KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 (Bernama) -- Proving that he is still a firebrand, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Monday lashed out at United States (US) President George W. Bush and British Premier Tony Blair saying that the world should remember them as "the killers of children" or as "the lying Prime Minister or President".
"What Blair and Bush had done is worse than what Saddam (Hussein) had done," the former Malaysian Prime Minister said.
Delivering this message in his keynote address at the three-day War Crimes Conference and Exhibition, here, Dr Mahathir said these leaders who used war as a means to gain support should be accorded the names they deserved for the evil deeds they committed.
The conference, dubbed the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalise War, is organised by Perdana Global Peace Organisation, which Dr Mahathir chairs.
The conference will also work towards the setting up of a permanent tribunal, recognised by the victims of aggression, to hear charges levelled at the warmongers, leaders and governments of aggressor nations, to determine their innocence or guilt and to prescribe punishment.
"We should not hang Blair if the tribunal finds him guilty but he should always carry the label as a war criminal, killer of children, liar. And so should Bush and the pocket Bush of the bushlands of Australia (referring to Australian PM John Howard)," said Dr Mahathir.
He said while the world might not be able to get governments of countries to enact laws to label these leaders as "war criminals," non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the sympathetic media could append the label whenever their names were mentioned.
The people and NGOs for peace, he said, should make these war criminals feel unwelcome wherever they went and that "they should be literally hounded."
"They should have full frontal and profile pictures put up everywhere as war criminals. And historians should always refer to them as war criminals in history books," said Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister.
He said the first move in the struggle for peace was to ensure that people of the world knew the truth about war and its dangers as "the media is owned and controlled by warmongers."
"We have to build a base for spreading the word, the idea that wars are crimes against humanity, that those who resort to wars in furtherance of their ideology or agenda are common criminals and must be labelled as such and punished," said Dr Mahathir.
He said there was now a need for the establishment of a worldwide network of NGOs for peace, to encourage peace activists everywhere to talk peace and criminalisation of war, to physically obstruct war, stop the preparations for war and do everything possible to gain support for the movement to make war a crime in the statute books of the international community.
On another note, he said the permanent tribunal mooted by the conference must be made up of respected international jurists, who would have no personal or national interest in matters referred to them, whose judgement must be based on evidence and not sentiment.
He said while the tribunal would have no power of enforcing its punishment as "the people tried may be too powerful," the international network should not be daunted by this but find ways and forms of punishment that were within their capacity until such time the international community respects and upholds the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
"We are seeing today examples of the form of punishment that can be meted out. Bush and Blair are now totally reviled and condemned by the world and by their own people.
"The tribunal that we set up can conduct a proper trial even if the accused is not present. A respectable and totally impartial tribunal applying recognised laws will surely find its findings respected by the world just as the world respects the Nobel laureates, for example," said Dr Mahathir.
tags : tun mahathir mohamad malaysia pm tony blair george bush war criminal