DAP to seek meeting and clarification from US Ambassador on Bush’s offensive and arrogant  statement that “nations will be held accountable for inactivity” in the war against international terrorism

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): US President Bush’s statement that “nations will be held accountable for inactivity” in the war against international terrorism is offensive and arrogant, arrogating to the United States all the roles of international prosecutor, judge, executioner and policeman.

Bush made the statement at the White House after his meeting with President Chirac of France.

As yesterday’s issue of  USA TODAY reported, Bush “scolded” although he did not name the countries that have not fulfilled their pledges of support for the war against terrorism, when he said:

"A coalition partner must do more than just express sympathy. A coalition partner must perform.  All nations, if they want to fight terror, must do something. It is time for action.

“Over time, it's going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity. You are either with us or you are against us in the fight against terror."

Bush does not seem capable of understanding the reason for the ebbing of worldwide support for the US airstrikes in Afghanistan, as  solidarity with the Americans in the condemnation of the heinous crimes against humanity in the dastardly terrorist attacks in New York and Washintgton on September 11 does not necessarily translate into support for the US war in Afghanistan.

The US administration must understand why the initial outburst of solidarity after Sept. 11 has frayed considerably as U.S.  warplanes bomb Afghanistan relentlessly for the fifth week running. This is true not only in Arab and other Muslim countries, where the U.S. military campaign has provoked popular outrage, but in other countries where people feel less of a direct connection to the events.

In opinion polls and interviews in several countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, many people who said they were horrified by the  Sept. 11 attacks added that the horror then does not justify the bombing of Afghanistan now -even if their governments continue to back the U.S. campaign. In Britain, Sweden, Finland and Germany, polls show that a majority now wants a pause in the bombing.

I will seek a meeting with the US Ambassador to Malaysia on Bush’s simplistic reduction of the war against international terrorism as a battle between good and evil, and his threat that “nations will be held accountable for inactivity” not only to find out what the United States expect Malaysia to do, but also to understand whether the US administration is fully aware of the enormity of the looming humanitarian catastrophe with the onset of winter in Afghanistan where seven and a half million people are  at risk of dying in a matter of months.

This figure will be  three times the number of people Pol Pot took years to kill. Thirty-five times the number that died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, combined. If 5,000 died on September 11, it will be  the equivalent number of deaths to ten World Trade Centers, every day, for 150 days.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman