Mar 21, 2011

US Foreign Interventions: Folly or Bully

During the 60s to the 70s, when the US was involved in the Vietnam War, the phrase 'Make peace,not war' and 'Give peace a chance' were used by the Americans to denounce the government of its involvement in a war that brings no benefits but deaths to the thousands of young American soldiers.

The massive protest in front of the White House by the thousands of Americans, from the students to the ordinary at the height of the Vietnam War, has stunned the government so much that it reciprocated by using force to subdue the protests.

In one of the speeches on TV in 1970, President Nixon put on a brave front and declared:'We will not be humiliated and defeated by the North Vietnamese'. And to the chagrin of the Americans, he even expanded the war into Laos and Cambodia, triggering massive protests.
And hardly had the words settled in the mind of the Americans, the North Vietnamese took over Saigon and the Americans fled South Vietnam to eat humble pie at home.

Th current involvement of the US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is akin to deja vu of the Vietnam War albeit with a difference: there is oil to fight for. Never mind the thousands of American soldiers who are killed on duty. As far as the US government is concern, it is a price worth paying for.

The military might of the US army is the most powerful in the world and with its strong advocate of democratic values, has make the US as a country for many to either look for protection or guidance. Hence, like a big brother, it further hedges its military might around the world.

The rise of India and China as the new economic power house has make the US government to rethink its policies towards these countries. The economy of China has overtaken Japan and is poised to overtake US as the biggest economy in the world. When China unveiled its ability to build stealth fighter plane, the US like the rest of the world is awed. Maybe there are more technological advances which the world has not seen yet. And together with its military force, the People's Liberation Army, which is the biggest in the world, China is now being view as a new superpower:from economy to military.

The huge trade surpluses of the Chinese economy with the US has being a thorn for the US economy for years. And to shift the balance of trade to its favor, the US has tried to pester China to devalue its currency, blaming it as the main source of the imbalance in trade between the two countries.

Will China kowtow to the Americans?

While China is exploring for greater economic pie through diplomatic ties throughout the world, the US is interfering in world affairs through its military might, with Libya being the latest.
The outcry of the Arab League of the attack by the French,British and the US forces is indeed a cause for concern. Such an attack is being perceived as an attack by the West against the Muslim world.
And such perception, when dangerously played up by the many Osamas, will give rise to further extremist attacks against the West.

What is the cost of human suffering that can be considered justifiable for war?

Mar 13, 2011

When diaster struck,let us pray this will not happen in Malaysia

Fireman Ali: We must search for the Malay survivors first.
Fireman Chong: No, no no! We must search for the Chinese first!
Fireman Muthu: Hey! What about the Indians? We must search for the Indians first.

Mar 9, 2011

Autobiography or My Story: To believe or Not to believe

It is very common or rather a norm for leaders, from the corporate to politics and from the greats to the dictators to write their memoirs so that they can be remembered as they want us to remember them.

In the home front, we have the ex-premier of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohd. who has just launched his latest autobiography: The Doctor in The House. I have to admit that I did not read the book but from what I have gathered, his book depicts him as a great leader: a leader who for the sake of the country, dare to take risks and make unpopular decisions and also who seems to do no wrong.

When we read an autobiography, we need to understand that most biographies are usually written a few years after they have retired. Thus, the situation at that time and a few years later can be very different and thereby providing the writer a 'loophole' to change the reader's perception.

A classic example is the latest autobiography by Mahathir Mohd. In his book, he coyly blamed the Ops Lalang in 1987 on the IGP when as PM he seemed powerless to stop the action of the police force. Can you believe it? The invoked of the ISA to arrest the opposition members during the Ops Lalang has always been a thorn in Mahathir's administration.

The fact that he has devoted a chapter on his justification to arrest and subsequently jailed Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, showed his fear towards Anwar who is politically strong enough to dethrone him as the PM of Malaysia. And suddenly it seems out of the blue in his memoir, he accused Anwar of having a sexual tryst with four prostitutes, when during the sodomy trial of more than 10 years ago, this was never mentioned. Can you believe it?

He accused Tengku Razaleigh of money politics during Umno's presidential election in1987 where both parties fought tooth and nail for the seat. And Umno was divided into Team A and Team B was because of Tengku Razaleigh. He also accused Daim of corruptions and Musa Hitam of back stabbing him.

And hey presto, through this autobiography, Mahathir seems to be a 'clean' man.

But what about the massive plundering of wealth from Petronas and EPF to bail out his children business and his cronies during the Asian financial crisis? How can his son become a billionaire and is one of the richest in Malaysia? And what about the deterioration of the judiciary system since the sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim? What about the squandered RM100 billion of the nation's wealth? Can someone pinpoint to me where are the truths in his book?

If George Bush is to admit in his autobiography that he had erred in his decision by sending the American soldiers to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, he would be 'castrated' by the thousands of Americans whose sons and husbands have died in the war. And maybe he should learn from Mahathir by blaming the CIA for providing inaccurate or false information on Saddam Hussein's so call catchment of weapons of mass destruction.

And if Bill Clinton is to admit in his autobiography that he had sex with the White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, he would be castrated by Hilary Clinton, literally speaking. And maybe he can also learn from Mahathir by twisting facts like he was drugged by the intern and therefore, he did not remember what he was doing.

So, if you are going to write your own autobiography, are you going to write the truth, nothing but the truth?