not himself break the golden rule to be rational and not be guided by
sentiments and emotions in responding to the Iraq crisis as to justify,
explicit or implicit, war crimes
by Lim Kit Siang
In his live RTM telecast on the start of the US-led war on Iraq on Thursday,
Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called on Malaysians
to be rational and not be guided by sentiments and emotions in facing the
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should not himself break
this golden rule, which could reflect adversely on Malaysia and the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of which he is the Chair such as to justify
whether explicit or implicit, war crimes.
Yesterday, Mahathir said the United States has lost the right to invoke the
international law in response to Iraqi television footage showing four
bodies of US soldiers and five American POWs. He said that since the United
States had shown total disrespect for the United Nations, it had lost the
right to bring up issues pertaining to matters of the international body.
Mahathir should be aware that his comment that the United States had lost
the right to invoke the Geneva Conventions come across as justifying the
commission of war crimes against American soldiers in captivity, which goes
against the government's repeated declaration that it does not have enmity
for the American people but only opposition to the unjust, illegal and
unnecessary war unleashed by US President Bush against Iraq.
Many Malaysians who condemn the US war against Iraq as unjust, illegal and
unnecessary must have squirmed at the statement by Mahathir with its
implication of defending or advocating inhumane and inhuman treatment of
American POWs in Iraq - which would be war crimes against the Geneva
Conventions to ensure humane treatment of prisoners of war.
Mahathir and in particular the Malaysian Government should make clear that
they do not condone any violation of the Geneva Conventions by any parties
in the Iraq War, whether the invaders and aggressors or the defenders.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National