Narrow Sighted and Single Minded Criminalizing of War


My comments at bottom. Related also to this post.

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From NST 14 Feb 2007:

Sri lanka’s war :Not enough attention paid to this conflict

14 Feb 2007
S.S. RAJALINGAM, Petaling Jaya

I WISH to express my opinion on the recent conference on “War crimes — Criminalise war”, which was chaired by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last week.

Malaysians support the sentiments of Dr Mahathir. He has said that President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair shall be remembered as war criminals.

However, one should also note that war is not just in the Muslim world. Victims of war are not only in countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Afghani- stan and Bosnia.

What about the situation in Sri Lanka? Innocent children, women and the elderly of the Tamil community are killed in the thousands.

A ceasefire agreement was signed between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) almost five years ago but till now, the Sri Lankan government has not fulfilled its promises.

The Kuala Lumpur conference should have discussed the Sri Lanka issue as well. Some words of comfort should have been said for the Tamils.

The Malaysian Peace Foundation, headed by Dr Mahathir, should take the initiative against the aggression on the Tamils in Sri Lanka. It can play a meaningful role even where non-Muslims are involved.

The war in Sri Lanka is not just an internal problem. The international community has failed to put pressure on Sri Lanka to enter into peace talks with the LTTE. The United Nations, too, is silent and has yet to take “serious measures” to end this war.

The Perdana Global Peace Forum should discuss the war in Sri Lanka, condemn the aggression on the Tamils by the Sri Lankan army and air force, and forward peace proposals.

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See, I don’t say it out loud first… I let others say what I’m thinking. Mahathir and like-minded sorts always focus strongly on the ‘offences’ against the Muslim world, while basically ignoring conflict and suffering elsewhere.

Indonesian troops massacring people in Timor Leste? Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge’s killing fields? Hotel Rwanda? Brutalities within and emanating from Communist Russia, China and Vietnam? North Korea starving its own population in favour of building nukes? Nope! Not a peep about those!

Isn’t it always the inhuman Israelis occupying Palestine and brutalizing the innocent suicide bombers and rocket-launchers? And nary a word about Tibet, which has been long occupied by China, where places of worship were routinely destroyed in the Communist purge.

Why? Because Malaysia was and is trying to build good relations with China, a major trading partner. Same reason why the Falun Gong movement is not allowed to register as an official religion over here, harmless though it may seem. We don’t dare offend or alienate the Rising Dragon.

Or how about when Commonwealth troops helped us fight against our own Malaysian Communist insurgents? Or the Americans who checked the spread of Communist Vietnam? (see here)

Would you really rather they just let Communism overrun us? Didn’t British troops ‘meddle’ in other countries’ affairs when they fended off the Emergency, Konfrontasi and hostile takeover of Brunei? How grateful you sound today.

Sure, Bush and Blair and Howard are prideful and arrogant hot-heads. Indeed, the US is selfish and power-hungry. Yes, they are hypocrites who spout preachy goodwill while oppressing other nations. I agree with those points that you mention.

Just don’t pretend that you’re any better, fairer, nobler, more caring, less biased or more selflessly altruistic. Or you’ll be just a hypocritical as you accuse them of being.

Because really, aren’t you just looking out for your own interests and fancies?

Be honest now.

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