Anwar – Gore: Dances with the wolves

This is an article about Anwar Ibrahim adapted from Gore’s Racist Assault Against Malaysia

by Michael Billington April 13, 2007

It is no surprise to find Al Gore campaigning today against the phony “threat” of global warming allegedly posed by industrialization in both the “developed” and underdeveloped worlds, to anyone familiar with the history of his racist, anti-development, imperialist relations with Malaysia.

Here is a brief overview:

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In November 1998, President Clinton had to skip an important meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) in Kuala Lumpur, due to a military crisis in the Balkans (which had been instigated by Al Gore and his pal Richard Holbrooke). Clinton sent Vice President Al Gore in his place to represent the United States. Only two months earlier, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad had implemented currency controls and fixed currency rates to counter the attack on the Asian currencies by George Soros and his fellow hedge fund speculators.

Clinton had been considering a new international financial architecture, which would have seen the Malaysian move towards currency controls as a possible model for developing nations to protect themselves within a new monetary framework.

However, rather than building the needed relationship between the United States and Malaysia, Gore launched a public assault on Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir, and in defense of the deposed former Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who had defended the IMF’s conditionalities and rejected Dr. Mahathir’s controls. As Finance Minister (and Deputy Prime Minister), Anwar had implemented an “IMF austerity policy without the IMF”, before Dr. Mahathir dumped him.

‘We Should Fry Him’

Gore was the featured speaker at the APEC forum on Nov. 16 1998, sharing the podium with Dr. Mahathir. Outside the conference center, anarchists supporting deposed Anwar were rioting in the streets, making calls to bring down the government. Claiming that Malaysia could not protect his security, Gore demanded that the hotel management shut down the air conditioning, to prevent terrorists from putting poison in the ventilation system.

Then, before a sweaty audience, Gore incited the anarchists, “Democracy can give the stamp of legitimacy that reforms must have in order to be effective, and so, among nations who suffer economic crises, we continue to hear calls for democracy, calls for reform, in many languages. People power. (Reformasi). We hear them today, right here, right now, among the brave people of Malaysia.”

International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz called it “the most disgusting speech I’ve heard in my life,” while Foreign Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (now the Prime Minister) said “Malaysia finds the incitement by the U.S. government to lawlessness by certain elements within the country, to use undemocratic means in order to overthrow a constitutionally elected government, most abhorrent.

Malaysians do not take kindly to sanctimonious sermonizing from any foreign quarter, especially the United States, a country which is known to have committed gross violations of human rights”.


Dr. Mahathir was more direct “We should fry him. Al Gore does not love
Malaysia nor its people. Al Gore and his government only wants to manipulate and control our country”.

Gore did not apologize, but told Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov (another target for Gore’s intended “regime change”), “That is the American message and I am proud to deliver it here and anywhere go. Moving into the 21st century with a strong economy really requires democracy and self-government”.

Anwar’s Friends to the Rescue

When Anwar Ibrahim was convicted of corruption and sodomy (a crime in Malaysia) after a 14-month trial, in August 2000, his pal Al Gore, then in the heat of the Presidential campaign against George W. Bush, took time out of his campaign to speak out against the rule of law, “I am deeply disturbed by the verdicts handed down in Malaysia in the case of Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim…. The show trial [he was] forced to endure mocked the international standards of justice.”

Two days after the 1998 Gore tirade in Kuala Lumpur,the (Asian Wall Street Journal) offered the jailed Anwar Ibrahim their editorial page. Anwar showed his allegiance to the international financial institutions and to colonial policy, “Instead of pointing the finger at speculators and blaming ‘unrealistic demands’ set by international agencies acting as lenders of last resort, Asian nations would do well to put their houses in order first”, he wrote.

Asian nations must end “ambitious plans for outlandish projects” commit themselves “to wiping out corruption and nepotism”, remove tariff barriers and eradicate “subsidies, monopolies and favoritism. So many vested interests are at stake.

Unless the gale of creative destruction is unleashed on these rent-seeking and parasitic corporate activities [i.e., national industries], the Asian economy will never regain its past vigor.”

A few weeks later, speculator George Soros returned the favor in a speech at Johns Hopkins, calling for Anwar to be released, while accusing Dr. Mahathir of supporting his “cronies” at the expense of the economy, concluding “So I think what needs to happen is, he needs to be removed from power”.

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When Anwar was released from prison in 2004, he was greeted by his two closest allies in the West, Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz, who was then at the center of running a military version of “regime change” in Iraq. It was probably Wolfowitz who arranged for Anwar to get a position at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, where Wolfowitz had previously been the dean. Anwar also got a position at St. Anthony’s College in Oxford, England, where he met with Gore, who was by this time running his hedge fund in London, the Generation Investment Management. Anwar also spent time with his old friends from the British oligarchy, Chris Patten and Gordon Brown.

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Returning to Washington, Anwar found another lucrative position working for Wolfowitz at the World Bank, imposing conditions on developing nations that reject his warped form of “democracy.” He also took on the leadership of a project sponsored by Dick Cheney and Cheney’s daughter Liz, promoting “regime change” through subversion in the Arab world, called “Foundation for the Future.”

When Paul Wolfowitz had to find a place to send his girlfriend because of a potential conflict of interest at the World Bank, Anwar took her in with open arms, turning his “anti-corruption” head the other way when Wolfowitz corruptly arranged to pay her a bloated tax-free salary on the World Bank tab. Wolfowitz may be out of a job as a result (see “Is Wolfowitz Dead Meat?”).

*photos courtesy of Malaysia Today

 


In February 2006, Gore shared the stage with Anwar at the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia. This year, Gore is sharing another position with a different Malaysian, which he might find less satisfying – both he and Dr. Mahathir have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In Gore’s case, he is clearly campaigning for the “Peace of the Grave” for millions of the world’s poor.

Published in: on April 22, 2007 at 02:29  Comments (38)