Archives Editorial – Resistance is not futile by Steven Gan

27 Apr

An editorial opinion piece by Steven Gan, one of the co-founders of Malaysian Kini, which started in November 1999, and has since become a full fledged subscription based online newspaper.

This is extracted from my yahoo group archives in which Mr Gan lamented the arbitrariness of the US superpower (choosing which countries to invade) when flexing its military might during the height of the Iraq war. More problematic is America’s track record of “liberating” the oppressed people.

Here is the excerpt of his opinion piece, “Resistance is not futile”:

… … Now that Baghdad has fallen, the real war begins – the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. But given Washington’s track record, that will be a tough sell. While one may give the Anglo- American forces the benefit of doubt – that they are indeed there to ‘liberate’ the Iraqis – the way it was done, without United Nations’ approval, should be roundly condemned.

And even if they were successful to win over the Iraqis, the invasion has unwittingly created a new problem for the United States. If it wants to play global cop, it better be consistent in its action. What will it do next, liberate Palestine?

In Asia, there is no shortage of countries deserving of ‘liberation’ as much as Iraq. Take Burma. Here is a regime which has enslaved its population for almost half a century. The military junta runs a government stolen from the opposition. Some 1,600 political prisoners are languishing behind bars. Ethnic minorities are systematically expelled. Half a million refugees lived in dilapidated camps along its borders – even Slobodan Milosevic would find this hard to match with his ethnic cleansing of Kosovo… …

… … Indeed, it is only through the International Criminal Court – a mechanism where individuals can be prosecuted for crimes against humanity – that dictators should be brought to face justice.

No doubt, it is unfair to compare George W Bush to Saddam. But the two do have at least one thing in common. Of the 148 countries gathered in Rome five years ago to consider the International Criminal Court, seven voted against it. Among them – United States and Iraq. And, yes, Burma too. [Editor: Let’s not forget $ingapore who didn’t sign.]

The message written on the Tomahawks is clear – if a tin-pot dictator wants to commit genocide, his regime better kowtow to the West. That way, the West can turn a blind eye. Ask Suharto.

Indeed, the world is not so much threatened by Iraq, Iran and North Korea as by a rogue superpower and its crony states, who speak of liberty but trample on global democracy, and who talk about the rule of law, but stomp on international laws. They are, if you will, the global mafia.

The US decides which terrorist organisation be eliminated and which be given money and arms; which mass expulsion of populations to aid and which to label ethnic cleansing; which economies to prop up through loans and trade, and which to destroy through sanctions and currency speculations. It can select with impunity which international laws and agreements to honour and which to ignore – as when the World Court found Washington guilty of terrorism for mining Nicaraguan ports… …

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