The real danger of that love letter to the CIA - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Malaysiakini : “It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!” - William F Buckley Jr.
COMMENT | I have been getting all
these e-mails and text messages about how Najib Abdul Razak is a
traitor to this country and reading about how people are shocked by the letter of the so-called intelligence unit to solicit any kind of help to bolster a failing kleptocracy. This is not earth-shattering news, folks. This is business as usual
for corrupt, racist and bigoted governments the world over asking Uncle
Sam for a handout while demonising the US to the locals.
Back in the day when the current Pakatan Harapan grand poobah paid
disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to arrange a meeting with George Bush
Sr, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang railed against such interference. In a statement, Kit Siang wanted full transparency and wanted to know if government funds were used.
As cited in the international press, then deputy prime minister Megat
Junid Megat Ayub was part of a “shadowy Malaysian group” that facilitated funds for the meeting. These days, it's the so-called “intelligence unit” in the former PM's office. Like I said, whether it is cosying up to the intelligence apparatus
of the US or canoodling with its presidents, using funds from god knows
where, Malaysia, like many other strongmen “democracies”, has a history
of sucking up to the US when it suits their purposes while demonising
the US to stir up the local racial and religious base.
And let's be honest - compromised presidents or prime ministers are
easier to handle than leaders who are actually pushing economic and
regional security reform. Big business demands compliant local actors
and the interests of the US trumps those of the local populace when
dealing with corrupt potentates who lead race-based political parties. Last year, in the CIA info dump of declassified articles, three pages
concerned Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the BMF scandal. Mahathir claimed that such actions were meant to demonise him.
"Dr Mahathir also questioned the timing of the release of the CIA
report, claiming it was politically motivated. 'These things happened
way back, between 1981 and 1984, why are they bringing it up now? Can
you correct what I’ve done before? The purpose is political. Maybe some
people might benefit from it',” So, there is that.
The 'Great US Satan'
But what I found extremely interesting was the comment
by "a source close to Najib" who said this: “Doesn't the current
government have more important things to do other than to leak sensitive
military intelligence letters between countries to the media in order
to continue slandering Najib?” I could care less about the slandering part but what I found
interesting was the “sensitive military intelligence letters” aspect.
Well, it is odd that he would characterise this communication as
“sensitive military intelligence”, but this leak has repercussions that
go beyond just slandering Najib. I have made it clear in my columns
before that the existential threat facing this country and region is Islamic extremism. Open source intelligence and conversations with intelligence
operatives who ply their trade here allude to a new theatre of
operations for terror groups. Southeast Asia - with the exception of
Singapore - is a soft target in a rich environment. Here in Malaysia, we
have been lucky.
How people, especially young people, get radicalised has always been
of interest to me. I have written a number of articles on this subject.
If you read the literature on radicalisation, you will notice that young
Muslims, here and elsewhere, have a profound hate for Muslim regimes
who they view as proxies for the “Great US Satan”. An important feature of the radicalisation process is to ingrain a
distrust of the government but more importantly, that the government –
an Islamic one – is colluding with a foreign power – the US – to erode
the sanctity of Islam in the country.
There are two components to this indoctrination process. The first is
that corrupt Muslim potentates are colluding with a Christian adversary
to keep the “ummah” down and the second is that this is a failing of
democracy in that this democratic process is what causes Muslims to
stray from the path of whatever true Islam these extremists are
peddling. So what this damning letter confirms is that a so-called Muslim
regime was colluding with the Great US Satan. Furthermore, the fact that
one of the arguments used against Mahathir was that he was anti-Semitic
is even more dangerous.
Because it places the Najib administration as a pro-Jewish hegemony
which again plays into the hands of Islamic extremists. For the record,
Malay mainstream politics is anti-Semitic but you cannot expect Islamic
extremists to be cognisant of that, right?
A US proxy
Remember when a self-described moderate political party like Amanah
wanted to know if Malaysia was having an affair with Israel. You can
read all about anti-Semitism and Malay politics here. “Anti-Semitism is mainstream in Malay politics. Anything wrong with
the Muslim world is blamed on the Jews. We have hosted despotic
theocratic regimes. We have welcomed religious tyrants. We have courted
religious fanatics. We have embraced religious extremists who mock the
religions of the non-Muslims in this country.”
Having a relationship with the US - and this includes a relationship
with its intelligence apparatus - for mutual benefit has always been a
problem with Islamic hegemonies here and elsewhere. These theocratic or theocratic-leaning hegemonies have always demonised the US – rightly, in some cases – but mostly to sustain the
anti-progressive and democratic narratives which are anathema to the
Islamic narratives that ensure compliance in their local populations.
Characterising Najib's love letter to the CIA as treasonous is
ahistorical, especially when you consider the kind of relationship we
have had with the US, public and sub rosa. What this letter does is
merely to confirm the extremist Islamic narratives that a so-called
Islamic country like Malaysia is a proxy for the US.
The incompetence of the Najib regime and the joy of another “scandal”
to use against Najib has repercussions that are far more lethal if the
current Harapan government does not take steps to correct an eco-system
where Islamic extremism has the potential to bloom.