Feb 4, 2007

Tun Mahathir : Bush And The United States Guilty Of Terrorism

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the United States (US) President George W. Bush will go down in world history as a war criminal and his country is guilty of terrorism.

"It's because he (Bush) is responsible in an unnecessary killing of many more people than Saddam Hussein. If Saddam is considered as (a) war criminal and deserves to be hanged that way, then he (Bush) is a worse criminal than Saddam," he said on One on One East programme aired by Al-Jazeera Saturday night.

During the 20-minute interview, Dr Mahathir also applied the same label to Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his British counterpart Tony Blair for aiding and abetting the US in the war against Iraq.

"They are the same," he said when asked by the interviewer if Howard and Blair deserved the same treatment as Bush.

In his explanation, Dr Mahathir said Bush was a war criminal for all the killings in the war against Iraq which was illegal as it was not sanctioned by the United Nations (UN).

"They went to war against Iraq despite the fact that the UN did not sanction it...so that war is illegal. So any killing during that war would constitute murder," he said.

Dr Mahathir also said that Bush was contemptuous not only to the UN but also to his own administration when he decided to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq without taking into consideration the views given by his congress.

"This is the kind of man elected by people in a democratic government. It makes one wonder whether democracy is the great thing that was supposed to be.

"Maybe one day you elect a mad man who simply presses the button and starts a nuclear war," he said while expressing his fear that Bush might make more mistakes during his remaining two years as the US president.

On another issue about Iran and nuclear power, the former prime minister regarded Bush's perception, that if Iran was allowed to have nuclear power they would use it to attack other countries, as naive and baseless.

"We are frightened of the Nuclear Powers. If the Nuclear Powers have the right to deter us from attacking them why cannot we have the right to deter the Nuclear Powers from attacking us.

"Who is attacking whom at this moment? Are the Muslims going around conquering other countries? No they are not. They are just defending themselves," he said.

Dr Mahathir added Iran also intended to deter other parties from attacking them as they were attacked by Iraq before at the instigation of the US.

"For eight years they lost one million people. If the US were to lose one million people, you know what the US will do? They are going to bomb the rest of the world," he said.

Asked about his recent statement that Bush had Iran as his next target, Dr Mahathir said it would be a big mistake for Bush if he acted on Iran and thought he could get away with it as he did on Iraq.

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