A friend once told me, “if you play chess with a chicken, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’ll still flap its wings and crap on the board like it’s won.” Well I’m no Garry Kasparov, but I think I recognise someone crapping all over this debate:
A man of distinction, George Galloway is not only my least favourite Scotsman (sorry Mel Gibson) but also the only person I know who arrived at their stance on Syrian intervention simply because it wasn’t America’s. “So what you are asking us to believe” he crows, “is that a revolution supported by McCain, by Lieberman, by Britain, France, America, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar is a revolution for good, for truth?” Well yes, actually. Whatever one may think of the latter nations, the ethical record of Britain, France and America certainly bests that of Assad’s allies: China, Russia and Iran. But even if it didn’t, this would be no defence for the Syrian government. The massacre of protestors is wrong whoever opposes it.
Galloway though, fails to recognise that two parties can share an opinion without supporting each other’s every indiscretion. When a member of the audience protests, “I don’t care what they think in the United States,” Galloway replies, “You say you don’t care about them, but they own you. They’ve already bought you. They already have you in their pocket. They bought you with their money, they bought you with their weapons, they bought you with their international political alignment!”
Now, I can’t speak for the presumably anonymous audience member (though he didn’t seem to be sat on a mountain of Saudi gold) but I know I wasn’t paid to support intervention; there have been no cheques from the US treasury, nor shipments from Lockheed Martin at my door. So how does George address me? Also, how can someone be bought by an international political alignment? “I’d love to support intervention, but I think the coordinated strike force needs more Costa-Ricans. Sorry.”
Having reprimanded the audience member’s vague Faustian pact with the United States, he proceeds to defend his own with Iran: “When did Iran kill the Palestinian people? What did Iran do to kill the Palestinian people? Iran are not even Arabs, but they are feeding the Palestinian people. Whether they have their own project or not, there is food in the bellies of the Palestinian people, coming from Iran.”
It’s unfortunate that George’s solidarity with the Iranian authorities doesn’t seem to extend to the Iranian people themselves. Otherwise, he might have something to say about the forced marriage and rape of condemned female virgins, “lest they go to Paradise” after their executions. A service for which, by the way, the family of the departed are expected to pay the authorities. Then again, I’m not sure how Galloway defines rape, so perhaps this practice is only revolting to “useful idiots the empire can count on.”
Nor does his compassion seem to extend to the British troops fighting Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, whose murderers he refuses to condemn. This is despite his own belief that “it is entirely legitimate to take military measures against Al-Qaeda, which is an obscurantist, fundamentalist, hostile and aggressive, pan-Islamic international terror organisation.” How does he reconcile this contradiction? Laughably, he claims: “We’re not fighting the Taliban; we’re fighting the Afghan people.”
Yet this man supported the Soviet Union, which killed forty times more Afghan civilians than all NATO forces combined. Their legacy in Afghanistan was, he says, “distributing lands to the peasants, building schools and a health service.” They were also, he neglects to mention, laying minefields so innumerable that even today 40 people a month are killed by them. In 2002, Galloway said: “Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life.” It seems old habits die hard; even now George endorses the sinister Soviet relic, Vladimir Putin, whose opposition to Syrian intervention he parrots.
Galloway is perpetually on the side of tyranny and the reason why is in the video above. He says: “I am not with the Syrian regime. I am against their enemies because their enemies are worse than them.” Indeed, there is scarcely a crime which Galloway will not attribute to America and its allies. He actually stood before an assembly in New York and said: “You may think that those aeroplanes in this city on 9/11 came out of a clear blue sky. I believe they emerged out of a swamp of hatred created by us.” This man is a member of the British Parliament, ladies and gentlemen.
But even if you do subscribe to this masochistic hogwash, it’s still obvious that Galloway takes the old adage of the enemy of my enemy is my friend a little too far. After all, one can support Syria’s stance on Israel without standing beside its dictator and declaring: “Syria is lucky to have Bashar Al-Assad as her president.” Yet George did this and at a time when Assad’s mercenaries were trying to stamp out the spark of democracy in Lebanon. Likewise, one can oppose American foreign policy without standing before Saddam Hussein and saying: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.” This Galloway did after supposedly criticising Saddam for human rights abuses in the eighties. Tell me, what context or misunderstanding can nullify these statements?
Galloway strikes the pose of a radical, but history has shown him time and time again to be a reactionary. In the video above, he drowns dissent with his yelling and says, “You make me sick you people, I must tell you.” When people leave, he thanks Allah and announces, “Good, we had our first walk out on our show.” Does this sound like a champion of free speech?
Before he was elected in Bradford, George sent a letter to Muslim locals saying: “God KNOWS who is a Muslim. And he KNOWS who is not… I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have… I, George Galloway, hold Pakistan’s highest civil awards.” He even had the cheek to say, as a man who once spent Christmas with Saddam Hussein’s deputy, “I tried to save the people of Iraq.” And now he hijacks the name of the Arab Spring, the largest democratic uprising since the lifting of the Iron Curtain, for his election victory!?
If you want to see a real Bradford spring, educate the electorate about George Galloway.
 George actually has a show on Iranian state TV, check it out.