Unlike the lopsided views presented in a write up in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by sex-addict Gore and two-timing philanderer Wolfowitz about the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, Joshua Trevino's observation should be emulated by all Western media when covering Anwar's trial, that is to be detached, impersonal and focused. It is also refreshing to note that Joshua Trevino actually contradicted both Gore and Wolfowitz summation of Anwar's trial in that over rated WSJ.
The truth of the matter is writers like Joshua Trevino is a bona fide Malaysia watcher, unlike Gore and Wolfowitz. A former Bush admin speechwriter, what Trevino has written in Huffington Post has now becomes a subject of healthy debate in Washington. And in the end, and as usual, truth will always prevail via good level headed writers of the Western media!
Sometimes soon Americans will know the truth and the real character of this little man named Anwar Ibrahim, a anti-American activist at heart, whose claim to fame is to have friends like scary weirdo sex-addict Al Gore and instead-of-gel-but-prefer-to-use-spit-on-hair and two-timing philanderer weirdo named Wolfowitz, who is also a good friend of the prime minister of Turkey! Below is an article by a very impartial American writer on Anwar's trial!
By Joshua Trevino
In Malaysia, criminal prosecutions often seem to have a political taint by dint of history and media. In that vein, it's important to address both in assessing the meaning of the trial of Anwar Ibrahim.
Western media's treatment of Anwar's sodomy trials tends to focus on what strikes Westerners as remarkable: that he is being tried for sodomy, which in itself is no longer a crime (de facto if not always de jure) in Western societies. This is indeed morally unacceptable, and even shocking -- and were this the beginning and the end of the charges against Anwar Ibrahim, the media campaign against his prosecution would be on solid ground.
The truth is somewhat more nuanced. Though Anwar Ibrahim is on trial for violation of Malaysian anti-sodomy law, this is effectively ancillary to his alleged crime: a sexual assault upon one Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Saiful has told police and prosecutors that the opposition leader, for whom he then worked, coerced him into a sexual encounter in early 2008. It is this nonconsensual activity, not sodomy per se, that is now at the heart of the trial of Anwar Ibrahim.
In the West, prosecutions of this nature are frequently sensational, but rarely controversial. Thankfully, we're mostly past the social stage wherein victims of sexual assault are routinely disbelieved. And we generally understand that leveraging individual power for sexual favor is, if not always outright criminal, at least immoral. This much is uncontroversial, and for a major Western media outlet to suggest otherwise would bring down upon it a well-deserved storm of criticism and protest.
So why is the reporting on Anwar's trial in Malaysia so different? Why is it so frequently assumed that the putative victim in this case is merely a political tool, instead of a person with a right to his day in court? Why this apparent double standard?
The answer lies in the circumstances of Anwar's first trial under the same law -- but not for the same crime. That 1998 prosecution was widely, and with justification, seen as a politically motivated persecution by the government of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir, a generally disliked figure in the West for his strident Islamist rhetoric and conspiratorial mindset, saw his erstwhile deputy and protégé Anwar as a political threat. The courts were duly mobilized, and Anwar lost.
The immediate effect upon Anwar was jail time, but the long-term political effect was almost wholly beneficial. Having been persecuted by Mahathir, Anwar Ibrahim immediately became the presumptive leader of the political opposition to the Malaysian ruling party. As a direct consequence, he established a fruitful and friendly liaison with Western policymakers and politicians, from Al Gore to Paul Wolfowitz and beyond, most of whom assumed that Anwar was against all the hateful things that Mahathir was for.
Of course, longtime watchers of Malaysia know this isn't the case: Anwar may have been Mahathir's victim, but he remains his persecutor's protégé, as B'nai B'rith acknowledged last month when it urged American policymakers to shun him over a pattern of anti-Semitic statements.
The present case strikes an ill-informed media establishment as more of the same. Once again, they see Anwar Ibrahim prosecuted under Malaysia's sodomy laws. But there are important differences on this go-around that responsible reporting must note. First and foremost, as noted, is the assault angle. Whereas the Mahathir-era prosecution jailed Anwar and his alleged sexual partners, there is no legal pursuit of Saiful Bukhari. The young man alleging Anwar's coercion is treated like any victim of sexual assault in any ordinary, developed country...for more original text click here!
Joshua S. Treviño is the President of Treviño Strategies and Media, and a longtime observer of Malaysian affairs. He served as a speechwriter in the Administration of George W. Bush.