Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Malaysia should suspend FTA talks with the US

In the name of Peace, abort FTA talks with America. For three days, we hear of the atrocities from a war that the Bush, with the help of Blair, had created. For the first time, we hear of the torture "the man in the hood" had to endure. We are forced to relive the nuclear war that ravaged Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the Vietnam War that killed up to 5.7 million people, mostly civilians; the My Lai massacre by American soldiers, where about 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down on 16 March 1968; economic sanctions against Iraq that have killed half a million children [which Madeline Albright infamously responded, "we think the price is worth it"]; American abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo; and Israel's destruction of Palestine and Lebanon.

In the meantime, however, the Malaysian government has been busy pandering to the American government's fetish and to ensure that negotiations for our FTA proceed as smoothly as possible, without any hitch. [read "... off to a good start", courtesy of TheStar, here]

I say the FTA can wait. Must wait. We should tell the US to pull out of Iraq, to stop killing, and to end all its atrocities, or else ... [Remember Lantos?] ... or else, WE will abort talks on the FTA with the US.

Additional reading: Here on child killers and Bush the Liar; here to see Baghdad Burning; here for Make Peace Not War; and here Ali Shalal's tortured screenshots.
Recommended reading on the US-Malaysia FTA, go to www.usftamalaysia.blogspot.com

40 comments:

  1. Rocky. You know where we stand on this...

    http://www.usftamalaysia.blogspot.com

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  2. Hi Rocky,
    I think all right minded Malaysians would condemn the illegal US invasion of Iraq , and the atrocities which have occurred under their occupation.
    As a sovereign nation , we have a right to criticize US policies and actions.

    But we need to be more careful on the matter of trade with the US. The government has been correct in its sharp response to the US to keep politics out of the trade talks – but this principle rightly applies both ways.
    Those who work in the export industry would understand just how huge is this country’s dependence on good economic ties with the USA. A seriously large number of families’ monthly pay check is tied to this.
    It is prudent economics for Malaysia to diversify its export base, but at the moment, that’s the reality.

    There could be very good reasons to refuse to sign the FTA – if the clauses in the proposed treaty do more harm than good to the country and the people. The exact details of the negotiations are still a very closely guarded secret, I guess we have to trust Rafidah Aziz to have the nation’s best interest in mind. I know many readers will their doubts on this, but she’s the one sitting on the hot seat.

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  3. Anonymous4:22 pm

    forget the FTA man..every country that signed one with the US kinda died~~~ i like the current government's policy of increasing bumi ownership while selling the country to foreigners...

    eg.
    1/star reported that about 40% of bursa malaysia is owned by foreigners
    2/SJER to attract Sporean investors. TRANSLATIOn: we are selling JOHOR to singapore.

    good good good~~~~~

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  4. My Learned Friends,

    We know for a fact that the US-Asean Business Council has unequivocally endorsed the negotiation and passage of a comprehensive US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement that is deemed commercially meaningful and of the highest standards.

    While much is said and thoughts are exchanged and addressed our government is affirmative in moving forward on this initiative.

    The outcome and results of trade and investment benefits to the United States are indeed very obvious.

    American companies account for the largest foreign investments in Malaysia, and Malaysia is without a shadow of doubt the 10th largest global trading partner, to the United States.

    Much will again be said, done and orchestrated, but our dear Malaysia's 'intercourse' with key American officials, will leave no further doubt that Malaysia is and will be prepared to move forward on a richter scale tsunami towards materializing the very necessary.

    Former Founding Vice President ( Exporters Club of Malaysia)

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  5. Tribunal for crimes against voters

    While waiting for the updates and verdict of the tribunal to try US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for war crimes at PWTC today, i hope we will work together to set up a tribunal to try Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for crimes against voters.

    (Pls dont bother my 'unEnglish' English. This bakaq doesnt speak English)

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  6. Anonymous6:54 pm

    Sorry - but check what percentage of the S&P - the main US index - is foreign owned or the FTSE 100 or the DAX..... YTL owns Wessex Water in the UK and utilities in Australia, Genting won rights to build casinos in Singapore and the UK. Petronas has exploration rights around the world..... Welcome to international trade. If 40% of the Bursa is foreign owned it gives the rest of the world a big stake in Malaysia's success.

    As for the exhibition - well it was sincere but Mahathir lecturing anyone on human rights? Puhlease! Th Dalai Lama or Bono yes, Mahathir no!

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  7. Anonymous6:58 pm

    *TypicalProgrammer*

    I am one that disagree with the war. A war is still a war no matter what is the cause even if it is religious.But I have to disagree on your view to abort FTA talks. Our country desperately needs since IMO we have an incompetent finance minister. We will make a better voice in the future as our country grows.

    I for one believe that the americans rakyat will eventually sort it out. Bush popularity has been wanning down and the war is one big reason of it. The democrats are now in power shows that they are frustrated with him. Unlike in our country, their system allows the voter to kick out the Prime Minister, I mean the president if they thing he is a incompetent. Their election might be flawed but they still have a better system just to keep the leaders in check so they go and buy a personal yacht.

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  8. Anonymous9:56 pm

    Hi Rocky,

    This may sound unpatriotic, but the fact is that we need the Americans more than they need us economically.

    Our economy and in fact most of the countries in the world depends on USA to survive.

    Sad but true.

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  9. Former Founding Vice President ( Exporters Club of Malaysia) ?????


    can I join?

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  10. Mr. Rocky, check out here :http://blackinkorea.blogspot.com/2007/02/bloggers-united-and-blackinkorea-in.html
    I don't know whether you already read this or not. Bloggers United news in one of the influential magazine in Indonesia Majalah Tempo.

    Thanks,

    Black.

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  11. Anonymous11:41 pm

    Rocky,

    May I offer a different perspective to some of the issues you raised here?

    My Lai was an atrocity for which there can be no excuse. However, for every William Calley, there were 10 Hugh Thompsons. Thompson was the young helicopter pilot who landed in My Lai while Calley's company was shooting the Vietnamese villagers and he ordered his crew to shoot any American soldier who attempted to hurt another villager. He radioed for backup from other helicopters who did come to lend him support and he airlifted wounded villagers to safety. His intervention ended the massacre.

    There were other Calleys in the Vietnam War just as there were other Hugh Thompsons. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers served honorably in that conflict.

    In my very short journalism career, I had the privilege to interview a South Vietnamese who had been a captain in the army, and as we sat in a room surrounded by bleak paintings he had done of a war that was still very much alive in his mind almost thirty years later, we talked about that war and I asked him about his thoughts about American involvement and I have never forgotten what he said. "The Americans gave us hope that we still had a chance to keep our country," he said. He, like many others, fled after the fall of Saigon ... he had no choice ... to stay would have meant death to him.

    The USA spent over $130 billion on the conflict; in 1968 alone there were 500,000 American soldiers in Vietnam and at home 40,000 men were drafted each month, most of them from "poor" homes; the average age of an American soldier in Vietnam was 19 years. There are many alive today who are still paying for that service in Vietnam.

    And I particularly remember what Westmoreland said in a New York Times interview in 1991 because I remember as a child that my grandfather had made the same observation. Westmoreland said, "One of our great strategic aims was to stop communist advance in Southeast Asia, and when you look at Southeast Asia today, the Communists have made no gains."

    Japanese brutality in WWII cannot be glossed over. The war that Japan waged on Asia resulted in 20 million casualties and over 12 million civilian deaths (we're not talking military here).

    From 1937 - 1945, over 400,000 Chinese and 250,000 Korean women were forced into prostitution which resulted in the deaths of 90% of them. This is the largest and most deadly mass rape ever recorded in history.

    While Malaysia suffered about 100,000 civilian deaths, Indonesia about 4 million, Vietnam & the Philippines about 1 million each, China lost over 7 million civilians. Japan was the only country in the war to use chemical weapons, dropping plague, cholera and anthrax germs on Chinese villages.

    The Japanese were just as brutal and merciless to their prisoners of war as they were to the civilians of the countries they occupied. Thirty percent of all POWs in Japanese camps died, compared to the one percent who died in German POW camps.

    Japanese civilian deaths were about 953,000. Balance that with the devastation and deaths that other countries in Asia suffered. I have often asked myself what price I would have paid to end that war and the answer has always been very clear to me.

    The thing about sitting on moral judgment of others and setting up tribunals and having credibility in the eyes of the world is that justice must be blind. You have to hold everyone -- every country, every leader, accountable for the atrocities and the "crimes against humanity" that they have committed. You cannot pick and choose. And looking at recent history, I can only conclude that Mahathir will be very busy for the next twenty years.

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  12. Ok. Let me get this straight.

    We want the U.S. out of Iraq.

    The U.S. want us out of the Iranian gas deal.

    So everybody is outside the FTA negotiation room. Right?

    Anybody looking at where the umnoputras and neocons are right now? Hope they are not wheeling and dealing in a corner, concocting a shady deal for themselves.

    Trade-wise, we do need each other and I'm hoping the business communities in both nations will continue with an apolitical approach as done in the past.

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  13. Anonymous4:19 am

    Why do most of the comments at malaysia today are so low minded one ah...so childish and racist...could u please advise rpk to do something....

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  14. Anonymous7:16 am

    we have been doing well without any US-Msia FTA all these years.
    Frankly, we don't need it.
    Having the US-Msia FTa comes with a price.
    Rocky, you asked Dr Mahathir that question yesterday (Wednesday Feb 7) at the Press conference.
    He replied by drawing attention on rafidah aziz's(he didnt mention her by name)response to Lantos' threat.
    She told them to duck off. I think Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also said tht Malaysia will not submit to any threat.
    Er, remember how "impressed" Dr < was with Rafidah's reaction to Lantos' threat?

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  15. Anonymous7:52 am

    I agree with Mai that we cannot be selective about who we choose to label as war criminals. War does not discriminate. It makes monsters out of men - victors and victims.

    But we can prioritise. We can start by condemning the more recent atrocities, the horrors that are unfolding (daily) before our eyes. The power of modern media brings war to our doorsteps and to our living rooms. Whereas before we symphatised, now we are empathising becauses we feel as though the criminals are ravaging our homes and killing our families. The images are horrific indeed! How can we turn a deaf ear when our fellowmen are crying for help!

    Yes, the Americans will hold us to ransom in subtle and not so subtle economic and political ways! What's new? That is the modus operandi of people with power!

    But does it mean we cower and succumb? I say NO!

    We must rise above the level of government and involve all levels of civil society in this campaign against war, against the "axis of power". We must engage our citizens in this discourse and spread anti-war propaganda. The mainstream media have a big role to play and they must play it with all the conviction they can muster.

    Conference rhetoric must now be translated into citizen talk and action.

    On entering the exhibition hall, my hair stood on ends, my eyes misted. On seeing the children's agony I cried. If you are unmoved you must be inhuman!

    There is talk that the exhibition may be taken to Europe. It must!

    Bush, Blair and Howard may have powerful mechanisms for rebutting/refuting the claims of the witnesses. Following western media, especially CNN we see how clever the English-speaking world is with language and rhetoric.

    So English is the language we must use for this campaign. We must use language which is as/more powerful and images which are more bizarre.

    In the eyes and ears of the people in Dewan Merdeka PWTC, B B & H have been tried and sentenced!

    BON NINI

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  16. MIA,

    Thank you for your perspective and sharing.

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  17. Anonymous9:20 am

    This a really tough one Rocky,
    On the one hand the country relies on trade and the US is a major trading partner but on the other hand we do want to register our protest against American policy.

    America is what it is today, powerful and insular because it has never relied on others, an abundance of natural resource and wholly migrant population meant that everyone worked hard.
    This continues to give the US its economic and, through that, political advantages.

    The American people are like people everywhere, just bigger.

    While the FTA is a sort of a leash to tie their trading partners to the American way of doing things, and some may well argue that this is a price worth paying, it is up to us to negotiate and interpret it carefully and creatively to give Malaysia an advantage.

    The moral way out would be to stop trading with the war mongering Bush adminsitration but if the next American president is a dove, then what do we do?

    As things stand, the democrats are already not keen to proceed with pending FTAs so we may not get this through even if we want it.

    AS a parting shot give some thought to Japan. The US nuked it and killed almost a million people with two bombs and irradiated countless others.
    After the war Japan did the only thing it could, take advantage of friendly american markets and made itself into an economic superpower....

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  18. Another point about going through with the FTA is that it will only give Malaysia more leverage when dealing with the US.

    It has often been said that political measures like economic sanctions and trade embargoes only work on a very short term basis. Once the sanctionee's economy has adapted to the harshest of sanctions, the sanctioner no longer has any influence over the sanctionee.

    Taken to its conclusion, this means that if you believe Malaysia should seek as much influence as possible in Washington, it only makes sense that we should sign the FTA and promote stronger economic ties with the US.

    PS. Nonetheless I agree with kittykat46 that we shouldn't put all our eggs in 1 basket and must diversify Malaysia's export base.

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  19. Anonymous10:59 am

    dear rocky,

    have u not heard ? have you not understood? it was said from the beginning......nobody....and i repeat nobody.....stands up to the JEWS/ ISRAEL or AMERICA and have succeeded....yes we are a great nation too.....albeit a young civilisation....but in the eyes of the world.....you must have leverage, my friend, leverage, like the WEF or World Bank or some international standing, not only to be heard, but also be effective in getting what you want to be heard across and making sure it garners the response that we seek....other wise, say what you want....every one has an opinion, like an anatomy of the human species, and in democratic free speech fashion, very one can have their say.....BUT for it to really matter and change hearts and mindsets.....THAT IS TOTALLY A DIFFERENT BALLGAME and you need a stronger platform.............

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  20. Anonymous11:32 am

    Sorry to post this in this thread.
    Perhaps, Rocky you should apologize to Pak Lah about the yatch incident since Mahathir himself admit that the Yatch belongs to Ananda in this interview with Malaysiakini.

    Q: Something like the super yacht they bought in Turkey?

    I don't know about the super yacht (smiles) because they accused me (of buying one). I will tell you that Ananda (Krishnan, Malaysian billionaire) wants to build a yacht and in fact he has built a yacht. He keeps on bothering me, asking me about the design, I don't care, I gave my opinion.

    Q: So it was Ananda who bought the yacht for (Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad) Badawi?

    I don't know. But as far as I know, Ananda built this yacht, a 40m yacht, a gullet, it is very beautiful. It is completed already and I told him 'why don't you bring it here, you built and put it at the Mediterranean, I want my Telaga Harbour (in Langkawi) to have this yacht. He said 'no, this thing will eat into the wood, our water is no good'. I said why don't you build one that has a steel haul then you can bring it here. That is as far as I went.

    Of course, if you want to build a big yacht, you keep it here, I am happy, you can build 10 yachts. I am quite happy if you put it in Telaga Harbour then I can have a nice marina for that. Of course, they have to pay.

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  21. Anonymous11:47 am

    If I were to stand under a PEACE BANNER, I for one would not discriminate COLOR, RACE or RELIGION, and most important of all is NO POLITICAL HIDDEN AGENDA under the PEACE MOVEMENT. Simple facts of life ... :)

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  22. dear bros/sis,
    the FTA is not our creation. the Europeans tried selling us the idea of a trade agreement way back then when they were under the EEC. now the Americans want us to sign this pact with them. the Australians have one, too. it has become a trend, especially since Nafta which, incidentally, does not work to the advantage of the US' poorer American brothers at all.
    sentinel pointed out that we have been trading with the US all this while. that is the point. THE US WAS OUR BIGGEST TRADING PARTNER EVEN WHEN THEY HATED OUR - or, rather, Mahathir's - GUTS. trade with Australia kept on rising despite Keating's "recalcitrant" point of view. and as Shamsul said, the Japanese were doing brisk business with the Americans after the WW2 (the US had to help the Japs; after two atomic bombs, they owed it to those people).
    So why the FTA in the first place?
    The FTA is the political whip to ensure that we do things their way (as you put it, Shamsul). without the fta, we will still trade and the US will still be our biggest trading partner. but the US govt ain't happy with some of our "weaknesses" such as foreign participation equity, tender process, environmental practices, etc. so the FTA is a way of making sure they can impose conditions on us.
    Rafidah was one the greatest opponents to FTAs under Mahathir. she knows that "negotiate" has a hollow meaning here.
    What do you say, Ubaidah?

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  23. Rocky!

    This is a piece of information that we all should ponder upon: As compiled by historian William Blum and quoted by Britain's Sunday Observer on June 13 1999,
    under the title COUNTRIES BOMBED BY THE UNITED STATES AFTER WORLD WAR II : China 1945-46; Korea 1950-53; China 1950-53; Guatemala 1954; Indonesia 1958; Cuba 1959-60; Guatemala 1960; Congo 1964; Peru 1965; Laos 1964-73; Vietnam 1961-73; Cambodia 1969-70;Guatemala 1967-69; Grenada 1983; Libya 1986; El Salvador 1980s; Nicaragua 1980s; Panama 1989; Iraq 1991-99; Bosnia 1995; Sudan 1998; Afghanistan 1998; Yugoslavia 1999. nAnd of course now it is Iraq and later on it may be Iran, Syria or Jordan, or even Malaysia!
    -----------------------------------

    Yes! the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) like the controversial and disbanded Multilateral Agreement on Investment or MAI, if we signed and sealed we will be at the mercy of the USA lopsided trade practices, once agreed it will take jnot even a successive five elected governemnt of Malaysia to dismantle the agreement with the USA. LIke the one we had with Japan the agreement is most definitely lopsided. We would allow for more Japanese products to come into Malaysia for the next 50 years with a very low tariff and taxes but what can we sell to Japan that the country already have!
    Many commentors in your blogsite say we cannot do without the US for our trade, yes this is true! The moment the US decided to have a policy to withdraw anything American in this country there will be chaos. Imagine, for example, if the US decided to force KFC or Macdonald to withdraw their franchises from Malaysia we, who are already addicted, Malaysian will outvote the BN government.
    On American My Lai masacre I see the CIA has posted another convoluted lies by saying for every Wiliam Calley there is another good American who tried to save lives! Well! Who asked you guys to come into another people's country in the first place?! For every bad US marine in Iraq there is bound to be a good one! But why are you there in the first place!
    So in the end we have to accept the fact that war is the US top money making scheme for the American way of life! If we are to stop and decriminilise war than we have to tell the American to stop with their way of life, can they do that? For their way of life depends on their vibrant economy and that economy depends on how may gun and bullet sold! But, unless we can call all the peace loving nation to form an armada and to attack the USA! Nah!We dont even have the stealth bomber or nuclear arsenal!

    P.S.
    Now that the statute of limitation is over I can say this. Two Prime Ministers of the free world were told to quit or else! One if Jean Chretien of Canada who refused to allow his country to join the coalition of the willing to atack Iraq, most inspiring PM, and Chretien was told in not so may words that if not the US will withdraw and revise agreement with Canada that will be detrimental to Canadians, and true enough 100,000 jobs were lost! Chretien surrendered and USA gave back some of the jos back to Canadians!
    Tun Dr Mahahtir cried at the asseembly after he was told to announce his resignation or the USA will withdraw some of its investment in Malaysia! TDM had no choice but to go! If it werent for the US pressure TDM will still be the PM. Now with Dollah, well all I can say is we as a nation are all going up the "upshit creek without a paddle". Seriously I have no solution, except if we want to go the Cuban ways, I dont think Malaysians have that stamina!

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  24. Good suggestion. Should be considered by the cabinet. After all, Rafidah has said that it's the US that want the FTA not us.

    http://c-bok.blogspot.com

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  25. Anonymous3:05 pm

    Environmental practices?! I will be fully standing by that one too because the poor will be hit the worse in any natural desaster. Do you actually think the rich will suffer? They can afford to buy a ticket out and wait for the worse to be over. But the poor is a whole different story all together ... GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL PRATICES is A MUST for PEOPLE's LIFE ... :)

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  26. Anonymous3:37 pm

    yo, pasqual!

    don't shit crap from the mouth, man. we got more brains than that! tdm forced to quit? next, you'll tell us the dpm was forced to forge intimate bilateral ties with mongolia; hence the explosive affair with Kublai Khan's great-great grand-daughter. none of us would believe that, either man.

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  27. Anonymous4:38 pm

    Oh boy... And Mahathir just went and shot himself in the foot by declaring that the Iraqi resistance movement SHOULD* kill MORE* American soldiers because the war they are waging is a Defensive war.

    Hello, defensive war is still war, murder by the Iraqi Resistance Movement is still murder, as is killing by the American soldiers. Now, I would also like to remind you all that in spite of the "clean" image that the Iraqi's are projecting, nothing can change the fact that many more people died during Saddam(God bless his suffering soul for being taunted by the Iraqi government, i.e. the Americans didn't want him to be lynched because their standing in the eyes of the world has already been reduced by the war. So will Mahathir would kindly keep his big nose (and mouth) away from politics? He hasn't learned how to shut up after leaving has he? Plus, the way he puts it is like he wants the USA to stand in one corner and let the whole world have a go at it, not very smart is he.

    And by the way, I think this might have shot his chances at the Nobel Peace Prize to hell and beyond. He was nominated because of his help in neutralizing the Bosnia-Herzegovenia Ethnic cleansing right? Well, telling us blatantly that war is all right when defensive is not going to help his chances at the prize. (he probably drools in his sleep thinking about it...)

    And next, America will place pressure on us with the FTA, trust me, no playing field is ever level. No one is a gentleman when it comes to global politics, so it's closer to a melee that to a duel. And of course, sure we can stand tall and thumb our noses at the USA!!! Then we get start drooping from corruption and cronyism etc., less than a decade later, we'll be crawling back to the USA on our knees. And finally, the Americans didn't owe it to the Japanese, they did it because they didn't want the U.S.S.R to gain even more influence.

    And finally, to pasquale:
    Hey, I'm CIA! (-_-") Yeah right, just because Mia defended the USA doesn't mean that she/he is CIA. And as for the reason why America was in Vietnam... Er, you didn't happen to read Malaysian textbooks by the way? It was because of the Cold War, when America didn't want the U.S.S.R to gain more power by having another Communist ally. Think about it, it would be crazy for Malaysia to allow Singapore to have another ally if Malaysia was in a standoff with Singapore right?

    (P.S. Prediction if he does not get prize-[Mahathir gets labeled as a good man because he did not change his stance even when he might lose the Nobel Peace Prize, returns with bigger than normal head, says that Nobel Prize Committee are Imperialists, Prejudiced, Biased etc.])

    P.P.S guns are cheaper in Africa than in America and you need a licensce in America to carry a gun plus you don't need a licensce in Africa.

    P.P.P.S. I am inhuman, I'm not moved by the plight of other people, it is too far away for me to help in any way. Besides, helping people stumble from one war to another is pathetic, America says they want to stop the war there, so let them do it. If they botch it, it's their fault.

    Really the last P.P.P.P.S. I submit to you that I am unpatriotic, bourgeouis, heretical, kurang ajar, inhuman, petualang bangsa, and anything you might want to call me. AND GODS I'M NOT FINISHED, I WILL RETURN TO LAMBAST YOU ALL WITH MORE OF MY WORDS! (even though I am an atheist)

    Hyperlinks to peruse:
    www.malaysiakini,com->cartoonkini

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  28. Anonymous4:54 pm

    First things first. I support the stand against the Americanos but we have to put things in perspective. Much as we dislike the Gringos for their actions in Iraq, we also have to realise our livelihood depends on them. Our economy is linked to them. So I think we have to restrict ourselves to just rhetoric in our criticism of them.

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  29. The Vietcongs won the war in America. The american people said enough is enough. But Dicky Cheney and the neocons have short memories. Tun should use his prodigious intellect and whatever resources he can muster to criminalise BN. Let's do our homework. The yankees would lose face if they leave now, but I thought there is a sectarian muslim-kill-muslim scenario in Eye-rak, Sudan and Palestine.I rather we help Tun to clean our own house.

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  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. Rocky! This is the revised version!

    Listen you American-mimic(er) anonymous moron, your type of brain can never begin to pretend to de-cypher and to understand "realpolitik", its no skin of my teeth if you are an idiot and cannot accept the fact the American can do this, thy have done worse, yes TDM was forced to resign, so was Canada's Jean Chretien and how I know? In Canada the free press did published the fact in a television news and don't ask me how I know about TDM's forced resignation by the American! And another thing, try not to mimic the American accent and to use slang when you speak, its despicable and shameful, you moron!

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  32. Anonymous3:05 am

    Oh, Pasquale, I am not a CIA agent ... that's a good one, though and it made me laugh. Rocky knows who I am.

    I just happen to have great interest in WWII and the Vietnam War. WWII because I have family who fought and died in Europe and Asia and relatives who bore permanent scars of torture by the Japanese.

    I was too young for Vietnam but had grandparents who encouraged us to read about the conflict and later My Lai was one of my areas of study.

    A neighbor and a good friend is a Vietnam Vet ... he was one of the River Rats. He still lives with flashbacks that make him physically ill. So, yes, my perspective is going to be different from yours or Rocky's.

    Perspectives and opinions are just that ... very personal .. they are mine. There is no need to yell and scream ... it's not going to change my experiences.

    I may not always agree with Rocky (or other folks) but that doesn't mean I think any less of him or anyone else. It just makes me pause and go, "Hmmm, never thought of it that way before."

    Isn't that the whole point of having a discourse, to be exposed to lots of differing ideas and viewpoints? We'll all learn something from each other without needing to label anyone.

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  33. Anonymous6:48 am

    TO GONE TO THE DOGS!(GTTD)

    U are a very emotional fella. Please calm down.

    I would ask you to pray but you are an atheist. So instead I'll ask you to engage in the type of breathing exercises that women in labour are often seen on tv to be doing. In case u don’t watch TV, u can also look it up on the internet. It is said to increase the serotonin levels and help calm a person down. Apart from its civilizing effects, calmness is required in having a meaningful discussion. Though what u write may suggest that u may not want to engage in meaningful discussion, nonetheless, the fact that you are airing your opinions in rocky's comment section , rather than keeping it private, indicates otherwise.

    So back to the topic at hand.


    GTTD, there is a difference between violence of the oppressed and between violence of the oppressor. Or violence committed by the victims and violence committed by the victimizers. Both are violent, but they do not occupy the same moral or immoral status. One is a violent PROVOCATION while the other is a violent REACTION to a violent provocation.

    Its up to you whether to see what the Iraqi’s are doing as defensive war or otherwise.

    But it'll be good to keep in mind, whether during war or during peace, that self- defense, is a basic human right. Of course, u can say, that the Iraqis are not being directly attacked, that they are snippers, etc-etc, and by that, they are not actually exercising self-defense.

    But let us not forget that they are in a war.

    Maybe not in a conventional war, but in a war nonetheless.

    So in a war, until its over, and reaches its ultimate conclusion, there will always be different phases of violent interaction, of a being attacked and counter-attacked ( depended on your point of view, some call the latter defending urself). In a war, the moments, whereby there is no direct engagement between the participants, cannot be seen as not being attacked - it is merely a lull between different levels of violent inter-action.

    In other words, so long as it is in a state of war, it must be seen as a continuous state of violent engagement, regardless of the existent of a de-escalation of violence between skirmishers and battles within the war itself.

    So again i repeat, GTTD, defending yourself under attacked, collectively or individually, is a basic human right. It is endorsed by most, if not all moral codes, from within both secular and religious tradition, whether in times of peace or in times of war. In times of war, the only difference with regard to defence, is merely the variety of terminology used to describe it( defensive warlah, etc-etc)

    So, regardless of the terminology used to describe self- defence, when Mahathir says its ok for the Iraqi's to engage in defensive war, he was merely using a rhetorical device, to reiterate the basic human right to exercise self-defence within the context of an ongoing war. In no way should it undermine his credibility to criminalize the status of war. Engaging in self defense, even during times of peace, what more during times of war, is a basic human right, while launching a war, almost always result in a violation of it.

    Mahathir wants to criminalize the status of war, so that, in the future, war is no longer a viable option to settle disputes. Its application, if it materializes that is, is more for the future, rather than the present. Its is a noble endeavour and if we cant actively support it, we should at least respect it.

    Stigmatising in the annals of history those who engage in war, has not been tried as a method to increase the deterrence’s to war, especially wars that are started by individuals who are insulated from conventional forms of punishment.

    What have we got to lose by trying it?

    If we want to change things then we must add new variables to the political equation. We have to throw pebbles into the lake so to speak, and see where the ripples go.After all, even a tsunami starts of as a ripple.

    PS- Actually, apart from the US, from the point of view of politics, economics and technology, war is not really a viable option for anybody else. And even when war is inflicted by the US, it will only be politically viable, when the chances of them winning is almost a forgone conclusion. But when dealing with opponents who have the capability of realisticly hurting them back, the US has a record of NOT being so keen to go to war.

    All we need to do is remember that when dealing with the USSR, war was not a viable option for the US. As such, it had to approach the problem in a more creative way. Then, they had to adopt the famous "containment policy" which was first laid out by George F.Kennan, in a famous long telegram which was latter first made public anonymously, in an 1947 Foreign Affairs article, titled "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" or better known as the X Article.


    PSS- BTW,GTTD, u case will be better served if u stop taking cheap potshots at mahathir. Unless you are his wife, how do u know he drools about winning the Noble Prize? If he did, dont you think he would be more careful in describing what the US is doing in Iraq?

    Anyway, the reason for Mahathir being nominated for the Nobel Prize, as reported, is for what he did to help and ease the plight of the Bosnians during the Balkan massacre of the 90s.It has nothing to do with what he is saying in this peace convention. If they were to take into account, events that are happening now, they would also take note of his role in mediating a peace in Southern Thailand which are vexing the Thai's themselves and his SIGNAL role in making the movement of international capital, less destabilizing and by that, lessening one factor that results in social chaos.

    Taken together, it would actually strengthen his chances of winning the Nobel Prize rather than not.

    PSS- Pls remember that when Mahathir talks about criminalizing war, and using the Iraqi war as a context, it is not about fighting for something far fetched or unrelated to our daily existenst in Malaysia

    After all what befell the Iraqi's can also happen to us.

    So, when Mahathir or anyone else for that matter, makes a serious attempt to prevent war, we should all support it with deadly earnesty,and pray that it succeds, lest we suffer the same fate as the Iraqi's.

    As such, in the final analysis, attempts to make the world safe from war, is not about finding an excuse to utter lofty words about international issues and in the process, make us appear relevant or altruistic.

    Rather, its motivation is far more pragmatic, mundane and selfish, that is, merely about finding practical ways and means of safeguarding our future, from the evils of war.Put another way, its just about saving our own skin.

    PSSS- To plenipotentiary, having a free trade agreement would not give us a stronger leverage when dealing with the Americans because it is not an agreement between equals. We need them far,far more, than they need us. Anyway, having trade with them is good but having a free trade agreement with them is not nessacarilly so. Just look at Nafta to evaluate the experience of other countries that have FTA with the US.

    U should do well to remember that the Americans are pushing for free trade to serve their objectives and interest rather than anyone else.Or rather, EVEN AT THE COST of everyone else’s interest.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous11:15 am

    rock on rempit hubris,
    agreed with yr views. mahathir even said he would come in defence of america if it was iraq who invaded america. he's calling for peace. if the likes of gttd wants war with mahathir, it should be kept at a personal level. i am not interested in his/her personal problems with mahathir. i say give peace a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Rocky!
    You may know MIA thats not my problem but MIA sounded like an apologist for American Imeprialism, and lets talk about perspective! The "Vietnamese" who fled Vietnam especially in the Cholon area, a Chinese enclave in southern part of Vietnam, were infact Vietnamese of Chinese origin, like Takshin Shinawatra of Thailand who is Thai of Chinese origin. When the Americans invaded Vietnam under the guise of protecting them against Communist, the big chunk of real Vietnamese were fighting the invasion, while MAJORITY of the Chinese-Vietnamese were supportng the invasion, i.e. the Americans. So you see whenever there is an interview with some "Vietnamese" expatriates in some small rooms somewhere n California or Los Angeles, rest assured these Vietnamese are for sure from the group of those handful Chinese-Vietnamese who resented being ejected from the country they were born in but never really comfortable with the indigenous Vietnamese. If Malaysia were to be at war and people displaced, ansd somewhere in the world a displaced Malaysians would condemned Malaysia, chances are this Malaysian could be Lim Kit Siang or Sivarasa! You see the whole world will know them as Malaysians but not their ethnic identity, as people in London for example will know Takshin only as Thai, but did not know that he is of Chinese origin who had no qualm selling his country asset to fellow Chinese Singapore, against a better judgement had he been a real native Thai. The fact is millions of Vietnamese died under American invasion, the country is still recovering from the biological and chemical warfare waged on Vietnam! Many Vietnamese being born deformed due to chemical contamination! So true while there are so many Calleys and Thompsons in Vietnam then and in Iraq now but they should not have been there in the first place!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous1:13 pm

    BRAVO again Mat Rempit Hubris! What a treatise! Your argument is worthy of mainstream/international coverage! Pity that many Malaysians will not stay focused on it (or anything) for long - so you must write again and again!

    You have a great mind but inconsistent language skills. Being a sort of language freak I've noticed your errors (when you choose to appear careless in MAM's blog for instance) are so contrived, so deliberate! You are definitely not what you seem!

    BON NINI

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous2:13 pm

    Dear Mia and Mat Rempit Hubris

    It's a pleasure to read your well-argued postings1 I wish more people will think things through before they write or speak. One can take a stand but one must be prepared to build up a case for it. Nothing much is achieved by shooting your mouth or hitting below the belt - and running!

    But Mia is also right - our personal experiences shape our thinking. We are our father's daughters and sons. Much as we want to think we are in control, family culture and upbringing plays a great part in shaping our hopes and dreams.

    My family has had no sordid experiences of war but I want to fight this war on war because I would like my children to remember that their mother had this resolve, and they will be a little influenced by it.

    This anti-war campaign is a legacy which we should all proudly want to pass on to our children and grandchildren. I can't understand anyone not wanting to do it - barring their fear of American economic, military and political might!

    datin anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  38. To surmise:
    ...................................

    The War Tribunal is for state-sponsored terrorism.

    For other types of terrorists, there's always Gitmo and CIA rendition sites.

    Seriously, folks. Can we depend on that institution of last resort i.e. the United Nations and it's security council where one veto vote can override the decision of the UN general assembly?

    And the ICJ ain't so hot either.
    ...................................

    Malaysia, during TDM's premiership, became one of the top 25 of trading nations, despite not having an FTA with the U.S. and despite we having a recalcitrant TDM at the helm.

    With AAB as PM, this FTA might turn out to be a 'siphoning' mechanism for FAT cats on the prowl from both sides.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous11:52 am

    Greetings, Rocky. I only knew of this blog thanks to the ruckus created by the discount curry peddler.

    While we Walk With You™ I was just curious to know if it just me, or are we ignoring the fact that we (well at least I) know close to nothing on the FTA specifics? Can anyone fill me in on the possible gains/losses on the FTA? Can the kind folks at MITI help? If I had to guess, it is probably locked up in the cabin vault of a Turkish yacht, stacked neatly on top of the highway toll contract.

    Anyhoo, is the status quo of our current deal unfavourable, relative to the negotiated FTA? Yes, trade has increased greatly in the past without the need of a FTA; that is not sufficient grounds to ignore the possible benefits of an FTA today – trade conditions rarely static.

    Rationally, I think the Iraqi should NOT be used as a bargaining chip in the FTA unless our threat is really credible. This is so for two reasons:

    Firstly, we do not have something they really want/need - our oil production is negligible from their point of view, while our political clout is dismissible. They however, are and will remain the largest market for our goods. Bargaining power distils down to relative supply-demand relationship.

    The second rationale is that we are not willing to go the distance with any threat that could potentially harm them, because a collapse in trade would be far more detrimental to us than it would be to them. Are we willing to pull a Venezuela, let alone a Cuba and tough it out sans Uncle Sam? The answer is an overwhelming No, and damn do they know it.

    As a side note, having resided in Canada for a bit I can attest that Jean Chr├ętien did NOT resign due to NAFTA, although Canucks were upset on the softwood lumber dispute with the States during Chr├ętien’s latter days. Having said that, most Canadians (and some Mexicans) would agree that NAFTA’s marginal benefits visibly outweighs its costs.

    Peace. (Although criminalizing war is like criminalizing hate)

    ReplyDelete
  40. This idiotic 'pasquale' munbo jumbo has gone too far. This real moron and a braggard said TDM was forced to resign by foreign forces.
    Everyone knows TDM won last election by a razor thin majority.
    Pasquale who now lives away from Malaysia talking cock all the time.
    The decisions of who to be PM lies heavily on the more than 1200 UMNO kingpins....you bloody moron!!
    Do not insult MALAYSIA having no guts or brains to do things by themselves...for themselves and with themselves!!
    Why don't you give up your Malaysian citizenship and hero worship or lick the balls of foreigners??

    ReplyDelete

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