My dear Kacvey,
In Old Man Khmao Town, two swallows sitting on an electrical cable over the Old Péth Chkuort building, were chatting quietly while the monsoon rain was threatening from Paris:
Chheu Smaa: Are you ready for the 9 November reception?
Phkaï Mphéy: Yes, I am.
Chheu Smaa: And your guys?
Phkaï Mphéy: Can’t ascertain for sure.
Chheu Smaa: What do you mean?
Phkaï Mphéy: Two things not clear to them: 1) What are they going to do with thousands and thousands of people in motion? and 2) how are they going to be split between the parade at the Monument of Independence and the reception?
Chheu Smaa: What are Duck-and-White’s plans?
Phkaï Mphéy: None. Same. None of them know what to do. They talk and threaten like you do on FB.
Chheu Smaa: Don’t they understand my mind and decision?
Phkaï Mphéy: That, they do. But there is an ocean between understanding and setting up execution plan.
Chheu Smaa: And the borders?
Phkaï Mphéy: They are on full alert and manned as usual.
Chheu Smaa: Thailand,Laos, Vietnam, sea coasts?
Phkaï Mphéy: All official checkpoints are fully equipped, but there are more than 500 miles of frontiers and we can’t post one soldier or policeman on every yard?
Chheu Smaa: And the airports?
Phkaï Mphéy: Airports? Why do you think he’ll fly in like a fly attracted by the bonfire?
Chheu Smaa: He doesn’t have the guerrilla disposition like I did with Pol Pot or the Vietnamese.
Phkaï Mphéy: Your past disposition is not the same as your present one. And no sign of full cooperation has been received from the 3 neighbors.
Chheu Smaa: You mean all 3?
Phkaï Mphéy: Yes, all 3.
Chheu Smaa: Why?
Phkaï Mphéy: Inner River is silent like midnight winter at South Pole. Have you received anything that you don’t want to share or be implemented?
Chheu Smaa: That’s why Silver is in Laos.
Phkaï Mphéy: Is Silver in the game, or is he like White or Duck? Could he answer the key questions about the reception?
Chheu Smaa: What key questions?
Phkaï Mphéy: 1) What if you can’t catch him? 2) If you caught him, what will you do the next hour?
Chheu Smaa: I’ll catch him and lock him up in the same cell as oppo No. 1 in Thbum Khmaung?
Phkaï Mphéy: OK, for question No. 2, but what would you do with him the next day or month? Don’t repeat the error you made with oppo No.1. How about my question No. 1?
Chheu Smaa: He has to come in, because otherwise he’ll loose all credibility with his people?
Phkaï Mphéy: His credibility with his people is not your problem for the moment. It’s his problem and he’ll own it. The question to you still is: if he’s in and you can’t catch him, what will be your order for us to execute?
Chheu Smaa: Now my question to you is: if he’s in, why can’t you catch him?
Phkaï Mphéy: We don’t know his whereabouts. Have you heard about Schindler’s List?
Chheu Smaa: My son, the Intelligence man, should know?
Phkaï Mphéy: That kid, your presumed dauphin, if only he knows where his underwear or shoes are?
Chheu Smaa: Easy on him, he’s learning.
Phkaï Mphéy: Bad teacher doesn’t make good teaching to unwilling kid!
Chheu Smaa: The circle doesn’t seem to close.
Phkaï Mphéy: No. You already made the first mistake by arresting oppo No.1, and now trying to arrest oppo No.2?
Chheu Smaa: I have to double down, otherwise I’ll lose face.
Phkaï Mphéy: Losing face should not be in such a big political and national equation.
Chheu Smaa: I can’t turn back the clock. I’ll make the clock going forward for me.
Phkaï Mphéy: You’re playing Mugabe’s game.
Chheu Smaa: What choice do I have, with hundred and hundred millions $ under my bed and the deal I’ve made with Northern Capital.
Phkaï Mphéy: I can’t address that. You threw the dice, and the number came out to haunt you.
Chheu Smaa: You’re not helpful.
Phkaï Mphéy: The idea and strategies are yours. I execute it. Unclear strategies create high risks in execution, because it will involve people lives.
Chheu Smaa: You talk differently now.
Phkaï Mphéy: Since 1975, we run a lot around on how to dominate, but the domination has turned out to be different from the original idea.
Chheu Smaa: What do you mean?
Phkaï Mphéy: Come on, “what do you mean?” Tonlé Sap, Bokor, casinos, dams, Kg Som, Dara Sakor, Ream, Hostile Takeover … that what I mean!
Chheu Smaa: You have a piece of it to, haven’t you?
Phkaï Mphéy: Yes I do, but nowadays and around my dinner table, the discussions are very tough with my kids who don’t know anybody beside you as the leader, whereas they perfectly know that the world is moving around with different ideas and people all the time. They might show up at the reception and they have already dared me to arrest or shoot them.
Chheu Smaa: You look soft!
Phkaï Mphéy: Age changes people. You still don’t answer my question No.1.
Chheu Smaa: I will be at the spot where he’ll be found and direct the operations myself.
Phkaï Mphéy: That’s not the answer. If we know where he will be, we’ll do it for you. And stay where you are to nurse your shoulder pain. Until I get the answer, I can’t justify the order to the troops to arrest him. Only exactly 2 months left to set up the stratagems.
Chheu Smaa: True, the pain in the shoulder affects my overall mobility that conditions my relationship with my surroundings. If you were me, what would be your answer to your own question No. 1.
Phkaï Mphéy: Pledge incompetence because if I were you I would have let the 2018 elections go on normally. And “Que será, será!” I would have listened to people’s voice and heartbeats and respect their ballots.
Chheu Smaa: You didn’t say that to me at that time.
Phkaï Mphéy: I did, but my suggestion was drowned by those closer and closest to you.
Chheu Smaa: You should have insisted.
Phkaï Mphéy: Very difficult to penetrate the many rings of brutal bulldogs.
Chheu Smaa: You still don’t answer my hypothetical question?
Phkaï Mphéy: OK, if you insisted: Be honest with yourself and go and tell the party directly that you have had enough with politics, you don’t have the physical ability to lead anymore, you resign from your position as party leader and LET THE PARTY DECIDE ON HOW TO PROCEED on your replacement. Take the next plane either to Northern Capital for medical treatment like Sihanouk did or to Singapore like Mugabe did.
Chheu Smaa: Won’t be that easy.
Phkaï Mphéy: What makes you thing that this whole stuff is easy to handle?
Chheu Smaa: The party won’t be able to decide.
Phkaï Mphéy: Why?
Chheu Smaa: There is no dominant person and there could be too many “suitors?”
Phkaï Mphéy: You never wanted White or the senator to be your replacement, in case… Instead you play around with the idea of junior. Unintended compounded problems! If you resigned, the party will find a solution the next hour. Same if you dropped dead.
Chheu Smaa: Give me one more good reason why I should resign?
Phkaï Mphéy: Ready: You will avoid or suffer the consequences of all the voluntary troubles you have created with oppo, the Vietnamese and the Chinese. The mess that you have created will be handled one way or another by your party or successor. Remember the thread David Cameron-Theresa May-Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party of UK politics on Brexit: Theresa May inherited David Cameron’s mess, Boris Johnson inherited Theresa May’s mess, and who knows who will inherit Boris Johnson’s mess?!The good thing is that Cameron and May enjoy their vacations while Boris Johnson is now having a s… of a time.
Chheu Smaa: It makes sense, bu I can’t do that.
Phkaï Mphéy: Why?
Chheu Smaa: History will wipe me out of its book.
Phkaï Mphéy: You’ve have made your history since your youth, but future history of the country will be the consequences of your own history. Why would you care about history?
Chheu Smaa: My family will live in shame.
Phkaï Mphéy: Have you talked to Pol Pot’s children?
Chheu Smaa: Do you really think that he will be in the country on 9 November?
Phkaï Mphéy: My opinion is worth nothing. It’s your perspective that I need to know.
Chheu Smaa: Would the soldiers or policemen drop their guns and shackles like Lon Nol troops did upon our arrival in Phnom Penh in April 1975 or like Pol Pot’s troops did upon our arrival in Phnom Penh in January 1979? That’s history.
Phkaï Mphéy: Either history repeats itself or rather like Mr. Kem Ley’s funerals procession in July 2017. My kids were in that procession too.
Chheu Smaa: Thanks for the chat. Time to take medicine and write few lines on FB to keep my fans in “like”.
Phkaï Mphéy: You don’t look good, do you?
Chheu Smaa: The shoulder pain’s episode.
Phkaï Mphéy: Do you know what are you doing or will be doing?
Chheu Smaa: Can’t say in few words, and can’t see through the 4 walls of my lair.
Phkaï Mphéy: Are you scared of tomorrow?
Chheu Smaa: Uncertainty feeds scare and anxiety. Can’t get rid of them. No more joy or fun like in the past.
Phkaï Mphéy: I’ll be waiting for the 9 November plan, if you come up with any.
Both swallows parted after leaving few droppings on the roof of the Old Péth Chkuort building.
A few days later, the two swallows met again on a branch of a longan tree (doeum méan) in the fortress orchard.
Chheu Smaa: Did you get my plan?
Phkaï Mphéy: Yes, I did and I already shared with the commanders.
Chheu Smaa: What’s their mood or reaction?
Phkaï Mphéy: Cold. Expressionless. Stoic. Almost indifferent. And none of the ah-nhok has shown up.
Chheu Smaa: Why?
Phkaï Mphéy: Ah-Nhoks must be busy sending their people to go shopping abroad. Others didn’t talk or ask questions. They took the paper and left. By the way, who drew that plan?
Chheu Smaa: The quartet and the think-tankers, with my approval.
Phkaï Mphéy: Well, from my point of view, it’s not a plan, it’s a war paper like in Samloth. One, you can’t neglect the “unarmed people” factor, and two we are not trained to fight civil march.
Chheu Smaa: I hear you, but do as it’s planned. You are not convinced, aren’t you?
Phkaï Mphéy: Not only unconvinced but also not understand what do you actually have in mind and what will you do afterwards.
Chheu Smaa: We continue to design some models based on response from Asean.
Phkaï Mphéy: You’re mad to have sent that letter to Asean! Whose stupid idea is that?
Chheu Smaa: Silver drafted the letter.
Phkaï Mphéy: And you approved it without sounding it out first with their ambassadors?
Chheu Smaa: Yes and No.
Phkaï Mphéy: Well, Silver knows s… about diplomacy and international politics. Have you slept well?
Chheu Smaa: Not really. Rarely closed my eye for more than 2 hours. To fight for power when young was different from fighting to keep power now. Once, there was only one objective. Now, too many considerations.
Phkaï Mphéy: Your hands are trembling.
Chheu Smaa: A little bit. Pain in the shoulder.
Phkaï Mphéy: I’ll report later.
Then they flew off into different direction of the sky.