Saturday, May 28, 2005


More On That Galloway Guy (And On Pompous Americans And Whispered Rumors)

From Richard Ingrams of The Guardian last Sunday:

When George Galloway wrote his autobiography the publishers asked me for a quote to put on the cover which hopefully would help to boost sales. My submission ran as follows: 'George Galloway is awful - but I like him!' For some reason, however, it failed to find favour and was not used. Yet it seemed to be the response of many people last week who up till then had failed to warm to the newly-elected member for Bethnal Green and Bow. Whatever their doubts and misgivings, they could not conceal their delight in the way the MP had flown to Washington and berated a group of smug-looking senators sitting in judgment on him. Journalists like myself will also have relished his description of our own Bush-supporting hack, Mr Christopher Hitchens, described, accurately, by the MP as a 'drink-sodden former Trotskyite popinjay'. The general satisfaction here perhaps had less to do with whether or not people supported the invasion of Iraq and more simply to do with seeing pompous Americans made to look foolish. Because when it comes to pomposity there is nothing to beat a pompous American, and if anything their journalists are even more pompous than their politicians. Thus it was noted that Galloway's telling remark that, contrary to what was alleged, he had met Saddam Hussein no more often than Donald Rumsfeld (who had actually sold him weapons), this was not reported the following day in two of America's most prestigious papers, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Why ever not? The only possible explanation would be that they considered it disrespectful towards a distinguished American statesman.
Another explanation would be that they are perfumed cowards who either work for BushCo and/or live in fear of it. But it's considered shockingly indiscreet nowadays to even mention this. But wait! There's more (this time from a separate Guardian piece):
The culture clash between Mr Galloway's bruising style and the soporific gentility of senate proceedings could hardly have been more pronounced, and drew audible gasps and laughs of disbelief from the audience. "I met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him," Mr Galloway went on. "The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns, and to give him maps the better to target those guns."
Again, while the US press loved to show pics of Galloway shaking Saddam's hand during Galloway's trips on behalf of his charity work for Iraqi children, they don't like to show the pics of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand during Rummy's trips to sell Saddam weapons. (Which is why that part of Galloway's testimony never made it into the "prestige" US papers.) By the way, you all may have heard, as the allegations against Galloway have been debunked one by one, that there are still some whispered attempts to imply that Galloway's connections to Fawaz Zureikat, one of his partners in his Iraqi charity work, are somehow "proof" of... well, they won't quite come out and say it, whatever it is, but they KNOW that it must somehow be wrong, because they KNOW that Fawaz Zureikat is a bad, bad man. They KNOW it. And because Galloway associates with him, then Galloway must be bad, too. Whisper, whisper, whisper. Well, as Attaturk pointed out last week over at Eschaton, if Zureikat's such a bad guy, then why is the US allowing him to do business in post-Saddam Iraq as well as in America? Sometimes, where there's smoke, there's fire. But many times -- as was the case with the bogus "Clinton scandals" -- the smoke was pouring out of a well-oiled, well-financed smoke machine and the otherwise-well-meaning people who got caught in its fumes.

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