Publication Details

Sales, P. M. 2006, ''If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs! The role of the Abu Sayyaf group in the campaign against Islamic separatism in Mindanao'', in A. Vickers & M. Hanlon (eds), Asia Reconstructed: Proceedings of the 16th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, 2006, Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) Inc. and the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Canberra,


[extract] Irascible old Rudyard Kipling was distilling pure wisdom when he cautioned his fin de siècle readers about keeping their heads in a world gone crazy. His adage retains a twofold relevance for those dealing with the war in the southern Philippines. In a situation marred by fear, hatred, and brutality, the calmer heads hold the only hope of achieving peace. Nothing has come from the posturing of trapos (traditional politicians). The process of negotiating a political settlement in the south requires clear-headed vision on the part of some honest brokers and a widely endorsed apparatus to ensure its application.