Monday, May 16, 2005

likes, dislikes

As much as it's easy to dislike and disparage George Galloway, it's also easy to discover a sneaking admiration for his bullish confidence and conviction, and to develop an irritation with those who seek to paint him as more despicable for saluting Saddam's "courage, ... strength ... [and] indefatigability" than, say, the governments who financed and armed him without the slightest pause for thought while they were going after Iran. Or, indeed, those who apply such judgement to Galloway but would not mention that Tony Benn himself afforded Hussein a tremendously courteous welcome when he met him in February 2003.

Anyway, with Galloway on his way to the US in order to appear before US senators who accuse him of exploiting the oil for food programme, he continues to disappoint his critics by remaining defiant:

"I am going to accuse them of being involved in a huge diversion from the real issues in Iraq, which are the theft of billions of dollars worth of Iraq's wealth by the United States of America and its corporations and the deaths of more than 100,000 people in Iraq, the destruction of the country, the opening of the doors to Islamic extremism of the al-Qaeda variety, tremendous crimes they have committed in Iraq."

As much as I dislike Galloway's conduct in the election run-in, surely I'm not the only one who - in a parallel universe - is cheering him on.


BB said...

Hmm... the next sentence after "indefatigability" was: "And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory until Jerusalem."

If the US senators (as I expect) pull him to pieces, that would help restore my faith in US politics. I'd love to see him taken down a peg or 10.

jonathan said...

Oh yeah, but that shtick has always been part and parcel of the deal with Galloway. Remember him unfurling the PLO flag from Dundee Town Hall when he was first elected! What he said to Hussein was plainly odious, but then so was the US led-invasion of Iraq, so I dunno whose side I'm on when it comes to him vs the Senators.

Over on the utterly obsessed Harry's Place I noticed Peter Cuthbertson pointing out that the left still have a secret admiration for old bluffers like Galloway and, to be honest, that's certainly true with me, even though logic should persuade me otherwise...

BB said...

Yes, if all you read was Harry's you'd think the whole world revolved around Iraq and that we spent our daily lives worrying about Zionism (or anti-Zionism) and Islam. These things need to be discussed, but you are talking about what is, I guess, the premier left-of-centre blog in Britain. I suppose being as internationalist as that is a worhy thing, but I try to keep out of those discussions.

Sometimes US politicians say things that you just wished they said more often (I recall Howard Dean attacking Blair on NN, from a position that could best be described as Internationalist Left), and hopefully they'll be on form today.

As for Peter C: Galloway and Benn, meet Tebbit and Thatcher!