Thursday, July 01, 2010

The New Ledger says Anwar In Bad Decline!

Below is what The New Ledger wrote, read the real article here:


Renowned Malaysian “democrat” and perennial prime ministerial aspirant Anwar Ibrahim has been on a sort of Washington, D.C., apology tour in the past week.

He’s got a lot to apologize for: having been a longtime darling of American policymakers of both parties — all eager to identify a moderate Muslim with whom we can do business — he’s embarrassed those friends and mentors with his recent descent into crass anti-Semitism.

Dark references to Jewish influence are, unfortunately, something of a staple of Malaysian domestic politics: and it’s troubling to see a putative liberal like Anwar engage in it with apparent enthusiasm — and worse, conviction.

The proximate cause of Anwar Ibrahim’s invocation of anti-Semitic tropes is his own flagging political fortune. For the past decade, he’s been the heir apparent to the Malaysian Prime Ministerial office as leader of the opposition — and for that same period of time, he’s fallen short.

In 2008, he even guaranteed, Namath-style, that he would form a government by September 16th. When that date came and went, Anwar was left explaining his failure much in the manner of Millerites after the Great Disappointment. Not coincidentally, that was concurrent with his first major public outburst of anti-Semitism, in which he told Islam Online that he had “evidence proving that the [Malaysian] government is backing the Jewish lobby in the US and some parties inside Israel.”

Fast forward two years, to Anwar Ibrahim’s present political troubles. He still hasn’t taken power, and he is undergoing yet another prosecution for sodomy — a crime in Malaysia. (This trial, which began in February, stems from allegations made in 2008.)

His last sodomy trial in 1998, for which he was convicted and jailed, was widely seen as a politically motivated farce — an act of persecution by his former mentor, then-Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad. The present case is less clear, especially given the definitive break between Mahathir and his two successors.

Whatever the case’s merits or lack thereof, the fact is that Anwar Ibrahim and his allies have responded with the predictable tactic of Islamic-world demagogues: anti-Semitism.

Rachel Motte at The New Ledger covered it last month: “[Anwar has spun] a dark conspiracy theory of Jewish control, Zionist plots, and subversion … including publicly alleging that there are ‘Israeli intelligence personnel in the Police IT unit.’” Anwar even told a press conference at the London School of Economics that “[The Malaysian ruling coalition] befriends nasty Jews and some of them are Zionists.”

Perhaps worst from an American perspective — though not necessarily from a moral perspective — he turned his rhetorical guns on the U.S., too. When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met with President Barack Obama and agreed to U.S.-Malaysian collaboration on Iran and Afghanistan, Anwar even took to the parliamentary floor to declare that this was evidence of Jewish influence on Malaysian policymaking.

That “the Jews” would manipulate events in America’s favor will be unsurprising to observers of global anti-Semitism, which readily becomes anti-Americanism as it suits the perpetrator. In that vein, after the Israeli seizure of the “Gaza flotilla,” Anwar was found leading a chanting mob of thousands before the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

There, on June 4th, Anwar declared, “Israelis are able to continue with their aggression because of the soft position taken by the [American] President.” Three days later, in the Malaysian parliament, he said, “Israel wouldn’t dare to attack the flotilla and set up blockades in Gaza without the support of America.”

In that light, it’s no surprise that B’nai B’rith International last month issued a public call for U.S. policymakers and elected officials to shun Anwar Ibrahim. And it’s no further surprise that Anwar promptlyblamed it on Jewish influence — technically correct, for once — and then flew to Washington, D.C., to conduct damage control.

Jackson Diehl at the Washington Post summed up the purpose and tenor of Anwar’s D.C. excusion rather well:

Anwar … spent a lot of time offering explanations to old friends, not to mention House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman and a Jewish leader or two. He said he regretted using terms such as “Zionist aggression,” which are common coin for demagogues like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “Why do I need to use it if it causes so much misunderstanding?” he said. “I need to be more careful.”

That’s one way to put it. Just a bit of carelessness, and suddenly you find you’ve spent months invoking anti-Semitic imagery in public appearances all across a southeast Asian nation. Who hasn’t been there?

WaPo’s Diehl also quotes longtime Anwar associate Paul Wolfowitz as saying, “What Anwar did was wrong, but considering that he’s literally fighting for his life … one should cut him some slack.”

Well, no: Anwar isn’t “literally fighting for his life,” unless Wolfowitz is aware of a threat to his physical survival that no one else is — in which case, the person to inform ought to be Anwar Ibrahim. Furthermore, it’s a curious argument that danger of any sort somehow demands, or justifies, plain Jew-baiting. (Interesting and possibly explanatory: when Wolfowitz’s paramour Shaha Ali Riza had to leave the World Bank, she eventually landed at theFoundation for the Future, then headed by none other than Anwar Ibrahim.)

The D.C. consensus on Anwar, following his anti-Semitic antics, following B’nai B’rith’s declaration, and following his fence-mending visit, is aptly summed up by Jay Nordlinger at NRO: “[I]t helps that Ibrahim has been repentant, at least in talking to Americans.

And, in Malaysia, he is about as good as it gets. We shouldn’t hold our breath for anyone better.” Nordlinger’s sentiment is understandable — and he’s one of the few major opinionmakers who has actually paid meaningful attention to Malaysia of late — but if that’s the outcome of Anwar’s visit, things have gone wrong.

On a moral level, American policy doesn’t have to choose the lesser of two evils in Malaysia: our relations with that country, and its strategic role, are such that we are under no compulsion to affiliate ourselves with a known purveyor of anti-Semitism.

On a pragmatic level, the fact is that the man whom Anwar seeks to replace, Prime Minister Najib Razak, is far more friendly to American policy goals than is Anwar himself. (We’ll leave aside here that Anwar’s opposition-coalition partner is the Islamist PAS, which solicited volunteers for the Taliban after 9/11.)

Anwar explicitly referred to Najib’s amenability to American policy goals in an ill-advised conversation with an AFP reporter during his D.C. trip, in which he quipped, “[W]e have a prime minister coming here and agreeing with whatever Obama wants.”

Accepting that characterization for the sake of argument, that’s pretty much exactly what we’d hope for in a foreign leader. If Anwar Ibrahim sets himself against it, what is the American interest-driven case for supporting him?

Anwar Ibrahim used to be the shining archetype of a Muslim democrat and a figurative martyr for liberty. That was before he showed himself just another demagogue, willing to promulgate and exploit conspiracy theories not considered polite in the West since V-E Day.

Now, the best argument for him is that he’s the least worst. He’s not even that, of course — but it’s still a remarkable fall. Anwar Ibrahim may wish to blame the Jews for it, but the sad truth is that he did it all to himself.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

all the while i thought Jews are bad. I was wrong... anwar ibrahim is even worse. anwar ibrahim is jewer than the jews!

Anonymous said...

Tuan

Please dont waste time writing about brader anuar bin ibrahim.


.....wawa

Anonymous said...

U can twist here twist there, talk cock talk cunt but 1 thing for sure u can't stop him or someone from his camp to replace our flip flop PM and his rotten party to be the next PM of malaysia.

Oh Yes

Anonymous said...

No turning back for him. In internatioal diplomacy once you fire the gun you cannot recall the bullet.Without the help of the Foreign Ministry they will eat him up. Ramalx

Pasquale said...

"U can twist here twist there, talk cock talk cunt but 1 thing for sure u can't stop him or someone from his camp to replace our flip flop PM and his rotten party to be the next PM of malaysia.

Oh Yes
July 02, 2010 11:47 AM"

Anonymous non-Malay Moron, I know you are one, the reason why I bother publishing your wishful thinking is that there are many, many more Malays and non-Malays who are happy with the the PM and the system now, you are just one of the kind that has to be stopped at all cost!! Next time your comment will be deleted!

Anonymous said...

Mr. P,

you should publish more comment like non-malay moron ano.

i'd love to have a look at their retarded mind...

Anonymous said...

Oh yes!!! your Rusdi Mustapha has confirmed my conclusion that all Malay moron species like you is the root cause for the gradual extinction of your rotten racist party by way of your total denial stage of ignorance and stupidity.

ninotaziz said...

Key word - Used to be...

Thank you. It was a pleasant visit.