i stand til at lytte. Han var ikke anmassende og han forsøgte ikke at overdøve andre: ”… he carried himself in a very low-key kind of way; he wasn’t a fire-breathing terrorist, he comported himself like a cleric”, bevidner Bergen baseret på sit møde med bin Laden i 1997 (Bergen s. 182). Netop derfor, mener jeg, har arabiske frivillige, som ønskede at indrullere sig i al Qaida, opsøgt ham i stort tal. En tunesisk ex-foldboldstjerne ved navn Nizar Trabelsi husker således, hvordan bin Laden småsnakkede med ham om hans familie og sine problemer, da Trabelsi fik foretræde (Bergen, s. 269-70). Bin Laden var tillige gavmild og afviste aldrig nogle selv når hans pengepung var ved at være tom, hvilket faktisk hændte (Bergen, s. 267, 56).[vi] Abdul Jandal ræsonnerede: ”I believe that God raised Osama bin Laden to a high status because despite his great wealth, he was very modest, and attached only to what rewards God would give him” (Bergen, s. 267). Bin Laden overbeviste eller forførte med andre ord potentielle rekrutter gennem sine talegaver og sit vindende væsen (Bergen, s. 265). Efter potentielle rekrutter var gået i nettet allokerede bin Laden dem så til de sine operationelt aktive underordnede.

Bin Ladens families levestandard beskrives som jævn og på ingen måde prangende. Da Mullah Omar tilbød bin Laden et valg mellem to steder at bo i Kandahar valgte bin Laden stedet med færrest faciliteter og uden rindende vand (Bergen, s. 194). Bin Ladens børn lignede alle andre: ”You wouldn’t believe it – they’re kids running around in old clothes”, husker Noman Benotman, en libisk kriger (Bergen, s. 175). Den datter, som på et tidspunkt rapporteredes at gå rundt i stramme jeans i selve lejren, melder Bergens bog ikke noget om.

Er denne type leder genkendelig? Mig minder disse beskrivelser af bin Laden om indiske gurus, som ofte sætter en ære i ”simple living” samtidig med at de ikke lægger skjul på, at de fra deres plads på periferiens Archimedes-punkt er i stand til uden de store armbevægelser at bevæge hele verden (jf. Nanda 2009, s. 80?). Indere opsøger ofte sådanne personer for at ”få deres darshan”, i.e. for at få del i deres spirituelle kraft ved at se på dem og ved at dvæle i deres nærvær. Bin Laden lader til at have noget af den samme karismatiske tiltrækningskraft. Bin Ladens evne til at lytte, small-talke og bedåre ændrede imidlertid ikke hans grundlæggende teori. Hans sociale kompetencer lader ikke til at have forøget hans intellektuelle kapital ret meget. Problemet i den måde bin Laden fremtræder – som en ydmyg uskyldig other-wordly asket der har forsaget sin fædrene rigdom – er, vil jeg hævde, at denne fremtrædelsesform ikke rimer med, at han samtidig stræber efter noget der nærmer sig verdensherredømme gennem brug af terror. Al Qaedas storhedstid hvad angår terroraktioner internationalt ligger i årene og til 11. September 2001. Efter den tid har al Qaida ikke kunnet gennemføre lignende aktioner uden for Afghanistan og Pakistan, men de har kunnet sprede frygt og rædsel over den ganske jord. At sprede frygt og rædsel og at ville herske over andre gennem terror rimer ikke med at være en ydmyg asket uden personlige ambitioner.

Dobbeltheden i bin Ladens karakter kom frem i en video, der viser ham modtage en gæst i Jalalabad i november 2001 (Bergen, s. 282-3). Bin Laden beretter for gæsten, at han havde forventet mindre ødelæggelse i New Yorks tvillingetårne end der faktisk skete. På videoen er selskabet meget fornøjede over, at det gik bedre end bin Laden havde regnet med. En dansk kommentar til synet af dette selskab var: ”Cykeltyve i jakkesæt”. Jeg mener det er en rammende kommentar: ”Jakkesæt” fordi selskabet bestod af disse pæne lidt ældre herrer. ”Cykeltyve” fordi det de havde gang i var kriminelt.

 Symbiose eller snylteri?

Ifølge Bente Wollfs studie af turisme på den indonesiske ø Nias forsøger værter at inkorporere gæster i deres samfund ved at indbyde dem til at bo og spise i deres store huse, som dermed omdannes til hoteller. Derved overfører de velbeslåede turister en del af deres rigdom til værterne, og samtidig opnår de lokale familier kontrol med de fremmede, som ellers kan virke farlige: “the enemy on the road is the guest in the house“ (Wolff 1999, kapitel 4). Gæster kan imidlertid være vanskelige at håndtere. I Afghanistan og Pakistan kan det være svært at afgøre, om al Qaida har levet i symbiose med sine værter eller om de fremmede har været en form for parasitter.

En god gæst bringer ikke sin vært i unødig fare, men skønt Mullah Omar flere gange bad/forbød bin Laden om ikke at foretage terroraktioner rundt om i verden ud fra sin base in Afghanistan fortsatte bin Laden sine aktioner uden at koordinere med Mullah Omar (Bergen, s. 161). Således indviede han tilsyneladende ikke Mullah Omar om 11. September på forhånd. Resultatet af aktionen var at Taliban blev væltet og Mullah Omar mistede sit emirat. I den forstand har al Qaida været en parasit, som har sat sig på sin vært.

Et lignende billede tegner fotografen Steve McCurry, som tog det berømte National Geographic billede af en afghansk pige med lysende grønne øjne. Idet han modstillede sit eget forhold til afghanerne med arabernes, gav McCurry sine værter og de andre gæster følgende skudsmål:

”The Afghans are really friendly people, and I could basically just kind of walk around with one person, even unarmed. For the [Arabs] to come in and act as though it was their war, their country, and they were treating the Afghans like they were just these sort of uneducated, uncouth, illiterate sort of bumpkins [who] didn’t really get it. These guys, they’re really, really nasty and very aggressive and very condescending, and just hateful. And the Afghans, actually it was their country being basically slowly destroyed, and they were often very good-humored” (Bergen, s. 89).

Bergens bog leverer andre eksempler på ødelæggende arabisk fremfærd. For eksempel betalte bin Laden på et tidspunkt i 1980erne pakistanske folkevalgte store bestikkelser for at de skulle afgive et mistillidsvotum mod Benazir Bhutto i Pakistans lovgivende forsamling. Benazir Bhutto reagerede på denne uhørte fornærmelse af en gæst på tålt ophold med at smide bin Laden ud af landet.

Bin Laden var tilbage i Afghanistan i 1996 og indgik et samarbejde med Mullah Omar, hvor bin Laden leverer penge og krigere mod til gengæld at få frie hænder som ”honored guest” (Bergen, s. 160-1). Mullah Omar lovede, ifølge Bergen, måske bin Laden at han aldrig ville udlevere ham (Bergen s. 164). I den forstand var Mullah Omar sin egen kulturs fange bundet af gæstevenskabet bud. Ifølge den pakistanske journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai sagde Mullah Omar:

”I know I can’t fight the Americans, but if God helps me I will survive. I don’t want to go down in history as someone who betrayed his guest. I am willing to give my life, my regime; since we have given him refuge, I cannot throw him out now” (Bergen, s. 315).

I dette udsagn fremtræder Mullah Omar nærmest som fritaget for strafskyldighed pga sine pashtunske æresbegreber. Indespærret i sin kultur kan han ikke andet end holde hånden over bin Laden. Men havde Mullah Omar ingen brikker at rykke med? Mullah Omar taler arabisk. Skønt han kender meget lidt til verden som helhed er han dermed bekendt med i det mindste én kultur udover sin egen afghanske. Det skulle vel sætte ham i stand til at se sagen fra flere sider (som han i øvrigt også blev opfordret til af sin Udenrigsminister Wakil Ahmeh Muttawakil). Men hvad hvis de brikker, som Mullah Omar havde at rykke med, bestyrkede ham i hans adfærd? Problemet her er, at de arabiske og de afghanske samfund ligner hinanden ikke blot hvad angår religion som sådan, men også hvad angår social struktur og psykologi. Som ”soulmates” (Bergen, s??) indgår de let i et symbiotisk forhold.

Mange afghanere og arabere deler således en vis dødsforagtende fandenivoldsk antiautoritær oprørskhed. Afghanistan eller Pashtunernes land er blevet betegnet som Land of Insolence. “Insolence” betyder “uforskammethed“, eller ifølge The Concise Oxford Dictionary “ offensively contemptuous, insulting“. Afghanistan er i denne udlægning Yaghestan, The land of Rebels, eller med Louis Dupres ord ”Land of the Unruly, the Land of the Free and the Land of Insolence” (Dupres 1997). Det er samme egenskab, som Wright finder hos Zawahiri, der som dreng blev tilbudt et lift på vej hjem fra skolen af Egyptens vicepræsident og efter sigende afslog med ordene, “Vi vil ikke have et lift af en mand, der tog del i de domstole, der dræbte muslimer” (Wright, 2002, s. 55). Wright ser her et tidligt eksempel på Zawahiris hårdnakkede trodsighed, personlige frygtløshed og totale selvretfærdighed. De samme egenskaber genfindes blandt pashtunske ledere. For eksempel fremhæver Muhammad Ilyas Khan den nu afdøde Taliban-leder Nek Muhammad’s karaktertræk i en artikel indledt med ordene:

With his Byronic good looks and proud tribal mien, Nek Mohammad fearlessly cruises the rugged South Waziristan landscape in the company of his infamous guests as the hapless administration looks on. Just how does he do that?
Nek Muhammad ”proud tribal mien” viste sig også allerede i skolealderen, hvor han kom på kant med læreren og forlod klassen med en mine som om han ville vende tilbage for at dræbe læreren.[vii]

Så er Mullah Omar culpabel, hvis man medgiver at vært og gæst langt hen ad vejen bestyrker hinanden i deres reaktionsmønstre? At gæsten bragte værten Mullah Omar til fald tyder på gæsten var parasit og værten inculpabel. Omvendt er fælles kultur et godt moralsk og juridisk dække for kriminelle handlinger udført i gensidig forståelse.


Bibliografi

Bergen, Peter 2006 The Osama bin Laden I Know. An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader, New York, Free Press.

Damm, Inge,1995, De nye turister. Eventyrere eller vandaler?, Fremad.

Muhammad Ilyas Khan, Nek Muhammad Wazir, Monthly Herald

Nanda, Meera, 2009, The God Market: How Globalization is making India more Hindu.

Ovesen, Ja, 1988, ”Gæsten og storpolitikken: Dialog med Pashai-folket i Afghanistan”, s. 87-110 i Kirsten Hastrrup og Kirsten Ramløv (red.), Feltarbejde. Oplevelse og metode i etnografien, Akademisk forlag.

Simmel, Georg, From Kurt Wolff (Trans.) The Sociology of Georg Simmel. New York: Free Press, 1950, s. 402 – 408, snuppet fra http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/courses/STRANGER.HTML

South Asia News, ”Al-Zawahiri urges Pakistanis to support Taliban”, July 15, 2009.

Wolff, Bente, 1999, Extending the Self: Otherness in Cosmology adn Consumption, PhD, National Museum of Denmark and Institute of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen.

Worth, Robert F, “Al-Qaeda’s Inner Circle”, anmeldelse af Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, i New York Review of Books, October 19, 2006, s. 12-6.

Wright, Lawrence, 2008a ”The Rebellion Within, An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism”, The New Yorker, 2. June 2008.

www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/06/02/080602fa_fact_wright?currentPage=all

Wright, Lawrence 2008b Al-Qaida. Vejen til 11. September, København, People’s Press.

Wright, Lawrence, ”The Man Behind Bin Laden: How an Egyptian doctor became a master of terror.” New Yorker, September 16, 2002,

www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/09/16/020916fa_fact2?currentPage=all


[i] Tilføj re Lawrence Busch….

[ii] Zawahiri har forfattet to bøger. Den første fra 1980 bærer titler Knight under the Prophet’s Banner (Riddere under profetens fane). Se i øvrigt http://www.pwhce.org/zawahiri.html for arbejder af og om Zawahiri og http://www.pwhce.org/ubl.html for tilsvarende værker af og om bin Laden. Begge sider er forældede. Gilles Kepels og Jean-Pierre Milellis, Al Qaeda in its own wordsb har jeg desværre ikke konsulteret.

[iii] For eksempel, ”When bin Laden first came to Peshawar, he stayed at Azzam’s guesthouse”, (Wright 2002).

[iv] ”It is the individual duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to join the mujahideen, or at the very least, to support the jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan with money, advice, expertise, information, communications, shelter and anything else he can offer”, ”Al-Zawahiri urges Pakistanis to support Taliban”, South Asia News, July 15, 2009.

[v] Spørgsmålet om videnskab generelt og militær teknologi specifikt er taget op af blandt andre Bernard Lewis med sigte på Osmannerne.

[vi] Ifølge Wright mistede bin Laden en stor del af sin formue under sit ophold i Sudan, hvor al Qaida transformeredes fra at være en terrororganisation til i højere grad at være et landbrugsudviklingsprojekt. Da bin Laden forlod Sudan var han angiveligt stort set pengeløs (fra Worth 2006: 16).

[vii] Jeg er klar over at Bin Laden ifølge nogle kilder ofte afholdt sig fra kamp, hvilket ikke underbygger argumentet om udbredelsen af denne noget hysteriske mandlige form for dødsforagt; se dog Bergen, s. 55-6 om bin Ladens heltemod.


Aceh as a model of Asian-European security cooperation by Timo Kivimäki

 

Aceh as a model of Asian-European security cooperation by Timo Kivimäki

Abstract: Aceh peace process has often been seen as a model case But it seems that one of the lessons of Aceh is the fact that peace processes have to offer ownership for the conflicting parties. This seems to contradict the idea of using the Aceh Model elsewhere. Furthermore, it seems that East Asian successful conflict prevention is based on norms that are alien to conflict resolution. Does this then mean that one should not promote conflict resolution at all in Asia? Is the Aceh Model then applicable elsewhere, and even if it was, should it be emulated? These are the questions that Prof. Timo Kivimäki ponders in his blog. This blog is an introduction to Kivimäki’s lecture at NIAS on the 8th of April, in which he will focus on the very issues of whether or not the Aceh success should and could be emulated. 

Aceh peace process has often been seen as a model for European contribution to peace, and Asian conflict resolution. It has been suggested as a solution formula for a dozen other conflicts. Thai Government sends its investigators to study the Aceh solution, and it will not be difficult to see the reason. Separatist conflict in Southern Thailand has many similar elements as the conflict in Aceh had, and a peaceful solution in Southern Thailand would also be important to the Thai government who has enough of problems with political instability. But the government is not the only conflicting party interested in the Aceh solution. I have personally witnessed a situation where my lecture in Hamburg on Aceh peace process attracted the attention of no less than 5 leaders of Malay Muslim resistance in Southern Thailand.

And Southern Thailand is not the only candidate for this kind of emulation. A member of the Indonesian Aceh negotiation panel went public in the ceremony of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the peace treaty of Aceh, saying that after Aceh it is Papua’s turn. I have been playing with the idea of Papua emulation, too (see http://www.springerlink.com/content/t6001u2704286521/ & http://www.eastwestcenter.org/fileadmin/stored/pdfs/PS025.pdf) and realized that also there, the other side is also interested in learning about Aceh. Also in Mindanao the Aceh solution has a lot of appeal, let alone in Sri Lanka. But the devil is in the details. Yes we would like to introduce an “Aceh solution” in all of the remaining conflicts of the world, but how do we do that? If one of the fundaments of success in Aceh was the fact that the Indonesian government allowed a solution that Acehnese people, including the rebels, could feel ownership of, then surely one cannot emulate the Aceh solution to another area and expect the same feeling of ownershipto emerge. Aceh’s own solution is no longer “own” for the Buddhist Thais and Ethnic Muslim Malays of Thailand.

However, scratching the surface a bit deeper instantly reveals aspects that make the Aceh peace look even more controversial. If one looks at peace processes in East Asia in a more systematic manner, one can see that Aceh peace process was the first since 1973 (Laos) that actually reduced casualties of peace to a level that makes it impossible to talk about a conflict any more. In this light Aceh peace process seems even more spectacular. But at the same time, one could claim that direct focusing on disputes and an explicit effort at resolving them is somehow against the relatively successful culture of conflict prevention in East Asia. East Asia, after the Chinese turn from revolutionism to responsible developmentalism and honoring of national sovereignty, has been preventing conflict by emphasizing the things that unite instead of focusing on disputes. Instead of resolving, East Asia has been shrinking disputes by increasing the perception of positive interdependence and common regional identity. And this strategy has worked. 95-98% of conflict fatalities have disappeared from East Asia after this reorientation took place. Thus, should we really start creating exceptions to this culture of conflict avoidance rather than conflict resolution? Should we go against the successful security regime of East Asia and start focusing on disputes again? I think it is clear that in Asia, where the main unsettled nuclear disputes continue risk a nuclear holocaust and where especially internal ethnic conflicts still cause a lot of suffering, despite the relative progress in East Asia, we need both, careful and harmonious nurturing of positive interdependence, addressing of grievances and poverty by means of focusing on economic development as well as a culture of conflict resolution. Similarly, we need lessons from the success of Aceh, even if learning from Aceh would lead us to solutions that are fundamentally local to areas where we try to introduce them. The task of scholarly work is not easy when one needs to solve the puzzles of lessons of Aceh, and when one has to combine the apparently contradictory approaches to disputes and conflict. But this is what has to be done. The political capital of the optimism caused by success in Aceh need to be utilized, and yet one must not think that solutions can be imposed to conflicting parties, regardless of how successful they have been. And one does need to find ways to focus on difficult issues also in East Asia, even though one has to be careful not to destroy the social capital of the practice of peace in that subregion. Apparent contradictions need to be seen as research puzzles that motivate new thinking rather than as obstacles that paralyze efforts to progress. These paradoxes and puzzles are the main challenge that I think peace research faces in East Asia. They are at least the starting point of my analysis of what can and what cannot be emulated in the Aceh Peace model, in my lecture at NIAS on the 8th of April.


Peace for Asia

By Stein Tønnesson

Research Professor, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

No Peace for Asia is the title of a famous book published by Harold Isaacs in 1947. The end of the Second World War in Japan’s surrender, he showed, did not bring peace for Asia. Instead it led to a series of civil wars and revolutionary wars in China, Indochina, Indonesia and elsewhere. When Isaacs’s book was republished in 1967, his message was even more appropriate. The world’s worst wars in the three first decades after 1945 were mainly in East Asia: the Chinese Civil War, the First Indochina War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. 1950 is the year after 1945 when the greatest number of people have been killed in war. This was because of the Korean War. The Vietnam War is the war since 1945 with the highest total number of casualties. The great majority of people killed in war during 1945-79 were East Asians. The region also saw a number of other man-made catastrophes with millions of casualties: the Chinese Great Leap Forward in 1958-61, the Indonesian massacre in 1965, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966-76, and the Cambodian genocide in 1975-78.

1979 was a turning point. The Chinese three-week invasion of Vietnam from 17 February that year – in retaliation for Vietnam’s invasion of China’s ally Kampuchea – is the last war in Asia till this day that has caused a truly significant number of casualties in a relatively short time: some 20-30,000 on each side. In the 1980s, the armed conflicts in Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines would sometimes lead to several thousand battle deaths in the course of one year, but since 1988, according to the best estimates in the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), not one single East Asian conflict has had more than 2,000 battle deaths in one year. Low-intensity conflicts have lingered on, or flared up, in Burma, Indonesia and Thailand, but the general tendency is that armed conflicts are diminishing in intensity in Southeast Asia. Nor have the militarized disputes in Northeast Asia led to armed fighting. While East Asia dominated global warfare in the first three decades after 1945, it is the region with the lowest number of battle deaths since 1979 (if we count all of Europe as one region, and all of the Americas as one region).  Since 1979 there has been just one major catastrophe that could be seen as man-made: the North Korean famine of 1995-97.

So from today’s viewpoint, Harold Isaacs’s book title is no longer valid. If new wars were to break out soon, then historians could speak of East Asia’s thirty years’ peace‘ in 1979-2009. Hopefully they will instead seek to explain the onset of a much longer era of peace. What kind of explanation will they find?

Since 1979 is so clearly the turning point in statistics of armed conflict in East Asia, it is tempting to seek the causes among the changes on the international scene during the 1970s. In East Asia the main change was Sino-US rapprochement. In the 1950s the Sino-Soviet alliance stood against the United States and its allies, so East Asia became the main region of cold-war confrontation. The cold war was cold in Europe, but hot in East Asia. In the 1960s, China was more radical than the Soviet Union, and the two communist states rivalled each other for supporting armed liberation struggles in Vietnam and other former European colonies. Then, when the People’s Republic of China took over China’s seat in the United Nations in 1971, when President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, and after China and the United States established full diplomatic relations on 1 January 1979, China and the USA formed a de facto alliance, directed against the USSR and its client state Vietnam. Within this Sino-US alliance there was a power balance that has lasted till this day: while the USA has allowed the PRC to dominate the East Asian mainland, the PRC has tolerated US domination of East Asia’s maritime rim through naval preponderance and a system of alliances with insular and peninsular states. This could explain the ‘thirty years’ peace’ in East Asia – and make us worry when Chinese naval power grows.

In the explanation above, the main change was the realignment of China, which had to do with internal political changes in China itself. The next step in explaining the East Asian peace would therefore be to analyse the change of priorities in China’s foreign policy during the last years of Mao Zedong’s reign, and notably during the period 1976-78, when Deng Xiaoping established himself as Mao’s successor. We shall also notice the significant fact that while China was involved directly and indirectly in most of East Asia’s wars during the Mao era, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not been involved in any armed conflict since 1979 – except some fighting on the Sino-Vietnamese border during the 1980s, notably in April 1984, and a naval clash in the Spratly Islands in 1988. While much attention is given in international media to the modernization of China’s armed forces, there is not much talk about the fact that the PLA today lacks combat experience. If it is to gain such experience in the years ahead, it will most probably do so by extending its participation in UN peacekeeping operations to include combat forces, not by engaging in warfare against any of its neighbours.

When future historians discuss how to explain the onset of the ‘East Asian peace’ in 1979, there is little doubt that they will emphasize political changes in China during the 1970s. However, they will also have to struggle with the term ‘onset’. When explaining the outbreak of a war, one looks for long- and short-term causes in the period up until the moment when the war begins; what happens later is of no significance. If one explains a peace agreement, all explanatory factors will also be found in the run-up to the act of its signing, but the ‘East Asian Peace’ did not begin with a peace agreement. The ‘East Asian peace’ is not an event that took place in 1979, but a pattern of avoiding armed conflict that has lasted for thirty years since. The explanations cannot therefore be found only in events and processes from before and during 1979, but must be sought in the whole period thereafter as well. This makes explaining the ‘East Asian peace’ intellectually challenging and politically important. The explanatory effort may, if it becomes part of East Asia’s public debates, in itself contribute to prolonging the peace.

Stein Tønnesson is a research professor at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), where he served as director 2001-2009. His most recent publication is Vietnam 1946: How the War Began (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010). See http://www.prio.no and http://www.cliostein.com

 

 


Exhibiting the Chinese War of Resistance in the People’s Republic of China

Karl Gustafsson, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University

When the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949, there were only about 20 museums in the whole country. These museums were deemed ill-suited to the needs of the revolutionary leadership. PRC officials hence travelled to the Soviet union to learn how to create revolutionary exhibitions that could act as tools for educating the people. Until the 1980s, the number of museums dealing with the War of Resistance Against the Japanese Invaders (kangRi zhanzheng), as the war between 1931 and 1945 is usually called, was fairly modest. Since the second half of the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s, however, such institutions have mushroomed up around China. Chinese researchers sometimes claim that the construction of such museums started as a direct reaction to Japanese denial of war time atrocities. Non-Chinese observers have been more prone to emphasizing the need to stress nationalistic themes as the economic reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping led to the undermining of the socialist ideology. As Chinese were encouraged to become rich social cleavages grew and class identity, which had previously been important, became potentially subversive. After the events that took place at Tiananmen in 1989, often referred to as an “incident” by Chinese and a “massacre” by other observers, patriotism became an even more central theme in Chinese society. Patriotic sites was one among many instruments to be used in the patriotic education campaign that was launched during Jiang Zemin’s reign. These patriotic sites include not only war museums but also ancient remains providing proof of the greatness of Chinese civilization. Places such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the site where the Peking man was discovered all fit into this category. Revolutionary sites, for example places where revolutionary conferences were held, such as the site in Shanghai where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was founded, make up another category. Other revolutionary sites include the former residences of great comrades. War museums make up a third type of bases for patriotic education. Among these, some deal with the War of Liberation, sometimes labelled the Chinese Civil War outside the PRC. Others concentrate on foreign aggression in the form of for example the Opium Wars, the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 and most commonly the War of Resistance. These wars, understood as “national humiliations”, are often conceptualized as a “century of humiliation”, lasting from the first Opium War until Japan was defeated in 1945.

Museums dealing with the War of Resistance are spread out over large parts of China with an emphasis on regions that made up the war theatre. Hence, regions that experienced little or no fighting during the war have no such museums while in occupied parts, along with places in which battles occurred, a large number of museums can be found. Especially in the Chinese Northeast, which was occupied by Japan since 1931, there are a large number of museums dedicated to the war. With very few exceptions, Chinese war museums are located where events took place during the war. While this arguably increases the authenticity of these museums, it means that some are located in not so accessible places. Some museums counter this weakness by targeting schools and workplaces, thereby receiving visitors in large groups.

In July 2008, 90 per cent of Chinese museums, all categories, were run by the government. In recent years, however, some private museums dealing with the War of Resistance, several smaller institutions have been set up. However, most of these do not rival the government-run ones in size. There is, however, one exception – the Jianchuan Museum Cluster outside Chengdu in Sichuan created by multi-millionaire Fan Jianchuan. Being not just a museum but a “cluster” of museums, it is an extremely ambitious project. It contains a two halls dealing with folk customs, three halls dealing with the “Red Age”, i.e. the Mao era, in a nostalgic way. The remaining halls, five in April 2009 with two more under contruction, deal with the War of Resistance. An entrance ticket to the Jianchuan Museum Cluster cost 80 yuan in April 2009. This is in stark contrast to the government-run museums dealing with the same theme, most of which, have stopped charging entrance fees after a government decision taken in January 2008, according to which patriotic and other education sites are to become free of charge in 2009. This, of course, means that it is difficult to make private war museums profitable considering the competition. Moreover, it suggests that most visitors to the Jianchuan Museum Cluster are probably relatively economically well off. However, the most important conclusion to be drawn is probably that a large number of Chinese will visit the museums that have become free of charge, thereby receiving a dose of patriotic education. Some museums, such as the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum, the Military Museum in Beijing and the War of Resistance Museum close to the Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing where a skirmish between Chinese and Japanese soldiers on 7 July, 1937 sparked full-scale war, have received huge numbers of visitors since opening. The Military Museum received more than 40 million visitors from its opening in 1960 to the end of 1990. According to an article published in 2008, 10 million visitors had come to see the exhibition at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum since it opened in 1985. The War of Resistance Museum outside Beijing had in 2008, according to its website, received 15 million visitors since it opened in 1987. Waiving entrance fees will likely lead to even larger crowds showing up to be educated.

So what then is the content of these exhibitions? The answer to this question not only gives us an understanding concerning these exhibitions but also provides us with insights into the contents of the patriotic education campaign. In this section, the main contents of what Chinese museums teach visitors as part of the patriotic education campaign is briefly summarized. The focus will be on narrative content and the lessons to be learnt. Three main narrative themes can be discerned in these exhibitions. The first is Chinese heroism, the second Chinese victimhood and the third Japanese aggression. The order in which these themes have been listed here should not be interpreted as implying that the theme of Chinese heroism is more common than that of Japanese aggression. Moreover, it should not be assumed that specific exhibitions necessarily only feature one of these themes. While at some museums one kind of narrative dominates, most exhibitions, at least to a certain extent, contain elements of all three narrative types. It should be noted, however, that heroic narratives, in scholarship dealing with the issue, are often associated with the Mao era and that victim narratives have grown more prominent since the 1980s. This is sometimes attributed to the claim that the PRC, after its founding, was in need of heroes to show it was strong in the face of the challenges with which it was confronted. The victimhood narrative, which could be seen as closely interrelated with the narrative of Japanese aggression, on the other hand, was suppressed during the Mao era in order for the leadership not to be regarded as weak and not to jeopardize ties with Japan. Furthermore, since during this time the Guomindang (GMD) leadership in Taiwan was seen as a major threat to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) legitimacy, the GMD, rather than Japan, was depicted as the main enemy of the Chinese people. During this period, Chinese pre-1949 modern history was interpreted through the lense of class, stressing the people’s, and the CCP’s, struggle against reactionaries, such as capitalists and landlords, represented by the GMD. In the 1980s, the class dimension of the struggle was deemphasized and China’s modern history came instead to be interpreted as a national strugg
le against external enemies, among which Japan came to figure most prominently.

In the heroic narratives, the Japanese enemy is present to a much lesser extent than in the stories emphasizing Japanese aggression. To the extent that Japanese aggression is dealt with in narratives strongly stressing heroism, this is mainly in the form of Japanese strategies that the CCP’s military heroically and successfully handled. Still, the Japanese enemy is labelled an aggressor in these accounts as well. Even in these descriptions, then, there is no mistake about the nature of the actions of the Japanese military – they were despicable acts. The point is simply that these despicable acts constitute the background against which the heroic picture is painted rather than being the centre of attention. While it is possible to label some exhibitions as characterized chiefly by heroism, the line between stories about Chinese victimhood and Japanese aggression is a considerably more blurred one. This is logical since where there is a victim of war there is usually also an aggressor. At the same time, a theoretical distinction is possible. This is evidenced in that Japanese depictions of victims of for example the nuclear bombings, the aggressor is often more or less omitted. Furthermore, there is always the option of stressing sacrifice, with its volitional and heroic connotations, rather than victimhood, which lacks such implications and to a greater extent suggests the existence of an assailant.

While in the tales of heroism the focus is on the great comrades who sacrificed themselves for the motherland, when victimhood is stressed the atmosphere is more solemn. Finally, when the spotlight is on aggression, the main actors of the stories are the Japanese military aggressors, whose hideous acts are often vividly illustrated and condemned. Even though there are clear differences between these storylines regarding the aspects of the war experience that are emphasized, in the end the lessons to be learnt are strikingly similar. The moral of the stories being told is, simply put, that Chinese people should work together, united under the leadership of the CCP, to rejuvenate China and thereby create a stronger Motherland. The rationale for doing this differs depending on the kind of narrative given prominence in specific exhibitions. If aggression is highlighted it is likely that the logic will be one according to which the visitor is instructed to work for the rejuvenation of China in order for the country to be able to avoid becoming the victim of aggression in the future. In heroic narratives, the visitor is sometimes told to “carry out the behest of the martyrs”, the behest being “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. While victimhood is rare as the basis of these kinds of instructions, reflecting the fact that among the three narrative elements it is the least common as a dominant component, in one exhibition the visitor is urged to exert herself for “the revival of the Chinese nation” because that is the best way to comfort the compatriots killed.

This brief discussion of the role of museums dealing with the Chinese war effort against the invading Japanese military and the narratives presented at these institutions illustrate how this episode in modern Chinese history has played and continues to play an important role in the PRC and in the patriotic education campaign. The past could be said to be very much alive in the present. These narratives are important ingredients in Chinese identity construction. The CCP makes sure that the stories being told about this period fit into its agenda and contributes to the legitimacy of the Party. At the same time, as is also verified by the brief historical exposition above, these kinds of stories constantly evolve and are always open to redefinition. Hence, what the future holds in store for the stories about the past is yet to be seen.


Gendered Globalisation and Social Change by Nira Yuval-Davis

The social change affecting gender relations in society as a result of globalisation is paradoxical. On the one hand, as a result of globalisation women are allowed entry to roles and arenas of society in which they were not allowed in many societies before and thus the distance between the ways masculinity and femininity are constructed in the society lessens. On the other hand, however, the effects of globalisation on contemporary politics of belonging have been such that in many places we see new kinds of conservatism and tribalism which, under the claims of going back to ‘authentic’ culture and tradition, radically enlarge the differential ways manhood and womanhood are constructed, as well as overall power relations between men and women in the society.

Like Saskia Sassen I see globalisation as an ‘epochal change’ which is just in its beginning (Sassen, 2006) and following Scholte I consider the time/space compression, the ‘respatialization with the spread of transplanetary social connections’ (Scholte, 2000:3), as the most specific aspects of globalization, of which the conference ‘Gender at the interface of the global and the local’ is just one small example.

In addition to mass movement of people across the globe, the development of the virtual space via the internet as well as other means of communication and transportation, have made dialogues across different positionings and locations, across borders and boundaries much easier, cheaper and more frequent. This, in addition to mass movement of people across the globe, made Castels and Miller (1993) talk about ‘the age of migration’ as typifying contemporary society. Women have played major roles in these processes. One of the characteristics of ‘the age of migration’ is ‘the feminization of migration’. The 2004 world survey on the role of women in development states that 49% of all migrants are women. This includes women who migrated as family dependents – either with their husbands or following them, as well as the growing number of women who migrated on their own, leaving or not behind them families of their own in their countries of origin. However, the dichotomy between women workers and family dependents which exists in official statistics is fictitious as so many of the women who migrate as family dependents both want and need to work. The situation is similar concerning women asylum seekers and refugees. Often both husband and wife were politically active but only the husband received the status of refugee. As a result there have been many cases in Britain, for instance, when the husband dies and the legal protection of the refugee status is taken away from the family whose immigration status becomes precarious (Bhaba & Shutter, 1994).

The gendered character of women’s migration can be detected in several major ways, although it is important to remember that gendered analysis needs to be part of an intersectional one, as the situations of professional and unskilled women, single and married, young and old, who migrated from the South or from other European countries, are vastly different. However, it is usually only women who are dependent for their immigration status on that of their husbands’ and it is usually women who are super-exploited by family and other men from their diasporic community who mediate between them and the outside economic and social world. In many branches of the economy the labour market is gender specific. Women’s only migrations focus around traditional roles of women – as domestic workers (from cleaners to nannies) on the one hand and as sex and entertainment workers on the other hand. In the phenomenon of ‘mail brides’, in which women are selected, often not met beforehand, as brides for lonely Western men, these two roles merge together.

As Spike Peterson (2003) has argued, when discussing labour in general, but especially women’s work under globalisation, we need to differentiate as well as relate to its reproductive, productive and virtual aspects. In the latter two, like when women work in manufacturing in free trade zones or in call centres, women have entered sections of the labour market to which they have not had access before, either because they used to work outside the money economy, in their households or – in rural sectors – in the fields, and/or because these kinds of work did not exist before the micro-chip revolution. In the reproductive arena, women usually continue to work in what is considered traditionally to be ‘women’s work’, such as domestic work, child care and care of the old and the infirm, but often in new sites, either in national metropolitan areas or internationally, to replace care work of other women who have entered the formal labour market.

Women’s roles, belonging and the politics of belonging

It is important to differentiate between belonging and the politics of belonging (Yuval-Davis, 2006a). Belonging is about emotional attachment, about feeling ‘at home’ and – as Michael Ignatieff (2001) points out – about feeling ‘safe’. In the aftermath of 9/11 and 7/7 in London, such a definition gets a new, if problematic, poignancy. Belonging tends to be naturalized and becomes articulated and politicized only when it is threatened in some way. Belonging also assumes boundaries of belonging and the ‘natural’ division of the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’.

The politics of belonging are comprised of specific political projects aimed at constructing belonging in particular ways to particular collectivity/ies which are, at the same time, being constructed themselves by these projects in very specific ways. Central to these projects is the construction and reproduction of the boundaries of belonging according to some specific principles which can be of many different kinds, from the phenotypical to the social.

The analytical differentiation between belonging and the politics of belonging is, therefore, crucial for any critical political discourse of nationalism, racism and other contemporary politics of belonging. It is also crucial for any analysis of gender relations and the constructions of femininity and masculinity.

It is crucial in two different ways. Firstly, in the same ways that they naturalize boundaries of collectivities, political projects of belonging also tend to naturalize gender roles and relationships. The feminist political struggles aimed at women’s emancipation depend on the denaturalization and debiologisation of women’s roles and thus the possibility of change. This is one of the reasons why so often feminists find themselves in oppositionary roles to hegemonic political projects of belonging which construct women’s roles as wives and mothers as part of women’s bio
logical destiny and equate between hearth, home and women’s domestic roles in their constructions of safe belonging.

Secondly,  this is important because so often political projects of belonging tend to construct differences between ‘us’ and ‘them’, civilised or moral ‘us’ vs barbarian or immoral ‘them’ in cultural terms in the heart of which are different constructions of gender relations in general and womanhood in particular.

Globalisation, social change and feminist ‘transversal politics’

Feminist activism related to situations of ethnic and national conflicts and wars has been another major front for the development of the international women’s movement (Cockburn, 1998, Zajovic, 1994). Meetings among women who came from different sides of the conflict often took place in neutral zones and with the support of other international women’s groups, as well as in NGO UN forums. Identity politics could not survive in their previous feminist format during these activities. The women who took part in the meetings were conscious all too often that they could not be seen as representing all women, let alone all members of their ethnic and national collectivities, as most of the latter often supported the continuing confrontation and conflict. While the membership of these women in the conflicting collectivities was crucial to their participation in the encounter, their common aspirations to find common emancipatory solutions to the conflict have been just as important.

A new kind of feminist politics has been born, called ‘transversal politics’ by the Italian feminists who sponsored many of the initial meetings of feminists from Israel/Palestine and the different components of Former Yugoslavia (Yuval-Davis, 1994; 2006c; Cockburn & Hunter, 1999). Based on common feminist emancipatory values, dialogical in nature and with transnational participants of feminist advocates across borders and boundaries, it made important contributions to general human rights and feminist struggles across the globe and has presented an important front for local and global progressive social change. This has been recognized by other glocal networks of conservatives and fundamentalists, and in forums like the Beijing +10 and other UN +10 forums, the close relationships between the participation of women and the participation of feminists has been problematised. In many cases feminists have had to work very hard in order to be able to keep the achievements of the 1990’s conferences, let alone improved on them. The cooptation of ‘the women’s question’ to discourses such as the so-called ‘humanitarian militarism’ and the wars in Afghanistan, and to a lesser degree in Iraq, have also been reflected in the recent election campaign in the USA, for instance.

This brought many feminists active in these global networks to question whether the NGO Forum of the UN is the best arena in which to continue to carry out feminist struggles for emancipatory social change, and to some extent global feminist organizations such as AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) have taken their place. Currently for instance, AWID is carrying out a comparative action-research in 140 countries in which it examines the effects of and struggles against religious and ethnic fundamentalisms in these countries. The stakeholders are all those who work in various feminist, human rights and development organizations in these countries.

A concluding remark

This is a time of global economic and political crisis. Women bear the brunt of this crisis both as members of their societies and as participants in the labour market, as well as symbolic and embodied targets for the fears and frustrations of the men in their societies, mobilized by various defensive political projects of belonging. This is a crucial time for global women’s and feminist solidarity. However, it is also crucial that such solidarity will be transversal in that it will recognize the intersectional differences in women’s ‘situated positionings and power, carry out the dialogue within the boundaries of  emancipatory value systems, encompass discourse of difference with discourse of equality and conviviality and will not confuse the notion of ‘women’ with that of ‘feminists’. This is not the time to go back to identity politics.

REFERENCES

Bhabha, Jacqueline & Shutter, Sue (1994), Women’s Movement: women under immigration, nationality and refugee law, Trentham Books, Stoke-on-Trent

Castles, Stephen & Miller, Mark J., (1993), The Age of Migration, Macmillan, London

Cockburn, Cynthia (1998), The Space Between Us, Zed Books, London

Cockburn, Cynthia & Hunter, Lynnete (1999), Transversal Politics, special issue of Soundings, no. 12 (summer)

Ignatief, Michael (2001), Human Rights as Politics and idolatry, Princeton University Press, Princeton

Sassen, Saskia (2006), Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages, Princeton University Press, Princeton

Scholte, Jan Aart (2000), Globalisation: a critical introduction. Palgrave Macmilasn, London

Yuval-Davis, Nira, (1994), ‘Women, Ethnicity & Empowerment’, Feminism and Psychology, special issue Shifting identities shifting racisms ed. by K Bhavnani & A Poenix, vol 4 no.1: 179-198

Yuval-Davis, Nira (2006), ‘Belonging and the politics of belonging’ in Patterns of Prejudice, 40(3):196-213

Zajovic, Stasa (ed.) (1994), Women for Peace, Women In Black, Belgrade


International NGO Projects and Women’s Development in Yunnan by Shen Haimei, Yunnan University, China

 

Shen Haimei, PhD, Professor, Ethnology/Anthropology Research Institute, Yunnan University, China. Secretary-general of the Feminist Anthropology Board, the Ethnology/Anthropology Committee of China. Author of two books: Research on the Life of Yunnan Women in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (Kunming: Yunnan Education Press, 2001). Middle Ground?Gender, Ethnicity and Identity in Southwest China. (Beijing: Advanced Education Press, Forthcoming 2009).

Since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing in 1995, the Chinese government has been endeavoring to carry out the commitments agreed upon by the international community and stipulated in the Platform for Action and the Beijing Declaration. Many Western Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) have become involved in supporting this work in China. Yunnan Province, which is located in the border area of southwest China, and where many ethnic groups live, was one of the first places where NGOs from Europe and North America initiated development projects in the 1980s. These NGOs have played an important role in developing civil society and mainstreaming gender in development, but have also encountered a range of problems in working with Chinese institutions.    

The international NGOs that work in Yunnan Province include organizations such as Save the Children, WINROCK International, Oxfam, International AIDS Alliance, the Ford Foundation and many others. They have played a major role in introducing new understandings and practices of civil society to China by supporting the establishment of Chinese NGOs to engage in their development projects. Mainstreaming gender into development projects has been a main aim of international NGOs. In general, the projects executed by international NGOs are abundant in content, and include such areas as rural women’s micro-credit loan schemes, women’s reproductive health, medical relief and AIDS/HIV control and rural development among others. They have thus covered several of the main aspects of the government Program for Work Concerning Women and Children in China for the years 2001-2010.

Advocating gender equality and promoting the mainstreaming of gender

The era of western NGOs stepping into China has seen a new wave of Chinese feminism influenced by the ideas introduced by these organizations. International NGOs have introduced methods of gender analysis through their assistance and cooperative projects, and they have required a gender perspective in the practice of internationally funded projects. In fact, gender analysis methods have been adopted from other parts of the world in response to satisfying the requirements of donors, rather than having been developed locally. However, this is a good beginning, and the significance is far-reaching (Zhao 2003).

As part of international NGO projects, the requirement to learn about feminism has been promoted as an element of gender mainstreaming. Books on feminism have been introduced to China by Li Xiaojiang, Wang Zheng and others. One of the earlier published books was The Feminine Mystique translated by Cheng Xiling into Chinese. Since then many books on feminist theory have been translated and many books on gender and development issues have been published by Chinese scholars and practitioners. In Yunnan, as well as elsewhere, local institutions and organizations of women/gender studies have been established. Some local NGOs already appeared in Yunnan before the United Nations World Conference on Women in 1995. These included organizations such as the Yunnan Reproductive Health Research Association, the Yunnan PRA Network (Participatory Rural Appraisal Network), Yunnan Reproductive Health Research Association and so on. Following the Women’s Conference other new organizations, such as CBIK (Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge) and the Yunnan Gender and Development Group were set up. These organizations have become main collaborative partners for international NGOs. Moreover, the knowledge and perspectives introduced by foreign NGOs has been further disseminated as scholars began to offer courses on feminist anthropology and gender and culture at universities in order to strive to transform understandings of gender analysis into public knowledge. Yunnan has become a foreland district in promoting the mainstreaming of gender in China as local NGOs and scholars interested in gender issues have worked together with various levels of government, research institutions, colleges, and social groups. The Yunnan Women’s Federation has been actively involved and has played the role of advocator of gender mainstreaming and organizer of projects to strengthen self-motivated activity of various target groups.

Challenges and Difficulties

Nevertheless, when international NGO projects entered China and Yunnan in the globalization era, the theories and working methods they applied were confronted with many challenges and difficulties. International NGOs entered China about twenty years ago. However, an efficient system to manage their activities has not yet been constructed. The Chinese government has never provided a precise definition of their legal status, function and relationship with government. This situation is obviously problematic for NGOs that have entered China, and as pointed out in a report on the activities of Save the Children by Zhou Hao (2001), it potentially opens up for corruption by institutions and individuals. Moreover, some international employees have limited knowledge of how Chinese society works, and have communication problems when they work with local employees and local cooperative partners. These problems make it relatively difficult for international NGOs to function in Chinese society., It especially makes some international NGOs unsure of how to adapt to and collaborate with Chinese governmental institutions. For example, based on a field study of a micro-loan project site in Tiechang village, Malipo prefecture of Wenshan district, American scholar Sarah Tsien (2003) concluded that a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project had operated well until the local government became involved in a similar project in the same community. Then, all project related regulations were adjusted in terms of loan amount, return terms and women’s privilege. As a result, the scope of the INGO (International NGO) project shrank, and loan and repay rates decreased. According to Tsien, the micro-loan system builds on the practice of the Bangladesh Grameen Bank. However, the micro-loan project at Tiechang village changed the meaning and its regulations of practice of the Grameen Bank system. Al
though the two projects have similar philosophical foundations, the contexts were significantly different, and the Grameen Bank practice in Bangladesh may not be suitable for Chinese society, as China has a more powerful government and more complicated social conditions than that of the Bangladesh.

Another problem faced by the International NGOs is the Chinese traditional gender institution and its impact on women’s development issues. Historically, Chinese society has had a social structure based on a patriarchal family, clan and state system and has maintained unequal gender relationships. This gender institution is firmly rooted in rural China and has implications for contemporary land rights. Land is the main economic resource in rural China, and women seem to have equal rights of land ownership following the 1978 economic reform and land contract policy in rural areas. However, since it has ignored the characteristics of the patriarchal system, the land contract is based on the unit of the household. This means that some women have had to abandon their land ownership after having married out of their villages. Thus, in practice rural women’s land rights are not ensured by national legislation. Women’s status of dependence and affiliation will not change as long as land distribution is manipulated by a patriarchal system in rural China. International NGOs have to face the challenges of this system in connection with implementing development projects. For example, in the Lesha poverty alleviation project in Dali, micro-loan projects targeted at women were shifted to men by the village head and male villagers as men manage all productive matters and loans are therefore assumed to be ‘naturally’ relevant for men rather than for women (Deng 2005). In sum, the gender system is a huge issue. It is extremely difficult to remove obstacles to gender equality and maintain the achievements gained by previous projects if there are only relatively few projects and there are not continuous follow-up projects.

Furthermore, although gender mainstreaming has always been the a prominent  theme for international NGOs, this aspect of development work seems to be weak within new topics such as environmental protection and the conservancy of ecological diversity, that have become the main focus of international NGO projects within recent years. We need to pay close attention to this unfortunate tendency. The issues confronting international NGOs which I have mentioned in this article threaten to reduce the validity of international NGO projects in China, and weaken the attention to the initial target of gender empowerment and gender equality. The international NGOs that have entered China within the past twenty years have many lessons to learn and long roads to walk in future.

Deng Jin, Microlending: Breakthrough under Rural Financial Inanition – Experiment on Shale town. China Financial Net http://co.zgjrw.com/News/200533/XY/822118915500.html Issued on?March 3rd, 2005.

Sarah Tsien, Money for the Villages: Yunnan Poverty and Microlending. Sam Mitchell edit: Tourism and Development in Yunnan. Yunnan Fine Arts Publish House 2003. p79.

Zhao Linxue, M. Bringing the Consciousness of Gender into the Project of Social Development http://china-gad.org/version2004/ReadNews.asp?NewsID=343  November 26th, 2003.

Zhou Hao: Help-poverty Projects (China Projects Department) of Saving Children, www.help-poverty.org.cn China help-poverty net. Issued around September, 2001.


En helt almindelig krigsforbryder tager skraldet

I Cambodia er det længe ventede krigsforbrydertribunal mod de tidligere ledere af rædselsregimet De Røde Khmerer ved at gå i gang. Den første på anklagebænken er tidligere fængselsdirektør Kaeng Kek Eav, også kaldet Duch. De større fisk venter. Af Anya Palm, freelancejournalist

De overdådige retsbygninger er nye og velholdte og ser malplacerede ud omgivet af skraldebunker og de squattere, der var her først. Selve retssalen er moderne, lille, blot med plads til de ni dommere, retspersonale, den anklagede og en håndfuld tilhørere, men med tv-transmission til de tilstødende lokaler, hvor en storskærm hænger foran lange rækker af bløde røde velourstole.

Det er her, Cambodias skæbnemagere, lederne af det ultrakommunistiske parti De Røde Khmerer skal for retten.

To millioner døde

Fra 1975-1979 gennemførte De Røde Khmerer en revolution, der havde til formål at samle folket i bare en klasse: bønder. Projektet gik galt og tusinder døde af overarbejde, sult eller blev henrettet for partiskadelig virksomhed. I dag anslås det, at omkring to millioner af Cambodias dengang syv millioner store befolkning omkom under De Røde Khmerers styre.

Efter over ti års bureaukrati og forhandlinger mellem den Cambodianske regering og FN starter retsforfølgelsen af de ansvarlige. Duch, en tidligere fængselsinspektør på 65 år med ansvaret for rundt regnet 12.000 fangers voldsomme død, er en lille senet mand med vandede øjne og krum holdning. Han sidder i dag under ed og bedyrer, hvor meget han fortryder og at han blot parerede ordre.

Det er ynkeligt. Kvalmende. Den almægtige fængselsinspektør, der personligt trak negle ud, voldtog og torturerede er skyldig som få, som de mange øjenvidneberetninger formentligt vil cementere i løbet af de tre-fire måneder, hans retssag er anslået til at vare.

Men alligevel er der noget om det.

For selvom det er svært at forstå det, så er 12.000 ikke mange mennesker i en forbrydelse af folkemordsdimensioner, hvor det samlede regnskab ender på to millioner. Og det er det, krigsforbryderdomstolen i dag kritiseres for: Til forskel fra de fire andre anklagede, der alle er politikere og alle sad i De Røde Khmerers centralkomité, er Duch en “almindelig krigsforbryder”, der ikke besidder samme symbolske værdi som de andre.

Det er almen viden, at mange i regeringen har en blodig fortid, og flere eksperter mener, at processen peger ligner et ualmindelig dygtigt stykke spil for galleriet. Jo længere tid der går med ligegyldigt bureaukrati, jo højere lyder kritikken af tribunalet primært fungerer for at lukke munden på menneskerettighedsorganisaitioner, der piver over, at De Røde Khmerer stadigvæk er magtfulde i Cambodia.Tiden løser problemerneUdenfor, skråt overfor salen, hvor retssagerne transmitteres, ligger fire sammenhængende celler. Det er detentionen. Lige ved siden af står en ambulance – en nødvendig foranstaltning, da de resterende fire anklagede er gamle og svagelige. Det har siden starten været en bekymring, at en af de tiltalte ville nå at dø, før retssagerne ruller. I dag lyder beskyldningen, at det er det, regeringen satster på skal ske. Ambulancen går stort set i rutefart til Calemettes Hospital med snart den ene, snart den anden hvidhårede folkemorder, der skal tjekkes efter for hjertesvigt og nyreproblemer.

Duch – den yngste og sundeste af de tiltalte – er idag en omvendt kristen, der har erkendt sine synder og samarbejdet med retten. Han har ingen venner længere og at det netop er ham, der er på vej mod anklagebænken, selvom al logik skriger på at få ekspederet de aldrende politikere igennem i en fart, er ingen tilfældighed. Han er tilpas grusom til at blive kategoriseret som krigsforbryder, han er tilpas kendt til at mange mennesker får kælet for retssfølelsen – og han er tilpas langt nede i geledderne til, at han kan ofres. Nu er ballet således åbnet for at folkeligheden kan få et kig ind på den usle tidligere matematiklærer, mens han med samlede hænder hævet mod himlen og bedende øjne siger undskyld for sine mange drab og ugerninger.

Samtidig er det på en eller anden made lykkedes at få listet forbi offentligheden at retssagerne for samtlige de sidste fire anklagede – de, der i virkeligheden kan kategoriseres som “ansvarlige” – er blevet udskudt endnu et år. Spørgsmålet er, om de lever så længe.

FAKTA:

Cambodia i glimt

I årene 1975-79 hed landet Demokratic Kampuchea, og blev styret af det ultramaoistiske parti De Røde Khmerer, der gennemførte en revolution i landet. Revolutionen udviklede sig til folkemord, der kostede lidt under en tredjedel af landets befolkning livet.

I dag lider Cambodia stadig under efterveerne af folkemordet og modtager massive summer i udviklingsstøtte fra blandt andet EU og Verdensbanken. I 2008 modtog landet 900 millioner dollars i støtte.

Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia, som Cambodias krigsforbrydertribunal officielt hedder, er støttet af FN og har til formål at dømme “de mest ansvarlige for folkemordet.” Det er det første krigsforbrydertribunal i verden, der ligger i landet, hvor forbrydelsen er begået og samtidig har overvægt af nationale dommere.