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REFORMASI - the blood-spattered bannerBy Ahmad Salleh
The United States has conspired for some time to ensure Anwar Ibrahim becomes the Malaysian Prime Minister.
From the time he became Finance Minister, he has been built up by US-controlled media. The Time-Warner and Dow Jones group had, since the beginning, painted Anwar Ibrahim as a man of democratic ideals who would uphold human rights and abolish the ISA when he became prime minister.
The chief campaigners, as Malaysians know, were the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Asian Wall Street Journal, owned by Dow Jones Inc, and Asiaweek, owned by the Time-Warner Inc.
The reason they used was that Anwar was himself an ex-ISA detainee and he would abolish it. As far as the human rights activists can see, detention without trial is Malaysia’s biggest sin against human rights. If Anwar will change this when he becomes prime minister means that Mahathir will not change it while he is still prime minister. The message is not so subtle - Mahathir is anti human rights.
The US tactics in undermining leaders of countries is well accounted in numerous books written about the CIA and about US foreign policy. Thirty years from now, when their records become public, we will certainly see how they tried to destabilise the Malaysian Government.
For now, we can only go by the American’s past records in how they tried to assassinate leaders who were seen as working against American interests - people like Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi.
Why target Mahathir? The answer is - why not?
Mahathir has established himself as a voice of the third world. He has spoken vociferously on many issues and in crucial countries like South Africa, where Nelson Mandela is his personal friend, he is an influential voice. When Bill Clinton went to South Africa and tried to dissuade Mandela from being on friendly terms with Muammar Gaddafi, Mandela told Clinton off publicly. He said that South Africa would remember friends who were there in times of need.
What did the US, the so called defender of human rights and believer that all men are equal, do during the apartheid regime? Play footsie with the white supremacists. People like Robert Mugabe and many African leaders look up to Mahathir and this was dangerous for US foreign policy which believed in supporting any person, despot, dictator or democrat, so long as American interests were not jeopardised.
Mahathir’s friendship with people like Alberto Fujimori of Peru and Argentinean and Chilean leaders, was also a danger to America which used Latin America as its playground. When Mahathir went to Cuba in 1997 and was given special treatment by Fidel Castro, the Americans decided that Mahathir had to go. From an irritant, Mahathir had become a threat.
It was while Mahathir was still in South America that Time magazine saw it fit to feature Anwar Ibrahim on its cover as the future leader of Malaysia and Asia. That was also about the time that the currency crisis was heightening and Mahathir was seen as a voice against US-backed liberalisations which reaped untold of profits for American capitalists.
Does it make sense that since 1966, Time had never featured a Malaysian leader on its cover but suddenly picked Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar has been on the Time and Newsweek cover several times since then. Why?
Of course, Mahathir was also on the cover of Time recently. But he was painted as a despot, a dictator who was trying to destroy Malaysia.
The Wall Street Journal’s reports since the currency crisis began have been to undermine Mahathir and display Anwar as the saviour.
Wolfensen and Michel Camdessus of the World Bank and the IMF have been coming to Malaysia, embracing and kissing Anwar Ibrahim. Everyone knows that the IMF and World Bank are dictated to by the US which is its largest contributor. Just like when Pakistan detonated the atomic bomb in May. The IMF and World Bank immediately froze all loans and assistance to Pakistan, bringing it to its knees.
But similar tactics did not work with Malaysia as Mahathir refused IMF or World Bank assistance. The US was thwarted again but did not give up.
While its magazines and television stations like CNN and CNBC continued to build up Anwar and undermine Mahathir, the US, throught its ambassador in Malaysia, John Mallot continued to make disparaging remarks about Mahathir.
The strategy was to isolate Mahathir internationally and build up Anwar domestically and internationally as a suitable alternative.
This strategy has worked in other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Would it work in Malaysia? Apparently so, thought the United States. Like they got rid of Salvador Allende and replaced him with General Pinochet. No matter that Pinochet murdered thousands. American interests were protected.
Similarly, like the CIA and Australian SIS’ hand in deposing Sukarno who had become a formidable voice of the Non-Aligned Movement. They did not care that more than one million people were massacred in Indonesia during Suharto’s rise to power. Suharto backed America and embarked on an anti-China policy. This served US interests well.
But with the end of the Cold War and as US-China relations improved in the aftermath of Tienanmen, a US-backed Suharto was becoming an embarrassment. When Suharto refused to go in 1997 presidential elections, the US decided that they had to force him to go. Suddenly, their media started featuring Suharto cronies like Bob Hassan and his family’s businesses. The objective was to create a situation where Indonesians started disliking Suharto and put pressure on him to step down.
But Suharto would not go. The economic crisis gave the US a golden opportunity. While currency speculators pushed down the rupiah to one seventh of its previous value against the US dollar, millions of Indonesians started starving.
Starvation + a despotic leader = Revolution. An age old recipe which had worked in many countries. It worked in Indonesia.
The reformasi began and thousands have since died; thousands of companies have closed down; millions have lost their job and a quarter of the population is on the verge of starvation. Suharto quit and was replaced by Bacharuddin Jusof Habibie, a blithering idiot who could only be manipulated by the US.
But of course, the situation in Indonesia has gotten out of hand. Reformasi will not stop and now, it is Muslims killing Chinese and Christians and the whole region is threatened with instability. The US achieved its aims but at what cost to Indonesia? Does the US care? Yes, it does. Al Gore says it is good that reforms have occurred. The US cares.
When reformasi seemed to have worked in Indonesia, they encouraged Anwar Ibrahim to be the flag bearer for cries against KKN - korupsi, kolusi and nepotisme. They had built up Anwar’s image through the media so he would be seen as the clean man and Mahathir the KKN king.
But one important thing the Americans forgot - as has been stated in the latest issue of their propaganda sheet Far Eastern Economic Review - that Mahathir is no despot and no Suharto. He helps companies in his push for rapid industrialisation, not to line his pockets as Suharto did.
And when Mahathir revealed the list of cronies, Malaysians knew that Anwar was the chief proponent of KKN. His father, father-in-law, brothers, sister, friends and associates and former aides all received billions in contracts and shares from Anwar. So, that strategy failed.
But they did not stop. Neither did Anwar.
Why were the Americans in such a hurry? Few people knew. But now, it is all in the open.
The Americans wanted Anwar as prime minister because they would forever have a hold on him. It is an open secret in diplomatic circles in Washington and even in some circle in KL now that whenever Anwar went to the States, he would seek the services of a 32-year old Lebanese limousine operator who specialised in special sex services for VIPs.
Anwar would disappear for several hours with the Lebanese driver and his aides and colleagues would be told that he was meeting some Middle-East intellectuals or was on a secret mission. They believed him. But as usual, the US Secret Service followed him. And knowing how the CIA operates, it is not unthinkable that they have on film Anwar’s bisexual exploits. So easy to keep him in line.
But sexual blackmail aside, the US had to show that Anwar was a respected leader. If any Malaysian believed that Anwar was being used as a stooge by the US, no one would support him. So Cohen came to Malaysia and called on Anwar. What business does the US Secretary of Defence have in meeting the Deputy Prime Minister? His counterpart should have been Malaysia’s Minister of Defence. But Cohen came. Not once, not twice, but three times to Malaysia in a short space of two years to meet Anwar Ibrahim.
Camdessus came many times. So did Wolfensen. Why? Malaysia was not an IMF case. Why come to Malaysia so often and kiss Anwar’s cheeks?
Cohen gave Anwar a 19-gun salute at the Pentagon. Why would the world’s most powerful nation accord the deputy prime minister of a small South East Asian country such honour? To give him the respect the US-controlled media was trying to build up for Anwar.
The Americans realised as did Anwar that the homosexuality net was closing around him in Malaysia. They had to get rid of Mahathir fast before Anwar was exposed. So they moved in with funds and backing for Anwar.
Mahathir had no choice. The evidence against Anwar’s homosexuality was enormous. It was also plausible that the US had similar evidence. If Anwar was not removed, Malaysia would become a vassal state of the United States. After Anwar, the US could ensure that Anwar chose a successor who was also tainted and pro-US. Malaysia would lose all respect it had gained under Mahathir and that would serve well the US-hegemony.
When Mahathir removed Anwar, confident that with US backing he could still topple Mahathir, Anwar went on his reformasi rounds, thinking like his US-backers, that the Malaysian public would be moved by the Indonesian style movement.
US lackeys like Habibie, Amien Rais and Erik Estrada, backed him. But the smarter ones like Singapore and Thailand kept quiet. They could see the game and being immediate neighbours, they knew that if Malaysia had problems because of the US-backed revolution, it would spillover into their countries.
Was Al Gore uninformed that after 2 ½ months reformasi had not caught on in Malaysia? Did not John Mallot inform him? They are not so stupid, these Americans. But they made the mistake of thinking that like in some countries, the Malaysian public would be encouraged by US support for revolution.
It did not happen. What Albright, Gore and Clinton did backfired against Anwar. Now, Malaysians can only brace themselves from further US attacks. But the unity shown in the face of the US interference has frightened them a little.
Now, the US-backed FEER criticises Gore for his comments and says openly that it is against Mahathir’s spending and diversion of funds for certain projects. Who the hell elected the FEER to decide what is good for Malaysia? As usual, the FEER is trying to try a new line to extricate itself from the shit-hole Gore and Clinton have put the US interests in. But it is time to wise up, Malaysians.
If we are blind to what the US and Anwar have been trying to do, then we should only blame ourselves when see the raging lunatics running down our streets, burning our shops, raping our women, and burning our houses of worship. Do we want that?
NO, NO, NO. Let us say NO now to Anwar Ibrahim and the US-backed reformasi. If we do not say NO now, our children, if they are alive to bury us, will cry upon our graves and curse us for not having done anything.
It is not brave, as Al Gore said, to burn motorcycles, beat up policemen, destroy buildings. Brave Malaysians are those who stand up against the US tyranny and attempts to place a puppet in charge of our country. A homosexual puppet.
So, fellow Malaysians, say NO. Now.