Brother Enemy—Why Was It so?

Posted by khmernews on June 26, 2007

Touch Samen
Phnom Penh: Brother Enemy is the title of a chronicle which records the situation of the war in the conflicts amongst communist brothers including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Soviet. The writer also presents clear reasons to this brother enmity

This book is written in French by Nayan Chanda and is translated into Khmer Language by Tep Meng Kean, known as ‘Tikheayouk’, a translator of French language at the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam).

Tep Meng Kean said that Brother Enemy was the work of Nayan Chanda, a historian and journalist who had done research and found better information than others. This book contributes as important evidence in ‘understanding’ the causes and losses of the Third Indo-China War. He claimed that because this valuable book was [originally] written in French, it was very difficult to spread to ordinary Cambodians and that so he had tried to translate and publish this book as a lesson and written experience. Students, knowledgeable people, and Cambodians in all levels would find it easy to organize and keep as their documents in the future, he said. 

Brother Enemy contains 11 chapters and 510 pages including last words and reference pages. From one chapter to another, the writer describes in details from the beginning to the end the situations of the war of the communist brothers including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Soviet. In a chapter, the writer writes in a paragraph that the Second Indo-China War did not end properly when the Third Indo-China War was about to break out immediately. This was the war of brothers with brothers and comrades with comrades (the writer refers to communist countries including China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Soviet). ‘The imperial enemy’ had just left, and since then the challenge and mutual distrust which had existed for centuries happened again. The ‘nation benefit’ became a weapon to brandish against these new comrades.

In the same chapter, the writer writes in another paragraph that although it didn’t want to be the leading group to work against China, Vietnam was not hesitated in becoming a rival of China whom the American experts had been worried to spread its communism in Asia. The Khmer Rouge, who had been known as a tool of Ha Noi [government], turned out to be a bitter enemy with each other.

Why did the communist brothers become enemy? The answer is fully described in the book mentioned, but in short, the distrust, nation benefit-centeredness, the diplomatic game of powerful countries, and each brother’s ambition to control all communist brothers in Indo-China were the main reasons which led to communist brother enmity.      

Informal Translation
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, vol.15, #4289, Sunday-Monday, May 20-21, 2007.


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