This was what Mahathir said that caused the US and UK rep to leave.
He averred that US and British pilots whose bombs killed Iraqi civilians were murderers, and actions taken by those two countries during the invasion and occupation of Iraq amounted to terrorism.
To be fair, military pilots have no option except to carry out an operational order, but the authorities that gave those orders would be responsible of the “murders”. Unfortunately, when one is the most powerful nation in the world, even if it invaded a sovereign nation on a pack of lies, there’s buggerall the world could or can do. There have been examples of such murderous impunity - namely, the Japanese military during its occupation of China and subsequently in WWII, Nazi Germany and Sharon's Israel.
On the issue of pilots having no option, there has been in fact an unusual precedent. Several Israeli pilots led by a highly decorated retired pilot Brigadier General Yiftah Spector had condemned airstrikes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as 'illegal' and 'immoral' and refused to fly the militarily unjustified attacks on innocent Palestinians.
It is an unlawful act of mutiny by the pilots which could end them in military jail.
Mahathir compared the Anglo-American attacks on the Iraqi civilians with those conducted by Israelis on Palestinian civilians. He stated that US, UK and Israel may be nations but they are just like terrorists, or terrorist nations, inflicting terror attacks and consequential deaths on innocent civilians.
He asked the audience at the human rights conference, to examine the murderous conduct of the Anglo-American bomber pilots, with this question:
"Who are the terrorists? The people below who were bombed, or the bombers? Whose rights have been snatched away?"
Then he asked a rather pertinent question which we already know the answer. But it is refreshing for him to remind us of the vast disparity in treatment – bearing in mind the context of this question, that it was asked at a conference on human rights.
Why isn’t there any tally or careful documentation of Iraqi deaths, quite the contrast with any US soldier killed?
In fact, the situation is far worse than just documenting a death. Whenever the US military made a disastrous mistake and killed innocent villages, the Americans brushed the crime aside by terming those victims as ‘terrorist suspects’. Please read my previous posting on such a happening in Afghanistan - Bombing Afghanistan for the Greater Good
The sad and frustrating part is that the press in most cases (admittedly not all) had accepted such bullsh*t. The thing with the current American administration is that it cannot be trusted for whatever it says. It would even lie to its own people.
Mahathir reminded us those innocent civilians killed by US action in a war that the US created, based on lies, would still be alive under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, bad arse as that Mother of them all may be.
Naturally Mahathir made mention of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc (like Bagram), where he scorned at the US for breaking international laws on human rights by torturing detained Iraqis and others.
It was payback time because the US had accused Mahathir of rights violations when he fired Anwar as his deputy in 1998. He must have relished the sweet revenge as he laughed at the US double standards.
Either the words were too stinging or their shame pricked, the British High Commissioner and US officials scooted off midway through Mahathir's speech. Those diplomats have not made themselves available for comments. They must still be pissing whiskey and bourbons to drown their shame after the dressing down - a dressing down that unfortunately for them has the clear ring of truth.