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The Mother of All Smokescreens

I haven’t formulated a final or absolute impression of George Galloway yet, but I loved his opening remarks to the Senate Committee investigating the food for oil problems (which committee I’m starting to think of as an arm of the Republican’s Thou Shalt Not Think Or Speak movement). I watched the hearing live on Sky News, and though every media outlet banged on about its ‘blistering’ rhetoric and ‘braveheart’ pugnaciousness and socking the US senate with some good ol’ British soapboxing, I thought it more significant that such critical views of the Iraq invasion and the human cost at last found expression in the relatively mainstream media.
Senator, this is the mother of all smoke screens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq’s wealth.

I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war.

Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq’s wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Haliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq’s money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question... without any contact with me whatsoever, and you call that justice.
I’m trying to find a transcript of his opener, but haven’t had much luck yet. See also Wiki, Guardian, audio, extra, and Times (quotes).

posted by rino breebaart  # 9:06 am
Also check out Hitchen's gracious report here, courtesy of Lenin (a Galloway groupie). Galloway's a class act - probably the last of the true English-speaking socialist politicians left.
Also I read somewhere that Galloway had started his testimony before the Senate committee with the immortal lines: "I am not and never have been..."

His speech after his victory in Bethnal Green and Bow was another example of fine rhetoric. From memory it started something like this:

"Tony Blair, this [pause] is for Iraq. All the people you've killed, [pause] all the lies you've told, [pause] have come back to haunt you."

You really have to hear it for yourself. No other politician speaks like this anymore.

- Andrew
It made me want to stand up at my computer and begging dancing - in a very dignified and anti-war fashion, you must understand. As for bringing the smelly sock of truth to the noses of sleeping Americans - well, American ABC news didn't even mention it. Jacko's trial was just too important.

And I agree with Andrew about hearing the man. People who I've talked to who have only read his comments are less impressed than men people who've heard him deliver those caustic, forceful lines. And he used no notes. He just looked at the Senate committee and let two years of dealing with frustration and lies roll forth. Amazing.

What did Galloway say to Hitchens again? " "Gin-soaked ex-Trotskyite"? Ouch.

- Adam
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