Nurul Izzah’s plea to the US is a waste of breath

Hazlan Zakaria

Hazlan Zakaria, The Ant Daily

Beyond the feel good aura and media circus, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar’s plea for a United States’ government intervention to secure the release of her father, jailed de facto party leader Anwar Ibrahim from prison is hot air that won’t do much.

Just like PAS has been said to be like a dog barking at the mountain in its anti-Pakatan crusade, so is Nurul Izzah’s plea to the US. For try as she would, I doubt that Nurul can make the US change its stance.

We must remember that the US will play the PR game and say a few strong words here and there about the Anwar issue, but they will milk Prime Minister Najib Razak for all he is worth and still prop him up, as long as it serves their interests.

And when a regime change is inevitable, they will offer Najib a way out perhaps and will then solemnly support the new “democratic” government of Malaysia, which they can then claim has long held the trust of the free people of Malaysia.

Which is why the US is hedging its bets by playing both sides, giving Najib enough “golf trips” and rope to continue to hang himself with as well as “helping” the opposition through outreach, financial assistance to ‘NGOs’, working trips and scholarships for up-and-coming leaders and what not.

Just like the UK continues to influence Malaysia’s best and brightest with its Chevening and other “assistance” to ensure the dominance of the British-friendly elites so are the US, EU and other governments doing the same with emerging leaders from both sides.

This is like how ancient Rome used to foster or take hostage of the younger elites of its allies and enemies alike to help spread the mind-set, learning and civilisation of Rome, by the cultivation of young minds with the might and grandeur that was Rome.

So is the US doing the same with Malaysian leaders from all quarters. Nurul Izzah perhaps should know better, and her father certainly would understand the use and pragmatism of such things, after all he was familiar with it when he was younger.

We must also remember that the US had played both sides in the tussle between the Marcos and Aquino regimes in the Philippines, and propped up both sides as long as they played ball with the US foreign policy.

They helped keep former president Ferdinand Marcos in power as long as it served their interest and then did the same with the members of the Aquino clan, after helping Marcos escape.

For now, the Aquino regime, as it is called by pro-media freedom and anti-impunity activists, is acting about the same as Marcos when it comes to enforced disappearances and other human rights and freedom of expression issues.

Still the US continues to support them, and the military governments in Thailand and Egypt, as it had in Pakistan and other nations, including in Indonesia when it was under Suharto, where thousands of suspected “communists” were killed.

Indeed, most major dictators and pseudo dictators in the Middle East were able to ply their trade only because the US held their hands like Mubarak in Egypt and now Assisi, Assad in Syria, Musharraf in Pakistan and the Sauds in Saudi Arabia.

The US may condemn non-democratic actions when it is convenient, but have no qualms about calling two-bit tin-pot dictators as friends of the US, when it serves them to do so too. Najib is no different.

So I don’t think that they will even bat an eyelash, even if Najib were even to have Anwar executed.

Well maybe they will raise some hue and cry but they will probably not do much at all for now. But the reason Najib is tolerated is because the US still needs him to do their dirty work.

Najib may have bad press at the moment, but he was still welcomed because of what he said at the UN. He just gave the US a reason to start a regional digital eavesdropping network, allegedly to stop online propagation of the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

Not that the US has not been doing that already, for they have been known to snoop online and on mobile traffic, but now if Najib’s suggestion is taken up by the UN, the US will have a legitimate cover to continue doing so without the bad PR.

And soon after Najib’s announcement, the US Embassy tweeted that Malaysia has joined the war against IS. That is why it needs Najib still, to give that moral reason to do what it needs to cover up its activities in this new “war on terror”.

Not to mention that it will need Najib to play ball on the proposed TPPA trade agreement too.

A point that must be remembered by all is that, no matter how the US proclaims itself as the greatest democracy on earth and its president as the “leader of the free world”, the US foreign police serves only the interests of America.

The interests being that of its political leadership, corporate elite, Jewish lobby and then the “democratic” peoples of America, except for natives of North America, Hawaii, the US half of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico of course.

And so, no Nurul, I don’t think you will get any help and support for your father in the US, beyond their polite nod and “we hear you”.