Former Malaysian prime minister urges dollar boycott to pressure U.S.


From Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Saturday, July 29, 2006

LANGKAWI, Malaysia -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday urged countries to stop using the U.S. dollar in their international trade in order to pressure Washington to end its support for Israel's savage attack on Lebanon.

He said the oppression and cruelty of Israel against the Lebanese and Palestinians would not end so long as the United States continued to support and give aid to the Jewish regime.

"Switching out of the U.S. dollar to using other currencies such as the euro and yen or gold will somewhat weaken the United States and put pressure on it," he told reporters after visiting several development projects here.

He was asked to comment on the fierce land, sea, and air bombardment of Lebanon in the past few weeks which had destroyed much of southern Lebanon and killed more than 600 Lebanese.

Dr. Mahathir said Israel would not have dared to attack Lebanon without the financial and arms support given to it by America.

He said Israel was definitely wrong in attacking Lebanon but the bigger wrong was committed by the U.S. in supporting the Israeli action.

"If the world is sincere in helping the Lebanese and Palestinians, they should reject the use of the dollar in international trade.

"When the demand for the dollar falls, America will be weakened and it will lack the ability to act as a bully in the global stage," he said.

He said the suggestion to stop using the dollar in international trade would be difficult to implement because many countries relied on it and they were also afraid of offending the United States.

Even the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) did not have the courage to take on the US because its members were divided in their stand, with some supporting the US while others were opposed.

"We cannot hope for OIC to do anything. Only when the Western world acts, then the OIC might follow suit," he said.