Mahathir calls for war to be "outlawed"

Malaysia's outspoken PM blasts the US at the Non Aligned Movement summit, laments the state of the world and says that war should be made illegal.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  February 25, 2003

Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad opened the 13th Non Aligned Movement summit yesterday in Kula Lumpur, saying the world today lived in fear and called for war to be outlawed, made illegal and for a new world order to be created.

"The world now lives in fear. We are afraid of everything. We are afraid of flying, afraid of certain countries; afraid of bearded Asian men, afraid of the shoes airline passengers wear; of letters and parcels, of white powder," Mahathir told representatives and heads of state attending the summit.

Mahathir said the world was in a "terrible mess, a state that is worse than during the East-West confrontation, the Cold War."

The Malaysian Prime Minister drew attention to the reasons behind terrorism, the stereotyping of Muslims and what he said was the double standards that infuriate Muslims. "If Iraq is linked to the Al Qaeda, is it not more logical to link the expropriation of Palestinian land and the persecution and oppression of the Palestinians with September 11?," he said.

Mahathir said capitalist free traders relieved by the demise of communism had a greed without bounds. The prime minister said the capitalist free traders expected developing countries who fought hard for their independence to yield and open up their borders and offer the capitalists free access to their economies.

“They call this free competition. As they merge and acquire each other, they become monstrous giants with whom the small businesses in the developing countries will not be able to compete,” Mahathir said.

Next, Mahathir attacked currency traders. Although he did not name him in person, the speech of the Malaysian Prime Minister was reminiscent of his attack on George Soros, who is known as the “Man who broke the Pound”.

Mahathir said the traders destroyed the economies of half the world and “threw tens of millions out of work, bankrupted banks and thousands of businesses, caused the collapse of governments and precipitated anarchy.”

With war looming in Iraq, Mahathir said it was important to outlaw and make war illegal.

“War must be outlawed - that will have to be our struggle for now,” Mahathir said. “No single nation should be allowed to police the world, least of all to decide what action to take, when.”

The outspoken prime minister said there must be a “new world order in which power is shared equitably by all. The United Nations must be reformed. It must no longer be bound by the results of a world war fought more than half a century ago.”

An estimated 150,000 people attended an anti-war rally Sunday night in Malaysia’s main sports stadium. Mahathir, who addressed the crowd, said he was “certain” if Washington was successful in Iraq, “they will turn to Iran next and then to North Korea.”

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