[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.