Friday, March 7, 2014

Mahathir: The British Empire and Its U.S. Minions Foment Global War

March 7, 2014 EIR International 35
Feb. 28—The interview below with former Prime
Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was conducted
on the sidelines of an extraordinary event held
on Feb. 15-16 at the Perdana Leadership Foundation,
in Putrajaya, the new capital city of Malaysia. Both the
Foundation and the city itself were conceived of by Dr.
Mahathir, who was Prime Minister from 1981-2003,
during which time he established himself as one of the
most courageous and creative leaders among developing-
sector nations. He earned the hatred of the London-
centered Empire when he stood up against the
massive speculative attack against several Asian nations
in 1997-98, defying the “free market” by imposing
currency controls on the national currency, saving
his nation from the devastation visited upon his neighbors—
Indonesia, the Philippines, and others. The
speculators, led by George Soros, were furious, and
went to work funding “regime change” subversion
through compliant stooges in their pay.
Dr. Mahathir was interviewed for EIR in Malaysia
on Jan. 22, 1999, by my late wife Gail Billington, and
EIR published detailed reports on his regular outspoken,
and often quite humorous, attacks on the Western
speculative policies which were destroying economies
worldwide; he demanded a return to Glass-Steagall
and related regulatory restraints on the ravages by the
Western financial institutions.
The event where this interview took place was held
in honor of the life’s work of Kassim Ahmad, a Malaysian
political leader, Islamic scholar, poet, and writer,
who had recently turned 80. Because Kassim has been
an outspoken supporter of Lyndon LaRouche and La-
Rouche’s political and philosophic ideas and practice
since the early 1990s, this author was invited to speak at
the conference on behalf of the LaRouche organization.
The more than 200 attendees at the conference were
well aware of Kassim’s long-term promotion of La-
Rouche’s ideas and political movement, as he had repeatedly
referred to that fact in his autobiography, The
Road Home—From Socialism to Islam, published in
both Malay in 2009, and English in 2011.
In his presentation to the conference, Kassim said:
“The LaRouche movement is the American system,
seeking a way between the two failed systems, liberalism
and communism, promoting humanism. The movement
has provided me with much happiness and satisfaction.”
He said he prayed to God that the war being
stirred up over the Ukraine crisis would not occur. “The
people of America need to fight hard,” he said, “and
uphold their humanistic, revolutionary tradition. They
Mahathir: The British Empire and
Its U.S. Minions Foment Global War
by Mike Billington
EIR’s Mike Billington, former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad, and Kassim Ahmad. Kassim is a
Malaysian political leader, Islamic scholar, poet, and writer,
whose 80th birthday was celebrated at an event in Putrajaya,
Malaysia in February. Kassim is also a longtime collaborator
of the LaRouche movement.
36 International EIR March 7, 2014
must avoid being hegemonistic.”
What made this conference so interesting, and controversial,
is that on two key issues, Kassim has been
persecuted by the Malaysian government, and by the
religious authorities in Malaysia, who hold a position of
significant power in the state. In 1976, Kassim, who
was for 18 years the head of the socialist Rakyat Party,
was rounded up under the Internal Security Act, and
held without charge or trial for five years. Then, having
spent those years in an intensive study of the Koran and
other Islamic writings, he published a book arguing that
many of the statements in the Hadith (the reputed acts
and sayings of Mohammad, collected by others during
the Prophet’s life and after his death) are contradictory
to the tenets of the Koran, and should not be viewed as
truthful simply because of their inclusion in the Hadith.
This caused a huge controversy and led to the banning
of his book by the religious authorities in Malaysia
(although it is available online in English under the title
Hadith: A Re-evaluation). Still today, many Malays are
intimidated by the ban, and refuse to read this book, or
any others by Kassim.
Thus, for this conference to be held at the Foundation
founded and directed by Dr. Mahathir, and cosponsored
by the JUST International (headed by the
outspoken political and religious analyst Chandra Muzaffar),
marked what many described as the “much delayed
recognition” of the profound work and political
influence of this critical thinker. Following the conference,
the religious authorities immediately opened a
new investigation into Kassim’s speech, while the Islamist
organizations and press exploded with accusations
against Dr. Mahathir for openly supporting Kassim’s
right to debate these issues.
Dr. Mahathir responded to these accusations on his
blog: “It is very dangerous and confusing when anyone,
just because he is fluent in Arabic and has a degree in
Islamic studies, is declared a religious scholar. The disunity
among the Muslim community of various sects is
caused by people like these. Their followers have been
enemies and have been committing murder for decades.
There is no tolerance among them, when the Quran
clearly asks of us to not even be enemies with people of
different faiths, unless they see us as enemies. Labelling
people just because they do not agree with one’s
point of view is the way of those who are not open to
debate. [They say:] Just accept what is being alleged by
those who are not thinking. Do not use your common
sense bestowed by Allah because apparently it is prohibited
in Islam.”
This author’s presentation to the conference is reflected
in the questions presented to Dr. Mahathir in the
following interview, focused on a warning of the current
rush to thermonuclear war by President Obama and
his British/Wall Street controllers, in the context of the
ongoing collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system,
and the necessary solutions as developed by Lyndon
Interview: Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
The British have caused more damage in this
world than anybody else.
Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of
Malaysia (1981-2003), was interviewed by EIR’s Mike
Billington in Putrajaya on Feb. 15.
EIR: Let me start with your role in the 1997-98 socalled
Asia crisis. From the beginning of that crisis, you
insisted that the measures you took to protect Malaysia
were only defensive, and there wouldn’t be any real
change until the world financial system were reformed
along the necessary lines of ending financial speculation
and the return to investments into the real economy.
Clearly that has not happened.
Dr. Mahathir: Yes.
EIR: I wonder if you can tell me what you think has
happened in these last 15 years, in Malaysia, and globally.
Dr. Mahathir: There is a state of denial among the
developed countries’ leadership, in that they still believe
that what they did was the right thing to do. What
happened, of course, was that after they lost their
market, in terms of manufactured goods, in Eastern nations,
they retreated into financial markets, and they invented
all kinds of [financial] products, and these products
were all about gambling—they were not about
manufacturing anything, they had no spin-offs for anybody,
nobody shared in the wealth. All they did was to
bet on whether the price of shares goes up or down,
whether the currencies appreciate or depreciate.
And once they knew the mechanism, they made use
of this mechanism to create the situation which was
beneficial and profitable to them: short-selling of shares,
short-selling of currencies. These things cannot last.
Once you lose, you are going to lose a lot. For instance,
March 7, 2014 EIR International 37
leveraging—once you leverage by about 20 times in the
invested amount, of course, when you make a profit,
you make about 20 times more; but when you lose, you
also lose 20 times more. When that happens, everybody
goes bankrupt—the hedge funds go bankrupt, the banks
go bankrupt, the investor goes bankrupt, and the whole
society has to pay a price. This is cheating.
A Divided World
EIR: This is cheating; this is what we are experiencing
today. In fact, what you see is that the world is now
divided between a trans-Atlantic empire which is crumbling.
. .
Dr. Mahathir: Yes.
EIR: Nations in Europe are being subjected to
death—disease, taking away pensions, taking away
wages, 40-50% unemployment, horrendous conditions,
which is rapidly taking place in the US as well. On the
other hand, you have the trans-Eurasian nations, largely
Russia and China, but also Japan, Korea, Southeast
Asia, which are still committed to progress, to science,
to development, to infrastructure. And yet, as you see in
Ukraine, when a nation chooses to go with Eurasia
rather than the trans-Atlantic powers, it is treated as a
pariah. Even Thailand, a nation that has been close to
China and the rest of Southeast Asia, is now being torn
apart. A similar thing in Cambodia, too. What do you
think has to be done?
Dr. Mahathir: This open declaration by the US, in
particular, that they want to achieve regime change in
order to install in all the countries of this world, governments
which favor them—this is totally wrong. Because
you may try to influence through ideology, but
using wars, killing, massacres, and providing weapons
and money to people who rise against the government—
and actually instigating them to bring down the
government, in order to install governments which
favor the US—this is what is causing a problem now. In
the Ukraine it is the same. In Syria it is the same.
Only last night, I was listening to the Al-Jazeera
report on the conference on Syria. They were not interested
in anything but regime change. They don’t care
about peace. They don’t care about the suffering of the
people, about the refugees and all that. All they want to
do is to achieve regime change. This is their sole agenda.
And towards this end, they do not care what method
they use.
EIR: You met with Chinese President Xi Jinping
when he was here [October 2013], right after he made
his announcement in Indonesia of the Maritime Silk
Road, and you formed the Cheng He Association,
named after Adm. Cheng He, who led the armada of
the huge Chinese treasure ships, in the 15th Century.
Could you tell us what you have in mind for this Association?
Dr. Mahathir: Well, we call him Ching Ho—the
Malay name is Ching Ho. He is a remarkable leader, a
remarkable man. He came with very powerful forces—
not to conquer, but to establish diplomatic relations
with countries. China never attempted to conquer countries.
They wanted to establish diplomatic relations and
UN Photo
Dr. Mahathir Mohamad addressing the UN, September 2003.
America’s view is that there must be
confrontation—everything should be
resolved through war. We do not want
any war here. We do not want any
fighting here, because the destruction
would be horrible. So we will try our
best to work with China, to find out
how we can settle these claims made
by China, not through confrontation,
but through friendly negotiation.
38 International EIR March 7, 2014
trade with these countries. This contrasts with the first
Portuguese—with Vasco da Gama, Afonso de Albuquerque,
and Diogo Lopes de Sequeira, who came here
in order to conquer. The Portuguese arrived in Malacca
in 1509. Two years later, they conquered Malacca.
The Chinese had been in Malacca for many, many
years before that, and never conquered Malacca, although
they had so many Chinese in this country who
could have formed a fifth-column for them. But they
never tried to conquer. So there is this difference between
Cheng He and the Portuguese and the other Europeans.
Cheng He established friendships.
So this Association that we are going to form is in
order to celebrate friendship between nations. There
will be an award for the people who work most to bring
about friendship between countries.
‘We Do Not Want Any War Here’
EIR: As in the Cold War, the Obama Administration,
and its backers in London and Wall Street, are now
demanding that the nations of Asia take sides with the
US, both in the conflict in the South China Sea, and related
strategic issues of conflict with China, and also
with the TPP [Trans Pacific Partnership], which is
clearly also an economic confrontation with China.
What do you see as the result of this process?
Dr. Mahathir: As for Malaysia—I can not say for
the other ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations]
countries—but we do not want the US to come
here and settle our problems. Our problems with China
are our problems, and we will settle them with China—
both parties should be involved. Of course, some of the
countries have already invited the US to come here.
America’s view is that there must be confrontation—
everything should be resolved through war. We do not
want any war here. We do not want any fighting here,
because the destruction would be horrible. So we will
try our best to work with China, to find out how we can
settle these claims made by China, not through confrontation,
but through friendly negotiation.
We believe here in Malaysia—we are trying to promote
the idea that war is a crime, and the only way to
settle conflicts between nations, is through negotiation,
arbitration, or court of law—not through war. But the
US is saying that we must side with them against China.
We do not see why we should be with them against
China. China has been there, and cannot be removed—
you cannot wish it away. We need to live with China,
whether China is poor or rich, or advanced, we have to
live with China, and we have to find ways and means to
settle any problems we have with China through negotiation,
arbitration, or a court of law.
EIR: You founded the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes
Tribunal, which found Tony Blair and George W. Bush
guilty of crimes against the peace, for the illegal war in
Iraq. President Obama has carried this war policy forward,
in Libya first, and now in Syria, where full-scale
war was only stopped because Gen. Martin Dempsey,
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the US military, told
Obama by-and-large that it must not happen, and also
because our organization mobilized popular support
against it. But it is very fragile, and ready to blow apart
again. It was narrowly avoided, but it is still on the
table. We are facing a similar thing in Ukraine, threatening
a full-scale war with Russia. Do you think it is
time for the War Crimes Tribunal to take up the case of
Mr. Obama?
Dr. Mahathir: Normally, the War Crimes Tribunal
works when there is a complaint from the affected
people. Of course, if there is a complaint, they will take
it up, but it is up to the Tribunal to decide on this. But
our view is that people who wage war must be punished,
because war is not a way for civilized men to
settle disputes—by killing each other. In civilian society,
if you have a quarrel with another person, you
cannot go and kill him, as a solution. Yet, in the case of
quarrels among nations, one nation can go and destroy
and kill as many of their so-called enemies as possible,
and they are not guilty. This is a contradiction over how
conflicts can be settled. So if we find there are complaints,
then of course we will take it up.
EIR: When the war with Syria was temporarily
postponed, and at the same time, the P5+1 talks began
with Iran, this looked rather promising, but perhaps the
Syria situation is falling apart. There are also those who
would like to see the Iran talks fall apart. As a leading
Islamic nation, and one in which you personally have
often taken courageous stands on international matters,
what role do you think Malaysia can play in this attempt
to provoke such crises in the Islamic world?
Dr. Mahathir: Well, Islam actually is about peace.
If there are divisions from this, it is the wrong interpretation
of the teachings of the religion. So we are for
peace because that is what Islam teaches us. It’s not just
because these are Muslim countries or Muslim people
who are involved—anywhere that peace is broken, we
March 7, 2014 EIR International 39
will take the side of those who want peace and settlement
through negotiations in order to solve their conflicts.
As far as Malaysia is concerned, if we have the
strength, of course we will try to help, but otherwise,
our opinion is that everything should be settled through
peace. We don’t condemn any party—at the moment,
we cannot condemn either the Syrian government or
the rebels, because we need to know what are their
grievances; but whatever may be their feelings about
these things, they should not resort to war. Those who
resort to war are ultimately against peace, and those
who finance these wars are not doing any good for
anyone because it is not going to settle the problem.
The US must know—they went into Iraq, and they
thought it was going to settle this problem within three
months, and they were there for ten years; and the same
thing in Afghanistan. But the US has never learned anything
about war. They have been defeated in Vietnam,
they have been defeated everywhere they go. Even in
Somalia they could not end it. But they still believe that
they can solve the problem with war, but they will not.
Not these days. Because even if you “win” and occupy
a country, there will be resistance until they leave the
Britain’s ‘Great Game’
EIR: Part of the reason this region has become a
cockpit for war, and become a focus of a conflict between
East and West, is because of the enflaming of the
Sunni-Shi’a conflict. We have documented that the
British, through the Saudis, have been deeply involved,
fomenting that kind of division. Do you want to comment
on that?
Dr. Mahathir: Yes. Well, the involvement of Saudis—
I wouldn’t like to comment upon it, because we
have good relations with them. But at the back of this
all is the British. The British have caused more damage
in this world than anybody else, through their colonial
policies in the past, and through the conclusion of their
decolonization process—all these things have left
behind a legacy that leads to war. You know, their creation
of Islamic states, like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq—these
were created by the British. They were just one people
before. There were no divisions of Syria and the rest,
but the British drew a line, with the French. . .
EIR: Sykes-Picot. . .
Dr. Mahathir: . . .so that this half went to the French,
and this half to the British: This was the Great Game
that they played. And what is the result? The result is
now, you find enmity between people who are of the
same race, the same religion, because of these destroying
borders and lines. The same thing in Africa.
EIR: On the economic issue—when you were
waging your fight on behalf of Malaysia, but really on
behalf of the world, against the IMF and the Soros network,
and those who were running the “Asia crisis,”
so-called, which was really the beginning of the world
crisis, you, even at that time, said that the Glass-Steagall
solution, dividing the investment bankers off, letting
them collapse if they collapse—no government
support for that. . .
Dr. Mahathir: Yes.
EIR: . . .and saving our commercial banking system,
as Roosevelt did. You supported this at that time. We
now have bills in both the US House and Senate, some
courageous leaders taking it up, others signing on but
not taking leadership. I assume you still strongly support
that policy. Do you have a message for those who
need a little kick in the appropriate place to get them to
take action?
Dr. Mahathir: I think there is a trend towards retreating—
retreating from the principle that they adhered
to before, because of the wealth involved, the
power of Wall Street for example, which has invariably
been a part of the goverment in the US, and so
anything that stands in the way of the immoral activities
of Wall Street would be pushed out and neutralized.
This is the plan that we see, because they don’t
want anything to stop them from amassing as much
wealth as possible.
That’s why even the anti-trust laws are now ignored.
Before, what Rockefeller did was only confined to the
US. Now, US companies are spreading to the rest of the
world, and they want to monopolize all the business activities
in the whole world, world domination—just as
Rockefeller would have control over the oil business in
the US, now the American businesses want to control
Islam actually is about peace. If there
are divisions from this, it is the wrong
interpretation of the teachings of the
religion. So we are for peace because
that is what Islam teaches us.
40 International EIR March 7, 2014
all business in the rest of the
world. They don’t care about
anti-trust laws, or the Glass-
Steagall Act. This stands in the
EIR: This stands in the way,
so they have thrown it out, and
the results are now clear.
Would you like to say anything
about Mr. [Lyndon] La-
Rouche and our movement?
Dr. Mahathir: You are
sometimes the lone voice against
the trends, and that is something
that has to be continued. Someone
has to come up and say
something against the present
trend of letting markets go wild.
You know, there is no more control—
the idea that the market
will regulate itself is so much
nonsense, because the market is
about making money, making
profit. They are not interested in regulating themselves.
This is where the government abdicated their role. We
think the government must come back. The government
are representatives of the people. The business
people are not representatives of the people. To let them
loose like that, and tell them that they can make the
laws for themselves, and for the world, is for the government
to abdicate their role. Government must come
back, and set limits to the things that the market can do.
If you leave it to the market, this world will never recover.
A Global Development Project
EIR: We’re now in the midst of a project, working
with friends in Japan, Korea, Russia, and elsewhere, a
global development project, but focused on what we call
the trans-Pacific, from the Mississippi River, developing
the NAWAPA water project—the huge project to
bring water down from the north to double the agricultural
land in America, a tunnel under the Bering Strait,
rail and water development projects in Central Asia—so
that this whole trans-Pacific region can be the new frontier
for all mankind. We’re going to be developing this
over the next few months and putting it out globally, as
the basis for peace—peace through development.
Do you wish to comment?
Dr. Mahathir: Well, obviously the world needs rethinking
about how this world should be structured and
managed. Obviously, much of the thinking now is done
in the East. In the West, they are so busy trying to extricate
themselves from the mess that they are in, that they
have no time to think what is right and what is wrong.
The only thing they can think of is more domination. And
they are foisting on the world all kinds of agreements,
supposedly to be free trade, but actually to regulate trade
through various treaties. You cannot do anything outside
the treaty—so you are being regulated. It’s not about free
trade, it’s about regulated trade, but it is posed as free
trade—free-trade agreements, TPP, etc.,—all these
things are attempts, through the economy, to control the
world, to keep the world from developing, especially in
the trans-Pacific area from developing as a counter-balance
to the power of the traditional West.
EIR: What would you like to see your legacy to be?
Dr. Mahathir: I would be very happy to see just
very small things for my country—that it should stay
neutral, that it should continue to say what is right and
what is wrong, that it should always hold to principles,
and not be swayed by outside powers who want to make
use of them.
EIR: I thank you very much.
Kassim of Bernama
The LaRouche movement is “sometimes the lone voice against the trends, and that is
something that has to be continued,” Dr. Mahathir said. Here, Prime Minister Mahathir
meets with EIR’s Gail Billington in January 1999.

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