Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Mathaba) The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 84, spoke at 4.20pm local time addressing the closing session of the conference to criminalise war, which took place yesterday and today in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, at the initiative of the Perdana Global Peace Organization.
The initiative has received no international media publicity, but drew the attendance of some of the victims of torture and war who will testify at a War Crimes Tribunal which is to start tomorrow, as well as delegates and speakers from around the world, notably former US Congresswoman and Presidential Candidate, Cynthia McKinney as well as two former United Nations Secretary Generals.
Dr Mahathir pointed out at the start of his speech that the leader of this world, who preaches democracy, is willing to kill people and the member countries of this world have no right to remove him when he becomes a monster. Therefore, we should strive for a more democratic world, so that the President of the country that leads the world, should be voted in for a period of time.
He said that he followed the opinion of George Galloway, Member of Parliament of Britain, that we should distinguish between good Jews and bad Jews, and I agree entirely, I have many Jewish friends. But it should also not be allowed to call all Muslims terrorists, there are good Muslims and good Muslim terrorists, he joked to laughter of the audience.
Dr Mahathir recounted the story of a friend who has a name with "A/L" in his passport, and was asked what the meaning of this is. He explained that this means "son of" in Malaysian but as a result he was pulled out of the crowd and examined, because in Arabic "son of" is "Bin" which is unfair, and so not all Muslims should be cast as terrorists, he explained.
He also spoke about the military, as a Malaysian retired General yesterday had addressed the possible good uses of the military, and he explained that the military is like a sharp knife that can make beautiful carvings, but can also kill.
He revealed that he asked a former CIA director "you hate Dr Mahathir so much, why don't you kill him" to which he received the reply "we don't want to make him a martyr" and that they felt he would be an "over" case within a few years, but he has kept on living and living, he said to the cheers of the almost 1,000 strong audience at the Merdeka Hall in the PWTC Conference Centre.
Cynthia McKinney, then summed up, by thanking Dr Mahathir and his wife Dr Siti, as well as the Perdana Peace Foundation and the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War as well the Tribunal which is next to come. She said that she is embarrassed by what her country has done, and that she had the chance to first meet torture victim Sami Hajj during "Operation Dignity" where they tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. During this attempt the Israeli military rammed their boat, and left them to die, drifting in the sea, along with many other human rights activists. She said she protested in front of a U.S. embassy in 2007 in an orange jump suit, attempting to have the prisoners released. She said that these actions of the U.S. do not come to her as a surprise, as the descendant of Africans enslaved by the Europeans in America, she knows what they are capable of.
She pointed out that democracy in the United States of America is very limited, even by electronic counting that has votes goes missing, but also via the presence of special interest lobbies that finance the campaigns and political parties, and that this has to come to an end. She revealed that she sometimes thinks of giving up, but that she may run again for Congress. She said that she is happy to be included in the Perdana Peace "family" and is always happy to meet the wonderful people of Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir said that the odd thing about 9/11 was that all 3 buildings collapsed rapidly straight down, as if they had explosives already inserted in certain places, and not from the effect of the aircraft hitting them, but due to a demolition method. He wondered why the 3rd building collapsed in the same way (WTC7) although it was not hit by any aircraft. The collapse of this building had been admitted by its jewish owner, as a controlled demolition when he said "we pulled it."
Michel Chussodovsky confirmed this, and that in a bitter irony both the CNN and the BBC had announced the collapse of WTC7 20 minutes before they actually collapsed. While the BBC reporter was saying this being filmed in front of WTC7, showed the building still up, and he wondered how any one could have known this without foreknowledge.
Dr Mahathir said that obviously there have been a lot of lies behind these wars, and he called upon Mr Sami Al Hajj of Sudan, the Al Jazeera reporter who was abducted and falsely imprisoned and tortured in Afghanistan and Guantanemo. Mr Sami gave his thanks for the conference and its organisers and those who have attended it.
Moazzam Begg, another torture and "extraordinary rendition" victim, said that after more than 300 sessions of questions and interrogation by British Intelligence officers, he has to thank them for enabling him to become more eloquent. The last time in history that people were brought over to America in chains was that of the West Africans who were mostly Muslims, and that this is now the first time since then that this has occurred again. A Black American soldier came to this realisation with him. He said it is not easy to stop an institution like the CIA, but that if they close Guantanamo, they will not be doing us any favours as it should not have been there to begin with. He wondered how somebody (Barack Obama) could be receiving a nobel peace prize while ordering drone attacks, and that the one to receive that prize should be Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In closing, Moazzam Begg, of Cage Prisoners, said there is something special about this place, Malaysia, and that he feels comfortable and at home.
Dr Mahathir, said that there are four other panel members who are not on the stage, and that he was told they do not mind, but that if any of them want to speak they would be welcome.
Dr Souad, Vice Chancellor of the University of Syria, said that those who ordered war need to be criminalised, also for their use of illegal weapons, destroying a country, and creating diseases that are killing a nation, as well as for stealing the resources of nations. She said that "we have to act together to make this happen, each one in his or her own simple way". She called upon everyone to help us in Iraq to stand and resist and liberate our country, choking back tears. "We need all the hope we can get." She pointed out that it is an invasion and not a liberation and that we have to stand up to these people. She also said that we do not need a "Nobel Peace Prize" for Dr Mahathir, because he has already received it from the hearts of good people.
Dr Mahathir thanked Dr Souad and said that he believes the world as well as those in this hall, have heard her appeal and would extend whatever help that they can.
Dirk Adriaensens, an anti-war activist from Europe, thanked the organisers of the Conference for being able to be here and make his contribution and network with other peace activists.
Leuren Moret, an Uranium expert and whistleblower at the U.S. weapons research facility, gave her final contribution to the conference, recounting history where Americans had a huge treasure of gold from Japan and that they decided to keep it a secret. This became a secret fund to defeat all democratic movements around the world after "World War 2" and President Mossadeq was the first legitimate President overthrown with that fund. $200 million dollars has recently been sent to Iran to defeat (democratically elected) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She said that it is our "spiritual power" that will defeat the war mongers, as Dr Matrin Luther King had said "spiritual power will defeat military power."
Hana Bayati, freelance film maker from Europe, gave her closing remarks to the Conference saying that the Genocide Convention says we have an obligation to prevent such events. She said she is convinced the Iraqis will liberate their country, but that if there is no accountability, such crimes will happen again. She hopes that the criminalisation can be extended not only to the perpetrators but to the beneficiaries, the companies that have made huge profits on the misery of the Iraqi people.
Dr Mahathir then wrapped up the Conference by saying that many proposals have come from the Conference which should not be ignored. Among the proposals, is the setting up of a fund for those people held in Guantanamo who cannot find asylum, where already 2 members of the panel had contributed a total sum at $3,000. He said that Perdana would contribute and assist with collection for the fund. Malaysia's former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation and the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War said that although there will be some disappointment because not all the criminals would be brought to justice, but the trial that will begin tomorrow will try to focus on a few individuals who were mainly responsible for the crime of invading Iraq.
He revealed there had been a request to make a resolution, and that if those present found it proper, we may support the resolution and that later we may find a way of making it proper. That would be that all prisoners of Guantanamo and other prisons be either released or tried for whatever crimes they may have committed. If we do pass that resolution, and other organisations in the world join us in the same resolution, this could then be forwarded to those responsible. A unanimous show of hands of around 1,000 attendees at the conference, showed support for the resolution.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, called upon all those present as well as those who have left, that the call of several of the speakers to take some steps to pursue this idea to criminalise war, be heeded. The very least is that each person can talk to others about this, and those with contacts abroad should be contacted and told that war is a crime and that "there is a need for us to make it a crime" and that those responsible for it "should be designated criminals, and tried and punished for their crimes."
He also addressed the request that Malaysia provide asylum, and that as he is no longer the Prime Minister, all he can do and will do, is to appeal to the government to allow them to stay here. He is told that there are around 12,000 Iraqis in Malaysia, and he believes that a few more coming to Malaysia will not hurt us, and said that they would be welcome to make Malaysia their second home.