War etc

‘Fighting For Their Country’

George Galloway can’t seem to make his mind up whether the Iraqi resistance is made up of Islamists or Saddam loyalists.

The idea that it is probably an alliance of both those fascistic tendencies (as many Iraqis insist) doesn’t seem to enter Galloway’s latest piece of wishful thinking in the Guardian.

First he tells us: That religious fundamentalism is out and stalking the land and seeking political power and, other than by denying democratic elections, in the short term it’s impossible to see how it can be denied power. Iraq will soon be led by men in turbans with long beards, whose ideological inspirations are the Ayatollah Khomeini and Osama Bin Laden. There may come a day, maybe sooner than you think, when western policy makers may be wishing Saddam was back.

Whether Galloway is one of those policy makers we aren’t told. But we won’t have to wait long to find out because according to the ‘Respect MP’ the Ba’athists are on their way back anyway:

The Iraqi resistance have a right to defend their country against the occupying invader. They are exercising that right, with a considerable degree of success and I predict that they will continue to do that with ever greater success in the months and years ahead.

Saddam Hussein remains a major problem for the occupiers, alive or dead. He is alive, for the moment, but will he be brought to an open public trial that conforms with the international norms of justice? I very much doubt it. The US has made him a prisoner of war, under which status he cannot be tried at all. If I was to put money on it, I’d put it on there never being a trial. He may meet with some accident, slipping on the soap in the showers, or he may just be held indefinitely. I don’t believe that the Americans will either kill him or not kill him without consequence. He continues to haunt them as long as the backbone of the Iraqi resistance are loyal to him: Arab nationalists who are fighting for their country.

I wonder how those who will be marching behind Galloway on Saturday in London, those who will be attending his speech where he will repeat this sort of thinly-vieled enthusiasm for the enemies of Iraq’s democrats, will react to his words?

After all, judging from the emails I get and the response in the comments on the blog, very few anti-war protestors share these views. Galloway should be in for a rough ride if he tries to come out with this sort of stuff. Shouldn’t he?

Update: I was rather hasty in my earlier version of this with comments about the lack of an Iraqi voice in Voices On Iraq in the Guardian. In fact Rory McCarthy has a very interesting report as a part of the series in today’s paper:

Najwa – a 50-year-old widow, an ordinary middle-class Iraqi – is precisely the sort who had most to gain when America and Britain went to war a year ago.

She is well educated, a moderate Muslim and a staunch advocate of democracy and women’s rights.

She was bitterly opposed to Saddam Hussein and saw her family torn apart by the brutality of his security forces. She cheered and danced when she saw footage on television – via her then illegal satellite dish – showing Saddam’s bronze statuebeing wrenched to the ground.

In conversations over several days in her modest home in Aadhamiya, in northern Baghdad, she describes how in the past year her moment of celebration has soured into deep disillusionment and resentment of the US military occupation of her country. She is unemployed, heavily in debt to her friends, scared of the prospect of civil war and pessimistic about her family’s and her country’s future.